WHAT IS DEMOCRACY? – Review by Loren King

At a time when pundits, philosophers and politicians routinely talk about the attacks on democracy all around the world, and when critics of the current US president observe that he regularly runs roughshod over democratic norms, could there be a more vital film right now than What is Democracy?

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FREE SOLO – Review by Susan Granger

What kind of person risks life and limb to climb the treacherous face of Yosemite National Park’s famous 3,200-foot granite wall, known as El Capitan, without a rope or any other safety equipment? Seemingly carefree daredevil Alex Honnold has completed more than 1,000 solitary climbs and is thought to be the world’s greatest surviving free-soloist.

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WEEK IN WOMEN: New ABC Doc Series Focuses on Disney’s Women Animators – Brandy McDonnell reports

ABC Studios is producing a new documentary series titled “Ink & Paint” that will sketch out an often-overlooked chapter in the history of Disney’s animation empire: the vital role that the Mouse House’s workforce of women played in creating its classic films.

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FREE SOLO – Review by Diane Carson

Free Solo is breathtaking and terrifying. Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin’s documentary Free Solo profiles Alex Honnold, the climber who admits often considering free climbing El Capitan, Earth’s most impressive, 3200-foot granite wall. But, as Alex repeatedly said to himself, “That’s just too scary.” Nevertheless, he knew he had to attempt it, insane as the idea is because there is zero margin for error.

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TEA WITH THE DAMES – Review by Martha K Baker

In the midst of movies that call for blood, curses, and mayhem, “em>Tea with the Dames offers those ingredients elegantly and eloquently from dames of the British realm who are also stars of stage and screen. At tea are Dame and Lady Joan Plowright, Dame Maggie Smith, Dame Judi Dench, and Dame Eileen Atkins.Tea with the Dames is literate, funny, poignant, a respite and a reminder. Utterly delicious, this tea with Champagne with the Dames.

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LOVE, GILDA — Review by Susan Granger

When she was filming fund-raising videos for Gilda’s Club charity, director Lisa D’Apolito decided to make this documentary about its founder, captivating comedienne Gilda Radner. Its title refers to the enormous archive of journal entries and letters – signed “Love, Gilda” – which chronicle the life of Gilda Susan Radner Born in Detroit, Michigan, and raised by a beloved nanny she called Dibby, Gilda constantly battled bulimia and depression after her father died when she was 14.

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TIFF18 Review: WOMEN MAKE FILM: A NEW ROAD MOVIE THROUGH CINEMA – Loren King

Taken as a whole, the scope and breadth of the films represented in the documentary is likely to make one wonder, as I did, why aren’t Muratova, Zhelyazkova, Reiniger, Lois Weber and Barbara Loden as famous in the film canon as Scorsese, Orson Welles, John Cassavetes and on and on? We know why. Women Make Film: A New Road Movie Through Cinema goes a long way toward correcting a glaring omission.

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FAHRENHEIT 11/9 – Review by Susan Granger

Documentarian Michael Moore has been called a muckraker, prankster and populist prophet for his political propaganda films (“Roger & Me,” “Bowling for Columbine,” “Where to Invade Next”), designed to elicit an emotional response. “Fahrenheit 11/9” references the date on which Donald Trump became 45th President of the United States.

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Margaret Mead Film Festival 2018 – Jennifer Merin reports

Celebrating its 42nd edition, the Margaret Mead Film Festival (October18-21) focuses on the theme “Resilience in Motion,” documenting stories that celebrate individuals who are breaking new ground or breaking free despite challenging circumstances and sparking provocative conversations about the most pressing social and political situations worldwide.

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