OFFICIAL SELECTION 2023
Documentary Feature Films
Streaming from January 27 to February 10, 2023 on Whush.com.
Dying For Gold (South Africa) by Catherine Meyburgh, Richard Pakleppa
Synopsis: South Africa’s wealth and white privilege has been funded by large scale maiming and killing of people by the gold mining industry. Today, gold miner communities across Southern Africa have nothing to show for the wealth they produced except extreme rural underdevelopment and the world’s worst epidemic of TB and silicosis. Through testimonies from communities in mining families throughout Southern Africa and extensive use of contrasting archive materials 'Dying for Gold' tells the story of how we have arrived at this extraordinary situation. 'Dying for Gold' brings to the surface the real cost of South African gold. Running time: 01:38:42.
Liberation Drills (Puerto Rico) by Juan C. Dávila Santiago
Synopsis: After experiencing a ten-year economic crisis, and facing the perils of climate change, the Puerto Rican youth does not trust the State anymore. They take to the streets to demand accountability from the government, and organize autonomous community centers to ensure their survival as People of Puerto Rico. In this epic documentary directed by Juan C. Dávila Santiago, young Puerto Ricans craft their path to liberation, as we see the faces of survival and resistance. The documentary film has an unique point of view from inside Puerto Rican social movements. The director captures a series of major historical events as they unfolded right at the frontlines, including: the protests against an US appointed Control Board, the aftermath of hurricane María, and the notorious Summer of 2019. Running time: 02:00:30.
Water Lily Split (France) by Grégoire Perrier
Synopsis: A water hole, memories bursting on its surface. Basile, hands in the mud, recalls his childhood; between a century-old forest and sunshine highway; his little sister Hortense’s colourful reveries; the insular silences of the mother gardening under the glasshouse; water lilies and angry love. Running time: 01:10:00.
The Sun Rises in The East (USA) by Tayo Giwa
Synopsis: 'The Sun Rises in The East' chronicles the birth, rise and legacy of The East, a pan-African cultural organization founded in 1969 by teens and young adults in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. Led by educator and activist Jitu Weusi, The East embodied Black self-determination, building more than a dozen institutions, including its own African-centered school, food co-op, newsmagazine, publisher, record label, restaurant, clothing shop and bookstore. The organization hosted world-famous jazz musicians and poets at its highly sought-after performance venue, and it served as an epicenter for political contemporaries such as the Black Panther Party, the Young Lords and the Congress of Afrikan People, as well as comrades across Africa and the Caribbean. In effect, The East built an independent Black nation in the heart of Central Brooklyn. 'The Sun Rises in The East' is the first feature-length documentary to explore this inspiring story. The film also examines challenges that led to the organization’s eventual dissolution, including its gender politics, financial struggles and government surveillance. Featuring interviews with leaders of The East, historians and people who grew up in the organization as children, 'The Sun Rises in The East' delivers an exhilarating and compelling vision, showing just how much is possible. Running time: 00:58:00.
Beloved (Iran) by Yaser Talebi
Synopsis: Eighty-two-year-old Firouzeh is not afraid of hard work. From dawn to dusk, the fiercely independent herder takes care of her beloved cows in the mountains of Northern Iran, without any access to electricity, gas or phone. Married at a young age to an older man, she's long been a widow, and none of her 11 children ever come to visit. But she enjoys her solitary life in harmony with nature, and won't hear the well-meaning advice from nearby villagers that it's maybe time to retire. No matter the difficulties, this indomitable woman will always choose her hard-won freedom over comfort among people. Running time: 00:54:00.
Ahmad (Iran) by Azam Moradi
Synopsis: Ahmed Arjamandi is an artist who says that his body does not obey his brain. To enter the world of art and stay in it, he has to work harder than healthy people. Ahmed falls in love on the way to achieving his artistic dreams. Running time: 00:51:00.