‘Bermuda Docs’ Expands, Films Announced

September 27, 2012

An expanded Bermuda Documentary Film Festival will open its new, four-day format on Thursday October 18 with the screening of two award-winning films from the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.

The seventh edition of the festival, formerly held over three days, will open with The Queen of Versailles at 6 p.m., and follow with Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry at 8.30 p.m. All films at Bermuda Docs screen in the Tradewinds Auditorium of the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute.

Director Lauren Greenfield won the Best Director award at Sundance for her sharply observed and deliciously funny riches-to-rags portrait of the Siegel family, Jackie and David, in The Queen of Versailles. The film is rated PG.

David is a self-made billionaire, the founder of Westgate Resorts – the world’s largest privately-held timeshare company. Jackie, three decades younger, is a former Mrs. Florida – and engineer – who is, by turns, ridiculous and compelling, shallow and shrewd, tough and genuine, farcical and funny.

The film introduces them as they embark on the construction of a 90,000 square-foot mansion that is one part Versailles, and several parts Vegas. Then the economic downturn begins to bite, with dramatic results for the family. This is an entertaining tale of the American family writ absurdly large.

Named by ArtReview as the most powerful artist in the world, courageous and charismatic Ai Weiwei is China’s most celebrated contemporary artist, and its most outspoken domestic critic. In April 2011, when he disappeared for three months, Ai Weiwei became China’s most famous missing person.

His critiques of China’s repressive regime have ranged from playful photographs of his raised middle finger in front of Tiananmen Square to searing memorials of the more than 5,000 schoolchildren who died in shoddy government construction in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake.

This insightful, engaging documentary, winner of a Special Jury Prize at Sundance, is the inside story of a passionate dissident for the digital age, a highly original man who blurs the boundaries of art and politics. The film is rated R for strong language.

The remainder of the film line-up will be announced soon. Tickets to Bermuda Docs go on sale Friday October 5 at www.bdatix.bm, All Wrapped Up-Washington Mall, Fabulous Fashions-Heron Bay Plaza, or by calling 232-2255.

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