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#MFF2015: 11 must-see documentaries at the Milwaukee Film Festival

With the film festival already underway, there are still hundreds of films to to see including 59 documentaries.  I’m a huge documentary fan and I thought I share the 11 must-see documentaries at this year’s Milwaukee Film Festival. The following documentaries are inspiring, informative and powerful tales of the human spirit.

1. A Ballerina’s Tale

A moving a film about the first African American woman to be promoted to principal dancer of the American Ballet Theater, Misty Copeland.  The film, directed by Nelson George, not only tells the story about Misty’s rise to stardom, but deals with racial and gender issues in the arts. 

Friday, Oct 2 | 7pm | Fox-Bay Cinema

Sunday, Oct 4 | 4:15pm | Downer Theatre

2. The Black Panthers: Vanguard of The Revolution

A very timely film that looks at the rise and fall of The Black Panther Party through the eyes of various footage and interviews.  The issues that the Black Panther party dealt with in the late 60s and 70s are still issues that we deal with today.  

Monday, Oct 5 | 7pm | Times Cinema


3. 30 Seconds Away: Breaking The Cycle

The film examines the issue of homelessness in Milwaukee in a very personal way. The film looks at the problem through the eyes of the homeless, the police and the justice system.

Tuesday, Sept 29 | 6:30pm | Oriental Theatre

Friday, Oct 2 | 3:30pm | Times Cinema

Tuesday, Oct 6 | 9:45pm | Avalon Theater

4. Breaking A Monster

The film tells the story of a the teenage metal band Unlocking the Truth. Comprised of three African-American boys, Unlocking the Truth became a viral sensation from a video of them performing in Times Square.  Breaking a Monster follows the youth’s burgeoning musical career and the stress that goes with it. 

Wednesday | Sept 30 | 3:45pm | Downer Theatre

Saturday, Oct 3 | 1pm | Downer Theatre

Monday, Oct 5 | 9:45pm | Avalon Theater

5. The Glamour & The Squalor

There are only a few DJs in the world that really matter and Seattle’s Marco Collins is one of them.  Collins is the subject of this documentary.  A Rock N’ Roll Hall of Famer that broke bands like Beck, Nirvana, Death Cab For Cutie, Prodigy and others.  The film not only look at his impact on music but his issues with drugs and his sexuality.

Friday, Oct 2 | 9:15pm | Avalon Theater

Sunday,  Oct 4 | 7pm | Oriental Theater

6. Station to Station

STATION TO STATION is a cross-country journey divided into 62 individual one-minute films, featuring an ever-mutating landscape of artists, places, and perspectives that all converge in this wild panoply of artistic expression. Be it Beck performing alongside a gospel choir in the Mojave Desert or other performers such as Cat Power, Thurston Moore, William Eggleston, or Kenneth Anger, this documentary is a must-see for fans of music and art alike, an amazing cross-section of people and places.

Saturday, Oct 3 | 10:15 PM | Fox Bay Cinema

Sunday, Oct 4 | 4pm | Oriental Theatre

Thursday, Oct 8 | 1 PM | Downer Theatre

7. King Georges

The film is not only about amazing food, but it is about true passion for an art and the struggle to keep that art alive. King Georges tells the story of French chef Georges Perrier and his attempt to keep himself and his 40-year-old restaurant, Le Bec-Fin in Philadelphia, relevant in a fast-changing culinary world.

Saturday, Oct 3 | 6:15pm | Oriental Theatre

Sunday, Oct 4 | 4pm | Avalon Theater


8. Old Fashioned: The Story of Wisconsin Supper Club w/ Tale of The Spotted Cow

Being a transplant, I have never understood the relationship between Wisconsin and the supper club. This film looks at the history  of this uniquely local tradition.  The film will be screened with Tale of The Spotted Cow, which is about rise of New Glarus Brewery.

Monday, Oct | 10pm | Times Cinema

9. Landfill Harmonic

A beautiful story about making something truly amazing out of nothing but trash. The film follows the members of Paraguay’s Recycled Orchestra of Cateura, who have forged all of their musical instruments out of repurposed goods from the massive landfill that looms over their neighborhood.  It is a truly inspiring story about hope and determination.

Thursday, Oct 1 | 1pm | Oriental Theatre

Saturday, Oct 3 | 7pm | Avalon Theater

Wednesday, Oct 7 | 4:15pm | Avalon Theater


10. Romeo is Bleeding

An inspirational story about spoken word artists using art to transform lives and to provide an alternative to the violence that is happening in their community via an adaptation of Shakespeare’s classic Romeo and Juliet. 

Friday, Oct 2 | 12:30pm | Times Cinema

Saturday, Oct 3 | 2:30pm | Oriental Theatre

Thursday, Oct 8 | 1pm | Times Cinema

11. He Named Me Malala

This is a story of courage and passion.  The film follows Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai, who was attacked by the Taliban for going to school.  Not only Malala recovered, she went on a crusade for advocating for girls education. 

Thursday, Oct 1 | 4:15pm | Downer Theatre




HYFIN Program Director | Radio Milwaukee