12:00 – The Babushkas of Chernobyl
2:15 – Band of Robbers
5:00 – 1 Giant Leap II: What About Me?
8:00 – Reconquest of the Useless
To Buy Tickets online and read full synopsis: http://www.woodstockfilmfestival.com/festival2015/films_all.php
The Babushkas of Chernobyl
Directed by Holly Morris
Co-Director: Anne Bogart
USA / 2015 / 72 minutes
East Coast Premiere
In English and Ukrainian with subtitles
*subject to change: Holly Morris
Here in the exclusion zone life never stopped, nature just took over. So says Valentyna Ivanivna, one of a remarkable group of elderly babushkas living in the shadows of Chernobyl in a scattering of small villages on some of the most toxic land on earth. Ironically, this contaminated earth produces herbs, fruits and vegetables that seem to sustain the babushkas. How is it possible that these ancient women continue to thrive? Is the deep and enduring friendship they share part of the answer? Do we need to rethink everything we’ve been taught about nuclear contamination? What about the thrill-seeking young men who tempt fate in acts of bravado that may someday claim their lives? Evacuees were told they could never return, but motherland is everything. Each person should live where their soul desires, says one. This is a fascinating and powerful film, with indelible images and a near perfect score. Brilliant and courageous filmmaking. A must see.
Barbara Pokras, ACE
Band of Robbers
Directed by Adam Nee & Aaron Nee
USA / 2015 / 95 minutes
East Coast Premiere
Expertly adapting the characters from Mark Twain’s seminal stories into the 21st century, Band of Robbers is a clever escapade that truly honors the essence of its source material. We meet thrill-seeking Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer as young boys pursuing adventure. But the authorities have a different concept of fun, and after being released from his latest stay in prison, petty crook Huck hopes to leave his criminal activities behind. But lifelong friend and corrupt police officer Tom has a different idea in mind. In a final endeavor to achieve their childhood dreams, Tom pulls the gang back together in the hopes of discovering a legendary treasure. Little do they know, this new caper will send them into more unexpected and dangerous territories than they ever faced as children. The sophomore feature from brothers Aaron and Adam Nee, with its impressively talented cast, comes together to create a slightly dark, but always witty comedy-adventure.
1 Giant Leap II: What About Me?
Directed by Duncan Bridgeman and Jamie Catto
USA / 2015 / 85 minutes
*subject to change: Stewart Copeland, Duncan Bridgeman, Jamie Cato, Ginny Galloway
1 Giant Leap: What About Me? is a unique music, TV and film project, the culmination of 4 years of directors Duncan Bridgeman and Jamie Catto visiting 50 locations around the world, collecting wisdom and musical jewels. It’s an inspiring and alarming look at our collective insanity: how we are ego-driven, needy in relationships, insatiable in desire, addicted to status, wounded by childhood, and unable to stop thinking, but still manage to be inspired and creative. At its core is the music, starting with pre-composed backing tracks and seamlessly layering in international stars like Alanis Morissette, KD Lang, Michael Franti, Michael Stipe, Khrisna Das, and Stewart Copeland with a diverse array of world music artists that included Bedouin musicians, Chinese rappers, Gabonese Pygmies, Tuvan throat singers, Egyptian folk musicians, and Japanese Taiko drummers. Along with Noam Chomsky, Eckhart Tolle, Stephen Fry and other renowned thinkers, writers, and entertainers, everyday folks speak out — gravediggers, taxi drivers, brain surgeon, street kids. These unscripted conversations reveal how we are connected by not only creativity and beliefs, but primarily through our madness! An unforgettable and completely unconventional musical and cinematic journey that will leave you stunned and inspired.
Reconquest of the Useless
Directed by Sam Pressman
Peru, USA, Brazil / 2015 / 79 minutes
In English and Spanish with subtitles
*subject to change: Sam Pressman, Walter Saxer
Reconquest Of The Useless is a documentary film that follows the travails of three young men as they journey nearly 5,000 miles through the Peruvian Amazon searching for inspiration, adventure and the legacy of Werner Herzog’s classic film Fitzcarraldo thirty years after it was made. Like Fitzcarraldo, who dreamed of building an opera house in the jungle, and Herzog himself, with his transcendent vision of cinema, the creators of Reconquest Of The Useless also pursue quixotic dreams: to travel without being tourists and to have transformative experiences by exploring what is rarely sought after. Imbued with the spirit of Fitzcarraldo, the ultimate film for impossible dreamers, Reconquest Of The Useless is about the quest for the ineffable and unknown, and where that path can take you. A true journey for the audience to embark upon.