CRIES FROM SYRIA — Evgeny Afineevsky Interiview


CRIES FROM SYRIA had already made its HBO debut when I spoke with Evgeny Afineevsky on March 16, 2017. He was in San Francisco, though, to do a Q&A after a screening here. Afineevsky is a garrulous, upbeat man, quick with a smile and a hug, but when he talks about the dangers of American… Read More »

THEO WHO LIVED — David Schisgall Interview


THEO WHO LIVED is a story of the remarkable empathy its subject, American journalist Theo Padnos, found for the captors who tortured him after being kidnapped in Syria in 2012.  David Schisgall’s sensitive, heart-wrenching documentary about Theo, like Theo himself, finds the humanity in everyone. Preferring to see people as individuals rather than stereotypes, it’s… Read More »

FIRE AT SEA (Fuocoammare) — Gianfranco Rosi Interview

Gianfranco Rosi had intended to make a 10-minute film about the refugees who find themselves on the island of Lampedusa, but once there, he quickly decided that the complexity of the situation demanded more. Hence FIRE AT SEA, short-listed for an Oscar™ and otherwise garnering praise for its sensitive, incisive look at how refugees and… Read More »


Sandra Bagaria was not raised to be a victim, and so when her online with a woman blogger named Amina half a world away took an emotionally wrenching turn, the last thing she wanted to do was walk away.

The E-TEAM Talks

Human Rights Watch could want no better documentary about their work about their Emergency Teams than E-TEAM, which follows two of those team, one in Libya, one in Syria, bearing witness to human rights abuse. The Syrian team, Anna Neistat and Ole Solvang traveled to San Francisco along with filmmakers Ross Kauffman and Katy Chevigny… Read More »