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Every month, Utne Reader previews a selection of current and upcoming independent film and documentary releases. This sampler was curated by editor Ben Sauder. 

November 2015 Film Sampler



Join high school-aged girls from around the world as they try to better their community through technology and collaboration in this thrilling, heartfelt documentary.

By 2017, the app market will be valued at $77 Billion. Over 80% of these developers are male. The Technovation Challenge aims to change that by empowering girls worldwide to develop apps for an international competition. From rural Moldova to urban Brazil to suburban Massachusetts, Codedgirl follows teams who dream of holding their own in the world’s fastest-growing industry. The winning team gets $10K to complete and release their app, but every girl discovers something valuable along the way. (Distributor synopsis)

One Cut, One Life
First Run Features
(In Theaters)

When documentarian Ed Pincus, considered the father of first-person non-fiction film, is diagnosed with a terminal illness, he and collaborator Lucia Small team up to make one last film - much to the chagrin of Jane, Ed's wife of 50 years. 

This New York Film Festival selection is told from both filmmakers' points of view. Ed and Lucia's unique approach to filming offers an intimacy rarely seen in docs, questioning whether some things might be too private to be made public. An intense, raw, yet sometimes humorous exploration of the human condition, One Cut, One Life invites viewers to contemplate for themselves what is important, not only at the end of life, but also during. (Distributor synopsis)

Censored Voices
Music Box Films
(In Theaters)

Music Box Films is proud to present the Los Angeles theatrical premiere of Mor Loushy’s provocative Israeli documentary Censored Voices. This documentary presents for the first time ever the uncensored recordings of intimate conversations between Israeli soldiers and renowned author Amos Oz, immediately following the 1967 Six Day War in which Israel captured Jerusalem, Gaza and the West Bank. A popular, if controversial, theatrical release in Israel this Summer, and the Ophir (Israeli Oscar) winner for Best Documentary, it was selected as the Opening Night film of the Other Israel Film Festival in New York, and will open in New York at Lincoln Plaza Cinema on November 20th, and in Los Angeles at Laemmle’s Royal and Town Center on Friday, November 27. A national release will follow.

The 1967 ‘Six-Day’ war ended with Israel’s decisive victory; it is portrayed to this day, as a righteous undertaking – a radiant emblem of Jewish pride. Yet, behind the euphoria and a proud new national narrative of invincibility are other voices with something different to say. Future renowned author Amos Oz and editor Avraham Shapira recorded intimate conversations with soldiers returning from the battlefield. Originally censored by the Israeli army, the recordings provide an unfiltered lens into the Israeli zeitgeist as the country turned from David to Goliath. The recordings resulted in a best-selling book which form the basis of Censored Voices. (Distributor synopsis)

The Last Season
First Run Features
(on DVD)

Amid the bustling world of Central Oregon's wild mushroom hunting camps, the lives of two former soldiers intersect. Roger, a 75 year-old sniper with the US Special Forces in Vietnam, and Kouy, a 46 year-old platoon leader of Cambodia's Khmer Freedom Fighters who battled the Khmer Rouge, come together each fall to hunt the elusive matsutake mushroom, a rare mushroom prized in Japanese culture and cuisine. However, the pair discover more than just mushrooms in the woods: they find a new life, a livelihood, and a means to slowly heal the scarring wounds of war. Told over the course of one matsutake mushroom season, The Last Season is a journey into the woods and into the memory of war and survival, telling a story of family from an unexpected place. (Distributor synopsis)

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