Section: Documentary Panorama

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TRY HARDER!

At Lowell High School, the top-ranked public high school in San Francisco, the seniors are stressed out. As they prepare for the emotionally draining college application process, students are keenly aware of the intense competition for the few open spots in their dream colleges. They scrutinize how every element of their application, from their classes …

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WRITING WITH FIRE

In the midst of a crowded, patriarchal news landscape, the reporters with Khabar Lahariya – India’s only all-female news network – are taking it upon themselves to cover their country’s inequities with unflinching and intrepid determination. Armed only with their smartphones, these fearless journalists roam the state of Uttar Pradesh, exposing the country’s extremist Hindu …

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THE FIRST STEP

In the face of Donald Trump’s 2016 election, CNN commentator Van Jones, devastated by the outcome, decides that, rather than “resist, resist, resist,” he will instead engage directly with the new administration. Jones, a longtime advocate for prison reform, sees an unlikely opportunity to forge an unholy relationship with Jared Kushner, who has expressed support …

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THE RETURN: LIFE AFTER ISIS

During the height of ISIS reign in Syria and Iraq, thousands of people from around the world were recruited to go to Syria and join the cause. Much of this recruitment happened online with promises of a life with a higher purpose and dreams of a religious paradise. Many of those recruited were young, impressionable, …

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ROCK BOTTOM RISER

Hawai‘i’s swirling, roiling flow of volcanic lava provides the anchor for this energetic, visually and sonically bold cinematic essay by experimental filmmaker Fern Silva. Filled with astounding telescopic imagery and engaging digressions into philosophically related phenomena, ROCK BOTTOM RISER breaks temporal and generic boundaries, touching upon everything from astronomy to geology to ethnography, from the …

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STORM LAKE

Twice a week for over thirty years, The Storm Lake Times publishes a paper featuring local news and unapologetically honest editorials on a shoestring budget for an audience of just 3,000 readers. Led by its Pulitzer-prize winning editor-in-chief Art Cullen, his brother and publisher John, and a scrappy crew of journalists who are faithful and …

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THE TAKING

Following his acclaimed documentaries on PSYCHO (78/52), ALIEN (MEMORY: THE ORIGINS OF ALIEN) and THE EXORCIST (LEAP OF FAITH), Alexandre O. Philippe has become the go-to film essayist of iconic Hollywood cinematic benchmarks. In THE TAKING, he turns to Monument Valley for his latest inspiration. The majestic vista of Monument Valley has long proved a …

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MISSION: JOY

Directed by Academy Award-winning director Louie Psihoyos, MISSION: JOY reflects on the lives of two beloved spiritual leaders: the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. In their own words, they generously share the tales of their childhood, the genesis of their happiness, and the activism that was the result of it. In this endearing documentary …

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