Each quarter, Utne Reader previews a selection of current and upcoming independent film and documentary releases
Awake: A Dream from Standing Rock
The Water Protectors at Standing Rock captured world attention through their peaceful resistance. The film documents the story of Native-led defiance that has forever changed the fight for clean water, our environment and the future of our planet. It asks: "Are you ready to join the fight?" (Bullfrog Films)
Germans and Jews
Today, Europe's fastest growing Jewish population is in Berlin. Germany is considered one of the most democratic societies in the world, assuming the position of moral leader of Europe as they embrace hundreds of thousands of refugees. This development couldn't have been imagined in 1945. Through personal stories Germans & Jews explores Germany's transformation as a society, from silence about the Holocaust to facing it head on. Unexpectedly, a nuanced story of reconciliation emerges.
What began as a private conversation between the two filmmakers and friends, Tal Recanati (Jewish) and Janina Quint (non-Jewish German), grew into a cultural exchange among many and we realize that the two people are inextricably linked through the memory of the Holocaust.Germans & Jews is at once uncomfortable and provocative, unexpected and enlightening. (Distributor synopsis)
From This Day Forward
Filmmaker Sharon Shattuck examines the mystery at the heart of her upbringing: How her transgender father Trisha and her straight-identified mother Marcia stayed together against all odds. As the film evolves into a conversation about love and acceptance in a modern American family, it raises questions relevant to all of us. (Bullfrog Films)
On their way home from Afghanistan, a band of French soldiers stop in Cyprus for decompression: three days at a sun-splashed resort, where they will undergo intense psychological debriefing. There, amidst the crystal-blue waters and hordes of vacationing tourists, Marine (Soko) and Aurore (Ariane Labed) — two of only three women in their male-dominated unit — confront rage, trauma, and army sexism as they struggle to readjust to "normal" life.
This riveting drama — winner of the Best Screenplay award in the Un Certain Regard competition at Cannes — is an all-too-rare exploration of war's psychological wounds on female soldiers. (Distributor synopsis)