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Movies at the Olympia Film Society in April


Capitol Theater, 206 5th Avenue in downtown Olympia, WA, (360)754- 6670 or for further details



April 12 through April 25

Oscar-nominated Lincoln (winner for Best Actor, Daniel Day Lewis) is a fascinating portrait of our most iconic president as told by the renowned talent of director Steven Spielberg. Daniel Day-Lewis fully embodies the role of Lincoln in his final few months in office as he negotiates with fellow lawmakers on the landmark decision abolish slavery, while prolonging the devastation of the Civil War. This significant period in history is recreated with dramatic accuracy that draws the viewer into an essential time that made a crucial impact on the future of the country.


West of Memphis

April 27 through May 2

It has been a long road for the three wrongfully convicted individuals known as the West Memphis Three. Accused of the brutal murders of three eight-year-old boys, these three teenagers—Jason Baldwin, Jessie Misskelley Jr., and Damien Echols—were convicted largely on the basis of their outcast positions in their high school social structure. They were “goths.” The motive was Satanism. West of Memphis, featured at last year’s Sundance Film Festival and produced by Lord of the Rings mastermind Peter Jackson, travels deep into the details of this fascinating case, with unprecedented access to its principals.


Brother Outsider:

The Life of Bayard Rustin

Sunday April 7, 5:00 (one screening)

In 1963, Bayard Rustin was the chief organizer of the March on Washington where Martin Luther King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech. Even then Rustin had an impressive civil rights resume. He was a lifelong soldier in the battle for African-American rights, but he was also a gay man when his brothers and sisters in the struggle were not always sympathetic. Harassed and stigmatized by the fallout from an arrest in 1953, Rustin was vilified and ostracized as a “pervert” and worse. This documentary draws on the reflections of people who knew him and on an extensive store of oral interviews with Rustin conducted by the Columbia University Oral History Research Project. It also features excerpts from his FBI files and an investigation that bears the fingerprints of notorious FBI director J. Edgar Hoover.


Searching for Sugarman

April 22 – April 25

Winner of this year’s Academy Award for Best Documentary, Searching for Sugar Man is a captivating, music-filled mystery. Opening with the once-promising 1960s career of the musician known as Rodriguez, his semi-rise and subsequent fall from fame is explored, before his disappearance from the scene. Cut to South Africa in the 1970s and a majority of the country is suffering under Apartheid. Rodriguez’s truthful music has become a motivating force for those fighting against the unfair rules of the establishment. He is so popular he has sold more albums than The Beatles. But where is he now? Rumors of his death surface, but there is no proof. Roger Ebert calls the film “Miraculous and inspiring.”

Annual Environmental Film Festival

April 19, 20, & 21

A special event pass will be available or a separate admission for each film.


Last Call at the Oasis

Friday April 19 * 6:30 pm

Jessica Yu’s Last Call at the Oasis brings the issue of an impending shortage of drinkable water out of the vague “over there” of the developing world and right into not only our American backyards, but more importantly our kitchen faucets, right now. From Las Vegas to Midland, Texas, from California’s Central Valley to Michigan’s cattle yards, Oasis brings to vivid, horrifying light the impacts of water overuse in desert boom towns, carcinogen runoff from industrial plants, fecal toxins leaching into the groundwater, and the “Sophie’s Choice” situation faced by officials who must decide whether to preserve the irrigation that produces 25% of the United States’ food or an otherwise doomed marine ecosystem. Jessica Yu’s smartly constructed argument works less as a tutorial than as an infectiously impassioned call to arms.”


Power for the People

Friday April 19 * 9:00 pm

Is it possible for an entire community to live ‘off the grid’? Well, it is achievable and it’s happening in Tompkins County, New York. In Empowered: Power From the People, the feat that this East Coast town has accomplished is examined to understand how they did it, and how it could be possible for us all. Through pointed interviews with residents and city leaders, this informative documentary takes us behind the scenes to reveal how a small town that lives under a blanket of clouds for most of the year has managed to shed its dependence on fossil fuels and local power companies by using sustainable energy methods from wind and solar power to bio-diesel and geothermal energies.


The Moo Man

Saturday April 20 * 4:00 pm

The Moo Man is a documentary with an ingenious strategy for its fascinating look at the UK dairy industry, focusing on a memorable and unique figure, organic farmer Stephen Hook. Hook is determined to resist some of the worst trends of that industry, the ongoing consolidation leading to ever-larger entities controlling every aspect. Rather than hire teams of efficiency experts and consultants to modernize, Hook, a gentle soul, prefers to establish a more personal touch—both with the cows under his care, and with his customers. Hook is committed to making a better, more satisfying life for the former, and to making fresh, unpasteurized milk available for the latter. He names his cows, nurses them when they are injured, and frets over them continually. “The Moo Man [is] a charming documentary about a disarming farmer who is completely besotted with his cows who he hopes will save his farm’s future.”

Symphony of the Soil w/ director Deborah Koons Garcia Q & A

Saturday April 20 * 6:00 pm

We are all familiar with dirt, but how often do we stop to think about what it actually is? This documentary is not afraid to plunge its hands deep into rich loam, using the very idea of “soil” to tease open a vastly larger statement about the ecology and environment of this planet. “Drawing from ancient knowledge and cutting edge science, Symphony of the Soil is an artistic exploration of the miraculous substance. By understanding the elaborate relationships and mutuality between soil, water, the atmosphere, plants and animals, we come to appreciate the complex and dynamic nature of this precious resource. Filmed on four continents, featuring esteemed scientists and working farmers and ranchers, Symphony of the Soil is an intriguing presentation.


Who Bombed Judy Bari

Saturday April 20 * 9:00 pm

In 1990, environmental activists Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney were on their way to an Earth First! music festival when their car was bombed. This near-fatal incident resulted in extensive injuries for them both, with Bari and Cherney being falsely arrested for car-bombing themselves. In the documentary Who Bombed Judi Bari? this shocking case is explored in detail. Through archival news footage and interviews, including Bari, who died seven years after the bombing, we are given clues and evidence and suspicions behind this incident that happened many years ago, but still has not been solved. Telling the gripping story of dedicated environmental activists forced to fight against faceless corporate entities, Who Bombed Judi Bari? offers a $50,000 reward to anyone who can provide sufficient information in helping to solve this case. Frank Scheck of The Hollywood Reporter calls this film, “Tough and intriguingly well-told.”


Trashed — film w/ narration by Jeremy Irons

Sunday April 21 *2:30

Trashed is a vivid depiction of the alarming global problem of the accumulation of what humans throw away and how it’s never really gone. Acclaimed actor Jeremy Irons is your globetrotting host whose tour of indicative waste-overrun locales from Lebanon to Vietnam to Scandinavia and beyond becomes a highly personal awakening to authentic outrage. “Trashed provides enough gloomily grim material to sink the Rainbow Warrior – with no shortage of harrowing information, images, and prognostications…. And, given the scale of the unfolding ecological crisis, we can arguably never have too many cinematic reminders of the last-call state in which we’ve semi-inadvertently found ourselves.”

Bidder 70

Sunday April 21 * 5:00 pm

In 2008, Tim DeChristopher filed into an oil and gas leasing auction sponsored by the US Bureau of Land Management. He posed as Bidder #70 and he won access rights to 12 parcels of federal land, a total of 22,000 acres, for the price of $1.7 million. DeChristopher never had any intention of drilling nor was he remotely capable of raising the money to make good on his bid. Thus, enter the federal justice system and, eventually, this documentary, which tells the whole story of a unique and courageous act of civil disobedience. “Beth and George Gage’s Bidder 70 is a highly inspirational account of DeChristopher’s life since then, including his beliefs on climate change, his activist efforts to bring about necessary political changes to save the future of our planet, and his reflections on his indictment on two federal charges and the state of our democracy,” writes Kalvin Henely of The House Next Door website.

Note: Tim DeChristopher will be released from prison on April 20th, 2013 having served nearly 2 years in prison. Watch for a card you can sign for him in the lobby..


A Place At The Table with Thurston County Food Bank

Sunday April 21 * 7:30 pm

A Place at the Table explores the plight of hunger in America. The filmmakers put a face on this disheartening statistic. The film follows several of the 50 million people struggling with this reality. A working single mom whose ‘good’ job still doesn’t pay enough to let her feed her kids properly, and the children whose daily struggle with hunger takes a devastating toll on their young lives. A Place at the Table is a disarming look at a grim reality that has been too long ignored. 

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