Today's national conversation and political moment has inspired a powerful revolution of filmmakers applying their trade to the moment's most pressing issues. Environmentalism, corporate accountability, scientific creativity, legal injustice and online privacy are just some of the pressing issues raised in these buzzed-about docs. The sixth annual SFJFF Take Action Day takes place on Monday, July 22 at the Castro Theatre with post-film conversations hosted by award-winning filmmaker and former JFI Filmmaker in Residence Nico Opper.
In 2014, a Chinese billionaire opened a Fuyao factory in a shuttered General Motors plant in Dayton, Ohio. For thousands of locals, the arrival of this multinational car-glass manufacturer meant regaining their jobs - and dignity - after the recession left them high and dry. American Factory takes us inside the facility to observe what happens when workers from profoundly different cultures collide.Read More
The story of being Muslim in America in the Age of Trump, following five disparate Muslim Americans here in New York. A key feature of this era is new opportunities for Muslim-Jewish alliances, which is explored in the film. The film is siumultaneously an exploration of a political fight about rights of a religious minority, as well as an intimate look at little known Muslim communities.Read More
"When a friend sent me a viral YouTube video of an Austrian driver smuggling refugees over the border and singing songs with them in Yiddish, I knew there was a story to betold." Hans Breuer, the driver, is the protagonist of the film "Refugee Lullaby". He spends his free time helping refugees any way he can, while singing to them Yiddish lullabies to comfort them.Read More
In July 1995, a heat wave overtook Chicago: high humidity and a layer of heat-retaining pollution drove the heat index up to more than 126 degrees. City roads buckled, rails warped, electric grids failed, thousands became ill and people began to die - by the hundreds. Cooked tells the story of this heat wave, the most traumatic in U.S. history, in which 739 Chicago citizens died in a single week, most of them poor, elderly, and African American. Balancing serious and somber with her respectful, albeit ironic and and signature quirkly style, Peabody award-winning filmmaker Judith Helfand explores this drama that, when peeled away, reveals the less newsworthy but long-term crisis of pernicious poverty, economic, and social isolation and racism. Cooked is a story about life, death, and the politics of crisis in an American city.Read More
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