Top 5 Films at AFI DOCS

3 Jun

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AFI DOCs is weeks away and tickets are on sale now! Be sure to check out the full film line up and find a screening near you. Here are the top five docs we’re most excited about this year!

1. 12 O’Clock Boys

Fast and the Furious meets The Wire! This fast-paced thriller follows the life of Pug, a young boy growing up in West Baltimore. Forget the drug crews of Marlo and Avon Barksdale, Pug wants to be a member of the notorious dirt bike gang- the 12 O’Clock Boys. Strap in for a ride through the streets of Charm City and explore a different angle of inner city living beyond the drugs and the corner.

 

2. Blackfish

Thinking of visiting SeaWorld this summer? You might first want to check out the rare, behind-scenes footage in this forceful doc about marine parks. Audiences who remember the death of whale trainer Dawn Brancheau may be surprised to learn that acts of aggression from Orca whales happen more often than they may think. But perhaps what’s most alarming about these “killer whales” in captivity is the corporate-led effort to keep such big profit practices and attractions in business.

 

3. Expedition to the End of the World

Though the trailer almost makes this doc look like it follows the boys from Jackass, I assure you there’s much more to it. I doubt Johnny Knoxville and company have the insightful views (and IQs) as this rugged band of zoologists, biologists and geologists. With stunning images and a diverse soundtrack, this film about a crew of scientists exploring Northeast Greenland is sure to entertain and enlighten.

 

4. Camp 14 – Total Control Zone

When it comes to North Korea, little is known and even less is seen to the outside world. Focus on the isolated nation’s labor camps and the shadows grow even darker. But thanks to former prisoner Shing Dung-hyuk’s interviews, audiences can now hear of the hardships of life in a “death camp.” Implementing creative graphic images to show the hard work, starvation and torture that Camp 14 prisoners endure, this doc’s intimate look at life before and after escape is sure to be a powerful experience.

 

5. The Act of Killing

What’s more shocking than asking a group of men who helped commit genocide reenact their crimes? How about the boastful pride and enthusiasm they bring to the task. In what is surely a very chilling and disturbing doc, filmmakers ask Indonesian death squad leaders to replay their brutal acts of murder from 1965’s military coup on camera. The result is an unforgettable look into the minds of killers. This film is not for the faint-of-heart.

 

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