Documentary Bodega Archive


From Brooklyn to Brazil, from electoral on-goings in Idaho to an urban animal ark, the Documentary Bodega Series continues to provide a variety of fresh and engaging material. The following list represents the complete series program archives:

flahertyshorts_overview.jpg Shorts After The Flaherty
June 27th, 2009

The annual (and epic) Robert Flaherty Film Seminar is happening June 20th – June 26th at a campus upstate. Founded by Frances Flaherty, the widow of the documentary pioneer, this is the seminars 55th year and will be programmed by Irina Leimbacher. Everyone who is in attendence is in for an intense and memorable week of excellent documentary and other independent film and video work, not to mention a lot of impassioned debate. On the heels of the seminar, we are hoping to bring some of it’s energy to audiences at UnionDocs. Some of the films will be by individuals curated into the seminar and some will be films by respected artists from the wider Flaherty community. More Info and Line Up
detroit_overview.jpg Detroit: Surveying the Ruins
June 26th, 2009

Despite the auto industry’s rapid decline and GM’s filing for Chapter 11, George’s bold and unromantic explorations of the crumbling Motor City remind us that Detroit is no stranger to recession. The city’s social disintegration and the consequent rampant poverty left behind remain at best a study in urban decay and at worst a looming threat as to the future of America’s city centers. George’s work poses so many questions about the fate of the American city through analogies drawn to the familiar institutions of quotidian existence. The colossal ruins of Michigan Central Station, the condemned grade schools – looted or simply forgotten, a mausoleum of pigeons discovered in a vacant skyscraper. George’s Detroit appears less like a city and more the shadow of one. More Info
strobelodge_overview.jpg We All Benefit Party
June 13th, 2009

Saturday June 13th is the second “We All Benefit” loft party with a special installment of the legendary NYC Strobe Lodge. Dennis and Darshan did their first gigs together in the summer of 2004 and began discussing the idea of a night where they had presentational as well as musical control for the entire evening. The idea was to create the warmest environment, with the best sound for the richest experience – from beginning to end – that had the intimacy of a great house party with the complexity and intensity of their varied musical dynamic. The party has taken place at various lofts, one commercial venue, and a private home in the Hamptons, each party has been specific and truly memorable. We are thrilled to have them bring the Lodge to Union Docs for what will be a very special night. More Info & Line Up
POLYMATH_overview.jpg The Polymath, or the Life and Opinions
of Samuel R. Delany, Gentleman
May 31st || 7:00pm

Fred Barney Taylor’s captivating documentary depicts the intense life of Samuel R. Delany. This self-described “ordinary, dull, Black faggot” has been a rebellious pioneer who opened up the white male universe of science fiction to issues of race, gender and sexuality. The documentary captures him while retelling the story and tracing a lost geography of highly symbolic New York districts such as Times Square, Harlem and the East Village. By juxtaposing Delany’s flow of memories, readings and archive footage with mesmerizing imagery of the city, The Polymath expresses in vivid detail the complexities of an eclectic intellectual. More Info
world_overview.jpg Welcome to The World
May 24th || 6:00pm

Join us for the premiere of Welcome to the World a short narrative about fractured families and immigration. Welcome to the World is a personal immigrant story about a father and a son reunited in New York City after ten years of separation. Shot entirely in Brooklyn with non-professional actors, the film follows their first day together: a breakfast in a typical American diner, a late visit to a Mexican tacos bar, and the first night in the father´s apartment. Each location expresses the boundaries between Mexican and American culture, but also the nostalgia of the immigrant experience. Prepare for a night of live Mexican music, including remainders from the late Bachelor Sound Machín, and lively discussion with director of Casa Puebla, lubricated by beer and tacos at Mexico City prices! More Info
loveandradiooverview.jpg AUDIO SERIES
Turning the Seams Inside Out with Love & Radio’s Nick van der Kolk
May 17th || 7:00pm

Radio is both blessed and cursed with the ability to hide the editing process. Two phrases are joined together to seamlessly create new sentences; breaths rearranged to preserve a natural speaking rhythm. But in film, every editing decision is an integral and conspicuous part of the viewing experience. The editor becomes a character, an invisible yet apparent guiding hand. Join Love and Radio’s Nick van der Kolk as he expands the possibilities for creative expression in narrative storytelling through editing. More Info
vangujjar_overview.jpg The Van Gujjar Community Photo Project
May 10th || 7:00pm

The Van Gujjars are an indigenous, forest dwelling, nomadic, buffalo herding community residing in northern India. Navigating to secure their forest rights, complicated by their multi-state migration and their minority status as Muslims, the Van Gujjar community is divided as to whether they should cease their migration and relocate to government built settlement colonies or pursue a claim to their ancestral homelands. Inspired by this indigenous struggle, Ben Lenzner traveled to India in the spring of 2008. Ben spent three months researching, photographing and documenting, as well as implementing a photography project with the Van Gujjar community. He distributed 60 cameras to men, women and children throughout the forests and in the Gindikhatta Settlement Colony. These new photography students explored places, people, situations and moments that were important to them. More Info
RIP_overview.jpg RIP: A Remix Manifesto
May 3rd || 7:30pm

The film’s central protagonist is Girl Talk, a mash-up musician topping the charts with his sample-based songs. But is Girl Talk a paragon of people power or the Pied Piper of piracy? Creative Commons founder, Lawrence Lessig, Brazil’s Minister of Culture Gilberto Gil and pop culture critic Cory Doctorow are also along for the ride. A participatory media experiment, from day one, Brett shares his raw footage at, for anyone to remix. This movie-as-mash-up method allows these remixes to become an integral part of the film. With RiP: A remix manifesto, Gaylor and Girl Talk sound an urgent alarm and draw the lines of battle.Which side of the ideas war are you on? More Info
redhookjustice_overview.jpg Red Hook Justice
Produced and Directed by Meema Spadola
Sunday April 26th || 7:00pm

In the 1990s, LIFE magazine named Red Hook, Brooklyn one of the worst neighborhoods in the US and as “the crack capital of America.” Notorious for its violence, unemployment, and poverty, Red Hook was considered by many to be lost for good. However in 2000, an experimental court called The Red Hook Community Justice Center opened its doors. Today, the court is at the center of a legal revolution: the community justice movement. Instead of jail time, offenders are sentenced to job training, drug counseling, community service. The film focuses on the stories of three Red Hook defendants and a handful of staffers at the Center. More Info
crossing_cover.jpg Crossing the BLVD Produced by Judith Sloan
April 19th – 7:00pm

Crossing the BLVD: Strangers, Neighbors, Aliens in a New America, a multimedia project created by Judith Sloan and visual artist Warren Lehrer, shares the stories, sounds, and images that reveal the human toll of a post-cold war and 9/11 world, and forms a portrait of an ever-shifting America. Sloan shares excerpts culled from over two dozen audio compositions and radio documentaries that blur the boundaries between music and speech, journalism and expressionism, tradition and the avant-garde. Trailer + Reviews
plantmusic_overview.jpg We All Benefit Party
Plant Music
Saturday April 11th|| 10pm

It’s well known that arts organizations across the country have been struggling financially. In New York State alone, funding has been drastically cut for NYSCA supported arts organizations. Which is why UnionDocs is presenting the “We All Benefit Loft Party Series”, featuring monthly installments of benefit loft jams with both live performances and DJ’s. All proceeds from the parties will go to support the UnionDocs space and the artist residency programs it supports. The first benefit will feature a lineup of artists from NYC indie dance label Plant Music.More Info and lineup
Hamilton_overview.jpg An Evening with Matthew Porterfield
Saturday April 4th

Hamilton by Matthew Porterfield is a narrative feature that chronicles two summer days in the life of a young family. Lena, 17, and Joe, 20, are two recent and accidental parents residing in a diverse, suburban neighborhood in northeast Baltimore City. The evening will feature a post-screening discussion with Porterfield and New Yorker writer Richard Brody, and a preview of Porterfield narrative feature Metal Gods. More Info
descent_overview.jpg Descent: Three Stories of Family
Sunday March 29th 7:00pm
Descent: Three Stories of Family is a film compilation where memory and reality, fact and fiction collide. Three filmmakers, employing three different stylistic approaches, explore familial relationships, personal stories and cultural traditions. A program of three short films: Folk Songs by LeAnn Erickson, Images of Flying and Falling by Ariana Gerstein, and No Man is an Island, by Sonja Lindén. More info
salt_overview.jpg AUDIO SERIES
Radio Stories from the Salt Institute

Sunday March 15th 7:00pm
For the past several years numerous aspiring radio producers have braved the frosty Maine climate to attend the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in Portland. There they create the kind of stories that are relatively rare in the radio world, stories chronicled over a series of many weeks, often months – stories that intimately bring into view life- as it is lived. Please join independent radio producer Josh Gleason as he presents some of the best radio form Salt – tales of people dealing with all manner of things, from insomnia to autism to a giant beached whale. More info
bael_banner.jpgcivilians.jpg The Civilians
Sunday March 8th 7:00pm
The Civilians is a Brooklyn based theatre company that creates original productions from investigations into real life. Director and actors develop original projects inspired from their investigations into real life, using artistic and documentary methods. The resulting shows are boldly theatrical, often incorporating cabaret, dance and musical theater. By drawing on these popular entertainment traditions, the company is able to tackle complex ideas and express them in a broadly accessible form. More info
shortsnight_overview.jpg In Short: It’s Non-Fiction
Sunday March 1st 7:00pm
Good shorts can be hard to find. That’s why the Documentary Bodega Series is pleased to continue serving as an exhibition space for hard-to-find media in presenting In Short: It’s Non Fiction, a collection of fresh and innovative short programming across the spectrum of non-fiction by four locally based filmmakers. This event features four shorts: a portrait of a holocaust survivor who learned the art of tailoring while imprisoned in a concentration camp, the world’s largest record collection, the World Beard and Moustache Championship, and a couple’s domestic arguments re-enacted and dramatized. More info
asburypark_overview.jpg Greetings from Asbury Park
Directed by Christina Eliopoulos

Sunday February 15th 7:00pm
Exploring the price of progress and the consolation of memory, Greetings form Asbury Park puts an intensely personal face on the increasingly debated issues of redevelopment and eminent domain for private gain. The film captures the sensibility, history, and power dynamics within a small town. Filmed over five years, director Christina Eliopoulos interviewed three generations of her family, her hometown neighbors, activists, historians, musicians as well as numerous public policy experts and legal scholars. More info + Reviews
grandfather_overview.jpg Missing Allen and The Grandfather Trilogy by Allen Ross
Directed by Christian Bauer

Saturday February 7th 7:00pm
Chicago indie filmmaker Allen Ross made seven films with German filmmaker Christian Bauer. Then he vanished without a trace. Four years after his disappearance, angered by the apathy of the police, Bauer returns to America to find out what happened to his friend. His investigations take him on an increasingly disturbing trail from Chicago’s art scene to satanic sects in Waco and Oklahoma City. Also screening is 16mm film by Allen Ross, The Grandfather Trilogy. Comprised of the ?three short films: Papa, Thanksgiving, 1979, and Burials, it is a moving and ?deeply personal portrait of the filmmaker’s grandfather. More info + Reviews
abandoned_overview.jpg Abandoned Brooklyn
Nathan Kensinger
Saturday January 24th 7:00pm
Abandoned Brooklyn is a multimedia exhibit exploring and documenting the industrial neighborhoods of New York over the last five years. Focusing mainly on Brooklyn, documentary photographer and filmmaker Nathan Kensinger visited deserted refineries, powerhouses, drydocks, train stations, airport hangars and homes. These haunting images will be curated alongside Kensingers’s “Covered Tracks,” an experimental documentary about Manhattan’s Freedom Tunnel, a 3-mile-long train tunnel turned underground homeless city. More info and photographs
roof_overview.jpg Up On The Roof
Directed by JL Aronson
Sunday January 18th||

Up on the Roof follows several devoted pigeon breeders in one predominantly Latino section of Brooklyn through the rigors and rewards of a quintessential New York tradition. All along the waterfront, and throughout blue collar Brooklyn, pigeon fancying has been an active pastime for centuries, and Williamsburg has long been the center of the action. But as with so many once blighted and now hip districts throughout the world, Brooklyn—and Williamsburg in particular—is being scrubbed of its old world character to make way for a new urbanism. This colorful, urban-wildlife doc considers what we lose in the process of renewal and treats the audience like an insider in an unseen and —in many ways— vanishing world.More Info
ChorusOfRefuge_overview.jpg Chorus of Refuge
A Sound installation by Ann Hepperman, Kara Oehler and Jason Cady
Saturday December 13th||

Chorus of Refuge is a sound installation that transmits the stories of six refugees, living in different cities across the U.S. to six radios. The voices of the refugees are superimposed and coordinated in both rhythm and tonality to unite their narratives of struggle, survival and triumph.
More Info
chiapas_overview.jpg A Place Called Chiapas
Directed by Nettie Wild
Sunday November 23rd 7:00pm
Fighting for indigenous Mexicans to regain control over their lives and the land, the Zapatista Army, led by the charismatic, guerilla poet Subcommandante Marcos, started sending their message to the world via the Internet. The result was what The New York Times called “the world’s first post-modern revolution.” Filmmaker Nettie Wild travelled to the jungle canyons of southern Mexico to film the elusive and fragile life of the uprising. Her camera effectively and movingly captures the human dimensions behind this war of symbols. Trailer + Reviews
theyesmen_overview.jpg The Yes Men
Directed by Dan Olman, Sarah Price, and Chris Smith
Sunday November 16th 7:00pm
The story follows Andy and Mike from their beginnings with, and on to their tasteless parody of the WTO’s website. Some visitors don’t notice the site is a fake, and send speaking invitations meant for the real WTO. Mike and Andy soon find themselves attending important functions as WTO representatives. Delighted to speak for the organization they oppose, Andy and Mike don thrift-store suits and set out to shock their unwitting audiences with darkly comic satires on global free trade. Weirdly, the experts don’t notice the joke and seem to agree with every terrible idea the two can come up with. Exhausted by their failed attempts to shock, Mike and Andy take a whole new approach for one final lecture. Trailer + Reviews
papertiger_overview.jpg Paper Tiger Television
Q&A with Rebecca Giordano and Lida Shao
Sunday November 9th 7:00pm
Paper Tiger Television, through the collaborative efforts of artists, activists and scholars, has pioneered experimental, innovative and truly alternative community media since 1981. An early innovator in video art and public access television of the early 80’s, PTTV developed a unique, handmade, irreverent aesthetic that experimented with the television medium by combining art, academics, politics, performance and live television. Today’s burgeoning independent media movement can trace its roots directly to the network of media activists developed by PTTV throughout the 1980s. With the recent explosion of Internet video distribution, DIY media has grown from an isolated endeavor to an increasingly powerful international phenomenon. Trailer + Reviews
electionday_overview.jpg Election Day
Directed by Katy Chevigny
Sunday November 2nd 7:00pm
Forget the pie charts, color-coded maps and hyperventilating pundits. What’s the street-level experience of voters in today’s America? In a triumph of documentary storytelling, Election Day combines eleven stories–all shot simultaneously on November 2, 2004, from dawn until long past midnight-into one. Factory workers, ex-felons, harried moms, Native American activists, and diligent poll watchers, from South Dakota to Florida, take the process of democracy into their own hands. The result: an entertaining, inspiring and sometimes unsettling tapestry of citizens determined on one fateful day to make their votes count. Trailer + Reviews
statelegislature_overview.jpg State Legislature
Directed by Frederick Wiseman
Sunday October 19th 7:00pm
State Legislature shows the day-to-day activities of the Idaho Legislature during an entire session. Idaho is governed by citizen legislators, not career politicians: they are farmers and ranchers, businessmen and women, lawyers, doctors, sales people, and teachers. Lobbyists, lawmakers and their constituents are seen debating and discussing the concerns of the electorate, on issues that range from violence in schools, mad cow disease and video voyeurism to illegal immigration, secondhand smoke and the deregulation of telephone rates. The film is an example of the achievements, values, constraints and limitations of the democratic process. Trailer + Reviews
jimfinn_overview.jpg La Trinchera Luminosa del Presidente Gonzalo
Directed by Jim Finn
Sunday October 12th 7:00pm
La Trinchera Luminosa del Presidente Gonzalo is a recreation of one day at the Canto Grande prison in Peru, following women guerrillas of the Maoist Shining Path movement from their morning marches to their bedtime chants. When members of the revolutionary-terrorist group were captured and imprisoned, the authorities isolated them in their own cellblocks. The guerrillas thought of this imprisonment as just another front in the People’s War, calling them “shining trenches of combat.” The prisoners organized propaganda, literature, and military classes as well as marches, criticism sessions, and dances. Trailer + Reviews
offthegrid_overview.jpg Off The Grid: Life on The Mesa
Directed by Jeremy Stulberg and Randy Stulberg
Sunday October 5th 7:00pm
Twenty-Five miles from town, a million miles from mainstream society, a loose-knit community of radicals live in the desert, struggling to survive with little food, less water and no electricity, as they cling to their unique vision of the American dream. They inhabit this stunning, yet unfriendly territory. The Mesa has no access to the electricity grid and it’s not patrolled by a police force. There is no official rule of law. Anti-establishment beliefs are tested when a group of rebel runaways called “the nowhere kids” begins to stockpile weapons and steal food from neighboring residents. The community is challenged to find common ground in order to protect themselves against this dangerous faction. Residents form a council, and hold a hearing to deal with the thieves. This self-imposed government is the very thing they have come to the Mesa to escape. Trailer + Reviews
markstreet_overview.jpg Hidden in Plain Sight
Directed by Mark Street
Saturday September 28th 7:00pm
In Hidden in Plain Sight, Mark Street travels to four different continents-Africa, Asia, Europe, and South America. Searching in urban landscapes (Dakar, Hanoi, Marseille, and Santiago), he uncovers traces of the leftist political figures Ho Chi Minh and Salvador Allende. Interspersing his own filmed images of these locales with captions containing historical details and writings by political and literary figures, the film is a meditation on perception. Mark takes refuge behind the lens, which observes the smallest details and rituals in these locales, and he intercuts scenes of daily life between the four continents. Hidden in Plain Sight is a poignant meditation on discovering his own position within a more global historical and geographical continuum. Trailer + Reviews
marklynne_overview.jpg XY CHROMOSOME PROJECT
Short Films by Mark Street and Lynne Sachs
Saturday September 27th 7:00pm
From archival snips of an educational film on the weather to cine poems in full blossom, New York film “avant-gardeners” Mark Street and Lynne Sachs create their 3rd XY CHROMOSOME PROJECT. This program of 10 short films on both single and double screen gleans audio-visual crops from the dust of the filmmakers’ fertile and fallow imaginations. In this avalanche of visual ruminations on nature’s topsy-turvy shakeup of our lives, Street and Sachs ponder a city child’s tentative excavation of the urban forest, winter wheat, and the great American deluge of the 21st Century (so far). Trailer + Reviews
kingcorn_overview.jpg King Corn
Sunday June 29th 7:00pm
In King Corn, Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis, best friends from college on the east coast, move to the heartland to learn where their food comes from. With the help of friendly neighbors, genetically modified seeds, and powerful herbicides, they plant and grow a bumper crop of America’s most-productive, most-subsidized grain on one acre of Iowa soil. But when they try to follow their pile of corn into the food system, what they find raises troubling questions about how we eat—and how we farm. Trailer + Reviews
prison_overview.jpg Prison House of Technology
Saturday June 28th 8:00pm
Technology is frequently thought of as the handmaiden of progress. However, the influence of technology in our everyday lives has become so commonplace, so normal, that many aren’t even aware of it, or of the possible dangers of technological media intruding into and taking over our everyday lives. Whether chained to technology, or freed by technology, the videos and films in this program reflect our immersion in the technological world. Some question development; some reveal confusion; some poeticize technological media; others reflect pre-technological myths, but all in some way or other, disclose the experience of living inside the prison house that technology has become. More info
radiodiaries_overview.jpg AUDIO SERIES
Radio Diaries
Sunday June 15th 7:00pm

The award winning Radio Diaries empowers people to “become reporters of their own lives”–then airs their stories on National Public Radio. Finding voices that often go unheard- teenagers, prisoners, AIDS patients- Radio Diaries trains people to share their stories by keeping audio journals, interviewing the people close to them and recording their daily life. The moving, evocative and honest audio portraits that result from this kind of direct documentation create an immediate sense of intimacy with the listener. Listening to an audio diary is a personal experience, it draws us into the lives of others and leaves us with stories we will not soon forget.
More info
freeheld_overview.jpg Freeheld
Sunday June 8th 7:00pm
Detective Lieutenant Laurel Hester spent 25 years investigating tough cases in Ocean County, New Jersey, protecting the rights of victims and putting her life on the line. She had no reason to expect that after she was diagnosed with terminal cancer, her final battle for justice would be for the woman she loved. The documentary film Freeheld chronicles Laurel’s struggle to transfer her earned pension to her domestic partner, Stacie Andree. Academy Award winner (Best Documentary Short Subject) and winner of the Special Jury Prize at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival, Freeheld has screened in 45 film festivals in 26 states and 7 countries, garnering eleven additional film awards Trailer + Reviews
vernon_overview.jpg Vernon Avenue and Untitled (Hilliard Homes)
Sunday June 1st 7:00pm

Urban geography and fantastic narratives converge in Vernon Avenue and Untitled (Hilliard Homes), two installations by emerging filmmakers Steffani Jemison, Amiel Melnick, and Andreas Warisz. Featuring a rare performance by R&B sensation SideTrack and other special musical guests. Through a series of documentary and improvised encounters featuring our friends and neighbors, Vernon Avenue turns the vernacular and everyday into the monumental and mysterious, and considers what is at stake in real and fantastic cinematic images of urban living. Along the way: riddles and jokes, allegory, back-story, promises, puppies, boredom. More info
translators_overview.jpg Free Translators Tour
Monday May 19th 7:00pm

In a world that invents and facilitates endless methods and technologies for successful communication, The Free Translators Tour happily construe known grammars and vocabularies in favor of the barely heard and the incomprehensible with the purpose of uniting the political and poetic in language. Culling from a multitude of conflated narratives, The Free Translators present a program of video screenings deliberately complicating the textual content of our everyday lives and dedicated to the idea that multiple translations continually unhinge single meanings. More info
samfalls_hunting_overview.jpg Photography and Video by Sam Falls
May 4 – 7:00pm

In a departure from traditional studio portraiture, photographer Sam Falls uses expansive natural settings as the backdrops for carefully constructed portraits. The large color photographs in many of his series depict eerie scenes in which the viewer feels an unavoidable tension between the stillness of the landscape and the urgency of the protagonist. Falls’s large color photographs depict an instant within a longer video piece–or vice versa–the video footage documents the process of taking a still photograph. The installation requires the viewer to literally stand between the static and the dynamic images, and in doing so, it urges the viewer to question notions of time and space in relation to photo-documentation. Pictures and Description
begging_overview.jpg Begging Naked
May 4 – 7:00pm

“Begging Naked” began in 1996, when director Karen Gehres began to video tape the stories of a teen runaway and prostitute named Elise. When Elise decided to go back into stripping at age 30, the story went on an unpredictable course. Over the next 7 years, Mayor Guiliani wiped out the sex businesses on 42nd Street leaving Elise unemployed. Elise began to spiral mentally out of control , stopped paying rent and was eventually evicted. She now lives in Central Park. All of these events have been documented in “Begging Naked”. The events in Elise’s life have dictated the 9 years of production. Trailer + Reviews
abunny_overview.jpg Spring Fever Symposium
April 27- 7:00pm

Ahhhhhhh, Spring time – a time for sprouting, budding, chirping, hopping, birthing, drinking, frolicking, skipping, romping, and general happy-to-know-you interactions. UnionDocs is calling all you Springers to express yourself through your art in our show-and-tell style event. Whether you are a filmmaker, photographer, painter, dancer, singer, actor, bird watcher, puppeteer, tai chi master, or idiot savant UnionDocs wants to give you a moment in the sunlight to express yourself. here.
happy_monday_overview.jpg Happy Monday and Light Spill
April 20- 7:00pm

On April 20th, UnionDocs presents an exciting installation of experimental film works by artists, Andrew Filippone, Luis Recoder and Sandra Gibson. Moving far beyond conventional documentary form and presentation, both Happy Monday and Light Spill use traditional materials of cinema – film and light source – to explore space, light, and time. Pictures + Description
npr_overview.jpg Will the Real NPR Please Stand Up?
April 14- 8:00pm

Meet the new NPR on the block: Neighborhood Public Radio. An artist run radio project now broadcasting live from a former shoe storefront at The Whitney Biennial, NPR provides an alternative media platform to community artists and musicians, activists, and local residents. By opening up the channels of communication through both internet streams and a micro-powered signal, Neighborhood Public Radio creates a kind of open radiophonic space: one free of FCC rules and regulations, corporate underwriters, and, well, any editorial involvement whatsoever. The motto for NPR is: “If it’s in the neighborhood and it makes noise .. we hope to put it on the air.”
fancy_overview.jpg A Night of Films Directed by Elisabeth Subrin
March 23- 7:00pm

Elisabeth Subrin’s films and videos examine the intersections of history and subjectivity within female biography. The Fancy (2000), is Subrin’s foray into “experimental biography,” lifts the veil of mystery around the life and suicide of photographer Francesca Woodman and her disturbing artistic legacy. Also screening are Shulie and Subrin’s new work, Sweet Ruin Trailer + Reviews
mycounty_overview.jpg My Country, My Country
Directed by Laura Poitras
March 16 – 7:00pm

Director/cinematographer Laura Poitras creates an intimate portrait of Iraqis living under U.S. occupation. Her Oscar-nominated film My Country, My Country follows Dr. Riyadh, a physician and critic of the U.S. occupation who nonetheless supports democracy in Iraq and runs as a candidate in the tumultuous 2005 elections. Dramatically interwoven into the personal journey of Dr. Riyadh is the landscape of the US military occupation, with Australian private security contractors, American journalists and the UN officials who orchestrate the elections. Trailer + Reviews
mekong_overview.jpg Sleepwalking through the Mekong
featured band Dengue Fever
March 3- 8:00pm

Sleepwalking Through the Mekong follows Los Angeles based band Dengue Fever on their recent journey to Cambodia to perform 60s and 70s Cambodian rock n’ roll in the country where it was created and very nearly destroyed. More than a rockumentary, the film serves up a portrait of modern Cambodia as the band tours through Phnom Penh and beyond, crossing a great cultural chasm with the same spirit of Cambodia’s original rock pioneers. Trailer + Reviews
crossing_cover.jpg Crossing the BLVD Produced by Judith Sloan
March 2 – 7:00pm

Crossing the BLVD: Strangers, Neighbors, Aliens in a New America, a multimedia project created by Judith Sloan and visual artist Warren Lehrer, shares the stories, sounds, and images that reveal the human toll of a post-cold war and 9/11 world, and forms a portrait of an ever-shifting America. Sloan shares excerpts culled from over two dozen audio compositions and radio documentaries that blur the boundaries between music and speech, journalism and expressionism, tradition and the avant-garde. Trailer + Reviews
letters_overview.jpg Letters from the Other Side
Directed by Heather Courtney
February 25- 8:00pm

Letters from the Other Side interweaves video letters carried across the U.S.-Mexico border by the film’s director with the personal stories of women left behind in post-NAFTA Mexico, giving voice to four amazing women who feel the effects of failed immigration and trade policies on a daily basis. Focusing on a side of the immigration story rarely told by the media or touched upon in our national debate, Letters offers a fresh perspective, painting a complex portrait of families torn apart by economics, communities dying at the hands of globalization, and governments incapable or unwilling to do anything about it. Trailer + Reviews
Plato’s Retreat
A Documentary Symposium
February 17- 7:00pm

In honor of the greatest thinkers and the wildest orgies, UnionDocs invites all you lovers out there to join in a night full of films, audio, music and presentations about this mysterious thing called love. Bring yourself, bring your lover(s), and bring your appetite. If the special hot cocoa and other delectable aphrodisiacs don’t satiate your hunger, the show sure will. Trailer
daniels-overview.jpg Who Is Bozo Texino?
Directed by Bill Daniel
February 10 – 7:00pm

Daniel’s gritty black and white film uncovers a secret society and it’s underground universe of hobo and railworker graffiti, and includes interviews with legendary boxcar artists, Coaltrain, Herby, Colossus of Roads, and The Rambler. Shooting over a 16-year period, Daniel rode freights across the West carrying a Super-8 sound camera and a 16mm Bolex. During his quest he discovered the roots of a folkloric tradition that has gone mostly unnoticed for a century. Trailer + Reviews
kenneth-goldsmith-overview.jpg Aspen: the Multimedia Magazine in a Box
A tour by Kenneth Goldsmith
January 27 – 7:00pm

Published 10 times between 1965 and 1971, Aspen billed itself as the first three-dimensional magazine. Most issues arrived in a notebook-size box stuffed with articles that had been printed individually rather than stapled together. But it was the nature of its contents that made Aspen magazine stand out like a ski lift in a cornfield. Each issue was as likely to hold postcards, posters and phonograph records as essays. And among the magazine’s 235 contributors were many prominent figures on the 60’s cultural landscape, including Roland Barthes, John Lennon, Marshall McLuhan, Lou Reed and Andy Warhol. Kenneth Goldsmith, founding editor of UbuWeb, will give a guided tour of Aspen Magazine, now housed permanently on UbuWeb. The talk will include an in-depth look at the films, recording, sculptures, writings and images that this remarkable publication produced. Audio + Reviews
thingwith_overview.jpg Thing With No Name (work in progress)
by Sarah Friedland
December 16 – 7:00pm

Post-screening discussion with director.

Thing With No Name, a feature-length documentary, provides an unprecedented, intimate glimpse into the traditional life of a rapidly changing culture. Set in Okhahlamba, South Africa, a stunning, mountainous Zulu area and UNESCO World Heritage Site, the story follows Danisile and Ntombeleni, two women with full-blown AIDS as they attempt to access recently introduced antiretroviral (ARV) treatment through the public sector. Trailer + Reviews
youngjewishleftoverview.jpg Young, Jewish and Left
by Irit Reinheimer & Konnie Chameides
December 9 – 7:00pm

Post-screening discussion with Konnie Chameides.

A celebration of diversity, Young Jewish and Left weaves queer culture, Jewish Arab history, secular Yiddishkeit, anti-racist analysis, and religious/spiritual traditions into a multi-layered tapestry of Leftist politics. Personal experiences from many of today’s leading Jewish activists reframe the possibilities of Jewish identity. It presents a fresh and constructive take on race, spirituality, Zionism, queerness, resistance, justice, and liberation. Trailer + Reviews
torabora_overview.jpg Postcards From Tora Bora
by Kelly Dolak & Wazhmah Osman
December 2 – 7:00pm

Post-screening discussion with directors.

At the height of the Cold War, the Osman family frantically escapes from Afghanistan while leaving almost everything behind. Now after two decades of living in America, Wazhmah Osman, a young Afghan-American woman returns to her childhood home. On an alternately sad and humorous quest, she encounters confused cabbies, the enthusiastic former minister of the tourism bureau, a museum director that archives land mines, and a group of angry street vendors. Amidst the rubble and destruction, she finds her estranged father who in the aftermath of war choose his country over his family. Trailer + Reviews
confessions_overview.jpg Flying Confessions of a Free Woman
By Jennifer Fox
November 18 –
By audience request, UnionDocs will screen all 6 parts!
2:30pm | Parts I and II
5:00pm | Parts III & IV
7:00pm | Parts V & VI
Post-screening discussion with Jennifer Fox

“What does the modern woman want? Where does she fit in today’s world?” Never before in our collective human history have so many women had such autonomy to construct a life of their own creation. Yet, the terrain is still rocky and ‘choice’ does not necessarily bring happiness, let alone freedom. Meanwhile, old models of femaleness still haunt women everywhere.
Trailer + Reviews
damned02_email.jpg Damed If You Don’t
Post-screening discussion with Director Su Friedrich
November 11 | 7 pm

This experimental film is Friedrich’s subversive and ecstatic response to her Catholic upbringing. Blending conventional narrative techniques with impressionistic camerawork, symbols and voice-overs, the film creates an intimate study of sexual expression and repression.

“Passionate and genuinely innovative… a lyrical evocation of the mystery of memory and the develoment of sexual identity.” Amy Taubin, The Village Voice

Trailer + Reviews

olives_email.jpg The Colour of Olives
A story of everyday life in Palestine
November 4 | 7 pm

Fifteen miles from Tel Aviv, the Amer family lives surrounded by the wall Israel is building on the West Bank. This beautiful and haunting film observes the private world of all eight members of the family.

Trailer + Reviews

radiorookies_overview.gif AUDIO SERIES
Teens with Mics:
Radio Rookies
October 28 | 7 pm
Radio Rookies collaborates with youth to produce documentaries that take listeners deep inside the lives of the NYC teens. 

Since 1999, Radio Rookies has been conducting workshops across New York, in predominantly under-resourced neighborhoods, training young people to use words and sounds to tell true stories. Upon completion, the Rookies’ documentaries air on WNYC – usually during Morning Edition (5am to 9am weekdays on WNYC 93.9 FM, 6am to 10am on WNYC AM 820 and online at

Trailer + Reviews

prisoner_overview.gif The Prisoner or:
How I Planned to Kill Tony Blair
Co-Directed and Co-Produced by
Michael Tucker & Petra Epperlein
October 21 | 7 pm
Post-screening discussion with Michael TuckerA freedom-loving Iraqi journalist is mistaken as Tony Blair’s would-be assassin and sent to Abu Ghraib.“You can get a fine, nuanced and ultimately very disturbing sense of the durable and deeply ingrained anger among the Iraqis from an extraordinary documentary film by Michael Tucker and Petra Epperlein”
Christopher Dickey, NewsweekTrailer + Reviews
confessions_overview.jpg Flying Confessions of a Free Woman
By Jennifer Fox
October 14 | 7 pm
Post-screening discussion with Jennifer Fox
“What does the modern woman want? Where does she fit in today’s world?”Never before in our collective human history have so many women had such autonomy to construct a life of their own creation. Yet, the terrain is still rocky and ‘choice’ does not necessarily bring happiness, let alone freedom. Meanwhile, old models of femaleness still haunt women everywhere.Trailer + Reviews
laplaysitself_overview.jpg Los Angeles Plays Itself
Research/Text/Production by
Thom Andersen
October 7 | 7 pm
Pre-screening UnionDocs recorded interview with Thom Andersen“In this documentary, Thom Andersen examines in detail the ways Los Angeles has been depicted, both when it is meant to be anonymous and when itself is the focus.”Andersen’s idiosyncratic, three-hour masterpiece is both a dazzling work of film criticism and a fascinating piece of urban anthropology centered on the one city on earth where one could be mistaken for the other.” Ken Fox, TV Guide’s Movie GuideTrailer + Reviews
earcrackoverview.jpg AUDIO SERIES
Documentary = Music
An evening with
Jonathan Mitchell
August 26 | 7 pm
Producer and composer Jonathan Mitchell presents an exploration of documentary as a musical artform.
Jonathan Mitchell has produced over 200 features for public radio, around 90 have been heard on PRI’s Studio 360.Trailer + Reviews
catoverview.jpg A Grin Without A Cat
By Chris Marker
August 19 | 7 pm

A GRIN WITHOUT A CAT is Chris Marker’s epic film-essay on the worldwide political wars of the 60’s and 70’s: Vietnam, Bolivia, May ’68, Prague, Chile, and the fate of the New Left. From 1967 (the year Marker argues was the real turning point) on, A GRIN WITHOUT A CAT is a sweeping, global contemplation of a defining ten years’ political history.
Trailer + Reviews
fishkillfleaoverview.jpg Fish Kill Flea
Produced, Shot & Directed by
Brian Cassidy, Aaron Hillis & Jennifer Loeber
August 12 | 7 pm

Once thriving, a dead mall in upstate New York is now home to a ragtag flea market, living proof that the American Dream is in perpetual decay. Blending verite with a stylized wit, this heartbreaking portrait raises questions about our disposable culture through the unfiltered lives of its eccentric community.
Trailer + ReviewsPost-screening discussion with Brian Cassidy, Aaron Hills & Jennifer Loeber.
blackgoldoverview.jpg Black Gold
Directed by Nick and Marc Francis
August 5 | 7 pm
Multinational coffee companies now rule our shopping malls and supermarkets and dominate the industry worth over $80 billion, making coffee the most valuable trading commodity in the world after oil.But while we continue to pay for our lattes and cappuccinos, the price paid to coffee farmers remains so low that many have been forced to abandon their coffee fields.
Trailer + ReviewsPost-screening discussion with Nick and Marc Francis.
truthbeyondfacts_overview.jpg AUDIO SERIES
Truth Beyond Facts
An evening with
Pejk Malinovski & Benjamen Walker
July 29 | 7 pm
How do you make a documentary about characters or places that don’t exist in the ‘actual world’. Benjamen Walker and Pejk Malinovski present an evening on the ‘mockumentary.’ Works from Gregory Whitehead, Alice Furlaud, Werner Herzog, and Walker and Malinovski themselves.
Trailer + Reviews
lossureoverview.jpg Los Sures
Directed by Diego Echeverria
July 22 | 7 pm
This documentary looks at South Williamsburg (which happens to be UnionDocs’s neighborhood) 25 years ago. The film explores the area, known then as Los Sures, where more than 20,000 Latinos, mostly Puerto Rican, lived in some of the worst poverty in New York City. In Los Sures, painted sidewalk memorials attest to gang violence, but hopes and dreams persist. Through the stories of five residents, filmmaker Echeverria offers a cross-section of this beleaguered community and provides a history of which many of the current residents may be unaware.
Trailer + ReviewsPost-screening video conference with Diego Echeverria.
cazoverview.jpg Crossing Arizona
Directed by
Joseph Mathew and Dan DeVivo
July 15 | 7 pm
As up-to-date as the nightly news, but far more in-depth, “Crossing Arizona” reveals the surprising political stances people take when immigration and border policy fails everyone. The film examines the crisis through the eyes of those directly affected by it.
Trailer + ReviewsPost-screening discussion with filmmakers Joseph Mathew and Dan DeVivo.

jgossoverview1.jpg Videos by Jacqueline Goss
July 8 | 7 pm

I like stories about people who set out to objectively measure or chart something and then fail in interesting ways when they get tangled up in the natural color and noise of the world.

Jacqueline Goss makes videos and web-based works exploring the rules, histories, and tools of language and mapmaking systems. Her projects take as their source specific acts of writing and cartography that bring about cultural change, technological innovation, or create social narrative ruptures. For the last few years she has used 2D digital animation techniques to work within the genre of the animated documentary.
Trailer + Reviews

Post-screening discussion with Jacqueline Goss.

magiclanternoverview.jpg Magic Lantern Cinema Presents
“The Crowd Show”
Discussion with Curator Paige Sarlin &
Filmmaker Ken Jacobs
July 1 | 7 pm
This night’s films focus on the crowd as a figure and force of modernity, featuring protests and parades, funerals and football. These films chart a progression from 1893 to 2006 and trace how the look, purpose and direction of media have changed along with the crowd. Meditating on the movement of history, this show considers what it means for large groups of people to come together in front of a camera and how images of crowds work to represent the emotional and political power of both human cooperation and antagonism. So come down and join the crowd, the audience, that is, and you can experience the sights and sounds of people (and some sheep). Trailer + Reviews
kellyoverviewpage.jpg AUDIO SERIES
Documenting the Foreign
An evening with Kelly McEvers
June 24 | 7 pm
Kelly McEvers is a foreign correspondent who works for radio, online media, and print. For June’s listening room, Kelly will play, show, and read stories she has reported in the Islamic world — including work from Southeast Asia, the former Soviet Union, and the Middle East. For more info on Kelly and links to her stories visit and
cholitasvillageoverview.jpg The Fighting Cholitas & Daritidzé, Trainee Healer
June 17 | 7 pm
THE FIGHTING CHOLITAS is a documentary short about a group of bold and fierce female Bolivian wrestlers. These indigenous, Indian women jump into the rign every Sunday in their traditional, vibrant multilayered skirts and perform the acrobatic maneuvers of Lucha Libre.In 1987, in the city of São Paulo, the Project Video in the Villages was born as a branch of the activities of the Centro de Trabalho Indigenista (Centre for Indigenous Advocacy). The project’s aim was to encourage Indians to make and observe their own image.Post-screening iChat discussion with director of The Fighting Cholitas Mariam Jobrani. Trailer + Reviews
stateoffear_overview.jpg State of Fear
Directed by Pamela Yates
June 10 | 7 pm
State of Fear takes place in Peru, yet serves as a cautionary tale for a world engaged in a “global war on terror”. It dramatizes the human and societal costs a democracy faces when it embarks on a “war” against terror, a “war” potentially without end, all too easily exploited by unscrupulous leaders seeking personal political gain.An unforgettable array of characters takes us down a troubling road peopled by perpetrators and victims, and bystanders who only watched as the horror unfolded. But it is also the story of courageous Peruvians who fought to maintain their democracy and defend human rights, and persevered in their quest for truth and justice. Post-screening discussion with director Pamela Yates and Producer Paco de Onis.Trailer + Reviews
brooklynmatters_docpage.jpg Brooklyn Matters
Directed by Isabel Hill
June 3 | 7 pm
For this screening, there is no admission. Donations accepted.No single event will have a more drastic and long-lasting impact on Brooklyn than the proposed Atlantic Yards development. This uncommon proposal, however, is mostly misunderstood. Brooklyn Matters is an insightful documentary that reveals the fuller truth about the Atlantic Yards proposal and highlights how a few powerful men are circumventing community participation and planning principles to try to push their own interests forward. Post-screening discussion with Brooklyn-based director Isabel Hill.Trailer + More
radiolab.jpg AUDIO SERIES
Music & Documentary with Jad Abumrad
May 27 | 7 pm
Jad Abumrad, host of WNYC’s Radio Lab, curates an evening of audio to explore the brilliant but murky intersection of music, sound and storytelling. Jad will offer his perspective, and play pieces, investigating the ways marrying music and words can enhance or manipulate a story.Trailer + More
charged.jpg Charged in the name of terror…
May 20 | 7 pm
Artist Paul Chan has been connecting contemporary artists with political activists who have been sentenced to jail, including Lynne Stewart, Steve Kurtz, Mohammed Yousry, Nobel Peace Prize nominee Kathy Kelly, and Frida Berrigan, the first activist to protest against Guantanamo at Guantanamo. These portraits—-casual, intimate, non-didactic—-are incredibly important signs of our times. Post-screening discussion with artists.Trailer + More
perverts.jpg The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema
Directed by Sophie Fiennes
May 13 | 7 pm
An exhilarating ride through some of the greatest movies ever made… Serving as presenter and guide is the charismatic Slavoj Zizek, the Slovenian philosopher and psychoanalyst. With his engaging and passionate approach to thinking, Zizek delves into the hidden language of cinema, uncovering what movies can tell us about ourselves. Post-screening video interview with director Sophie Fiennes.Trailer + More
chances.jpg The Chances of the World Changing
Directed by Eric Metzgar
May 6 | 7 pm

An artist abandons his life’s work to build an ark filled with hundreds of endangered animals. A marathon story creates a new breed of dramatic nature film: about time, death, art, love…and turtles. Post-screening discussion with Brooklyn-based director, Eric Metzgar.Trailer + More


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