Attention all documentary fans, tech nerds, graff heads, and Mercedes Sosa groupies DOC NYC has lots for you to see. Running November 14 – 21, in downtown Manhattan at the IFC Center and SVA Theatre, it’s the biggest documentary-only film festival in New York. It’s like the comic-con of docs!
This year’s lineup includes films about birds, whales, virginity, breastmilk, communes, Orthodox Jews, flame retardants, and tea party activists. The lineup of Latino docs is just as varied. There’s a movie about two sisters who grew up on a full-fledged commune in Tennessee during the seventies and another doc about how graffiti artists in Brazil fought back against the government’s attempt to criminalize their art. Add to that an intimate portrait tracing Mercedes Sosa’s forty year career as a folk singer and a movie that documents a project which provided laptops to children in rural Peru.
If you aren’t sure where to start we’ve got you covered. Here’s our top picks of Latino films playing at this year’s DOC NYC.
Director: LAURA CHECKOWAY
Puerto Rican New Yorker Lucky Torres hides a lifetime of abuse and abandonment behind an angry, tattooed exterior. Growing up in foster care after their mother left them, Lucky and her sister Fantasy have struggled with stability all their lives. While her sister has settled down, Lucky still hasn’t found her way. But despite being homeless, unemployed and a single mother, jumping from girlfriend to girlfriend, the compelling Lucky still dreams of true love and success.
Directors: RENA MUNDO CROSHERE & NADINE MUNDO
In 1970, a countercultural caravan left San Francisco to return to nature, ultimately landing in rural Tennessee and establishing The Farm under the guidance of guru Stephen Gaskin. Filmmaker siblings Rena Mundo Croshere and Nadine Mundo were born there, the children of the rocky union between a Beverly Hills Jewish woman and a Bronx-born Puerto Rican. Decades after they departed—part of a larger exodus—the sisters return, offering their perspectives on the would-be utopian community they once called home.
Directors: MARCELO MESQUITA & GUILHERME VALIENGO
On the streets of São Paulo, Brazil a new form of graffiti was born. Like wildfire, the works of artists like Os Gêmeos, Nunca and Nina spread through the streets of the city, and then to art galleries and museums around the world. But when a new law against visual pollution threatens to destroy their work, the artists unleash a graffiti war against the local government, giving birth to one of the most creative resistance movements in Latin American art.
Director: RODRIGO H. VILA
With millions of records sold, thousands of concerts all over the world, and countless fans (and detractors), Mercedes Sosa left behind an indelible legacy. Featuring unforgettable performances that span Sosa’s 60-year career and interviews with musicians like Pablo Milanés, Chico Buarque and David Byrne, this stirring portrait takes us on an in-depth, intimate journey through her life, revealing an artist who became one of the most influential personalities of the 20th century.
Director: MICHAEL KLEIMAN
Director Michael Kleiman follows Peruvian families living in remote regions as their children experience the One Laptop per Child program, gaining access to the Internet for the first time. Web considers both the benefits and complications that arise from digital connections. Alongside the poignant and sometimes humorous local stories, Kleiman interviews leading thinkers on the Internet including author Clay Shirky, Wikipedia’s Jimmy Wales and One Laptop founder Nicholas Negroponte for an insightful look at our times.