Documentaries that change the world

A different tomorrow is a section at RIFF where the most interesting documentaries of the year are screened. Acute and interesting questions are asked. Can we sustain our way of living indefinitely or must we change our lifestyles? Can our planet handle prolonged maltreatment? Do we behave ethically towards one another? The films in A Different Tomorrow shed light on environmental and humanitarian topics because, sometimes, the right film can change the world.

 

PUSH

Þvingun

SWE

Fredrik Gertten

92 min.

2019

 

Housing is a fundamental human right, a precondition to a safe and healthy life. Housing prices are skyrocketing in cities around the world. Incomes are not. PUSH sheds light on a new kind of faceless landlord, our increasingly unliveable cities and an escalating crisis that has an effect on us all. This is not gentrification, it’s a different kind of monster.

 

COLD CASE HAMMERSKJÖLD

Óleyst mál Hammarskjölds

DNK, NOR, SWE, BEL

Mads Brügger

128 min.

2019

 

In 1961, United Nations Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld’s plane mysteriously crashed, killing Hammarskjöld and the crew. Danish director Mads Brügger (The Red Chapel, The Ambassador) and Swedish private investigator Göran Björkdahl are trying to solve the mysterious death of Dag Hammarskjöld. As their investigation closes in, they discover a crime far worse than killing the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

 

UNA PRIMAVERA

The Spring

Vorið

AUT, ITA, DEU

Valentina Primavera

80 min.

2019

 

Following the latest episode of domestic violence, Fiorella – mother of three- decides to leave her husband, their house and life to free herself after 40 years of marriage. At 58 she finally applies for legal separation in search of freedom and new ways of being.  Equipt with a handheld camera her daughter Valentina follows her first steps into the unknown future. A complex journey begins, leading both to confront themselves and the community with its patriarchal structures.

 

GODS OF MOLENBEEK

Aatos og Amine

Aatos ja Amine

FIN, BEL, DEU

Reeta Huhtanen

73 min.

2019

 

Molenbeek, one of the poorest districts of Brussels struggling with the reputation of a terrorist nest. At the same time, it is the place of residence of the two six-year-old boys. Aatos, having Chilean and Finnish roots, and Amine, who is Muslim, come from two different worlds, which does not prevent them from playing blithely together. This image is accompanied by an attempt to understand the current events in the district and answer the question about the existence of God.

 

EARTH

Jörð

Erde

AUT

Nikolaus Geyrhalter

115 min.

2019

 

Several billion tons of earth are moved annually by humans – with shovels, excavators or dynamite. Nikolaus Geyrhalter observes people, in mines, quarries and at large construction sites, engaged in a constant struggle to take possession of the planet. You’ve heard of climate change but this documentary is about landscape change.

 

ADVOCATE

Lögmaður

ISR, CAN, CHE (Israel, Canada, Swiss)

Philippe Bellaïche, Rachel Leah Jones

108 min.

2019

 

Lea Tsemel defends Palestinians: from feminists to fundamentalists, from non-violent demonstrators to armed militants. As a Jewish-Israeli lawyer who has represented political prisoners for nearly 50 years, Tsemel, in her tireless quest for justice, pushes the praxis of a human rights defender to its limits.

 

MIDNIGHT TRAVELER

Ferðalangur að nóttu

USA, GBR, CAN, QAT

Hassan Fazili

90 min.

2019

 

When the Taliban puts a bounty on Afghan director Hassan Fazili’s head, he is forced to flee with his wife and two young daughters. Capturing their uncertain journey, Fazili shows firsthand the dangers facing refugees seeking asylum and the love shared between a family on the run.

 

ONE CHILD NATION

Eins barns þjóð

USA

Nanfu Wang, Jialing Zhang

85 min.

2019

 

China’s One Child Policy, the extreme population control measure that made it illegal for couples to have more than one child, may have ended in 2015, but the process of dealing with the trauma of its brutal enforcement is only just beginning.One Child Nation explores the ripple effect of this devastating social experiment, uncovering one shocking human rights violation after another – from abandoned newborns, to forced sterilizations and abortions, and government abductions. Received US Grand Jury Prize: Documentary at Sundance Film Festival 2019.