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Maurizio Cattelan: Be Right Back (Opens April 21, Film Forum)
An art-world provocateur and elusive artist Maurizio Cattelan made his career on playful and subversive works that up-ended the art establishment, until a retrospective at the Guggenheim in 2011 finally solidified his place in the contemporary art canon. Axelrod's equally playful profile leaves no stone unturned in trying to figure out: who is Maurizio Cattelan?
Directed by Maura Axelrod Runtime: 90 minutes
Karl Marx City (Opens March 29, Film Forum)
"Dozens of documentaries have been made about the repressive Communist regimes of the former Eastern bloc, but few have been as visually striking or as deeply personal as Karl Marx City." Hollywood Reporter
Twenty-five years after the collapse of the German Democratic Republic (GDR), filmmaker Petra Epperlein returns to the proletarian Oz of her childhood to find the truth about her late father’s suicide and his rumored Stasi past. Had he been an informant for the secret police? Was her childhood an elaborate fiction? As she looks for answers in the Stasi’s extensive archives, she pulls back the curtain of her own ostalgia and enters the parallel world of the security state, seeing her former life through the lens of the oppressor. Reconstructing everyday GDR life through declassified Stasi surveillance footage, the past plays like dystopian science fiction, providing a chilling backdrop to interrogate the apparatus of control and the meaning of truth in a society where every action and thought was suspect.
God Knows Where I Am (Opens March 31, Lincoln Plaza)
The body of a homeless woman is found in an abandoned New Hampshire farmhouse. Beside the body, lies a diary that documents a journey of starvation and the loss of sanity, but told with poignance, beauty, humor, and spirituality. For nearly four months, Linda Bishop, a prisoner of her own mind, survived on apples and rain water, waiting for God to save her, during one of the coldest winters on record. As her story unfolds from different perspectives, including her own, we learn about our systemic failure to protect those who cannot protect themselves.
Directed by Todd & Jedd Wider. Runtime: 97 minutes
What the critics are saying:
"God Knows Where I Am—beautiful, haunting and supremely moving—is one of the most powerful documentary films I have seen on America's flawed approach to mental health and homelessness. Essential viewing for anyone seeking to understand the systemic failings of our mental healthcare system, it is at once a work of art and a clarion call to end our neglect of people with mental illnesses. The film powerfully conveys how an empty commitment to individual liberty has been substituted for a genuine system of mental health treatment and leaves us with one unavoidable conclusion: "we can and must do better.""
-Paul S. Appelbaum, MD
Dollard Professor of Psychiatry, Medicine, & Law
“A film of great beauty and tenderness that gradually reveals a confounding mental illness, this film is a human story at its heart. Ultimately, it illuminates a hidden problem of vast proportion with an epic yet intimate cinematic vision.”
– Jury, Hot Docs