Sonita: A suspenseful documentary about forced marriage

A documentary Directed by Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami Note: This exceptional documentary struck a tremendous chord when I saw at the 2016 San Francisco Film Festival. I wrote the review below at that time, but held back publication until until Bay Area viewers could see the picture.Now that Sonita is available on Netflix, I'm publishing my review. Young … Continue reading Sonita: A suspenseful documentary about forced marriage

James Baldwin, Samuel L. Jackson, & I Am Not Your Negro

A documentary Written by James Baldwin Directed by Raoul Peck In the final decade of his life, author James Baldwin wrote 30 pages of an unfinished book about his own experiences, his friendships with Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King, Jr., and the African American experience in general. Now Raoul Peck has turned … Continue reading James Baldwin, Samuel L. Jackson, & I Am Not Your Negro

Mifune documentary enjoyable and enlightening

B+ Documentary Directed by Steven Okazaki If you have any interest at all in Japanese cinema, you're bound to enjoy Mifune: The Last Samurai, a love letter to the legendary movie star. Even if you already know a great deal about Toshiro Mifune, you'll probably learn something new. For instance, I discovered through this film that … Continue reading Mifune documentary enjoyable and enlightening

Doc Stories festival opens with Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds

Quick note: Yes, I've been changing Bayflicks' design a lot lately. Hopefully this one will last. Growing up with famous parents can't be easy--especially if your father left home for Elizabeth Taylor, and your relentlessly upbeat mother insisted that you follow in her footsteps. And then, decades later, a bunch of documentarians invade your privacy … Continue reading Doc Stories festival opens with Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds

The Eagle Huntress: Just a little too slick

C+ Documentary Directed by Otto Bell We all know that documentaries can lie to us far worse than narratives--which we go into knowing they're false. Otto Bell's doc, about a Mongolian girl who proves she's better than any man, entertains and inspires. But it feels false. Parts of the story are difficult to believe. And almost … Continue reading The Eagle Huntress: Just a little too slick

Mifune and The Handmaiden at the Mill Valley Film Festival

Quick notes on two films screening at the Mill Valley Film Festival. Both films have one more screening at the festival, and both will soon get a theatrical release. Mifune: The Last Samurai I caught this documentary at the Lark Friday night. Director Steven Okazaki introduced the film, describing his first Mifune experience: The Seven … Continue reading Mifune and The Handmaiden at the Mill Valley Film Festival