Open City Docs Fest 2016 Dispatch #2 - Homeland(s)

From Open City Docs, two films that engage with enormous subjects in ambitious fashion. A six hour home video account of Iraq in wartime, and a dramatic, cryptic essay on the nature of border control in modern Europe. Abbas Fahdel left Iraq for France aged 18. Since then, a lot…

Open City Doc Fest 2016 Dispatch #1 - People & Places

On the day of its commencement, some notes on some of the films playing this year's Open City Docs Fest, a festival that whilst young and small in scale compared to some of the other documentary festivals around, is proving increasingly impressive and ambitious. Offering challenging and intelligent programming in…

Web Junkie (2013, Shosh Shlam & Hilla Medalia)

_Web Junkie _opens without introduction; camouflage-covered, stern-faced men, and equally intimidating looking women in lab coats, marching through a bootcamp corridor. Subsequent establishing shots paint a similarly grim picture of the snowy austerity of suburban Beijing. Next, the camera hones in on one youth, who is bawling hysterically, and an…

Particle Fever (2013, Mark Levinson)

With plenty of flashy infographics and inspirational monologues, Particle Fever is pop science at its most populist. Following the progress of the Hadron Collider experiment from 2008 through 2012, a mammoth, multi-billion dollar machine with the potential for cosmic significance; Mark Levinson's film hones in on a few scientists involved,…