By Kirk Parker
Universal laws can’t be measured in mass appeal. Those are the words of an Immortal, the Hip Hop artist named Immortal Technique. They are appropriate to any continued discussion of this year’s Sacramento International Film Festival.
There are simply times when being ignored means that you’re so far ahead of your time that it truly does take the public at large time to catch up. This is the state this year’s SIFF finds itself in this year.
However, the greatness of its vision is something that’s undeniable. Sacramento needs this event more than other popular area festivals held annually.
This is the season when collectively we rise like bears from our hibernation and make plans for a brilliant spring and summer. Nothing can prepare us for this New Year, more than attending this event.
Let me explain. The SIFF wears it’s “independence” proudly on its sleeve. This is a quality our collective consciousness both wants and needs. Inundated by “popular” culture, we are near a state of mind where little can
be perceived as important unless it’s first placed in the machinery of mass media.
The bottom line is that many of the SIFF movies will not make it into theatres simply because they don’t regurgitate some well traveled premise. Our intellects should naturally crave much more than that.
The movies of the SIFF have more than delivered the mental stimulation that we need. Two notable entries that validate this point are, a moving documentary called, The Soul of Justice, and an award winning feature called, The Pacific and Eddy that is easily one of the most visually stunning movies recently made.
The movie, Soul of Justice is the story of a current federal judge, Thelton Henderson. It’s amazing that more is not known about the astute, soulful, and integrity motivated man. He was one of the first afro American federal judges and has been on the front line for the cause of justice for over 25 years. His vigilance in the face of injustice has been integral to our country’s growth. He still fights a daily battle in our courts and has taken on he biggest monopoly in our state, the Prison Industry.
This is a compelling biography of a well lived life is brought to us through the vision of award winning filmmaker Abbey Ginsberg. Find a way to view this film and you will easily recognize the power of her visual storytelling.
In The Pacific and Eddy, you have a mystery wrapped in an enigma cloaked in a conundrum, wrapped in a secret scenario. Yet, all this obfuscation leaves you begging for more. In scenes that are more reminiscent of a canvassed dream, brought to us by director, Matthew Nourse, we see what we think is a drifter, return to his small town and attempt to reconnect with intimate friends who he suddenly left behind. Their reactions to him over this span a few days are complex and moving. The lead actor Ryan Donawho is most reminiscent of Leonardo DiCaprio in his ability to display a range of emotions that make you empathize with him no matter what you see him do.
This year’s SIFF is far from over. There is ample opportunity over this weekend to view the most stellar moments in Sacramento’s cinematic world.
After the film’s, be sure to stop in on SIFF’s legendary after parties. Become part of this world, and star in your own motion picture. No one can tell your compelling story better than you.