The 2015 Milwaukee Film Festival runs Thursday, September 24 through Thursday, October 8. Check out our list of 13 reasons to get excited for the fest here. If you’re looking for daily recommendations and/or when and where to stalk us, look no further.
Members-Only Super Secret Screening (4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.)
This is sort of like a half-pick since it’s only open to Milwaukee Film Members, but pick it we must, since who doesn’t like a good surprise film? Trying to guess which film will sneak into the MFF line-up is the festival nerd’s favorite game. People have been known to spend hours scouring the TIFF and NYFF line-ups, cross-referencing with Milwaukee screening dates, and filtering by their own cinematic yearnings to come up with their list of predictions. (Our dream pick is Jafar Panahi’s Taxi. We’re sure we’re wrong.) Just like last year, there are two screenings of the same film due to Milwaukee Film’s rapidly expanding membership base. For the love of the film gods, please don’t spoil it for the rest of us, matinee-goers. The anticipation is delicious!
Recommended if you like: Oscar winners; spoiler-free zones; gambling with your festival schedule.
Little White Lie (9 p.m. – Oriental Theatre)
Remember back in June when we found out the head of the Spokane, Washington’s NAACP was claiming to be black…but wasn’t really black? Yep, that really happened. (Also true: Rachel Dolezal now works as a hairdresser specializing in black women’s hair. Not kidding.) If that whole situation baffled you, try this doc on for size. Director Lacey Schwartz was raised in an upper-class Jewish family…as white. Not as in “we adopted an African-American child,” but as in “this daughter is just like my other daughters, but she happens to look more like her dark-skinned Sicilian grandfather.” Nope. Turns out Schwartz had a different dad than her other siblings, and this doc follows her personal reckoning between the childhood she lived, and the one that was covered up. The film was supported by Stanley Nelson’s (The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution) production company, which nurtures emerging diverse filmmakers.
Recommended if you like: Stories We Tell; PBS films; discussions of multi-racial America.
White God (9:45 p.m. – Downer Theatre)
“Never work with animals or children,” goes the old film adage, for fear that they will always upstage the “real actors.” But what if your film “features the Al Pacino of dog actors,” as Time Out London proclaims? Then is it okay? This apocalyptic Hungarian film uses a huge pack of half-breed dogs as (according to the director) a metaphor for Europe’s fears in dealing with their minority population. Even the biggest dog lovers will grip their seat watching Budapest get taken over by canines. Humanitarian note: all 250 dogs trained to appear in the film were from shelters, and were successfully adopted out afterwards.
Recommended if you like: dogs more than cats; apocalyptic films; The Birds.