Posted by: Haotao Xiong | February 25, 2010

Recommended: What to see at T/F

Shared by David Friesen, submissions director for the festival, who watches many documentaries each year.

Here are his recommended films.

AS LILITH: A sort of whodunit about a non-Hebrew Israeli mother fighting theocratic thugs for control of her daughter’s remains. Not as depressing as it sounds. Very edge-of-your-seat.

HOLY WARS: A fanatical Irish Muslim faces off against an equally fanatical middle-American evangelical Christian. A human side of the whole East vs West thing; gripping stuff.

INVENTION OF DR. NAKAMATS: Hilarious but also poignant film about a Japanese man who has invented 2,000 more things than Thomas Edison. He will live to 144 and spends a fair amount of time underwater.

THE MIRROR: Wonderful look at a small Italian town in the Alps, an energetic mayor with big schemes and a gigantic mirror on the hillside. Not to be missed.

THE OTHER SIDE OF LIFE: Follows two South African boys as they go through manhood rituals and also a murder trial. Some of the closest, most thorough access imaginable in a documentary, and a haunting story.

SECRET SCREENING ORANGE: A gorgeous look at a nuclear waste burial site and the scientists who designed it. Amazing visuals, great soundtrack.

AND EVERYTHING IS GOING FINE: Soderbergh’s documentary about Spalding Gray. Kathie Russo, Gray’s widow, will be in attendance.

WHEN WE WERE BOYS: Wealthy prep school kids in Canada, followed closely for over a year. A measured and compelling portrait, cut very well.

IT FELT LIKE A KISS: Unbelievable film essay made of stock footage from the ’50s to the ’70s, set to great pop of the time and looking at American power and the stories we’ve told about it. Really, really remarkable, from the director of “The Power of Nightmares.”

DISORDER: Experimental Chinese look at the breakdown of social control. Grainy b&w imagery, edgy and riveting.

LAST TRAIN HOME: Also from China, a look at the mass human migration that occurs every new year. Beautiful.

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