documentary

On July 1, 2017, English poet, actor, playwright, screenwriter, political activist and dramatist Heathcote Williams passed away. The author of several book-length polemical poems, including Whale Nation which has been called “the most powerful argument for the…worldwide ban on whaling;” Sacred Elephant; Autogeddon; and Falling for a Dolphin, Williams invented his “documentary/investigative poetry” style to bring environmental and political issues to the attention of the public.

A new film biography of 1960s songwriter and record producer Bert Berns is out to raise awareness of his behind-the-scenes contributions to popular music. It’s named for the record label Berns launched and ran:  Bang.

Bert Berns drew a lot of attention within the record industry in New York during his short, intense career.  He was already dead—in 1967, of a chronic heart condition, at age 38—when San Francisco music writer Joel Selvin  began noticing Berns' body of  work.

The fatal shooting of 13 year old Andy Lopez was shocking and polarizing. But documentary filmmaker Ron Rogers is more interested in what has happened in the neighborhood afterward.

When an editor comes on board to help complete the “Andy” film project, producer Ron Rogers says he or she will have plenty to work with.

  Fishing has long been a major industry on the Pacific coast, but surprisingly little of what is caught here winds up on local tables. A recent documentary examines that paradox.

 The genesis for the project that became Of The Sea was a series of shorter profiles of contemporary fisherfolk along the North Coast. In the longer documentary, says director Mischa Hedges, they concentrated on five to represent differing aspects of the profession.

Dirt is ancient, alive, and essential to agriculture. But it is not necessarily eternal. And that can be a big problem.

You can see the trailer for Symphony of the Soil below. And watch the entire documentary on KRCB television Saturday afternoon, Nov. 26 at 3 pm, or next Tuesday, Nov. 29, at 10:30 pm.

 A well-known quote from Luther Burbank provides the title for “Santa Rosa: The Chosen Spot of all the Earth.” And most of the rest of the concise new video history of the city is locally sourced as well.

The process of making this film has also had a ripple effect benefiting the local history collections for area libraries and museums, explains Don Silverek.

  Ignored by most Americans, fighting is still going on in Ukraine. A touring documentary wants to draw attention to the nationalist roots of that conflict.

Teteyana Mokvyts, a native Ukrainian, moved to Santa Rosa with her son in 2002. But even though she remains far from her homeland, she tries to aid the nationalist cause from here.

The Ukrainians will be shown, free of charge, at the Rialto cinemas in Sebastopol  Thursday evening, April 7,  at 7 pm. You can see the trailer for the film below.

Queen of the Sun

Dec 18, 2015

  Honey bees have been pollinating plants all over planet Earth for millennia. But now, rather abruptly, there are far fewer of them around to do the job. A new documentary examines the history of bees—and worries about their future.

  

An abridged version of Queen of the Sun: What Are The Bees Telling Us? opens the new season of Natural Heroes  Monday evening at 7:30 on KRCB Television. See a trailer for the full-length film below.

California Department of Fish & Wildlife

  Hunted to near-extinction, grey wolves are an endangered species that is beginning to rebound. Recent sightings and a new documentary are re-igniting interest in this apex predator which has been absent from California for nearly a century.

Thiniceclimate.org

Climate change scientists are under attack, as politicians and business groups try to discredit them. A new film called Thin Ice tells researcher's side of the story. The award-winning documentary will reach American public television audiences on Monday, July 20. KRCB is the presenting station.

Watch the film's trailer.

  Restorative Justice isn’t a new concept. But it is a radical departure from “zero tolerance," one that is now making a difference in Santa Rosa schools. The results are detailed in a new documentary by a local filmmaker.

John Beck’s film "Restorative Justice: Changing Hearts and Minds,” will be shown on KRCB television Monday evening at 7:30. See a trailer for it below.

Azul Films

 

   Costa Rica’s vote to ban in vitro fertilization in 2000 was a political decision, but one with some painful personal impacts.  Both are traced in a bay area filmmaker’s new documentary, which comes to KRCB television Thursday night, just in time for Father's Day.

While Gabriella Quiros’ Beautiful Sin has been getting shown at festivals, and on some public television stations in this country, she is looking forward to taking it back to her homeland soon, where she expects it will generate a lot of attention.

  From gravel to grapes, dredging to drought, the many forces that shape the health of the Russian River are examined in a new documentary by a local filmmaker.

Russian River: All Rivers  will get a special  encore screening Tuesday, June 16 at the Rialto Cinemas in Sebastopol at 7 pm. See the trailer below.

  Dirt is ancient, alive, and essential to agriculture. But it is not necessarily eternal. And that can be a big problem.

North Bay Bountiful is a new focused programming initiative being introduced this month. As with our ongoing Health Connections reporting, it will include radio, television, web and community-based components to tell stories that are unique to our region, our food system, and our way of life. Learn more about it here.

  For nine San Quentin inmates, acting in a unique staging of John Brown’s Body was an improbable yet life-changing experience. And thanks to their letters to the man who directed that show, their stories now form the basis of an equally unique documentary film.

 

  There will be a free showing of the film, John Brown’s Body at San Quentin, tomorrow night at Congregation Shomrei Torah in Santa Rosa, at 7 pm, with director Joe DeFrancesco on hand to talk about it. You can watch a short preview of the film below.

Gary Yost

  Mount Tamalpias may be the most visible feature of the North Bay landscape, but we mostly see it from a distance. Tomorrow night, KRCB television will show a pair of short documentary films that take a closer look at the mountain and its vistas. They are titled The Invisible Peak and Full Moon Pacific Blanket, both created by Mill Valley filmmaker Gary Yost.

The Invisible Peak and Full Moon Pacific Blanket will be shown together on Channel 22 Thursday night. Oct. 30, beginning  at 10:30 pm. 

  From gravel to grapes, dredging to drought, the many forces that shape the health of the Russian River are examined in a new documentary by a local filmmaker.

“Russian River: All Rivers” will get a special screening at the Rialto Cinemas in Sebastopol on Monday, Oct. 27 at 7 pm. It will also be shown at the Rio Theater in Monte on Saturday, November 7th at 3 pm. See the trailer for the film below:

 

  Growing grapes is a form of farming. Making wine is a quite different process. The bridge between the two is the harvest, which has a drama all its own.

 

John Beck's previous short documentary was Worst in Show, about the Ugliest Dog Contest in Petaluma.  Harvest will be shown on KRCB television twice in October: at 9 pm on Monday the 13th, repeating at 11 pm on Sunday the 19th. You can view a trailer for the film below.

 

Of Two Minds, a new documentary film about bi-polar disorder, sidesteps expert opinions to hear from some more intimately acquainted sources—people who are living with it.

Of Two Minds" awillbe sown at 3 pm on Saturday,  Oct. 11,  at the Summerfield Theater in Santa Rosa, with a Q & A session with the directors to follow. 

  The boldest frontiers involving medical marijuana are all about getting well, not getting high.  Today’s archival North Bay Report, from July 201, looked at some of the most remarkable possibilities that medical cannabis has to offer.

Len Richmond’s film, “What If Cannabis Cured Cancer?” can be viewed in full here. The trailer for it is posted below.

  One of Woody Allen’s early movies was titled “Bananas,” but it wasn’t actually about the popular yellow fruit. That distinction belongs to the new documentary Mondo Banana. It was directed by a part-time west county filmmaker, who stopped in to talk about his project with Bruce Robinson.

"Out on a Limb"

May 20, 2014

  Technological advances are rapidly changing the capabilities of artificial arms, legs, hands and feet. But their cost is growing even faster than the need for them.

  Many of the recent advances in prosthetics technology have focused on creating mechanical hands, devices that can not only simulate the many-jointed movements of a human hand, but can be controlled by the wearer’s nerves, and eventually their thoughts. Filmmaker Daria Price continues to monitor progress in the field she documented over the past seven years in Out on a Limb.

 California’s large and influential role in the history of country music was widely overlooked or discounted, until a local writer with roots in the Central Valley took pains to fully tell that story.

California’s influence on country music added a chapter in the 1960s, as bands like New Riders of the Purple Sage, Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen and Asleep at the Wheel, The Flying Burrito Brothers and the Eagles found ways to meld country and rock.  But in Gerald Haslam’s analysis, there were other stylistic threads emerging as well.

NAMI

Fears and stigmas deter many people from seeking help with mental health problems. A public television documentary is working to help counter that. Bruce Robinson spoke with some of the people who made it.

Among the vignettes featured in A New State of Mind, says producer Stephanie Locher, are two contrasting stories of returning war veterans.

A New State of Mind, Ending the Stigma of Mental Illness will be shown on KRCB-TV  on Monday, May 12 at 9 pm. Watch the trailer for the program below.

Zeitgeist Films

  History cites the Galapagos Islands as a key inspiration for Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. But the remote island group west of Ecuador has other, more provocative and mysterious chapters in its own history. One of the strangest, from the 1930s, is revealed in the new documentary film, The Galapagos Affair:  Satan Came to Eden.

The Galapagos Affair opens tonight in  at the Rialto Cinema Sebastopol, with the  filmmakers present for an after-screening Q & A session. You can see the trailer for the film below.

  A surprise hit at the Sonoma Film Festival last summer was the documentary, Taking My Parents to Burning Man, which was so popular the Sebastiani Theater brought it back for a two-night encore over the weekend. Along the way, the young, first-time filmmaker behind it--who was here from Vancouver, British Columbia--found a few minutes to visit KRCB.

The San Francisco of past decades can still be seen in rare archival film footage, but it’s left up to the audience to identify and comment on what they are seeing, in a featured program making a return appearance at this weekend’s Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival. Bruce Robinson offers a preview.

Some scenes that film archivist Rick Prelinger has found show locations that have long since been swallowed by progress. He cites one memorable example, shot in a now-vanished San Francisco cemetery.

A Life of Rhythm

Feb 18, 2014

From pounding out a rhythm on kitchen implements as a child, to traveling the world with a hand drum and an open heart, Marin County resident Barbara Borden has lived life to the pulse of her own beat. It’s a journey traced in the new documentary film, Keeper of the Beat.

As a high school and later, college student, Barbara Borden began to realize her fixation on drumming was unusual for her gender, but even then, Borden says, she was too deeply into her craft to be dissuaded.

Nancy Kelly

When one girl’s harsh autobiography becomes a collaborative theater project, the result is transformative for everyone involved. That process, which resulted in the creation of the play, Remember Me Like This, was documented by local filmmaker Nancy Kelly, who talks about it on today’s North Bay Report.

  Trust: Second Acts in Young Lives, will be shown on KRCB Television on Tuesday, Jan. 5  at 9 pm. See the trailer for the film below.

ElementalThe Movei.com

What do a young Canadian tribal leader, an Australian inventor and the man dubbed India’s “water Gandhi” have in common?  All three are dedicated eco-activists, and are featured in the current documental titled, Elemental.

Choosing the name for a film is often a complicated process. In the case of Elemental, co-director Emmanuel Vaughan-Lee explains there were three interlocking meanings behind the title.

 

You can find our earlier interview with Jay Harman here.

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