Nine films usher in the 9th Annual Homer International Documentary Film Festival at the historic Homer Theatre, the longest running movie house in Alaska.
This year’s festival will mark the second year of Digital Film in Homer with PINA: 3-D, a dancing spectacle which has won Best Documentary at various European Film Festivals.
The Gala opening Thursday will feature Marley, the story of the reggae legend Bob Marley featuring never-before-seen historical footage and inspiring music. Audiences across the nation have been raving about this soul-moving documentary. Following the film, there will be a live reggae concert by a local, six-piece band, Uplift.
Mac Sutton, son of Homer Theatre owner Jamie Sutton, said when the films are screened, they keep Homer audiences in mind for its interest in art, music and social commentary. The eventual winner of the Academy Awards for Best Documentary has been presented at each of the previous Homer festivals. Each of these films won Sundance, Tribeca, Berlin Film Festival and or other awards.
This year, the line-up includes:
Marley: Bob Marley’s universal appeal, impact on music history, and role as a social and political prophet is both unique and unparalleled. The definitive life story of the musician, revolutionary, legend, and the man, from his early days to his rise to international superstardom.
Bully: This is an emotional documentary about the cruelty some children inflict on those they perceive to be weak. It follows five kids and families over the course of a school year, and it also reveals the tragic ineptitude of an adult establishment that insists on defining peer torment as ‘horseplay’.
Ai WeiWei: Never Sorry: China’s most renowned contemporary artist, Ai WeiWei is also its most outspoken critic. He has waged an uncompromising battle against authoritarian government censorship, incompetence and corruption, using imagination, skill, humor and his remarkable art.
PINA: 3-D: “An utterly transfixing, exhilarating spectacle of bodies in motion.” This is a tribute to German dancer/artist, Pina Bausch, who drew from humanity’s deepest physical and emotional reserves. “Took the audience on a sensual, visually stunning journey of discovery; And in 3-D!!” Rolling Stone Year’s Best Documentary: Chicago and London Critics, and European Film Awards
Waiting Room: This gets into the heart of America’s Health Care debate; 24 Hours and 247 Patients in the emergency waiting room of their hospital of last resort, Oakland’s Highland Hospital. This film offers a raw, intimate, and even uplifting look at how trauma patients, the indigent, the un-insured, and their doctors and caregivers each cope with disease, bureaucracy and hard choices in America today.
Queen of Versailles: “Oddly spellbinding and a presumptive Oscar nominee.” When the recession halts the construction of their 90,000-square-foot McMansion, timeshare magnate David Siegel and his wife Jackie are left reeling by the vagaries of living beyond their means and the cost of living an unexamined life. Vacuous yet curiously appealing, “I also find them fascinating and just slightly lovable,” Roger Ebert said.
Samsara: “Stunning and visually breathtaking; Enlightening and life-changing. Prepare yourself for an unparalleled sensory experience.” IndieWire Filmed over a period of five years in twenty-five countries on five continents, Samsara (Sanskrit for “the ever turning wheel of life”) captures the human experience and transports us around the globe. “Planetary poetry, woven into a Movie.” NY Times
Samsara: Samsara means “the ever-turning wheel of life” in Sanscrit. Filmed over a five-year period in 25 countries on five continents, Samsara is described as “planetary poetry woven into a movie” as it captures the human experience around the globe.
Jiro Dreams of Sushi: This is the true story of 85 year-old Jiro Ono, who is still striving for perfection. Considered by aficionados “the world’s greatest sushi chef”, he owns a 10-seat restaurant located in a Tokyo subway station. The world’s only Sushi restaurant to be awarded three Michelin Stars, Ono has been declared a “national treasure.”
The House I Live In: This movie is called daring enough to question the costly crackdown of America’s war on drugs. In the past 40 years, that war has accounted for 45 million arrests, made America the world’s largest jailer, and destroyed impoverished communities at home and abroad.
Festival discount passes are priced at $50 for adults and $40 for seniors/children/military/peace corps. Regular ticket prices are $8 adults and $6 seniors/children/military/peace corps.
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