Director: Sedika Mojadidi
US-Afghani filmmaker Sedika Mojadidi decided to bear witness after US troops pulled out of Afghanistan in 2011. The result is a personal frontline vision of a moment in history. With the Taliban on the rise, two women – Nilofar, a politician driven by selfless compassion, and Shakila, who became a journalist after her domineering husband died – are caught between duty and safety.
Director: Bing Liu
Golden hour for three skaters in the Rust Belt town of Rockford, Illinois is captured by the glidecam of Bing Liu. His doc initially flies on the euphoric energy of youth, before becoming an unflinching exploration of growing up amid male violence. This is an intimate reckoning, examining the lattice of psychological scars in both perpetrators and victims.
Directors: Hans Block and Moritz Riesewieck
The grim work of content moderators in The Philippines hired to delete inappropriate content from the internet is one side of a doc that also poses questions about lack of moral accountability at social media giants. Former Facebook, Twitter and YouTube employees discuss free-speech-compromising deals with foreign governments, and paint Silicon Valley as a cult of positivity with no capacity to recognise the darker forces its connectivity abets.
Director: Floriane Devigne
A celebratory character study of intersex people in France and Switzerland led by 25-year-old Deborah, who has the soul of a lover and the lyricism of a poet. She glories in non-binary identities, finding representations across art and culture, and checks in with a doctor who is challenging the medical orthodoxy of performing gender-determining operations on children without consent.
Director: Nancy Schwartzman
In 2012 a high-school-footballer rape case put Steubenville, Ohio on the international map, attracting intervention from Anonymous. This is a brutal watch that uses social media from the teenage perpetrators who jokingly live-tweeted a sexual assault. A local blogger dug up their tweets and helped bring this story to the national news. Nancy Schwartzman’s doc is full of sorrow and shows exactly what we fight when we fight toxic masculinity.
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