We are hosting more exciting documentary screenings with the Northside Film Festival on 6/18, 6/19, and 6/20. In addition to our screenings, our neighbors at Nitehawk Cinema and indieScreen are presenting films with the festival as well. See the complete festival line-up here.
Presented by BAM
Eric Strauss will be in attendance for presentation and discussion.
The Redemption of General Butt Naked follows Joshua Milton Blahyi – aka General Butt Naked – a brutal African warlord who has renounced his violent past and reinvented himself as a Christian evangelist. Today, Blahyi travels the nation of Liberia as a preacher, seeking out those he once victimized in search of an uncertain forgiveness. Filmmakers Eric Strauss and Daniele Anastasion track his often troubling path up-close, finding both the genuine and disconcerting in Blahyi’s efforts, raising questions about the limits of faith and forgiveness in the absence of justice.
8:00pm, Figure Father and Puppet
Figure Father by Andrew Ellis, 8:57 minutes
Presented by Filmwax
Andrew Ellis will be in attendance for presentation and discussion following the screening.
In January of 2011, filmmaker Andrew Ellis set out to make a short film which might shed light on our country’s job crisis through the story of an ex-convict searching for a job. Ellis was Introduced to Pedro, a 49-year old ex-convict, by a friend who worked as a fatherhood counselor up in Harlem. Pedro was looking for a job in construction, and willing to share his story. With multiple assaults, drug offenses, and two homicides on his record, it wasn’t likely that the outcome of this film was going to be positive, but I knew beneath his hardships, his charisma and heart would reach people.
Filmmaker David Soll and Puppeteer Eric Wright will be in attendance for discussion following the screening.
Puppet is a feature-length documentary that weaves together a broad look at the fraught history of American puppetry (its marginalization as children’s theater and its sudden explosion as high art) with an intimate thread following Dan Hurlin, a downtown artist who is creating a complex puppet work about Mike Disfarmer – an eccentric, Depression-era photographer. Dan has just recovered from a scorching New York Times review, which forced his last show out of theaters prematurely. Now he faces a wider backlash against puppetry, suggesting an eerie parallel between himself and his new puppet-subject – an outsider artist whose stunning body of work was very nearly lost forever.
“A revelation! The more the process is revealed, the more miraculous it appears.” — Variety
“We need films like Puppet and artists like Hurlin to remind us that puppeteering is a magical act that can reflect honestly upon the human condition.” — New York Press
10pm, Ebony Goddess: Queen of Ilê Aiyê and The Other Side of the Water
Ebony Goddess: Queen of Ilê Aiyê by Carolina Moraes-Liu
Presented by Third World Newsreel
Ebony Goddess: Queen of Ilê Aiyê follows three women competing to be the carnival queen of Ilê Aiyê, a prominent and controversial Afro-Brazilian group with an all-black membership. The selection is based on Afro-centric notions of beauty, in counterpoint to prevailing standards of beauty in Brazil, a country famous for slim supermodels and plastic surgery. Contestants for the title of Ebony Goddess dress in flowing African-style garments, gracefully performing traditional Afro-Brazilian dances to songs praising the beauty of black women.
Filmmaker Jeremy Robins and featured subject, Yves Bein-Aime will be in attendance for presentation and discussion.
Part carnival, part vodou ceremony, and part grassroots protest, Haitian “Rara” is one of the most breathtaking and contested forms of music in the Americas. The Other Side of the Water follows a group of young immigrants who take this ancient music from the hills of Haiti and reinvent it on the streets of Brooklyn. The documentary tells the story of an unlikely band that comes to speak for a larger community, and a music that manages to create a new meaning of home in the Diaspora.
Ultimately, The Other Side of the Water is about the struggle to merge the traditional and the modern; the island and the City; the imagined and the real. The documentary tells the story of one man who learns to hold true to a vision; a motley band that comes to speak for a larger community; and a music that manages to create a new meaning of home in the Diaspora.
“The film offers an essential, re-affirming perspective of Haitian imagery and culture that desperately needs to be seen.” — Michelle Materre, Creatively Speaking.