The Big Sky Documentary Film Festival still has three days, which means there’s plenty of time to see a ton of solid gold documentaries. We gave you a slew of reviews last week, but here are just a few more you might not want to miss:
A Sniper’s War
Olya Schechter’s profile of Deki, a pro-Russian Serbian sniper, is an incredible balancing act. The director captures the complicated story of a man so filled with bitterness for the U.S. that he travels to the state of Donetsk to fight alongside the Russians. The film begins with Deki’s voiceover saying: “The first time I killed a man was in the Bosnian War. I was 18.” Schechter has created a film that works as a witness to the realities of modern warfare. In her director’s statement, she says, “I realized that the only way to make this film politically neutral was to tell the story from Deki’s point of view. Deki’s worldviews, which are very different from mine had been shaped greatly by the historic events he had lived through … the more time I spent with him, the more I wondered: Is he a hero or a monster? I tried to capture the duality in every scene.”
The Sniper’s War screens tonight, Fri., Feb. 23, at the Elks Lodge at 8:45 PM.
This film is a world premiere from the Netherlands focusing on Daniel Hoek, an Ethiopian man who is convinced that if his Dutch father hadn’t abandoned him, he would have had a better life and not ended up in jail. In turn, Daniel’s father, Joop, says that if he would have been a better father had his own Dutch-East-Indian father not abandoned him. The narrative explores destiny, DNA and absent fathers and has gotten a lot of buzz at Big Sky since it first screened earlier in the week. Directed by Floris-Jan van Luyn.
The Bastard screens Fri., Feb. 23, at the MCT Center for the Performing Arts at 8:30 PM and Sun., Feb. 25, at 5:45 PM.
Emotions run high on the issue of resettlement, but this documentary provides a personal and local take on the experience. The film, which is sponsored by Missoula’s Soft Landing, was created by Justine Binwa, a woman from the Democratic Republic of Congo who reflects on what it’s like to be an African woman now living with her family in Montana. World premiere.
Kuwezesha Wanawake screens Sun., Feb. 25, at the MCT Center for the Performing Arts at 8:15 PM.
In God We Trump
In God We Trump looks into how 81 percent of white evangelical Christians turned out to vote for Donald Trump. It goes deep into what, at first blush, seems like an unlikely symbiotic relationship--one that helped tip the electoral college in Trump’s favor. Directed by Christopher Alan Maloney.
In God We Trump screens Fri., Feb. 23, at the Elks Lodge at 4 PM.
Feminists What Were They Thinking
Feminists What Were They Thinking is an immersive documentary featuring a 1977 book of photographs by Cynthia MacAdams capturing women shedding societal norms. Filmmaker Johanna Dematrakas uses the book as a launchpad to examine the women’s movement in the 1970s in the context of today’s culture.
Feminists: What Were They Thinking screens Sun., Feb. 25, at the Elks Lodge at 8:30 PM.
Fail State looks at predatory for-profit colleges and investigates the way in which politicians and business tycoons are buying and selling higher education. The documentary by Alexander Shebanow gets into the exploitation of low-income and minority students and examines student loan debt. It was executive produced by Dan Rather.
Fail State screens Sun., Feb. 25 at the Roxy at 10 AM.