This year’s annual showcase of nonfiction film and video at MoMA offers over 30 selections, with a focus on documentaries about the environment. The diverse selection covers such ecological issues as the impact of an Austin housing development on that area’s water resources; vast mountaintop coal removal in Appalachia; and the “biotecture” of a maverick architect and his crew of renegade house builders from New Mexico. One experimental work reveals the private recordings of a dancer’s chemical sensitivity to environmental toxins, and a poignant docu-feature follows the Acehnese people of Indonesia as they recover after a killer tsunami.
Also included are stories about women making change in Afghanistan and Pakistan; an episodic poem on recent Balkan history in war-torn Serbia and Croatia; and cell phone diaries that examine personal memory and history. A special tribute salutes Joan Churchill, a West Coast filmmaker and cinematographer whose work over the past thirty years reveals a history of the documentary from the 1970s to the present.
Organized by Sally Berger, Assistant Curator, Department of Film, and William Sloan, consultant. Special thanks to the Museum’s copresenting partners: Asian CineVision, Cinema Tropical, Planet in Focus International Environmental Film and Video Festival, Taiwan International Documentary Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, and Women Make Movies.