True/False 2011 Guide: Previews
'An African Election'
Director: Jarreth Merz
3 p.m. Friday, March 4 at Windsor Cinema
8 p.m. Saturday, March 5 at The Chapel
10:30 a.m. Sunday, March 6 at Big Ragtag
"An African Election" drops viewers into the cutthroat, politically-charged world of the 2008 presidential elections in Ghana, West Africa. Following the candidates and their staff for three months before election time, viewers are truly immersed in the political machinery of an election said to be vital to the future of Africa as a whole. Cross-cut editing in the film takes viewers from the hopeful streets of Ghana as votes are tabulated on makeshift tables to behind-the-scenes meetings of the election's political strategists. The entire continent of Africa watched as Ghana struggled to create a democratic standard, and now, with "An African Election," we can to.
Director: Clio Barnard
4:30 p.m. Thursday, March 3 at Forrest Theater
12:30 p.m. Saturday, March 5 at The Globe Theater
8 p.m. Saturday, March 5 at Little Ragtag
"The Arbor" is set in the suburban housing estate known as Bafferton Arbor, and takes us through the lives of English playwright Andrea Dunbar and her daughter Lorraine. The film depicts Andrea's downward spiral from prolific writer to neglectful alcoholic and Lorraine's subsequent drug use and emotional distress. The film uses actual recordings and interviews of the Dunbar family, with actors lip-synching along, creating a unique authenticity. Lorraine's truthfulness in her interviews creates a shockingly gruesome and revelatory story.
Director: Janus Metz Pedersen
12:30 p.m. Saturday, March 5 at The Chapel
10:30 a.m. Sunday, March 6 at The Blue Note
3:30 p.m. Sunday, March 6 at The Hive
All war is horrific. Director Janus Metz shows not only the horror of being a Danish soldier fighting in Afghanistan, but also the monotony and culture while fighting to live. The film follows soldiers at Camp Armadillo as they find ways to pass time, watch porn and deal with paranoia of death, all of which leave the audience with a different perspective on what war is really like.
'At the Edge of Russia'
Director: Michael Marczak
5 p.m. Friday, March 4 at Little Ragtag
8 p.m. Saturday, March 5 at The Hive
3:30 p.m. Sunday, March 6 at The Globe Theater
While Missouri’s weather warms up, feel bad for the poor saps in charge of patrolling Russia’s borders. Directed by Michal Marchczak, “At the Edge of Russia” takes place among a group of Russian border guards who fight the freeze and boredom. We follow guard recruit Alexiei as he experiences all of the dos and don’ts in the uber-masculine, frozen countryside.
Director: Renaud Barret and Florent de la Tullaye
7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 3 at Missouri Theatre
8:30 p.m. Saturday, March 5 at Windsor Cinema
1 p.m. Sunday, March 6 at The Blue Note
"Benda Bilili!" follows a group of paraplegic musicians living on the streets of Kinshasa on their journey to global acclaim. The group "Benda Bilili," or "See Beyond" in English, began practicing together on the grounds of the Kinshasha Zoo, supporting each other through the brutalities of homelessness in Kinshasha and eventually finding world-wide fame through their unique music and vocal ability. A seemingly impossible story, "Benda Bilili!" captures both the struggle and the triumph of the disabled musicians with authenticity.
'The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975'
Director: Goran Olsson
3 p.m. Friday, March 4 at Big Ragtag
4:30 p.m. Saturday, March 5 at Missouri Theatre
12:30 p.m. Sunday, March 6 at Forrest Theater
Using recently discovered films by Swedish filmmakers, “The Black Power Mix Tape,” looks back on one of the most radical and interesting times in America’s history. Director Goran Olsson (who will appear in person and the festival) talks with the power players of the Black Power movement and brings a retrospective perspective to the movement. “The Black Power Mixtape” will provide insight to those who lived through the movement and enlightenment to those who didn’t.
'Blood in the Mobile'
Director: Frank Piasecki Poulsen
5:30 p.m. Thursday, March 3 at Big Ragtag
1 p.m. Saturday, March 5 at Windsor Cinema
10:30 a.m. Sunday, March 6 at The Hive
"Blood in the Mobile" investigates large cell phone companies' role in financing the war in the DR Congo. The film reveals that the primary minerals used to produce cell phones come from mines in the Eastern DR Congo, where an ongoing civil war is taking the lives of millions. Director Frank Poulsen suggests that by buying these "conflict minerals" from the Congo, the Western World is participating in the funding that allows this bloody war to continue. The film takes viewers to the DR Congo's largest tin mine, as well as the corporate offices of Nokia.
'Bobby Fischer Against the World'
Director: Liz Garbus
5:30 p.m. Friday, March 4 at The Globe Theater
1 p.m. Saturday, March 5 at The Blue Note
12:30 p.m Sunday, March 6 at Little Ragtag
Bobby Fischer was the first, and probably only, chess celebrity. His obsession with the game led him to the brink of insanity but also helped him topple the Soviet Union’s chess powerhouse. Director Liz Garbius helps the audience relive the passion and excitement surrounding the time when Fischer ruled the chess landscape. You know this is going to be good because the film is sponsored by the World Chess Hall of Fame and Museum.
'La Bocca del Lupo'
Director: Pietro Marcello
10:30 p.m. Friday, March 4 at Big Ragtag
5:30 p.m. Saturday, March 5 at Forrest Theater
1 p.m. Sunday, March 6 at The Chapel
"La Bocca del Lupo" is the love story of two Italian inmates. Mary and Enzo met in prison, and when Mary was released she moved to a small neighborhood in Genoa, Italy to wait for Enzo. The film paints their love story like any other, sharing letters and audio tapes the two exchanged while Enzo was still in prison, set against the backdrop of an orchestral score and archival footage of old Genoa.
Director: Cindy Meehl
7:30 p.m. Friday, March 4 at Missouri Theatre
10:30 a.m. Saturday, March 5 at The Blue Note
6 p.m. Sunday, March 6 at The Globe Theater
When Buck Brannaman was 12 years old, he started training horses. Like many horse trainers, being bitten, kicked and run over by horses was a common occurrence and he did everything he could to physically restrain the wild horses he trained. Eventually, Brannaman learned that simple love and discipline did more than physical restraints ever would. "Buck" takes us inside the corral with Brannaman and his horses, teaching viewers that kindness still matters.
'The Burger and the King'
Director: James Marsh
2:30 p.m. Friday, March 4 at Little Ragtag
3:30 p.m. Saturday, March 5 at The Blue Note
6 p.m. Sunday, March 6 at Big Ragtag
Elvis never was meant to live small. He sang loud, he spent a lot of money and he ate whatever he damn well pleased. That happened to be a lot of junk food. Director James Marsh looks at the King’s dangerous love of food. Using stories told through people such as the King’s on-call chef and even his doctor, Marsh weaves a story that paints Elvis in a light that is more relatable than his groundbreaking music.
'At the Edge of Russia'
Director: Michael Marczak
5 p.m. Friday, March 4 at Little Ragtag
8 p.m. Saturday, March 5 at The Hive
3:30 p.m. Sunday, March 6 at The Globe Theater
While Missouri’s weather warms up, feel bad for the poor saps in charge of patrolling Russia’s borders. Directed by Michal Marczak, “At the Edge of Russia” takes place among a group of Russian border guards who fight the freeze and boredom. We follow guard recruit Alexiei as he experiences all of the dos and don’ts in the uber-masculine, frozen countryside.
'El Bulli: Cooking in Progress'
Director: Gereon Wetzel
12:30 p.m. Friday, March 4 at Ragtag
6 p.m. Saturday, March 5 at Big Ragtag
12:30 p.m. Sunday, March 6 at Windsor Cinema
El Bulli, a small restaurant set in the Catalonia region of Spain, is only open six months out of the year. During the other six months, the restaurant's head chefs take on the role of scientist and inventor, utilizing cutting edge techniques such as the use of vaccumizers and liquid nitrogen, to concoct a new menu of perfect tasting, perfectly textured and perfect looking cuisine. "El Bulli: Cooking in Progress" transplants viewers into El Bulli's kitchen, leaving them to fend for themselves, without the help of narration or a typical plot line to guide them. The style of the film mimics the sometimes chaotic nature of the El Bulli off-season.
'Fake it So Real'
Director: Robert Greene
5 p.m. Thursday, March 3 at Little Ragtag
10 p.m. Saturday, March 5 at Forrest Theater
3:30 p.m. Sunday, March 6 at Big Ragtag
"Fake it So Real" explores the lives of independent wrestlers in the North Carolina's Millenium Wrestling Federation as they struggle through illness and injury the week leading up to a big show.
Director: Andris Gauja
12 p.m. Friday, March 4 at Little Ragtag
8:30 p.m. Saturday, March 5 at Big Ragtag
3:30 p.m. Sunday, March 6 at The Chapel
"Family Instinct" follows the life of 28-year-old Zanda who lives in an impoverished Latvian village while she waits for her brother Vladis to be released from jail. Zanda and Vladis have two children together, and since incest is considered a legal, social and religious taboo, Zanda is forced by her community to choose between Vladis and her children. Joining the cast of characters are Zanda's struggling neighbors who appear drunk or high throughout most of the film.
Director: Verena Paravel & J.P. Sniadecki
7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 3 at Little Ragtag
12:30 p.m. Saturday, March 5 at The Hive
10:30 a.m. Sunday, March 6 at The Chapel
Filmmakers J.P. Sniadecki and Verena Paravel spend two years with the rundown community of car repair shops and junkyards, set in the backdrop of Citi Field in Queens, New York. The people in the community struggle to save their homes and their means from developers wishing to tear the area down.
'Gravity was Everywhere Back Then'
Director: Brent Green
5 p.m. Saturday, March 5 at Globe Theater
9:30 a.m. Sunday, March 6 at The Odd Fellows Temple
"Gravity was Everywhere Back Then" is the story of Leonard Wood, a hardware store clerk from Kentucky, and his decade-long quest to create a healing machine for his wife Mary, who was dying of cancer. The film takes viewers through the extreme sacrifices the couple made for each other and for Mary's health, setting the scene using a unique style of stop-motion animation.
Director: Eric Brach
7 p.m. Thursday, March 3 at Forrest Theater
12:30 p.m. Saturday, March 5 at Little Ragtag
10 a.m. Sunday, March 6 at Windsor Cinema
"Habana Muda" is the story of a deaf, Cuban couple with two small children, struggling to make ends meet. The husband is also carrying out an affair with a Mexican lover, who promises financial support. The film draws viewers to pay close attention to facial expression and body language, as the films two main characters would.
'Hula & Natan'
Director: Robby Elmaliah
10:30 a.m. Saturday, March 5 at Windsor Cinema
1:15 p.m. Sunday, March 6 at Globe Theater
8 p.m. Sunday, March 6 at Little Ragtag
With all the violence going down in the Gaza Strip, director Robby Elmalish finds some humor. Israeli junkyard owners Hula and Natan bicker, dodge artillery and dodge authorities in this intimate look at living between two feuding nations. But what would normally be a hard-to-watch film about violence, Hula and Natan’s eccentric personalities will bring smiles to the faces of the audience while reminding them life isn’t easy on a battleground.
Director: Steve James
12:30 p.m. Saturday, March 5 at Missouri Theatre
3 p.m. Sunday, March 6 at Missouri Theatre
"The Interrupters" are a group of former gang members who act as violence interrupters, attempting to protect the Chicago neighborhoods they used to terrorize. Filmmaker Steve James spends a year documenting the city's struggle to control urban violence and the real-life superheroes who fight to end it.
Director: Ian Palmer
9:30 p.m. Friday, March 4 at The Blue Note
10 a.m. Saturday, March 5 at The Hive
3 p.m. Sunday, March 6 at Windsor Cinema
Brad Pitt might have shown America bare-knuckle boxing for the first time in the 2,000 film “Snatch,” but director Ian Palmer shows us real bare-knuckle boxing in his film “Knuckle.” Taking nearly 10 years to shoot, “Knuckle” follows several traveling Irish families and the brutal bare-knuckle fights between them. Behind the blood and bruises is an undying pride and honor in each match. Bring ice and ibuprofen.
'Life in a Day'
Director: Kevin Macdonald
10 a.m. Saturday, March 5 at the Globe Theater
8 p.m. Sunday, March 6 at the Missouri Theatre
"Life in a Day" is the product of a request Youtube made in 2010 for users to submit a video from their life, filmed on July 24, 2010. They then hired professional filmmakers to cut and combine the films into one feature length production. The result is a 90-minute slice of life featuring 300 stories from 120 countries.
'Moving Windmills: The William Kamkwamba Story'
Director: Tom Rielly and Ben Nabors; 90 minutes
5:30 p.m. Sunday, March 6 at Little Ragtag
William Kamkwamba dropped out of school in Malawi to teach himself how to make windmills. He then traveled the countryside, teaching the craft to others. "Moving Windmills" is a work in progress, and many of the scenes featured at the festival will be pre-production insights into the finished work.
'North from Calabria'
Director: Marcin Sauter
6:30 p.m. Friday, March 4 at The Chapel
10:30 a.m. Saturday, March 5 at Big Ragtag
8 p.m. Saturday, March 5 at the Forrest Theater
"North from Calabria" documents the tiny village of Chelmsko Slaskie in southwestern Poland leading up their annual festival. The town pulls together to make the festival a success, drawing from the individual community member's talents.
'Page One: Inside the New York Times'
Director: Andrew Rossi
6 p.m. Saturday, March 5 at Windsor Cinema
9:45 p.m. Saturday, March 5 at the Globe Theater
10 a.m. Sunday, March 6 at the Missouri Theatre
Sponsored by the University of Missouri, “Page One” goes behind the scenes at one of the nation’s biggest newspapers and sees how it works. Director Andrew Rossi, who will appear in person at the festival, tackled the big questions of newspapers in the 21st century: what is their place? How will they survive? Rossi discovers at least some of the answers in “Page One.”
Director: James Marsh
7:30 p.m. Friday, March 4 at the Forrest Theater
7 p.m, Saturday, March 5 at the Missouri Theatre
8:30 p.m. Sunday, March 6 at The Blue Note
"Project Nim" follows the life of a chimpanzee named Nim who is taken from his mother at birth and sent to live with a human family in New York City, who is told to raise him as if he were their own. The film toys with the ideas of what makes humans human and what can be learned.
'The Pruitt-Igoe Myth'
Director: Chad Freidrichs
9:30 p.m. Friday, March 4 at Windsor Cinema
10 a.m. Saturday, March 5 at Little Ragtag
7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 5 at the Globe Theater
3 p.m. Sunday, March 6 at the Forrest Theater
The Pruitt-Igoe housing projects were an overly ambitious, idealistic group of housing complexes built in 1955 in St. Louis. The buildings were 11 stories tall and provided close living quarters. The idea behind the projects was to create a sense of community among the close-living tenants and provide green yard space, by building up. The reality was a racially charged neighborhood left in deplorable conditions. "The Pruitt-Igoe Myth" retells the story through interviews and archival footage.
Director: Andre Ovredal
10 p.m. Friday, March 4 at the Missouri Theatre
11 p.m. Saturday, March 5 at Big Ragtag
7:30 p.m. Sunday, March 6 at Windsor Cinema
“Troll Hunter” started off simple: make a documentary about illegal poachers in Norway. But it ended up being very complex: a government cover-up and a mysterious man who doesn’t like to talk about his actual profession. He isn’t the poacher of bears who director Andre Ovredal was looking to find. He hunts something of imagination: trolls. But not the kind of trolls who make fun of you over the Internet. He hunts the kind of trolls who exist only in fantasy novels.
'The Redemption of General Butt Naked'
Director: Eric Strauss, Daniele Anastasion
7 p.m. Friday, March 4 at Windsor Cinema
5:30 p.m. Saturday, March 5 at The Hive
12:30 p.m. Sunday, March 6 at the Missouri Theatre
Joshua Milton Blahyi, AKA General Butt Naked, was a murderous Liberian warlord. Now, he is a devout evangelist who has dedicated his life to repenting the past and rehabilitating the child soldiers who once fought under him. "The Redemption of General Butt Naked" documents his unusual quest for forgiveness, and forces viewers to challenge their own precepts about redemption and morality.
Director: Jon Foy
10:30 p.m. Thursday, March 3 at Big Ragtag
7 p.m. Friday, March 4 at The Blue Note
8:30 p.m. Sunday, March 6 at the Globe Theater
Director Jon Foy follows Justin Duerr, who is obsessed with finding mysterious tiles in the United States. During the ‘90s, Duerr found a tile in the pavement of the sidewalk with a mysterious meaning that spurred his search for more implanted tiles throughout the country. Unsure if they were street art, had some religious meaning of no meaning at all, Duerr treks around America in search for answers. Director Jon Foy will speak after the screening to an audience that is sure to be curious about the world of tiles.
'Shut Up Little Man! An Audio Misadventure'
Director: Matthew Bate
10 p.m. Friday, March 4 at Little Ragtag
9:30 p.m. Saturday, March 5 at the Missouri Theatre
Sunday, March 6 / 5:30PM / Forrest Theater
Before Auto Tune the News and other Internet viral sensations, there were Peter Haskett and Raymond Huffman. Haskett and Huffman were polar opposites who argued constantly in their apartment during the 1980s. Their neighbors Eddie Lee Sausage and Mitchell D found the arguments so entertaining that they recorded the fights and passed them around their neighborhood in San Francisco. The arguments inspired comics, plays and films. Director Matthew Bate looks at an early viral phenomenon.
Director: Dennis Ho
10 p.m. Thursday, March 3 at Little Ragtag
8 p.m. Friday, March 4 at Big Ragtag
3 p.m. Saturday, March 5 The Chapel
"Subway Preacher" is the story of a self-proclaimed former "degenerate gambler" and "porno freak" turned preacher, named Brian. Since being saved on a Brooklyn street corner a decade ago, Brian has dedicated his life to spreading the word of God to the people of New York's subway system. He has vowed to continue his underground ministry at all costs, but at times those costs seem too high for his wife Rose and partner Shawn, as they struggle with poverty.
'To Be Heard'
Director: Eddie Martinez, Deborah Shaffer, Amy Sultan
7:30 p.m. Friday, March 4 at Little Ragtag
10 a.m. Saturday, March 5 at the Missouri Theatre
6 p.m. Sunday, March 6 at The Blue Note
Three teens from the South Bronx form an unlikely bond: the love of poetry. What started as an inspirational poetry class became a way of life for Pearl, Katrina and Anthony. "To Be Heard" follows the trio as they grow as both slam poets and as people. The students find ways to use their creativity and talent to make the best of their circumstances, as they struggle to better themselves.
'Wisconsin Death Trip'
Director: James Marsh
1 p.m. Saturday, March 5 at Big Ragtag
Using newspaper clips, journals and tall tales of 1880s Wisconsin, “Wisconsin Death Trip” chronicles a decade of life in the small, strange town of Black River Falls. Director James Marsh filmed “Wisconsin Death Trip” in black and white and will transport viewers to a town where suicide rates, drug addiction and infant mortality rose dramatically during an innocent time in America’s history. Marsh will appear in person at the festival to answer any remaining questions you might have about the town of Black River Falls.
'The Woman with Five Elephants'
Director: Vadim Jendreyko
5 p.m. Friday, March 4 at Forrest Theater
3 p.m. Saturday, March 5 at Little Ragtag
1 p.m. Sunday, March 6 at Big Ragtag
Russian translator Svetlana Geier's meticulous nature has left her work translating Russian to German unsurpassed. "The Woman with Five Elephants" welcomes viewers into her world, where detail is everything, both on the page and in her home. The five elephants in the film's title refer to Fyodor Dostoevsky's five novels, all of which Geier has translated.
'You Are All Captains'
Director: Oliver Laxe
12:30 p.m. Saturday, March 5 at the Forrest Theater
5:30 p.m. Saturday, March 5 at Little Ragtag
3 p.m. Sunday, March 6 at Little Ragtag
"You Are All Captains" is a film about filmmaking, simply put. Director Oliver Laxe documents both the making of the film itself and the process his young student filmmakers go through when creating their own films. The film takes us into the sometimes emotional lives of the students, and highlights the tumultuous relationship between student and teacher.
Director: Chase Thompson, Ryan Walker
9:30 p.m. Thursday, Mar 3 at The Blue Note
3:30 p.m. Friday, March 4 at The Hive
10:30 p.m. Saturday, March 5 at Little Ragtag
5:30 p.m. Sunday, March 6 at Windsor Cinema
Attention all journalists and writers: John Zielinski, the topic of the film “Zielinski,” is “the most blacklisted author in the history of Iowa.” His controversial investigative reporting subjects include human trafficking and Satanists, and the man is never afraid to rattle the cage of criminals. Columbia directors Chase Thompson and Ryan Walker examine the life and times of controversial writer and will appear in person at the screenings of the film.