HACKING DEMOCRACY + Dir. Q&A

Dir: Simon Ardizzone & Russell Michaels

Electronic voting machines count about 90% of the votes cast in America today. But are they reliable? Are they safe from tampering? Hacking Democracy exposes gaping holes in the security of America's electronic voting system.

VILLAGE OF SOCKS

Dir: Klaudia Begic & Ileana Stanculescu

A new form of income has come to the Transylvanian village of Viscri. Women in the community are knitting socks and selling them to Western European countries through a local cooperative. But the inequality that results from this new found economy causes tensions in the community.

The inhabitants of the Russian town of Prirechnyy have received a letter from the province of Murmansk informing them that their town no longer exists. Still, a handful of senior citizens refuse to move from the once-proud mining town. We meet four of them in this absurd little universe in northern Russia.

A Lesson of Belarusian follows the story of Franek Viacorka studying at an elite school to promote the Belarusian language. The school was banned in 2003, a victim of the anti – democratic rule of President Alexander Lukashenka.

Much of Eastern Europe has been devastated by the rapid transition from communism to capitalism. Fifteen years since independence from the USSR, the Ukraine - Europe's second largest country - is struggling to regain economic and social stability. One little-known consequence is the estimated 1,000,000 children now living homeless on Ukraine's streets.

The inconceivable changes facing the world as oil becomes ever more scarce. Directors Gelpke and McCormack show how our exploitation of oil has led not only to fabulous lifestyles our ancestors could never have imagined, but also ongoing political and economic instability worldwide. 

Maria and Angela run a local lottery office inherited from their parents. They are well known for their ability to attach numbers to anything, with the help of a revered book called The Grimace. Local murders, police raids, bizarre events, all have their number potential as Naples' citizens try to win their way out of poverty.

My Country, My Country is an unforgettable journey into the heart of war-ravaged Iraq in the months leading up to the January 2005 elections. Director Laura Poitras' main focus is Dr Riyadh, a Sunni candidate, benevolent GP and an outspoken critic of the occupation, he is equally passionate about the need to establish democracy in Iraq.

WHITE PLATOON

Dir: Yuri Maldavsky & Tim Grucza

From the symbolic handover of power to the Iraqi people to the under publicized bloody election day to the tearful reunion with families and wounded colleagues, we follow a group of soldiers as they transform from eager young men into hardened, cynical war veterans who will never be the same again. 

The idealism and optimism of young people in Finland in the 1960s and '70s created a youth culture where a better world seemed just around the corner and socialism seemed like a real alternative. Brimming with music, archive footage and contemporary interviews, Revolution captures the spirit of an age, and asks the poignant question, what happens to the idealism of youth?

PUNAM

Dir: Lucian Muntean & Natasa Stankovic

Nine-year-old Punam Tamang lives in Bhaktapur in Nepal. Punam lost her mother when she was five years old and since that time she has been the family caretaker, providing for her younger brother Krishna and her younger sister Rabina. The children see little of their father who works double shifts in a rice factory in order pay their school fees.

DEPORTED

Dir: Katarina Johansson & Ulrika Widmark

Qendresa is thirteen years old and back in Pristina, Kosovo. In 1999 she and her family escaped the war in the Balkans, heading for Sweden where they lived for over four years before being deported. Widmark and Johansson follow Qendresa and her family during their first year back in Kosovo as they struggle to re-adjust to life in a country they no longer know. 

Martyr Street, Hebron, is one of the most hazardous and fractious streets in the West Bank. It is the only site where Jewish settlers live as a minority in the heart of a city in the occupied territories. Schoolgirls Najilah al-Khatib and Neria Arnon live a few metres away from each other on Martyr Street but they have never met.