Movie Review: HAART KENYA, Kenya, Documentary

Stunningly beautiful, filled with a rich tapestry of color and textures, HAART KENYA is as visually moving as it is emotionally engaging and educationally necessary. This Kenyan film from director Danielle Da Silva is a work following HAART Kenya- an organization dedicated to helping support and rehabilitate women and children involved in the human trafficking trades in Kenya and East Africa. We follow two main stories of women who were victims of human trafficking, as well as hearing from the professionals at HAART who work on the front lines. Pairing with Photographers Without Borders, this film documents the struggles and pains that follow victims of human trafficking, and the treatment and support HAART can provide them.

 

HAART KENYA is not a depressing film. On the contrary, it is alright with hope. It is bright with the triumph and resilience of the human spirit. A film that fills your heart with anguish, but also with happiness. At the other side of surviving is thriving- HAART KENYA reminds us that we are not defined by are our tragedies- we are defined by what we are in spite of them. A beautiful film with a beautiful message, it is a documentary not to miss.

Review by Kierston Drier

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video of the Short Film:

HAART KENYA, 13min., Kenya, Documentary
Directed by Danielle Da Silva

An organization dedicated to ending modern slavery (human trafficking) against women and children in Kenya and East Africa. Simas spent two weeks photographing their workshops, community, and grief-stricken survival stories.

CLICK HERE – and see full info and more pics of the film!

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Movie Review: ISIS WAS HERE, Iraq, Documentary

ISIS WAS HERE is a harrowing and dramatic documentary from Iraq, chronically the destructive force of ISIS and its path through one Iraq town of Qayyarah. Director Abdalrahman Karm takes a front-lines approach to the piece- putting the camera (and us) at the ground zero of tragedy.

 

We never find out entirely how ISIS gains control of the town, but we are able to follow the wreckage left behind their abandoned 2014 occupation- including their take-over of the local hospital, their isolation of students from schools, and their simultaneously systematic and senseless torture of the residents. We follow family after family touched by violence, death, destruction and horrendous acts of cruelty.  

 

What ISIS WAS HERE is able to translate is the loss of humanity brought about by terror and war. A film as raw and emotionally evocative as possible, it will remind you that behind headlines in newspapers, and behind statistics, there are human beings. Humans who feel love and loss and pain. ISIS WAS HERE is an important film and one that is not always easy to watch- but not everything important is easy to see. Nevertheless ISIS WAS HERE is a film to see.

Review by Kierston Drier

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ISIS WAS HERE, 25min, Iraq, Documentary 
Directed by Farman Abdalrahman Karim 

In 2014 the ISIS controlled Qayyarah Town, It Is near from the Mousll City in north Iraq. In 27 Aug 2016 Iraqi Army freedom the Qayyarah Town, after that every one Shocked when they see the tragedy stories in Qayyarah

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Movie Review: WEEKEND WARRIOR, USA, Documentary

WEEKEND WARRIOR, a six minute documentary hailing from the USA by director Jonathan Harris follows Trey Bowen, a young daredevil with a passion for four-wheeling. Gentle and down to earth, at first glance Trey might not seem the type to strap himself into a massive machines and go airborne at forty miles an hour. But he is. WEEKEND WARRIOR tells the story of Trey, and his life-long pursuit of his great passion- four wheeling tricks. From creating a massive foam pit to ride his bike into, to building ramps to jump off of, there is nothing less than a labour of love that propels our hero to his end goal- to do a trick that only twelve people have done before- a full mid air flip.

 

What is most engaging about this piece is that it reminds us all that talent is rarely innately born into us. Talent is the product of commitment and passion. Goals, like anything worth having in life- is hard work. Trey is true to the films name- he is a weekend warrior. Something so many of those working a 9-5 must become to live their dreams. The thing that cannot be denied about Trey and his story is his infectious happiness and effortless joy. It is both enviable and inspiring to watch Trey achieve is dreams.

 

A film that boasts gorgeous cinematography and tells a feel good story for all ages, WEEKEND WARRIOR is a film for all who dare to dream.

 

Review by Kierston Drier

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WEEKEND WARRIOR, 6min., USA, Documentary
Directed by Jonathan Harris

CLICK HERE – and see full info and more pics of the film!

Movie Review: WATER, USA, Documentary

A four minute film about the beauty of the natural world, WATER, directed by Mark Knight, has no voice over, no words, and no people in it. Our main character is water- it’s transformative nature and its raw power. From towering icebergs to roaring waterfalls to utterly still glassy swamps- WATER takes your across the tapestries of the natural world quickly with effortlessness and ease.

 

Awesome in its scope and spectrum, and inspiring in its simplicity, this film is an homage to the wonder of the natural vistas of the planet. It will remind us that we are all, so often guilty of the greatest folly of humanity- we walk upon the earth as though we own it. WATER will remind you that we are far from the most powerful force on the planet.

 

Review by Kierston Drier

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WATER, 4min, USA, Documentary
Directed by Mark Knight

Window Channel Network takes you on a four-minute journey to some of the planet’s most spectacular glaciers, waterfalls, beaches, rivers and waterways. Destinations include, Iceland, Igauzu Falls Brazil, Atchafalaya Basin Louisiana, Lake Tahoe California, Black Canyon of the Gunnison Colorado, and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Music score Wieland Reisssmann by Peter Simmer.

CLICK HERE – and see full info and more pics of the film!

Movie Review: SAN GUERRERO, Argentina, Documentary

This four minute documentary film coming out of Argentina by director Jeff Zorrilla, is a gritty and hard-reality look at an American Ex-patriot, living in Buenos Aires. At first glance, the rough-and-tumble voice of our hero calls to mind the funny slightly off-color humor of a rarely seen relative at a family reunion; the lilt of a gravely, worldly voice that tells it like it is, with a harshness that is equal parts enticing and dangerous. As our story moves ahead, however, we see the life our hero leads by day and night are quite different- by day, he is a travel guide for tourists looking to explore the city. By night, he books sex workers for clients who are vacationing as sexual tourists. The bright and colorful streets of Buenos Aires have a dark and dirty side.

 

Whether our hero is telling you where to pick up lunch, or where to pick up a date, he deals in his trades the same way- you come looking for something, he has the answer. We never see his face- but we know this man.

 

What makes SAN  GUERRERO a fascinating watch is it’s honesty. We may not like our hero, or his job- but we get the very real sense that he does not care what we think- as he says in the film,  he didn’t come to this city to live- he came here to die. There is real life honesty behind his candor, his resignation of the way the world- his world- is. Our hero is complex, gritty, larger-than-life, real, warped and honest- all in four minutes. We see only the tip of the iceberg that is his life. A delicate tone is woven in SAN GUERRERO, it will test you- it will have you lingering between wanting to know everything about our hero- and shuddering at knowing his life is likely the equivalent to a high-speed cinematic chase scene. SAN GUERRERO is a complex portrait of a man, a bright and colorful college of broken dreams and broken glass. An excellent film, and an excellent story.

 

Review by Kierston Drier

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SAN GUERRERO, 4min., Argentina, Documentary
Directed by Jeff Zorrilla

A portrait of an american ex-patriot lilving in Buenos Aires and working as a city tour guide during the day and a prostitution tour guide during the night

CLICK HERE – and see full info and more pics of the film!

Movie Review: NOT THIS AGAIN, USA, Drama/Romance

An eight-minute film coming out of the USA, NOT THIS AGAIN, directed by David Nichols Jr, is about what happens to relationships that function in the face of illness. After a difficult night dealing with chronic illness, a man and his partner have a fight about his inability to move forward in life. Of course, wasn’t this always how it was supposed to end? Wasn’t she leaving the inevitable conclusion to this sad story? But this story is not about illness. It is about what it means to give and take in relationships- the selflessness and selfishness we are all guilty of when we take people for granted.

 

NOT THIS AGAIN, is not about illness- it is about what illness can do to people and what those people in turn, do to each other. A compelling and emotionally deep film, it does not overburden us with exposition. We hear the couples pain through their subtext, and we read their feeling without needing to understand what their world was built on up to this point. We are left with the knowledge that illness does not end love. Yet love can not always end illness. Ultimately, both people have to stand up and fight for each other and for themselves. If they don’t- neither can stay. NOT THIS AGAIN is a deep and thought-provoking look at human relationships- a strong and vibrant work, indeed.

 

Review by Kierston Drier

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NOT THIS AGAIN, 8min, USA, Drama/Romance
Directed by David Nichols Jr.

After three years of being together, STEPHANIE and JOSH are having a difficult time connecting. Stephanie is doing her best to help take care of Josh after his most recent surgery but he isn’t making it easy for her.

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Movie Review: A STATIC WIND, Australia, Drama

This fifteen minute coming of age story follows a pre-teen girl and her widower father spending their vacation with their aunt at the family cottage. Caught in between a girl and a woman, and cramped together in a cottage with a younger cousin and a rebellious teenage cousin, our heroine is outgrowing the cocoon of childhood.

 

At time emotionally uncomfortable but nonetheless strikingly beautiful, A STATIC WIND is a film composed of those tiny moments crack our childhood minds and propel them into adulthood. We watch our character slower tackle the thoughts of what it means to be alive, and what it means to be a person- that safety, that love, is more complicated in reality than they are in fairy tales.

 

A STATIC WIND is beautifully shot, spectacularly cast and wonderfully performed. It is subtle, is it heartbreaking, it is powerful. Do not miss it.

 

Review by Kierston Drier

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A STATIC WIND, 15min., Australia, Drama 
Directed by Isaac ElliotOn an annual trip to her aunties house in a small country town 14 year old Silvy meets this years crop of foster children; an older girl, Mia, worldly and confident and 9yo Grayson.

CLICK HERE – and see full info and more pics of the film!