Past Screenings & Events | Page 62 | DocHouse

THE DEVIL'S MINER

Dir: Ross Kauffman & Zana Briski

The Bolivian silver mines of the Cerro Rico mountain have been exploited for over 450 years. It is estimated that over eight million people have died in the mines. It is known as "the mountain that eats men". The Devil's Miner is the story of 14 year-old Basilio Vargas and his 12 year-old brother Bernardino, as they work in one of these mines. Through the children's eyes, we encounter the world of devout Catholic miners who sever their ties with God upon entering the mountain. It is an ancient belief that the devil, as represented by hundreds of statues constructed in the tunnels, determines the fate of all who work within the mines. 

VOICES FROM ROBBEN ISLAND

Dir: Jurgen Schadeberg

Robben Island began as a place of banishment for social outcasts and in the 1960s it was turned into a notorious high security prison for political prisoners who opposed the apartheid regime. The film reveals the great courage of some of its prisoners, who survived despite unimaginable physical and emotional suffering. We hear remarkable personal accounts from those sentenced to a lifetime on Robben Island, including Mandela, Sisulu, and Mbeki, who managed to transform a seemingly hopeless situation into a positive experience. A story of the triumph of freedom and dignity over repression and humiliation.

LEO AND ZE

Dir: Angus MacQueen

Award-winning documentary filmmaker, Angus Macqueen, gained extraordinary access to the drug gangs in Rio, Brazil to make Leo and Ze, an unsettling story of violence, poverty and wasted lives. Ze, a former gang leader who has managed to get out and survive, tries to help his nephew, Leo, to do the same. Through the lives of this family, a picture emerges of the way in which the gangs, financed by cocaine sales, have taken over the favela. These are adolescent boys who rule by terror. The normal inhabitants can do nothing in the face of the guns bought on the proceeds of 'the white stuff.'

CHECKPOINT

Dir: Yoav Shamir

Multi award-winning documentary conveying the grueling reality of Israeli occupation through a series of encounters between heavily armed Israeli soldiers and humiliated Palestinians, at military checkpoints. The impression is one if an endless situation, in which people on both sides are forced into positions that leave little room for human dignity.

A STONE'S THROW AWAY

Dir: Line Halvorsen

This powerful documentary follows the lives of three Palestinian boys from the Dheisheh refugee camp after their thirteen-year-old friend is shot and killed by Israeli soldiers. The children amuse themselves by throwing stones at Israeli tanks. 

DON'T LOOK BACK

Dir: D.A.Pennebaker

Both a classic documentary and a vital pop-cultural artifact, D.A. Pennebaker's portrait of Bob Dylan captures the seminal singer-songwriter on the cusp of his transformation from folk prophet to rock trendsetter. Shot during Dylan's 1965 British concert tour, Pennebaker employs an edgy vérité style. His incredible access to the legendarily private star enables us to witness Dylan's shifting moods as he performs, relaxes with his entourage and jousts with fans, press and fellow musicians. It's a measurement of the filmmaker's acuity that the conversations are often as gripping as Dylan's solo performances. A rare and timeless classic.

Directly inspired by the Pennebaker classic Don't Look Back, I am trying to break your heart is a compelling study of seminal rock band, Wilco as they record the best music of their career. Shot in luminous black-and-white by photographer Sam Jones, the film pays respect to Pennebaker's intimate vérité style. Jones tempers the backstage dramas and unfathomable corporate shenanigans with inspired live performances, as the band perform songs from their beleagueredbeleaguered "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot" album, now considered a modern classic.

STALIN'S SKYSCRAPER (UK PREMIERE)

Dir: Pavel Lounguine

The Moscow skyscraper was Stalin's pet project, envisioned in the spirit of a Communist utopia but in reality built by prisoners of war and Gulag detainees to house KGB agents and the Moscow Intelligentsia. Shot in the ghostly corridors, and told through the stories of the residents, this is an ironic, off-beat portrait of modern-day Russia.

 

DETROIT: RUN OF A CITY

Dir: Michael Chanan & George Steinmetz

Motor City was built upon the social concept of 'Fordism'. Through interviews and photographs as well as a remarkable variety of archive footage - Ford plants, mass protests of the Depression years, Diego Rivera painting his famous mural 'Detroit Industry', the struggle for trade union rights, the riots of 1943 and 1967 - this film traces the company's ideological roots and the effect of its ruthless progress on the city.

Seven months after the end of the war, Sean Langan (Behind the Lines, Travels of a Gringo), armed with just a camera, takes a brave and eventful trip through Iraq, seeking to shed light on what life is like in this newly occupied territory. As well as interviews with civilians, Langan joins the US-led coalition on patrol (even at times of attack) as well as instigating secret meetings with the resistance fighters.

Soon after the 2003 Iraq war, filmmaker Maysoon Pachachi returns to Baghdad after 35 years. She accompanies her father, 80-year Adnan who has returned to head a committee drafting a temporary constitution and Bill of Rights. We follow this torturous process, with its arguments over wording changes demanded by Washington or compromises to satisfy sectarian interests.

A Company of Soldiers follows the US Army's 8th Cavalry Regiment stationed in Baghdad for an up-close, intimate look at the dangers facing an American unit in Iraq. Shot during the month of Ramadan and the campaign for Fallujah, the film tracks the day-to-day challenges facing the 8th Cavalry's Dog Company as it suddenly has to cope with a dramatic increase in insurgent attacks.