With the rapid emergence of digital devices, an unstoppable, invisible force is changing human lives in ways from the microscopic to the gargantuan: Big Data, a word that was barely used a few years ago but now governs the day for many of us from the moment we awaken to the extinguishing of the final late-evening light bulb. This massive gathering and analyzing of data in real time is allowing us to not only address some of humanity biggest challenges but is also helping create a new kind of planetary nervous system. Yet as Edward Snowden and the release of the Prism documents have shown, the accessibility of all these data comes at a steep price. The Human Face of Big Data captures the promise and peril of this extraordinary knowledge revolution.
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In June 2013, Laura Poitras and reporter Glenn Greenwald flew to Hong Kong for the first of many meetings with Edward Snowden. She brought her camera with her. The film that resulted from this series of tense encounters is absolutely sui generis in the history of cinema: a 100% real-life thriller unfolding minute by minute before our eyes. Poitras is a great and brave filmmaker, but she is also a masterful storyteller: she compresses the many days of questioning, waiting, confirming, watching the world’s reaction and agonizing over the next move, into both a great character study of Snowden and a narrative that will leave you on the edge of your seat as it inexorably moves toward its conclusion.
When Steve Jobs died the world wept. But what accounted for the grief of millions of people who didn’t know him? This evocative film navigates Jobs’ path from a small house in the suburbs, to zen temples in Japan, to the CEO’s office of the world’s richest company, exploring how Jobs’ life and work shaped our relationship with the computer. The Man in the Machine is a provocative and sometimes startling re-evaluation of the legacy of an icon.
During the chaotic final weeks of the Vietnam War, the North Vietnamese Army closes in on Saigon as the panicked South Vietnamese people desperately attempt to escape. On the ground, American soldiers and diplomats confront a moral quandary: whether to obey White House orders to evacuate only U.S. citizens.
In 1962, spurred by the Cold War, President John F. Kennedy famously made the bold proclamation that NASA would send astronauts to the moon by the end of the decade, not because it was easy, but because it was a challenge. The Space Race inspired a generation to pursue careers in science and technology, but as the balance of world power shifted, interest in space exploration declined. “Fight for Space” serves as an urgent call to re-awaken our sense of wonder and discovery.
Do Not Resist is an exploration of the rapid militarization of the police in the United States. Opening on startling on-the-scene footage in Ferguson, Missouri, the film then broadens its scope to present scenes from across the country.
A documentary on the unrest in Ukraine during 2013 and 2014, as student demonstrations supporting European integration grew into a violent revolution calling for the resignation of President Viktor F. Yanukovich.
Samsara is a word that describes the ever turning wheel of life. It is a concept both intimate and vast – the perfect subject for filmmakers Ron Fricke and Mark Magidson, whose previous collaborations include Chronos and Baraka, and who, in the last 20 years, have travelled to over 58 countries together in the pursuit of unique imagery. Samsara takes the form of a nonverbal, guided meditation that will transform viewers in countries around the world as they are swept along a journey of the soul. Through powerful images pristinely photographed in 70mm and a dynamic music score, the film illuminates the links between humanity and the rest of the nature, showing how our life cycle mirrors the rhythm of the planet.