Recent Releases & Restorations 2020

Ongoing

Enjoy newly released films and restored classics selected by our curators, now available in your own home.

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  • Beyond the Visible: Hilma af Klint

  • Oliver Sacks: His Own Life

  • Nationtime

  • Collective

  • Zappa

  • Flowers of Shanghai

  • Edo Avant Garde

  • Upcoming
    Films
  • Past
    Films
  • Past
    Events

Available Films

  • Irmi

    Veronica Selver, Susan Fanshel
    United States, 2020

    August 27, 2020–May 31, 2021

    This beautiful documentary portrait of German Jewish émigrée Irmi Selver (1906–2004), based on her memoirs (read by Hanna Schygulla), takes us on a unique journey through a life marked by love, unimaginable loss, and strength of spirit.

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  • A Thousand Cuts

    Ramona S. Diaz
    United States, Philippines, 2020

    August 7–September 17, 2020

    This riveting documentary follows fearless journalist Maria Ressa and her colleagues at the embattled news site Rappler as they challenge Rodrigo Duterte’s authority and expose misinformation, criminality, and human rights abuses in the Philippines.

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  • Ai Weiwei: Yours Truly

    Cheryl Haines, Gina Leibrecht
    United States, 2019

    July 8–September 27, 2020

    Sparked by artist and activist Ai Weiwei’s 2014 project on Alcatraz Island, this “very absorbing and valuable documentary . . . movingly puts Ai’s work into personal context” (The Guardian).

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  • Band of Outsiders

    Jean-Luc Godard
    France, 1964

    April 29–July 19, 2020

    Anna Karina gets involved with a pair of would-be burglars in one of Godard’s most accessible and entrancing films, with exquisitely gritty black-and-white cinematography by Raoul Coutard and music by Michel Legrand. “Like a reverie of a gangster movie” (Pauline Kael).

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  • Beanpole

    Kantemir Balagov
    Russia, 2019

    May 15–July 26, 2020

    For two women ex-soldiers in Leningrad in 1945, one trauma leads to another. “A brilliantly told, deeply moving story about love—in all its manifestations, perversity and obstinacy” (New York Times).

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  • Beyond the Visible: Hilma af Klint

    Halina Dyrschka
    Germany, 2019

    April 17–August 15, 2020

    This documentary illuminates the story of visionary Swedish painter Hilma af Klint, the unsung modernist of the early twentieth century. “Bristles with the excitement of discovery and also with the impatience that recognition has taken so long. It refreshes the eyes and the mind” (New York Times).

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  • Buoyancy

    Rodd Rathjen
    Australia, 2019

    September 28–November 29, 2020

    Visceral performances by a nonprofessional cast ground this gripping dramatization of immigrant exploitation on the high seas, as a Cambodian boy falls into modern slavery aboard a Thai fishing boat. “Taut and urgent” (Variety).

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  • Carmine Street Guitars

    Ron Mann
    Canada, 2018

    July 1–October 11, 2020

    In the heart of Greenwich Village, once the center of New York’s bohemia, one artisanal shop remains resilient amid encroaching gentrification: Carmine Street Guitars. “A gentle, warm, immensely satisfying portrait” (Rolling Stone).

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  • Chez Jolie Coiffure

    Rosine Mbakam
    Cameroon, Belgium, 2018

    July 1–August 2, 2020

    A Brussels hair salon catering to West African immigrant women is at the center of this warmhearted documentary. “A must-see! An atypical and timely portrait of the intersection between the immigrant experience and female identity” (Indiewire).

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  • Chulas fronteras & Del mero corazón


    July 22–November 1, 2020

    Swing along with Lydia Mendoza, Flaco Jiménez, and other greats of Mexican American music in Les Blank’s bouncy 1970s tributes to Chicano culture and pride, now digitally remastered in 4K.

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  • CineSpin: Brussels Loops

    Shirley Clarke, D. A. Pennebaker
    United States, 1957

    Free Streaming Presentation
    Available for One Week Only, November 13–20, 2020

    An energetic depiction of American life for the 1958 Brussels World’s Fair, this compilation of short films explores the natural, industrial, and social landscapes of the nation. With new musical accompaniment by Cal student Ryan Shah.  

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  • City Hall

    Frederick Wiseman
    United States, 2020

    November 13, 2020–January 10, 2021

    Eminent documentarian Frederick Wiseman’s study of process, policy, and public service in Boston’s city government is a “typically sprawling, inquisitive and inclusive anatomy of the city’s inner workings . . . both sober and inspiring” (Variety).

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  • Classe tous risques

    Claude Sautet
    France, Italy, 1960

    Digital Restoration
    July 8–November 15, 2020

    Lino Ventura and Jean-Paul Belmondo star in “a tough and touching exploration of honor and friendship among thieves” (New York Times).One of the best French gangster films, tense and warm, elliptical and human” (Bertrand Tavernier).

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  • Collective

    Alexander Nanau
    Romania, Luxembourg, 2019

    November 20, 2020–April 11, 2021

    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).

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  • Coup 53

    Taghi Amirani
    United Kingdom, 2019

    Cowritten and edited by Oscar winner Walter Murch, this documentary is a fascinating investigation into the 1953 Anglo-American coup d’état in Iran that displaced democratically elected prime minister Mohammad Mossaddegh and installed the despotic Mohammad Reza Pahlavi as shah. “Passionate and fearless” (Hollywood Reporter).

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  • Down and Out in America

    Lee Grant
    United States, 1986

    July 22–October 18, 2020

    This long-unavailable, recently preserved documentary takes an unflinching look at a cross-section of Americans whose financial security evaporated as a result of the Reagan administration’s “trickle-down economics.” “A powerful, bracing, mournful film” (New Yorker).

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  • Edo Avant Garde

    Linda Hoaglund
    Japan, United States, 2019

    This beautiful examination of the tradition of Japanese folding screen and scroll painting explores the sensuous style and innovative methods of Edo period painting and reveals its influence on Western art.

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  • Film & Video Makers at Cal: Works from the Eisner Competition 2020


    Free Streaming Program
    December 1–January 10, 2020

    A selection of outstanding student films from the competition for the 2020 Eisner Prize, UC Berkeley’s highest award for creativity.

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  • Flowers of Shanghai

    Hou Hsiao-hsien
    Taiwan, 1998

    Digital Restoration
    November 27, 2020–March 31, 2021

    Tony Leung stars in Hou Hsiao-hsien’s quietly sumptuous tale of brothel life in nineteenth-century Shanghai. “‘Surrender’ is the key to this visually ravishing masterpiece” (Phillip Lopate).

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  • From the East

    Chantal Akerman
    France, Belgium, Portugal, 1993

    New Digital Restoration
    November 20, 2020–February 28, 2021

    Shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Chantal Akerman journeyed across Eastern Europe recording the still palpable presence of the Soviet Union ahead of its inevitable dissolution. “A travelogue through history . . . a purely cinematic monument in time and space” (Village Voice).

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  • Helmut Newton: The Bad and the Beautiful

    Gero von Boehm
    Germany, 2020

    July 24–October 4, 2020

    A fascinating portrait of the influential fashion photographer, Helmut Newton: The Bad and the Beautiful explores Newton’s life and work through the eyes of the brilliant women who were his subjects and collaborators.

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  • Ikarie XB-1

    Jindrich Polák
    Czechoslovakia, 1963

    Digital Restoration of the Full-Length Version
    December 11, 2020–March 31, 2021

    Based on a novel by Stanislaw Lem, this austere, sublime space odyssey “profoundly influenced the genre and showed that science-fiction movies weren’t only about special effects; they were also high art” (The Guardian).

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  • Intervista

    Federico Fellini
    Italy, 1987

    Digital Restoration
    December 4, 2020–February 28, 2021

    Fellini turns the camera on himself in this pseudo-documentary, which uses a Japanese TV crew’s visit to the Cinecittà studio as the pretext for a series of glimpses into the filmmaker’s methods and thoughts.

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  • Jazz on a Summer's Day

    Bert Stern
    United States, 1959

    4K Digital Restoration
    August 12–October 25, 2020

    Shot at the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival, Jazz on a Summer’s Day is an indispensable record of some of the greatest musicians of the twentieth century. “Outstanding. . . . It’s Americana and a document of its time” (Variety).

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  • Joan of Arc

    Bruno Dumont
    France, 2019

    July 8–September 20, 2020

    French cinema provocateur Bruno Dumont (Hadewijch, L’humanité) conjures up a mystical, austere, brilliantly eccentric vision of Joan of Arc, “equal parts Brecht, Bresson, and Busby Berkeley” (Screen).

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  • John Lewis: Good Trouble

    Dawn Porter
    United States, 2020

    July 3–October 25, 2020

    This essential documentary combines rare archival footage with interviews and scenes of John Lewis at work to chronicle the life and career of the civil rights activist and politician, from Alabama cotton fields to Congress.

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  • La strada

    Federico Fellini
    Italy, 1954

    Digital Restoration
    November 6, 2020–February 28, 2021

    Fellini’s muse, Giulietta Masina, modeled her timeless character Gelsomina after Charlie Chaplin’s Little Tramp. She stars with a brutish Anthony Quinn in this classic that Martin Scorsese called “the cornerstone of Fellini’s work.” This presentation includes an insightful introduction by Russell Merritt.

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  • Martin Margiela: In His Own Words

    Reiner Holzemer
    Germany, Belgium, 2019

    August 14–October 25, 2020

    In this thoroughly engaging chronicle of Martin Margiela’s two influential decades in fashion, the notoriously elusive designer reflects on his formative influences and the concepts behind his groundbreaking collections. “Best fashion documentary of the decade” (Hollywood Reporter).

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  • Mayor

    David Osit
    United States, United Kingdom, 2020

    December 11, 2020–April 11, 2021

    This at times absurdist, always eye-opening documentary about the mayor of Ramallah, a Palestinian city surrounded by Israeli settlements, is “the best new film about the Israeli- Palestinian conflict” (Indiewire). “Gripping and surprisingly witty” (Variety).

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  • Mr. SOUL!

    Melissa Haizlip
    United States, 2018

    August 28–October 29, 2020

    A chronicle of the revolutionary television program SOUL! and its visionary producer, Ellis Haizlip, Mr. SOUL! is generously illustrated with excerpts from the show featuring a stunning array of Black performers, writers, and activists.

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  • Nationtime

    William Greaves
    United States, 1972

    New 4K Restoration
    October 30, 2020–January 31, 2021

    William Greaves’s documentary captures the energy and urgency of the 1972 National Black Political Convention, where some ten thousand Black politicians, artists, activists, and journalists—including Jesse Jackson, Bobby Seale, Betty Shabazz, Dick Gregory, and others—assembled to create a unified Black political agenda.

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  • Oliver Sacks: His Own Life

    Ric Burns
    United States, 2019

    September 13, 2020–January 31, 2021

    “At once tender and thrilling” (Variety), this moving and insightful portrait of neurologist and author Oliver Sacks centers on intimate interviews from his final months, as he faced death and looked back on his extraordinary life.

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  • RBG

    Julie Cohen, Betsy West
    United States, 2018

    September 25–December 20, 2020

    We remember Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg with this affectionate portrait from 2018, which “emphasize[s] not just Ginsburg’s work on the court but how extraordinarily influential she was before she even got there” (L.A. Times).

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  • Rififi

    Jules Dassin
    France, 1955

    April 29–July 19, 2020

    Four burglars pull off an ingenious robbery of a Parisian jewelry store, only to have their professionalism undone by their desires and personal ties, in this definitive heist movie. “The best film noir I’ve ever seen” (François Truffaut).

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  • Sátántangó

    Béla Tarr
    Hungary, Germany, Switzerland, 1994

    May 6–June 30, 2020
    New Digital Restoration

    One of cinema’s “genuine masterpieces” (Cahiers du cinéma), Béla Tarr’s seven-and-a-half-hour opus of melancholia is “devastating, enthralling for every minute” (Susan Sontag). We present a digital restoration from the original negative.

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  • Song Without a Name

    Melina León
    Peru, Spain, United States, 2019

    October 5–December 20, 2020

    An indigenous Andean woman searches for her stolen newborn amidst the institutional corruption of 1980s Peru in this surreal blend of Latin American political history and Kafkaesque alienation, “shot, scored, and styled like the most beautiful of bad dreams” (Variety).

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  • Sorry We Missed You

    Ken Loach
    United Kingdom, 2019

    May 14–June 30, 2020

    The latest working-class chronicle from Ken Loach (I, Daniel Blake) is a portrait of a Northern English family on the losing end of the gig economy. “A drama of . . . searing human empathy and quotidian heartbreak” (Hollywood Reporter).

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  • Spaceship Earth

    Matt Wolf
    United States, 2020

    May 8–July 16, 2020

    Environmental activism, scientific study, and artistic creativity battle against business demands and media disdain in this absorbing look at the backstory and counterculture roots of 1991’s Biosphere 2 experiment.

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  • Suspension

    Simón Uribe
    Colombia, 2019

    August 27–December 20, 2020

    Deep in the jungle of Colombia, between treacherous mountain slopes, stands an unfinished bridge, an absurd symbol of human folly. This debut documentary feature is “compelling and impressive” (Hot Docs).

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  • The Audition

    Ina Weisse
    Germany, France, 2019

    June 26–September 20, 2020

    An uncompromising high school violin teacher (Nina Hoss) becomes obsessed with a talented new student in this slow-burning psychological drama. “A symphonic study of human behavior. . . . Hoss is absolutely magnificent” (Cinema Scope).

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  • The End of the Ottoman Empire

    Mathilde Damoisel, Sylvie Jézéquel
    France, Switzerland, 2016

    July 8, 2020–January 31, 2021

    This fascinating documentary offers an overview of the Ottoman Empire and its decline, the essential backstory of our world today.

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  • The Grey Fox

    Phillip Borsos
    Canada, 1982

    Digital Restoration
    May 29–August 31, 2020

    After decades in prison, stagecoach robber Richard Farnsworth emerges in 1901 a free man without a place in twentieth-century society—until he sees The Great Train Robbery and is inspired to do once again what he does best.

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  • The Hottest August

    Brett Story
    United States, 2019

    July 15–October 18, 2020

    In the summer of 2017 Brett Story took the temperature of New York City, observing and speaking with inhabitants about their hopes for the future, economic precarity, and climate change. “Story’s an original, and the film is a revelation” (Variety).

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  • The Whistlers

    Corneliu Porumboiu
    Romania, France, Germany, Sweden, 2019

    April 24–June 30, 2020

    This crime thriller laden with double-crosses, showdowns, and seductions is a new genre twist for BAMPFA favorite Corneliu Porumboiu. “If the Coen Brothers were Romanian, they might have made The Whistlers” (New York Times).

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  • Ursula von Rydingsvard: Into Her Own

    Daniel Traub
    United States, 2020

    June 5–October 11, 2020

    This new documentary takes viewers behind the scenes as artist Ursula von Rydingsvard works on her monumental sculptures, revealing the loving labor behind their mysterious, expressive forms.

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  • We Have Boots

    Evans Chan
    United States, Hong Kong, 2020

    Cosponsored by the Human Rights Center at UC Berkeley School of Law
    October 24, 2020–January 10, 2021

    This essential documentary on pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong puts us in the center of the action with harrowing street footage and affecting portraits of protesters. With Chan’s 2016 film Raise the Umbrellas, on the Umbrella Movement.

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  • What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael

    Rob Garver
    United States, 2018

    April 29–July 19, 2020

    From her early years in Berkeley to her long career at the New Yorker, What She Said chronicles the life and work of the brilliant, hilarious, contentious Pauline Kael. “An exquisitely crafted documentary about the woman who was arguably the greatest movie critic who ever lived” (Variety).

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  • White Riot

    Rubika Shah
    United Kingdom, 2019

    October 16–January 10, 2020

    This exuberant account of the 1970s grassroots antifascists behind Rock Against Racism is “a welcome tribute to RAR’s first, most vibrant chapter—an extraordinary fusion of culture and politics that changed society for the better” (Glass Magazine).

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  • Zappa

    Alex Winter
    United States, 2020

    November 27, 2020–February 15, 2021

    With newly preserved archival recordings, home movies, and extensive interviews, Alex Winter’s intimate and comprehensive documentary is a definitive portrait of the great twentieth-century composer, rock star, entrepreneur, social critic, and political activist Frank Zappa.

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