A look at tightrope walker Philippe Petit's daring, but illegal, high-wire routine performed between New York City's World Trade Center's twin towers in 1974, what some consider, "the artistic crime of the century".
Jean François Heckel,
The story of the life and career of the legendary rhythm and blues musician Ray Charles, from his humble beginnings in the South, where he went blind at age seven, to his meteoric rise to stardom during the 1950s and 1960s.
Filmmaker Davis Guggenheim follows Al Gore on the lecture circuit, as the former presidential candidate campaigns to raise public awareness of the dangers of global warming and calls for immediate action to curb its destructive effects on the environment.
Biopic of the iconic French singer Édith Piaf. Raised by her grandmother in a brothel, she was discovered while singing on a street corner at the age of 19. Despite her success, Piaf's life was filled with tragedy.
In 1959, Truman Capote learns of the murder of a Kansas family and decides to write a book about the case. While researching for his novel In Cold Blood, Capote forms a relationship with one of the killers, Perry Smith, who is on death row.
Philip Seymour Hoffman,
Clifton Collins Jr.,
In New York City's Harlem circa 1987, an overweight, abused, illiterate teen who is pregnant with her second child is invited to enroll in an alternative school in hopes that her life can head in a new direction.
Documentary photographer Zana Briski journeyed into Calcutta's underworld to photograph the city's prostitutes. In return, she offered to teach the prostitutes' children the basics of photography so that the kids could document their own lives on the streets of one of the world's poorest cities. The resulting photographs, often astonishing, were exhibited around the world; many of them are seen in this film, which won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 2005. Written by
I often disagree with the academy award nominations. It's usually too political to nominate the best movies and performances of the year. Born Into Brothels is an exception, it was nominated and won! The only mistake was not nominating it for best picture.
Brothels is the story of a woman, Zana Briski, who traveled to Calcutta to photograph the brothels. She fell in love with the children and began teaching them photography. The movie is seen through their eyes.
The result is extraordinary in so many ways. Calcutta's red light district is interesting in and of itself. The setting is the first extraordinary feature. The filming makes you feel like you are there. Director Ross Kauffman captures the feeling of being trapped in dark allies with a dark future. Without a director commentary running though the film, you're able to see it all by the way it's been directed. The dark past and future of these families is presented in a beautiful and horrific way.
Secondly, the children are lovable. The story focuses on 8 or 9 children of prostitutes. Each one is unique. Some are incredibly funny, others serious, some are troubled, and at least one has an undeniable talent for photography. You'll leave the theater feeling like you know them.
This is documentary film at its best. It transports us to another country and makes us love the troubled children. What was troubling to me was having to leave the theater never to see these troubled children again. Putting aside the incredible movie-making abilities of these creators, Zana Briski is a true hero.
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