Our annual documentary series spotlights politically engaged works ranging from Colombia to Portugal to the Canadian North.
Under the Sun
Salles portrays the pivotal, tumultuous 1960s through archival footage and home movies from May ’68 Paris, Soviet-invaded Czechoslovakia, China during the Cultural Revolution, and Brazil under military rule. “It’s a documentary that’s really a meditation—history made poetic” (Variety).
Free screening for BAMPFA members and UC Berkeley students only
The murder of the filmmaker’s brother forms the basis of this powerful, disturbing, and very personal documentary on one family’s suffering and an entire society’s injustice and institutional racism. “A masterpiece for difficult times” (Film Quarterly).
A rare opportunity to see artistic reactions to colonial history, military dictatorships, and political violence by artists from Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, and Uruguay.
Shot with the permission and supervision of North Korean authorities, Russian director Vitaly Mansky’s film turns a propaganda effort into a deep-cover documentary about life inside one of the world’s most repressive nations.
A portrait of homes and their owners’ attitudes toward cleaning them. “It’s like a James Benning remake of Jeanne Dielman” (Cinema Scope).
Restored 35mm Print
This Academy Award–nominated doc makes the case against US intervention in Vietnam using an incendiary montage style. “An explosive analysis of the American war machine” (Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research).
The Portuguese filmmakers revisited decades-old footage of fishermen in the Azores for this beautiful essay film. “If Rossellini had ever made it to the Azores, he might have come up with something akin to Fish Tail” (Senses of Cinema).
Frederick Wiseman’s latest documentary provides welcome confirmation of the survival of intelligent life in discouraging times, following the work behind and beyond the books at the New York Public Library.
This 2012 work revisits Thomas Harlan’s 1975 documentary Torre Bela in order to investigate not only the Portuguese revolution, but the very idea of the political documentary.
This film created by a German leftist in Portugal documents efforts to return a large private estate to local workers. “One of the purest examples of militant documentary” (Harvard Film Archive).
Inuit filmmaker Alethea Arnaquq-Baril’s passionate, mind-shifting film documents new strands of Inuit activism—“part exposé, part personal documentary, and part community portrait” (TIFF). With Jonathan Wright’s animated short The Bear Facts.
One of Colombia’s most influential, prolific filmmakers presents three of his works, including the classic Vampires of Poverty, that incorporate political critique, an aesthetic sensibility, and, importantly, a sense of humor.