Docs In Theaters: ‘The Punk Singer,’ ‘The End of Time,’ ‘The Unbelievers’ and More

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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.

Cousin Jules (1973)

Written, directed and produced by Dominique Benicheti

Cinematography by Pierre-William Glenn (Day for Night)

Official Synopsis: An ode to rural France and the simple joys of life, Dominique Benicheti’s glorious masterpiece Cousin Jules captures the daily routine and rituals of Jules, a blacksmith, living with his wife, Felice, on a small farm in the French countryside. [Cinema Guild]

Winner of the Interfilm Award (tied) at the 1973 Mannheim-Heidelberg International Filmfestival
Winner of a Special Mention Prize of the Ecumenical Jury at the 1973 Locarno International Film Festival

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

Now playing at Film Forum in New York City.

For details on current and upcoming theatrical openings, check the playdates page on the Cinema Guild website.

The End of Time

Directed by Peter Mettler (Gambling, Gods and LSD )

Produced by Gerry Flahive (Surviving Progress), Cornelia Seitler (Gambling, Gods and LSD ), Ingrid Veninger (Gambling, Gods and LSD ) and Brigitte Hofer (Heimatklänge)

Executive produced by Mettler and Silva Basmajian (Stories We Tell)

Official Synopsis: Peter Mettler’s enthralling new film combines elements of documentary, essay, and experimental cinema to create a tour de force that challenges our conception of time — and perhaps the very fabric of our existence. With stunning cinematography and a knack for capturing astonishing moments, The End of Time travels the planet — from the CERN particle accelerator outside Geneva to the lava flows of Hawaii; from a disintegrating Detroit where Henry Ford built his first factory to the tree where Buddha was enlightened. Both mind-expanding and eerily familiar, Mettler’s provocative film explores the links between renewal and destruction, between primordial mysticism and the furthest reaches of modern science, giving the viewer a transcendent cinematic experience. [First Run Features]

Winner of the Junior Jury Award — “Environment Is Quality of Life” Prize at the 2012 Locarno International Film Festival

Nonfics Rating: ★★★★ [Feature on Peter Mettler’s films by Daniel Walber]

Now playing at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center in New York City

For details on current and upcoming theatrical openings, check the playdates page on the First Run Features website.

Journey to the South Pacific

Directed by Greg MacGillivray (Everest; To the Arctic 3D; Oscar nominee for The Living Sea and Dolphins) and Stephen Judson (Everest; The Alps; writer of To the Arctic 3D)

Produced by Shaun MacGillivray (To the Arctic 3D), Mark Krenzien (The Alps)

Narrated by Cate Blanchett

Official Synopsis: Journey to the South Pacific will take moviegoers on a breathtaking IMAX® 3D adventure to the lush tropical islands of remote West Papua, where life flourishes above and below the sea. Join Jawi, a young island boy, as he takes us on a journey of discovery to this magical place where we encounter whale sharks, sea turtles, manta rays, and other iconic creatures of the sea. Home to more than 2,000 species of sea life, this exotic locale features the most diverse marine ecosystem on earth. An uplifting story of hope and celebration, Journey to the South Pacific highlights the importance of living in balance with the ocean planet we all call home. [IMAX and MacGillivray Freeman Films]

Nonfics Rating: n/a

Now playing in select IMAX theaters.

For details on where you can currently find showings of the film, see listings on the IMAX website.

The Punk Singer

Directed by Sini Anderson

Produced by Anderson, Alan Oxman (Page One: Inside the New York Times ), Tamra Davis (Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child), Rachel Dengiz (Medora), Gwen Bialic (line producer on Lou Reed’s Berlin) and Erin Owens

Edited by Jessica Hernández (Bomb It) and Bo Mehrad (Medora)

Featuring Kathleen Hanna, Adam Horovitz, Kim Gordon, Joan Jett, Carrie Brownstein

Official Synopsis: Kathleen Hanna, lead singer of the punk band Bikini Kill and dance-punk trio Le Tigre, rose to national attention as the reluctant but never shy voice of the riot grrrl movement. She became one of the most famously outspoken feminist icons, a cultural lightning rod. Her critics wished she would just shut-up, and her fans hoped she never would. So in 2005, when Hanna stopped shouting, many wondered why. Through 20 years of archival footage and intimate interviews with Hanna, The Punk Singer takes viewers on a fascinating tour of contemporary music and offers a never-before-seen view into the life of this fearless leader. [IFC Films]

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

Now playing in New York City and Los Angeles. Expands to major cities nationwide on December 6th.

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

Also available on iTunes and Amazon Instant Video.

Shored Up

Produced and directed by Ben Kalina

Official Synopsis: Our beaches and coastline are a national treasure, a shared resource, a beacon of sanity in a world of constant change…and they’re disappearing in front of us. Shored Up is a documentary that asks tough questions about our coastal communities and our relationship to the land. What will a rising sea do to our homes, our businesses, and the survival of our communities? Can we afford to pile enough sand on our shores to keep the ocean at bay? In Long Beach Island, New Jersey and the Outer Banks of North Carolina, surfers, politicians, scientists and residents are racing to answer these questions. Beach engineering has been our only approach so far, but is there something else out there to be explored? Our development of the coastlines put us in a tough predicament, and it’s time to start looking for solutions. [Shored Up Official Website]

Nonfics rating: n/a

Now playing at Cinema Village in New York City.

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

Shored Up Trailer

The Unbelievers

Directed by Gus Holwerda

Featuring Richard Dawkins, Lawrence Krauss, Woody Allen, Werner Herzog, Stephen Colbert, Bill Maher, Eddie Izzard, Penn Jillette, Paul Provenza, Ian McEwan, Ricky Gervais, Cameron Diaz, Stephen Hawking, Sarah Silverman, Bill Pullman, Cormac McCarthy and more

Official Synopsis: The Unbelievers follows renowned scientists Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss across the globe as they speak publicly about the importance of science and reason in the modern world — encouraging others to cast off antiquated religious and politically motivated approaches toward important current issues. [Black Chalk Films]

Film School Rejects Grade: C [Review by Rob Hunter]

Now playing at Laemmle’s Music Hall Theatre in Los Angeles. Opens in New York City on December 13th.

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

(Editor in Chief)

Christopher Campbell is the founding editor of Nonfics.