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20 Documentaries you cannot miss at the 14th Documentary Edge Festival (Part 1)

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We present a list of twenty docs you cannot miss at the Documentary Edge Festival which will take place from May 30th to June 23rd, 2019 in Auckland & Wellington (New Zealand).

306 Hollywood

306 Hollywood by Elan Bogarin & Jonathan Bogarin
USA | 2018 – 94 minutes

When siblings Elan and Jonathan Bogarín lose their Grandma, they uncover an extraordinary universe in the seemingly ordinary home they inherit. Their overwhelmed mother tells them to “Sell the house, and throw everything out!” But as Elan and Jonathan bring out the trash bags they are stopped in their tracks. There are a pair of their grandmother’s size 4 white Reebok sneakers, the last perfectly-folded load of laundry, her handwritten note: ‘Don’t lock the bathroom door!’ All of these once meaningless objects are now bizarrely full of meaning. In the thousands of belongings that still populate 306 Hollywood Ave, it feels like she is still there. (Doc EDGE 2019)

Schedule:
June 4th | Tuesday | Loft, Q Theatre (Auckland) | 4:30 pm
June 6th | Thursday | Rangatira, Q Theatre (Auckland) | 6:30 pm
June 19th | Wednesday | The Roxy 1 (Wellington) | 6:30 pm
June 20th | Saturday | The Roxy 1 (Wellington) | 2:15 pm

Trailer:

Advocate

Advocate by Rachel Leah Jones & Philippe Bellaiche
Israel, Canada, Switzerland | 2019 – 108 minutes

Lea Tsemel defends Palestinians: from feminists to fundamentalists, from non-violent demonstrators to armed militants. As a Jewish-Israeli lawyer who has represented political prisoners for five decades, Lea is a staunch supporter of compassion within the court system. In her tireless quest for justice, she pushes the boundaries of a human rights defender to their limits. As far as most Israelis are concerned, she defends the indefensible. As far as Palestinians are concerned, she’s more than an attorney, she’s an ally.

This original, provocative film exposes the human fallout of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and provides hope for a peaceful resolution. (Doc EDGE 2019)

Schedule:
June 7th | Friday | Loft, Q Theatre (Auckland) | 4:15 pm
June 9th | Sunday | Rangatira, Q Theatre (Auckland) | 2:00 pm
June 19th | Wednesday | The Roxy 2 (Wellington) | 4:45 pm
June 23rd | Sunday | The Roxy 1 (Wellington) | 2:15 pm

Trailer:

Buddy

Buddy by Heddy Honigmann
Netherlands | 2018 – 86 minutes

Heddy Honigmann has developed and refined her style over many documentaries in her 30+ year career. Buddy again teams her with long-time collaborator, composer Florencia di Concilio, to deliver a poignant and carefully-composed portrait of six guide dogs and their companions. (Doc EDGE 2019)

Schedule:
June 5th | Wednesday | Loft, Q Theatre (Auckland) | 4:30 pm
June 8th | Saturday | Rangatira, Q Theatre (Auckland) | 4:15 pm
June 21st | Friday | The Roxy 2 (Wellington) | 4:30 pm
June 22nd | Saturday | The Roxy 1 (Wellington) | 2:15 pm

Trailer:

Call Me Intern

Call Me Intern by Nathalie Berger, Leo David Hyde
New Zealand, Switzerland, USA | 2019 – 67 minutes

Call Me Intern follows interns-turned-activists who refuse to accept the idea that young people should have to work for free to kickstart their careers. Their stories challenge stereotypes of youth, and help give a voice to the growing movement for intern rights across the world.
Young, unemployed and frustrated, filmmakers David Hyde and Nathalie Berger set out to land an internship so they can examine the system from the inside. After David accepts an internship at the United Nations, they move into a small blue tent on the Geneva lakefront and begin documenting his unpaid intern experience. (Doc EDGE 2019)

Schedule:
May 31st | Friday | Auckland Art Gallery Auditorium | 12:30 pm
June 3rd | Monday | Loft, Q Theatre (Auckland) | 3:00 pm
June 4th | Tuesday | Rangatira, Q Theatre (Auckland) | 6:00 pm
June 17th | Monday | The Roxy 2 (Wellington) | 2:45 pm
June 18th | Tuesday | The Roxy 1 (Wellington) | 6:00 pm

Trailer:

Cause of Death

Cause of Death by Ramy Katz – Israel | 2018 – 79 minutes

On the night of March 5, 2002, a terrorist opened fire on diners in a Tel Aviv restaurant. Policeman Salim Barakat intervened, taking on and killing the terrorist – but also dying himself as a result of his injuries. The official record attributed the fatal injury to a throat stab wound inflicted by the assailant. For years afterwards Jamal, Salim’s brother, attended police ceremonies in commemoration of his brother.

But what initially appeared to be a clear-cut case of heroism which ended in tragedy soon became a topical and controversial exploration of a potential race- and religion-fuelled cover-up. Indeed, Salim’s brother Jamal now contends that prejudice played a bigger role in his sibling’s death than the gun- and knife-wielding terrorist. (Doc EDGE 2019)

Schedule:
June 6th | Thursday | Loft, Q Theatre (Auckland) | 8:15 pm
June 9th | Sunday | Rangatira, Q Theatre (Auckland) | 4:30 pm
June 16th | Sunday | The Roxy 2 (Wellington) | 4:45 pm
June 20th | Thursday | The Roxy 2 (Wellington) | 6:30 pm

Trailer:

China Love

China Love by Olivia Martin-McGuire – Australia | 2018 – 96 minutes

In 21st century China, it’s customary for betrothed couples to spend a small fortune on glamorous portraits, taken many months in advance of their wedding. Chinese and Australian participants navigate love, weddings and family in the lead-up to the most important ritual of Chinese society – getting married. Come on a billion-dollar ride of fantasy exploring contemporary China through the window of the pre-wedding photography industry. (Doc EDGE 2019)

Schedule:
May 30th | Thursday | Loft, Q Theatre (Auckland) | 2:45 pm
June 2nd | Sunday | Rangatira, Q Theatre (Auckland) | 1:45 pm
June 13th | Thursday | The Roxy 2 (Wellington) | 4:45 pm
June 15th | Saturday | The Roxy 1 (Wellington) | 4:00 pm

Trailer:

Gaza

Gaza by Garry Keane, Andrew McConnell – Ireland | 2019 – 92 minutes

It’s hard to imagine anybody living a normal life in the Gaza Strip. Frequently labelled as the world’s largest open-air prison, it makes an appearance on news reports every time a confrontation erupts between Israel and Hamas. On TV sets thousands of miles away, this tiny piece of land has been reduced to an image of violence, chaos and destruction. The Gaza which is seldom seen is ordinary, everyday Gaza, a coastal strip smaller than Lake Taupō and home to an eclectic mix of almost two million.

So what do the people who live there do when they’re not under siege? (Doc EDGE 2019)

Schedule:
June 7th | Friday | Rangatira, Q Theatre (Auckland) | 8:30 pm
June 9th | Sunday | Loft, Q Theatre (Auckland) | 12:45 pm
June 16th | Sunday | The Roxy 1 (Wellington) | 6:15 pm
June 20th | Thursday | Light House Cuba (Wellington) | 6:00 pm

Trailer:

Ghost Fleet

Ghost Fleet by Shannon Service – USA | 2018 – 89 minutes

The Gulf of Thailand, once teeming with life, is now barren. Decades ago, Thai boats plied rich waters and came home full after a few days or weeks.

Due to over-fishing, lax legislation and even more lax enforcement, Thailand’s fishermen are driven further and further from shore to find fish. At sea for years, captains chase fish as far away as Ethiopia. As Thailand’s prosperity increases, fishermen are finding more family-friendly work and the enormous Thai fishing fleet – the second-biggest supplier of fish to the United States – is short of tens of thousands of men.

Human trafficking gangs have stepped into the gap, luring men out of villages in Cambodia, Bangladesh and Myanmar with false promises of well-paying jobs in prosperous Thailand. (Doc EDGE 2019)

Schedule:
May 31st | Friday | Rangatira, Q Theatre (Auckland) | 6:45 pm
June 2nd | Sunday | Loft, Q Theatre (Auckland) | 12:15 pm
June 14th | Friday | The Roxy 1 (Wellington) | 6:45 pm
June 16th | Sunday | The Roxy 2 (Wellington) | 12:45 pm

Trailer:

Graves without a name

Graves without a name by Rithy Panh
France, Cambodia | 2018 – 115 minutes

After The Missing Picture (Un Certain Regard winner at Cannes and Oscar nominee for the Best Foreign Language Film), Killing Machine and Exile, Cambodia’s most celebrated auteur continues his personal and spiritual exploration of Cambodia’s time under the Khmer Rouge.
Graves Without a Name searches for a path to peace as director Rithy Panh attempts to locate the graves of family members and friends who perished in work camps during the Khmer Rouge regime of late-1970s Cambodia.

Seeking to give them proper burials, he scours the countryside on the advice of spiritual leaders. What does he find? (Doc EDGE 2019)

Schedule:
May 30th | Thursday | Loft, Q Theatre (Auckland) | 7:30 pm
June 1st | Saturday | Auckland Art Gallery Auditorium | 2:00 pm
June 13th | Thursday | The Roxy 2 (The Wellington) | 6:30 pm
June 17th | Monday | The Roxy 1 (The Wellington) | 4:00 pm

Trailer:

Grit

Grit by Cynthia Wade, Sasha Friedlander, Tracie Holder
USA | 2018 – 80 minutes

When Dian was six years old, she heard a deep rumble and turned to see a tsunami of mud barrelling towards her village. Her neighbours ran for their lives. 16 villages, including Dian’s, were plunged under 60 feet of mud. A decade later, nearly 60,000 people have been displaced from what was once a thriving industrial and residential area in East Java, Indonesia.

The suspected cause? A multinational company, drilling for natural gas, is accused of striking an underground pocket of mud and unleashing the violent flow of hot sludge from the earth’s depths. (Doc EDGE 2019)

Schedule:
June 3rd | Monday | Rangatira, Q Thetre (Auckland) | 10:15 am
June 8th | Saturday | Loft, Q Theatre (Auckland) | 12:00 pm
June 22nd | Saturday | The Roxy 1 (Wellington) | 10:15 am
June 23rd | Sunday | The Roxy 1 (Wellington) | 4:45 pm

Trailer:

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