Written by: FFT Webmaster | January 18th, 2012
Those in the know can attest that the program of documentaries at the Sundance Film Festival tends to be generally more consistent in quality than the narrative films. Perhaps it is the ability of documentaries to hook you into their stories with more pounding realism or the distraction from the use of actors (some of whom are quite fresh and whose inexperience shows), but non fiction films are among the highlights of the event. This year, most of the documentaries are participating in the US or World Cinema competition sections, but the Festival has carved out a niche of Documentary Premieres from more established documentarians whose new works will certainly be topics of debate and discourse both at the Festival and in the months ahead. The following is a list of the films in the Documentary Premieres section, all world premieres, with descriptions provided by the Festival. For more information, visit: www.sundance.org/festival
ABOUT FACE (USA, Timothy Greenfield-Sanders)
An exploration of beauty and aging through the stories of the original supermodels. Participants including Isabella Rossellini, Christie Brinkley, Beverly Johnson, Carmen Dell’Orefice, Paulina Porizkova, Jerry Hall and Christy Turlington weigh in on the fashion industry and how they reassess and redefine their own sense of beauty as their careers progress.
BONES BRIGADE: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY (USA, Stacy Peralta)
When six teenage boys came together as a skateboarding team in the 1980s, they reinvented not only their chosen sport but themselves too – as they evolved from insecure outsiders to the most influential athletes in the field.
THE D WORD: UNDERSTANDING DYSLEXIA (USA, James Redford)
While following a Dyslexic high school senior struggling to achieve his dream of getting into a competitive college, The D Word exposes myths about Dyslexia and reveals cutting edge research to elucidate this widely misunderstood condition.
ETHEL (USA, Rory Kennedy)
This intimate, surprising portrait of Ethel Kennedy provides an insider’s view of a political dynasty, including Ethel’s life with Robert F. Kennedy and the years following his death when she raised their eleven children on her own.
A FIERCE GREEN FIRE (USA, Mark Kitchell)
A definitive history of one of the most important movements of the 20th century, this topical film chronicles the environmental movement’s fascinating evolution from the 1960s to the present.
SOMETHING FROM NOTHING: THE ART OF RAP (UK, Ice-T & Andy Baybutt)
Through conversations with Rap’s most influential artists – among them Chuck D, Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Eminem, MC Lyte, Mos Def, and Kanye West – rapper/actor Ice-T explores the roots and history of Rap and reveals the creative process behind this now dominant art form.
UNDER AFRICAN SKIES (USA, Joe Berlinger)
World music pioneer Paul Simon returns to South Africa to explore the incredible journey of his historic Graceland album, including the political backlash he sparked for allegedly breaking the UN cultural boycott of South Africa, designed to end Apartheid.
WEST OF MEMPHIS (USA, Amy Berg)
Three teenage boys are incarcerated for the murders of three 8-year-old boys in West Memphis, Arkansas. 19 years later, new evidence calls into question the convictions and raises issues of judicial, prosecutorial and jury misconduct – showing that the first casualty of a corrupt justice system is the truth.