Each year the Independent Film Festival Boston (IFFBoston) brings to New England an exciting program of films, panels, and parties. While the festival screens both documentary and narrative films, I usually seek out the documentaries, a genre that challenges fiction films in terms of aesthetic innovation and expressing the present state of human affairs. Three films that stood out as I was deciding what to see this year include the following films:
Suitcase of Love and Shame (Jane Gillooly, 2012, 70 min.), screens on Saturday April 27th at 6:45 P.M. at the Somerville Theatre. A suitcase purchased on eBay, filled with reel-to-reel tapes recorded in the 1960s, reveals the secrets of an adulterous affair. Cate McQuaid wrote in The Boston Globe, “Gillooly says the imagery is intended to spark free association. Being guided by the sound, rather than pictures, prompts a rich internal engagement, like listening to a radio drama or reading a great novel, in a way that most visually dynamic films do not. The effect enhances the highly charged listening experience. Hearing the voices of the lovers on their private tapes, viewers become voyeurs.” See film page on IFFB web site.
Oxyana (Sean Dunne, 2013, 82 min.) screens on Saturday, April 27th at 9:30 P.M. at the Somerville Theatre. Dunne earned a Special Jury Mention at this years Tribeca Film Festival for this documentary about Oceana, West Virginia, the epicenter of an OxyContin epidemic among the backdrop of abandoned coal mines and the resulting unemployment. Residents tell their stories of day-to-day living under the stranglehold of drug addiction without sensationalism or excessive dramatization. See film page on IFFB web site.
The Act of Killing (Josh Oppenheimer, Christine Cynn, and Anonymous, 2012, 115 min.) screens on Sunday, April 28th at 5:45 P.M. at the Somerville Theatre. Yosef Brody wrote in Truthout, “Try imagining what reality television starring war criminals might look like and you will begin to get an idea of the surreal, outrageous, and courageous new documentary The Act of Killing, which won the top prize at this year’s CPH:DOX film festival. Mass murderers are encouraged to describe their past atrocities through dramatic art, by creating their own movie.” See film page on IFFB web site.
It was hard to pick only three, there are so many amazing documentaries screening at the festival this year.
See you there!