Documentary Voices 2022

January 26–April 20, 2022

Our annual series features an international array of recent and historical documentaries and nonfiction films.

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  • The Washing Society

  • Phases of Matter

  • Collective

  • The Two Sights

  • Upcoming
  • Past
  • Past

Past Films

  • Collective

    • Wednesday, April 20 7 PM
    Alexander Nanau
    Romania, Luxembourg, 2019

    A shattering exposé of systemic corruption, this documentary about the aftermath of a Bucharest nightclub fire “doesn’t just open your eyes but tears you apart by exposing a moral rift with resonance far beyond the film’s home country” (Variety).

    Cătălin Tolontan and David Barstow in Conversation

  • The Vulnerable Media Lab: ecologies, economies, and materialities

    • Thursday, April 14 5 PM

    Free Admission!

    Susan Lord will introduce a program of Sara Gómez’s films, preserved by the Vulnerable Media Lab, on Wednesday, April 13.

    Susan Lord presents a lecture on the practices of the Vulnerable Media Lab, which develops methods and processes to ensure culturally diverse “born digital” media history is preserved and made available according to culturally specific and ethically driven forms of access.

    Lecture by Susan Lord

  • The Short Documentary Films of Sara Gómez

    • Wednesday, April 13 7 PM

    New Restorations

    Susan Lord will give a free lecture on the practices of the Vulnerable Media Lab Thursday, April 14.

    Gómez was one of the most inventive filmmakers of postrevolutionary Cuban cinema. Her recently restored films look at the complexities of the Caribbean island’s social, political, and economic transformation.

    Introduced by Susan Lord

  • The Washing Society

    • Wednesday, April 6 7 PM
    Lizzie Olesker, Lynne Sachs
    United States, 2018

    Olesker and Sachs fold the history of labor and immigration into this intimate chronicle of the disappearing public space of the neighborhood laundromat. With Sachs’s And Then We Marched and E•pis•to•lar•y: Letter to Jean Vigo.

    Les Blank Lecture by Lynne Sachs

  • Mr. Bachmann and His Class

    • Wednesday, March 16 7 PM
    Maria Speth
    Germany, 2021

    A German schoolteacher welcomes a class of students from twelve different nations in this “affectionate and inspiring portrait of an affectionate and inspiring man” (Variety). 

  • Chinese Portrait

    • Wednesday, March 9 7 PM
    Wang Xiaoshuai
    China, 2018

    Roughly sixty carefully composed shots of citizens and their environments, recorded over ten years across China, comprise this formal masterpiece, a photo album of an entire nation’s decade. From the director of Beijing Bicycle.

    Introduced by Andrew F. Jones

  • In Comparison

    • Wednesday, March 2 7 PM
    Harun Farocki
    Germany, Austria, 2009

    Farocki’s In Comparison considers the brick, that foundational unit of construction, as object, metaphor, and product of labor. With Domietta Torlasco’s Garfield Park, USA and Deniz Tortum and Kathryn Hamilton’s Our Ark, two short essay films.

    Domietta Torlasco in Person

  • Phases of Matter

    • Wednesday, February 23 7 PM
    Deniz Tortum
    Turkey, 2020

    “A human, curious look at a place where life and death, levity and severity, poetry and confrontation go side by side,” Phases of Matter presents the Istanbul hospital where Deniz Tortum’s father worked for thirty years (Rotterdam International Film Festival).

    Ernst Karel in Person

  • The Two Sights

    • Wednesday, February 16 7 PM
    Joshua Bonnetta
    Canada, United Kingdom, 2020

    In an “eerie and hypnotic” experimental evocation of the gift of second sight, Joshua Bonnetta infused the landscape of Scotland’s Outer Hebrides with otherworldly tales and meanings (Justine Smith, POV).

  • Surname Viet Given Name Nam

    • Wednesday, February 9 7 PM
    Trinh T. Minh-ha
    United States, 1989

    BAMPFA Preservation

    The history of modern Vietnam and the struggles of its women provide the foundation for this “keenly intelligent, sensuously multilayered” documentary (Stuart Klawans, The Nation). Director Trinh T. Minh-ha gives the fifth Les Blank Lecture prior to the screening.

    Lecture by Trinh T. Minh-ha

  • 499

    • Wednesday, February 2 7 PM
    Rodrigo Reyes
    Mexico, 2021

    In this “truly brilliant accomplishment of unconventional storytelling” (Carlos Aguilar), a conquistador inexplicably finds himself in Mexico, 499 years after conquering Tenochtitlán with Hernán Cortez’s army in 1521. He retraces their original journey across Mexico, a reluctant witness to the ongoing legacy of Spanish conquest.

    Rodrigo Reyes in Person

  • Prism

    • Wednesday, January 26 7 PM
    Rosine Mbakam, Eléonore Yameogo, An van. Dienderen
    Belgium, 2021

    A prismatic inquiry into how skin color is seen on screen, this provocative essay film asks whether technology consciously or unconsciously orients itself to depicting white skin as the norm.