documentaries

New Documentary Follows the Life of Blind Chess Players in India

Gabriella Tutino

Algorithms, a documentary by Ian McDonald, takes a look at the relatively unknown world of blind chess players. Filmed over the course of four years, the documentary follows three talented children--Darpan, Sai Krishna and Anant—and one former champion player—Charudatta Jadhav—as they compete in chess tournaments and try to bring a champion title to India. The documentary opens in Mumbai at the National Team and Junior Blind Chess Championship in 2009, showing partially-blind and totally-blind people competing against each other. 

The Life and Times of Paul Bowles: The Man Inside the Cage

Sandra Bertrand

It seems in many ways that Paul Bowles led a charmed life.  The new sounds of jazz had been forbidden in an inordinately strict household—though his mother’s reading of Edgar Allen Poe became an inspiration for his later stories.  A closeted homosexual and a fatalist at heart, he had tossed a coin:  heads he would take his own life, tails he would head for the City of Light.  His early musical talents caught the ear of composer Aaron Copland, his traveling companion for his first trip to Tangier.  But it was in Paris that Gertrude Stein discovered her “Freddie.”  

‘The End of Time’: The Cosmos of Peter Mettler

Sandra Bertrand

Watching a Peter Mettler film is no ordinary experience.  You may as well be strapping yourself in place for a ride to through the Milky Way, plunging into the core of a live volcano or simply winessing the inexorable march of an ant colony with their grasshopper prey. The End of Time, the latest in a trilogy by this Canadian filmmaker, is part of a mid-career retrospective, presented by the Film Society of Lincoln Center.  The trilogy began with Picture of Light (1996), followed by Gambling, Gods & LSD (2002).  

Brainwashing the People of Uganda, One Prayer at a Time

Alex LaFosta

In the documentary God Loves Uganda, director Roger Ross Williams and crew peer into the evangelical crusade to infuse African culture with values of the Christian Right. The film focuses on the works of the International House of Prayer – an evangelical, Christian mission organization based in Kansas City. The International House of Prayer, or (oddly enough, IHOP), is one of the many conservative, American missions organizations working in the African continent. 

Sidiki Conde and a Life Well Lived

Beth Kaiserman

Conde’s joy is infectious, as it is impossible to not be happy simply at the fact of this man’s appreciation and happiness for life. A 51 year-old African drummer and dancer, Conde is an inspiration to us all to live a little better, reach a little higher and push ourselves to be the ultimate best. Conde’s spirit shines through as he both teaches and dances. More scenes of his dancing would have made a more vibrant film. But what’s most captivating about the film is Conde himself. 

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