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Monday, September 24, 2012

milwaukee film festival

The Milwaukee Film Festival, one of my favorite events of the year, starts this weekend!  The festival will go from September 27th through October 11th and will include over 200 films from around the world.  I've been impressed with the festival's selection the past two years, and a few films have caught my eye this year as well.  Though I'll have a really hard time in the final selection of which movies to actually see (time and budget restraints will limit to me to 2 movies max), I'm intrigued by two "art as activism" films from the West Bank and from China.  

Five Broken Cameras
Described as "a modest, rigorous, and moving work of art" by The New York Times, this personal documentary follows Palestinian farmer Emad Burnat and his family through their West Bank hometown. Shot over five years by Burnat and completed with Israeli filmmaker Guy Davidi, this award-winning work of cinematic activism depicts both family life and non-violent protest as bulldozers start razing olive trees and destroying the lives of those around Burnat. 

Never Sorry (see the trailer here)
Art isn't just a means of personal expression for China's Ai Weiwei. He uses it to cultivate joy, explore the public consciousness, and ignite political action. The subversive nature of his work has led Chinese authorities to shut down his blog, beat him, bulldoze his newly built studio, and hold him under secret detention. Unprecedented access allows the viewer to witness it all firsthand and explore his creative process. 

If you're in the Milwaukee area, check out the featured films and schedule here.  Tickets run $10 for adults, $9 for seniors/students and $8 for film festival members.  Can't wait!!

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