24HoursonCraigslist. (United States) In Michael Gibson's documentary, eight film crews assemble to chronicle a day in the life of the Internet phenomenon, craigslist.org. Beginning as a single website based in San Francisco, craigslist.org has rapidly expanded to major metropolitan areas all over the country, offering a mix of apartment rental listings, help-wanted ads, lonely hearts hookups and weirdo rantings. Gibson attends the screening.

AfterInnocence. (United States) Jessica Sanders' documentary looks at seven innocent men who were imprisoned for decades but later exonerated by DNA evidence. We watch as they struggle to re-enter society and rebuild their lives. Sanders attends the screening.

AnytownUSA. (United States) Journey with us now to the small New Jersey town of Bogota, where a fierce mayoral race is under way. The three candidates have sharply opposing views: Lonegan is a Republican hoping for a third term, Pesce is a Democratic councilman, and Musikant is a write-in independent candidate. The race is further complicated by the fact that two of the three candidates are legally blind. This “Anytown” turns out to be a lot quirkier than one would suspect.

TheArtandCrimesofRonEnglish. (United States) Like you would with a struggling-artist boyfriend or this documentary's title character, you'll find yourself falling in love with The Art and Crimes of Ron English, only to be let down like a two-ton billboard. English is a guerrilla billboard artist who makes billboards–or “popaganda”–that look very similar to real advertising. Only the slogans have been changed to protect our obliviousness. “The Media is the Massage,” declares one. “Saddam's SUV Oil Dependence Day Sale,” states another, with the Chevy logo in the corner and the words “Like Iraq.” Heeeelarious! But Corporate America is not laughing. English has been sued, with owners of the original ads he slaps his popaganda over accusing him of violating their First Amendment rights to free speech. English counters that free speech belongs to the people, not corporations. Gotta love that, but as the film progresses, the artist quickly switches from damning the advertising world to essentially using their myth-making tactics to promote a “product”: Ron English. Filmmaker Pedro Carvajal attends the local screening. See Matt Coker's full review: “Honk If You Love Mickey . . . and Marilyn.”

AsSmartAsTheyAre:TheAuthorProject. (United States) A chronicle of the recording of an album by One Ring Zero, the New York group that brought together musicians like Syd Straw and such noted authors as Paul Auster and Dave Eggers. LordoftheRingsstar and perennial hipster Viggo Mortensen is also in the mix, and his involvement, along with the group's name, surely sold a few albums to confused Tolkien geeks.

BacktoBosnia. (United States) Sabina Vajraca's documentary follows her father's return to his hometown of Banja Luka in Bosnia after eight years of political exile due to the war.

BeingCaribou. (Canada) On April 8, 2003, Karsten Heuer and Leanne Allison left the community of Old Crow in the Yukon Territory to journey 2,700 miles by ski and foot and join the 123,000 caribou porcupine on their epic annual journey to the calving grounds. The caribou porcupine are one of the last great mammal herds still migrating across North America, and for decades their fate has been at the center of the debate over whether to drill for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. And now, with W firmly in place for another four years (at least) and the arctic drilling going ahead, there's little hope left for these magnificent creatures. (West Coast premiere)

BetweentheLines(Zwischen DenFronten). (United States/Germany) This could have been a terrific story about a little-known consequence of the Cold War. In 1980, an East German border guard killed his partner at the gate so he could escape to the West. Directors Dirk Simon (who attends) and Reinhardt Joksch do a pretty good job of showing us how that incident affected families on both sides, and they provide a haunting scene when a camera mounted high pans from grungy East Berlin over the wall and into bustling West Berlin. But this damn thing is way too long, dreary and, ultimately, sleep-inducing.

BluesbytheBeach. (United States) West Coast premiere of Joshua Faudem's documentary that takes us to Mike's Place, a seaside bar in Israel where the staff and customers laugh, dance and party despite the constant threat of the war. But then one day in April 2003, a suicide bomber hits the bar. Will Mike's Place recover from this tragedy and live to see laughter and dance again?

Brothers. (United States) Sean McGinly lost a brother in the World Trade Center attacks, and 10 months later he travels from LA to NY for a series of interviews with 31 men from 25 different families who also lost brothers. (World premiere)

CounterCulture. (United States) The subversive exploits of a team of professional blackjack players who set out to win $150,000 in Atlantic City through their expertise at counting cards. (West Coast premiere)

Crossover. (United States) Magic Johnson, Charles Barkley, Isiah Thomas and other famous basketball players appear in this doc, making its world premiere, about the game's influence all over the globe. Filmmakers Kern and Kip Konwiser attend.

TheDanishSolution. (Belgium) A Prairie Home Companion's Garrison Keillor narrates this documentary about the Nazi attempt to carry out their “Final Solution” in Denmark. The plan was averted and more than 95 percent of the country's Jewish population survived extermination; we learn how through interviews with survivors, resistance members and locals who helped the Jews.

DaughtersofAbraham. (United States) Director Hilla Medalia was born in Israel and served two years in the military before coming to America. It was here, as a student at Southern Illinois University, that she directed this, her thesis film exploring the tragic aftermath of a suicide bombing a teenage girl carried out at a grocery store in Jerusalem.

DownSizeMe. (United States) Morgan Spurlock's SuperSizeMewas a huge success as documentaries go, so much so that it arguably inspired McDonald's to offer healthier meals. But you didn't have to be a McDonald's shareholder to question Spurlock's methods: he stacked the deck in various ways to ensure that everything he ate was as unhealthy as possible. Fullerton's Chazz Weaver set out to prove, by his own example, that if a person ate sensibly, they could survive and even prosper on a month of nothing but fast food. Weaver attends this world-premiere screening.

DreamOnSillyDreamer. (United States) This is the perfect companion piece to Greg Stacy's March 18 Weekly article “Drawn Out.” Both the film and story chronicle the sad demise of Disney's hand-drawn animation department. But the doc smartly tells it as a modern-day fairy tale (complete with evil villains that ain't stepmothers). (West Coast premiere)

Drive. (United States) Seven women compete in the “minor league” of women's professional golf, the Futures Tour, in hopes of earning a spot on the LPGA tour. They travel across the nation, alone or with their loved ones, playing in small towns and facing harsh climates for little glory and less money. What drives them? Lori Christopher's documentary, making its world premiere, attempts to answer that question.

Edgeplay:AFilmabouttheRunaways. (United States) A long-overdue documentary feature about the, er, seminal all-girl 1970s rock band. When the group hit the scene in '75, nobody had seen or heard anything quite like them: loud, angry, proudly skanky teenage chicks who could rock as hard as any fella. The press dubbed them “jailbait rock,” and they enjoyed an all-too-brief spell as media darlings before they noisily imploded. Of the band's members, Lita Ford spent a few years belting out memorably awful heavy metal before fading into obscurity in the late '80s, Joan Jett would carry on rocking into the new millennium, while bassist Victory Tischler-Blue would go on to direct this uncompromising look back at the band that blazed the trails later trod by the likes of L7, Hole and the Donnas. The Runaways crowned themselves the Queens of Noise; you'll agree if you know what's good for you because these old broads could probably still kick your butt.

TheEducationofShelbyKnox. (United States) West Coast premiere of a doc that chronicles a 15-year-old girl's amazing evolution from a conservative Southern Baptist to a liberal Christian and ardent feminist as she fights the good fight for sex education and gay rights in Lubbock, Texas.

Emmanuel'sGift. (United States) Lisa Lax's beautifully made profile of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah is among the most uplifting films you'll see at this year's festival. (Lax attends the screening.) Born in a tiny, impoverished Ghana village with a right leg so severely deformed his father believed the boy would be better off dead, Emmanuel rises to become a top disabled athlete, inspiring competitors in the U.S. and using his new fame to better his neighbors back home. Oprah narrates!

EverythingBlue(TudoAzul). (United States/Mexico/Brazil) Samba music's long and storied history of struggle, sorrow and revolution is told with performances by Caetano Velososo, music sung by Virginina Rodriguez, and the rhythms of Rio's shanty towns. Director Jesus Acevedo attends.

FlightFromDeath:TheQuestforImmortality. (United States) Gabriel Byrne narrates this thoughtful exploration of the ways our day-to-day behaviors are affected by our typically unspoken terror regarding our own mortality. Filmed in locations such as Egypt, Israel, Guyana, Greece and China, the film features interviews with such thinkers as Robert Jay Lifton, Irvin Yalom and Sam Keen addressing the anxiety, madness and even violence that result from our strange attitudes toward life's inevitable end.

ForYoutheWarIsOver. (United States) An exploration of the prisoner-of-war experience, focusing on the firsthand accounts of several World War II Allied Airmen. (World premiere)

Frisbee:TheLifeandDeathofaHippiePreacher. (United States) Two Orange County churches that went from tiny chapels to worldwide movements have largely forgotten the hippie who sparked the early '70s “Jesus freak” movement. Why? Because Lonnie Frisbee frequented gay clubs and eventually died of AIDS. Great music, historical photographs and compelling interviews. Director David Di Sabatino, who attends, is interviewed in the story “Ears on Their Heads, But They Don't Hear.”

GayRepublicans. (United States) Gay Republicans. What's the deal? Seriously: What is the deal?Perhaps this documentary from the magnificently named Wash Westmoreland (The Fluffer) will shed some light on these tragically confused individuals. “You may grind your teeth into dust watching the self-hating contortions into which some of them proudly fold themselves,” wrote LA Weekly's Ernest Hardy.

Goodnight,WeLoveYou. (United States) Newport's bluehairs will probably love Gregg Barson's portrait of Phyllis Diller on the eve of her final performance after 47 years of standup comedy. It would have been more effective to build the entire doc around her last show ( la The Last Waltz), with the interviews featuring such folk as Don Rickles, David Brenner and Lily Tomlin interspersed; but as it's presented the film will be chiefly of interest to Diller's relatives and whatever hardcore Diller fans exist in the world. It certainly does not do proper justice to a groundbreaking entertainer.

GrayMatter. (United States, France) Award-winning documentarian Joe Berlinger (Paradise Lost, Metallica: Some Kind of Monster) drops the brain, er, ball with this expose on the awful mutilations, murders and postmortem research of kids deemed inferior by Austria's Nazis. The filmmaker makes the fatal flaw of inserting too much Joe Berlinger into the film, narrating the story and showing himself among the journalists seeking answers. If he'd stayed behind the camera where he belongs, he'd have sharpened the focus on a story that was compelling before he touched down in Austria.

HeartoftheCongo. (United States) Following the five-year civil war that killed 3.5 million people, filmmaker Tom Weidlinger journeys to eastern Congo following a team of European and Congolese aid workers doing what they can to bring stability to a region recovering from a century of bloodshed. (World premiere)

TheHobartShakespeareans. (United States) Mel Stuart's documentary looks at an unorthodox educational program at Hobart Boulevard Elementary in Los Angeles. There, a class of disadvantaged fifth-graders between nine and eleven years of age, many of them from immigrant families, study Shakespeare's Hamletand perform the play at semester's end. Stuart attends this world-premiere screening.

HomelessinParadise. (United States) World premiere of Marilyn Braverman's film following Rick, Donna, Simon and Faye, four people who are chronically homeless. They struggle with their addictions and mental disorders while receiving aid from a city that's in crisis itself. The film forces us to look hard into the eyes of the people we too often rush past in our busy urban lives, and you may be surprised by what you see there.

I,Curmudgeon. (Canada) Such noted cranks as Fran Lebowitz, Andy Rooney and Scott Thompson discuss the nature of negativity and the trials of dealing with happy people who just won't wise up and realize that life sucks.

InSearchofGrace. (South Africa) Five South African guys, from different races and religions, journey across the continent looking for surf spots and bonding in a way that would have been impossible in the days of apartheid. (West Coast premiere)

IslandsintheStream. (United States/French Polynesia) Five pro surfers journey through the beauty of French Polynesia exploring the richness and ruggedness of the Tahitian culture. So why is this film's title taken from a cringe-inducing Dolly Parton/Kenny Rogers duet? Wes Brown–Dana's son and Bruce's grandson–co-directs with TJ Barrack.

JazzontheWestCoast:TheLighthouse. (United States) The Lighthouse, Los Angeles' premier jazz club of the 1950s and 1960s, is brought back to life through interviews with musicians, jazz fans, jazz critics, a bartender and a waitress. (World premiere)

Liberty:3StoriesaboutLifeandDeath. (United States) Pam Walton's documentary tells the story of three lesbian friends: Joyce Fulton, who died of a brain tumor, Mary Bell Watson, who died of lymphoma, and Nan Golub, a New York artist who is still very much alive. Walton attends.

Lifers–APrisonDocumentary. (United States) Mark Mederson takes a look at those who have been imprisoned for life without parole; we hear from inmates, a warden, a crime victim, a released lifer and a professor who advocates the alternative sentencing method known as restorative justice. The film also features a prison concert by the Austin band the Weary Boys, who perform traditional American music along with the inmates.

Livicated. (United States) As the first National Museum of Reggae opens in Kingston, Jamaica, Erik Crown's film, making its world premiere, looks back at the origins of this music and its spread around the globe over the past 30 years. Rare interviews with such noted musicians as Ben Harper, Little Richard, Carlos Santana, Jimmy Cliff, Mob Marley, Peter Tosh and Fela Kuti are included.

TheMaharajahofJodhpur–TheLegacyLivesOn. (India) Anu Malhotra takes us inside the opulent world of one India's His Highness the Maharaja Gaj Singh II of Marwar.

MardiGras:MadeinChina. (United States) A globalization story is told through the sad plight of four teenage workers in China who make Mardi Gras beads that wind up getting traded for tit flashes by those Girls Gone Wild-types. Director David Redmon attends.

MarthaArgerich,EveningTalks(MarthaArgerich,ConversationNocturne). (France/Switzerland) Georges Gachot's film allows us a few private moments with legendary Argentinean pianist Martha Argerich as she candidly discusses her life and rehearses at home.

MissionaryPositions. (United States) Christians have taken a variety of tacks to bring the message to us heathens. We have been preached at by vegetables (Veggie Tales), puppet dogs (Davey and Goliath) and even Spinal Tap-esque heavy-metal bands (Stryper). But out of all the freaky attempts to bring us the Word of God so far, perhaps none are so strange as the efforts chronicled in Bill Day's new documentary, Missionary Positions. Far from being drawling, big-haired, CBN-style televangelists, OC pastors Mike Foster and Craig Gross are two young guys who use the language of the Jackass generation to get their regressive message across, with midgets and puppets and smirky, pranky commercials you can't believe really exist. They've even enlisted the talents of porn auteur Jimmy D; clearly, this is not your grandma's anti-sex league. The documentary follows the boys as they head out on “porn patrol,” hitting the fleshpots of Amsterdam, Las Vegas and elsewhere in an attempt to investigate and harass pornographers and all those who would jerk off in peace. Are these two annoying? You bet! Kinda tragic? Indeed! Absolutely fascinating? And how! Trust me, after you've seen these two in action, you'll thank God you're a heathen. Damnation's never sounded so good.

TheMusicandDanceofTaiwan'sAborigines–MyHome,MySong. (Taiwan/China) Yu Kan-Ping filmed for 14 years the variety and richness of the tribes that inhabit Taiwan; there are patriarchies and matriarchies, societies where inheritance can pass through the male or female line, and more than 10 distinct languages.

NoExcuses:ASeasonWiththeU.S.DisabledSkiTeam. (United States) Determined not to be pitied or patronized, the athletes of the U.S. Disabled Ski Team compete in sitting, standing and visually impaired categories and zip downhill at speeds of up to 70 mph. Matthew Martin examines the team that's taken home more medals than 36 other nations at the Salt Lake Paralympic Games. (World premiere)

OceanOdyssey. (United States) Electronic composer/producer/performer Paul Gilman directs this doc about his experiments in communicating with whales and dolphins through music. He gets some surprising responses from the undersea mammals and seems well on his way to having a Spongebob-style underwater rave. We shan't sully ourselves by pointing out the obvious pun in Gilman's name.

OneLifeProject. (United States) Southern California premiere of a doc on Carson Chirico, a young hairdresser trying to make his name in the beauty industry. With commentary by Chirico's family and appearances by Vidal Sassoon and other heavy hitters of the beauty biz, OneLifeProjectaims to show us the human face behind the faade of the glamour industry.

OneWorld. (United States) West Coast premiere of a film about folks who hike for days in faraway lands to kayak through treacherous white-water rivers infested with deadly predators, rivers so remote that, should a serious accident occur, there would be zero hope of rescue. They are elite athletes, at the peak of physical condition and possessing awesome courage and determination . . . and they are also freaking idiots. Risking their goddamn lives to paddle around in some goddamn river somewhere. Get a job as a fireman or something and put that death wish to good use! Jeez.

PeaceOneDay. (United Kingdom) Young British director Jeremy Gilley traveled the globe intent on creating the first “day of peace,” one day per year when all of the nations of the world would put down their guns. Enlisting such allies as the Dalai Lama, Gilley's efforts resulted in the creation of the United Nations Day of Peace, celebrated annually on Sept. 21. (Southern California premiere)

PeaceableKingdom. (United States) Jenny Stein's earnest look at a red-state farm that has become a sanctuary for threatened farm animals. Watching folks with farming backgrounds describe how they've seen the evils of their animal-eating ways is provocative, and Dr. Jane Goodall hailed the film as “a masterpiece.” While it does effectively get its point across, it could have used tighter editing so there would be more time to give viewers the backgrounds of those we barely get to know onscreen.

Pilar. (United States) World premiere of Leda Maliga's doc that follows a girl over seven years, as an experimental operation allows her to hear sounds for the first time.

PuttheNeedleontheRecord. (United States) Filmed in Miami during the Winter Music Conference, a yearly weeklong event attended by more than 20,000 people, this award-winning documentary investigates the evolution of electronic music and the rise of the DJ in pop culture.

RacingAgainsttheClock. (United States) Bill Haney looks at five women between the ages of 50 and 82 as they compete in regional and national track and field competitions on their quest to make it to the Masters World Championship Games. Haney's heart is obviously in the right place–a righter place than this viewer's, obviously, because it was damn near impossible to keep from snickering at the lady who looked like my grandma coming nowhere near clearing the 6-foot high-jump bar. Or the 101-year-old “sprinter” taking baby steps in the general direction of the finish line as other whippersnappers in their 80s blew by him. Yes, hell awaits me.

RhythmIsIt. (Germany) This doc explores the unusual collaboration between the Berlin Philharmonic and 250 German schoolchildren. The kids get to develop and perform a dance to Stravinsky's Le Sacre du Printemps (which is not exactly a toe-tapper), choreographed by Royston Maldoom and accompanied by the Berliner Philharmoniker and chief conductor Sir Simon Rattle. Rhythm directors Thomas Grube and Enrique Sanchez Lausch keenly zero in on a few students who become compelling fodder for their piece. “Superb,” wrote Chuck Wilson of our sister paper LA Weekly. “Watching [the kids] awaken not only to the music but the unexpected grace of their own bodies is a beautiful thing.”

TheRitchieBoys. (Germany/Canada) Archival footage, newsreels and interviews tell the remarkable tale of the Ritchie Boys, a group of Jewish men who escaped Nazi Germany, studied psychological warfare in America and returned to Germany to fight as American soldiers.

RockandR.O.(United States) Reverse Osmosis, a 17-member, collegiate a cappella group, struggles to prepare for a high-pressure competition, with which they have a long, sad history. (World premiere)

RockFresh. (United States) Danny Lee's documentary tracks the evolution of graffiti art, investigating practitioners from a variety of backgrounds and a variety of ages who work in a variety of settings: from the streets to the desert to rooftops, beaches, downtown lofts, sewers and even the woods. LA Weekly's Ernest Hardy wrote, “With a hip-hop and trip-hop soundtrack to remind you that this is not your granny's tortured artist, and with settings from inner-city street corners to downtown LA to Tokyo, this urban essay on a decidedly urban art form embodies the grittiness of the world it captures.”

TheRoyalAcademy. (United States) Tony Cane-Honeysett's film follows a determined 74-year-old woman as she attempts to get her work exhibited at the prestigious Royal Academy of Arts' Summer Exhibition.

SearchingforAngelaShelton. (United States) When filmmaker Angela Shelton set out across the U.S. on a quirky quest for other women named Angela Shelton, she never imagined that 16 out of the 32 Angela Sheltons she would meet had been raped, beaten or molested, as was she. Shelton attends.

Seeds. (United States) Each year, kids from Israel, Palestine, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and America gather in Maine at the Seeds of Peace International Camp, a summer camp like no other. For three weeks, they argue, share their dreams and learn to see beyond their prejudices. Directors Marjan Safinia and Joseph Boyle and campers attend.

SeoulTrain. (United States) That punnish title aside, this is a sobering investigation–via verite footage, personal stories and interviews–into the dire situation faced by North Koreans as they try to escape their homeland and China. Directors Jim Butterworth, Aaron Lubarsky and Lisa Sleeth attend.

SkateboardingIsNotTonyHawkProSkater3ORtheX-gamesOR...(United States) Typically, documentaries about skateboarding are completely aggro, “extreme,” gung-ho affairs, featuring lots of flashy scenes of skateboarders zipping through the streets, up ramps and into the stratosphere. But Drew Barlow attempts to present a more clear-eyed look at the sport that has revolutionized our culture both for good and ill. As the sputtering title implies, this film is about what skateboarding isn't as much as what it is.

SonnyBoy. (United States) Soleil Moon Frye, best known for her childhood role as PunkyBrewsterand for her part in the later seasons of Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, directs this bittersweet documentary about the cross-country journey she took with her ailing father as the memories of his long, colorful life were slipping from his grasp. Moon Frye attends and, seriously, no hassling her about Punky, okay? Don't be a dork.

Still,theChildrenareHere. (United States) West Coast premiere of Dinaz Stafford's doc exploring the changing lives of the Garos of Meghalaya, North East India, an indigenous people who have maintained their culture for 6,000 years but now find their way of life increasingly out of sync with the modern world. “Too often,” wrote Village Voice's Melissa Anderson, “the everyday details give us only hazy notions of social, political, or economic peril.”

SuzukiSpeaks. (Canada) Tony Papa's documentary employs live action and digital images to bring to life scientist and environmentalist Dr. David Suzuki's ideas about humankind and our place in the universe.

TropicofCancer(TropicodeCancer). (Mexico) Eugenio Polgovsky looks at one family living in extreme poverty in central Mexico. They risk their lives to catch deadly snakes, sell exotic birds by the roadside and cope with the desert's punishing temperature extremes. They do whatever they must to survive, facing their harsh lives with dignity and endless resilience. Polgovsky attends.

TheVenetianDilemma. (United States/Italy) This doc explores the perils facing the magnificent, 1,500-year-old city of Venice, Italy, and the ideas proposed to save it, including one politician's novel plan to build an underwater metro. “Clocking in at a skinny 73 minutes, the meandering VenetianDilemmabobs and lists between four main interviewees but barely skims the surface of the vast sociocultural, historical, and scientific issues it raises,” wrote Village Voice's Jessica Winter.

VoicesinWartime. (United States) The Weekly's esteemed critic Ella Taylor writes: “Timed to coincide with National Poetry Month, this decent if stolid documentary by Rick King, a disciple of Richard Leacock, chronicles the subjective experience of war via an ambitious history of war poetry through the ages. The prominent coverage given to a recent, successful campaign by Poets Against the War to close down a poetry event organized by Laura Bush at the White House inadvertently reveals a strain of self-righteousness that might grate on that movement's most avid supporters. Far livelier, if overcrowded by a surfeit of testimony from military and media luminaries and the poets themselves, is King's unearthing of poetic witness to the scars of battle throughout history around the world, in particular the beautiful and hard-headed verse dispatches of Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon from World War I, and the insight that if the dominant image of that war was the trench, in World War II it was the bomb. Voices in Wartime is timely viewing for an era in which the poetic voice all but drowns in an avalanche of glib media messages that war is hell, but the film's self-limiting pacifism precludes a closer look at the poetry of war, which is not synonymous with poetry against war.

WagingaLiving. (United States) It's become a cliche: the rich get richer, the poor get poorer. But that cliche is also one of the most galling truths of our times, a fact driven home as four workers in the Northeast and California battle to survive from paycheck to paycheck.

Wetback:TheUndocumentedDocumentary(Mojado:ElDocumentalIndocumentado). (Canada/Mexico) Around midway through Wetback: The Undocumented Documentary, a Mexican government official utters one of the most honest self-assessments in the history of government officials. The topic: the numerous complaints Mexican activists lodge whenever American immigration officials mistreat a Mexican national. The irony of these protests, the official admits, is that when Central Americans sneak into Mexico on their way to the United States, “we treat Central Americans as bad, if not worse.” And no one protests. This is just one of many disturbingly truthful moments in Wetback, a grim, gripping documentary that never dims its lens on the tortured journey illegal immigrants encounter while heading north. What's so remarkable about the movie, however, is that it focuses on a group rarely mentioned in this country's rancorous anti-immigrant battles–“Central Americans”–and that it doesn't paint los Estados Unidos as the ultimate xenophobic country: that honor goes to Mexico. See Gustavo Arellano's full review: “Go Home to El Salvador.”

WhatBabiesWant. (United States) Like that successful voter initiative Rob Reiner spearheaded a few state elections ago, What Babies Want argues that an infant's first three years have a profound effect on the rest of the individual's life. Director Debby Takikawa, who attends the screening, interviews an expert who says it goes back even farther than that, as the shape, size and function of a fetus' brain are determined by the mother's feelings while carrying the child. If Mom feels anxious or threatened, the back part of the baby's brain controlling survival skills will be bigger. If she's calm and serene, the section of the brain dedicated to intellect and creativity will be larger. This film is narrated by ER star Noah Wyle, who is scheduled to attend; his wife, Tracy, produced. When she tells the camera Congress should allow three years of maternity leave, the underdeveloped Republican part of my brain caused me to yell back at the screen, “Who is going to pay for that!?!”


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