What do a farmer in Kansas, a laid-off factory worker in Ohio, and an Uber driver in Florida have in common? All three are resourceful, positive thinkers who strive to adapt and thrive despite dehumanizing forces at play in the American economy. As the film’s heroes face these roadblocks with courage, certain ideals remain sacred: family, love, and staying strong in the face of adversity. Lush cinematography galvanizes a sense of place and, as the narrative unfolds, the intimacy with the characters results in an emotionally rich observational drama. Ultimately, “The Disrupted” reveals a collective American experience of financial challenge, family resilience, and the quest for the purpose and dignity of work.
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In 1986 Michael Morton’s wife Christine is brutally murdered in front of their only child, and Michael is convicted of the crime. Locked away in Texas prisons for a quarter century, he has years to ponder questions of justice and innocence, truth and fate. Though he is virtually invisible to society, a team of dedicated attorneys spends years fighting for the right to test DNA evidence found at the murder scene. Their discoveries ultimately reveal that the price of a wrongful conviction goes well beyond one man’s loss of freedom.
In 20 years’ time, there will be nearly 1.6 billion smokers around the world. Approximately 70% of smokers want to quit. The United Nations’ World Health Organisation expects a billion people will die prematurely from smoking this century. The products their doctors recommend are rarely effective and many are trapped. A new vapour technology was invented to give smokers a successful way to quit. But it was quickly demonised, and even banned in many countries. A perfect storm is brewing between smokers trying to quit, government regulators, and health charities funded by the powerful pharmaceutical industry. Director Aaron Biebert travelled across four continents interviewing doctors, scientists, and others working to save a billion lives. What he found was profound government failure, widespread corruption in the public health community and powerful subversion by big business.
In Stephen Tobolowsky’s Birthday Party film-makers Robert Brinkmann and Andrew Putschoegl follow Stephen on his birthday and document a performance he gives for the cameras and a group of friends, during which he tells stories about his experiences in Hollywood. Instead of his regular role as a supporting actor, Stephen takes the stage in Birthday Party and shows that he has the charisma to hold the audience’s attention without the help of a script.
Renowned filmmakers D A Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus follow determined animal rights activist Steven Wise into the courtroom for an unprecedented battle that seeks to utilize the writ of habeas corpus to expand legal “personhood” to include certain animals. Wise’s unusual plaintiffs—chimpanzees Tommy and Kiko, once famed showbiz stars—are now living in filth, struggling to survive. Wise and his impassioned legal team take us into the field, revealing gripping evidence of such abuse and plunging us into the intricacies of their case as they probe preconceived notions of what it means to be a non-human animal.
The Cove tells the amazing true story of how an elite team of individuals, films makers and free divers embarked on a covert mission to penetrate the hidden cove in Japan, shining light on a dark and deadly secret. The shocking discoveries were only the tip of the iceberg.
IRIS pairs legendary 87-year-old documentarian Albert Maysles with Iris Apfel, the quick-witted, flamboyantly dressed 93-year-old style maven who has had an outsized presence on the New York fashion scene for decades. More than a fashion film, the documentary is a story about creativity and how, even in Iris’ dotage, a soaring free spirit continues to inspire. IRIS portrays a singular woman whose enthusiasm for fashion, art and people are life’s sustenance and reminds us that dressing, and indeed life, is nothing but an experiment.
Paul F. Tompkins tells tales of haunting one’s own house, disastrous attempts at pretend fatherhood, carrying a learner’s permit to kill, and marrying a woman who used a fine-print loophole to breach a castle.
Have you ever read the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policies connected to every website you visit, phone call you make, or app you use? Of course you haven’t. But those agreements allow corporations to do things with your personal information you could never even imagine. This film explores the intent hidden within these ridiculous agreements, and reveals what corporations and governments are legally taking from you and the outrageous consequences that result from clicking “I accept.”