Well, crap. I've fallen over a month behind on my blog again. Prepare for a flood of quick and dirty (and probably inaccurately remembered) updates, starting with my last two films at Docfest.
PETALS IN THE DUST: THE ENDANGERED INDIAN GIRLS is a personal and horrifying story of gender violence in India, and in Indian families abroad. Director Nyna Pais Caputi was lucky that she was born to a family that cherished their daughters and gave her all the same opportunities they would a son. And she has used those opportunities to document the abuse of Indian girls. Infanticide, sex-selective abortions, neglect, forced child marriages, rape, etc. And lest you think this is only an issue for backwards savages, she documents abuse in very modern, upscale, progressive families. And even more surprisingly, in Indian communities abroad, in very secular progressive countries like the U.S. and Canada. That kind of surprised me, that Indians living far away in countries that generally wouldn't tolerate such abuse...seem to cling to it as their "tradition" even more than Indians in India. I just don't know what to make of that. Anyway, it's a very well made movie, but not one you're going to leave feeling happy.
And finally, (T)ERROR is a sobering and disturbing look at FBI undercover tactics in the war on terror. In particular, the use of...somewhat untrustworthy characters to infiltrate mosques and dig up dirt on "extremists"...even if the subjects need some coaxing to become extremists in the first place. The film gives us an unprecedented view to the process, and convinced me that this isn't making us one bit safer. So...sleep well! Great movie.
That's all I have to say. Docfest 2015 is officially done!
Total Running Time: 174 minutes
My Total Minutes: 401,983