The 2009 edition of Documentary Fortnight, MoMA’s annual showcase of nonfiction film and video, features more than 50 selections from across the globe. Several of this year’s films focus on the American political landscape and zeitgeist, including the opening night film, The People Speak, which is inspired by Howard Zinn’s books A People’s History of the United States and Voices of a People’s History of the United States (co-authored with Anthony Arnove). Others tackle topics as varied as the tradition of marriage (Bachelorette, 34), nuclear missiles in North Dakota (Minot, North Dakota), and abandoned labor towns in California (California Company Town). The program also includes rare glimpses into life on war’s front lines (Iraqi Short Films); inside a dictatorship in Turkmenistan (Shadow of the Holy Book); into the forefront of the anti-aging movement (Life Extended); and inside the latest developments in robotics (Mechanical Love). An evening of new work made on Super 8mm film exhibits the vibrant resurgence of small-format film technology, while programs of films by young people of color and documentaries from Taiwan and Iran highlight important new voices and innovative techniques. Many of the directors will be present to introduce and discuss their films.
Organized by Sally Berger, Assistant Curator, Department of Film, The Museum of Modern Art; William Sloan, independent curator; and Sara Rashkin, filmmaker and independent curator. Special thanks to our collaborating partners: Planet in Focus: International Environmental Film & Video Festival; Taipei Cultural Center and National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts; The Moth; Third World Newsreel; and Women Make Movies.