Dangerous Docs

Friday Jun 24, 2016
8:00PMDoors Open
8:30PMLive Music by Lightning Bug
9:00PMFilms Begin
In the event of rain this show will be resecheduled.

Metrotech Commons
Downtown Brooklyn
5 MetroTech Center, Brooklyn, NY 11201
A, C, F or R Train to Jay Street Metrotech or 2, 3, 4, 5 to Borough Hall or B, Q or R to DeKalb


This Show Presented in Partnership With
Downtown Brooklyn Partnership
Forest City Ratner Companies

Thrilling and unsettling and frighteningly true.


Speaking is Difficult (AJ Schnack | USA | 14 min.)
A scene of tragedy unfolds, accompanied by fear, chaos and disbelief. As Speaking is Difficult rewinds into the past, retracing our memories, it tells a story about a cumulative history that is both unbearable and inevitable.

My Aleppo (Melissa Langer | USA | 18 min.)
The young Abdullah family fled the Syrian civil war and settled in Pretoria, South Africa. There, in their one-room apartment, the Internet is all that connects them with Aleppo. As long as the Wi-Fi is working back in Syria, they can Skype with family and friends in their home city. News videos show the buildings they knew disintegrated and old neighborhoods deserted. But the greatest disappointment of all is seeing the changes in people whom they were close to. They hear about the deaths of family members, of how they got drawn into the conflict and the unexpected things they did.

The Bloop (Cara Cusumano | USA | 7 min.)
In August of 1997, an unusual ultra-low frequency sound was detected emanating from a point 1,500 miles west of the southern coast of Chile. It was recorded by hydrophones located 5,000 miles apart, making it the loudest unidentified underwater sound ever recorded. It lasted for one minute and was never heard again.

Pickle (Amy Nicholson | USA | 16 min.)
Pickle is a recounting of the history of a wide range of rescued pets belonging to a couple with a penchant for animals that spans the length of their 25-year marriage.

For no particular reason, all of the creatures in Tom & Debbie’s menagerie seem to suffer from an unusual medical condition, or a tragic, unexpected demise. Or both. Ironically, they are too often the casualties of attacks by other animals. Depending on how you look at it, they are either very lucky or very unlucky.

The film’s namesake, Pickle, was a fish born without the ability to swim. He was kept propped up in a sponge to keep him from sinking to the bottom of his aquarium. Pickle was lovingly attended to, along with an obese chicken, a cat with a heart condition, a duck that raised chickens, and a paraplegic possum that demanded scrambled eggs for dinner.

Pickle explores the human capacity to care for all creatures throughout their sometimes greatly protracted lives until their occasionally sudden and unfortunate deaths.

Riot (Nathan Silver | USA | 4 min.)
May 1992. During filmmaker Nathan Silver’s 9th birthday party, chaos erupts as he attempts to make a film based on the L.A. riots in his backyard. Nathan both directs and acts in the film, as his father captures the action on video. Uncooperative friends, a nine-year old director, and a nagging mother result in another kind of riot.

Nothing Human (Tom Rosenberg | USA | 17 min.)
A minimalist study in extreme violence, Nothing Human is about forensic investigator Louie Akin’s experience reconstructing the 2009 mass shooting at Fort Hood where Major Nidal Hasan, a military psychiatrist, killed 13 soldiers preparing to deploy to Afghanistan.

Akin recounts the 3 year investigation that placed him at the intersection of America's endemic mass shootings and ongoing military campaigns in the Middle East. After years analyzing every blood trail and bullet hole, interviewing hundreds of traumatized witnesses, Akin’s is an exhaustive, systematic accounting of this violent scene. His work necessitates distance, precision and rigor, while simultaneously forcing him to confront the most troubling aspects of human behavior.

The film consists mostly of a single interview with Louie walking around a sound stage painted with a full scale enlargement of his own reconstruction of the crime scene - a giant array of numbers and arrows, showing with clinical precision the positions and movements of the shooter and his victims. The film refuses imagery of the crime scene itself, rejecting the aesthetics of sensationalized cinematic violence and placing the audience more firmly in the perspective of a bureaucrat, a perspective that is both fascinating and unnerving for its sober precision.

Uzu (Gaspard Kuentz | Japan | 28 min.)
Held every October in the city of Matsuyama (island of Shikoku), the Dogo Autumn Festival is one of the most violent religious festivals celebrated in Japan. Eight teams of men carrying massive portable wood shrines that can weigh up to a ton collide them together in a holy battle, leaving many injured and exhausted.
UZU is an immersive documentary film that focuses on the physical and spiritual experience of the festival from its inside. A thrilling ride into its violence as well as a penetrating glance on its meaning, UZU propounds a unique cinematic experience, between sensory ethnography and ""war"" reporting.


Lightning Bug
"The foursome — at least, I think there are four of them — craft one beguiling song after another while jumping from style to style with surprising agility." —Opus.fm

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Rooftop Films is a New York based non-profit whose mission is to engage diverse communities by showing independent movies in outdoor locations, producing new films, coordinating youth media education, and renting equipment at low cost to artists.

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