World’s Best Documentaries Come to the Heartland

February 27, 2014 § Leave a comment

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Attendees of last year’s True/False Film Fest in Columbia, Missouri, gather in the lobby of the historic Missouri Theatre.

True/False. There’s a big film event this weekend.

The correct response, of course, is True/False.

The event I’m talking about isn’t the Oscars. It’s the 11th annual True/False Film Fest in Columbia, Missouri, running today through Sunday.

Each February/March, thousands of movie lovers converge on theaters in Columbia to watch the best documentaries of the year.

The nearly fifty films being screened in this weekend’s festival naturally include some that deal with people and places outside the US. Here, for your enjoyment, are a sampling:

L’Escale (Stop-Over)
Undocumented Iranians in Athens, left on their own by their smuggler, fear the police and long for a new life in Europe. . . and wait.

Manakamana
In these real-time clips, the camera follows the people in eleven cable cars as they travel up a mountain in Nepal to visit the Manakamana temple. It’s like riding in a car with strangers, and staring at them the whole time.

Cairo Drive
What’s it like driving in Cairo? This film shows you the triumphs and trials of making your way around Egypt’s largest city. And as if the traffic weren’t chaotic enough, much of Cairo Drive takes place during the tumultuous happenings of the Arab Spring.

Forest of the Dancing Spirits
Director Linda Västrik lived with the Congo’s Aka pygmies for seven years. The result is this glimpse into the lives of an isolated tribe, as it holds on to its culture in the face of encroachment by the “modern” world.

[photo: “True/False Film Festival, Missouri Theatre, Columbia,” by Missouri Division of Tourism, used under a Creative Commons license]

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