NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's uplifting perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Saturday, May 12th, 2018

Coming soon: Coverage of the 2018 Seattle International Film Festival!

The forty-fourth Seat­tle Inter­na­tion­al Film Fes­ti­val, the largest and best-attend­ed film fes­ti­val in the Unit­ed States, starts next Thurs­day, May 17th, and runs through June 10th. We’re delight­ed to announce that the North­west Pro­gres­sive Insti­tute has been accred­it­ed to cov­er the 2018 Fes­ti­val, which means we’ll be able to bring you reviews of new films from around the world.

Press screen­ings have already start­ed, so we invite you to come back to the Cas­ca­dia Advo­cate reg­u­lar­ly to read our reviews of films par­tic­i­pat­ing in SIFF 2018.

There are over four hun­dred films at the fes­ti­val this year. I’ll be try­ing to see as many doc­u­men­taries as pos­si­ble. Among the films I’ll be screen­ing are:

Won’t You Be My Neigh­bor? a heart­felt and nos­tal­gia-induc­ing doc­u­men­tary about Fred Rogers. Cre­ator, writer, and star of long-run­ning chil­dren’s show “Mis­ter Rogers’ Neigh­bor­hood”, Rogers (a beloved fig­ure in his home­town of Pitts­burgh) was com­mit­ted to giv­ing “an expres­sion of care each day to each child.”

This film makes it clear that the Mis­ter Rogers on the TV show was­n’t a char­ac­ter, as Rogers in his real life was as car­ing and com­mit­ted to the mes­sage of love and the unique val­ue of each per­son as he was for chil­dren on the show.

Crime + Pun­ish­ment is about a group of New York City police offi­cers who speak out, risk­ing their careers and lives by expos­ing the dis­crim­i­na­to­ry quo­ta-based sys­tem used across the department.

Local doc­u­men­tary The Most Dan­ger­ous Year is one of thir­ty-five films mak­ing its world pre­miere at SIFF this year. Direct­ed by Vla­da Knowl­ton, this film pro­files fam­i­lies with trans­gen­der chil­dren as they fought dis­crim­i­na­to­ry leg­is­la­tion pro­posed in Wash­ing­ton State in 2016 (which, thank­ful­ly, did not become law).

The Oslo Diaries, which recounts the 1992 Oslo Accords, in which a small group of Pales­tini­ans and Israelis met in secret to nego­ti­ate a solu­tion for peace, using the per­son­al diaries of the nego­tia­tors to give insight into the hid­den process.

Silas, which high­lights the activism of Silas Kpanan ‘Ayoung Siakor of Liberia as he fights cor­po­ra­tions seek­ing to take over his land and strip it of all the valu­able nat­ur­al resources, dev­as­tat­ing African villages.

I am also hop­ing to screen and review all sev­en of the films by indige­nous film­mak­ers that SIFF is fea­tur­ing this year. These films are:

Bee Nation, direct­ed by Lana Šlez­ic. This doc­u­men­tary pro­files par­tic­i­pants in Canada’s Inau­gur­al First Nations Provin­cial Spelling Bee who, with the sup­port of their com­mu­ni­ty, hope to make it to the nation­al com­pe­ti­tion in Toronto.

Dawn­land, direct­ed by Adam Mazo and Ben Pen­der-Cud­lip. Through a focus on the Wabana­ki peo­ple as they go through a his­toric truth and rec­on­cil­i­a­tion com­mis­sion, this doc­u­men­tary exam­ines some of the hor­ri­ble gov­ern­ment-sanc­tioned activ­i­ties that have rav­aged Native peo­ples in North America.

Luk’Luk’I, direct­ed by Wayne Wapeemukwa.

This nar­ra­tive-doc­u­men­tary hybrid gives us a look into the lives of five strug­gling Van­cou­ver res­i­dents dur­ing the 2010 Olympic Games.

The Mise­d­u­ca­tion of Cameron Post, direct­ed by Desiree Akha­van. This dra­ma was win­ner of the Grand Jury Prize at Sun­dance Film Fes­ti­val. It tells the sto­ry of three resilient gay teens who meet at a con­ver­sion-ther­a­py camp in the 1990’s.

Sweet Coun­try, direct­ed by War­wick Thornton.

This film is set in the Aus­tralian out­back and fol­lows an Abo­rig­i­nal ranch hand fac­ing chal­lenges in divid­ed fron­tier society.

Waru, direct­ed by Bri­ar Grace-Smith, Awanui Simich-Pene, Katie Wolfe, Renae Mai­hi, Casey Kaa, Chelsea Win­stan­ley, Paula Whetu Jones, Ains­ley Gar­diner. This film from New Zealand is made of eight vignettes, each direct­ed by a Maori woman, with each seg­ment focus­ing on a dif­fer­ent woman as she strug­gles with issues like pover­ty, child abuse, and hopelessness.

War­rior Women, direct­ed by Eliz­a­beth A. Cas­tle, Christi­na D. King.

Indige­nous and women’s rights activist Madon­na Thun­der Hawk and her daugh­ter are the sub­ject of this doc­u­men­tary film.

SIFF has an amaz­ing line-up of diverse films this year and we are excit­ed to have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to pro­vide reviews of many of them!

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