Juan Mejia Botero, Jake Kheel
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The brutal murder of a park ranger by a Haitian cutting trees in a protected Dominican forest entangles us in an all-too-familiar conflict over resources that fuels ethnic and international tensions.
In this deliberative documentary, the leitmotif of a map of Hispaniola island locates us in towns on both sides of the border between Haiti and the Dominican Republic, where directors Juan Mejia Botero and Jake Kheel meet with relatives holding pictures of the ranger’s mutilated body and follow their fruitless inquiries into the investigation. Activists, officials and the small-time charcoal makers whose desperation to feed their families drives the conflict round out the story.
The camera swoops down the island, from lush Dominican forests to encroaching Haitian scrub, as the filmmakers interweave evidence of government complicity in the systemic desertification with a consideration of the profound consequences for both countries.
Masterfully weaving archival footage and new evidence, German documentary filmmakers Marcus Vetter and Karin Steinberger shed light on the convictions of Jens Soering and Elizabeth Haysom for the gruesome murder of Elizabeth’s parents in 1986.
Featuring stunning time-lapse cinematography and meticulous research, this documentary shines a spotlight on the fascinating world of seeds. With 94 percent of seed diversity disappearing over the past century, the directors give a rallying cry for all concerned about environmental issues.
Through interviews interspersed with old photos and video footage, this documentary portrait of pioneering Detroit district court judge Damon J. Keith explores his monumental rulings on civil rights, the Nixon administration and more. Along the way, a wry love story to the Motor City emerges as well