Three films premiering at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival — Last Train Home, My Perestroika and The Oath — will have their national broadcast premieres on the award-winning POV (Point of View) documentary series on PBS, it was announced by Simon Kilmurry, Executive Director, American Documentary | POV. Sundance takes place Jan. 21-31 in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance, Utah.
Again this year, the POV Blog will report from the festival with exclusive interviews, videos and images of the filmmakers and fans converging on Sundance. The blog will also provide roundups of the best Sundance coverage around the Web.
“These films tell rarely seen and deeply important stories from China, Russia and Yemen that illustrate how essential documentary storytelling has become in understanding the world,” said Kilmurry, who noted that the documentaries are co-productions of ITVS. “Laura Poitras’ The Oath will be the third film by this talented filmmaker that POV has presented. Flag Wars, which Poitras co-directed with Linda Goode Bryant, opened our 2003 season to much acclaim, and My Country, My Country, which closed our 2006 season, was nominated for an Academy Award.”
Descriptions and screening dates for the POV films in competition at Sundance follow:
Last Train Home by Lixin Fan
U.S. Premiere, World Cinema Documentary Competition
China experiences the largest internal migration in the world as rural workers travel to cities looking for employment. In Last Train Home, filmmaker Lixin Fan follows the Zhang family, who save all year to make the arduous journey home for Chinese New Year — along with more than 100 million other migrant workers — to reunite with their distant family. The film recently won the award for Best Feature-Length Documentary at the prestigious International Documentary Festival in Amsterdam. An EyeSteelFilm production in association with ITVS International. Premiering on POV in 2011.
- Friday, Jan. 22, 2:00 p.m., Holiday Village Cinema II, Park City – Press and Industry
- Saturday, Jan. 23, 12:00 Noon, Screening Room, Sundance Resort
- Saturday, Jan. 23, 9:00 p.m., Yarrow Hotel Theatre, Park City
- Tuesday, Jan. 26, 8:30 a.m., Prospector Square Theatre, Park City
- Thursday, Jan. 28, 3:00 p.m., Holiday Village Cinema IV, Park City
- Saturday, Jan. 30, 4:30 p.m., Broadway Centre Cinemas V, Salt Lake City
Attending: Lixin Fan, director; Mila Aung-Thwin, producer.
My Perestroika by Robin Hessman
World Premiere, U.S. Documentary Competition
When the USSR broke apart in 1991, a generation of young people faced a new realm of possibilities.
An intimate epic about the extraordinary lives of this last Soviet generation, Robin Hessman’s feature documentary debut tells the stories of five Moscow schoolmates who were brought up behind the Iron Curtain, witnessed the joy and confusion of glasnost and reached adulthood right as the world changed around them. Through candid first-person testimony, revealing verite footage and vintage home movies, Hessman, who spent many years living in Moscow, reveals a Russia rarely ever seen on film, where people are frank about their lives and forthcoming about their country. In My Perestroika politics is personal, honesty overshadows ideology, and history progresses one day, one life at a time. A co-production of Red Square Productions/Bungalow Town Productions and ITVS International in association with American Documentary / POV. Premiering on POV in 2011.
- Sunday, Jan. 24, 3:00 p.m., Temple Theatre, Park City
- Monday, Jan. 25, 7:30 p.m., Holiday Village Cinema II, Park City – Press and Industry
- Monday, Jan. 25, 8:30 a.m., Yarrow Hotel Theatre, Park City
- Tuesday, Jan. 26, 10:30 p.m., Broadway Centre Cinemas IV, Salt Lake City
- Wednesday, Jan. 27, 5 p.m., Holiday Village Cinema II, Park City – Press and Industry
- Thursday, Jan. 28 6:00 p.m., Yarrow Hotel Theatre, Park City
- Friday, Jan. 29, 12:30 p.m., Holiday Village Cinema II, Salt Lake City
Attending: Robin Hessman, director (Jan. 21-31); subjects Boris, Lyubov and Mark Meyerson (Jan. 22-27).
The Oath by Laura Poitras
World Premiere, U.S. Documentary Competition
Filmed in Yemen and Guantanamo Bay, The Oath tells the story of Abu Jandal, Osama bin Laden’s former bodyguard, and Salim Hamdan, a prisoner at Guantanamo Bay Prison and the first man to face the controversial military tribunals. The Oath is a family drama about two men whose fateful encounter in 1996 set them on a journey that would lead to Osama bin Laden, 9/11, Guantanamo Bay prison and the U.S. Supreme Court. The film begins as Salim Hamdan is set to face war crime charges at Guantanamo and Abu Jandal is a free man who drives a taxi in Yemen. A co-production of ITVS in association with American Documentary / POV. Premiering on POV in 2010.
- Friday, Jan. 22, 9:30 p.m., Temple Theatre, Park City
- Saturday, Jan. 23, 12:45 p.m., Broadway Centre Cinemas V, Salt Lake City
- Saturday, Jan. 23, 9:30 p.m., Holiday Village Cinema I, Park City – Press and Industry
- Sunday, Jan. 24, 9:00 a.m., Temple Theatre, Park City
- Thursday, Jan. 28, 6:00 p.m., Temple Theatre, Park City
- Friday, Jan. 29, 8:30 p.m., Holiday Village Cinema I, Park City
- Sunday, Jan. 31, 1:00 p.m., Screening Room, Sundance Resort
Attending: Laura Poitras, director; Nasser Arrabyee, co-producer; Abdul Ghani Al Irayani, advisor.