Docs In Theaters: ‘12–12–12,’ ‘Dear Mr. Watterson,’ ‘Lion Ark,’ ‘Pad Yatra’ and More

Docs In Theaters: ‘12–12–12,’ ‘Dear Mr. Watterson,’ ‘Lion Ark,’ ‘Pad Yatra’ and More


Nonfics is not able to review every documentary and nonfiction film released in the U.S. That’s why Docs In Theaters is here to provide at least a guide to all the new releases, without critical thoughts. Where available, we will link to our own review of the film or a review at our sister site, Film School Rejects.


Directed by Amir Bar-Lev (The Tillman Story; Re: Generation) and Charlie Lightening (Kasabian Live! Live at the O2)

Produced by Bar-Lev, Lightening and Meghan O’Hara (Oscar nominee for Sicko)

Field producers: Marshall Curry (Oscar-nominated director of Streetfight and If a Tree Falls) and Matthew Hamachek (Editor of If a Tree Falls)

Executive Produced by Paul McCartney (Let It Be) and Scott Roger

Featuring performances by McCartney, Jon Bon Jovi, Eric Clapton, The Who, Dave Grohl, The Rolling Stones, Billy Joel, Alicia Keys, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Michael Stipe, Eddie Vedder, Adam Sandler, Kanye West and Chris Martin

Also featuring appearance by Billy Crystal, Susan Sarandon, Paul Shaffer, Brian Williams, Kristen Stewart, James Gandolfini, Harvey Weinstein, Ben Stiller, Tony Danza, Jeremy Piven, Jon Stewart, Chelsea Clinton, Jimmy Fallon, Stephen Colbert, Sean Combs, Olivia Wilde, Steve Buscemi, Chris Rock, Seth Meyers, Jake Gyllenhaal, Blake Lively, Katie Holmes, Jason Sudekis, Jamie Foxx, Quentin Tarantino and Christoph Waltz

Official Synopsis: On December 12, 2012, some of entertainment’s most iconic names came together at Madison Square Garden for a historic concert to benefit the victims of Hurricane Sandy. 12–12–12 captures the unprecedented gathering of talent who turned up on stage and behind the scenes to raise over $50 million in one night for the Robin Hood Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund to support organizations helping victims in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. [The Weinstein Company]

Nonfics Rating: n/a

Now playing in New York City and Los Angeles

Dear Mr. Watterson

Directed, produced and edited by Joel Allen Schroeder

Featuring Seth Green, Berkeley Breathed, Bill Amend, Stephen Pastis

Official Synopsis: Calvin & Hobbes took center stage immediately when it appeared in newspaper comics across the country in 1985. The funny pages were a big part of popular culture, and it was hard to find a comics reader who didn’t like Calvin & Hobbes. A decade later, when creator Bill Watterson retired his strip, millions of readers felt the void left by the sudden departure of Calvin and his beloved tiger, and many fans would never find a satisfactory replacement. It has now been 18 years since the end of the Calvin & Hobbes era. Bill Watterson has kept an extremely low profile during this time, living a very private life in Ohio. Despite his quiet lifestyle, he is remembered and appreciated daily by fans who still enjoy his amazing collection of work. Dear Mr. Watterson is not a quest to find Bill Watterson, or to invade his privacy. It is an exploration to discover why his ‘simple’ comic strip has made such an impact on so many readers, and why it still means so much to us today. [Gravitas Ventures]

Nonfics Rating: ★★★ [Review by Christopher Campbell]

Now playing in New York City, Los Angeles, Santa Fe and Toronto. Screening this weekend in Chattanooga.

For details on current and upcoming theatrical openings, check the screenings page on the film’s website.

The Great Fallacy

Written and directed by Paco Vazquez

Official Synopsis: La Gran Falacia (The Great Fallacy) is a documentary about the political, economic and social situation of Puerto Rico. It exposed part of the contemporary history of the island and explores several solutions that can force a change in the moral and intellectual psyche of Puerto Ricans. Although this film is aimed to the Puerto Ricans living in the US mainland (which are more than 5 million), it can be presented to any audience regardless of nationality, because what we are experiencing is the reflection of a macrocosm of the social awareness events taking place in the world today. This film is designed to modify right-minded thinking in order to explore new possibilities critical rationalization. But left-minded thinkers can also take advantage of this information, either to broaden more their perception or/and also to recommend these ideas to others. [Quad Cinema]

Nonfics rating: n/a

Now playing at the Quad Cinema in New York City.

Ilya and Emilia Kabakov: Enter Here

Written, directed and produced by Amei Wallach (Louise Bourgeois: The Spider, the Mistress and the Tangerine)

Edited and shot by Ken Kobland (Louise Bourgeois: The Spider, the Mistress and the Tangerine)

Featuring Ilya Kabakov and Emilia Kabakov

Official Synopsis: Amei Wallach and editor/cinematographer Ken Kobland made the acclaimed portrait Louise Bourgeois: The Spider, the Mistress and the Tangerine. Here they collaborate with the Hermitage Museum to explore the fascinating lives and work of the Kabakovs, a husband-and-wife team who are Russia’s most acclaimed visual artists. Born in 1933 in the Ukraine — to a Jewish family during the famine artificially created by Stalin — Ilya Kabakov’s life changed when he literally stumbled into the Leningrad School of Art. The deprivation he and his mother suffered during this period serves as the emotional substrata of his art. In the Soviet Union he led a double life: as a successful state-approved illustrator and as a major artist, forbidden to exhibit his own art. Coming to the US in 1988, Ilya began to build three-dimensional spaces using the communal apartment as a metaphor for the intellectual, psychological and physical repression at the core of Soviet life. In 2005, he became the first living Russian artist to exhibit at the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. [Film Forum]

Winner of the award for Best Spanish Film at the 2013 Sunscreen Film Festival

Nonfics rating: n/a

Now playing at Film Forum in New York City.

Lion Ark

Written and directed and produced by Tim Phillips

Featuring Bob Barker

Official Synopsis: More action adventure than traditional documentary, Lion Ark follows the world’s most ambitious and daring animal rescue, with a narrative compiled from film, interviews, conversations and reactions as events unfolded. How attitudes to animals were changed in Bolivia, illegal circuses pursued and closed, and 25 lions airlifted to freedom. [ADI Films]

Nonfics rating: n/a

Now playing at the Quad Cinema in New York City and the Laemmle Music Hall in Los Angeles.

For details on current and upcoming theatrical openings, check the screenings page on the film’s website.

The Long Island Railroad Massacre

Directed by Charlie Minn (A Nightmare in Las Cruces)

Official Synopsis: On December 7, 1993 a crazed gunman shot twenty-five people on the LIRR, killing six. This is the worst crime in New York history prior to the 9–11 attacks. Director Charlie Minn (A Nightmare in Las Cruces) examines the devastating aftermath of this tragedy by interviewing victims, family members, and law enforcement. Minn takes you back to that very day on the train and all the events which led to the worst ever moment on Long Island.[J&M Productions]

Nonfics rating: n/a

Now playing in New York City, New Jersey and Long Island

For details on current and upcoming theatrical openings, check the news page on the film’s website.

Pad Yatra: A Green Odyssey

Directed and produced by Wendy J.N. Lee

Executive produced by actress Michelle Yeoh

Featuring Darryl Hannah

Official Synopsis: The adventure of 700 people trekking across the Himalayas with a call to save the planet’s “3rd Pole,” a glacial region now devastated by the climate chaos associated with global warming. Battling the most treacherous terrain on the planet, the trekkers spread their message of ecological compassion through human’s most basic means — by walking on foot, village to village, and showing by example. Surviving harrowing injuries, illness, and starvation, they emerge with nearly half a ton of plastic litter strapped to their backs, triggering an historic green revolution across the rooftop of the world.

Winner of the IDFA Award for Excellence from the 2013 Indian Documentary Producers’ Association
Winner of the awards for Best Documentary, Best Documentary Director and the Glory Award for Executive Producer Michelle Yeoh and the Admiration Award, The Gyalwang Drukpa at the 2013 Silent River Film Festival
Winner of the Director’s Choice award for Best Environmental Film at the 2013 Sedona International Film Festival
Winner of the award for Best Documentary at the 2012 Indian Film Festival of Houston
Winner of the Audience Award and the Best Environmental Film award at the 2012 Big Bear Film Festival
Winner of the Audience Award at the 2012 Stuttgart Indian Film Festival
Winner of the Audience Award at the 2012 Feel Good Film Festival
Winner of the award for Best Cinematography at the 2012 Docutah Film Festival
Honorable Mention at the 2012 Blue Ocean Film Festival

Nonfics Rating: n/a

Now playing at the Laemmle Music Hall in Los Angeles.

For details on current and upcoming theatrical openings, check the screenings page on the film’s website.

(Editor in Chief)

Christopher Campbell is the founding editor of Nonfics.