Now we are getting to documentaries which actually might be good and not a waste of time, in the same sense that crab Louie might be good and nutritious. That is to say, yeah maybe but I'm just not feeling it right now.
But you might!
All of Me - Women wait by train tracks, passing food to young men emigrating to the US.
Boomtown: Remaking San Francisco - "How does our city deal with change?"
Experimenter - "inventive and playful biography of social psychologist Stanley Milgram" (contains Winona Ryder, who I hear steals the picture).
How to Smell a Rose: A Visit with Ricky Leacock in Normandy - Les Blank and his partner Gina Leibrecht visit another documentarian.
Isabella Rossellini's Green Porno Live! - This seems to be a movie of the stage show, with the director and Rossellini doing a Q&A. The program description is not clear.
Listen to Me Marlon - Marlon Brando doc, drawing on 300 hours of audio tape.
Love & Mercy - John Cusack plays Brian Wilson and Paul Giamatti plays his therapist. I'd actually see this in a heartbeat, but this will get major distribution so you can skip it at the festival.
Dreamcatcher - Former sex worker tells other sex workers "It's not your fault" (because sex is always bad).
Romeo Is Bleeding - Not the Gary Oldman movie, this is about adapting Romeo and Juliet to life in Richmond, CA.
T-Rex - Olympic women's boxing
Very Semi-Serious - "The world of The New Yorker's cartoons and cartoonists"
Before continuing, I should point out that movies are hard to make, and most movies st the SFIFF are at least decent. The reason for this progressive winnowing is that you simply can't see all the movies. It's not physically possible. And for most people, it's not psychically possible. My limit is about six.
So we must be ruthless. Movies which aren't fantastic and gripping must fall by the wayside. For example, documentaries where you can look up the end on Wikipedia:
3 1/2 Minutes - "The 'loud music' murder trial of Michael Dunn" (sentenced to life without parole)
Best of Enemies - "As the 1968 Democratic and Republican conventions were about to commence, ABC News, nestled at the bottom of the ratings, decided to try something a little different: They enlisted the arch novelist Gore Vidal and archconservative William F. Buckley Jr. to act as post-coverage commentators." (a feud began, they sued each other, and eventually died)
The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution - "Stanley Nelson [...] shines a light on the iconic Black Panther Party (BPP), charting its meteoric rise in the 1960s and its disintegration several years later" (doomed by murderous infighting and other illegal activity, the organization collapsed and now they make hot sauce)
Chef's Table - This is two episodes of a TV series which is literally on Netflix right now.
Democrats - "The transition to democracy from autocratic rule might seem impossible when the tyrant is actually still in power. Such was the position Zimbabwe found itself in after the elections of 2008, when President Mugabe's ZANU-PF party lost Parliamentary control to opposition party MDC." (Mugabe remains in power)
The Diplomat-"Richard Holbrooke-American diplomat, UN Ambassador, Assistant Secretary of State, Peace Corps official, professor, investment banker and author-died of heart failure on December 13, 2010." (Holbrooke remains dead)
A German Youth - "The legacy of Nazi Germany with its many adherents still in power provoked a fervent youth movement to question the very legitimacy of the State. From this rapidly spreading resistance, rose the Movement's most lethal offshoot, the Red Army Faction, or as the media was wont to call it, the Baader-Meinhof Gang." (many were killed; the remaining members dissolved the group and do not sell hot sauce)
Maidan - "Sergei Loznitsa's film is not a standard journalistic report about civil riots in Kiev's Maidan square." (The riots resulted in a revolution. Russia subsequently invaded and large parts of Ukraine are disputed territory)
Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine - "Oscar-winner Alex Gibneys fascinating documentary examines not only the man in the machine but also the world those machines created" (we now have smart watches with slightly better battery life than those made by Samsung and Sony)
Western - "Eagle Pass, Texas, and Piedra Negras, Mexico, sit across from one another, separated only by the Rio Grande." (they continue to do so)
What Happened, Miss Simone? - "Nina Simone was not your typical '60s diva. Although her music is often grouped with the greatest soul singers, in her early years, she really wanted nothing more than to be the first acknowledged female Black classical pianist." (Miss Simone is widely known as one of the greatest soul singers)