THE MOST DANGEROUS MAN IN AMERICA: DANIEL ELLSBERG AND THE PENTAGON PAPERS
The engrossing story of the brainy Rand Corp. employee who smuggled out the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times is told by filmmakers Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith in this lively, coherent and informative Oscar-nominated documentary. Fri., May 14, 2:15 p.m., at the Del Mar.
THE WESTSIDERS Surf photographer-filmmaker Joshua Pomer profiles Santa Cruz’s Westsiders surf community in the 1980s. Jason “Ratboy” Collins, Darryl “Flea” Virostko, Shawn “Barney” Barron, and “the Godfather,” Vince Collier, are featured. Sat., May 8, 6:30 p.m. and Monday, May 10, 11:30 a.m., at the Riverfront.
ETIENNE! Jeff Mizushima’s offbeat tale about a nerdy young man taking his pet hamster on a bicycle road trip from San Francisco to Santa Cruz is this year’s Closing Night event. Sat., May 15, at the Del Mar. Program begins at 8 p.m. (Film screens after the Awards Ceremony.) Pre-screening reception at Caffe Pergolesi, 5:30-7 p.m. After-film party at Cypress Lounge, 10 p.m.
LA VIE EN VERTE: THE WAMM MOVIE Charlie Hall and Bevin Bell-Hall profile Santa Cruz’s Wo/Men’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana, and founders Valerie and Mike Corral, compassionate caregivers making medical pot available to patients despite a prevailing political climate of insensitivity and antagonism. Wed., May 12, 6:30 p.m., and Thurs., May 13, 11:15 a.m., at the Riverfront. (A WAMM panel will be held at the SCFF Filmmaker Hub, Sat., May 8, 3 p.m.)
HERE I AM: DENNY DOHERTY AND THE MAMAS AND THE PAPAS Paul Ledoux explores the life and career of the sweet-voiced Canadian-born tenor of the seminal ‘60s hippie-folk quartet. (Cinematography by local filmmaker Gabreal Franklin, whose short, Monty Python’s Sillywalk for Hunger is also on the bill.) Thurs., May 13, 4:15 p.m. at the Riverfront.
THE MORMON PROPOSITION Filmmakers Reed Cowan and Steven Greenstree delve into the secret history and chilling political clout of the Mormon Church, whose longstanding opposition to gay rights and marriage equality spurred the Utah church to lead the fight against California’s Prop 8. Thurs., May 13, 6:45 p.m., at the Riverfront.
DO ELEPHANTS PRAY? A button-down young British advertising exec takes a few days off from the rat race with a free-spirited Frenchwoman in this romantic drama from English filmmaker Paul Hills. Thurs., May 13, 9 p.m., at the Riverfront.
NEXT YEAR COUNTRY Contemporary issues of disappearing American family farms and devastating climate change play out in Joseph Aguirre’s drama about Montana farmers coping with the worst drought since the Dust Bowl who hire a rainmaker. Sun., May 9, 3 p.m., at Community TV.
HOUSE OF NUMBERS Required viewing. Brent W. Leung’s simple quest to understand and define HIV/AIDS becomes an incendiary exposé of the worldwide health/medical industry in which corporate greed, misinformation, misdiagnoses, and the politics of fear and funding conspire to create a global “epidemic” (and sell potentially fatal “cures”), while ignoring such mitigating circumstances as sub-standard health facilities among the global poor. Investigative reporting at its most compelling; don’t miss it. Sat., May 8, 10 a.m. at Community TV, and Mon., May 10, 4:15 p.m., at the Riverfront.
TAPPED Stephanie Soechtig examines the politics of drinking water—basic human right, or just another commodity to be packaged and sold for profit?—in this study of the bottled water industry. Sat., May 8, 2:15 p.m., at the Riverfront.
SOUNDTRACK FOR A REVOLUTION This year’s Opening Night event is a music documentary by Bill Guttentag and Dan Sturman that celebrates the powerful freedom songs sung by demonstrators during the civil rights movement—music largely drawn from traditional African spirituals, the labor movement, and the black church. Includes contemporary performances by such artists as John Legend and Wyclef Jean. Thurs., May 6, 6:30 p.m., at the Del Mar, followed by a gala reception at the MAH, 9-11:30 p.m. | LJ