Documentary

Film Still: A girl awaits her train on a Tokyo subway platform. Tokyo is home to the world’s busiest metro system, with approximately 8.7 million daily riders.
Patrick Shen and Brandon Vedder

For some, silence is defined as the absence of sound. But a new documentary film, "In Pursuit of Silence," explores the many facets of silence. From religious meditation to the natural world, silence is an integral part of existence. And the noise of modern life may be damaging in physical, mental and emotional ways.

Mayor Alice Butler points to a map hanging in Roseboro Town Hall.
Patrick Nichols

Second to Pennsylvania, North Carolina has the most small towns in the United States. And it has been able to remain the so-called “small town state” because of the many miles of state highways connecting dispersed towns to one another.

REEL SOUTH

The American South has a long history of compelling, lyrical, and diverse storytelling. But many of the nationally-known portrayals of the region—like “Duck Dynasty,” “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo,” or “Swamp People”—still rely heavily on stereotypes.

A compilation of magazine covers from all over the world showing Tab Hunter at the peak of his celebrity.
Photo courtesy of Chuck Adams

Tab Hunter was a Hollywood golden boy whose looks propelled him into quick fame. He starred in more than 40 major motion pictures including “Battle Cry” and “Damn Yankees.” 

Image of Cliff Collins, owner of Cliff's Meat Market
D.L. Anderson

Cliff’s Meat Market has been a cornerstone of the food industry in the Triangle for more than four decades. Cliff Collins started the shop when he was in his 20s, and it’s now one of the last family-owned markets in the area. Many have noted that the key to Cliff’s success is his ability to evolve alongside the community he serves and create products to meet their needs.

Image from  National Hollerin' Contest archive.
Tony Peacock

Hollerin’ is an ancient form of human communication originally used in rural areas—people would yell from farm-to-farm to share messages over long distances. In 1969, a group of people in Spivey’s Corner, N.C. began the National Hollerin’ Contest to preserve and celebrate this form of communication. 

    

Image of Eric Pickersgill's art installation
Eric Pickersgill

For some artists, making art is about creating something distinct from everything else that came before it. But in a new exhibit on view at The Ackland Art Museum, 11 artists explore the flip side of that artistic impulse. Their work raises questions about the value of creating new objects and explores the ethical and environmental implications of this work.

Logo for the RiverRun International Film Festival
riverrunfilm.com

The 17th annual RiverRun International Film Festival returns to Winston-Salem this month. 

Photo by Barcelona-based photographer Violeta de Lama, courtesy of Wil Weldon.

More and more people around the world are choosing to get their hands dirty—digging in the dirt in their backyard or at a community garden to plant produce.

Illustration: Ahmed worked with Dick Gordon over 10 days of reporting in Baghdad. They continued to collaborate for several years.
Ahmed Fadaam

Iraqi artist Ahmed Fadaam spent years reporting about the Iraq War for WUNC's The Story with Dick Gordon.

His segment, "Ahmed's Diary," gave listeners the story of the war from the streets of Baghdad while his artwork reflected the instability of a country under fire.

But death threats from within Iraq forced Fadaam to flee the country. His story is now the subject of a documentary, Musings of an Iraqi Patriot.

Charlie Thompson

From 1942-1964 about five million Mexican guest workers were brought to the United States as part of a federal program to help with the post-war labor shortage.

Atlanta is considered the Black Gay Mecca of the United States.

Photo of Backup Singer Lisa Fischer on stage with The Rolling Stones
flickr/ aka Francois aka Mister Pink

Lisa Fischer has made a career singing backup vocals for artists from Mick Jagger and Luther Vandross to Dolly Parton and the Nine Inch Nails. She sang this solo rendition of "Breath of Heaven" live on The State of Things:

Photo of Backup Singer Lisa Fischer on stage with The Rolling Stones
flickr/ aka Francois aka Mister Pink

    

Lisa Fischer is one of the most in-demand vocalists in the music industry, but she rarely takes center stage.

Rick Dillwood

When filmmaker Rick Dillwood agreed to donate sperm to his neighbors, he hardly knew them. Mel and Carey Downey-Piper had been seeking a known donor but not a good friend. However, after many months of celebration and hardship, the three became very close. Dillwood recorded their journey in a documentary called "Between Friends & Family".

  

A member of the Pop Warner football league, the Durham Eagles (NC)
Center for Documentary Studies, Duke University

How much money does your family spend on sports? Do you spend hundreds each your on a traveling team for a middle schooler? Perhaps your child plays in more than one of these competitive leagues. How about a private conditioning coach? How much is too much?

There's an intriguing new project about the topic. It's called Contested, and it features families in Durham, NC.

>>Browse the multimedia site.

Hip Hop Studies is a growing field in academia led by the work of scholars like Patrick Douthit, the hip-hop producer and artist better known as 9th Wonder

Film poster for Honor Diaries: A documentary about honor-based violence.
honordiaries.com

Women around the world experience honor-based violence ranging from forced child marriage to female genital mutilation. The documentary "Honor Diaries" features the stories of nine women and their fight against this violence in their own communities.

  

Wilmington-based non profit Black Arts Alliance presents a four-day festival featuring the work of black filmmakers from around the country.

Veterans learning to fly fish.
Justin Lubke http://www.notyetbeguntofightfilm.com/?page_id=46

Retired Marine Colonel Eric Hastings used to dream about fly-fishing when he was in Vietnam. In 1969, he returned home to Montana and went quickly to the water. "I came back from combat and found I needed relief. And the more I was out there fly-fishing, the more I knew I needed more of it.  You know, this ... this river healed me," he says.

RAÇA, a documentary film
racafilme.com / Raca

Brazil is often touted as a racial democracy or a multicultural paradise. More than half of the country's population is of African descent, and there are more than 130 words to describe skin tone. But according to Afro-Brazilian filmmaker Joel Zito Araújo, there is much work to be done in the struggle for racial equality. The scholar-in-residence at UNC's Sonja Haynes Stone Center highlights the challenges in his new film, RAÇA. Host Frank Stasio talks with Araújo and the Center’s director, Joseph Jordan.

Creative Commons

The Meredith College Documentary Film Festival offers movies made by women that address a wide range of topics.

 Filmmaker Joan King Widdifield's "Rainy Season" explores the lingering damage of the Vietnam War. Kristin Bedford's film, "Field Notes, Durham Noir" is an aesthetic interpretation of the tobacco town. Host Frank Stasio talks with Widdifield and Bedford about their work. Both films will be featured at the Festival on Sunday, January 26th.

 

Hillside High School Marching Band
https://www.facebook.com/HHSBAND

  

The Hillside High School Marching Hornets is one of the premier marching bands in the state. The Durham band hails from one of North Carolina's only historically-black schools. Generations of families in Durham have marched with the Hornets. A new documentary, One Band Indivisble, follows a year in the life of the Marching Hornets. 

Ryan White

Freda Kelly was a 17 year-old typist in Liverpool when she was asked to work for a band that would become legends: The Beatles. For eleven years, Kelly was a loyal friend and secretary to the group. For more than fifty years, Kelly stayed mum about her experiences, but a new documentary “Good Ol’ Freda,” spotlights her story and her time with The Beatles.

Granny's Got Game

  

You might think basketball is a young person’s game, but one group of aging athletes aims to change that perception.

The “Fabulous 70s” are a group of women in their 70s who play basketball competitively. They’re the focus of a new documentary called “Granny’s Got Game.” Host Frank Stasio talks with filmmaker Angela Alford and the “Fabulous 70s” team captain Judy Barton.

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