TCFF Spotlight: 5 Buzz-worthy Documentaries

Less than a week away until Twin Cities Film Fest starts on Tuesday, September 20th. So today I’m going to highlight five documentaries worth seeing that are premiering next week at TCFF.

I don’t watch as many docs as I should, in fact, out of the five I highlighted from last year, I’ve only managed to see one, The Cove. It’s a good one if you haven’t already seen it by the way, check out my full review of it from last year. Another one I’ve been meaning to see is Art & Copy, which offers a fascinating look into the world of advertising. Now, these five below are definitely worth checking out:

The Bully Project

Tuesday, September 20, 7:30pm

I’ve talked briefly about this in this post, it seems quite harrowing to watch. Bullying wasn’t as huge a problem where I grew up in Indonesia, at least not in the degree that a lot of American kids go through every day. I think it’s a really serious issue that needs to be addressed and not be dismissed as something trivial. Some kids are driven to the point of suicide because they were bullied, which is just tragic.

18 MILLION KIDS WILL BE BULLIED IN THE U.S. THIS YEAR

3 MILLION STUDENTS ARE ABSENT EACH MONTH BECAUSE THEY FEEL UNSAFE AT SCHOOL

LET’S CREATE SCHOOLS WHERE EVERYONE FEELS WELCOME

I commend Lee Hirsch, a Sundance and Emmy-award winning filmmaker, for creating a character-driven documentary that tackles the topic on the bullying crisis head on.

Revenge of the Electric Car

Saturday, September 24, 8:15pm

This is a Midwest Premiere of a fascinating documentary about who’d be the first to deliver the car of the future!

In 2006, thousands of new electric cars were purposely destroyed by the same car companies that built them. Today, less than 5 years later, the electric car is back… with a vengeance. In Revenge of the Electric Car, director Chris Paine takes his film crew behind the closed doors of Nissan, GM, and the Silicon Valley start-up Tesla Motors to chronicle the story of the global resurgence of electric cars. Without using a single drop of foreign oil, this new generation of car is America’s future: fast, furious, and cleaner than ever.

It’s apparently a sequel to Who Killed the Electric Car? which premiered in Sundance in 2006. This looks really fascinating, check out the trailer below:

Where Soldiers Come From

Saturday, September 24, 3:45pm | Sunday, September 25, 12:30pm

This is a must-see for every American, especially living in a time we’re in today. Freedom definitely is not free.

From a snowy small town in Northern Michigan to the mountains of Afghanistan and back, Where Soldiers Come From follows the four-year journey of childhood friends, forever changed by a faraway war. A documentary about growing up, “Soldiers” is an intimate look at the young men who fight our wars and the families and town they come from. Returning to her hometown, director Heather Courtney gains extraordinary access following these young men as they grow and change from teenagers stuck in their town, to 23-year-old veterans facing the struggles of returning home. This documentary looks beyond the guns and policy of an ongoing war to examine the effect on parents, loved ones and the whole community when young people go off to fight.

Thunder Soul

Sunday, September 25, 
6:45pm

This one looks like fun, I mean the music alone will make you want to get on your feet and starts dancing. It already won a few awards last year at SXSW, Hot Docs in Toronto, as well as in L.A. and Dallas Film Festivals.

They brought funk like no one else could.

Presented by Jamie Foxx, Thunder Soul follows the extraordinary alumni from Houston’s storied Kashmere High School Stage Band, who return home after 35 years to play a tribute concert for the 92-year-old “Prof,” their beloved band leader who broke the color barrier and transformed the school’s struggling jazz band into a world-class funk powerhouse in the early 1970s.

With Great Power: The Stan Lee Story

September 25, 3:15pm

Now this is a must-see for every comic fan, and having just been at Comic-con and missed Stan Lee’ appearance, I’ll definitely going to be seeing this with my hubby in tow. I’ve mentioned this in this lineup post but I’ll include it again here:

At 88 years old, Stan Lee’s name appears on more than one billion comics in 75 nations in 25 languages! Told through the words of Stan himself, as well as numerous interviews with comic book creators, actors, film producers, family and friends, With Great Power paints a portrait of a man whose creativity knows no bounds and whose characters have grown from humble beginnings in the pages of Marvel Comics in the early 1960’s to power house properties in all media  – including film, television, video games, toys, merchandising, and beyond.


There are a few other docs worth checking out this year as well:

  • Yoga Is from Suzanne Bryant is a feature-length doc that reveals how yoga began, tells the story of yoga’s passage to the West. There is also a special Yoga class on Thursday 9/22 taught by the CEO of CorePower Yoga himself, Trevor Tice. With your donation of $30 or more you will receive admission to the yoga class, along with 1 ticket to either one of the two Yoga Is screenings taking place during TCFF.
  • An environmental-themed Yert , a thought-provoking, inspiring, and sometimes hilarious, documentary about the courageous and creative individuals, groups, businesses and leaders of this country who are tackling the greatest environmental threats in history.
  • Five short documentaries from Minnesota filmmakers that explores various aspects of arts, music and culture

If you’re in the area, I hope you have time to check this out at TCFF. As for the rest of you, anything from this list appeals to you most?

12 thoughts on “TCFF Spotlight: 5 Buzz-worthy Documentaries

      1. Ahaha well I guess if we can make it to something Like Crazy, a movie I would never go watch in theater otherwise, that would be cool. But if not, I will let you choose 😀

  1. Hi, Ruth and company:

    Interesting bunch of Documentaries to choose from.

    Viable, affordable Electric Car technology is still fifty years off, so I don’t have a lot of faith in ‘Revenge Of The Electric Car’. No matter how slick and polished the final product looks.

    ‘Gunner Palace’ still ranks high in modern warfare and its consequences documentaries. May have to wait for HBO or DVD on ‘Where Soldiers Come From’.

    ‘With Great Power’ looks like the most interesting of the bunch.

    Not just because I’ve been a fan of Stan’s comics since they cost twelve cents apiece. To the splashier much more expensive graphic novels of this decade. For a time between the late sixties and earlier seventies, Stan Lee was The Man!

    1. Hi Jack, I think you’re right about electric cars, but it’s a fascinating look at that industry nonetheless. Yeah, I’m excited most about the Stan Lee one, I love all the Marvel movies so far, that guy is amazing.

    1. Yeah, I think the fact that you just graduated, The Bully Project will perhaps resonated with you. I am real curious about it as I didn’t go to school here.

      1. Well my first 1-2 years of high school weren’t all that great but i will admit the last 2 years was a lot better, and i am friends with most people from my high school

        There were a few people that screwed me over tho.

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