Documentaries are hot, but most regurgitate well-known information and leave the unknown… unknown. For the last three years, Globians – “the festival of necessary films” – has been focusing on undiscovered topics: a conflict between local and American anthropologists on a Peruvian excavation site (Human Eaters, Aug 14, 20:30), a huge art collection hidden from Stalin in the Uzbek desert (The Desert of Forbidden Art, Aug 16, 19:00), or biological warfare in China during the Second World War (Lessons of the Blood, Aug 18, 18:00).
The festival, since last year at the charming Kiez-Kino Toni & Tonino, is as congenial (they serve tea and biscuits in the foyer!) as it is engrossing, with over 30 films screened under different topics each day. “Existing in the World” features an eponymous film in which philosophy professors discuss Heidegger and music documentaries. The Slums are Alive with the Sound of Music, (Aug 13, 18:00) about slum children preparing to perform the famous musical at Mumbai’s foremost opera house, is another Friday highlight. Saturday’s “Boundary Breakers in the Americas” calls attention to Latin America with films like Our Disappeared (Aug 14, 18:30): an Argentinian expat investigates the fate of his revolutionary comrades.
Sunday features films about the rehabilitation of Detroit teenage mothers through farm work (Grown in Detroit – Teen Mothers Become Urban Farmers, Aug 15, 16:00) or green technology in China (Deep Green, Aug 15, 18:00). Monday takes a fresh look at Central Asia and Afghanistan, a region torn by Cold War and geopolitics, and Wednesday shows undiscovered aspects of Japan – hip hop (On the Edge, Aug 18, 16:00) or Zen Buddhism during WWII (Zen and War, Aug 18, 16:00). Only Tuesday’s program, “The Holy Land”, covers an overworked theme, but the films – from The Messiah Will Always Come, (Aug 17, 18:15), following an Israeli Peace Now activist on settlement watch tours of the West Bank, to The Sound of Words (Aug 17, 20:30), on Jerusalem’s German-Jewish immigrants – avoid the typical rhetoric and clichés.
GLOBIANS DOC FEST | August 13-18. Tickets: €6.50; day pass: €12; festival pass: €30. All films in English OV or with English subtitles, some screened in the presence of the director. For more information, visit www.globians.com