Tribeca Film Festival 2017 Talking Movies


Tribeca Film Festival 2017

Talking Movies reports from New York, looking at all the latest films being screened at this year's Tribeca Film Festival.


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Trump has delivered a speech to the National Rifle Association, the

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first US president to do that since Ronald Reagan. Now on BBC News, it

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is time for Talking movies. Hello and welcome to this special

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Tribeca Film Festival edition of Talking Movies. In today's

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programme, with sections on gaming, television and virtual reality, is

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Tribeca moving away from just being a Film Festival? We will always be

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about film, there is no question. That is in our DNA. It was a

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festival in which the wonders of virtual reality were fully on

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display. If you sit in a movie theatre and the character turns and

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looks at the camera, they call at breaking the fourth wall. But in VR

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there are no walls. Plus, Tribeca had movies from around the world. A

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drama set in China, and the story of women's emancipation in Switzerland

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in the 1970s. Bexley had these arguments in the 1970s. They were,

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like, if women do politics it is apocalypse. Then there were

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Tribeca's political films, the politically charged Confusing Times.

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We are living in a surreal time, I just don't know what to make of it.

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And a feature on people for whom the environment make them ill. All that

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and more in the special Tribeca Film Festival edition of Talking Movies.

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New York's Landmark radio city music Hall is home to the world-famous

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synchronised dance is known as the Rockettes. But this year it has also

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played host to launch of a rather different kind of showbiz Robert De

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Niro's Tribeca Film Festival. I have learned through the years that Clive

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really has a weakness for artists. A documentary profile of legendary

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American musical executive Clive Davis opened the festival, a man who

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has influenced the careers of such artists as Barry Mallow, Bruce

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Springsteen, Aretha Franklin, Patti Smith and many more. But he is still

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going strong at age 85, impressed Festival co-founder Robert De Niro.

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I am not post to his aid, but I am getting there. So I have... He is an

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inspiration. The longer he keeps going, the better it is for me. This

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two Power documentary was put together by a filmmaker who has

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packed a lot into it. Everything. 55 to 58 interviews, something like

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that. Just an unbelievable amount of music and art and artists and

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executives, it is just a blizzard of stars and things that people have

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relationships with. You know, it is the history of popular music, 50

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years. Every so on somebody turned out to be a big hit. There is much

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to admire in Clive Davis. His ability to stop spot and nurture

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talent, his tenacity, but the film is not a warts and all exposure. It

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is a puff piece in that it only tells his side of the story, and

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there is nothing in it that makes him look at all negative. It was

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kind of typical for a Tribeca opening night, where often you have

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got a big gala event organised around a very important media

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figure. And so they show a documentary that is fairly common

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entry to that person in order to tie in the sort of celebrations, in this

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case a big concert with lots of people. Tribeca's 12 day festival

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isn't designed with the highbrow cineaste in mind. There are lots to

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choose from, everything from Tom Hanks and Emma Watson to a political

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satire setting India, the issue related documentaries, the porter at

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the late actor Heath Ledger. No wonder just a Film Festival, Tribeca

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also unveiled TV shows, virtual reality project and gaming. As

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technology has changed, as the weight distribution has changed, we

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are about storytelling. And good storytelling, whether or not it is

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in gaming or amazing documentaries, short films, and great narratives.

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This is the first Tribeca festival since Donald Trump became president.

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These are politically charged times, giving Tribeca films which touch on

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politics a special resonance. One looking back is the Reagan Show,

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examining President Ronald Reagan and how the administration of the

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long-time Hollywood actor use television to its advantage. The

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film is made up entirely of archival footage from the time. A business

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that I used to be instead save something for the third act. And we

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will. The images suggest that the Reagan administration governed by

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relying on what social commentators have turned post- truth politics.

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Post- truth politics is a world in which politics is more about the

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spectacle and the entertainment value of the event, rather than any

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kind of real world, verifiable facts, evidence, truth. So if the

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Reagan administration planted the seed is of post- truth politics,

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then the Trump administration has really been harvesting that crop.

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Tribeca is closing with screenings of the Godfather and Godfather part

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two. Robert De Niro thinks that they connected with audiences because at

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a time when the social fabric in America appeared to be fraying at

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present a strong quarter of a family. People felt more enacted to

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that than they did to the dissolution and the cynicism and

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suspicion of the government, and so on -- portrait. I think that that

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just... I am oversimplifying it, but that had a lot to do with it, in

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some way. Too many New Yorkers, Tribeca is a welcome hodgepodge of

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movies and affiliated activities, often proves very engaging. At the

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festival is yet to launch a truly memorable picture that comes to

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define it. During festival time, there was much talk about a sideshow

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that could become the main show in years to come. Virtual reality. All

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told, some 30 different virtual reality projects were on display.

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Each attracting a lot of interest. Tristan Daley went along to

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investigate. On the fifth floor of the Tribeca festival hub,

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participants with headsets covering their eyes walk around waving their

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hands in the air, interacting with a world only they can see. Tribeca is

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one of several film festivals across the world to be demonstrating

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burgeoning virtual reality technology, with a number of

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different installations, in a time when the market for this gadgetry is

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rapidly expanding. But Tribeca specially designed their exhibition

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space to bring the most out of their virtual reality experiences. These

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installations are not in your living room, so when you go into one of

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these pieces you are not just putting the headset on. You are

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actually entering the inflation that has been built specifically for the

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space, so it is actually a bespoke experience. And it is actually a

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very... It is like a collective experience, because people talk

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about VR being very lonely but what I love about this as we are figuring

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out ways to bring people into spaces and actually have them be part of

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something that feels collective. They are very excited about the

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cutting edge nature of these projects, claiming creators are

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pushing the possibilities of virtual reality to its limits. Tree hug

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Wawona is a project in which the dissidents creep up the trunk of a

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tree and are able to see it produce oxygen. Creators wanted to immerse

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the audience not only in the sights and sounds but also the actual smell

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of the tree. We have got sent release system, so that adds... When

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you push ahead through the bar, through the SAP, to the internals of

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tree, the sound changes and the scent changes. The more you are

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pushed into that world, with your senses, the more reel that journey

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feels. So we are always pushing the limits of that and we have got that

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sculptural elements, and your touch aligns with the virtual feed. Unlike

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traditional motion picture formats, virtual reality thrust viewers into

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a virtual 3-D space in which most times you can see 360 degrees around

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you. Some veteran Phil Magas like Steven Spielberg are daunted by the

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new technology, saying it takes control away from the storytellers,

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giving the audience more choice on where to look. The advent of virtual

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reality has given filmmakers a new storytelling vocabulary, that is

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distinct from cinema. The director of the Madagascar animation

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franchise brought Rainbow Crowed to Tribeca this year. It is a retelling

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of a native American hotel. To him, virtual reality as a medium in its

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own right. Coming from the storm world, I have directed a number of

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films, and I thought easy, this is going to be no big deal, I've done

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this for 25 years but I got humble really quick when I got into VR and

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realised that it is just not the same. It just feels different, it

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looks different. Audiences respond to it in different ways. You know,

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if you said in a movie theatre and a character turns the camera, I don't

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really feel like they are looking at me. You know, they call it raking

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the fourth wall, but in VR, there are no walls. And that is a pretty

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amazing experience for audiences. This whole space is in such a period

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of flux. And what is so interesting about all this technology is every

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time you get your hands around one thing and you figure out how it

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works, like, Tribeca next is going to look completely different. It

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just keeps. Many challenges lie ahead for this medium, such as how

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best to harness virtual reality to tell original stories, and how to

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develop mass distribution so hundreds can share the same virtual

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reality experience simultaneously. And commercially, a priority remains

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developing an effective business model so this new technology can be

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monetised. Now on to some Tribeca films in a bit more detail. It goes

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without saying that Tribeca is an American festival. After all, it

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takes place on American soil. But this year, films from some 31

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different countries were shown. Among them, King of the king, set

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and shot in China. Basically it is a father-son relationship drama, but

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it is also an ode to cinema, as our correspondent reports. Set in China

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in 1998, King of the king is a layered comedy about a projectionist

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whose love for movies, and even greater love for his son. The story

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is about a father who is a projectionist. He has got a son who

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works with him in business, which as they travel around China, or rural

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parts of China, and they scream movies for villagers. And his

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project catches fire. And they have two start finding new ways to work

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together. The ex-wife is putting an enormous amount of pressure on them,

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on the father, he has basically given them an ultimatum that unless

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he pays X amount of money he is basically not going to have custody

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of his child any more. And that is why he goes to the great expense of

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bootlegging movies in order to keep his son. He even Rolls himself up

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with film to smuggle them to the basement where he makes his DVDs.

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According to voters, the digital age phenomenally transformed cinema in

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China. It was really only when DVDs entered the market, in the 1990s,

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and VCDs, different types of video discs, that these movies were able

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to enter the home and be consumed by people who beforehand didn't have

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access to these type of stories. And Sam Voutas says an easy way to get

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your hands on a DVD copy of your favourite movie was from but later

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on the street. He got the idea from the story when one of his previous

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films, also set in China, was bootlegged in real life. It was sort

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of a spark that got me writing. So our previous film, within a week it

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was on the streets of Beijing, and rather than get angry, I was

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actually very impressed with the creativity that the bootleggers had.

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They had done their own artwork, they had done their own credit is,

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really interesting stuff. So I realise that there was a creative

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element to the bootlegging. And that is how it started. It is more of a

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sort of... I guess you could say it is a celebration of the creativity

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of that... Of that world. King of the king is Sam Voutas's first film

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to premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival. Support doesn't guarantee

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him widescale success, but he hopes that the exposure from this festival

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will bring a wide audience from those who only saw his last film on

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bootlegged. While making movie about the bootlegging industry in China is

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clever and a bit tongue in cheek, for the producer of the film, it all

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comes back to one thing. A tale of a father and his son. It is a love

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letter, father to son and son to father, as well as of other to

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cinema, and to his passions in life. The real heart of the film is about

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love. People whose lives are destabilised by products like house

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paint, perfume, even mobile phones. These are the individuals

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scrutinised in the Tribeca documentary The Sensitives.

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The subjects of this powerful new documentary, The Sensitives, live

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day to day in a unique ligament. The new disorder that the mainstream

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medical community recognises as real but has not yet developed any

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treatment or medication for. It has a name. Multiple chemical

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sensitivity. But because the symptoms vary dramatically, many

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suffer to even -- struggle to even define their illness. He started

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having trouble at work with his colleagues, their personal hygiene,

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their shampoo, things like that. What they have in common is they

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developed these debilitating reactions to commonplace things in

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the environment, things we take for granted, like garden pesticides or

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house paint, perfume and Cologne and even cellphones, wireless router is

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and things like that. The degree to which it of those things affects

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them varies and the kinds of things, the way it manifests, has variation.

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What they share in common is the things that most of us are

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unaffected by in small amounts affects them immensely. This radio

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is on at home way to figure out if any electrical appliances are

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spewing out electromagnetic fields. In order to function with any

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normalcy the subjects must dramatically rearrange their lives.

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Some move to promote areas where there are fewer man-made chemicals

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and electronics, others create safe spaces in their homes and where a

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mask any time they leave. Even documenting their lives was a unique

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challenge for the filmmakers, since the cameras and microphones needed

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to capture these stories, often making the subjects physically sick.

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They are unsure of the effects of the camera because they normally

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avoid things like that at all costs, but they signed up to be part of

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this project because they feel like their story is being told and that

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could help other people like them feel less lonely and marginalised.

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Like they are not the only ones. So there were many moments where I have

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to stop shooting because the subjects were feeling uncomfortable

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with what was going on. Most of the film, I keep a healthy distance

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between the subject and myself. This is a story that could have been told

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in a variety of ways. Filmmakers could have done a conventional

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talking head style documentary with members of the medical community,

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they could have focused on the companies that create these

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chemicals and electronics. Instead The Sensitives looks at its subjects

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to a personal lens, examining how this unique illness impacts their

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relationships. We really protected him against this chemical

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sensitivity. The story of the caregivers was just as important as

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those who were afflicted with them. I mean, it's the other half of the

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story, it's what grounds their identity. Are their loved one

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sticking by and keeping them in contact with the world? And

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96-year-old grandmother who delivers mail and supplies and tries to bring

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some kind of levity to their lives every day. Or a wife who tries to

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keep her husband saying by thinking and interacting with his

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grandchildren through all this. So those stories to me were just as

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compelling as those who were sick and also served as a really

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important bridge to everyone who would watch this film. When you are

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that impaired it can really make you feel like dirt. For instance, go

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into the store each day, people usually notice that you are not

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acting like everyone else, but they don't really know what's going on.

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Whenever we are confronted with an illness we don't understand, we

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almost always put the blame on the person who is it. Multiple

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sclerosis, before we understood how it works, you were an hysterical

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woman, that's why you felt that way. PTSD was, you are a man with a weak

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constitution. Man up. Aid was, you are gay. That's why this is coming

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upon you. -- Aids was. Said before we knew what was going on we phrased

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it in such a way that it will blame on the person who was sick. It's

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your fault. You why your own worst enemy. I think these people suffered

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the same kind of treatment, being that people were saying it was in

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the ahead, it's all your fault. I would like this film to encourage

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discussion and get us past that and break that pattern. When you are

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already not feeling well, you begin to feel like you are the scum of the

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earth. When I was scrutinising the Tribeca

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lineup this year for films that Talking Movies could possibly cover,

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I was startled by the right upper one of them which mentioned the

:19:20.:19:23.

women in Switzerland did get the right to vote until very late, 1971.

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The Tribeca film of divine order looked at the story of one woman's

:19:30.:19:31.

emancipation in that time. In the film the protagonist is a

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wife who without complaints tends to the needs of her husband, father and

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two children. But she wants more. She wants to work. At that time in

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Switzerland women couldn't work without permission from their

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husbands. She is just a regular person in the village, very busy

:19:58.:20:01.

with her kids and she finds out when her husband forbid to the work that

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she is actually really affected by these discriminatory laws in

:20:06.:20:10.

Switzerland and also that she can't vote, she starts to be angry about

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it and she starts to become a rebel and fight for it. As The Divine

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Order makes clear, women's rights in early 1970s Switzerland were

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minimal. 1971, its 46 years ago. Nothing. And they have no right, no

:20:25.:20:31.

right to go to work, no right to open up a bank account. They

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couldn't sign a contract without the wheel of a man. -- the will.

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Having women involved in the political process was seen as being

:20:44.:20:49.

against gods law, against the divine order. The film doesn't directly

:20:50.:20:56.

address why Switzerland commonly thought of as quite a modern country

:20:57.:21:00.

was so late in granting women the right to vote. There are several

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possible explanations. I think the big reason is that Switzerland is a

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deeply conservative country and very opposed to change. Switzerland has

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always been kind of well, like after the Second World War the world was

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in shreds, but Switzerland was still a cave. So they didn't be the

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necessity. But we are fine! Everything is fine, we shouldn't

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change it. In the film one of the most visible local opponents in

:21:31.:21:34.

granting women the right to vote is a woman at smack the head of the

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anti- politicisation of women's action committee. Many women were

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opposed to universal suffrage. I thought that was a very intriguing

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antagonist because it is so surprising that it's a woman. I read

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a whole dissertation on them. I thought that's more interesting. I

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think patriarch in the end affects everybody, men and women, and I

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wanted to break up that strict line between men and women because it is

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not between men and women. I deeply believe the quality is good for men

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and women. The film has already opened in Switzerland. It is a story

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of female empowerment which really resonated with the picture arriving

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in cinemas at the time of the worldwide women's march in the wake

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of President Trump's inauguration. I think with the current political

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atmosphere, I think the film has become more timely than we

:22:27.:22:30.

anticipated one year ago. Because the film is also about courage,

:22:31.:22:35.

about standing up and voicing your opinion, about fighting for justice

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and equality. This story of Swiss women's emancipation is quite good

:22:42.:22:47.

cinema. The lead actor is convincing in the central role and The Divine

:22:48.:22:51.

Order very effectively paints a picture of an inward looking

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community, sealed off from the rest of the world, that threatens to

:22:57.:22:58.

suffocate its inhabitants. That brings this special Tribeca

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film festival edition of Talking Movies to a close. We hope you've

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enjoyed the programme. Remember, you can always reach us online and you

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can find us on Facebook too. From me Tom Brook and the rest of the

:23:19.:23:23.

Talking Movies production crew in New York, it's goodbye. We leave you

:23:24.:23:30.

with a clip from a virtual reality project called Life of Us, the story

:23:31.:23:33.

of evolution on earth.

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