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.