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    Doc Talk | Peter keough

    ART reveals ‘Truth’

    A scene from Kim Longinotto’s
    Courtesy of Women Make Movies
    A scene from Kim Longinotto’s

    Mention the name Edward De Vere in a room full of Elizabethan scholars and chances are you’ll end up calling 911. As Roland Emmerich (“Independence Day,” “Stonewall”) fancifully demonstrates in his conspiracy-theory-heavy “Anonymous,” many believe that the unlearned, provincial commoner William Shakespeare could never have penned the immortal works accredited to him. But someone like De Vere, Seventeenth Earl of Oxford, the cultured demimonde, world traveler and aesthete, could have had the opportunities, talent, education, and savoir faire to pull off such an achievement.

    This is also Cheryl Eagan-Donovan’s thesis in her more down-to-earth, nearly completed documentary “Nothing Is Truer Than Truth,” which will screen at the American Repertory Theatre’s second stage, Oberon, on Wednesday evening at 8 p.m. A cocktail reception and wrap party precedes it at 7 p.m., giving Bardic zealots a chance to fuel up for the donnybrook that is sure to follow. All proceeds will go to completing the film.

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    Young and homeless

    The homeless have become harder to ignore as they seek refuge on the streets of the city’s tonier neighborhoods. And many of them are shockingly young — teenagers at risk of sexual exploitation. Kim Longinotto’s “Dreamcatcher” tells the story of one such victim who became a prostitute at 14 and survived 25 years on the street. Now she works to help others who have become trapped in similar desperate situations through the Chicago-based Dreamcatcher Association. Winner of the best director — World Documentary Cinema award at this year’s Sundance Festival, “Dreamcatcher” will screen as part of the DocYard program at the Brattle Theatre at 7 p.m. on Monday.

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    Teach your children


    The future in the Middle East is being learned today in Israeli and Palestinian classrooms, or so suggests Tamara Erde’s documentary “This Is My Land,” which Emerson College’s Bright Lights series will screen for free on Wednesday at 7 p.m. Co-sponsored by the Boston Palestine Film Festival, the film follows teachers in classrooms from both sides of the divide over the course of a year, showing how they deal with students, bureaucracies, and curricula in an effort to shape a generation that might break the cycle of endless conflict.

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    It takes place at the Paramount Center’s Bright Family Screening Room in the Paramount Center at Emerson. A Skype discussion with Erde will follow the screening.

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    Thought for food

    It seems redundant, if not downright disastrous for one’s waistline, to celebrate Food Day a month before Thanksgiving. Nonetheless, that annual celebration will be taking place on Saturday. Marking the occasion is philanthropist Susan Rockefeller’s documentary “Food for Thought, Food for Life,” which will be available on VOD on the same date. It provides tips about better eating and investigates what is wrong with the food industry today, proposing a merger of cutting-edge science with traditional methods and values to make food production healthy and sustainable.

    Way of the ‘Warrior’

    For 60 years, Tibet has suffered under the oppression of its Chinese overseers, with little hope of reprieve. Non-violent protests, culminating in a wave of self-immolations that has taken more than 100 lives since 2011, have not influenced Chinese policy nor stirred much outrage in the West. Dodo Hunziker’s documentary “Tibetan Warrior” profiles self-exiled Tibetan musician and activist Loten Namling, who sets out on a journey from his residence in Bern, Switzerland to Geneva, where he confronts government officials about the recently ratified Swiss Free Trade agreement with China. Then he visits the Dalai Lama in India, to question him about the viability of peaceful methods to bring change. Personal and provocative, “Tibetan Warrior” brings attention to a neglected, unending tragedy.

    It is available on iTunes and as
    a DVD ($24.95) on Amazon at

    Goodbye, Columbus

    Awareness of the genocidal consequences of the 15th century explorer’s expeditions has taken some of the shine off Columbus Day, celebrated last Monday. Now, many view the holiday as a time to reflect on the injustices of the past and perhaps redress them. Adam Mazo and Ben Pender-Cudlip’s recently completed short documentary “First Light” illuminates the plight of members of the Wabanaki tribe in Maine, who claim that the state welfare department has disproportionately relocated their children from their community into foster care, resulting in an ongoing cultural genocide. The film is part of Mazo and Pender-Cudlip’s full-length documentary-in-progress, “Dawnland,” and it provides an intimate look at the newly created Maine Wabanaki State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the first such project in the US.

    “First Light” is available for download and as a DVD. For more information go to

    Western promises


    In 1966, Boston-based filmmaker Kenneth Eng’s father walked for six nights and then swam for four hours to reach Macau and eventually the United States. He escaped the Cultural Revolution, but nearly 50 years later, his restaurant in Boston’s Chinatown failing, he feels like he has failed at the American Dream. Is it time to make another go of it back in China?

    Eng’s documentary “My Life in China” tells this tale of cultural and generational divides and of the impact of history on individuals and communities with intimacy, breadth, and acuity. It will screen Friday at 7 p.m. as the opening film for the Boston Asian American Film Festival (Oct 23-25) at the Bright Family Screening Room at the Emerson Paramount Center. Eng and his father will participate in a discussion after the screening.

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    Peter Keough can be reached at