SFJFF Spotlights #1: Gideon’s Army / Red Flag

by Carrie Kahn on July 25, 2013

Spotlights from the 33rd Annual San Francisco Jewish Film Festival (SFJFF), which opens today and continues until August 12th. Information and tickets at: http://sfjff.org

Gideon’s Army
(USA 2013, 96 min)

Travis Williams makes a point in Gideon's Army

Public defender Travis Williams makes a point in Gideon’s Army

Director Dawn Porter has made an absolutely stunning documentary highlighting the unheralded heroes of the U.S. legal system, young, underpaid public defenders in the Deep South fighting tirelessly for their clients, who are typically poor, uneducated, and out of luck. A Grand Jury Prize nominee at Sundance this year, the film won the Editing Prize there, “for skillfully crafting an unforgettable narrative through personal stories that luminate the larger issues of race and class in America’s legal system.” Compelling and timely, the film is a definite must see, and you will find yourself alternatively weeping, cheering, and shaking your head with disbelief and awe at these exceptional officers of the court who have made it their life’s work to uphold justice for each and every one of this country’s citizens.

Screenings:
– Friday, July 25, 6:50pm, Castro Theater, SF
– Saturday, August 10, 3:55pm, Grand Lake Theater, Oakland

Red Flag
(USA 2012, 83 min)
Alex Karpovsky is having a bad day in Red Flag

Alex Karpovsky is having a bad day in Red Flag

Alex Karpovsky (Girls, Tiny Furniture) performs a trifecta here, writing, directing, and acting in this feature based loosely on his own life. He plays a narcissistic filmmaker named Alex Karpovsky (go figure) on tour to showcase his newest project, a birding documentary called Woodpecker. If you’re already laughing, then this film is for you. Joined by three other characters at various points on his road rip through the South, Karpovsky and his actors exhibit the type of navel gazing, circular talking, and cerebralism that fans of Girls will especially love. Just when you think you’ve about had it with Karpovsky’s self-involvement, something laugh-out-loud funny or heartbreakingly sweet will happen, and you’ll find yourself completely amused and thoroughly charmed.

Screenings:
– Saturday, July 27, 7:15pm, Castro Theater, SF (Alex Karpovsky will be in attendance for discussion and Q&A)
– Sunday, August 11, 8:45pm, Grand Lake Theater, Oakland

 

 

 

Carrie Kahn

Moving from the arthouse to the multiplex with grace, ease, and only the occasional eye roll.

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