Tuesday, November 2, 2010

3 Noteworthy New Documentaries

Courtesy of Telegraph21, the online video magazine "featuring the best documentary films ... from around the world," we call your attention to three promising new feature-length documentaries.

"The Two Escobars," directed/produced by Jeff & Michael Zimbalist, examines the intersection of sports and crime through the lives of druglord Pablo Escobar and soccer player Andres Escobar. Though they weren't related, according to a Los Angeles Times review, "they led intertwined lives of glory and infamy in Colombia, and the full-throttle documentary dynamically chronicles their meshed fates." The Times says it's "one of the best sports docs in recent memory."

Read the L.A. Times review here.

"The Kids Grow Up" earned a "critic's pick" designation from the New York Times.

"One plausible if not necessarily generous reading of the film is that it’s about how difficult it can be to live with a documentary filmmaker. Or at least with Doug Block, the director of this one.

On the evidence presented here, Mr. Block, who lives in Manhattan, has turned his video camera from a domestic accessory (as it is for so many families) into a virtual family member."
The result? "A chronicle of ordinary life that is partly a scrapbook, partly a memoir and, most movingly, an essay on the passage of time and the mysterious connections between parents and children."

Filmed by her father from the moment of her birth, Lucy at age 17 is just months away from leaving home for college. Moving fluidly between past, present, and the fast-approaching future, Block uses a lifetime of footage to craft not only a loving portrait of a girl transitioning into womanhood, but also a candid look at modern-day parenting, marriage, and what it means to let go.
Read the N.Y. Times review here.


The Kids Grow Up Website

The Kids Grow Up on Facebook

The Kids Grow Up on Twitter

New York Times article

Director Jennifer Arnold has stitched together a powerful tale of "paying it forward" that makes you appreciate the far-reaching ripples that can be created by one seemingly insignificant pebble.

Her new documentary "A Small Act" has its genesis in a modest $15 scholarship awarded by a Swedish woman named Hilde Back to a Kenyan boy named Chris Mburu.

Her humble but steady sponsorship put Chris through school and eventually launched him into Harvard Law, paving the way to his job as a United Nations attorney.

Now in her eighties, Hilde meets Chris for the first time as he launches his own small act of benevolence: the Hilde Back Education Fund for the children of his village. Hilde's astonishment at the potency of her long-ago gift is matched in scale by Chris's surprising discovery that Hilde is not Swedish at all, but a German Jew who escaped the Holocaust.

Exploring the enduring challenges of achieving an education in the developing world, the documentary follows Kimani, Ruth and Caroline -- each at the top of their class at Mukubu primary -- who are pinning their hopes on winning one of Chris’s scholarships. Interweaving their stories with those of Hilde and Chris, the film reveals just how powerful a gesture of kindness and generosity can be, and that an education is perhaps the most generous gift of all.
In this featured clip below, Mburu explains how the Hilde Back Education Fund selects scholarship students:


A Small Act's Website

Hilde Back Education Fund's Website

A Small Act's Facebook Page

A Small Act's Twitter Page

Be sure to check out Telegraph21.com for illuminating Q&A interviews with each of the documentary directors!

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