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AlphaGo

The game Go is among the most complex in the world. Played with small black and white stones on a 19-by-19 grid, there are-famously-more possible sequences of play than there are atoms in the visible universe. Treated as an art in parts of East Asia, the game is said to be mastered only by those with finely tuned instincts and intuition. Could a computer program replicate those qualities? The technology company Deep Mind sought to find out, developing AlphaGo in the hope that it could defeat the best players in the world. In March 2016, a thrilling match-up along the lines of Deep Blue vs. Garry Kasparov pitted the program against Korean Go champion Lee Sedol in a five-game series. Filled with fascinating personalities-from the brilliant but exceedingly humble Sedol to the breathlessly enthusiastic commentators that cover the big match-AlphaGo creates a surprisingly gripping man-against-machine narrative that may just have you cheering the outcome of a quiet, contemplative board
Sat, Oct 7, 2017 11:30 AM
Wed, Oct 11, 2017 12:00 PM
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Andre: The Voice of Wine

California wine drinkers, raise a glass to Andre Tchelistcheff! A Russian émigré who came to be known as the dean of American wine, Andre would leave a legacy deeply entwined with the California wine industry and its rise to international legitimacy. Director Mark Tchelistcheff, Andre’s grandnephew, crafts a cinematic portrait that is very much like the man himself: at once dramatic, poetic, humorous, and inspiring. The child of an aristocratic family who narrowly escaped Russia’s revolution and civil war, Andre lived a life of singular purpose. Equal parts scientist and artist, the winemaker revolutionized the US wine industry through his work in helping Napa’s Beaulieu Vineyard move into the post-Prohibition marketplace. Andre’s epic journey through the upheavals of the early 20th century and into a career that influenced the world’s most important winemakers is explored here in personal interviews that reveal a philosophy a
Mon, Oct 9, 2017 6:45 PM
Fri, Oct 13, 2017 1:00 PM
Sat, Oct 14, 2017 6:15 PM
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Arrangiarsi (Pizza... & the Art of Living)

From the Bay Area to Italy, Matteo Troncone searches for the meaning of life in this engaging, intimate documentary. Is it any surprise to discover that pizza is the answer? Writer, director, cinematographer, editor, and star Troncone begins his fascinating and philosophical first-person travelogue with no job, no relationship, and no home. While living in his VW van on the streets of Mill Valley, he decides there is only one thing to do: trace his roots to Naples and learn how to make pizza. Once there, he discovers the art of Arrangiarsi, the process of arranging yourself to make something from nothing. We meet a colorful crew of characters, from street artists to pizza makers, who find a way to live and love in the most joyful ways, regardless of circumstance. This delightful documentary combines a healthy smattering of foodie passion, intense Italian history, and quirky Neapolitans to tell the tale of one man’s journey to find himself, and the greatest pizza on earth.
Sun, Oct 8, 2017 5:30 PM
Thu, Oct 12, 2017 11:30 AM
Fri, Oct 13, 2017 3:15 PM
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City of Joy

The Democratic Republic of Congo is a country rich in minerals. The multinational companies that buy these minerals fund militias to plunder the mines, and these men are responsible for unprecedented sexualized violence, millions of murders, and 20 years of war. One town, Bukavu, in eastern DRC, has grown from 50,000 to over a million, its population swelling with refugees. In it stands the City of Joy, a sanctuary for female victims of the brutality. Here they are medically treated, housed, educated (with the help of Vagina Monologues playwright Eve Ensler), and transformed from victims into leaders against violence. Madeleine Gavin's enthralling documentary, which transmutes unimaginable horror into joy and empowerment, follows the story of one woman who will not let the appalling violence destroy her. As part of the first class of students at the City of Joy, Jane embodies the co-founders' hard-fought-and extremely risky-vision for the future of women who reclaim their bod
Sun, Oct 8, 2017 6:00 PM
Tue, Oct 10, 2017 12:30 PM
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The Corridor

Orange may be the new black, but documentaries that take us behind real jailhouse walls can still provide revelations. What’s it like to go to school while incarcerated? It means that the tools in your bike repair class are locked to the table and that classrooms come equipped with panic buttons. It means that room assignments take gang affiliation into account. And it means that exposing your ignorance is seen as a weakness, “becoming prey,” as one inmate-student describes it, in a world of predators. These are just some of the challenges that face participants in the San Francisco Sheriff Department’s pioneering program to help inmates earn their GEDs. Local filmmakers Richard O’Connell and Annelise Wunderlich trace students’ progress from orientation to graduation in this timely and quietly provocative documentary. Observational footage of school and jail routine is supported by a soundtrack of articulate reflections from guards, teachers, and inmates. Intertitles of statistics unde
Sat, Oct 7, 2017 8:45 PM
Thu, Oct 12, 2017 10:00 AM
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Dealt

Don’t call Richard Turner a magician: He is a card mechanic, one who controls the outcome of a game better than anyone else in the world. “Magicians can’t do that,” says Turner. Winner of the audience award at SXSW this year, this dynamic documentary provides a close-up look at a true legend in the magic community and the limits he overcame to get to be at the top of the game. Turner, 62, is legally blind and began losing his sight as a young boy. Never without a deck of cards in his hands, he practices almost constantly; surrounded by his wife, son, and sister, he strives ceaselessly for perfection. But the man who knows how to do every trick in the book must learn that it’s OK to ask for help. This skillful portrait of a complex and colorful character is as inspiring and captivating as Turner’s sleight of hand.
Sun, Oct 8, 2017 1:00 PM
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Dirtbag: The Legend of Fred Beckey

Portraying a stubbornly independent spirit-and a legend among mountain climbers for generations-this lively documentary celebrates an exceptional life and chronicles the sublime thrill of ascending never-before-attained peaks. Well into his late 80s, Fred Beckey has yet to surrender his ropes and crampons as he continues to scale alpine walls. Animation, archival footage, and the stories spun by Beckey’s fellow climbers bring his past conquests, as well as his checkered history, to vivid life. Director Dave O’Leske charts the logistics and aesthetics of Beckey’s various lines of ascent, underlining his accomplishments and exposing a kind of beauty in the relationship between man and mountain face. Beckey’s lifestyle has been rough and ready, leaving a trail of awkward and abandoned relationships. But there is a sort of idiosyncratic glory to his individualism and refusal to give in to convention as he relentlessly pursues lofty new paths to surmount.
Fri, Oct 6, 2017 8:30 PM
Tue, Oct 10, 2017 8:30 PM
Fri, Oct 13, 2017 12:00 PM
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Earth Wisdom for a World in Crisis

FOCUS: STEWARDS OF THE EARTH At this urgent time of climate change, indigenous people around the globe hold untapped wisdom and experience in human adaptation for survival. Will international leaders heed our native brothers and sisters and learn how to live sustainably before it’s too late? In this episode of the Global Spirit series, Emmy-winning local filmmaker Stephen Olsson focuses on indigenous leaders and tribal representatives who come together at the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. Living in reciprocity with nature, they know how to spiritually and materially restore harmony and balance after destruction of land and water. Indigenous wisdom keepers and non-native allies gathered as the prophesied Rainbow Tribe to nonviolently protect the water at Standing Rock Sioux Reservation where they slowed progress of the Dakota Access Pipe Line, the foretold Black Snake. Here, and at the UN, they are the voice of the earth. Time to listen.
Fri, Oct 6, 2017 2:00 PM
Fri, Oct 13, 2017 6:15 PM
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Happening: A Clean Energy Revolution

FOCUS: STEWARDS OF THE EARTH Are we living at the dawn of a clean energy revolution, or will politicians and utility companies, entrenched in our fossil-fuel economy, keep that sun from rising? This question drives James Redford’s disarmingly personal and unpretentious documentary. A Marin County resident and award-winning filmmaker, Redford appears as a concerned, average Joe who just wants to know: Where does our power come from, and can renewable sources ever scale up to satisfy our needs? With a quiver of reasonable questions, Redford hopscotches the country, talking to mayors, activists, entrepreneurs, and executives in Utah, New York, Texas, California, and more. Refreshingly low-key, this documentary has no data-filled charts, ambush interviews, or strident sermons. Rather, it’s a rambling road trip-set to a congenial soundtrack by singer-songwriter (and Petaluma local) Sean Hayes-full of hopeful conversations with the everyday people who are making sure that revolution happens
Sat, Oct 7, 2017 12:00 PM
Mon, Oct 9, 2017 1:15 PM
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Human Flow

Following the successes of his extraordinary installation on Alcatraz, renowned artist Ai Weiwei turns his talents to investigating the impact of recent large-scale human migrations-forced by war, ethnic cleansing, and other threats of violent collateral damage-on the migrants themselves. The stories and struggles emerge of those camped out in the long-term limbo of growing tent cities, or simply sleeping, exhausted, by railroad tracks after days and weeks of walking on foot. With often stunning images-from gorgeous blue Mediterranean waters to sprawling desert camps and heavily policed barbed wire borders-the film provides real-world snapshots of precarious river crossings and jittery shore-landings of overloaded rubber dinghies. Both fact-filled and impressionistic, casually intimate at times and sweeping in scope, this documentary records refugees’ driven travels and precarious encampments. With the artist’s eye often apparent in the framing and movements of shots, Human Flow
Fri, Oct 6, 2017 12:00 PM
Thu, Oct 12, 2017 7:15 PM
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Jaha's Promise

An ancient and inhumane ritual still being performed to this day affects over 200 million women and girls around the world, as over 30 countries continue to treat female genital mutilation as a rite of passage and religious tradition. Twenty-six-year-old Gambian activist Jaha Dukureh was one of many newborns subjected to such an unthinkable act. Now, she is among the leaders of the global crusade against the barbaric custom that nearly ended her life. In this powerful and inspiring documentary, filmmakers Patrick Farrelly and Kate O’Callaghan follow Dukureh’s passionate fight to break the cycle of abuse and ban female genital mutilation across the globe, garnering support from world leaders and confronting her most fervent detractors, even those within her own family. Named one of the 100 most influential people by Time magazine in 2016, Dukureh is a real-life superhero whose remarkable resilience and exhaustive efforts have already begun to change the world and ensure a safer f
Mon, Oct 9, 2017 8:45 PM
Thu, Oct 12, 2017 12:30 PM
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Jane

FOCUS: STEWARDS OF THE EARTH No one had studied Africa’s chimpanzees in the wild before 26-year-old Jane Goodall set up camp in Tanzania’s Gombe forest. This documentary, using never-before-seen 1960s footage by famed National Geographic photographer Hugo van Lawick, captures that revolutionary encounter. Narrated by Jane herself-with a moving original score by Philip Glass-it shows the impossibly young researcher at work, jade eyes focused, her wry smile barely hiding her disbelief that her childhood dream has come true. As the chimpanzees grow to trust Jane, she sits among them, until she’s feeding and grooming them. Jane fell in love in Africa: with science, with the animals, and with Lawick, whom she married. Yet Jane kept returning to Gombe and her wild family: to David Greybeard, Goliath, Flo, and Fifi. Today, Jane’s loose ponytail is white, but her message, which still rocks science, is unwavering: Intelligence and compassion are not ours alone, but shared. Thus, we must
Tue, Oct 10, 2017 6:00 PM
Wed, Oct 11, 2017 10:00 AM
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Just One Drop

Homeopathy is controversial, pitting patients with abundant anecdotal evidence against well-funded, organized skeptics out to discredit it as "quackery." This timely examination of legitimacy and access to holistic healthcare proves the best medicine is open curiosity and more scientific research. The wondrous history of Dr. Samuel Hahnemann’s scientific "provings" in his development of homeopathy is dramatized through elegant animation. Meanwhile, a couple uses homeopathy to help heal their young autistic son. And suspense heightens as European homeopathy researchers team up to investigate an Australian report that smears homeopathy’s efficacy and threatens true freedom of choice in healthcare. As worldwide healthcare debates rage on, India is successfully integrating homeopathy and conventional medicine as parallel paths for treatment. May this third way inspire truly effective global healthcare, cooperative holistic and conventional medicine.
Thu, Oct 12, 2017 3:00 PM
Sat, Oct 14, 2017 2:30 PM
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Kim Swims

What some people might find terrifying or crazy, New Zealand open-water swimmer Kim Chambers finds electric and pure. Relatively new to marathon swimming, Kim is determined to cross the treacherous 30 miles from the shark-infested Farallon Islands to the Golden Gate Bridge in the frigid San Francisco Bay. Kim Swims depicts her journey across the water and the months leading up to one of the most challenging swims in the world. Only four men have made the journey and Kim, for very personal reasons, wants to be the first woman. Directed by Kate Webber with intimacy and spirit, this documentary explores the limits of our bodies and why we push ourselves to reach beyond them. As Kim’s story unfolds before our eyes, her self-awareness draws us close and we cannot help but cheer her on as, stroke by stroke, she powers toward her story’s suspenseful conclusion.
Sat, Oct 7, 2017 1:00 PM
Fri, Oct 13, 2017 10:00 AM
Sat, Oct 14, 2017 1:15 PM
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The Last Animals

FOCUS: STEWARDS OF THE EARTH Whenever she would begin to lose faith in humanity, the sight of elephants always reminded war photographer Kate Brooks that there is still beauty in the world. Then she saw that these magnificent beasts-as well as rhinoceroses-are being hunted to near-extinction. Profits from sales of ivory tusks and horns fund conflict in Africa, supporting the activities of Al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, the Lord's Resistance Army, and other rebel groups. In this powerful documentary, Brooks exposes several facets of the all-out war on these animals while also highlighting the work of anti-poaching rangers, scientists, and activists engaged in the global struggle to prevent the pachyderms’ extinction. As the five remaining northern white rhinos on the planet count down to two, Brooks makes an urgent argument for a total ban on the ivory trade. Without such action, there is a very real possibility that our grandchildren will be left only with fading images of these gentle and awe
Sun, Oct 8, 2017 3:00 PM
Tue, Oct 10, 2017 6:45 PM
Fri, Oct 13, 2017 12:30 PM
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The Last Pig

FOCUS: STEWARDS OF THE EARTH This spare yet lush immersion in the daily interactions between a farmer and his pigs follows what grows from an essential awareness of kinship. Conscious of wielding the power of life and death over what society has agreed are animals to be eaten, the man still recognizes his animals as fellow sentient beings. He takes his obligation to the herd seriously, caring for it humanely. He learns from the pigs how to tend them without causing undue stress and likewise how to manage himself as their keeper. Gorgeous cinematography and a meditative score enrich this unflinching look at the season of nurture and communion, which must inevitably give way to the season of slaughter. A decade into this way of life, this pig farmer’s awareness ripens into a harvest of clear-eyed acts of compassion.
Thu, Oct 12, 2017 8:00 PM
Fri, Oct 13, 2017 12:00 PM
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The Long Shadow

Of all the divisions in America, none is as insidious and tenacious as racism. In this powerful documentary, journalist and activist Frances Causey investigates the roots of our current racial conflicts. A daughter of the South, raised with a romanticized vision of America’s past, Causey is haunted by slavery’s legacy. She passionately seeks the hidden truth and the untold stories that reveal how the sins of yesterday feed modern prejudice, which burns undiminished despite our seeming progress. From the moment of America’s birth, slavery was embedded in institutions, laws, and the economy, and yet even as slavery ended, racism survived like “an infection.” By telling individual stories-of free blacks in Canada; of a modern, racially motivated shooting-Causey movingly personalizes the costs and the stakes of continued inaction. “The past is never dead,” William Faulkner once said, and this echoes one scholar’s warning: “We’re still fighting the Civil War, and the South is winning.”
Sat, Oct 7, 2017 6:00 PM
Tue, Oct 10, 2017 10:00 AM
Wed, Oct 11, 2017 11:15 AM
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Mankiller

This profile in courage illuminates the life and times of Wilma Mankiller, first woman chief of the Cherokee Nation. Though she faced deadly challenges in her efforts to rebuild her tribe’s self-governance, she persisted. Produced by Gale Ann Hurd (The Terminator trilogy), Valerie Red-Horse Mohl’s in-depth documentary reveals how Mankiller’s indigenous feminism and grassroots leadership arose from traditional Cherokee matrilineal society and her work in Bay Area social justice. She arose from humble beginnings in northeast Oklahoma, rich in community, but economically poor before moving to California where she spent two decades as a community activist. As chief, she cultivated non-elected leaders and headed self-reliance projects, ultimately reestablishing Cherokee sovereignty. Mankiller’s inspiring story and journey of exile and return spring to vivid life through rare archival footage of Mankiller and interviews with her family, friends, and collaborators, including Gloria St
Tue, Oct 10, 2017 3:30 PM
Wed, Oct 11, 2017 2:30 PM
Sat, Oct 14, 2017 12:00 PM
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