By Kirsten Coachman
Over the years, the Mill Valley Film Festival has showcased a wonderful selection of films, and this year is no different. I’ll be watching a slate of films being offered virtually as well as sharing my thoughts throughout this year’s festival. Check out the latest roundup below.
Time (2020) | Directed by Garrett Bradley
On September 16, 1997, Fox Rich and her high school sweetheart husband Rob Rich were arrested for robbing a credit union. Fox served three and a half years in prison, while Rob was handed a 60-year sentence with no options of bail, parole, or suspension of sentence. Told in black-and-white, comprised of Fox’s personal home videos from over the years with current footage captured by director Garrett Bradley, Time is an intimate and wholly emotional portrait of a woman that is, frankly, an absolute force of nature. Unwavering, Fox endures as she raises her six sons and works tirelessly towards the goal of getting her husband released from Louisiana State Penitentiary. Garrett’s documentary is the sort of impactful storytelling that is necessary in today’s world and an absolute must-watch.
Banksy Most Wanted (2020) | Directed by Seamus Haley, Laurent Richard, Aurélia Rouvier
It was the Banksy stunt at Sotheby’s heard ’round the world. Immediately following a sale of Girl with Balloon at auction in 2018, the painting self-destructed by shredding a portion of itself. It’s a viral moment that left the art world stunned. Banksy Most Wanted delves into the history of Banksy’s statement-making art, the entertaining conspiracies and speculation surrounding his identity and the journalists that sought to unmask him, as well as the gross betrayal of art collectors who dared to remove Banksy’s public works–upsetting locals who carry a sense of pride about “having a Banksy” in their town. The documentary is a captivating look at the world famous artist who has garnered continued success and intrigue despite his anonymity.
Us Kids (2020) | Directed by Kim A. Snyder
In February of 2018, a gunman opened fire on the campus of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, resulting in the death of 17 of young lives in Parkland, Florida. Us Kids–the title plucked from a speech student Emma Gonzales gave following the shooting–shows another side of familiar faces like David Hogg, Cameron Kasky, and Gonzales, who banded together with their Marjory Stoneman Douglas peers and channeled their grief and trauma into activism that reached people from around the world. Throughout the documentary, director Kim A. Snyder threads the story of Sam Fuentes, whose candor about how she’s been affected in the aftermath of the shooting is powerful as it is admirable. The work of the March For Our Lives movement is really only a piece of the story, it’s the students’ stories and experiences that make the strongest impact.