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Documentary Screenings Spring 2001

       Each Spring and Fall semester I present a series of documentary screenings designed to strengthen students' knowledge of the field. I choose titles with an eye as much on form as on content and the order in which I show them is determined largely by what we are discussing in class at that point in the Documentary course. But each documentary is of great interest in itself and individually or as a series a rich viewing experience for anyone. The screenings are open to everyone in the university and wider community.     

Time & Location:

They are shown in the basement auditorium (room B5) in the College of Communication building at 640 Commonwealth Avenue. 

Screenings start promptly at 4.00 pm.

Jan 24: Long Night's Journey Into Day (2000)

Subtitled "South Africa's Search for Truth and Reconciliation,"this film sheds light on some dark episodes in South Africa's recent past. Directed by Frances Reid and Deborah Hoffmann.

Jan 31: A selection of early films from the Lumière Brothers in
France and the Paper Print Collection in the Library of Congress

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Feb 7: Taking Pictures (1996)

Experienced ethnographers explore the challenges and contradictions in making documentaries that cross cultural boundaries. A documentary that includes telling examples from other documentaries made in Papua New Guinea.

Feb 14: Report From The Aleutians (1942)

The first film made by John Huston for the United States Army in World War II. Also called within the Army "Alaska 1942."

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Feb 21: The Wonderful, Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl (1993)

Produced for German and British television networks, the film follows Riefenstahl's career and includes extracts from her films, with the ninety year old film maker herself revisiting the locations where she made them.

Feb 28: Stranger With A Camera (2000)

A documentary maker from an Appalachian film school explores her own feelings about her profession and her community. She revisits an incident in 1967 when an irate local man shot dead a Canadian film maker who was making a television documentary about the poverty of Appalachia

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March 14: Harmed Forces (1999)

A portrait of two victims of Israel's military campaign in Lebanon in 1982. The documentary, written and directed by Irit Gal, follows two ex-paratroopers of the Israel Defense Forces who returned home from that campaign suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, unable to live
normal lives.

March 21: Regret To Inform (1998)

An American widow journeys to Vietnam to see the place where her husband was killed in 1968. The documentary records her meetings with other women whose loved ones were also killed in the war.

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March 28: Finest Hour : The Battle of Britain (2000)

A segment from the mini-series by WGBH, BBC, and Brook Lapping Productions, which covers a famous period in the history of World War II. Mixing the memories of men and women in their eighties with extensive location shooting and recreations, it is oral documentation of a special kind.

April 4 Hands on a Hard Body (1998)

The record of a competition sponsored by a Nissan dealership in Longview, Texas to win a brand new "Hard Body" pickup truck. The endurance test lasts several days and nights. Twenty-four people begin. The winner is the one who stands upright longest with a hand on the truck.

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April: 11 Rabbit In The Moon (1999)

A study of the Japanese American experience in the twentieth century by the documentary film maker Emiko Omori. Her family was one of many who were interned by the United States government during World War II.

April 25: Microcosmos (1996)

The winner of the Special Jury Prize at the 1996 Cannes Film Festival. The world of insects shot and presented in beautiful full screen close-up.

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