This week marks the beginning of the San Francisco International Film Festival, a must for Link TV fans in San Francisco. On the Link TV blog we'll let you know about some great films screening at the festival that you should look out for in the future, regardless of the city you're in. One of the best things about living in a city like San Francisco is the opportunity to see an international line up of films year round, but we all hope that the Internet will give us more and more chances to connect with world cinema and documentaries.
Earlier this year I was at South by Southwest in Austin, and reviewed the documentaries Marwencol and Life 2.0, which are both screening at SFIFF this week. Marwencol offers not only a glimpse back into our childhood world of make believe, as told through a moving personal story, but stands up as an exploration of folk art and its delicate relationship to the world of its creator.
Also screening this week is The Oath, a riveting documentary portrait of Abu Jandal, Osama bin Laden's bodyguard of four years, and Jandal's brother-in-law Salim Hamdan, who was released from Guantanamo after the landmark case Hamdan v. Rumsfeld Supreme Court. Director Laura Poitras was given striking access to Abu Jandal, and follows him with her camera, even when she's not there in person, as he teaches young students about jihad, drives his taxicab, and slowly reveals to us his past actions and dreams. Jandal is a study in the uneasy balance between religion, pride, and truthtelling - the more we're let into his charismatic world, the less we're able to trust what we're hearing. PBS' POV will premiere The Oath in September.