New Documentaries

Date Film Time
5/15 The Believers 7:00 PM
5/31 The Iran Job 7:00 PM
In May, Block Cinema presents two new documentaries that focus on outsiders who forge new paths–in science and across borders respectively. The Believers is a fascinating look at two unorthodox scientists who announced their discovery of cold fusion in 1989 and the controversy that followed. The Iran Job follows an African-American basketball player on a one-year contract in the Islamic Republic and the unlikely friendships he forges with a trio of brave young Iranian women.

The Believers

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 7:00 PM FREE
(Clayton Brown and Monica Long Ross, 2012, USA, video, 83 min)

This new documentary by local filmmakers Monica Ross and Northwestern faculty member Clayton Brown is an engrossing look at Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons, who announced their discovery of cold fusion in 1989. This seeming scientific breakthrough, which if true could lead to an unlimited energy source, was met with praise by cold fusion believers, criticism and disbelief from the established scientific community, and laudatory press coverage that soon turned negative when the claims could not be substantiated. Brown and Ross’ chronicle of the controversy and its aftermath is fascinating and entertaining; it’s a story of intrigue, conflict, heartbreak, and wonder. Winner of the Gold Hugo award for Best Documentary at the Chicago International Film Festival.

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IN PERSON: Clayton Brown and Monica Long Ross

The Iran Job

Friday, May 31, 2013 7:00 PM
(Till Schauder, 2012, USA/Germany, video, 91 min.)

African-American point guard Kevin Sheppard always had big dreams of being signed by the NBA. But as with many U.S. players, he ultimately found employment through contracts with various overseas teams. After playing in South America, Europe, China and Israel, he received an offer in 2008 to play for the Iranian Super League, and set off from his home in the U.S. Virgin Islands for a stint in the Islamic Republic. The film follows him over one extraordinary year, during the run up to the 2009 election and subsequent “Green Movement” protests. During this time he attempts to help his new team rise from the bottom of the league while forming unlikely friendships with a trio of brave young women who question their government and the role of women in Iranian society. “Exceptional in its storytelling.”—Los Angeles Times

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