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Documentary Voices

February 5, 2013 - April 9, 2013

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Documentary Voices is presented in conjunction with the UC Berkeley course History of Documentary Film, taught by Linda Williams during the spring semester. We begin our series with a selection of films from the recent Robert Flaherty Film Seminar. Flaherty, often called the father of documentary film, approached his subjects without preconception, yet readily combined staged scenes with beautifully observed ones in order to elucidate the human condition. In that spirit, our series features films ranging from documentary-fiction hybrids to cinematic essays, ethnographic films, experimental reflections, and documentary animations. 


Kathy Geritz, Film Curator

Tuesday, February 5, 2013
7:00 p.m. Broken Stones
See African Film Festival 2013

Tuesday, February 12, 2013
7:00 p.m. Free Land
Minda Martin (U.S., 2009). Minda Martin in person. Martin’s powerful, beautiful essay film traces her family history back to the forced Cherokee relocation of the 1800s and forward to her own nomadic childhood of poverty and homelessness. With two short portraits of families, Family Nightmare (Dustin Guy Defa, U.S., 2011) and Ah, Liberty! (Ben Rivers, U.K., 2008). (92 mins)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013
7:00 p.m. Chang
See On Location in Silent Cinema

Tuesday, February 26, 2013
7:00 p.m. 48
Susana de Sousa Dias (Portugal, 2009). Susana de Sousa Dias’s remarkable, hypnotic film is composed of photographs taken upon the arrest of political prisoners during the forty-eight years of the Portuguese dictatorial regime. With Sun Xun’s animated short, Heroes No Longer (China, 2008). (102 mins)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013
7:00 p.m. Poetic Vision: Films of Vlatko Gilić
Vlatko Gilić (Yugoslavia, 1970–73). A rare opportunity to see Serbian filmmaker Vlatko Gilić's haunting, beautiful—and mostly wordless—short films of the seventies. “Gilić’s films are called documentaries. But he's superb at finding the astonishing images that lurk in the ordinary world” (New York Times). (102 mins)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013
7:00 p.m. Latin American Legacies: Films of Leandro Katz
Leandro Katz (U.S., 1972–2001). Leandro Katz in person. Argentine artist Leandro Katz presents a selection of his stunning short films from two research projects centered on significant moments in Latin American history, from the United Fruit Company to Che Guevara. (84 mins)

Tuesday, April 2, 2013
7:00 p.m. Standard Operating Procedure
Errol Morris (U.S., 2011). Introduced by Linda Williams. Seeking to understand the notorious Abu Ghraib photographs, Errol Morris looks outside the frame. “As a human document of what people are capable of in wartime, it’s indispensable” (Christian Science Monitor). (117 mins)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013
7:00 p.m. Into the Abyss
Werner Herzog (U.S./U.K./Germany, 2008). Werner Herzog’s very first film concept centered on a prison. Decades later, he reflects on a triple murder in a small Texas town through interviews with two men convicted of the killings. “A disquieting, heartbreaking look at American crime and punishment” (Hollywood Reporter). (107 mins)

Documentary Voices is made possible in part by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation and the continued support of the BAM/PFA Trustees. We thank the Flaherty Film Seminar; Sarie Horowitz, coordinator of Flaherty on the Road; and Josetxo Cerdán, curator of the 2012 Flaherty Seminar, Open Wounds, from which our series is drawn. With thanks to Vera Mijojlic, South East European Film Festival, and Adam Hyman, Filmforum, both in Los Angeles, and Elizabeth Coffey and Haden Guest, Harvard Film Archive for their assistance with the Gilić program. Leandro Katz's appearance is made possible by the Arts Research Center at UC Berkeley; he will speak at the ARC symposium "Spiraling Time: Intermedial Conversations on Latin American Art" which takes place March 15 and 16 at BAM/PFA.