The Joy of Life, April 18
Jenni Olson in Person. In shimmering landscape images and a lyrical voiceover, local filmmaker Olson's documentary tells two San Francisco stories: the life of a lesbian searching for love, and the history of the Golden Gate Bridge as a suicide landmark. "A cinematic love poem. . . . 'Experimental' yet immediately accessible."-S.F. Bay Guardian
Rebecca Baron in Person. Somewhere between amateur anthropology and domestic espionage lies Mass Observation, the British movement founded in the late '30s to survey the British public. Baron's documentary considers the movement in relation to a larger public history of watching people unawares. With Baron's The Idea of North and Humphrey Jennings's Mass Observation film Spare Time.
Britta Sjogren in Person. Sjogren's intimate new film explores the delicately balanced lives of people struggling with economic instability and isolation. Beautifully filmed and played by nonprofessional actors portraying aspects of their own lives, the film powerfully questions the relationship between storytelling and documentary filmmaking.
Adele Horne in Person. In missionary parlance, "tailenders" are people living in remote regions that have yet to be reached by missionary activity. Following the use of spiritual recordings to advertise an individualistic Christianity to indigenous peoples across the world, Horne's fascinating documentary links evangelism to global capitalism.
Lynne Sachs and Nir Zats in Person. This experimental documentary is a personal attempt to understand the conflicts that scar the globe by contemplating the death of one woman: Revital Ohayon, an Israeli filmmaker killed by a terrorist. Drawing on the Bible, Allen Ginsberg's poetry, correspondence between Sachs and Zats, and interviews with Ohayon's family, the film is a moving kaddish for uncertain, dangerous times.
Jennifer Montgomery in Person. Montgomery's documentary-style feature reenacts R. D. Laing's experiment in which doctors and schizophrenic patients lived together to explore alternative therapies for mental illness. The resulting film traces the shifting boundary between madness and sanity and asks what makes a community.