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Sundance Fest Rounds Out its 09 Doc Slate

By Tom White

Following its announced competition films for the 2009 edition, the Sundance Film Festival yesterday unveiled additional programming strands in which documentaries will appear, including Premieres, Spectrum: Documentary Spotlight, Park City at Midnight and Frontier. Here are the line-ups:


Earth Days / USA (Director: Robert Stone)-The history of our environmental undoing through the eyes of nine Americans whose work and actions launched the modern environmental movement. World Premiere. Closing Night Film

Spectrum: Documentary Spotlight

It Might Get Loud / USA (Director: Davis Guggenheim)-The history of the electric guitar from the point of view of three legendary rock musicians--The Edge, Jimmy Page and Jack White. U.S. Premiere

No Impact Man / USA (Directors: Laura Gabbert and Justin Schein)-The documentary follows the Beavan family as they abandon their high-consumption Fifth Avenue lifestyle in an attempt to make a no-net environmental impact for the course of one year. World Premiere

Passing Strange / USA (Director: Spike Lee; Lyrics: Stew; Music: Stew and Heidi Rodewald)-A musical documentary about the international exploits of a young man from Los Angeles who leaves home to find himself and "the real." A theatrical stage production of the original Tony-Award winning book by Stew. World Premiere

Tyson / USA (Director: James Toback)-An intimate look at the complex life of former heavyweight champ Mike Tyson. North American Premiere

Why We Laugh: Black Comedians on Black Comedy / USA (Director: Robert Townsend)-Using rare archival clips along with provocative interviews with many of today's leading comedians and social critics, Why We Laugh celebrates the incredible cultural influence and social impact black comedy has wielded over the past 400 years. Includes appearances by Chris Rock, Bill Cosby, Keenan Ivory Wayans, Steve Harvey, Dick Gregory. World Premiere

Wounded Knee / USA (Director: Stanley Nelson; Screenwriter: Marcia Smith)-In 1973, American Indian groups took over the town of Wounded Knee, South Dakota to draw attention to the 1890 massacre. Though the federal government failed to keep many of the promises that ended the siege, the event succeeded in bringing to the world's attention the desperate conditions of Indian reservation life. World Premiere

The Yes Men Fix the World / France/ USA (Directors: Andy Bichlbaum, Mike Bonanno and Kurt Engfehr)-A pair of notorious troublemakers sneak into corporate events disguised as captains of industry, then use their momentary authority to expose the biggest criminals on the planet. World Premiere


Park City at Midnight

The Carter / USA (Director: Adam Bhala Lough)-An in-depth, intimate look at the artist Dwayne "Lil' Wayne" Carter Jr., proclaimed by many as the "greatest rapper alive" World Premiere



Lunch Break/Exit / USA(Director: Sharon Lockhart)-Lunch Break and Exit yield from Lockhart's timely new film and photographic series about the bleak state of US labor. In Lunch Break, a single tracking shot through a long corridor where workers take their lunch hour at the massive shipyard, Bath Iron Works in Maine, reveals how 42 workers spend their lunch break. In Exit, the frame constantly fills with teaming workers each day as they head for home after a long day's work.

O'er the Land / USA (Director: Deborah Stratman)-A meditation on our national psyche and the milieu of elevated threat, O'er the Land addresses gun culture, national identity, wilderness, consumption, patriotism and the possibility of personal transcendence.