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A shorter day at documentary bootcamp yesterday; I only caught the beginning of the evening session, as I wanted to get home and relax a bit. The films are amazing, but the pace is intense, and I needed a bit more downtime.

Anyhow, yesterday’s bill of fare, as far as I made it:

Monday, June 13, 9.00 am

Ssitkim – Talking to the Dead (dir. Soon-Mi Yoo, 2004, 36 min)

Exhumations and Inhumations in Guatemala (dir. Emiliana Aguilar, 2001, 16 min)

Chile, Obstinate Memory (dir. Patricio Guzman, 1997, 35 min)

Monday, June 13, 2.00 pm

Suite for Freedom (dirs. Caroline Leaf, Luc Perez, and Aleksandro Korejwo, 2005, 15 min)

Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport (dir. Mark Jonathan Harris, 2000, 122 min)

If there’s anything to be said of yesterday — a very weepy day in the theater — it’s that I think we’ve turned a corner, from unrelieved death and destruction, through exhuming the dead, to tales of escape and survival. (Suite for Freedom is a project of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.) I’m thinking — or maybe hoping — that we must be on an upswing. Last night’s crowd at the evening screening was much rowdier than they had been previously, which I attribute to the catharsis produced by the Kindertransport film, a far more traditional, mainstream, big-budget documentary than anything else we’ve seen. So I’m heading into today in a guardedly optimistic fashion, looking forward to seeing what’s next.

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