Spotlight on Documentary

This year’s series of dispatches from the front lines of nonfiction cinema features intimate portraits of artists, depictions of the quest for political and social justice, and much more.

American Dharma

  • Errol Morris
  • 2018
  • USA/UK
  • 100 minutes

U.S. Premiere · Q&As with Errol Morris on September 29 & 30

Errol Morris faces off with none other than Steve Bannon—former Goldman Sachs partner and movie executive, self-proclaimed “populist” warrior, and long-time cinephile—in this unflinching film.

Angels Are Made of Light

  • James Longley
  • 2018
  • USA/Denmark/Norway
  • 117 minutes

Q&As with James Longley on October 7 & 8

School children grow up before our eyes into young adults in the shattered city of Kabul in the meticulously constructed new film from James Longley (Iraq in Fragments).

Carmine Street Guitars

  • Ron Mann
  • 2018
  • Canada
  • 80 minutes

U.S. Premiere · Q&As with Ron Mann on October 6 (with subjects Rick Kelly and Cindy Hulej) & October 8

Ron Mann’s Carmine Street Guitars is a lovely portrait of a week in the life of luthier Rick Kelly’s eponymous ground floor shop.

The Cold Blue

  • Erik Nelson
  • 2018
  • USA
  • 73 minutes

Q&As with Erik Nelson and Catherine Wyler on September 29 (joined by composer Richard Thompson) & 30

Built primarily from color 16mm images shot in the spring of 1943 by director William Wyler and his crew on 8th Air Force bombing raids over Germany and strategic locations in occupied France, The Cold Blue is filtered through the spoken recollections of nine veterans.

Divide and Conquer: The Story of Roger Ailes

  • Alexis Bloom
  • 2018
  • USA
  • 107 minutes

Q&As with Alexis Bloom on October 3 (joined by Alisyn Camerota and Alex Gibney) & 4

Alexis Bloom’s scrupulous, methodically mounted documentary concerns Roger Ailes, the hemophiliac boy from Warren, Ohio, who worked his way up from television production to the Nixon White House to stewardship of the full-fledged right-wing propaganda machine Fox News.

Dream of a City

  • Manfred Kirchheimer
  • 2018
  • USA
  • 39 minutes

World Premiere · Q&As with Ron Mann and Manfred Kirchheimer on October 6 & 8

87-year old Manny Kirchheimer’s astonishing Dream of a City is comprised of stunning black and white 16mm images of the city from 1958 to 1960.

End of Life

  • John Bruce, Pawel Wojtasik
  • 2017
  • USA/Greece
  • 91 minutes

U.S. Premiere · Q&As with John Bruce, Pawel Wojtasik, and Matt Freedman on September 30 & October 3 (joined by Ian Hassett)

Bruce and Wojtasik are tuned to a very special and extraordinarily delicate wavelength as artists, and their radiant film takes a respectful and serenely composed look at the very activity, the actual work, of dying for five individuals.

Fire Music

  • Tom Surgal
  • 2018
  • USA
  • 71 minutes

World Premiere · Q&As with Tom Surgal, Dan Braun, Lin Culbertson, John Northrup, and Dave Burrell on September 29 & October 1 (joined by Gary Giddens)

Tom Surgal’s film looks at the astonishing sounds (and sights) of that combustible and wildly diverse moment in music known as free jazz; it’s a fittingly wild and freeform tribute to music that makes your hair stand on end.

Maria by Callas

  • Tom Volf
  • 2018
  • USA
  • 113 minutes

Q&A with Tom Volf on September 30

Tom Volf’s film about Maria Callas, one of the supreme artists and cultural stars of the mid-20th century, is a cinematic love note to a great artist, and a vivid audiovisual document of mid-century western culture.

The Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress

  • William Wyler
  • 1944
  • USA
  • 45 minutes

Q&As with Erik Nelson and Catherine Wyler on September 29 & 30

Major William Wyler’s Memphis Belle, shot on 16mm from a B-17 bomber, is one of the greatest of the WWII combat documentaries, and it has now been meticulously and painstakingly restored.

The Times of Bill Cunningham

  • Mark Bozek
  • 2018
  • USA
  • 74 minutes

World Premiere · Q&As with Mark Bozek on October 11 & 14

Working with precious material, including a lengthy 1994 filmed interview with Cunningham and his subject’s earliest pre-New York Times photographs, Mark Bozek’s takes us on a lovely and invigorating journey into the world of the now legendary street photographer.

The Waldheim Waltz

  • Ruth Beckermann
  • 2018
  • Austria
  • 93 minutes

Q&A with Ruth Beckermann on October 11 & 13

Ruth Beckermann exclusively uses archival footage to study how various media reported the events surrounding former Austrian president Kurt Waldheim’s political accession despite a controversy over his role in the Nazi regime during World War II.

Watergate

  • Charles Ferguson
  • 2018
  • USA
  • 260 minutes

Q&As with Charles Ferguson on September 29 (joined by Elizabeth Holtzman, Lesley Stahl, Jill Wine-Banks, Richard Ben-Veniste, and Evan Davis) & October 8

Charles Ferguson reopens the case of Watergate, from the 1972 break-in to Nixon’s 1974 resignation and beyond, and gives it a new and bracing life, also drawing disquieting fact-based parallels with another presidency and criminal investigation, still underway.

What You Gonna Do When the World’s on Fire?

  • Roberto Minervini
  • 2018
  • Italy/USA/France
  • 123 minutes

U.S. Premiere · Q&As with Roberto Minervini, Paolo Benzi, Judy Hill, Krystal Muhammad, and Denise Ping Lee‎ on September 30 & October 2

Shot in very sharp black and white, Minervini’s follow-up to his Texas Trilogy is a portrait of African-Americans in New Orleans struggling to maintain their unique cultural identity and to find social justice.