For the love of documentaries

Published on: Mon, Feb 11, 2013

I fell in love with the idea of watching documentaries, not just for education but for enjoyment, when Thin Line first appeared in 2007.  It has continued to capture my attention since then and has yet to disappoint me.

My first doc to see during this year’s festival, 5 Broken Cameras, made me squirm, feel uncomfortable, and even made me angry with people and a political cause that I felt had no connection with me.  Listening to the narrator justify their demonstrations, while his youngest kicked old gas grenades around like it was a normal part of childhood, can make any parent in America grateful that our children are so sheltered from war.  While I was comforted by the fact that my children were at home safely and snuggly tucked in bed, I couldn’t help but wonder how it is possible that this kind of government is still in existence.

I must admit that I am constantly picking and choosing what I want to listen to, see, and read about when it comes to an overabundance of bad news.  I tend to shut down to anything that will make my “happy-go-lucky” life tilt in any way.  I seem to forget very often that life around me is not the norm. In fact, life around me seems to be the exception when compared to the rest of the world.  A world that  hurts so often, and is always beckoning for people like me to pay attention.

That is exactly what made me fall in love with the festival from the beginning.  Thin Line brings films that make us feel all aspects of emotion but most importantly brings awareness to a sometimes “bubbled” way of living life.  It is what keeps me returning year after year.  Even when a few make me cry, I’m always reminded to be grateful for the green grass on my side.

I am a fighter and a survivor but I can only be that by having sunshine in my life.  So while I appreciate the docs that tug at my heart and make me think, I power up on laughter, joy and bliss.  So I have a few docs on my radar that are sure to fuel me up.  And the selection, as always, is filled with too much great content to pick just a few.  So I present you withmy list of what I don’t want to miss during the festival:

  • Music is joy and I am in the Best Music Scene in Texas.  I can’t miss the second showing of Snarky Puppy: Ground Up tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. at the Campus Theatre.
  • Secretly, I imagine myself as some kind of superhero, so I ‘ll be in the audience during the showing of Backyard Blockbusters this Friday evening at 8:30 in the Fine Arts Theater.
  • The tourist in me wants to know all about the bats that live under an Austin bridge.  So the Fine Arts Theater is where I will be Saturday at 4 p.m. watching Bat City USA.
  • If you know me well, you know I love soccer and girl power.  The first film that was on my radar at the beginning of the festival was The Anderson Monarchs.  It shows Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Campus.  I’ll probably have a few girls in tow.
  • I am a huge fan of Ken Burns, so I can’t wait to see something from his daughter.  Central Park Five shows at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday at the Campus Theatre.  It’s definitely going to be one of those films that will make you think and evaluate your conscience.

It’s a lot to take in in one week.  But it’s a whole week of visual and emotional bliss.