I was lucky enough to be given some free tickets to Doc week in Adelaide a few weeks back but I hear you asking what is Doc Week?
A relatively new part of the Adelaide festival screening up and coming documentaries as well as hosting a huge array of conference for industry people. With many different sites over the CBD and zoo there is a little bit for everyone whether you are part of the industry or not. With a strong focus on Australian made documentaries but not limited to. As said at the opening night they are opening the doors to the public of what is normally a closed industry only event. They are looking to inspire and expand to a bigger audience and after seeing the screening of Canning Paradise these documentaries are something else.
So what have I seen this week? And what did I think?
Opening Night – Festival In Adelaide
An old film from 1962, about the history of the Adelaide festival – not what I expected at all, you get a real look in to the behind the scenes of setting up the festival and then on to how the city is during the festival. Many of the clips of the performances of opera, orchestra etc go on for a bit too long – although the panning to the audience of glum looking faces adds humour to the film. This with many others being screened this week is from the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.
“In Papua New Guinea like many other Pacific countries, Africa and South America they are not wealthy in money but in land and resources. It is where they build their houses, it is where they grow food or go to hunt for food be that on land or in the waters. Without the land and resources they are poor – they will be forced in to poverty because they are not rich in money.” Continue reading the blog post here. I liked how after the screening there was then a Q and A with the filmmaker.
This documentary is about Europe by night, there is a whole world out there while we are sleeping and this documentary explores some of what is happening all across Europe. Security Cameras, Hospitals, Police Duty, Nightclubs, Sex workers, Suicide Prevention Call Centre, Border Patrol and much more. The idea of this film sounded really appealing to be but the outcome just wasn’t as good as I imagined. After 30 minutes you are waiting for the end but it carries on for 90 minutes. Still you are never shown a scene for than once.
Mary Meets Mohammad
This film is about the opening of a detention centre in rural Tasmania, the locals are upset and angry at the decision of the centre. The film maker Heather Kirkpatrick follows the story of many of the locals and how their opinion of the centre changes. The beginning of the film takes a while to really get going but she does a very good job of setting the scene and making sure the audience understand the issues. As the film goes on we follow Mary and her knitting group and their relationship with the asylum seekers. The time stretches over a six month period and you really warm to these men who are locked up inside the centre. The film has a lovely ending which I don’t want to spoil for everyone; however I will say Heather really has done a great job of capturing the changing emotions and opinions of this small town as well as addressing the issue on a whole. She shows us how much of a difference it makes to these men when they are accepted and befriended by the local people. Again with this film there was then a Q and A with Heather herself which I really enjoyed – it made me understand the film and her background a lot more.
I really enjoyed my time viewing documentaries this week; they are something I wouldn’t normally choose to watch so it was nice to have my eyes opened to something new. If you are able to view Canning Paradise or Mary Meets Mohammad I would really recommend it – trailers are available on Google. The one film I missed that I really wanted to see was Audrey of the Alps which was a shame as this film won the F4 Factual Award.