EATING ANIMALS
2017, IFC Films, 94 min, Dir: Christopher Dillon Quinn

Based on the best-selling book by Jonathan Safran Foer and narrated by co-producer Natalie Portman, this documentary is an urgent, eye-opening look at the environmental, economic and public health consequences of factory farming. Tracing the history of food production in the United States, the film charts how farming has gone from local and sustainable to a corporate Frankenstein’s monster that offers cheap eggs, meat and dairy at a steep cost: the exploitation of animals; the risky use of antibiotics and hormones; and the pollution of our air, soil and water. Spotlighting farmers who have pushed back against industrial agriculture with more humane practices, EATING ANIMALS offers attainable, common-sense solutions to a growing crisis while making the case that ethical farming is not only an animal-rights issue but one that affects every aspect of our lives.


HORROR NOIRE: A HISTORY OF BLACK HORROR
2019, Shudder, 83 min, USA, Dir: Xavier Burgin

Based on the acclaimed book by Dr. Robin R. Means Coleman, Shudder TV’s first original documentary feature takes a critical look at a century of genre films that by turns utilized, caricatured, exploited, sidelined and embraced both black filmmakers and black audiences. Beginning with the silent film era, HORROR NOIRE explores the often overlooked and downplayed history of black Americans in Hollywood: the emergence of black leading men in genre cinema in the late 1960s with NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD and into the ‘70s with BLACULA and films of the blaxploitation era; CANDYMAN and the growing popularity of urban horror in the 1990s; up to the genre’s recent resurgence with movies like the Oscar-winning, critical and commercial hit GET OUT. Clips and in-depth interviews with filmmakers and scholars showcase a who’s who of black horror cinema and underline the power of representation and how horror can become a visceral way to fight racial trauma.


THE IMAGE BOOK
LE LIVRE D'IMAGE
2018, Kino Lorber, 84 min, Switzerland/France, Dir: Jean-Luc Godard

The legendary Jean-Luc Godard adds to his influential, iconoclastic legacy with this provocative collage film essay, a vast ontological inquiry into the history of the moving image and a commentary on the contemporary world. Displaying an encyclopedic grasp of cinema and its history, Godard pieces together fragments from some of the greatest films of the past, then digitally alters, bleaches and washes them, all in the service of reflecting on what he sees in front of him and what he makes of the dissonance that surrounds him. He uses his own voice, reminiscent of Leonard Cohen or Bob Dylan in the twilight of their careers, to guide us through the fascinating labyrinth of his mind. As always with Godard, the key issues he raises have to do with the legacy of the last century and its horrors: the incomprehension of Hiroshima and Auschwitz, events that coincided with cinema but have somehow eluded its gaze. And, movingly, he also reflects on orientalism and the Arab world, grounding the new film very much in the present. Winner of the first Special Palme d'Or to be awarded in the history of the Cannes Film Festival, THE IMAGE BOOK is another extraordinary addition to the French master's vast filmography. - Piers Handling, Toronto International Film Festival.


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