Holy Air isn’t entirely satirical, but the bone-dry wit is breathtaking. Pilgrims to Nazareth seek the lightness of spiritual transcendence, and Shady Srour contrasts them with residents weighed down by everyday catastrophes and paralyzing fears.
Mariam Shaar is a problem-solver – she has to be. After starting the catering company Soufra (it translates as something like “a bountiful dining table”) to provide work for refugee women, Shaar finds that the food industry offers more than sustenance.
The makers of Trafficked walk a fine line, embedding their advocacy in an action film and conveying the horror of sexual slavery without edging into exploitation. Director Will Wallace achieves this balance by emphasizing the inner lives of enslaved women even as the men who peddle them see them as meat.
Just as the Extraordinary Ordinary People he profiles have devoted themselves to keeping traditional art forms alive, folklorist Alan Govenar has dedicated himself to exalting their work in books and films. His knowledge and affection are contagious.
Danae Elon did go home again, to a Jerusalem she knew deeply and barely recognized. Her thoughtful documentary about relocating to Israel offers an intimate look at a family’s adjustment as well as the deep-seated conflicts between Jewish and Palestinian inhabitants of this ancient city.