Focus Program: Around Masculinity

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    From the alpha male to toxic masculinity, the focus program Around Masculinity interrogates the problematic social construct that is masculinity from a variety of perspectives. The curated section homes in on a blind spot in film history, inviting audiences to take a hard look at their heroes by re-reading classics. Other themes explored include fragile masculinity, masculinity seen through its relation to religion and nationalism and institutional domination of women by men.

    The Focus Program Around Masculinity is supported by VSBfonds and vfonds.

    Films in this section

    12th & Delaware

    • Rachel Grady, Heidi Ewing
    • 2010

      In Fort Pierce, Florida, women who’ve decided to terminate their pregnancy might accidentally step into the anti-abortion Pregnancy Care Center opposite the abortion clinic. A shocking and sometimes absurd look at two contrasting worlds.

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      The 3 Rooms of Melancholia

      • pirjo Honkasalo
      • 2004

        Shot in St. Petersburg, Grozny and Ingushetia, this multilayered, poetic film in three chapters reflects a range of fundamental human feelings and mental states that war invokes.

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        Bitch Academy

        • Alina Rudnitskaya
        • 2007

          How should a young woman with big ambitions survive in the new Russia? The answer is Bitch Academy, a course for the most determined gold diggers. With merciless candor, this short film provides a jarring portrait of a society adrift.

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          Burden of Dreams

          • Les Blank
          • 1982

            A disconcerting account of the insane circumstances surrounding the filming of Werner Herzog’s Fitzcarraldo. Set up as an ethnographic chronicle, this documentary shows us the real Herzog, hysterically defying the impossible.

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            Der Busenfreund

            • Ulrich Seidl
            • 1997

              A portrait of a former math teacher with a passion for women with large breasts. His explanation of the mathematical laws of sine and cosine merges into a paean to female curves.

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              Caesar Must Die

              • Paolo Taviani, Vittorio Taviani
              • 2011

                Fiction and reality intertwine over the course of this award-winning film in which inmates at Rebibbia prison in Rome throw themselves into a production of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, a classic play packed with lies and treachery.

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                • Heddy Honigmann
                • 1999

                  Dutch U.N. soldiers speak about their experiences in various conflict areas around the world. The vehicle for their recollections is the music they played at the time, which has become forever tied to their memories of war.

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                  Erase and Forget

                  • Andrea Luka Zimmerman
                  • 2017

                    An intimate portrait of James “Bo” Gritz, the most decorated US veteran of the Vietnam War, and the inspiration for Rambo. He exposes the interlocking dynamics of Hollywood’s fictional battlefields and America’s secret wars.

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                    Father, Son and Holy War

                    • Anand Patwardhan
                    • 1994

                      A daring two-part documentary that explores the notion of manhood as it relates to violence, religious traditions, the Hindu-Muslim conflict and the Bombay Riots in the early 90s.

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                      His Name Is My Name

                      • Eline Jongsma, Kel O'Neill
                      • 2022

                        A documentary about WWII in surprising form, unearthing the story of filmmaker Eline Jongsma’s great-grandfather, the infamous Dutch Nazi Gerrit Jongsma. Part family epic and part detective story, the series unfolds in ten binge-worthy episodes.

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                        The Hour of Liberation Has Arrived

                        • Heiny Srour
                        • 1974

                          Lebanese director Heiny Srour put her life at risk in the early 1970s, filming the struggle for independence in Dhofar, Oman. In this powerful feminist statement, her primary focus is on the women fighters.

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                          • Annie Marr
                          • 2022

                            An interactive documentary about the mysterious 2010 disappearance of an American hiker in Joshua Tree National Park. Follow the fanatic online and off-line sleuths still searching for answers.

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                            Light Falls Vertical

                            • Efthymia Zymvragaki
                            • 2022

                              Filmmaker Efthymia Zymvragaki combines the story of a perpetrator and her own experiences with violence in a poetic film that offers insight into the causes and consequences of abuse.

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                              Meet Marlon Brando

                              • Albert Maysles, David Maysles
                              • 1966

                                Marlon Brando shows his most charming and most reticent side in an session with journalists. Demonstrating how the actor resists the interview format, Direct Cinema pioneers David and Albert Maysles also call into question the phenomenon itself.

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                                Gigi la Legge

                                • Alessandro Comodin
                                • 2022

                                  A sun-soaked portrait of Gigi, a police officer investigating a worrying series of suicides in a charming small Italian town. Fortunately, there’s enough time left for flirting, chatting with colleagues or daydreaming in his overgrown jungle garden.

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                                  • Guy Davidi
                                  • 2022

                                    When young Israelis turn 18, they have to join the army. Narrated diary excerpts of young people who died while in service illustrate their shattered dreams and desires in an increasingly militaristic society.

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                                    Look What You Made Me Do

                                    • Coco Schrijber
                                    • 2022

                                      A film about love, and about anger hidden inside that can erupt without warning. Every year, more than 30,000 women are murdered by their partners worldwide. Three women who did not wait for this to be their fate tell their story.

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                                      The Yellow Ceiling

                                      • Isabel Coixet
                                      • 2022

                                        A powerful account of abuse at a Spanish youth theater school. Testimonies from victims offer insight into the cunning manipulations of the perpetrator, who placed all his actions within the context of “theater.”

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                                        Is There a Pine on the Mountain

                                        • Chongyan Liu
                                        • 2022

                                          An intimate account of a highly toxic relationship: during a lengthy visit from her boyfriend’s mother, the filmmaker documents the arguments between mother and son. An oppressive and candid study of the transmission of violence through generations.

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                                          A Robust Heart

                                          • Martín Benchimol
                                          • 2022

                                            A simple, effective film about butchers working at an Argentine abattoir. They talk about their work and their personal lives, motivations and fears. The director also reveals something about himself.

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