Friday, May 13, 2011

Charleston International Film Festival

It's the 4th year of the Charleston International Film Festival and the films keep getting better, especially the documentaries.
(Full disclosure - my doc Tap Out is playing at the festival on Saturday, May 21 at 5:00 p.m. at the American Theater and I'm also a jurist. And, Tap Out is not up for an award for that reason!) 

I recommend American Jihadist directed by Mark Claywell for an unusual glimpse into the mind of Isa Abdullah Ali,

an African-American Muslim from Washington, DC.  The U.S. Defense Department refers to him as "a known terrorist," but has not charged him with any crime. A fascinating doc. It's plays on Sunday, May 21 at 3:00 at Cinebarre in Mt. Pleasant.

I also was very impressed by The Price of Sex. 
A terribly sad, but important film about poor East European women sold into the sex trade in Turkey and Dubai. Bulgarian journalist Mimi Chakarova offers some surprising commentary on the demise of the Communist Soviet Bloc and present day sex trafficking. Check it out. Unfortunately, it's playing at the same time as the American Jihadist at Cinebarre in Mt. Pleasant. That's Sunday the 21st. So you will have to choose between two excellent documentaries. Either way, you will not be disappointed. 

 There is a very short doc from Pistil Films that I truly liked. It's called Diddley Bow, and is directed by Jade Sullivan.  Jade is a young documentary filmmaker living in Charleston, and a diddley bow, as I learned thanks to Jade, is a simple, easy-to-construct, stringed instrument played with a slide. It's made with found things, can, figurines - simply brilliant.  Nice work, Jade!


What I Meant to Tell You 
Writer/Director: Ethan Dufault

(2010) 57 min.
If you have a ticket, lucky you. If not, find another way to see this story of poetry and defiance. 

Peter Kane Dufault is a contentious, political activist and poet who has been attacked for his political views in  the U.S. This is not the case in Great Britain where he is widely respected and read. 

"His embattled status as a poet and a political activist is part of his strength,” says son and director,Ethan Dufault. "He's refused to play the game, but his life has not been an easy one,” said Ethan Dufault. 

If you do nothing else, watch the trailer on the film's facebook page. 

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