How would you live your life if you didn’t have a home? These documentaries explore various homeless populations and examine the challenges they face in everyday life.
“Dark Days” (2000)
For years, a homeless community took root in a train tunnel beneath New York City, braving dangerous conditions and perpetual night. “Dark Days” explores the surprisingly domestic subterranean world, unearthing a way of life unimaginable to those above. Continue reading “On the Street: Docs About Homelessness”
Most documentary filmmakers who want to tell a story about an individual try to gather footage of their subject. But what if you don’t have access to the person, or you want to take a different storytelling approach by not showing the individual? Whether by choice or not, documentary filmmakers who barely have their subjects appear on film offer a unique kind of documentary experience that tries to reveal more about a subject by their absence rather than their presence.
“Herman’s House” (2013)
The injustice of solitary confinement and the transformative power of art are explored in “Herman’s House,” a feature documentary that follows the story of one of America’s most famous inmates, Herman Wallace, as he collaborates with a New York artist on a unique project. Continue reading “Presence of Absence: Docs With Subjects Who Barely Appear on Film”
The album and documentary Buena Vista Social Club was released to much praise in the late 1990s, piquing America’s interest in Cuban music. The band released a live album in 2008 and a collection of previously unreleased tracks earlier this year, reigniting interest in the island to the south. If you’re craving the sound of Old Havana and the beat of the clave, check out these documentaries that explore Cuban music.
“Roots of Rhythm” (1989)
Cuban music plays heavily into this three-part historical survey of the African musical roots of Latin music. Harry Belafonte takes you to Africa’s steamy jungles, Cuba’s wild carnivals and the packed dance floors of New York’s hottest nightspots for an exhilarating musical odyssey. Continue reading “Rhythm is Key: Docs About Cuban Music”
Buses can be versatile tools of transportation. They can be used for a daily commute, to guide a tour or as a way to travel cross country. Check out these docs that explore some unique stories that have unfolded on various kinds of buses.
“The Cruise” (1998)
Take an unforgettable bus ride through the concrete canyons of Manhattan with “Speed” Levitch as your tour guide. This acclaimed doc launched the career of Levitch, who has worked on several films with noted director Richard Linklater and given tours during the True/False Film Fest. Continue reading “Going Round & Round: Docs About Buses”
Who are we? Where did we come from? How should we live? Check out these docs that might get you thinking about these big questions.
“Nostalgia for the Light” (2011)
Director Patricio Guzman travels to the driest place on earth, Chile’s Atacama Desert, where astronomers examine distant galaxies, archaeologists uncover traces of ancient civilizations, and women dig for the remains of disappeared relatives. Continue reading “Deep Thoughts: Docs That Make You Think”