A powerful and moving elegy to the vanishing emotional bond and shared respect between humans and wild animals, director David Hambridge’s Kifaru might be the saddest and one of the most important documentaries of the year.
If nothing else, Trixie Mattel: Moving Parts is refreshing in its blunt force honesty.
A detailed oriented and appropriately gorgeous sit-down with controversial Scottish painter Peter Howson, director Charlie Paul’s Prophecy offers insight into the process and mind of an artist known for his shocking images of death, destruction, and cultural depravity.
A well intentioned, but somewhat lacking microcosmic examination into Chinese influence in Africa, filmmaker Nicole Schafer’s documentary Buddha in Africa follows an interesting subject caught between two cultures, but sometimes frustratingly forgets to look beyond the margins for deeper, more meaningful connections.
Filmmaker Lily Zepeda follows along with exploits and advocacy of World Toilet Organization founder and mouthpiece Jack Sim in Mr. Toilet: The World’s #2 Man, an intelligently crafted and balanced documentary that effectively captures her subject’s rambunctious personality, the sanitary issues he wants to bring to a wider audience, and even some light criticism.
The prodigious scientific leaps made in the fight against genetic disorders and the ethical issues surrounding them are examined in editor turned first time feature director Adam Bolt’s fascinating documentary, Human Nature, which should serve nicely as a major medical conversation starter.
Nothing Fancy: Diana Kennedy gives viewers a candid, frank, and comprehensive whirlwind tour through the life and work of one of the world’s most celebrated (and uncompromising) chefs and cookbook authors.
Existing in the space between philosophy and art, Portuguese filmmaker Tiago Hespanha’s heady and striking documentary Campo is a rigorous look at ritualism, the indifference and boredom it breeds, and our perpetually tenuous place in the universe.
Few films at this year’s festival are as equally inspiring and incendiary as Claudia Sparrow’s profile of Peruvian subsistence farmer Máxima Acuña.
The numerous historical and political details present in On the Inside of a Military Dictatorship, director Karen Stokkendal Poulsen’s look at Myanmar’s tenuous and crumbling democracy, are a lot to take in over a single, tightly packed sitting, but as a representation of an underreported and complex story, it’s certainly commendable.