2010

Documentary Feature
United States
Runtime:
1 hour(s)
36 minutes
Director:
Ethan Dufault

REIFF 2010

This film is the story of an 86-year-old, war veteran poet, Peter Kane Dufault, as he comes to terms with his past and the collective sense of a threatened future. This is a story about connection and loss, both personal and political. Through on-screen interactions with his son, two Nobel laureates and the actor Chris Noth, Peter reveals how poetic language and imagination can bridge the rifts that open between individuals and the larger political, environmental and emotional landscape of their lives.

The actor Chris Noth pays a visit to the poet, who was once his American history teacher and soccer coach. He recalls the formative influence the old man had on his life. They play soccer together. Peter and his son travel to Cape May to find the declining American kestrel. Peter recites a poem about his deceased daughter who brought him a fledgling kestrel to raise. A kestrel appears as if "quarried out of a rainbow," the symbol of all that is vanishing from what's left of the American wilderness. He expresses his outrage at the past administration's piecemeal demolition of the Constitution in a poem called "Blues Recitative," and acknowledges his disappointment with the present administration. In the end, Peter admits that he's glad that he doesn't have to teach American history any more. He observes a colony of seals plunging into a stormy surf, reflecting on the mortal entity that the earth has become. He walks away, alone, vanishing into the mist.

Narrative Short
Nigeria, United States
Runtime:
8 minutes
Director:
Anthony Onah

REIFF 2010

Agbo, a previously-deported, Nigerian immigrant, runs the streets of downtown LA after smuggling her way back into America. From a church to a shelter to a bus station, she tries to stay hidden while being pursued. When she is finally cornered, Agbo is forced to make a decision that will alter her future like none before.

Experimental
United States
Runtime:
24 minutes
Director:
Brent Chesanek

REIFF 2010

A meditation on physical space and solitude, Brethren Arise is an abstract narrative tone poem in which environments engulf characters in various circumstances. A pilot stranded on a mountain, a grade school custodian and the people at a public park in Brooklyn are featured in this atmospheric assemblage of images and sounds that explores location, isolation and human perception.

Documentary Feature
Japan, United States
Runtime:
1 hour(s)
10 minutes
Director:
Takayuki Yamato

REIFF 2010

Taka grew up in the countryside of Japan, always dreaming of living in America--the land of freedom and opportunities. But after living in the U.S. for more than a decade, he realizes Japan has its own unique qualities. When he traveled back home, he discovered that Japan is losing some of its culture due to outside influences. The film captures his journey in search of Japan's lost identity.

Documentary Short
United States
Runtime:
38 minutes
Director:
Claudia Adams

REIFF 2010

A Far-Off Cry is a story of parallels, of opposites--two planets forced off course by the filmmakers. The parallel Pakistan worlds of the untouchables (street children addicted to solvents) and the intellectuals. According to the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime publication "Solvent Abuse Among Street Children in Pakistan," there are more than 140 million street children in the world, most of whom are victims of solvent abuse. Their needs, their feelings, their hopes for survival are nonexistent. The goal of this documentary is to give Karachi's street children a platform, to give them a face, a voice, a way to reach out for help. But more than that, it puts them in the same room as Pakistan's doctors, psychiatrists and government officials in an attempt to address this crisis--if not actually together in the same room, at least together on screen through the magic of film making.

Experimental
United States
Runtime:
3 minutes
Director:
Kent Hayward

REIFF 2010

In a city known for its love of cars, one pedestrian with a Super 8 camera walks across Los Angeles, coming face to face with the metropolis instead of watching it blur by through a windshield. The day-long walk down culturally-diverse Santa Monica Boulevard, beginning at the intersection of Sunset Boulevard at sunrise and ending at Santa Monica Beach at sunset, inspires filmmaker Kent Hayward to contemplate the changing nature of the city, motion pictures and himself. Taking one frame of film every 20 steps, the filmmaker condenses a 12-hour walk into three minutes of film. As a result, the short experimental documentary ironically speeds by so quickly that the audience can only absorb snatches of the commentary subtitles, which linger on Haywards memories of certain street corners, focus on the people he passes and question what his future in the City of Angels may hold.

The film may also be watched frame by frame, so that viewers may fully examine the text elements, map and individual images. By stepping through each frame instead of watching it at full speed, the viewer experiences the film in a way that's akin to walking through a city instead of driving through it, echoing Haywards step-by-step pace and revealing all the details of his secret daydreams surrounding the city he calls home.

Narrative Short
Spain
Runtime:
12 minutes
Director:

REIFF 2010

A married couple dresses up to attend a ceremony.

Narrative Feature
United States
Runtime:
Director:
Tina Mabry

REIFF 2010

Wanting to escape was the easy part. Taking place in 1986 and 1998 and based on a true story, three poor, Black kids in rural Mississippi reap the consequences of their family's cycle of abuse, addiction, and violence. They independently struggle to escape their circumstances and must decide whether to confront what's plagued their family for generations or succumb to the same crippling fate, forever damned in Mississippi.

Bitterly honest and profoundly subtle, writer/director Tina Mabry successfully captures growing up in a world where possibilities and opportunities seem to die in the face of the suffocating reality of physical and sexual abuse, obsession and a myriad of destructive compulsions.

Narrative Short
Spain
Runtime:
20 minutes
Director:
Tony Lopez, David Sanz

REIFF 2010

He arrives in a discotheque confused and without so much conviction. Suddenly, he sees Irene. He realizes that while he observes her he experiences unique and indescribable feelings. The young guy will predict a succession of events which will gradually become true, intriguing Irene more each time.

Narrative Short
United States
Runtime:
15 minutes
Director:
Wenhwa Ts'ao

REIFF 2010

Arithmetic Lesson is a 15-minute dramatic film that illustrates the courage of the human spirit for survival through the eyes of a seven-year-old Chinese American girl, Gracie. Gracie's mother, Mei, is comatose in the hospital. Gracie's father, Yong, hires an au pair from Taiwan, Ah San, to take care of Gracie. Ah San provides the daily care for Gracie, which includes overseeing Gracie as she does her homework and taking care of all domestic chores. Unknown to Yong, Ah San becomes impatient with the care-taking of Gracie and becomes abusive to the young child. Throughout many events in the course of the film, Gracie finds the courage to tell her father that Ah San has hurt her physically, which results in the eviction of Ah San. Gracie learns to comfort herself instead of constantly seeking comforts from the emotionally unavailable adults around her.

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