Wish I were in Rio de Janeiro or Sao Paulo! For the 8th time Amir Labaki (it started yesterday) launches his documentary film festival with the provoking Orson Welles inspired name “It’s All True”. I was there years ago as a juror and it is such a pleasure to see – on the site – that the festival is still high-quality with a strong international focus, and at the same time, if you go there, you will see films from Latin America that never reaches Europe.
As you may read this far away from Brazil, go to the website and watch clips from the programme. It starts with the face of Anna Politkovskaya, very moving and right choice to have her first.
There are a lot of sections represented this year – apart from the competition programmes, there are “the state of things”, “horizon”, “10 films that changed the world” (selection by critic Mark Cousins), and a lot more to enjoy.
And a bit food for thought taken from the intro to a seminar to be held during the festival:
“The recent acclaim that the engaged documentary school has received – whose most prominent global symbol is the work of Michael Moore – poses a collateral risk for the documentary genre. Non-fictional cinema might be captured through the lenses of this purely instrumental account to the detriment of one of its richest contemporary resources, namely, the autonomization of documentary film as a free authorial discourse.
John Grierson’s model had many lessons in store, while engaged documentary launches campaigns. Both are filmmaking with a cause. The former preaches from the pulpit, the latter from a dais. But contemporary documentary making is not standing at the forefront of artistic experimentation thanks to signature films. Quite the contrary”.