Can a documentary acutely affect the reality which it documents? What impact is carried by the act of recording? This collection brings together films which document the courageous work of those who use the camera/pen as a weapon. What are the stakes today of documenting and reporting while facing censorship, violence, and injustice? Can documenting make a difference?
New Currents Collections
Especially curated by Film Platform, aim to explore new directions and developments in documentary craftsmanship. They are organized according to major aesthetic trends and fields of influence which permeate documentary filmmaking today.
Without truth there can be no justice in Sri Lanka. No Fire Zone is an explicit and horrifying exposé of the final months of the 26-year-long Sri Lankan civil war, told by the people who lived through it. Using unseen footage recorded by both the victims and perpetrators on mobile phones and small cameras, the film meticulously exposes some of the worst war crimes and crimes against humanity in recent history and becomes direct evidence of a war that was supposed to be conducted in secret.
We follow two of China’s first citizen reporters as they travel the country – chronicling underreported news and social issues stories. Armed with laptops, cell phones, and digital cameras they develop skills as independent one-man news stations while learning to navigate China’s evolving censorship regulations and avoiding the risk of political persecution.
Nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary, 5 Broken Cameras is a deeply personal first-hand account of life and nonviolent resistance in Bil’in, a West Bank village where Israel is building a security fence. Palestinian Emad Burnat, who bought his first camera in 2005 to record the birth of his youngest son, shot the film and Israeli filmmaker Guy Davidi co-directed. The filmmakers follow one family’s evolution over five years, witnessing a child’s growth from a newborn baby into a young boy who observes the world unfolding around him.
In the past 10 years, over 200,000 Indian farmers have committed suicide. Their deaths are a response to the economic hardship experienced in India as globalization dramatically changes the country’s agricultural infrastructure. One journalist from Mumbai devotes himself to revealing the true severity of this agrarian crisis, previously ignored by both the local and international media.
An acclaimed insight into the revolutionary potentials and personal dangers involved in video reportage. Filmmaker Anders Østergaard takes us behind the official headlines in Burma to brings us close to the country’s video journalists who keeping up the flow of news from within the borders despite risking torture and life in jail. Armed with small handycams they make their undercover reports, and smuggle the material out of the country to be broadcast back into Burma via satellite or offered to the international media for free.
The footage shot by these brave activists keeps the revolution alive.