Docs In Theaters: ‘The Unknown Known,’ ‘Island of Lemurs: Madagascar’ 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.

Being Ginger

Directed and produced by Scott P. Harris

Official Synopsis: A wonderful, illuminating look into the life of the film’s maker, Scott P. Harris. At first the film seems to be a comedy about a red haired man trying to find love. But through revealing moments, whimsical animation, and real interviews, a universal story arises. We are all different. We all have aspects of our lives that set us apart from the crowd and greatly affect us. In Scott’s case, it’s his red hair. Through captivating storytelling, we journey with Scott as he lets the viewer into his thoughts, experiences, and internal processing of how his red hair has influence over his life and how it makes him feel about himself. Finding oneself through finding love and being able to accept it, can be experienced by all. So, while the film’s title highlights red hair, it is about much, much more. Everyone should watch this film and reflect on what makes them ‘ginger’ in their own life. And, of course, give a ginger some love. [Garden Thieves Pictures]

Nonfics Rating: n/a

Now playing at the Quad Cinema in New York City. Also screening this week in Boston.

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

Also available to download digitally from the film’s website.


Flex Is Kings

Directed by Michael Beach Nichols and Deidre Schoo

Edited by Beach Nichols (Prayer for a Perfect Season) and Christopher K. Walker (Triangle: Remembering the Fire)

Featuring Cate Blanchett, Diane Kruger, Sebastian Koch, Thomas Kretschmann, Connie Nielsen, Josh Radnor and Gustaf Skarsgård

Official Synopsis: In Brooklyn, an acrobatic DIY form of dance called ‘flexing’ is thriving. Follow a group of fearless young dancers on an emotional journey as they vie to make something of themselves and their communities by competing in awe-inspiring battles of strength, grace and creativity. [Baxter Bros.]

Nonfics Rating: n/a

Now playing at Village East Cinemas in New York City. Also screening this week in Somerville, MA, and Lancaster, PA.

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

The Galapagos Affair: Satan Came to Eden

Directed by Daniel Geller (Ballets Russes) and Dayna Goldfine (Ballets Russes)

Written and produced by Geller, Goldfine and Celeste Schaefer Snyder (Ballets Russes)

Edited by Bill Weber (editor and co-director of We Were Here)

Featuring the voices of Cate Blanchett, Diane Kruger, Sebastian Koch, Thomas Kretschmann, Connie Nielsen, Josh Radnor and Gustaf Skarsgård

Official Synopsis: Darwin meets Hitchcock in this true-crime tale of paradise found and lost. The Galapagos Affair: Satan Came To Eden is a fascinating documentary portrait of a 1930s murder mystery as strange and alluring as the famous archipelago itself. Fleeing conventional society, a Berlin doctor and his mistress start a new life on uninhabited Floreana Island. But after the international press sensationalizes the exploits of the Galapagos’ “Adam and Eve”, others flock there — including a self-styled Swiss Family Robinson and a gun-toting Viennese Baroness and her two lovers. Clashing personalities are aggravated by the island community’s lusty free-love ethos, and when some of the islanders disappear, suspicions of murder hang in the air leaving an unsolved mystery which remains the subject of local lore today. [Zeitgeist Films]

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

Now playing at Lincoln Plaza Cinemas in New York City. Also screening this week at film festivals in Honolulu, Minneapolis, Boulder, Kansas City, New Orleans and Nantucket.

For details on current and upcoming theatrical showings, check the Where to See the Film page on the film’s website.

Island of Lemurs: Madagascar

Directed and shot by David Douglas (director of Fires of Kuwait; cinematographer for Born to Be Wild)

Written and produced by Drew Fellman (Born to Be Wild)

Co-produced by Diane Roberts (Fires of Kuwait; Born to Be Wild)

Edited by Beth Spiegel (Born to Be Wild; Arctic Tale)

Music by Mark Mothersbaugh (Born to Be WildCatfish)

With songs by Hanitrarivo Rasoanaivo and Tarika

Narrated by Morgan Freeman (Born to Be Wild; March of the Penguins)

Featuring Patricia Wright (Me & Isaac Newton)

Official Synopsis: Captured with IMAX 3D cameras, the film takes audiences on a spectacular journey to the remote and wondrous world of Madagascar, where lemurs arrived millions of years ago as castaways. They’ve since evolved into hundreds of diverse species, but are now highly endangered. Island of Lemurs: Madagascar highlights the tireless efforts of trailblazing scientist Dr. Patricia C. Wright and her lifelong mission to help these strange and adorable creatures survive in the modern world. [IMAX]

Nonfics Rating: n/a

Now playing nationwide on IMAX screens.

For details on current and future locations around the world, check the Find a Theater page on the film’s website.

The Unknown Known

Directed by Errol Morris (Oscar winner for The Fog of War)

Produced by Morris, Amanda Branson Gill (Morris’s Standard Operating Procedure) and Robert Fernandez (The Fog of War; Standard Operating Procedure; Morris’s Tabloid)

Executive produced by Molly Thompson (Cave of Forgotten Dreams; Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer), Julian Hobbs (Cave of Forgotten Dreams; Encounters at the End of the World) and Josh Braun (Page One: Inside the New York Times)

Cinematography by Robert Chappell (The Fog of WarTabloid)

Edited by Steven Hathaway (Standard Operating Procedure)

Music by Danny Elfman (Standard Operating Procedure)

Featuring Donald Rumsfeld

Official Synopsis: A mesmerizing portrait of Donald Rumsfeld, one of the key architects of the Iraq War, and a larger-than-life character who provoked equal levels of fury and adulation from the American public. Rather than conducting a conventional interview, Morris has Rumsfeld perform and expound on his “snowflakes,” tens of thousands of memos (many never previously published) he composed as a congressman and as an advisor to four different presidents, twice as Secretary of Defense. These memos provide a window onto history — not history as it actually happened, but history as Rumsfeld wants us to see it. Morris makes plain that Rumsfeld’s “snowflakes” — whether intended to elucidate, rationalize, obfuscate, or control history — are contradicted by the facts. [Radius-TWC]

Nonfics Rating: ★★ [Review by Daniel Walber]

Now playing in some major cities nationwide with more to come.

Check local listings or Fandango for more information.

Also available on iTunes.


Directed by Jennifer Baichwal (Manufactured Landscapes; Act of God) and Edward Burtynsky

Produced and shot by Nick de Pencier (producer of Manufactured Landscapes; cinematographer for Act of God)

Edited by Roland Schlimme (Manufactured Landscapes; Act of God)

Official Synopsis: Diverse stories from around the globe that eloquently detail humanity’s relationship with water through the ages: how we are drawn to it, how we use it, and the magnitude of our need for this rapidly depleting resource. Full of soaring aerial perspectives, this film shows water as a terraforming element and the scale of its reach. This is balanced by forays into the particular: a lingering memory of a stolen river, a mysterious figure roaming ancient rice terraces. These images, both beautiful and haunting, create a compelling global portrait that illustrates humanity’s past, present and future relationship with the natural world. In Watermark, the viewer is immersed in a world defined by a magnificent force of nature that we all too often take for granted — until it’s gone. [eOne Films]

Winner of the 2014 Genie Award (Canadian Screen Award) for Best Feature Length Documentary.

Nonfics Rating: n/a

Now playing at Lincoln Plaza Cinemas and the IFC Center in New York City. Opens next week in Boston and Washington, DC.

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

(Editor in Chief)

Christopher Campbell is the founding editor of Nonfics.