Docs In Theaters: ‘The Great Flood,’ ‘Divorce Corp.’ and ‘If You Build It’


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.

Divorce Corp.

Directed by Joseph Sorge

Produced by James D. Scurock (Maxed Out)

Narrated by Dr. Drew Pinsky

Official Synopsis: More money flows through the family courts, and into the hands of courthouse insiders, than in all other court systems in America combined — over $50 billion a year and growing. Through extensive research and interviews with the nation’s top divorce lawyers, mediators, judges, politicians, litigants and journalists, Divorce Corp. uncovers how children are torn from their homes, unlicensed custody evaluators extort money, and abusive judges play god with people’s lives while enriching their friends. This explosive documentary reveals the family courts as unregulated, extra-constitutional fiefdoms. Rather than assist victims of domestic crimes, these courts often precipitate them. And rather than help parents and children move on, as they are mandated to do, these courts — and their associates — drag out cases for years, sometimes decades, ultimately resulting in a rash of social ills, including home foreclosure, bankruptcy, suicide and violence. Solutions to the crisis are sought out in countries where divorce is handled in a more holistic manner. [Candor Entertainment]

Nonfics Rating: n/a

Now playing in limited release nationwide, including special event screenings.

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

The Great Flood

Written and directed by Bill Morrison (Decasia)

Music by Bill Frisell

Official Synopsis: The Mississippi River Flood of 1927 was the most destructive river flood in American history. In the spring of 1927, the river broke out of its earthen embankments in 145 places and inundated 27,000 square miles. Part of its legacy was the forced exodus of displaced sharecroppers, who left plantation life and migrated to Northern cities, adapting to an industrial society with its own set of challenges. Musically, the Great Migration fueled the evolution of acoustic blues to electric blues bands that thrived in cities like Memphis, Detroit and Chicago becoming the wellspring for R&B and rock as well as developing jazz styles. The Great Flood is a collaboration between filmmaker and multimedia artist Bill Morrison and guitarist and composer Bill Frisell inspired by the 1927 catastrophe. [Icarus Films]

Nonfics rating: n/a

Now playing at the IFC Center in New York City and Time and Space Limited in Hudson, New York.

If You Build It

Directed by Patrick Creadon (Wordplay; I.O.U.S.A.)

Produced by Christine O’Malley (Wordplay; I.O.U.S.A.; These Amazing Shadows) and Neal Baer

Official Synopsis: From the director of Wordplay and I.O.U.S.A. comes a captivating look at a radically innovative approach to education. If You Build It follows designer-activists Emily Pilloton and Matthew Miller to rural Bertie County, the poorest in North Carolina, where they work with local high school students to help transform both their community and their lives. Living on credit and grant money and fighting a change-resistant school board, Pilloton and Miller lead their students through a year-long, full-scale design and build project that does much more than just teach basic construction skills: it shows ten teenagers the power of design-thinking to re-invent not just their town but their own sense of what’s possible. Directed by Patrick Creadon and produced by Christine O’Malley and Neal Baer, If You Build It offers a compelling and hopeful vision for a new kind of classroom in which students learn the tools to design their own futures. [Long Shot Factory]

Winner of the award for Outstanding Achievement in Filmmaking — Art, Architecture and Design at the 2013 Newport Beach Film Festival

Nonfics Rating: n/a

Now playing at the IFC Center 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.