What's On in August
Our next online event is free, and available worldwide. In the wake of the overturning of Roe v. Wade, we'll be showing the excellent 13-minute short doc Abortion Helpline, This Is Lisa and facilitating a discussion on abortion rights in the US and closer to home. From 7pm on Thursday 11th, join us to watch this Oscar-short-listed doc which drops in on a centre in Philadelphia, where counsellors - all called Lisa - take nonstop calls from women seeking financial help to end a pregnancy, and they only have the funds to help a few. One of the film's co-directors, Mike Attie, will then be in conversation with Marah Lange from the Abortion Liberation Fund of Pennsylvania which features in the film.
Thursday 11th is also your first chance to see the journey of an unlikely group of Zimbabwean sommeliers on their way to the World Wine Tasting Championship in France, in an uplifting doc that celebrates their optimism, resilience and tenacity as much as their (unquestionably impressive) ability to guess a vintage. There's a recorded Q&A after the preview screening of Blind Ambition on Thursday 11th, and further screenings from Friday 12th.
Next up, discover the 'colourful' life of pioneering 19th Century photographer Eadweard Muybridge, told through the thoroughly entertaining accounts of biographers and collectors, including actor Gary Oldman - who revels in anecdotes about his favourite photographer. Exposing Muybridge plays daily from Friday 12th, only at Bertha DocHouse.
Children of Las Brisas - which some of you will know already as an IDFA Bertha fund supported project - follows three talented young Venezuelan kids over 9 years as they study to become professional musicians, in a country hurtling towards breaking point. Marianela Maldonado will join us via Zoom for a post-screening Q&A on Sunday 14th, launching a short run of this heartbreakingly insightful observational film from Monday 15th.
Two great and very different films open at Bertha DocHouse on Friday 19th: Free Chol Soo Lee paints a vivid picture of the Asian immigrant experience through the story of Chol Soo Lee, who spent ten years in jail, wrongly convicted of murder in 1970s San Francisco; While My Old School relates the stranger-than-fiction tale from 1990s Glasgow of a schoolboy who was not quite what he seemed! It's a really entertaining watch, driven by 90s nostalgia, but the less you know in advance the better!
On Tuesday 23rd, director Peter Day comes to Bertha DocHouse for a one-off Q&A screening of Off the Rails - which follows two kids from Guilford in Surrey, honing their gravity-defying parkour skills and dealing with the sudden death of a close friend.
Last but not least, a fascinating end to the month, from Friday 26th we're heading into Kruger National Park in South Africa with the Black Mambas, a group of women trained to combat rhino poaching in the reserve. It sounds like the perfect. empowering initiative, but Lena Karbe's fascinating, subtle film gradually reveals a complicated picture of optics, politics and colonial power dynamics.