Friday, April 1, 2011

Theatrical Releases

Every Friday we update you all with the week's theatrical documentary releases. Now, this is not a perfect process as our beloved genre prefers the rolling/limited release schedule instead of a big nationwide or international-wide release. So apologies if a film isn't out in your area or if you are a filmmaker and we missed the boat on announcing your documentary's big day (if that is the case, please let us know and we'll correct the mistake).Now, with that introduction out of the way, here's this weekend's releases with their current rating on the amazing website The Elephant in the Living Room - (rating - 100%) Winner of four Best Documentary Awards, The Elephant in the Living Room explores the controversial American subculture of raising the deadliest and most exotic animals on earth as common household pets. The story follows the journey of two men at the heart of the issue. One, Tim Harrison, an Ohio police officer whose friend was killed by an exotic pet, and the other, Terry Brumfield, a big-hearted man who struggles to keep two pet African lions that he loves like his own family. ( Circo - (rating 100%) Set in the cinematically rich milieu of a century-old traveling circus in rural Mexico, Circo follows the family-run "Circo Mexico" as they struggle to stay together despite mounting debt, dwindling audiences, and a simmering family conflict. The hardscrabble founders, the Ponce family, have lived and performed on the back roads of Mexico since the 19th century. Tino, the ringmaster, is driven by his dream to lead his parents' circus to greater success. He corrals the energy of his whole family, including his parents, his brother and his four young children, towards this singular goal. But his wife Ivonne is determined to make a change. Feeling exploited by her in-laws, she longs to return her kids to a childhood lost to laboring in the circus. Through an intricately woven story of a marriage in trouble and of a century-old family tradition that hangs in the balance, Circo asks: To whom and to what should we ultimately owe our allegiances? ( Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead - (rating 50%) The film follows the reboot mission of its filmmaker, Joe Cross. One hundred pounds overweight, loaded up on steroids and suffering from a debilitating autoimmune disease, Cross is at the end of his rope. With doctors and conventional medicines unable to provide a solution, Joe turns to the only option left: the body's ability to heal itself. He trades in the junk food and hits the road with juicer and generator in tow, vowing only to drink fresh fruit and vegetable juice for the next 60 days. Across 3,000 miles Joe has one goal in mind: To get off his pills and get healthy. Part road trip, part self-help manifesto, Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead defies the traditional documentary format to present an unconventional and uplifting story of two men from different worlds who each realize that the only person who can save them is themselves. ( Wretches and Jabbers - (rating 60%) Directed by Academy Award winner Gerardine Wurzburg (Educating Peter), Wretches & Jabberers follows two men with autism, Tracy Thresher and Larry Bissonnette, who embark on a global quest to change attitudes about disability and intelligence. Determined to put a new face on autism, the men travel to Sri Lanka, Japan and Finland, where at each stop they challenge public attitudes about autism and issue a hopeful message to reconsider competency. ( To Catch a Dollar: Muhammad Yunus Banks on America - (no rating provided) Professor Muhammad Yunus never wanted to be a banker and he certainly never imagined winning the Nobel Peace Prize. Yet his quest to help the working poor invest in themselves led to both. Known as the father of microcredit, Yunus spent years developing the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, and in 1983 it became a fully licensed bank with a twist-it was owned by its borrowers-mainly poor women, and its mission was to eradicate poverty, not make a profit. Grameen is now in 38 countries and has made over 100 million microcredit loans. As the U.S. credit market crumbled and the giant banks of Wall Street faltered one by one, Grameen put 500 potential female borrowers into groups of five, with loans of up to $3,000 dispersed for small business ideas that each group had developed. To Catch a Dollar follows the journey of two borrowers and their Grameen group manager and the enormous life changes they each undergo. (

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