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Marlon Riggs, with assistance from other gay Black men, especially poet Essex Hemphill, celebrates Black men loving Black men as a revolutionary act. The film intercuts footage of Hemphill reciting his poetry, Riggs telling the story of his growing up, scenes of men in social intercourse and dance, and various comic riffs, including a visit to the “Institute of Snap!thology,” where men take lessons in how to snap their fingers: the sling snap, the point snap, the diva snap.
Most people know the lasting legacy of Harry Belafonte, the entertainer. This film unearths his significant contribution to and his leadership in the civil rights movement in America and to social justice globally.
In JINGLE BELL ROCKS!, director Mitchell Kezin delves into the minds of some of the world’s most legendary Christmas music fanatics and hits the road to hang with his holiday heroes – including hip hop legend Joseph “Rev Run” Simmons of RUN-D.M.C., The Flaming Lips’ frontman Wayne Coyne, filmmaker John Waters, bebopper Bob Dorough, L.A. DJ and musicologist Dr. Demento, and Calypso legend The Mighty Sparrow. In his search for the twelve best, underappreciated Christmas songs ever recorded, Kezin both asks and answers the question, “Why, when Christmas rolls around, are we still stuck cozying up with Bing Crosby under a blanket of snow?”
A film about how a much-derided music actually changed the world. Between 1969 and 1979 disco was born through gay liberation, female desire in the age of feminism and led to the birth of modern club culture before taking the world by storm. This in turn led to the ‘Disco Sucks’ movement and the inevitable backlash. With contributions from Nile Rodgers, Robin Gibb, Kathy Sledge and Ian Schrager.
Does hell exist? If so, who ends up there, and why? Featuring an eclectic group of authors, theologians, pastors, social commentators and musicians, HELLBOUND? is a provocative, feature-length documentary that looks at why we are so bound to the idea of hell and how our beliefs about hell affect the world we are creating today.
In 2005, a small group of scientists and filmmakers agreed to leave everything behind for more than a year to sail to the Antarctic and live in isolation. Following in the path of the greatest explorers, expedition leader Jean Lemire and the crew of the Sedna IV dedicated themselves completely to measuring the threat posed by global warming in a place where Earth is particularly vulnerable. The resulting film, is a record of their incredible 430-day journey that inspires equal measures of fear and admiration. Alternating between captivating images of beauty and serenity, and spine-tingling sequences where the ship’s crew finds itself on the edge of catastrophe, this is an expedition where danger and wonder are inextricably linked.
This is the remarkable story of an American icon who changed the sport of big wave surfing forever. Transcending the surf genre, this in-depth portrait of a hard-charging athlete explores the fear, courage and ambition that push a man to greatness—and the cost that comes with it.
Until the late 1970s, the Pakistani city of Lahore was world-renowned for its music. Following the Islamization of Pakistan, many artists struggled to continue their life’s work. Song of Lahore turns the spotlight on a group of stalwart musicians that kept playing and ultimately attracted listeners from around the world.
The ostensibly simple story of a sympathetic veteran teacher giving Italian lessons to a weekly class of diverse immigrants is given infinitely more depth and complexity by the manner in which director Daniele Gaglianone renders his story. Blurring the lines between fact and fiction, truth and artifice, and between documentary and drama, Gaglianone has created a film within a film. You see the apparent artifice of Gaglianone’s crew using professionals, including the noted film actor Valerio Mastandrea as the teacher, interlinked with ‘real’ immigrant protagonists, studying the language to improve their chances of employment and of gaining a permanent residence permit. Thus in the course of the lessons there is simultaneously the painful and upsetting relation of the students’ personal stories but also humour, as they interact and share their humanity, bridging cultural differences, united in their striving to make a better life for themselves. (Source: LFF programme)