Docs in Focus: All Films

Docs in Focus: All Films

Screening the works of emerging talents alongside contemporary masters—and orbiting issues ranging from religious transformation to extremism, early cinema to capitalism, marginalization to the embrace of intimacy—Docs in Focus showcases some of the most innovative filmmakers working nonfiction today, including works from Palestine, Syria, Iran, Romania, Israel, and the United States.

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Docs in Focus: All Films
  • Monk With a Camera

    Directed by Guido Santi & Tina Mascara • 2014 • France

    The tale of Nicholas Vreeland’s transformation from Manhattanite to devout Buddhist.

  • Obit.

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    Vanessa Gould • USA • 2017 • Inside an award-winning team of obituary writers.

    How to fit a life into 1,000 words? The obituary writers at the New York Times race against the clock to cull details, weaving decades of personal and professional history into a compelling digest of s...

  • Of Fathers and Sons

    Talal Derki • 2017 • Germany-Syria • A father trains his sons to join the global jihad.

    Aged twelve and thirteen respectively, Ayman and Osama live with their father in Idlb province, Syria. Their father, an avowed al-Nusra fighter, is training them to join the global jihad. Feigning fundamenta...

  • Putin's Kiss

    Lise Birk Pedersen • Denmark, U.S. • 2011

    Before Nashi, teenage Masha had a pretty average middle-class life in Russia. At 16 she joined the democratic, anti-fascist and anti-oligarch-capitalist political youth movement, working her way up to leadership roles and eventually becoming the host o...

  • Sacro GRA

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    Gianfranco Rosi • 2013 • Italy

    A cartography of Rome's ring road and its eccentric inhabitants.

    The Grande Raccordo Anulare is a 68-kilometer highway girdling the metropolis of Rome. Rarely given a passing glimpse by the majority of the city's inhabitants, Rome's ring road is a...

  • Songs from the North

    Soon-Mi Yoo • U.S., South Korea, Portugal • 2014 • A unique lens on North Korea.

    A South Korean filmmaker travels to the North on three separate occasions. Chaperoned by an official guide, she is unable to film freely. Nonetheless she encounters humanity at every turn—old men milling about pool ...

  • Taxi

    Jafar Panahi • 2015 • Iran

    Banned from filmmaking, Panahi has adopted a new hobby—driving a taxi.

    He navigates the streets of the Iranian capital picking up passengers: two women with a goldfish, a bootleg DVD dealer, his young niece.

    In Taxi, from the vantage point of the cab's dashboard a po...

  • The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceaucescu

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    Andrei Ujică • Romania-Germany • 2010 • A glimpse inside the mind of a narcissistic leader.

    On Christmas Day, 1989, Romanian leader Nicolae Ceaușescu and his wife, Elsa, died by firing squad–the last people to be executed by the state. A brutal dictator, Ceaușescu had presided o...

  • The Challenge

    Qatari sheikhs are among the most affluent individuals on the planet. Basking in the riches of their small nation’s petrochemical boom, several convene in the desert for a sporting weekend with the most bizarre spectacles on display. One sheikh has chartered a private jet for his coterie of fal...

  • The Force

    Peter Nicks • 2017 • USA

    Oakland Police Department. Sean Whent is hired as the department's chief, with the mandate to come in and clean up shop. He arrives with the best intentions, but soon learns that repairing the trust between the community, and those charged to protect them, will be no ea...

  • The Gospel of Eureka

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    Michael Palmieri and Donal Mosher • USA • 2019 • A joyously offbeat slice of Americana.

    Eureka, Arkansas is a one-of-a-kind oasis in the traditionally conservative bastion of the Ozarks. Alongside a devout Christian population is a thriving queer community, whose epicenter is a l...

  • The Pearl Button

    Patricio Guzmán • Chile • 2014

    Navigating Chile's colonial and political histories vis-à-vis its expansive waterways, The Pearl Button charts the labyrinths of individual and collective memory.

  • The Pervert's Guide to Ideology

    Sophie Fiennes • UK & Ireland • 2012 • A journey through cinema and philosophy, Zizek-style.

    Some have called Slavoj Žižek the Elvis of cultural theory. A Lacanian and a Marxist, the Slovenian philosopher possesses an infectious zeal and a voracious appetite for popular culture, casting his wry,...

  • The Revisionaries

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    Scott Thurman • USA • 2012 • Charts the rise and fall of controversial figures in American education.

    The Texas Board of Education dictates the curriculum for nearly five million public schoolchildren. Over the course of a decade Don McLeroy, a dentist, Sunday school teacher, and...

  • The Village Detective: A Song Cycle

    Bill Morrison • United States • 2021 • A meditative journey into Soviet history and film.

    During the summer of 2016, a fishing boat off the shores of Iceland made a most curious catch—four reels of 35mm film, seemingly of Soviet provenance. The canister was preserved by hydrogen sulfide fumes fr...

  • This Is Not a Film

    Jafar Panahi • 2011 • Iran

    Banned Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi inscribes small acts of resistance in the fabric of quotidian existence, as he remains enclosed within the confines of his Tehran apartment.

  • Touch Me Not

    Adina Pintilie • 2018 • Romania

    Touch Me Not interrogates our notions of intimacy, and beauty, through a series of encounters with individuals who eschew touch.

    NOTE: The following film contains explicit images and graphic sexual content

    Essay: Corporeal Legibility in the Age of Coronavirus—A...

  • Walk with Me

    Plum Village is a tiny oasis from the accelerated pace of modern existence. Set among the rolling hills of rural France is a community of Zen Buddhists, led by the legendary Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh. Here, seemingly ordinary tasks such as walking, eating, or sitting alone in thought gain...

  • Web Junkie

    Shosh Shlam and Hilla Medalia • Israel • 2014 • An inside look at a clinic for Internet addiction.

    At the Daxing Boot Camp in Beijing, patients are treated for a newly-categorized but hardly rare clinical disorder. Majority adolescent and male, these individuals suffer from internet addiction. T...

  • Whores' Glory

    In Bangkok, Thailand, women linger in brightly-lit boxes, awaiting their next client. In the bustling red-light district of Faridpur, Bangladesh, a madam haggles over the price of a teenage girl. In Reynosa, on the Mexican-American border, SUVs drive up and down muddy streets while drug-addled ...

  • Workingman's Death

    In the Donbass region of Ukraine, coal miners toil far below the surface of the earth, extracting carbon to heat their meager homes, selling anything extra for food. In Kawah Ijen, Indonesia, men scale treacherous mountain paths to the edge of a volcanic crater, where they harvest slabs of sulfu...

  • Zizek!

    Astra Taylor • United States, Canada • 2005 • A compelling portrait of an intellectual maverick.

    The author of works on subjects as wide-ranging as Alfred Hitchcock, 9/11, opera, Christianity, Lenin and David Lynch, Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek is one of the most important, if not outrageo...