True/False Film Festival Day 3 – Coda: Films to watch as accompaniments…

… for an alternative point of view…

The Gatekeepers, which I saw on Day 3, was nominated for an Academy Award as Best Documentary along withPrivate-2004 another Israeli documentary, 5 Broken Cameras, which tries to provide voice to the Palestinian side. (The Oscar, then, went to Searching for Sugar Man, which I deeply enjoyed  at last year’s True/False). You can read this comment from NPR on 5 Broken Cameras. Given the parallel nominations of both films and that they’re both Israeli productions, I’ll suggest a different film for an alternative viewpoint on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: Private (2004) by Saverio Costanzo. (I promise one day I’ll post a review on this film! For now, just rent it, trust me, you won’t be disappointed!). It’s a feature film but has the look of a documentary. For those who live in Columbia, MO, Ellis Library on the Mizzou campus holds a copy of the DVD. In addition, for “not your typical Israeli” movie, you may want to check Ha-shoter / Policeman (2011) by Nadav Lapid. It won special jury prize at Locarno. Indiewire assigns it a B, but I think  Policemen  deserves more (I saw it last year at the Passport Series at Ragtag.)

… for a complementary vision …

A feature film, however based on a true story, to accompany After Tiller: Vera Drake (2004) by Mike Leigh. Roger Ebert wrote that, “The strength of Leigh’s film is that it is not a message picture, but a deep and true portrait of these lives.” I think this note applies well to After Tiller too.

dogville-2003-25-g… for an exploration …

… of Brecht’s theater in The Act of Killing: Dogville (2007) by Lars von Trier. This website analyzes Dogville as a philosophical film. Home practice: can you apply these same categories and reflections to The Act of Killing?

… for additional contemporary Italian photogénie (as shown in Ancarani’s Da Vinci)…

Le quattro volte (2010) by Michelangelo Frammartino. Watch a clip on Youtube or the whole film on Fandor. The New York Times praises it as “idiosyncratic and amazing.” It’s cinema at this purest state. Yuri Ancarani, director of Da Vinci, told me that an Italian film critic has defined his cinema, Frammartino’s and Pietro Marcello’s works (Marcello brought his La bocca del lupo to True/False two years ago) as “autistic cinema” – because words are not dominant, or absent. But there’s no ‘disorder’ in these authors’ films. They are, simply, modern renditions of ideas – photogénie and montage (the latter is particularly true for Marcello) – which informed early, silent avant-garde cinema. The contemporary answers to what ‘motion pictures’ can be.



  1. Thank you for the suggestions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I want to check those out. I have bee True/Falsing for five years now, but in 2013 I think I only saw one film because I was sick all weekend and my wife was too busy! It is so expensive! But I’m doing it (Simply) again this year…

    1. True/False is wonderful, Rainman, you’ll enjoy it!

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