A look at the filming of the 1953 political drama “Salt of the Earth,” made by artists blacklisted by Hollywood during the McCarthy era. That film’s producer, Paul Jarrico, speaks about his late colleagues, Herbert Biberman and Michael Wilson, and about the Communist scare that gripped the film community in the 1950s.
A documentary about the U.S. judicial system, explaining the types of cases tried in the lower court, showing the typical minor offenders and examining the inadequate jailing facilities.
A few months before the passing of his friend and close collaborator dramaturge Saadallah Wannous, Omar Amiralay listens to his friend’s somber and relentless words, a farewell to a generation for whom the Arab-Israeli conflict has been the source of all disillusion.
James Ivory’s second documentary, The Sword and The Flute, also dealing with schools of art, grew out of his experience in making Venice: Theme and Variations. Only here, instead of photographing works by the Italian masters, he has used superb examples of Indian miniature paintings. Ivory’s intelligent script, narrated with feeling by Saeed Jaffrey, and accompanied by the music of Ravi Shankar and Ali Akbar Khan, traces the history of Indian miniature painting after the Moghul invasion as it develops into two principal schools, the Moghul (Muslim) and the Rajput (Hindu).
Up close and personal BBC hour-long documentary. The camera follows Clint Eastwood around his home town of Carmel, before launching into a retrospective of Clint’s career, speaking to the man himself and those who’ve worked with him, such as Sergio Leonie and Richard Burton.
In Istanbul, American writer James Baldwin muses about race, the American fascination with sexuality, insights into his interrupted writing decade in the country, the generosity of the Turks, and how being in another country, in another place, forces one to re-examine well-established attitudes about modern society.
A film about black women in South Africa filmed secretly with the help of two black women journalists. Through interviews with five typical women, and comments from four women activists, including Winnie Mandela, the film clearly shows the devastating impact of apartheid on black women and their families. Narration by Peggy Phango.
A first film made almost single-handedly on a tiny budget, this is an admirably ambitious stab at the documentary-essay form familiar from films like Chris Marker’s Sunless. A brazenly personal response to Calcutta, it attempts to delve beyond the facile notions the West entertains about the city (‘an example of wretched over-population’), and combines vivid visuals with a narration that plunges fearlessly into economics, politics, religion, sociology and philosophy. Adverts, movie clips, comic strips, stills of the director’s mother, footage of religious ritual and street life merge into a complex web of ideas that are neither hackneyed nor obvious. A tantalising effort.