As the 2020 election heats up, three docs with a political bent and three discoveries from the World Cinema Project.
First, what’s new: Jimmy Carter: Rock & Roll President, All In: The Fight For Democracy, and Public Trust:
When George Washington was elected president of these United States, it was done so by a specific group of people: white, male, property owners. As All In: The Fight For Democracy says, that represented 6% of the population.Boulder Weekly Vol. 28, No. 5, “Politics on screen.”
A lot has changed since, and a lot more have the right to vote, but filmmakers Liz Garbus and Lisa Cortés make the case that our “one person, one vote” representative democracy is under new threat from systemic voter suppression. Using Stacey Abrams’ 2018 gubernatorial campaign in Georgia as a framing device, and Abrams as the doc’s grounding voice, Garbus and Cortés make a compelling case, one that falls along the lines of: “If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention.”
The same could be said of Public Trust, the new call-to-action doc from David Garrett Byars and Patagonia Films, about private interests invading public lands in search of oil and gas profits. America is home to 650 million acres of public land for conservation, recreation and preservation purposes. But the vast resources that can be monetized makes the divide between what we have and the money to be made all the more tentative
Meanwhile, in the forgotten dustbin of cinema, Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Project has rescued a few treasures:
In 1990, Martin Scorsese brought together a band of cinema enthusiasts to protect motion picture history by creating The Film Foundation (TFF) — a bridge between Hollywood studios and archives. Its mission: Preserve America’s visual art form for future generations. Thirty years in and 850 restorations later, TFF remains a beacon of hope in a myopic industry.Home viewing: Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Project No. 3
But American borders couldn’t contain Scorsese’s catholic tastes. In 2007, he established the World Cinema Project (WCP) to focus on the works made in countries not typically associated with cinema. To date, 42 films from Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Central America, South America and the Middle East have been rescued, restored, preserved and exhibited for a global audience. And on Sept. 29, The Criterion Collection releases the latest box set of cinematic discoveries, Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Project No. 3: After the Curfew (Indonesia), Dos monjes (Mexico), Downpour (Iran), Lucía (Cuba), Pixote (Brazil) and Soleil Ô (Mauritania).