Oct 30 2012
This Thursday marks the return of the longest running international film festival in Los Angeles, the AFI or American Film Institute Film Festival. Festival programmers have whittled down some 3,400 entries into a program of 136 films chosen from 28 different countries to screen over 8 days. While the festival will feature some blockbusters like Steven Spielberg’s ‘Lincoln’ and Ang Lee’s ‘Life of Pi’, there will also be some politically themed films which will resonate with audiences who are looking for less mainstream fare.
“The Central Park Five” directed by the team of Ken Burns, his daughter Sarah Burns and David McMahon is a documentary about the infamous New York Central Park jogger case from the 1980s. The film tells the story of the female jogger who was found beaten and raped in Central Park in a crime that stunned the nation. Five black teens were convicted and sentenced for the crime without any witnesses or DNA evidence. This powerful documentary portrays the overt racism which allowed these children to become scapegoats.
Another politically charged film playing in the festival is by acclaimed filmmaker, Olivier Assayas’ called “Something in the Air.” Set in Paris in 1971, just following the massive 1968 strikes which effectively shut down all of France, the film focuses on a young man and his journey into political activism after being influenced by revolutionary events around him.
A third film which is set amid a complex political time is “Ginger and Rosa” by Sally Potter, acclaimed director of ‘Orlando’. This fictional film tells the story of two girls growing up as best friends during the time of the Cuban Missile crisis in 1962. As viewers we watch as their friendship is tested against the backdrop of the political melodrama of the missile crisis.
The festival starts November 1st and runs through the 8th with screenings taking place throughout Hollywood at the historic Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, the Chinese 6 Theatres at the Hollywood & Highland Center, the Egyptian Theatre of the American Cinematheque and the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.
GUEST: Jacqueline Lyanga, director of AFI film festival.
Visit www.afifest.com/afifest for details about the film festival