Over the years we have had some extraordinary films to show our festival-goers, however the conditions have been less than ideal. This year we will turn a new leaf. We are creating a special space inside the Atrium of Boston City Hall where cinema-goers will be able to appreciate our films in full detail!
Here are the films for 2016:
in City Hall Atrium
|FRI 8/19||SAT 8/20||SUN 8/21|
|12:00-2:00 PM||Earth Days||Powaqqatsi||How to Let Go of the World...|
|2:00-4:00 PM||Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead||Waste Land||Yuyaypaq Apu Q'eshwachaka|
|4:00-6:00 PM||Polyfaces||Chasing Ice||Kombit|
Polyfaces (2015) Directed and produced by Lisa Heenan and Darren Doherty of Australia.
This award-winning documentary, Polyfaces, was made by one Australian family who spent their life savings and traveled to the USA, spending 4 years documenting a style of farming that will help change the fate of humanity!
Set amidst the stunning Shenandoah Valley in northern Virginia, 'Polyface Farm' is led by the "the world's most innovative farmer" (TIME) who uses no chemicals. He feeds over 6,000 families, many restaurants and food outlets within a 3 hour 'foodshed' at their farm.
Polyfaces is a joyful film about connecting to the land and the community. Following the Salatins, a 4th generation farming family who do "everything different from everyone else," the film shows how they produce food in a way that works with nature, not against it. It also shows us that we can regenerate our landscapes, communities, local economies, our health and most importantly, our SOILS. We can do this at the same time as producing quality, nutrient dense food, and keeping families on farms. This film hopes to inspire and support a whole new generation of farmers.
Yuyaypaq Apu Q'eshwachaka (2016) Directed and produced by Josè Huaman Turpo of Peru
High in the Andes of Peru, filmmaker Josè Huaman Turpo captures the cultural-social engagement of his people as they work with nature to establish a common good, a bridge. The bridge, "Yuyaypaq" of Q'eshwachaka honors the divinity, "Apu." This is an amazing look at how a group of people consider their needs within the context of their environment. There are many lessons for us to learn that Josè Huaman Turpo sheds light on. He will join us again this year. Come meet Josè and talk with him about his experience making this movie.
Kombit (2016) Directed and produced by Gabriel London and Charlie Sadoff.
KOMBIT: The Cooperative is a documentary film chronicling a five-year project to reforest Haiti in partnership with the Smallholder Farmers Alliance (SFA), a Haitian nonprofit farmer cooperative dedicated to reforesting the country.
Haiti's biological diversity was one of the richest in the Caribbean and its mountainous topography included lush forests, beaches and arid deserts. Today, with less than two percent tree cover, the country is threatened by severe deforestation and desertification caused by natural disasters, overuse of land by farmers and livestock and harvesting of trees to sell as charcoal.
With the impetus of global outdoor lifestyle brand - Timberland - it was possible to find a way to "provide small-scale farmers in Haiti with the three things they needed most: tools, better quality seed and specialized training to improve their agricultural practices," said Hugh Locke, cofounder of the Smallholder Farmers Alliance. "Doing so resulted in much more than the planting of five million trees - it has created real environmental, social and economic impact for farmers, prompting the creation of new farmer-run small businesses, including agricultural supply stores, marketing operations and now, what has become an export model for the moringa plant - a new 'superfood.'"
Waste Land (2010) Directed by Lucy Walker of England.
Filmed over nearly three years, WASTE LAND follows renowned artist Vik Muniz as he journeys from his home base in Brooklyn to his native Brazil and the world's largest garbage dump, Jardim Gramacho, located on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro. There he photographs an eclectic band of "catadores" - self-designated pickers of recyclable materials. Muniz's initial objective was to "paint" the catadores with garbage. However, his collaboration with these inspiring characters as they recreate photographic images of themselves out of garbage reveals both the dignity and despair of the catadores as they begin to re-imagine their lives. Director Lucy Walker (DEVIL'S PLAYGROUND, BLINDSIGHT and COUNTDOWN TO ZERO) and co-directors Joao Jardim and Karen Harley have great access to the entire process and, in the end, offer stirring evidence of the transformative power of art and the alchemy of the human spirit.
Powaqqatsi (1987) Directed by Godfrey Reggio with music by Philip Glass, both of the United States.
Po.waq.qa.tsi (from the Hopi language, powaq sorcerer + qatsi life) n., an entity; a way of life, that consumes the life forces of other beings in order to further its own life.
Powaqqatsi is about contrasting ways of life, and in part how the lure of mechanization and technology and the growth of mega-cities are having a negative effect on small-scale cultures. Overall its focus is on natives of the Third World - the emerging, land-based cultures of Asia, India, Africa, the Middle East and South America - and how they express themselves through work and traditions.
Powaqqatsi is a record of diversity and transformation, of cultures dying and prospering, of industry for its own sake and the fruits of individual labor, presented as an integrated human symphony - and with Philip Glass' score providing the counterpart, performed with native, classical and electronic instruments, its tribal rhythms are fused by a single majesterial theme.
How to Let Go of the World and Love All the Things Climate Can't Change) (2016) Directed by Josh Fox, United States.
In How to Let Go of the World and Love All The Things Climate Can't Change, Oscar Nominated director Josh Fox (GASLAND) continues in his deeply personal style, investigating climate change - the greatest threat our world has ever known. Traveling to 12 countries on 6 continents, the film acknowledges that it may be too late to stop some of the worst consequences and asks, what is it that climate change can't destroy? What is so deep within us that no calamity can take it away?
Earth Days (2009) Directed by Robert Stone, United States.
Visually stunning, vastly entertaining and awe-inspiring, Earth Days looks back to the dawn and development of the modern environmental movement - from its post-war rustlings in the 1950s and the 1962 publication of Rachel Carson's incendiary bestseller Silent Spring, to the first wildly successful 1970 Earth Day celebration and the subsequent firestorm of political action. Earth Day' secret weapon is a one-two punch of personal testimony and rare archival media. The extraordinary stories of the era's pioneers - among them Former Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall; biologist/Population Bomb author Paul Ehrlich; Whole Earth Catalog founder Stewart Brand; Apollo Nine astronaut Rusty Schweickart; and renewable energy pioneer Hunter Lovins - are beautifully illustrated with an incredible array of footage from candy-colored Eisenhower-era tableaux to classic tear-jerking 1970s anti-litterbug PSAs. Earth Days is both a poetic meditation on humanity's complex relationship with nature and an engaging history of the revolutionary achievements - and missed opportunities of groundbreaking eco-activism.
Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead (2010). Directed and produced by Joe Cross.
From Australia, filmmaker Joe Cross created the documentary Fat, Sick And Nearly Dead in which he tells the story of how he lost almost 100 pounds and healed his autoimmune disease by following a 60-day juice fast. He has discovered that consuming vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans and seeds can have a radically positive effect on one's health and wellbeing. The typical American plate is only 5% fruit and veggies. His goal is to encourage people to move the dial and increase their consumption of vegetables and fruits.
Joe says, "Juicing is a great way to supercharge your body with the incredible nutrients found in whole plant foods - and the volume you're able to take in when juicing is far more than you would be able to eat. So it's a great way to move that dial, and as that happens, your body starts to return to its natural healthy state."
The movie is an extraordinary voyage of one man's search for healing and in the process he has brought many more with him. It is worth taking a moment out to watch this film.
Chasing Ice (2014) Directed by Jeff Orlowski, United States.
In the spring of 2005, acclaimed environmental photographer James Balog headed to the Arctic on a tricky assignment for National Geographic: to capture images to help tell the story of the Earth's changing climate. Even with a scientific upbringing, Balog had been a skeptic about climate change. But that first trip north opened his eyes to the biggest story in human history and sparked a challenge within him that would put his career and his very well-being at risk. Chasing Ice is the story of one man's mission to change the tide of history by gathering undeniable evidence of our changing planet. Within months of that first trip to Iceland, the photographer conceived the boldest expedition of his life: The Extreme Ice Survey. With a band of young adventurers in tow, Balog began deploying revolutionary time-lapse cameras across the brutal Arctic to capture a multi-year record of the world's changing glaciers. As the debate polarizes America and the intensity of natural disasters ramps up globally, Balog finds himself at the end of his tether. Battling untested technology in subzero conditions, he comes face to face with his own mortality. It takes years for Balog to see the fruits of his labor. His hauntingly beautiful videos compress years into seconds and capture ancient mountains of ice in motion as they disappear at a breathtaking rate. Chasing Ice depicts a photographer trying to deliver evidence and hope to our carbon-powered planet.