A life-and-death frame of mind
Movies about people in extreme situations will open and close the DOXA Documentary Film Festival
Kevin Griffin, Vancouver SunPublished: Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Films about people in extreme situations who are faced with making decisions about who lives and who dies and about how far they'll go to survive will open and close the seventh annual DOXA Documentary Film Festival.
The festival announced its lineup of more than 50 films Tuesday, including the opening film Triage: Dr. James Orbinski's Humanitarian Dilemma and the closing film Stranded, I've Come From a Plane that Crashed on the Mountain.
Triage explores what it means for medical personnel to make split-second treatment decisions in field conditions. The film follows Dr. Orbinski who returns to Africa where he tries to make sense of his role in trying to save lives during the famine in Somalia and the genocide in Rwanda.
In 1999, Dr. Orbinski accepted the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of Medecines Sans Frontieres as the organization's president.
Stranded is about one of the greatest survival stories of all time. In 1972, members of a Uruguayan rugby team were among the 45 passengers on a plane that crashed on a frozen glacier in the Andes. Seventy-two days later, 16 survivors were found.
Unlike Alive!, which is a dramatic feature with actors, Stranded is told by the survivors themselves.
The film returns to the crash site known as the Valley of Tears where the survivors tell intimate stories of their ordeal and recall the exact moment when they realized they had to become cannibals to survive.
Triage opens the festival Tuesday, May 27, at the Empire Granville at 7 p.m. Five days later, on June 1, Stranded closes the festival at the same time and theatre.
Other highlights from the festival include:
- Long Road North: Gwendal Castellan travels from Patagonia to the Arctic by bicycle and discovers that every small town and dusty stretch of highway has a story. At the end, he realizes that he didn't know as much as he thought he did about the world after all. Wednesday, May 28 at 9 p.m. Pacific Cinémathèque.
- Wipe Out: Narrated by Ross Rebagliati. Wipe Out follows three young men who have suffered severe brain injuries as a result of extreme sports such as skateboarding and snowboarding. Thursday, May 29, 7 p.m. Vancity Theatre.
- Club Native: Growing up on the Mohawk reserve, director Tracey Deer lived in a world with two unspoken rules: don't marry a white person and don't have a child with a white person. Deer explores what it means to be native and the challenges involved in trying to define ethnicity and culture. Thursday, May 29, 9 p.m. Vancity Theatre
- City Beats: Lost Vancouver from the '40s to the '60s: Videomatica's Graham Peat has put together a program of three short films about Vancouver: In the Daytime from 1949, Summer Afternoon from 1956 and Strange Grey Day This from 1966. The films reveal a city "that is almost unrecognizable to us today," Peat said in his description of the films. Friday, May 30, 7 p.m. Vancity Theatre.
- Kill the Messenger: Of Iranian and Turkish descent, Sibel Edmonds was recruited by the FBI to translate high-security documents.
When she reported her unit may be infiltrated by Turkish spies, Edmonds was fired. Despite warnings, she wouldn't remain quiet and has since taken on some of the most powerful officials in the U.S. government as the country's first U.S. National Security whistle-blower. Saturday, May 31 at 9 p.m. at Pacific Cinémathèque.
More details on all the films in the festival are at www.doxafestival.ca.