Docs In Theaters: ‘Running From Crazy,’ ‘The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology,’ ‘Casting By’ 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.

Behind the Blue Veil

Directed, produced and edited by Robyn Simon (Transformation: The Life and Legacy of Werner Erhard)

Official Synopsis: A feature documentary film about one of the oldest cultures in the world on the verge of extinction. The nomadic Tuareg, known as the “blue people of the Sahara” because of the traditional indigo robes and veils worn by men, were once noble warriors and herdsman but after years of drought and lack of government support, the ancient Berber tribe, now divided among five countries in North Africa, is struggling to survive.

Nonfics Rating: n/a

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

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

Casting By

Directed and produced by Tom Donahue (Guest of Cindy Sherman)

Featuring Marion Dougherty, Lynn Stalmaster, Juliet Taylor, Clint Eastwood, Robert Redford, Woody Allen, Robert Duvall, Glenn Close, Jon Voight, John Lithgow, Diane Lane, Richard Dreyfuss, Norman Lear, Mike Fenton and many more (see the list here)

Official Synopsis: Putting the spotlight on filmmaking’s unsung hero — the casting director — Casting By takes us on a fast- paced journey through the last half century of Hollywood history from an entirely new perspective. Pioneers like Marion Dougherty and Lynn Stalmaster were iconoclasts whose exquisite taste and gut instincts helped put the final nail in the coffin of the old studio system and usher in the New Hollywood with movies like Midnight Cowboy, The Graduate, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and Bonnie and Clyde. [Submarine Deluxe]

Winner of the Audience Award at the 2013 Sebastapol Film Festival

Nonfics rating: ★★★★ [FSR Review by Christopher Campbell]

Now playing at Cinema Village and the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center in New York City.

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


Written, directed and produced by Maxine Trump

Featuring Steve Earle, Yo La Tengo, The Antlers, Kaki King

Official Synopsis: An adventure-filled journey, a political thriller with music at its heart. An unusual band of the most famous guitar-makers in the world (Bob Taylor of Taylor guitars, Chris Martin of Martin Guitars and Dave Berryman of Gibson Guitars) travel together into the heart of one of the most primeval rainforests on the planet. Their mission: to negotiate with Native American loggers and change the way this forest is logged before it’s too late for acoustic guitars. Musicwood is a culture clash of staggering proportions. Native Americans who’ve been given a notoriously raw deal from the US government are distrustful of the white man telling them what to do. Enter Greenpeace, a radical environmental group, and soon all are battling over a forest that is the last of its kind on the planet. As the tug-of-war over natural resources unfolds, acoustic virtuosos such as Kaki King, Yo La Tengo, The Antlers, and Steve Earle offer some of the most profound insights in the form of a soundtrack, which doubles as the heartbeat of this debate.

Nonfics Rating: ★★★★ [Review by Daniel Walber]

Now playing at the Quad Cinema in New York City.

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

Also now available on iTunes.

The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology

Directed by Sophie Fiennes (The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema, Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow)

Written and starring Slavoj Žižek (The Pervert’s Guide to CinemaZizek!)

Edited by Ethel Shepherd (The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema, Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow)

Produced by Fiennes, Katie Holly, James Wilson and Martin Rosenbaum (The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema)

Official Synopsis: Cultural theorist superstar Slavoj Žižek re-teams with director Sophie Fiennes (The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema) for another wildly entertaining romp through the crossroads of cinema and philosophy. With infectious zeal and a voracious appetite for popular culture, Žižek literally goes inside some truly epochal movies, all the better to explore and expose how they reinforce prevailing ideologies. As the ideology that undergirds our cinematic fantasies is revealed, striking associations emerge: What hidden Catholic teachings lurk at the heart of The Sound of Music? What are the fascist political dimensions of Jaws? Taxi Driver, Zabriskie Point, The Searchers, The Dark Knight, John Carpenter’s They Live (“one of the forgotten masterpieces of the Hollywood Left”), Titanic, Kinder Eggs, verité news footage, Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” and propaganda epics from Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia all inform Žižek’s stimulating, provocative and often hilarious psychoanalytic-cinematic rant. [Zeitgeist Films]

Nonfics Rating: ★★★★ [Review by Landon Palmer]

Now playing at the Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago and the IFC Center in New York City

For details on current and upcoming theatrical openings, check the playdates page for the film on the Zeitgeist website.

Also now available on VOD.

Running From Crazy

Directed by Barbara Kopple (Oscar winner for Harlan County U.S.A. and American Dream)

Edited by Michael Culyba (Urbanized) and Mona Davis (Emmy winner for The Farm: Angola USA)

Cinematography by Andrew Young (Oscar nominee for co-directing Children of Fate: Life and Death in a Sicilian Family)

Produced by Kopple and David Cassidy (Kopple’s Shut Up & Sing)

Executive produced by Oprah Winfrey, Lisa Erspamer (The Oprah Winfrey Show) and Erica Forstadt (The Doc Club with Rosie O’Donnell)

Featuring Mariel Hemingway

Official Synopsis: A documentary examining the personal journey of model and actress Mariel Hemingway, the granddaughter of writer Ernest Hemingway, as she strives for a deeper understanding of the suicide and mental illness that have afflicted so many of her family members, including her supermodel sister, Margaux Hemingway and her oldest sister, artist Joan “Muffet” Hemingway. Intimate verite footage and raw, emotional interviews with Mariel herself are interwoven with stunning, rarely seen archival footage of the three Hemingway sisters and their parents. Audiences are taken back in time to revisit the famous family and their remarkable, though often heartbreaking legacy, and see how it resonates today. As Mariel comes to term with the tragedies that have shaped the course of her life, she finds a way to overcome a similar fate for herself and her daughters by embracing a conscientious and active lifestyle, which includes the daily practice of yoga and meditation, healthy eating and discovering new relationships. She becomes deeply committed to promoting this lifestyle and to bringing awareness to an issue she cares deeply about — suicide prevention. Through it all, Mariel comes to discover the inner strength, happiness and peace that have eluded her for so long. Running From Crazy is a true testament of the sheer power of the human spirit and our ability to rise above the sadness of our past to find a better, happier tomorrow. []

Nonfics Rating: n/a

Now playing at the Angelika Film Center in New York City


Sweet Dreams

Directed and produced by Lisa Fruchtman (Oscar-winning editor of The Right Stuff and Oscar-nominated editor of Apocalypse Now and The Godfather Part III) and Rob Fruchtman (Sister Helen)

Edited by Lisa Fruchtman

Cinematography by Rob Fruchtman

Executive produced by Tiffany Schauer (Garbage Dreams) and Russell Long

Official Synopsis: Rwanda’s first and only all women’s drumming troupe is called Ingoma Nshya. Made up of women from both sides of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, the troupe offers a place of support, healing and reconciliation. When the group decides to partner with two young American entrepreneurs, Jennie Dundas and Alexis Miesen of Brooklyn’s Blue Marble Ice Cream, to open Rwanda’s first ever ice cream shop, these remarkable Rwandan women embark on a journey of independence, peace Sweet DreamsSweet Dreams interweaves intimate, heart-wrenching stories with joyous and powerful music to present a moving portrait of a country in transition. [International Film Circuit]

Winner of the HBO Films Producer Award at the 2012 Savannah Film Festival
Winner of a Jury Prize at the Mujerdoc 2013
Winner of the Audience Award at IFEMA 2013
Winner of a Top 10 Audience Award at IDFA 2012

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

Now playing at the Quad Cinema in New York City

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

These Birds Walk

Directed by Omar Mullick and Bassam Tariq

Produced by Mullick, Valentina Canavesio and Sonejuhi Sinha

Edited by Sinha

Cinematography by Mullick

Official Synopsis: In Karachi, Pakistan, a runaway boy’s life hangs on one critical question: where is home? The streets, an orphanage, or with the family he fled in the first place? Simultaneously heart-wrenching and life-affirming, These Birds Walk documents the struggles of these wayward street children and the samaritans looking out for them in this ethereal and inspirational story of resilience. [Oscilloscope Laboratories]

Winner of a Special Jury Prize for Vigilance in Filmmaking at the 2013 Nashville Film Festival

Nonfics Rating: ★★ [Review by Christopher Campbell]

Now playing at Village East Cinemas in New York City

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.