herzog_encounters.jpgWerner Herzog‘s Encounters at the End of the World opened in limited release on June 11. The film follows Herzog’s travels in Antarctica, from the 1,100-person community of McMurdo Station, to the Ross Sea, to the Erebus volcano, capturing as many of nature’s sights as possible. Encounters at the End of the World has received overwhelmingly positive reviews. The New York Times says “few filmmakers make the end of days seem as hauntingly beautiful as Werner Herzog does,” and the Newark Star-Ledger calls Herzog “cinema’s poet of empty spaces.”

If you’re in New York City from June 13th to June 26th, you should check out the Human Rights Watch International Film Festival at the Walter Reader Theater (Lincoln Center). This year, the festival showcases twenty documentaries, including opening night feature, Peter Raymont‘s A Promise to the Dead: the Exile Journey of Ariel Dorfman. In the film, author Dorfman (Death and the Maiden) reflects on his life as writer, activist and exile, and talks about Chile’s transition from Salvadore Allende’s socialist government to Pinochet’s repressive regime. Also screening at the festival are four POV films: Katrina Browne‘s Traces of the Trade (2008), Roger Weisberg‘s Critical Condition (2008), Anthony Giacchino‘s The Camden 28 (2007) and Ellen Kuras and Thavisouk Phrasavath‘s Nerakhooon (The Betrayal) (2009).

Ted Braun‘s Darfur Now follows six individuals who try to bring light to the genocide in Darfur. The Boston Globe calls it “slick, impassioned and guardedly upbeat.”
Also recently released on DVD are The Business of Being Born by Abby Epstein and Rob VanAlkemade‘s What Would Jesus Buy?, two films previously discussed on Doc Roundup.

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POV (a cinema term for "point of view") is television's longest-running showcase for independent non-fiction films. POV premieres 14-16 of the best, boldest and most innovative programs every year on PBS. Since 1988, POV has presented over 300 films to public television audiences across the country. POV films are known for their intimacy, their unforgettable storytelling and their timeliness, putting a human face on contemporary social issues.