April – May 2014
“The movie is as insanely entertaining as a Mad Hatter’s tea party”. – Gerald Peary, Arts Fuse
“Fascinating and horrifying”. – Michael Sragow, OC Register
In THE UNKNOWN KNOWN, Academy Award-winning director Errol Morris (THE FOG OF WAR) offers a mesmerizing portrait of Donald Rumsfeld, one of the key architects of the Iraq War, and a larger-than-life character who provoked equal levels of fury and adulation from the American public. Rather than conducting a conventional interview, Morris has Rumsfeld perform and expound on his “snowflakes,” tens of thousands of memos (many never previously published) he composed as a congressman and as an advisor to four different presidents, twice as Secretary of Defense. These memos provide a window onto history—not history as it actually happened, but history as Rumsfeld wants us to see it. Morris makes plain that Rumsfeld’s “snowflakes”—whether intended to elucidate, rationalize, obfuscate, or control history—are contradicted by the facts. THE UNKNOWN KNOWN is an illumination of the mystery of Donald Rumsfeld, an unknown known.
Directed by Errol Morris. With Donald Rumsfeld, Errol Morris. 2013. US. Digital. 103 mins. MPAA Rating: PG-13
The Synesthesia Film Festival is a once a month showing of the coolest short films from around the world, sponsored by the The Film Clubs. The goal is to bring an eclectic mix of filmmakers together to mingle, share ideas, and collaborate on projects. The festival happens the first Thursday of every month from 7-9 PM. Tickets are $7. Following the screening will be an after party down the street where we will announce the Winners of the Audience Choice Award.
To learn more go to www.
Director Jeremy Ambers in person for Q&A after the screening.
On March 5th, 2013, San Francisco’s skyline was transformed by an amazing sight: 25,000 LED lights that, for perhaps the first time save the 1989 earthquake, caused people to consider the Bay Bridge instead of her iconic sister.
How did this happen? Who was behind the eight-million-dollar installation? How in the world did they pull it off?
The story behind the making of THE BAY LIGHTS—a project whose very “impossibility made it possible”—answers these questions, revealing the drama and the daring of artist Leo Villareal and a small team of visionaries who battle seemingly impossible challenges to turn a dream of creating the world’s largest LED light sculpture into a glimmering reality.
Directed by Jeremy Ambers. With Timothy Childs, Amy Critchett, Ben Davis. 2014. US. Digital. 71 mins. MPAA Rating: NR
Kevin Spacey, Sam Mendes and the Bridge Project Company go on the road in NOW:IN THE WINGS ON A WORLD STAGE. In over 200 performances, and across 3 continents, Kevin and the troupe reveal some of the most intimate moments behind the scenes of their staging of Shakespeare’s classic tragedy, “Richard III.” Their story and experiences weave around, and reflect on, excerpts from the play from their various locations, from Epidaurus to Doha, and provides a great opportunity for those who have never experienced Spacey on stage to witness his immersive and captivating interpretation of Richard III. NOW chronicles the first collaboration between Spacey and Mendes since their work on American Beauty. Directed by Jeremy Whelehan. 93 mins. 2014. Digital.
Spacey: “NOW is a close, backstage look at the total experience of being an actor and what it takes to form a company – from rehearsing every day and beginning to create a role with your director, crew and fellow actors to going on tour and spending a year together on the road in many different cultures and countries.”
“…a film that needs to be seen, and now.” – Huffington Post
A survivor of the Rwandan Genocide struggles to forgive the man who killed her children. A victim’s daughter strikes up an unusual friendship with the ex-IRA bomber who killed her father. And two men—one Israeli, one Palestinian—form a bond after tragedies claim their daughters. Watch survivors share their stories of resilience and recovery in their own words.
Co-directed by Lekha Singh and Roger Spotiswoode. Digital. 2012. 80 mins. NR
The film will be followed by a Q&A with Global Impact Producer ERIN GRIFFIN.
All views from this screening will benefit Cinema for Peace. Cinema for Peace aims to influence the perception and resolution of the challenges of our time through film.
When you attend a screening of Beyond Right & Wrong your view releases money from FilmRaise donors to charities like Cinema for Peace. Go to filmraise.com to learn more.
“Breeders is a fascinating film that highlights the many tensions between women’s status, the free market demands of the fertility industry, and the fragmentation of women’s fertility and reproductive labor. This is a must-see film for all those who care about women and human rights.”
— Hedva Eyal, Medical Technologies Policy Researcher and feminist activist
Surrogacy is fast becoming one of the major issues of the 21st century—celebrities and everyday people are increasingly using surrogates to build their families. But the practice is fraught with complex implications for women, children, and families. What is the impact on the women who serve as surrogates and on the children who are born from surrogacy? In what ways might money complicate things? What about altruistic surrogacy done for a family member or close friend? Is surrogacy a beautiful, loving act or does it simply degrade pregnancy to a service and a baby to a product? Can we find a middle ground? Should we even look for one? Directed by Jennifer Lahl and Matthew Eppinette. 2014.
The screening will be followed by a Q&A with director JENNIFER LAHL, President of The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network.
“At its heart, DOCUMENTED asks what it means to be American. The film succeeds because it moves well beyond an abstract debate about the very timely subject. It lets us get to know a living person caught in the middle of it.” – Mark Collins, Daily Camera
“A moving and intimate work…” – Matt Brennan, IndieWIRE
In 2011, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas outed himself as an undocumented immigrant in the New York Times Magazine. DOCUMENTED chronicles his journey to America from the Philippines as a child; his journey through America as an immigration reform activist/provocateur; and his journey inward as he re-connects with his mother, whom he hasn’t seen in 20 years. Written and directed by Jose Antonio Vargas. Digital. 2013, 89 mins..
“To me, politics is culture. I became a journalist, and later, a filmmaker, to get to know my adoptive country and my volatile place in it as a gay, undocumented, Filipino American. As a newcomer to America who learned to “speak American” by watching movies, I firmly believe that to change the politics of immigration and citizenship, we must change culture—the way we portray undocumented people like me and our role in society. That’s why I felt compelled to take charge of my own narrative and write, produce, and direct DOCUMENTED. This film, to me, is as much an artistic statement as it is a political one: I am not the “illegal” you think I am, and immigration is not what you think it is.” – Jose Antonio Vargas
Thursday, May 29, 7pm
Post-screening discussion with lactation consultant Tracy Massillon, moderated by doula Susan Arthur
BREASTMILK, the new documentary by first-time filmmaker Dana Ben-Ari, is an unflinchingly provocative, humorous, informative and inspirational exploration of just how, when and why the next generation gets fed. The film dives into the fray of what really happens among new parents – those who want to breastfeed, those who can’t breastfeed and a whole culture caught up in the heady mix of stress, bliss and judgment that have made breastfeeding choices a matter of polarizing social debate.
BREASTMILK uncovers all the most surprising and concealed aspects of what it means to have milk: from hooter hiders to work-place pumping, from career moms to gay parents, from wet nurses to sex practices, from freaked-out fathers and impassioned “lactivists” to the moms who halt breastfeeding before their infant is 6 months old. The result is an illuminating portrait of an everyday human subject rarely shown on film. Aiming beyond simplistic debates over what is natural or normal, BREASTMILK scopes out new territory. For the film is not only a revealing inquiry into our modern approach to one of the body’s most remarkable functions – it’s also an examination of how the most personal things become political and a stirring sketch of the breathtakingly diverse experience of modern parenthood itself. CAVU Pictures presents BREASTMILK, directed and produced by Dana Ben-Ari (making her feature film debut) and executive produced by Ricki Lake (“The Ricki Lake Show,” “The Business of Being Born”) and Abby Epstein (“The Business of Being Born”).
Directed by Dana Ben-Ari. 2014. Digital. 91 mins. NR
Director Dana Ben-Ari IN PERSON
Friday, May 23rd, after the 7pm show
Saturday, May 24th after 11:15am & 3pm shows!!!!
SAN FRANCISCO PREMIERE!
From his birth in Queens to his mysterious death in New Orleans, LOOKING FOR JOHNNY chronicles the life of rock’n’roll true believer Johnny Thunders. A founding member of the New York Dolls and the leader of the Heartbreakers, Thunders epitomized a sort of post- Stones platonic ideal of how a rock star should be, minus the worldwide fame but with all the riffs, excess, excellence and tragedy that implies. Features interviews with Lenny Kaye, Alan Vega, Sylvain Sylvain and more!
Dir: Danny Garcia. 2014. Digital. 90 mins
“We’re excited to be at the historic Roxie Theater this year in the vibrant Mission neighborhood, for a week long voyage into the latest compelling films about people and the planet. The 2014 program is our most far-reaching yet, presenting 60 films from 21 countries to inspire, inform, and motivate your green core.”
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Friday, May 30:
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To see an online (pdf) version of the full 2014 program, click HERE!