10 Videos: Bermuda Docs Lineup Previews

April 9, 2010

Scroll down for the full lineup, with film synopsis and preview videos of every film to be screened at the Bermuda Documentary Film Festival [Bermuda Docs] to be held on April 23-25 2010.

The festival will be held in the Tradewinds Auditorium of the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute. Tickets, $15, go on sale today [April 9] at Bdatix.bm, at the i-Store, 46 Reid Street, and at Fabulous Fashions, Heron Bay Plaza, Southampton. Tickets may also be ordered by phoning 232-2255.

The film line-up also features a nine-minute sneak preview of a work-in-progress series about democracy by Bermudian filmmakers Charles Reilly and Walt Cudlip, and their Canadian filmmaking partner Wendy Loten. “Democracy 2.0 – Have You Upgraded Yet?” will screen on opening night.

Bermuda Docs is presented by Mini, and sponsored by Stella Artois, North Rock Communications, St. John’s Trust Company Ltd, and the Bermuda Arts Council.

The film line-up:

Day 1: Fri April 23, 6.30 pm
Burma VJ: Reporting from a Closed Country

Armed with video cameras, a tenacious band of Burmese reporters risked torture, life in jail – and even death – to expose the repressive regime controlling their country. When Buddhist monks led a massive uprising against the military junta in September 2007, the courageous video journalists hit the streets to capture footage of the military crackdown. Government intelligence agents understood the power of the camera, and the VJs became their prime target. Winner of more than 40 international awards, and nominated for a 2010 Academy Award® for Best Documentary Feature.

Day 1: Fri April 23, 8.45 pm
His and Hers

Seventy Irish women collectively tell a 90-year-old love story as they talk about the men in their lives, candidly and humourously, in this sweetly seductive film. According to an Irish saying, a man loves his sweetheart the most, his wife the best, and his mother the longest. Using his mother’s life as an inspiration, the filmmaker has created a film that delivers a unique insight into how we share life’s journey with others. An investigation into the ordinary to discover the extraordinary, the film finds comedy in the mundane, tragedy in the profound and provides an original insight into the universality of our experience. Winner of the World Cinema Cinematography Award: Documentary, 2010 Sundance Film Festival; Best Irish Feature, 2009 Galway Film Festival; Audience Award, Jameson Dublin International Film Festival; Best Documentary, Dublin Film Critics Circle; and Best Documentary, Irish Film and Television Awards.

Day 2: Sat April 24, 2 pm
Mugabe and the White African

Mike Campbell is one of the few remaining white farmers still left in Zimbabwe since President Robert Mugabe began enforcing his controversial land seizure programme, an initiative intended to reclaim white-owned land and redistribute it to poor black Zimbabweans. Together with his son-in-law Ben Freeth, and their families, Campbell attempts to sue Mugabe for violating their human rights. For their attempt to save their land and their country from devastation at the hands of a despot, they are willing to risk everything. Will they survive Mugabe’s wrath? Winner, Best Documentary, at the 2009 British Independent Film Awards, Winner, Jury Prizes at Silverdocs (Washington, D.C.) and Hamptons film festivals; and on the 2010 Academy Awards® Shortlist for Best Documentary

Day 2: Sat April 24, 4 pm
Which Way Home

Sundance festival award-winning filmmaker Rebecca Cammisa follows several unaccompanied children as they journey through the beautiful landscapes of Mexico to the United States on a freight train called “The Beast”. All are chasing a better life than the one they have left behind in Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, or Guatemala. Some seek reunification with their parents, others are escaping life on the streets, while others seek jobs or educational opportunities. All face the harrowing journey with courage and resourcefulness in this moving film, which shows the personal side of immigration through the eyes of children. Nominee, 2010 Academy Awards®, Best Documentary Feature. Actor John Malkovich is one of the executive producers of the film.

Day 2: Sat April 24, 6.15 pm
The One Man Village

Enchanting and gripping, pleasant and powerful, this is the intimate and affectionate portrait of a simple man who lives in the Lebanese highlands, an hour from Beirut. Ain al-Halazoun was abandoned and destroyed during the Lebanese civil war between 1975 and 1990. Despite an official reconciliation, only Semaan El Habre returned to the village. Others, perhaps less trusting that peace would last, have stayed away. This beautiful film, about a man determined to overcome the scars of a past full of pain, won Best International Feature, 2009 Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival and has also won awards at festivals in Monaco, Rotterdam, Dubai, Prague, and Italy – and has screened at more than 40 festivals worldwide.

Day 2: Sat April 24, 8.30 pm
The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls

This crowd-pleasing film about joy and laughter and love offers a revealing look into the lives of the world’s only comedic, country-singing, dancing, and yodeling lesbian twin sisters. New Zealand’s highest-grossing documentary ever, it features live performances, archive footage and special interviews with the Kiwi icons’ comedy alter-egos. From busking on the streets of Auckland, the twins earned their own television series, appeared at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, have opened on tour for Midnight Oil and Billy Bragg – and in 2008 were inducted into the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame. They have also earned the admiration of fellow Kiwis as campaigners against apartheid, and for nuclear disarmament, Maori rights, and gay rights. Winner, People’s Choice Award: Documentary, 2009 Toronto International Film Festival.

Day 3: Sun April 25, 1 pm
The Jazz Baroness

This is a love story against all the odds — the astonishing tale of the white British Baroness, Pannonica (“Nica”) Rothschild, who fell in love with the musical genius Thelonious Monk. She was the inspiration for Art Blakey’s and Horace Silver’s Nica’s Dream, Nica’s Tempo by the Jazz Messengers, and Monk’s Bolivar Blues. A 27-song soundtrack, rare footage of the time, and appearances by Sonny Rollins, Quincy Jones, and Chico Hamilton, explore the life of a great patron of jazz and one of its most colourful characters. Official Selection, Hot Docs, Telluride and London film festivals.

Day 3: Sun April 25, 3 pm
Sins of My Father

This is the incredible story of notoriously brutal Colombian drug cartel boss Pablo Escobar told for the first time by his only son, Sebastian, and his widow Maria Isabel Santos, who fled Colombia to move beyond Escobar’s legacy. With heartfelt honesty, Sebastian recounts what it was like to grow up loving a father that he knew was his country’s number-one enemy. The film follows Sebastian as he tries to break the cycle of revenge and assassination by seeking reconciliation with the sons of his father’s most prominent victims. Official Selection, 2010 Sundance Film Festival and 2009 International Documentary Festival Amsterdam.

Day 3: Sun April 25, 5 pm
The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers

In 1971, Daniel Ellsberg, a high-level Pentagon official and Vietnam War strategist, concluded that the war was based on decades of lies — and leaked 7,000 pages of top-secret documents to The New York Times. Hailed as a hero, vilified as a traitor, Ellsberg risked life in prison to stop a war he helped to plan. This is the riveting story of how one man’s profound change of heart led directly to Watergate, Richard Nixon’s resignation and the end of the Vietnam War. Nominee, 2010 Academy Awards®, Best Documentary Feature; Special Jury Award, 2009 International Documentary Festival Amsterdam; Freedom of Expression Award, National Board of Review (U.S.); Audience awards, Mill Valley and Palm Springs film festivals.

Day 3: Sun April 25, 7 pm
Soundtrack for a Revolution

The music and infectious energy of the freedom songs of the American civil rights movement enabled African-Americans to sing words they could not say, helping protesters to face down brutal aggression with dignity and non-violence. Featuring new performances of these freedom songs by such celebrated performers as John Legend, Joss Stone, Wyclef Jean and The Roots, the film couples thrilling performances with riveting archival footage and interviews with civil rights foot soldiers and leaders. 2010 Academy Awards® Shortlist for Best Documentary; Winner, Audience Awards at Vancouver and Morelia film festivals; Official Selection, Cannes Film Festival.

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