The Eyes on the World Film Festival
April 15 and 16
April 22 and 23
Downtown Coliseum Theater
Tickets $8, or $26 for the series, at Old Harbor Books
6 p.m. Thursday April 15
The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers
In 1971, Daniel Ellsberg, a high-level Pentagon official and Vietnam War strategist, concludes that the war is based on decades of lies and leaks 7,000 pages of top secret documents to The New York Times, making headlines around the world.
A riveting story of how one man’s profound change of heart creates a landmark struggle involving America’s newspapers, its president and Supreme Court. A political thriller whose events lead directly to Watergate, Nixon’s resignation and the end of the Vietnam War.
“Riveting! A straight-ahead, enthralling story of moral courage. This story changed the world. The movie offers one revelatory interview after another. CRITICS’ PICK!”
- David Edelstein, New York magazine
“Detailed, clearly told, persuasive…”
- Mike Hale, The New York Times
“The most exciting thriller I’ve seen in a while – as powerful as anything Hollywood can throw at us.”
- V.A. Musetto, New York Post
The film tells the inspiring true story of how Nelson Mandela joined forces with the captain of South Africa's rugby team to help unite their country. Newly elected President Mandela knows his nation remains racially and economically divided in the wake of apartheid. Believing he can bring his people together through the universal language of sport, Mandela rallies South Africa's rugby team as they make their historic run to the 1995 Rugby World Cup Championship match.
Academy award nominees: Morgan Freeman for Best Actor, Matt Damon for Best Supporting Actor
Golden Globe nominee: Clint Eastwood, Best Director
Eastwood, who will be 80 next year, understands the flow of narrative in a way younger directors might envy. Working here with co-stars Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon, he doesn't allow anything, especially not splashy technique, to get in the way of simply telling a story. Over the last several years, he's become as much of a brand name as Pixar when it comes to audience satisfaction that you can count on. -- Kenneth Turan, L.A. Times
6 p.m. Thursday, April 22
Armed with pocket-sized video cameras, a tenacious band of Burmese reporters face down death to expose the repressive regime controlling their country. In 2007, after decades of self-imposed silence, Burma became headline news across the globe when peaceful Buddhist Monks led a massive rebellion. More than 100,000 people took to the streets protesting a cruel dictatorship that has held the country hostage for more than 40 years. Foreign news crews were banned, the Internet was shut down, and Burma was closed to the outside world. So how did we witness these events? Enter the Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB), aka the Burma VJs.
Compiled from the shaky handheld footage of the DVB, acclaimed filmmaker Anders Ostergaard’s Burma VJ pulls us into the heat of the moment as the VJs themselves become the target of the Burmese government. Their tactical leader, code-named Joshua, oversees operations from a safe hiding place in Thailand. Via clandestine phone calls, Joshua dispenses his posse of video warriors, who covertly film the abuses in their country, then smuggle their footage across the border into Thailand. Joshua ships the footage to Norway, where it is broadcast back to Burma and the world via satellite . Burma VJ plays like a thriller, all the more scary because it is true.
Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary
"Burma VJ" documents the work of such courageous journalists, who, at the risk of imprisonment or worse, film antigovernment activities using small consumer cameras. The material is smuggled to the Democratic Voice of Burma, a site in Norway described as a television station in exile. From there, the footage is beamed into Burma via satellite.
-- San Francisco Chronicle
6 p.m. Friday, April 23
A Single Man (Rated R)
A SINGLE MAN is based on the novel of the same name by Christopher Isherwood. Set in Los Angeles in 1962, at the height of the Cuban missile crisis, it is the story of a British college professor (Colin Firth) who is struggling to find meaning to his life after the death of his long time partner. The story is a romantic tale of love interrupted, the isolation that is an inherent part of the human condition, and ultimately the importance of the seemingly smaller moments in life.
A SINGLE MAN is produced by Tom Ford through his Los Angeles based production company, Fade to Black, in association with Chris Weitz and Andrew Miano of Depth of Field, and Robert Salerno of Artina Films. The screenplay is written by Tom Ford and David Scearce.
Academy Award nominee for Best Actor (Colin Firth)
His first time out, Ford has made one of the best films of the year.-- Orlando Sentinel
This is a wonderful movie. -- A.O. Scott, The New York Times