2023 at Tribeca

The 21st Tribeca Film Festival kicked off on June 7th. The New York City cinema gathering spools a mixture of indie and mainstream titles. What I like about this festival is the slick production values of entries or debut directors can have well-known performers.

I do not review Marvel films because Superhero works are review proof and I have nothing to add to the conversation. With that in mind, I was hesitant about viewing David Gelb’s STAN LEE is an extremely pleasant documentary on the visionary comic book creator of Spiderman, Hulk, Thor, Ironman, to name a few. Just to go to a local movie theater, certainly one of his creatures is playing on the big screen.

Putting the hero worshiping aside, the dark side of the film shows a man naive when it came to the business of intellectual property. Secondly, sharing creative credit with colleagues Jack Kirby and Steve Kirby placed a cloud on his some creations. What is the expression, “Success has many Fathers”. Lee’s other talent was his uncanny way of self branding to all the super human characters. Even up to his death in 2018 at 95, Stan made numerous cameos in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Shifting to a more series tone, RATHER, or the film on the life of journalist Dan Rather. To a generation, Rather was the epitome of journalism and news. From his stories covering Civil Rights, embedded in Vietnam, White House chief correspondent during the Nixon Years, 60 Minutes and the CBS evening news anchor, the Texas native had embraceable credentials becoming a voice of reference for two generations.

Tribeca Rather

Frank Marshall getting to the root of what makes a great journalist, shaped by many of 20th centuries biggest events. What resonates today is the level of past professional competence along with assurance missing in today’s 24-hour branded news cycle or YouTube commentators.

I have watched other films dealing with climate change and its affects on the impoverished. Utamar from Bolivia and Pepples from India told stories of environmental desperation. This year, BETWEEN THE RAINS from Kenya caught me off guard. I wasn’t looking for but thankfully found this documentary.

Tribeca Between the Rains

Directors Andrew H. Brown and Moses Thuranira document the life of a young sheep shepherd facing deadly conflicts in a world of either prey and predator. Kolei dreams of another life, but is trapped by one of encroaching violence because of a lasting drought. The striking landscape shot by Brown doesn’t disguise a sense of growing unease for the principal characters or the viewers.

Stay tuned for more coverage

Tribeca Film Festival runs until June 18th.

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