Lisa Olivieri looks at the neglected problem of same-sex domestic violence in her compelling, disturbing, and sometimes funny documentary “Blindsided.” The film centers on local artist Patricia Livingstone, who says she endured 15 years of abuse from her girlfriend, all while suffering from progressive blindness and hearing loss. Livingstone’s wry and thoughtful voice provides insight and rueful humor as she struggles to break the cycle of abuse, rehabilitate her life, and learn to forgive.
The film has its Boston premiere in the National Association of Social Workers Film Series on Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Studio Cinema in Belmont. A panel discussion follows the screening with the filmmaker and Beth Leventhal, co-executive director of the Network /La Red; Jennifer Harnish, director of Rehabilitation Services at the Carroll Center for the Blind; and Martha Steele, Usher Syndrome Coalition board member.
For more information go to www.naswma.org/events/EventDetails.aspx?id=773594.
What’s in a name?
Though it might sound like the title of a Mel Brooks comedy or a very dark Hanna Barbera cartoon, “Morgan Spurlock Presents: Meet the Hitlers,” directed by Matt Ogens, deals with serious issues. Among them: What would you do if you shared the surname (or some variant thereof) of one of history’s most evil people?
Just off the top of my head, I’d suggest a trip to city hall and a quick name change. Those who choose not to do so, including one neo-Nazi who named his child after Hitler, share their sometimes funny and often existentially provocative stories. An interesting follow-up to Chanoch Ze’evi’s recently released documentary “Hitler’s Children,” about the progeny of other infamous Nazis, “Meet the Hitlers” ponders the distinction between a person’s identity and the name it goes by.
“Meet the Hitlers” is available on digital HD and DVD from Virgil Films & Entertainment’s Morgan Spurlock Presents banner on Tuesday.
For more information go to www.virgilfilmsent.com.
What’s in a claim?
Speaking of Nazis, Michael Beach Nichols and Christopher K. Walker’s documentary “Welcome to Leith” shows what happens when Craig Cobb, a voluble white supremacist and political activist, moves into a small town, arousing fears of a fascist takeover.
One does not immediately warm to Cobb, especially when he’s parading through the tiny town’s few streets wielding an assault rifle, or when he crashes a town meeting and disrupts proceedings by chanting “Sieg heil!” And perhaps he might have had some thoughts of turning the tiny community with a population of 24 into an enclave of fellow believers.
But regardless of his beliefs, which he discusses with appalling clarity and reasonableness, doesn’t Cobb have the same rights as everyone else? And are the actions taken by his neighbors, despite their perhaps legitimate concerns, a violation of those rights? This film offers no easy answers, but looks at old questions from a fascinating new perspective.
“Welcome to Leith” can be seen on Independent Lens on Monday at 10 p.m. on PBS.
For more information go to www.pbs.org/independentlens/films/welcome-to-leith.
Peter Keough can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.