Bermuda Docs returns this month
The old saying that ‘variety is the spice of life’ lends itself perfectly when describing the line-up for this month’s Bermuda Documentary Film Festival.
Eleven thought-provoking and heartfelt documentaries — including something for music lovers, sport enthusiast and history buffs — will be screening from October 17 to 20.
Opening the festival will be the documentary “Blood Brothers”, about American Rocky Braat who gave up his comfortable Western life to live among the dispossessed in India.
Winner of a Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award at Sundance Film Festival, the film tells the true story of how Mr Braat found meaning in his life after becoming a father figure, brother and friend to children living with HIV and AIDS.
Described as a beautifully crafted and intimate film about the power of love, the film will screen on Thursday, October 17 at 6pm.
Also showing on opening night will be “Womanish Ways”, which honours and celebrates the leaders of the women’s suffrage movement in The Bahamas, who fought for more than a decade to win the right to vote for women.
The film, which won the top prize this summer at a festival in Philadelphia, will screen at 8.30pm.
It will be followed by a Q and A with the director, Bahamian filmmaker Marion Bethel.
Festival director Duncan Hall said he was “very much looking forward” to welcoming the filmmaker.
“Her film is a stirring account of the women’s suffrage movement in The Bahamas,” he added.
Other films on offer include:
• “The Summit” about the deadliest day on the world’s most dangerous mountain, when 18 of 24 climbers reached the summit of K2, the world’s second highest mountain in August 2008. Forty-eight hours later, 11 of the climbers were dead. The film unravels the mystery of what happened to them. Screening on Friday, October 19 at 8.30pm
• “Dirty Wars” tells a tale of the clandestine activities of the top-secret US. Joint Special Operations Command, as investigative reporter Jeremy Scahill traces the rise of JSOC, the most secret fighting force in US history. The film won the Cinematography Award at Sundance. Screening on Saturday, October 19 at 6.15pm.
• Music documentary “Muscle Shoals” won the audience prize at Hot Docs. It tells the story of FAME Studios in the Alabama backwater of Muscle Shoals, where music producer Rick Hall brought black and white together in Alabama’s cauldron of racial hostility to create music for the generations.
The film features Percy Sledge, Keith Richards, Jimmy Cliff, Bono, Clarence Carter, Alicia Keys and more musicians who bear witness to Muscle Shoals’ influence on popular music. Screening on Sunday, October 20 at 7.30pm.
• “Maidentrip” won an audience award at South by Southwest, and tells the story of Dutch sailor Laura Dekker, who in 2012 became the youngest person to sail around the world alone.
When she was just 14-years-old, she set out alone in 2010 on her 38-foot ketch, Guppy, without a follow boat or support team. Screening on Sunday, October 20 at 3pm.
• “Sweet Dreams” is described as a joyful film about the first all-women drumming troupe in Rwanda, formed to help women build new relationships, and to heal the wounds of the past caused by the country’s 1994 genocide.
It won the audience prize at a festival in Sweden, a jury prize at a Spanish festival, finished among the top ten in audience voting at the prestigious International Documentary Festival Amsterdam, and has screened at the United Nations. Screening on Sunday, October 20 at 5.15pm.
• Anita: Speaking Truth to Power is an intimate portrait of Anita Hill, as she reflects on how her testimony before the US. Senate Judiciary Committee hearings into the suitability of Clarence Thomas to become a US Supreme Court Justice affected her life — and her nation. Screening on Friday, October 18 at 6pm.
• Former world heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali is profiled in “The Trials of Muhammad Ali”, which tells of his early days in Louisville, Kentucky, his successes in the ring, his conversion to Islam — and his protracted fight for justice after he is banned from boxing and faces a five-year prison sentence for refusing to fight in the Vietnam War. Screening on Saturday, October 19 at 8.30pm.
• “People of a Feather”, the winner of ten international festival awards, uses astounding time-lapse photography and stunning underwater footage to craft a compelling tale of how changing sea ice and ocean currents caused by man are threatening both the Inuit people and the eider duck in the Canadian territory of Nunavut. Screening on Saturday, October 19 at 2pm.
• Festival favourite “The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne” will also be screened. The film is described as an “entertaining portrait” of a glamorous and charismatic 82-year-old international jewel thief who reveals the secrets of her 60-year life of crime. Screening on Saturday, October 19 at 4.15pm.
Trailers and synopses of all films can be viewed at www.bermudadocs.com.
Tickets to Bermuda Docs go on sale Friday at www.bdatix.bm, Sportseller-Washington Mall, Fabulous Fashions-Heron Bay Plaza, or by calling 232-2255. Sportseller will be closed October 10-16 for renovations.
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