Monday, June 18, 2012

Films of Interest at Silverdocs

By Gary Berg-Cross
AFI-Discovery Channel Silverdocs Documentary Festival, takes place June 18-24, 2012. The shows are in and around downtown Silver Spring, Maryland so if you are in the MD-Washington, DC area it’s a great event.
Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady’s “Detropia” film about Detroit is getting buzz & kudos. It tells the familiar story of the city’s demise through a slightly new lens, focusing on the poor and working-class African American communities that have been displaced, not just by the economic crisis but also by proposed responses to it.
Two candidates of high interest to Secular Perspective readers are THE REVISIONARIES and “The Source”. At the center of The REVISIONARIES is Don McLeroy, whom Texas governor Rick Perry appointed to chair the Board in 2009, and who waged the war over intelligent design instruction. A full-time dentist, over-time ignoramus, and character straight out of a Christopher Guest film, McLeroy — who believes that the earth is 6000 years old — represents more than just his own state's problem with science.

Of “The REVISIONARIES the WAPO review said:
‘Forget “Prometheus”; the scariest movie of the summer is this revealing look at the Texas State Board of Education, led by evolution-denier and dentist Don McLeroy. Director Scott Thurman chronicles the board’s review of textbook standards, which McLeroy and his cohorts seek to revise by emphasizing creationism and casting doubt on scientific empiricism.‘
The schedule is:
6:00 PM Fri, Jun 22
AFI Silver Theatre 2
8:15 PM Sat, Jun 23

The Source takes place in an early 1970s LA. We see a man called Jim Baker who opened a vegetarian restaurant, called The Source, on Sunset Boulevard. It became a hot spots on the Sunset Strip, “catering to a who’s who of actors, musicians, scenesters” and celebs like John Lennon and Frank Zappa dropping in to dine on creations like Rainbow Salad. Another favorite was a huge bowl called "Aware Salad," which, featuring lettuce, grated beets and carrots, red cabbage, alfalfa sprouts, sunflower seeds, pine nuts, cucumbers, tomatoes and avocado.
But it was also home base to one of L.A.’s most notorious cults, The Source Family:
“ a 140-strong New Age congregation presided over by that eccentric restaurateur James Baker, A.K.A. Father Yod.

The film shown on Fri, Jun 22, 10:45 at the PM AFI Silver Theatre uses archival footage and contemporary interviews to provide:
“ a fascinating psychedelic journey into the life and death of a cult.” 

For more see the full schedule.

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