Catching up with a few films from the first weekend here at IDFA in Amsterdam...among the highlight's was Yoav Shamir's "5 Days", a look back at five days in August earlier this year, when Israeli troops forcefully removed residents from Israeli settlements in the Gaza Strip. Shamir directs multiple crews who capturing the drama up close, with inside access to both sides of the dispute. The industry screening was overflowing just moments before it began this afternoon, with many of us deciding to sit on the floor of the theater to watch this anticipated movie. In the same way that "Control Room" goes inside Al Jazeera during a crucial moment, this movie offers the sort of inside perspective on a historical event that was simply not seen on TV.
Anna Bucchetti's "Dreaming By Numbers" is a wonderful look at an Italian lottery shop where customers have their dreams analyzed, and using an aged book determine the corresponding numerals for their lottery tickets. Konstantin Faigle's "The Great Depression - Made In Germany" is a funny look at why Germans are seemingly so depressed, with the filmmaker setting out on a country-wide roadtrip in search of the cause of German malaise. And, an unexpected companion piece to "We Feed the World," which I saw the other day, Nikolaus Geyrhalter's "Our Daily Bread" assembles numerous long takes of footage observing modern food production today, including eye-opening images of cow, pig, and chicken raising and slaughtering.