Informant – Brisbane
Viliﬁed and venerated in equal measure, but who is Brandon Darby? In 2005 he entered the national spotlight when he co-founded the Common Ground Collective in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. A charismatic leader, who made friends and enemies easily, he climbed the ranks of the radical left, and became known as a fearless revolutionary. But this is only the beginning of the story. Meltzer’s fascinating documentary unravels Darby’s tale which, like the plot of a bizarre thriller, is at times almost unbelievable. Drawing on intimate conversations with Darby, who becomes more of a mystery the more we get to know him, we watch him re-address the most controversial events of his life. With contradicting testimony from activists, journalists, politicians and government agents, Informant casts doubt on any one truth in a psychological examination of fundamentalism that will leave you reeling.
“A ﬁlm that is thrilling from beginning to end, that innovates documentary form, that takes a small corner of America and looks at our widest issues.” — DOC NYC, 2012
In the Shadow of the Sun – Brisbane (Opening Night)
Albinos in Tanzania have traditionally been perceived as almost mythical beings. To some they are ghosts who cannot die; to others the result of a family curse. In 2007, after a wave of albino murders, a disturbing myth is exposed: witch doctors are calling for albinos to be hunted, claiming their limbs will bring wealth and good fortune.
For Josephat Torner, an albino himself, the only choice is to take action. He packs his bags, farewells his family, and sets out across the country, visiting villages in the hope that by confronting the superstitions he can stop the killings. Along the way, he meets many albino children who have been taken from their homes, forced to live in hiding behind high walls – “One of the many things we have had to learn is to live in danger.” Shot over six years, In the Shadow of the Sun is the story of a man who stands up to persecution, putting his life on the line to change the world in which he lives.
Alias Ruby Blade – Brisbane (Closing Night)
Intrigue. Romance. Revolution. It all comes together in this action-packed documentary, which chronicles the tumultuous birth of a new nation in East Timor through a never-before-seen perspective. Kirsty Sword, a young Australian activist, aspired to be a documentary filmmaker, but instead became an underground operative for the Timorese resistance in Jakarta, code named ‘Ruby Blade’. Her task: to become a conduit of information and instruction for the enigmatic leader of the resistance, Kay Rala “Xanana” Gusmão, while he was serving time in prison for his revolutionary activities. Through correspondence, Xanana and Kirsty drew ever closer. Alias Ruby Blade captures their incredible story from this beginning to the ultimate triumph of freedom in East Timor, demonstrating the astonishing power of individuals to change the course of history.