Just as HBO’s Vice premiered their latest episode, “Campus Coverup” (which Sarah Seltzer covered for Flavorwire), and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo began to screen Amy Ziering and Kirby Dick’s exposé of rape crimes on U.S. college campuses, THE HUNTING GROUND, in an effort “to promote legislation that would establish a uniform definition of consent, as well as reporting and investigative procedures for all his state’s public and private colleges and universities”, controversy has broken out over the film’s legitimacy thanks to an exhaustive factual critique by Emily Yoffe at Slate in which she suggests that “the filmmakers put advocacy ahead of accuracy”. In response, Flavorwire’s Jason Bailey published an article he titled “Our Brand Is Rape Skepticism: On Slate and Emily Yoffe’s Weird ‘Hunting Ground’ Obsession”. The back and forth makes for an interesting read.
In the same vein, Bailey, Deadline’s David Robb and The Hollywood Reporter’s Jonathan Handel each reported that Amy Berg’s child sex abuse in Hollywood doc, AN OPEN SECRET, has once again come under fire, this time in a threat to sue from the Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation of Television and Radio Artists if Berg didn’t remove all references to the union from the film. Supporting the film, Jen Yamato wrote a feature on AN OPEN SECRET for The Daily Beast.
Last week our Spring Season of Stranger Than Fiction came to a close with a sold out screening of Crystal Moselle’s THE WOLFPACK. Stranger Than Fiction will return in the Fall starting September 22nd.
Generally speaking, all was fairly quiet on the home front as far as documentary news was concerned this past week, though that’s not to say that there wasn’t some exciting moving and shaking to report. This weekend marked the start of Munich’s DOK.fest where films like Pawel Siczek’s HALF THE TOWN and Jens Schanze’s LA BUENA VIDA will screen as part of the DOK.international competition. At What (not) To Doc, Basil Tsiokos wrote an extensive overview of the offerings at this year’s festival, while Giorgia Del Don pointed out the incredible number of Swiss productions included in this year’s program (18!) at Cineuropa.
Just prior to the start of DOK.fest, another major European doc mainstay in the Sheffield Doc/Fest announced their 2015 line-up. Stacked with 150 films and scheduled to kick off on June 5th with Joshua Oppenheimer’s THE LOOK OF SILENCE, the festival will also pay tribute to Albert Maysles, as well as feature the world premiere of director Benedikt Erlingsson’s THE GREATEST SHOWS ON EARTH: A CENTURY OF FUNFAIRS, CIRCUSES AND CARNIVALS, with a score by Georg Hólm and Orri Páll Dýrason of Sigur Rós, reports Elle Leonsis of Indiewire and The Guardian’s Benjamin Lee. At the BFI, Georgia Korossi posted a preview of the festival’s offerings, as well as a trailer for the fest itself.
Tomorrow at 8pm, we here at Stranger Than Fiction will welcome directors Alan and Susan Raymond to the IFC Center for a screening of THE POLICE TAPES, their groundbreaking, experimental video documentary that revealed the life of a South Bronx police precinct in 1977, one of the most tumultuous years in the history of New York City. This past week in The L Magazine, Mark Asch called the film “a more emotionally involved heir to Wiseman’s Direct Cinema masterwork LAW AND ORDER”, while in The New Yorker, Richard Brody celebrates the filmmakers’ participation in the intense situations on screen and an especially impassioned monologue by borough commander Anthony Bouza “regarding the inherent resentment of the presence of the police and the trauma and rage of poverty—that should be engraved on the halls of justice. “should be engraved on the halls of justice”. What tickets still available for the screening can be found here.