In Theaters At
Playing at Pickford Film Center98 minutes, USA, In English, Thriller Rated PG-13: Some violence and a sexual reference CCAPDirected by: Tom George
In the West End of 1950s London, plans for a movie version of a smash-hit play come to an abrupt halt after a pivotal member of the crew is murdered. When world-weary Inspector Stoppard (Sam Rockwell) and eager rookie Constable Stalker (Saoirse Ronan) take on the case, the two find themselves thrown into a puzzling whodunit within the glamorously sordid theater underground, investigating the mysterious homicide at their own peril.
Playing at Pickford Film Center113 minutes, Poland, UK, US, In English, Drama Rated R: Drug use, some sexual content, nudity, language and disturbing material Directed by: Agnieszka Smoczynska
The Silent Twins is the astounding true story of twin sisters who only communicated with one another. As a result, they created a rich, fascinating world to escape the reality of their own lives.
Playing at Pickford Film Center97 minutes, France, Germany, In French w/ English Subtitles, Drama Rated NR: _ Directed by: Mathieu Amalric
In Hold Me Tight, Vicky Krieps (Phantom Thread, Bergman Island) gives another riveting performance as Clarisse, a woman on the run from her family for reasons that aren’t immediately clear. Widely renowned as one of France’s great contemporary actors but less well-known in North America for his equally impressive work behind the camera, Mathieu Amalric’s sixth feature as director is his most ambitious to date. This virtuosic, daringly fluid portrait of a woman in crisis alternates between Clarisse’s adventures on the road and scenes of her abandoned husband Marc (Arieh Worthalter) as he struggles to take care of their children at home. Amalric’s film keeps viewers uncertain as to the reality of what they’re seeing until the final moments of this moving, unpredictable, and richly rewarding family drama.
Playing at Pickford Film Center90 minutes, USA, In English, Comedy Rated PG: Some suggestive material and thematic elements OCAPDirected by: Dean Fleischer-Camp
Marcel is an adorable one-inch-tall shell who ekes out a colorful existence with his grandmother Connie and their pet lint, Alan. Once part of a sprawling community of shells, they now live alone as the sole survivors of a mysterious tragedy. But when a documentary filmmaker discovers them amongst the clutter of his Airbnb, the short film he posts online brings Marcel millions of passionate fans, as well as unprecedented dangers and a new hope at finding his long-lost family. A beloved character gets his big-screen debut in this hilarious and heartwarming story about finding connection in the smallest corners.
OCAP: All screenings are open captioned.
Playing at Pickford Film Center160 minutes, Ireland, In English, DOC-Arts & Entertainment Rated NR: _ dir. Mark Cousins, 160 min.
In 2011, writer Mark Cousins was known for a TV series adapted from his book, Scene-by-Scene. We were not prepared for the overwhelming tour-de-force that was original The Story of Film: An Odyssey. The 15-part series (shown in two-hour chunks at PFC) was a revelation and cinema buffs were sent scrambling in all directions to find some of the treasure Mark unearthed. Happily, he has provided a continuation covering the last decade, which covers dramatic changes in technology and even the ways Covid has altered the process of making movies. Beguiling, and a big-screen must.
Playing at Pickford Film Center96 minutes, USA, In English, DOC-Social/Racial Justice Rated NR: _ DoctoberDirected by Camille Hardman, Gary Lane
With in-person Q&A with Camille Hardman
Doctober’s Opening Night film couldn’t be more relevant (and more joyous!) than Still Working 9 to 5. When 1980’s highest-grossing comedy, 9 to 5, starring Jane Fonda, Dolly Parton, Lily Tomlin, and Dabney Coleman, hit theaters, the laughs hid a serious message about women in the workforce. 40 years later, Still Working 9 to 5 revisits the stars, the experts, and a legion of those inspired by the original, exploring the comedic tone of the film and how it expertly re-energized a feminist movement.
Playing at Pickford Film Center80 minutes, English, In DOC-Bio, Doctober Rated NR: _ Directed by: Sacha Gervasi
Directed by roadie-turned filmmaker Sacha Gervasi, Anvil: The Story of Anvil documents the titular heavy metal legends. Lauded by Sundance and SXSW, this Indie Spirit Award-winning true story follows the band, which started in 1970’s Toronto by school friends, Steve “Lips” Kudlow and Robb Reiner. Anvil influenced bands such as Metallica and Anthrax, despite working in obscurity for years. Now, fifty years after their formation, the duo continues to rock.
Playing at Pickford Film Center90 minutes, USA, In English, DOC-Politics Rated NR: _ Directed by Jack C. Newell
Development, history, and colonialism collide when a seemingly simple aid project spirals out of control in Haiti. Inspired by an NPR story about the 2010 Haiti earthquake, headstrong American Tim Myers travels to Haiti to help build a new school, ultimately clashing with Haitian leader Anselme Saimplice, forcing a reckoning on privilege and power. This film combines expert interviews that help frame the larger context with an unflinching close-up of the situation on the ground.
Presented by Bellingham Human Rights Film Festival
Playing at Pickford Film Center93 minutes, Mexico, Brazil, Germany, In Spanish w/ English Subtitles, DOC-Social/Racial Justice Rated NR: _ Directed by Jakob Krese, Danilo Do Carmo
Shot in beautifully intimate cinéma vérité style, Lo Que Queda en el Camino tells the riveting story of Lilian and her four children as they migrate in search of a better life, free of violence. The family leaves Guatemala, joining a caravan of hundreds of other people trying to reach the Mexico-US border. Being a single mother, the caravan and its protection is Lilian’s best chance to make the dangerous 2,000 mile journey. As close to being there as we’ve seen yet, Lilian and family will find their way into your heart.
Presented by WWU Political Science Dept., WWU Political Science Assoc., WWU International Affairs Assoc.
Playing at Pickford Film Center93 minutes, France, In English, DOC-Bio Rated NR: _ DoctoberDirected by Michael Corker
Virtual Q&A with director and participants.
A 19th century treasure-hunter’s journal (passages of which are intoned by Charles Dance) inspires a captivating journey to seek out and surf a mythical, never-ridden wave in some of the most remote waters of the Atlantic Ocean. For renowned skipper Matt Knight, sailing to unpredictable and uncharted regions is impossible to resist. Savage Waters boasts jaw-dropping cinematography and follows a remarkable family and other adventurers, for whom living life to the fullest often means putting themselves in harm’s way.
Playing at Pickford Film Center84 minutes, USA, In English, DOC-Social/Racial Justice Rated NR: _ DoctoberDirected by Shawn Bannon
Live, virtual Q&A with director Shawn Bannon on Oct. 2
When a corporate hog farm moves in – uninvited – on land her grandfather purchased after claiming his freedom from slavery, Elsie Herring decides to fight back. But as her rural community becomes the epicenter of the pork industry’s rise, Elsie’s struggle to save her family’s home and heritage turns into a battle against one of the world’s most powerful companies and its deadly pollution. A years-in-the-making documentary, we are treated to a David (or in this case, Elsie) vs. Goliath legal battle, with all the tension and anticipation that affords.
Presented by Community Food Co-op
Playing at Pickford Film Center93 minutes, English, In DOC-Arts & Entertainment, Doctober Rated NR: _ dirs. Jennifer Tiexiera, Camilla Hall, 93 min. In-person Q&A with Margaret Ratliff (The Staircase)
An essential film for any doc fan, Subject explores the life-altering experience of sharing one’s life on-screen by catching up with the participants of five acclaimed documentaries: The Staircase, Hoop Dreams, Capturing the Friedmans, The Square, and Wolfpack. As tens of millions of people consume documentaries in an unprecedented “golden era,” the film urges audiences (and filmmakers) to consider the impact on documentary participants—the good, the bad, and the complicated. Margie, our guest and star, is particularly eloquent and not to be missed.
Playing at Pickford Film Center83 minutes, English, In DOC-Science/Medicine, Doctober Rated NR: _ Directed by Cody Sheehy
In 2018, Chinese scientist Dr. He Jiankui disappears after developing the first HIV-resistant “designer babies” (who also disappear), shocking the world and the scientific community. Director Cody Sheehy rightly asks some important questions: how could such a monumental breakthrough be the work of a lone scientist? What would governments gain from such genetic controls? Playing like a thriller, the film illustrates a gulf between the hunger for some scientists to push boundaries and the public who assumes that a greater degree of restraint controls those impulses.
Playing at Pickford Film Center83 minutes, Switzerland, Germany, In English, German, French, DOC-Arts & Entertainment Rated NR: _ Directed by Eva Vitija
Writer Patricia Highsmith is synonymous with the world of noir, gritty thrillers –and exploring gender identity? The Talented Mr. Ripley, Purple Noon, Strangers on a Train, Carol – these are a few of the many adaptations of her work, the latter film based on The Price of Salt, a lesbian romance published under a pseudonym. Vitija uses that book as a way into understanding the complexities of Highsmith’s life and work, even tracking down former lovers. Fascinating, illuminating material.
Playing at Pickford Film Center55 minutes, USA, In English, DOC-Outdoor/Adventure Rated NR: _ Doctober“Breaking Trail,” dir. Jess Roesler, 30 min.
As Wisconsinites huddle safely in their homes to avoid the frigid winter chill (and Covid) Emily Ford, along with faithful canine companion Diggins, set out to traverse the Ice Age National Scenic Hiking Trail (IAT), a distance of 1,200+ miles through some of the coldest temperatures in recorded history. Even more amazing: the heartfelt support from a broad spectrum of well-wishers who follow the journey and leave treats and supplies for Emily and Diggins along the way. Have a dream, then persevere.
“Rural Runners,” dir. Forest Woodward, 24 min.
A film about finding common ground in rural America: Chloe Maxmin, in a campaign to be the youngest woman in the Maine house of representatives, and champion long-distance runner Canyon Woodward, Chloe’s campaign manager, offer a delightful new perspective on what it means to “run” for office. Together, they bring hope, humor, and humanity back to politics.
A Doc-Ed selection
Playing at Pickford Film Center72 minutes, Canada, In English, DOC-Social/Racial Justice Rated NR: _ DoctoberDirected by Sean Stiller
Returning Home follows Phyllis Jack-Webstad, Secwépemc tribal member, on a nationwide Orange Shirt Day educational tour while her family struggles to heal multigenerational wounds of residential schools. The film also explores the significance of the lowest run of salmon in Fraser River history and reveals the past abuse inflicted on the natural world. For the Secwépemc, healing people and healing the natural world are one and the same, and wholeness and hope come through a renewed embrace of the deepest roots of Indigenous identity.
Presented by Canadian-American Studies at WWU
Playing at Pickford Film Center72 minutes, Korean, English, In DOC-Social/Racial Justice, Doctober Rated NR: _ Directed by: So Yun Um
Liquor Store Dreams is an intimate portrait of two Korean Americans, including director So Yun Um, who set out to bridge generational divides with their immigrant parents, who own liquor stores in Los Angeles. The film tackles the issues of racism as seen through the prism of Korean liquor store owners in predominantly African American neighborhoods–this inevitably takes us back to the ‘92 L.A. uprisings and Rodney King and forward to the current day Black Lives Matter movement.
Playing at Pickford Film Center72 minutes, USA, In English, DOC-Social/Racial Justice Rated NR: _ DoctoberDirected by: Ross Hockrow, Tommy Walker
Colin Kaepernick took a knee and America lost its mind, creating an earthquake in the eternal race debate. Kaepernick himself answered any and all thoughtful questions for a time, then stopped talking, allowing for thoughtful examination of the man and his story with the aftershocks continuing to ripple out in a variety of arenas. Kaepernick & America examines the man and his protest, exploring the remarkable conflict stirred by such a symbolic gesture.
Playing at Pickford Film Center92 minutes, USA, In English, DOC-Natural World Rated NR: _ Directed by Trip Jennings
Virtual Q&A with the director, Oct. 5
Fire and its devastating consequences appear almost daily in our newsfeeds. It is easy to feel powerless–but Elemental is here to suggest otherwise. A full five years in the making, we open with a concise survey of recent wildfires, from Paradise to the devastating fires of the NW in the last several years, leading to a series of questions about what we can do to mitigate fire’s damage. Fortunately, the film gives us hope as we prepare for an increasingly hotter future with smart home and community design. Narrated by David Oyelowo.
Presented by Whatcom Million Trees Project
Playing at Pickford Film Center89 minutes, Chinese, In DOC-Social/Racial Justice, Doctober Rated NR: _ Directed by Violet Du Feng
Hidden Letters tells the story of two Chinese women trying to balance their lives as independent women in modern China while confronting the traditional identity that defines but also oppresses them. Connected through their love for Nushu—a centuries-old secret text-based language developed by and shared amongst women that fathers, husbands and even sons couldn’t comprehend—each of the two women transforms through a pivotal period of their lives and takes a step closer to becoming the individuals they know they can be.
Presented by WWU Dept of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Playing at Pickford Film Center91 minutes, USA, In English, Horror Rated R: Violence, sex and language Directed by: John Carpenter
Fifteen years after murdering his sister on Halloween night 1963, Michael Myers escapes from a mental hospital and returns to the small town of Haddonfield, Illinois to kill again.
Playing at Pickford Film Center93 minutes, USA, In English, Documentary Rated NR: _ Directed by Allison Otto
Co-presented by Eartha Kitty’s Estate Sales
This hugely entertaining film, which has great fun using re-enactments, details one of the most audacious and puzzling art thefts of a generation: in 1985, Willem de Kooning’s seminal work, Woman Ochre, was sliced from its frame and stolen from the walls of an Arizona art museum, disappearing into the desert. More than thirty years later, the now-valued $160 million dollar painting was rediscovered in the unlikeliest of places: behind a door in a house in Silver CIty, New Mexico. Come and meet the Alters, a couple like you’ve not met before.
Playing at Pickford Film Center88 minutes, USA, In English, DOC-Social/Racial Justice Rated NR: _ DoctoberDirected by: Jon Sesrie Goff
A meditative examination, After Sherman is a story about inheritance and the tension that defines our collective American (and especially Black) history. The director’s personal exploration of coastal South Carolina as a site of pride and racial trauma through Gullah cultural retention (the particular plantation enslavements of the lower Atlantic Coast) and land preservation, is interrupted by the tragic shootings at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC.
Playing at Pickford Film Center83 minutes, Chile, In Spanish, DOC-Social/Racial Justice Rated NR: _ DoctoberDirected by Patricio Guzmán
In October 2019, there was an unexpected revolution, a social explosion. One and a half million people demonstrated in the streets of Santiago for more democracy, a more dignified life, a better education, a better health system, and a new Constitution. Chile had recovered its memory. Patricio Guzmán, famed director of The Battle of Chile, Nostalgia for the Light, had been waiting for this moment since his student struggles in 1973. His long career exploring Chile both within and in exile culminate in this hopeful, very personal film.
Playing at Pickford Film Center81 minutes, English, In DOC-Bio, Doctober Rated NR: _ Directed by Rosa Ruth Boesten
A deft and intimate character study, Boesten trains her camera on George Anthony Morton, an inmate in federal prison for a decade on drug dealing charges, and a classical painter who nurtures his craft during lock-up. Since his release, he is doing everything he can to defy society’s unlevel playing field and tackle the white-dominant art world. He returns home to Kansas City and paints family members as catharsis and reflection. By painting these portraits, can George heal himself and create a better outcome for the next generation? Grand Jury Award Winner, 2022 SXSW Film Festival.
Presented by Whatcom Museum
Playing at Pickford Film Center88 minutes, USA, In English, DOC-Social/Racial Justice Rated NR: _ DoctoberDirected by Holly Morris
In-Person Q&A with Director Holly Morris, Oct. 8
As the arctic polar ice caps melt, reaching the North Pole has become increasingly dangerous. Yet, against all odds, an expedition of ordinary but extraordinary women from the Arab world and the West strap on skis and haul heavy sledges toward True North. Award-winning filmmaker Holly Morris captures it all, from frostbite and polar bear threats, to sexism and self-doubt in this intimate story of what may be the last-ever expedition to the top of the world.
Playing at Pickford Film Center85 minutes, USA, In English, DOC-Bio Rated NR: _ Directed by Amy Bandlien Storkel, Bryan Storkel, 85 min
This incredible story follows the adventures of Steve Glew, a small-town machinist formerly obsessed with cereal boxes and box-top point collecting who boards a plane for Eastern Europe soon after the fall of the Berlin Wall. His mission: To locate a secret factory holding the most desired and valuable Pez dispensers. Steve becomes the hero of his own adventure, smuggling Pez into the U.S. and making millions in the process – until his arch-nemesis, The Pezident (CEO of Pez USA), decides to destroy him. A wildly entertaining story with Glew starring in his own re-enactments, this is like Errol Morris crossed with Willie Wonka.
Playing at Pickford Film Center107 minutes, USA, In English, DOC-Arts & Entertainment Rated R: Language and some drug content DoctoberDirected by: Chris Smith
Documentary about an aspiring filmmaker’s attempts to finance his dream project by finally completing the low-budget horror film he abandoned years before.
Third Eye Cinema is a staff and volunteer-curated film series of all of our favorite flicks — the cult classics, the ones you might have missed, the ones you need to revisit. This series is sponsored by our friends at Trove Cannabis!
Playing at Pickford Film Center74 minutes, English, In DOC-Science/Medicine, Doctober Rated NR: _ Directed by Thomas Verrette
Zero Gravity follows a diverse group of middle-school students competing in a nationwide tournament to code satellites aboard the International Space Station. Seen through the wondrous eyes of three young innovators and their first-time coach, we watch in anticipation as the team blossoms from amateur coders to representing California in the ISS Finals Tournament — the culmination of a summer-long adventure that sees their accomplishment performed by astronauts in orbit. An inspiring film and, rightfully, one of this year’s Doc-ED* selections.
Playing at Pickford Film Center90 minutes, USA, In English, DOC-Social/Racial Justice Rated NR: _ DoctoberDirected by Daresha Kyi
More than 32,000 mothers in America, many from conservative, Christian backgrounds, have come together, forming Mama Bears, a fierce advocacy group whose name reflects their nature: warm, fuzzy love while fighting ferociously to make the world kinder and safer for LGBTQ+ people. Shot in a poetic, deeply intimate style, Mama Bears uses social media, home movies, photographs, interviews, and cinema verité footage to explore the complex intersections of politics, religion, faith, and unconditional love.
Presented by PFLAG Whatcom
Playing at Pickford Film Center100 minutes, USA, In English, DOC-Sports/Adventure Rated NR: _ DoctoberDirected by Stacy Peralta
Gerry Lopez, aka Mr. Pipeline, is one of surfing’s most enigmatic heroes—a Zen Buddhist and yoga practitioner on land who built his early career on aggressive surfing. Directed by award-winning filmmaker Stacy Peralta and brimming with era-appropriate nostalgia, Yin and Yang follows one of the most influential surfers and surfboard shapers of all time as he brings surfing to new frontiers while pursuing stillness of body and mind. Plenty of thrilling waves for adventure seekers.
Playing at Pickford Film Center97 minutes, UK, In English, DOC-Social/Racial Justice Rated NR: _ DoctoberVirtual Q&A w/ the director, Oct. 10
An award-winning documentary written, produced & directed by BAFTA-longlisted filmmaker Sonita Gale, Hostile focuses on the UK’s relationship w/ its migrant communities. Told through the stories of 4 participants from Black & Asian backgrounds, the film reveals the impact of the evolving ‘hostile environment’–a term used by the government in 2012 to illustrate the atmosphere they wanted to create for migrants w/ the intention of provoking them to leave. The film explores how the lives of international students, members of the Windrush generation & ‘Highly-Skilled Migrants’ have been affected. After decades of hostile policies, Britain has reached a crisis. With Brexit, the Points Based Immigration System & the Nationality & Borders Bill all having taken effect, the film asks: once the hostile environment has targeted all migrants, who will it extend to next?
Presented by WWU Political Sci Dept., Political Sci Assoc., International Affairs Assoc.
Playing at Pickford Film Center105 minutes, English, In DOC-Social/Racial Justice, DOC-Politics Rated NR: _ Directed by Cynthia Lowen
Battleground could not be more urgent or timely a window into the intersection of abortion and politics in America. It’s a film that may infuriate as it illuminates truths that must be told, following as it does three women who lead formidable anti-abortion organizations and wield enormous and devastating political influence. Battleground neatly balances those stories, however, and also beautifully depicts those on the front lines of the fierce fight to maintain reproductive access, even as the nation faces the end of Roe.
Presented by Mt. Baker Planned Parenthood
Playing at Pickford Film Center86 minutes, USA, In English, DOC-Bio Rated NR: _ Directed by: Reed Harkness
One day, she just disappeared. Sam and his half-brother Reed had no idea where their mom had gone. Shot over a 25-year period, incorporating archival footage, and using nearly every camera format imaginable–from Super-8 film to Arri 4K–Seattle director Reed Harkness uses the creative world of filmmaking to tackle that mystery so central to his family’s identity, to explore the often-complicated answers, and to examine the generational impacts families hand down. A deeply moving, personal film that lingers long after the credits roll.
Playing at Pickford Film Center86 minutes, Canada, In Mandarin, DOC-Social/Racial Justice Rated NR: _ DoctoberDirected by: Jason Loftus
Animated docs have had a moment – Flee was even nominated for a Best Animated Film Oscar. Welcome Eternal Spring to this exclusive club. In March 2002, spiritual group Falun Gong hijacked a state TV station in China, determined to counter the government narrative about their practice. Comic book illustrator Daxiong (Justice League, Star Wars), a Falun Gong practitioner, is forced to flee. Combining present-day footage with astonishing animation inspired by Daxiong’s art, Eternal Spring retraces the events, bringing to life an exhilarating tale of determination to speak up and speak out.
Playing at Pickford Film Center85 minutes, USA, In English, DOC-Arts & Entertainment Rated NR: _ Directed by Dawn Mikkelson, Keri Pickett
For thousands of years women have been locked out of the male-dominated world of Taiko drumming. No more. In the dead of a Minnesota winter, Asian drumming divas gather together from around the world in preparation for a historic performance where they smash gender roles and redefine power–on their own terms. Four years in the making, Finding Her Beat envelops viewers into the rhythms and struggles that lead to that thrilling performance, a performance whose electrifying vibrations will leave viewers buzzing with energy.
Presented by Audio Technology, Music, and Society at Fairhaven College
Playing at Pickford Film Center87 minutes, Mongolia, USA, In Kazakh, English, DOC-Sports/Adventure Rated G: _ DoctoberDirected by: Otto Bell
The Eagle Huntress follows Aisholpan, a 13-year-old girl, as she trains to become the first female in twelve generations of her Kazhkh family to become an eager hunger, and rises to the pinnacle of a tradition that has been handed down from father to son for centuries. Set against the breathtaking expanse of the Mongolian steppe, The Eagle Huntress features some of the most awe-inspiring cinematography ever captured in a documentary, giving this intimate tale of a young girl’s quest the dramatic force of an epic narrative film.
Playing at Pickford Film Center87 minutes, English, In DOC-Arts & Entertainment, Doctober Rated NR: _ Directed by Bradford Thomason, Brett Whitcomb
Butterfly in the Sky tells the story of one of the most beloved PBS children’s programs, Reading Rainbow. For over 25 years, the series set the standard for literary children’s television. Thanks to its uncondescending approach, plus its immersive documentary style adventures, LeVar Burton and the creative team instilled a love of reading in millions of children. The show ended in 2006, but the interviews from all involved and even some of the featured children who wrote book reports all suggest that RR is forever.
Presented by WWU Children’s Literature Conference
Playing at Pickford Film Center78 minutes, Canada, In English, DOC-Natural World Rated NR: _ DoctoberDirected by Stacy Tenenbaum
An artful and fascinating examination of decay, filmmaker Stacey Tenenbaum creates a love letter to the things we use in our daily lives. From a car graveyard to a family living in a discarded plane fuselage, Tenenbaum tells the stories of people who each have a connection to objects that have reached their “end of life.” Together, their stories convey a deeper environmental and human message about our relationship to things and perhaps what we even consider ‘garbage’.
Presented by The RE Store
Playing at Pickford Film Center100 minutes, USA, In English, DOC-Natural World Rated NR: _ DoctoberDirected by Luke Griswold-Tergis
This one is firmly in the ‘you can’t make this stuff up’ category, which makes docs so much fun. Asking nobody’s permission, Russian geophysicist Sergey Zimov and his son Nikita are gathering any large wooly beast they can find and transporting them, by whatever low budget means necessary, to the most remote corner of Siberia. The goal: restore the Ice Age “mammoth steppe” ecosystem, avoiding a catastrophic feedback loop. Whether or not they can alter the course of global destruction will of course be answered with time, but they proffer a fascinating vision.
Playing at Pickford Film Center102 minutes, Ireland, Belgium, France, In English, DOC-Social/Racial Justice Rated NR: _ Directed by Declan McGrath, Neasa Ní Chianáin
Co-presented by Belingham Public Schools Foundation
Soda bread social and music in the lobby at 11:00 AM prior to the Sunday, Oct. 16 screening, provided by the Bellingham Celtic Festival: http://www.bellinghamcelticfestival.com/
An observational documentary set in post-conflict Belfast, where a marginalized working class community struggles to survive and generational traumas linger. Enter Kevin McArevey, a visionary, Elvis-loving, Plato-loving primary school headmaster, who dares to imagine that even the youngest school children can apply the tools of philosophy to the conflicts and challenges of their lives and of their communities and find new confidence to enact real change. Heart-warming and inspiring, this is a story about the power of education and love.
Playing at Pickford Film Center93 minutes, Kenya, In Swahili, English, Samburu, DOC-Natural World Rated NR: _ Directed by Austin Peck
Ranger, set largely on the Laikipia plateau near Mount Kenya, is an intimate and contemporary story of self-discovery featuring 12 women who become East Africa’s first all-female anti-poaching unit. Upending the male-dominated reliance upon military-style training to make a wildlife ranger, Virginia, Liz, Momina, and Damaris instead undergo a year-long program of deep trauma-release and healing, triggering profound transformation within themselves and sending shockwaves through their communities. Welcome to a new generation of heroes.
Playing at Pickford Film Center95 minutes, English, In DOC-Bio, DOC-Science/Medicine Rated NR: _ Directed by Ross Kauffman
Emily Whitehead was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of six. Of Medicine and Miracle chronicles her family’s experience in hospital after hospital, attempting to stay positive and a doctor who could hold the key to Emily’s survival. That doctor, Carl June, is a big part of this story. One part examination of the flawed American healthcare system, one part family drama, this emotional rollercoaster will inspire others to maintain hope–miracles do happen. Kauffman, co-director of the Academy Award winning Pickford favorite, Born into Brothels, moves us to happy tears.
Playing at Pickford Film Center60 minutes, English, In DOC-Bio, DOC-Science/Medicine Rated NR: _ Directed by Daniel Klein, Kelsey Peterson; Indie-Lens Pop-up (FREE)
With intro and discussion led by Pam Kuntz, dancer and senior instructor in dance at WWU
Kelsey Peterson dove into Lake Superior, smacking her head on the bottom, causing a spinal cord injury that would render her paralyzed from the chest down, robbing her of her identity as an athlete and dancer. When a cutting-edge clinical trial surfaces, it tests her expectations and her faith in the possibility of a cure, forcing her to evaluate the limits of her recovery—body and spirit.
Playing at Pickford Film Center93 minutes, English, In DOC-Politics, DOC-Natural World Rated NR: _ Directed by Elizabeth Unger
A Bolivian park ranger and a Hong Kongese journalist risk their lives to go undercover and investigate a new, deadly jaguar trade sweeping South America. Along the way, they grapple with questions of empathy, responsibility, and bridging a cultural gap to prevent the jaguar trade from spiraling out of control. Spanning the mist-covered Amazon to wildlife markets in China, Tigre Gente follows the storylines of two passionate people fighting to protect a precious species.
Playing at Pickford Film Center101 minutes, USA, In English, DOC-Bio Rated NR: _ Directed by: Ondi Timoer
Documentarian Ondi Timoner (Dig!) turns the camera on herself and her family in this portrait of her father Eli–which doubles as a template of familial grief for all who are touched by assisted suicide. The dynamic Eli founded Air Florida, the fastest growing airline in the world in the 1970’s, a journey that sees him mingle with the most powerful politicians of the era. The ups and downs of business pale next to his devotion as a father, grandfather and humanitarian–and serve as a basis for our own deep well of empathy to come to the fore.
Playing at Pickford Film Center85 minutes, USA, In English, DOC-Arts & Entertainment Rated NR: _ DoctoberDirected by Alysa Nahmias
Locked-up for six years in a federal prison, Jesse Krimes secretly creates monumental works of art—including an astonishing 40-foot mural made with prison bed sheets, hair gel, and newspaper. He smuggles out each panel piece-by-piece with the help of fellow artists, only seeing the mural in totality upon coming home. As Jesse’s work captures the art world’s attention, he adjusts to life outside, getting to know his young son, and living with the constant threat, due to his conditional release, that any misstep will trigger a life sentence.
Presented by Whatcom Museum
Playing at Pickford Film Center98 minutes, English, In DOC-Social/Racial Justice, Doctober Rated NR: _ Directed by: Elisa Levine, Gabriel Miller
Driven by their addiction to heroin, four women encounter friendship and betrayal while working the streets in Sweetheart Deal, a story about a life fraught with insecurity on Seattle’s infamous Aurora Avenue. Shot in unflinching vérité-style over many years, Sweetheart Deal offers an astonishingly intimate portrait of hope and heartbreak on the fringes of modern America and reveals the brave resilience of the women who fought their demons, internal and external, and hung on to the light in the darkest of circumstances.
Playing at Pickford Film Center120 minutes, DOC-Natural World, In Doctober, Rated NR: _ Directed by: various
A joyful and eclectic program ranges from ‘The Process’ where a world class crack climber takes on a bit more than he anticipated; or ‘Spellbound’, where wingsuit BASE jumping reveals to audiences the adrenaline rush of the flight and the inner quests of the athletes; or ‘The Traverse’ where two world class female skiers attempt a dangerous adventure. In all, eight films – and only one screening – make this a can’t miss.
Playing at Pickford Film Center75 minutes, Australia, In English, DOC-Natural World Rated NR: _ Directed by Jennifer Peedom
River takes its audience on a journey through space and time, spanning six continents, and drawing on extraordinary contemporary cinematography, including satellite filming, showing rivers on scale and from perspectives never seen before. Its union of image, music, and sparse, poetic script is both dream-like and powerful, honoring the wildness of rivers but also recognizing their vulnerability. Featuring music by Jonny Greenwood and Radiohead and narrated by Willem Dafoe.
Presented by NSEA // Whatcom Watersheds Information Network
Playing at Pickford Film Center96 minutes, English, In DOC-Bio, Doctober Rated NR: _ Directed by Rebecca Halpern
Before the Food Network, before TikTok and social media, before the rise of friend Anthony Bourdain, Chef Charlie Trotter revolutionized global cuisine. He was a rock star among the first generation of celebrity chefs, but his meteoric rise came at a price. With exclusive access to never-before-seen archival material, Love, Charlie reveals how his pursuit of excellence ultimately consumed him, with devastating consequences.
Sponsored by Keenan’s at the Pier
Playing at Pickford Film Center89 minutes, USA, In English, DOC-Bio Rated NR: _ Directed by Mye Hoang
Tora, Pickles, Lucky, Zulu, Toodles, Flame and GoalKitty. These and other felines aid director Mye Hoang’s sweet exploration of modern masculinity and the bond between men and their adorable cats. Men like David Giovanni, who lives on the streets of New York and is determined to stay with his beloved cat, Lucky, even with medical challenges and a pandemic that threatens their bond. A Hollywood stuntman, South Carolina firefighters and more – 9 stories, appropriately – help Hoang animate this furry story.
Presented by NEKO Cat Cafe
Playing at Pickford Film Center80 minutes, USA, In French w/ English Subtitles, DOC-Social/Racial Justice Rated NR: _ DoctoberDirected by Jo Ardinger
In-person Q&A with director Jo Ardinger, Oct. 24
Personhood follows the story of Tammy Loertscher, a rural Wisconsin woman, forcibly detained after revealing her history of depression and occasional drug use during a prenatal appointment. Her fetus was given an attorney, while the courts denied Loertscher her constitutional rights and sent her to jail. Personhood tracks the rise of the “fetal personhood” movement and reveals a growing system of laws in America that criminalize pregnant people. Comparisons to The Handmaid’s Tale are apt, but this is not a fiction: it’s happening now and spreading.
Presented by Mt. Baker Planned Parenthood
Playing at Pickford Film Center100 minutes, USA, In English, DOC-Social/Racial Justice Rated NR: _ DoctoberDirected by: David Siev
A real-time portrait of 2020 unfolds as a close-knit, warmly loving Asian-American family in the conservative rural town of Bad Axe, Michigan, fights to keep their restaurant and the American dream alive in the face of a pandemic, Neo-Nazis, and generational scars from the Cambodian Killing Fields. Shot and directed by the son of the family, David Siev, Bad Axe is a revealing, intimate, and hopeful representation of a family and of a complex, divided America. Winner of the Audience Award at SXSW Film Festival.
Playing at Pickford Film Center105 minutes, English, In DOC-Social/Racial Justice, Doctober Rated NR: _ Directed by Julian Rubenstein
Terrance Roberts, former gang leader and prison inmate, returned to his Denver community to become a high-profile, award-winning activist. But, as the redevelopment of Denver’s Holly Square was underway, Roberts shot a young gang member—at his own peace rally. As the city’s gang violence spikes and Roberts heads to trial facing life in prison, dangerous truths about the neighborhood’s cycle of violence and the complicated truths of what happened on the day of the peace rally are revealed.
Presented by Bellingham Human Rights Film Festival
Playing at Pickford Film Center72 minutes, USA, In English, DOC-Bio Rated NR: _ DoctoberDirected by Nancy Svendsen
As an uneducated Indigenous woman and a Buddhist in a Hindu kingdom, Pasang Lhamu Sherpa’s dream to scale the legendary Everest–a mountain usually claimed by the wealthiest and most privileged–pits her against tradition, foreign climbers, her own government, and nature itself. As told by the Nepalis who knew her, by some of the world’s most notable alpinists, and Pasang herself, the film documents Pasang’s historic quest that would transfix her country and uplift a new generation. Few individuals in history forge a path with such heroic determination: Pasang’s inspirational story is one in a million.
Presented by CASCADIA International Women’s Film Festival and The Bellingham Mountaineers
Playing at Pickford Film Center83 minutes, USA, In English, DOC-Arts & Entertainment Rated NR: _ dir. Riel Roch Decter, Sebastian Pardo
In-Person Q&A with the band on Oct. 28
Can Artificial Intelligence imitate distinct sounds? That’s what American post-pop group Yacht sets out to discover in this provocative exploration on art and technology. Yacht invites a computer to analyze their back catalogue and assist in the composition of their seventh album. Melodies, rhythms, and even lyrics are generated by an AI system but arranged, performed, and recorded by the increasingly frustrated band, putting their notions of artistic authenticity to the test. A sly, brilliant examination of the creative process.
Playing at Pickford Film Center97 minutes, DOC-Bio, In Doctober, Rated NR: _ A shorts program curated by Jane Julian:
“The Originals,” by Cristina Costentini and Alfie Koettertells stories about growing up in South Brooklyn, where money was tight but friendships were tighter.
In “Bacon ’N’ Laces,” by Stephen Michael Simon, John is a blind single father managing a diner with his three sons, all of whom share a sneaker obsession.
In “Powers,” by Paige Morrow Kimball, a 60-year-old woman secretly – and illegally – hangs joyful sculptures on telephone poles.
In “Pony Boys,” by Eric Stange, two kids drive a pony cart 325 miles to the World’s Fair.
In “Lalito 10,” by Jordan Horowitz, a teacher gets creative in bringing mobile instruction during the pandemic.
Playing at Pickford Film Center93 minutes, English, In DOC-Social/Racial Justice, DOC-Politics Rated NR: _ Directed by Chris James Thompson
Co-presented by Bellingham Human Rights Film Festival
When US Air Force JAG Attorney Yvonne Bradley volunteered to defend Binyam Mohamed, who faced a death penalty case at Guantanamo Bay in 2005, she believed the detainees there were ‘the worst of the worst’ in the war on terror. Yvonne’s view was immediately challenged, however, as she began untangling Mohamed’s case and confronted the truth about what happened to him. We Are Not Ghouls is about corruption at the highest levels of power and the dangers for those who choose to fight for justice.
Playing at Pickford Film Center93 minutes, English, In DOC-Politics, Doctober Rated NR: _ Directed by Lucia Small
Virtual Q&A with the director Oct. 29
Set in the cutthroat, boy-dominated world of high school debate where tomorrow’s leaders get their start, Girl Talk tells the timely story of five girls on a diverse, top-ranked Massachusetts high school debate team as they strive to become the best debaters in the United States. These debaters remain steadfast in their determination to overcome the odds, reminding us that equal rights and freedom of expression are worth fighting for and that American heroes might be found even among the youngest of a generation.
Playing at Pickford Film Center80 minutes, English, In DOC-Bio, DOC-Sports/Adventure Rated NR: _ Directed by Dawn Mikkelson
(Work-in-Progress/Advance Screening) As invigoratingly brash and boldly fresh as its subjects, Minnesota Mean follows a year in the lives of the Minnesota RollerGirls, one of the most competitive roller derby teams in the world, as they strive to win the Hydra, the top prize in the sport. Their riveting journey illuminates the unique physical and social challenges of a demanding sport and the deep power of friendship–and by the end, it’ll have you itching to lace up your own skates and hit the track!
Playing at Pickford Film Center76 minutes, USA, In English, DOC-Social/Racial Justice Rated NR: _ Directed by Din Blankenship, Erin Levin Bernhardt
Virtual Q&A with directors Oct. 30
Despite former Klan leader Chris Buckley’s renunciation of the KKK , he retains a deep prejudice against Muslims following the 9/11 attacks. Chris’s long-held beliefs are challenged when Dr. Heval Kelli, a cardiologist and Kurdish refugee, reaches out to him and an unlikely relationship develops. Will Chris overcome his hate? Will Dr. Kelli find what he is seeking? What’s possible when we are willing to face hate with humanity?
Plays With: “Stranger at the Gate” dir. Josh Seftel, 25 min
After a quarter century of service, a US marine, still raging against Muslims, plans to bomb the local mosque. When he comes face to face with the community of Afghan refugees, his plan takes an unexpected turn.
Presented by Bellingham Human Rights Film Festival
Playing at Pickford Film Center115 minutes, Japan, In Japanese w/ English Subtitles, Action Rated R: Some violent images Directed by: Shin’ichiro Watanabe
In this acclaimed Japanese animation, Jet Black, Faye Valentine and the others aboard an interstellar craft called the Bebop have their eyes on a lucrative reward. However, if they expect to collect it, they will have to haul in the man responsible for unleashing poison on Mars. Although it seems that their biggest challenge involves catching up with the infamous Vincent Volaju, here in the 2070s the skies are even more troublesome than members of the Bebop team realize.
Third Eye Cinema is a staff and volunteer-curated film series of all of our favorite flicks — the cult classics, the ones you might have missed, the ones you need to revisit. This series is sponsored by our friends at Trove Cannabis!
Playing at Pickford Film Center123 minutes, English, In Drama, Rated R: Language and thematic material Directed by: Florian Zeller
A drama that follows a family as it struggles to reunite after falling apart. THE SON centers on Peter (Jackman), whose hectic life with his infant and new partner Beth (Kirby) is upended when his ex-wife Kate (Dern) appears with their son Nicholas (McGrath), who is now a teenager. The young man has been missing from school for months and is troubled, distant, and angry. Peter strives to take care of Nicholas as he would have liked his own father to have taken care of him while juggling work, his and Beth’s new son, and the offer of his dream position in Washington. However, by reaching for the past to correct its mistakes, he loses sight of how to hold onto the Nicholas in the present.