Sheffield Doc Fest Exclusive Review: The Kiosk (Le Kiosque)

In the world of the Kiosk, everything is within a 2-metre distance. It’s a small, cramped and confined world, certainly not one for those suffering from claustrophobia. We find ourselves in the world of the Kiosk, seeing it through the eyes of the young French filmmaker Alexandra Pianelli. The Kiosk has been in her family for four generations now, and we can see the history of this world around us. In the coin trays, we can see how the wood has been worn down after years of fingers rummaging around for the right change, “the fossils of our fingers” is the way that the director describes it to us. Previously Alexandra’s mother was the sole inhabitant of this world, but now Alexandra is experiencing it and we are with her every step of the way. Continue reading Sheffield Doc Fest Exclusive Review: The Kiosk (Le Kiosque)

Sheffield Doc Fest Exclusive Review: Judy Versus Capitalism

Just who is Judy Rebick? Well, it’s a complicated question to ask. Judy is a proud second-wave feminist from Canada, and has been an activist for women’s rights for over five decades. She’s the woman who saved abortionist Dr. Henry Morgentaler from being stabbed. She’s from a Jewish family but she’s a campaigner to free Palenstine. She’s the survivor of abuse, an eating disorder, and other mental health issues. And, she fights against the corruption of Capitalism. However, she’s fighting against so much more and she’s been fighting all her life. Judy is a lot of things, but mostly she’s just herself. Continue reading Sheffield Doc Fest Exclusive Review: Judy Versus Capitalism

Sheffield Doc Fest Exclusive Review: Mother-Child (Niña mamá)

Shot in black and white, “Mother-Child” is beautifully stark and honest. There are no fancy, dramatic camera angles. Instead, cinematographer Gustavo Schiaffino, makes the decisions to shoot in simple mid-shots and the rare close-up, but there’s so much power and intense beauty in these shots. Our focus should solely be on these mothers and their children. Continue reading Sheffield Doc Fest Exclusive Review: Mother-Child (Niña mamá)

AFI Documentary Film Festival, Review- 9to5: The Story of A Movement

The phrase “9 to 5” spurs thoughts of a catchy Dolly Parton song from the wry 1980 comedy where Parton, Lily Tomlin, and Jane Fonda played secretaries wanting revenge against their sexist boss.

But that film actually took its inspiration from the real shoe-leather efforts of female office workers in the 1970s who took to the streets to demand better pay, benefits, and respect on the job. The documentary “9to5: The Story of A Movement,” part of the 2020 AFI DOCS Film Festival, includes Fonda’s admiration for these women and puts these organizers front and center. Continue reading AFI Documentary Film Festival, Review- 9to5: The Story of A Movement

Review: Disclosure

“Disclosure” is a vital, near-perfect documentary on transgender representation in film and television that is one of the most singularly cathartic viewing experiences that I as a trans person have ever experienced. Sam Feder, along with every interviewee and participant in this production (including Laverne Cox, Chaz Bono and Angelica Ross) discuss trans issues with maturity and without feeling the need to spoon-feed the basics to cis audiences. This is a film that assuages all my fears that I ask too much of the world by wanting more media made BY trans people FOR trans people. Continue reading Review: Disclosure

Review: Madagasikara

Although Madagascar, the fourth largest island in the world that resides just off the southern coast of Africa, is generally regarded by most as the home of lemurs, strong biodiversity, and being the name of one of DreamWorks’ most iconic animated franchises, director Cam Cordon’s new documentary, “Madagasikara”, fleshes out a darker truth about the political and social turmoil that’s not being seen in the country. Continue reading Review: Madagasikara

Sheffield Doc Fest Exclusive Review: Your Mothers Comfort (Aconchego da tua Mãe)

On the wall of a LGBTQ+ safe house called Nem House located in Rio De Janeiro are the following words: I am a Feminist Whore. This could well be the motto for the transgender political activist, Indianara Siqueira, who we follow in this documentary from filmmaker Adam Golub. Of course, Indianara is so much more than just a “feminist whore”, throughout the documentary we see countless transgendered and queer indviduals come up to her and say how much of an inspiration for her. Continue reading Sheffield Doc Fest Exclusive Review: Your Mothers Comfort (Aconchego da tua Mãe)

Review: Jack and Yaya

If this first sentence is the only part that you read of this review, please know and understand this: the world needs more stories like “Jack & Yaya”. I immediately fell in love with these people, their families, and their mid-Atlantic accents. The only issue I had with this documentary was having to watch them boil their blue crabs—pure madness! As a native Marylander, the only way to cook and eat crabs is steamed and covered in Old Bay. Nonetheless, Jack and Yaya exude pure charm and share unwavering realness in their stories, it is completely captivating. Continue reading Review: Jack and Yaya

Review: You Don’t Nomi

It would take a brave individual to take on the task of deconstructing “Showgirls” and examining whether it’s a masterpiece or just plain shit. That brave soul is director, Jeffrey McHale with the fascinating, captivating and absorbing documentary “You Don’t Nomi” (a nice pun as “Showgirls” main character is called Nomi). This is McHale’s first feature film, and frankly it’s brilliant! It doesn’t offer up a definite conclusion of whether or not “Showgirls” is a masterpiece on the scale of something like “Citizen Kane” nor is it simply a hit piece. Continue reading Review: You Don’t Nomi

Review: Love & Stuff

Becoming a new mother is a difficult and challenging task at the best times. Ask any new mother for their honest and frank response about whether or not it’s hard work, and they are bound to reply with a simple YES. Filmmaker Judith Helfand’s venture into motherhood goes beyond the realms of the ordinary challenges that new Mom’s face. At the age of 50, Judith became a single mother to a newborn daughter she adopted. Judith’s world had already been turned upside down, just a few short months prior to the arrival of her new baby, Theodora. Continue reading Review: Love & Stuff