WHAT'S ON IN MARCH
Friday 6 March, 2020
What's On in March, you ask? It's Women's History Month and we're marking it with a series of films which recognise the battles, achievements and ongoing struggles of women in the recent past up to today.
March also marks 5 years since Bertha DocHouse opened its doors and welcomed the first audience to the screen. And what a ride it's been since then. To make this work, we need a lot of lovely people who want to watch brilliant non-fiction on the big screen, and we also need a lot of filmmakers to keep making creative, challenging, fascinating, entertaining, original (keep the adjectives coming...) work. To celebrate our birthday, at the end of the month we'll be hosting the 'Doc in a Day' film challenge, to support, encourage and champion anyone who wants to get stuck in and give filmmaking a go.
More on the birthday celebration later. And now, everything else we have coming up this month:
Kicking off Women's History Month, from today we're playing the much-anticipated Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am (which we previewed in Feb). Made before her death in 2019, it features an expansive interview with Morrison, in which she reflects with warmth and wry humour on her life and writing career. The screening on Thursday 12th will be presented by Birds Eye View and followed by a Q&A with guests including writer and broadcaster Afua Hirsch.
On International Women's Day (Sunday 8th) you can also see - in a feat of title-match-programming - Women's Day - a charming and fascinating foray into the lives of Soviet women, from Nobel Prize winners to feminist dissidents.
Just announced, a last minute addition to the programme, we're thrilled to be showing Yours in Sisterhood - 'a collective portrait of feminist conversation now and forty years ago'. Taking letters written in the 1970s from American women to Ms. Magazine as a starting point, Yours in Sisterhood is an exercise in time travel, connection and empathy, and a celebration of the lost art of letter writing. Tickets on sale soon.
Merce Cunningham shook up the world of dance in a career spanning seven decades. Alla Kovgan's new film not only tells the life story of the controversial artist, but re-stages his original choreography in surprising settings - a visual treat best seen on the big screen. Cunningham opens on Friday 13th.
Continuing our ‘Sunday Sessions’ strand, The Disappearance of My Mother (Sunday 15th) throws us into the complex relationship between filmmaker Beniamino Barrese and his mother, Italian supermodel-turned-cultural theorist Benedetta Barzini. This enigmatic and fascinating portrait questions the gaze of the fashion industry as much as the voyeurism of the documentary camera.
Immerse yourself in the joy of Buster Keaton in super-fan Peter Bogdanovich’s definitive biography, which chronicles the rise, fall and eventual recovery of the Great Stone Face’s career. Our preview of The Great Buster: A Celebration on Wed 18th will be followed by a Q&A with Keaton historian David Macleod, and it then plays daily from Friday 20th.
Profiling a wholly different kind of star, Rolling Stone: Life and Death of Brian Jones follows the short life and untimely death of the original rock n roller. Plays from Fri 20th.
We’re marking World Down Syndrome Day on Sat 21st with a double bill of mid-length films. Amber and Me, Ian Davies’ film following his twin daughters through their first years at school together, plays with Emma and Ben, which explores the inner lives of young adults with Down Syndrome and the nature of love. There will also be a pre-recorded Q&A with Ian and his daughters Amber and Olivia.
On Friday 27th we're pleased to welcome some of the Sky News team to Bertha DocHouse, with their new documentary investigating the shocking effects of plastic pollution along the world's longest river. Presenter Alex Crawford will join us for a Q&A after this one-off preview of The Plastic Nile, along with director Toby Sculthorp and scientist Dr. Farhan Khan. Q&A hosted by Sky News' Anna Jones.
We bookend Women’s History Month with Juliana Fanjul's incendiary profile of Mexican radio journalist Carmen Aristegui. Radio Silence opens on Friday 27th, hot on the heels of its Human Rights Watch Film Festival premiere.
Also opening on Friday 17th, The Australian Dream explores identity and indigenous rights through the story of football star Adam Goodes, with wide-reaching implications for any country dealing with issues surrounding racism and the national sport.
Finally, on Sunday 29th we're celebrating our 5 year anniversary by screening the results of the Bertha DocHouse 'Doc in a Day' film challenge, in partnership with the London Documentary Network. On Saturday 21st, the filmmakers will have formed their teams and spent the weekend creating short docs from scratch. Join us on the 29th to see what they accomplish, with feedback from our expert panel, and birthday drinks in the bar after.
Hope to see you there!