Docs In Theaters: ‘For No Good Reason,’ ‘Who Is Dayani Cristal?’ 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.

For No Good Reason

Directed by Charlie Paul

Edited by Joby Gee (Smash & Grab: The Story of the Pink Panthers )

Featuring Ralph Steadman, Johnny Depp, Hunter S. Thompson, Terry Gilliam, Richard E. Grant, Jann Wenner

Official Synopsis: Ralph Steadman is the last of the original Gonzo visionaries… Made over the course of fifteen years, For No Good Reason explores the connection between life and art through the eyes of seminal British artist, Ralph Steadman. Insightful, humorous, and visually stunning, this is a study in honesty, friendship and the ambition that drives an artist. [Sony Pictures Classics]

Nonfics Rating: n/a

Check out our interview with director Charlie Paul

Now playing at the Angelika Film Center and Lincoln Plaza Cinemas in New York City.

Desert Riders

Directed by Vic Sarin (non-doc Left Behind: The Movie)

Official Synopsis: Camel racing, often called the Sport of Kings, is one of the most popular sports in the Middle East. Desert Riders is the story of some of the thousands of boys, as young as two years old, who have been trafficked to the Middle East to work as camel jockeys from Bangladesh, Pakistan, Mauritania, and Sudan. With stunning visuals, Desert Riders illuminates the beauty of the Middle East, while featuring the children and their experiences in a bold, revealing, and compelling way. [Garden Thieves Pictures]

Nonfics Rating: n/a

Now playing at the Quad Cinema in New York City.

Next Goal Wins

Directed by Mike Brett and Steve Jamison

Official Synopsis: In 2001, the tiny pacific island of American Samoa suffered a world record 31–0 defeat at the hands of Australia, garnering headlines across the world as the worst football team on the planet. A decade after that humiliating night, they remain rooted to the bottom of FIFA’s world rankings, having scored only twice in seventeen years. They have lost every competitive game they have ever played. Against this backdrop of serial underachievement, the team face the daunting prospect of a qualification campaign for the upcoming 2014 World Cup in Brazil. It would take a miracle-maker or a madman to turn the team’s fortunes around — and in maverick Dutch coach Thomas Rongen the islanders somehow find both.

As a loan appointment from the mighty U.S. Soccer Federation, with experience of playing alongside football greats like George Best and Johann Cruyff, Rongen is completely unprepared for what greets him on the island — in his own words it is “by far the lowest standard” of football he’s ever seen, with only half of his team even fit enough to play a whole game. A lack of athleticism to one side, Thomas’s ailing squad contains the emotionally scarred goalkeeper who conceded 31 goals against Australia a decade earlier and a member of Samoa’s third gender, the fa’fafine, who lives 24/7 as a woman. To complicate matters further the team’s best player has been posted 6000 miles away by the U.S. military.

With the team about to embark on a grueling World Cup qualification campaign, Rongen has just one month to transform this ragtag of losers into a winning team — and perhaps learn a little about himself along the way. [Next Goal Wins Official Website]

Nonfics Rating: n/a

Now playing at Cinema Village in New York City, Lammle Music Hall in Los Angeles, The Roxie in San Francisco and Carousel Cinemas in Greensboro, NC. Opens next week in Tulsa and Phoenix.

For details on current and upcoming theatrical showings, check the Screenings section on the film’s website.

Tanzania: A Journey Within

Directed by Sylvia Caminer (An Affair of the Heart)

Official Synopsis: He’s from a place so old it’s been called the cradle of mankind. She’s led a privileged life in America without hardship or pain. Together these two unlikely friends embark upon a journey from the heights of Mt. Kilimanjaro to the depths of an AIDS ravaged village where even the smallest children become outcasts at the mere hint of the disease and malaria is an ever-present threat. As Venance and Kristen experience the ancient culture, heart-breaking poverty, and eternal spirituality of Venance’s motherland, the ability of the Tanzanian people to love, dream, and persevere in the face of overwhelming hardship triggers a life-changing transformation in Kristen — one that brings her face to face with her own mortality and will ultimately cause thousands of lives to be saved. Tanzania: A Journey Within is a dramatic, emotional, and visually stunning odyssey that will challenge and inspire you. [Tanzania: A Journey Within Official Website]

Winner of the Best Documentary prize at the 2011 Albuquerque Film Festival
Winner of the Best Documentary prize at the 2011 Long Island International Film Expo
Winner of the Best Documentary and Best World Showcase prizes at the 2011 SoHo International Film Festival
Honorable Mention for Best Documentary at the 2011 Buffalo Niagara Film Festival

Nonfics Rating: n/a

Now playing at the Quad Cinema in New York City. Opens next week in Los Angeles.

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

Who Is Dayani Cristal?

Directed by Mark Silver

Written by Mark Monroe (The Cove; The Tillman Story)

Produced by Gael García Bernal (José and Pilar), Thomas Benski (Shut Up and Play the Hits) and Lucas Ochoa (Shut Up and Play the Hits)

Executive produced by Silver, Dan Cogan (The Queen of Versailles; How to Survive a Plague) Lilly Hartley (The Queen of Versailles), Teddy Leifer (The Invisible War; The Interrupters),Jess Search (The Yes Men Fix the World; How to Survive a Plague) and Jeffrey Tarrant (The Queen of Versailles)

Starring Gael García Bernal

Official Synopsis: The body of an unidentified immigrant is found in the Arizona Desert. In an attempt to retrace his path and discover his story, director Marc Silver and Gael Garcia Bernal embed themselves among migrant travelers on their own mission to cross the border, providing rare insight into the human stories which are so often ignored in the immigration debate. [Kino Lorber]

Winner of the Cinematography Award in the World Cinema — Documentary category at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival
Winner of the Audience Award at the 2013 Cork International Film Festival

Nonfics Rating: ★★

Now playing at Cinema Village in New York City and Coral Gables Art Cinema in Coral Gables, Florida. Opens next week in Tucson

For details on current and upcoming theatrical showings, check the Screenings section on the film’s website or the Pcreenings section on the film’s page on the Kino Lorber site.

(Editor in Chief)

Christopher Campbell is the founding editor of Nonfics.