The Global Visions Film Festival ends all too suddenly tomorrow but that still gives eager documentary viewers tonight and tomorrow to catch some compelling stories from countries all around the world. Audiences have already been treated to works of high merit and interest such as Call Me Kuchu and The Central Park Five at two magnificent Edmonton venues: the Garneau Theatre (home of Metro Cinema) and the Art Gallery of Alberta.
Executive director Beryl Bacchus said that Thursday’s opening presentation of How to Survive a Plague had a great reception by an eager audience.
“There was a lot of excitement for the movie. We got a great reaction for the panel. A lot of people left the theatre in tears. I think a lot of them were very inspired by the story.”
She added that there is still much to offer enlightened cinemagoers before Wampler’s Ascent closes out the 31st annual festival. Local Visions presents a selection of Edmonton-made documentaries starting at 11 a.m. today and tonight, Sound and Visions will bring music to screen with two films plus a live taping of Mulligan’s Stew with Terry David Mulligan. A party with live entertainment will follow.
Tomorrow, wannabe documentarians can take in the Doc 101 workshop and Pitchfest.
Here are a few brief reviews of films that viewers can still catch.
12 p.m. Sunday
Metro Cinema (Garneau Theatre)
Carbon Rush tells us how carbon credits were ostensibly meant to promote environmentalism but have worked against that design and created not only more pollution but also further social and political problems. We see beyond the big picture into the little stories, like how industries have taken further advantage of the system to gain wealth while further abusing the workers and communities in small producing economies around the world.
This is an important documentary to watch, but it’s tough and demands your attention. Whatever you do, don’t miss the chance.
3:30 p.m. Sunday
Art Gallery of Alberta
Tim deChristopher – that’s the name every person with a conscience should remember. He singlehandedly brought down an illegal and immoral auction of public land in Utah, pristine wilderness that was intended to be sold off to energy industry insiders.
He snuck in and won bids on $1.7 million worth of oil leases.
That was in late 2008. In early 2011 he was convicted and sent to jail for two years.
Civil disobedience is a matter of love, he says, a high and necessary form of peaceful protest. Watching this documentary is strongly reminiscent of the power of the people, that even one person can effect big change.
Bidder #70 is as much an indictment of government and energy industry as it is a vindication of simple, real people who care about the world and their own backyards.
The Mosuo Sisters
5 p.m. Sunday
Art Gallery of Alberta
Culture clash meets family values meets the economic crisis in China. It’s 2009 and two sisters, Juma and Latso, are working at a Beijing bar when they learn it’s closing due to a lack of business.
They return to their Mosuo village, a place where traditional values of a matriarchal society don’t always jive with modern life. The farm is struggling to produce crops and bring in enough cash to survive. The prospects are bleak.
This is a unique look at life in a faraway land, even if it seems like not all of the facts add up. The Chinese government has been criticized in the past for interfering with how the country is perceived in foreign films (see Gil Kofman’s Unmade in China for more) so it seems plausible that more meddling has occurred here.
Still, Mosuo Sisters does what good documentaries should: provide insight into the unseen, and it doesn’t go unnoticed.
Global Visions Film Festival 2013
Running until Sunday, March 3
Screenings at Metro Cinema (the Garneau Theatre) and the Art Gallery of Alberta
Tickets: $12 ($10 for students and seniors).
Other pricing for special events.
A six-pack of tickets is $50 and a SuperPass is $75.
Tickets can be purchased at various locations including Tix on the Square, Earth’s General Store, Remedy CafĂ©, and Metro Cinema.
For more information on the festival and this year’s screenings, please visit www.globalvisionsfilmfestival.com.