Docs In Theaters: ‘Visitors,’ ‘Papirosen,’ ‘Aatsinki: The Story of Arctic Cowboys’ 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.

Aatsinki: The Story of Arctic Cowboys

Written, directed, produced, edited and shot by Jessica Oreck (Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo)

Official Synopsis: One year in the life of reindeer herders in Finnish Lapland. A study of hard work, hard-earned leisure, and an intricate bond between man and nature. [Argot Pictures]

Film School Rejects Grade: B+ [Review by Daniel Walber]

Now playing at the IFC Center in New York City. Screens Monday, January 27th, in Cambridge, MA, for The DocYard series.

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

Life is Strange

Directed by Isaac Hertz

Official Synopsis: LIFE IS STRANGE evokes the vibrant life of Jewish families in pre-World War II Europe through childhood memories of survivors. Intimate conversations with people from all walks of life are presented against a tapestry of rare footage that takes us into the heart of pre-war Yiddish culture, and portrays a universal experience of carefree childhood. The movie explores the connection between old age and childhood, what remains of childhood in our later years, and how the memory of the past can be retained when the world that created it no longer exists. Started as an attempt by two friends to trace a family history, the documentary grew to a feature-length story of 25 people around the world united by shared childhood. It includes interviews with Shimon Peres, President of the state of Israel, Walter Kohn, Nobel laureate in Chemistry, Robert Aumann, Nobel Laureate in economics, and children’s book author Uri Orlev. [Lookback Productions]

Nonfics Rating: n/a

Now playing at the Quad Cinema in New York City.

Mercedes Sosa: The Voice of Latin America

Written and directed by Rodrigo H. Vila (Mercedes Sosa: Cantora, an Intimate Journey)

Edited by Luciano Origlio

Official Synopsis: Journey into the world of Argentina’s most famous musical artist in Mercedes Sosa: The Voice of Latin America. Over a career that spanned 50 years, Sosa sold millions of records, performed thousands of concerts all over the world, and left behind an incredible legacy as an artist who went beyond the borders of music to become one of the most influential — and loved — personalities of the 20th century. This intimate documentary reveals Sosa’s early life and her rise to worldwide stardom, and explores the impact she had on the musical — and political — heritage of Latin America… and the world. [First Run Features]

Winner of the Feature Film Award for Best Editing at the 2013 Cine Ceará — National Cinema Festival

Nonfics Rating: n/a

Now playing at Cinema Village in New York City.

For details on current and upcoming theatrical openings, check the playdates page on the film’s First Run Features site.


Directed by Gastón Solnicki (Süden)

Official Synopsis: Masterfully edited from nearly 200 hours of footage, Papirosen represents a decade of filmmaking, and four generations of Argentine director Gastón Solnicki’s family history, culled from 8mm home videos, a VHS bar mitzvah, and original observational material. His father, Victor, emerges as the lead figure, but Solnicki highlights the entire clan. Beginning with the birth of his nephew, Mateo, and punctuated throughout by interviews with his grandmother, Pola, a Holocaust survivor, the film’s scope is simultaneously epic and intimate. Papirosen is a meditation on family, history, the importance of storytelling, and the power of cinema itself. [Film Society of Lincoln Center]

Winner of the award for Best Argentinian Film at the 2012 Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema
Winner of the Lia Award (the Jewish Experience Award) at the 2012 Jerusalem Film Festival

Nonfics Rating: ★★★ [review to come]

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


Written and directed by Godfrey Reggio (Koyaanisqatsi; Powaqqatsi; Naqoyqatsi)

Presented by Steven Soderbergh (executive producer of Naqoyqatsi)

Music by Philip Glass (Koyaanisqatsi; Powaqqatsi; Naqoyqatsi)

Cinematography by Graham Berry (Powaqqatsi), Trish Govoni (Mad Hot Ballroom) and Tom Lowe (TimeScapes)

Edited by Jon Kane (Naqoyqatsi) and Chris Besecker

Official Synopsis: Thirty years after Koyaanisqatsi, Godfrey Reggio — with the support of Philip Glass and Jon Kane — once again leapfrogs over earthbound filmmakers and creates another stunning, wordless portrait of modern life. Presented by Steven Soderbergh in stunning black and white 4K digital projection, Visitors reveals humanity’s trancelike relationship with technology, which, when commandeered by extreme emotional states, produces massive effects far beyond the human species. The film is visceral, offering the audience an experience beyond information about the moment in which we live. Comprised of only seventy-four shots, Visitors takes viewers on a journey to the moon and back to confront them with themselves. [Cinedigm]

Nonfics Rating: n/a

Now playing at the Landmark Sunshine in New York City and the Phi Centre in Montreal.

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.