We saw 13 movies in three days. Sundance is an incredible event. It is the movies that are small and powerful that we love. Ones that you don’t always get the opportunity to see although these days with Netflix and Amazon more and more are being shown.

I could ramble on about all of them but instead, I will name the highlights which will hopefully come to a screen sooner than later. One thing to note is that on our first full day of movies, every director was a woman. We saw more female directors and producers this year. The diversity was incredible and I applaud Sundance for making it a priority.

The Edge of Democracy a film by Petra Costa. A Brazilian documentary that follows the beginnings of democracy in 1985 until now. The embattled leaders, the scandals, the corruption and how their constitution works is eye-opening.

The Farewell a film by Lulu Wang. A film about family, immigrants, differences and love. Back in China the matriarch of the family has terminal lung cancer and nobody tells her because that is how the culture works. The family comes back to throw a wedding together so they can all reunite. One brother raised his family in the US and the other in Japan. A take on the real life story of Wang’s.

Honey Boy directed by Alma Harel and written by Shia LaBeouf. An intense raw film about growing up as a childhood star with an abusive father as his guardian. Incredible.

Ms. Purple written and directed by Justin Chon might have been my favorite. Set in Los Angeles a daughter cares for her bedridden father while trying to make ends meet through being a young hostess for rich businessmen. She ropes in her estranged brother to help her care for their father. It is about immigrants, family, and siblings. I just loved this film.

Last and certainly not least is Midnight Traveler a documentary by Hassan Fazili shot on three Iphones. As a film maker in Afghanistan, the Taliban put a price on his head. He begins his journey with his two young daughters and wife, who is also a film maker, across Iran, Turkey, Bulgaria and Serbia finally getting to Germany. We witness the realities, the danger, the desperation of migration today. Everyone should see this film. They were not able to attend the screening as they are people without passports and a nation.

Will be interesting to see what is bought and what is not but as always Sundance is a wonderful event.

Comments (Archived):

  1. Bryce T.

    13 movies is a lot for the weekend. Amazing and exhausting.

    1. Gotham Gal


    2. LE

      To me it sounds like a job.

  2. awaldstein

    These are on my list and will eventually end up being watched in the living room-thanks.Curious where you get your indie film info from? A podcast like Slash Film Daily or blog?

    1. Gotham Gal

      I read so much stuff but my kids turned me on to letterbox

      1. awaldstein

        Glad I asked. New2me.

  3. Jeremy Robinson

    Cool stuff! Thank you for putting these on our radar.