Welcome back to Doctober, the Belcourt’s annual celebration of documentary film. It’s 2017, and the State of the Documentary is strong. Herein lies a survey of recent and present work—brimming with large-screen cinematic explorations from long-standing forces in the genre, urgent social commentary, the spectrum of fine arts, a heaping helping of hand-to-heart WTFery, as well as deep-dive portraits of a bevy of badass ladies (and a couple of dudes). This year’s lineup is as good a batch as we can recall.
Specific showtimes coming soon. Click here to Download the Doctober Flier.
Mon, Oct 9 at 9:30pm
Part horror film, anthropological study, video game, and nature documentary all in one, this innovative and unforgettable film uses one of Baltimore’s more ubiquitous residents to explore the history of the city.
Fri-Mon, Oct 13-16
In this, the 42nd documentary by Frederick Wiseman, the legendary filmmaker brings his incisive vision behind the scenes of one of the world’s greatest institutions of learning, capturing the vast programmatic scope of New York City’s library system.
Tue, Oct 10 at 9:10pm
An electrifying portrait of writer and performer Okwui Okpokwasili and her acclaimed one-woman show that fuses dance, song, drama and comedy to create a mesmerizing space in which audiences can engage with a story about two 12-year-old black girls coming of age in the 1980s.
Sat-Sun, Oct 14-15 at 12:20pm
A ceaselessly entertaining and star-studded catalogue of the life and many successes of iconic music executive Clive Davis, “the greatest record man of all time”.
Wed, Oct 11 at 9:30pm
A journey into the mind of composer and electronic music pioneer Suzanne Ciani, this new doc offers a feminine glimpse into the often complicated and male-dominated world of sound production and electronic music.
Fri-Sun, Oct 13-15 | Tue, Oct 17
Sprawling, immediate, and complex, THE FORCE lays witness to the Oakland Police Department: trapped in transition, desperate to shed its corrupt image, but also challenged by an increasingly organized and urgent Black Lives Matter movement erupting right outside its doorstep.
Fri-Sun, Oct 13-15 | Tue, Oct 17
Italian visual artist Yuri Ancarani’s exquisitely shot, yet utterly bonkers documentary enters the surreal world of wealthy Qatari sheikhs with a passion for amateur falconry.
Wed, Oct 18
Internationally famous South African singer Miriam Makeba (1932-2008) spent half a century travelling the world spreading her political message to fight racism, poverty and promote justice and peace. Through rare archive footage and personal testimony, we discover Miriam Makeba’s remarkable journey.
Wed-Sun, Oct 18-22
A pioneer in both tow-in surfing and foil boarding, Laird Hamilton distinguished himself from surfing legends of the time who wanted to maintain the purity of the sport. Distinguished filmmaker Rory Kennedy (LAST DAYS IN VIETNAM) blends candid interviews with breathtaking action footage for a visceral, white-knuckle look at a life lived on the edge.
Ends Tue, Oct 31
World-renowned artist, activist and filmmaker Ai Weiwei artfully captures the massive and shocking breadth of the global migration crisis in this breathtaking film, which portrays the plight of today’s 65 million forcibly displaced individuals—the highest number ever to be forced out of their homes.
Sat-Mon, Oct 21-23
MANSFIELD 66/67 hones in on the later years of “blonde bombshell” Jayne Mansfield, when she scandalously befriended San Francisco’s Church of Satan founder Anton LaVey. A rare doc that takes the camp value of its subject and matches it to irresistible effect.
Sun, Oct 22 | Wed, Oct 25
Marrying stunning visuals with social advocacy, this award-winning doc wanders freely between pulsating machines and bubbling vats of dye to create a moving portrait of the human laborers who toil away in the labyrinthine passages of an enormous textile factory in Gujarat, India.
Mon-Thu, Oct 23-26
A captivating look at the unconventional life of beloved performer Chavela Vargas, whose passionate renditions of Mexican popular music and triumphant return to the stage late in life brought her international fame.
Ends Thu, Nov 2
French master Agnès Varda collaborates with mysterious street artist JR in this wondrous travelogue, in which the duo travel through small villages in the French countryside and immortalize the faces of those they meet in immense public murals.
Ends Sun, Dec 3
Academy Award–nominated director Brett Morgen (KURT COBAIN: MONTAGE OF HECK) reconstitutes 50-year-old National Geographic footage into a poetic look at primatologist Jane Goodall, set to a magnificent score by Philip Glass.