Kaleidoscope from Contemporary America. Films by David Redmon and Ashley Sabin

This week, we present a retrospective of American documentary duo David Redmon and Ashley Sabin. Watch 5 of their films portraying the US in a global context until Sunday, November 29 for free!

David Redmon and Ashley Sabin like to mix contrasting styles while framing the variations in between fiction and nonfiction. They run their own production company Carnivalesque Films, screening their films at/in Sundance, SXSW, Toronto, Visions du Réel, Vienna, Tribeca, the Museum of Modern Art, Hot Docs, Human Rights Watch etc. David Redmon studied sociology; Ashley Sabin studied art history. The two filmmakers have made 7 feature-length documentaries together; we offer 5 of them for you to watch.

Downeast is a sympathetic portrait of global economic turmoil that features no straightforward villains. Redmon and Sabin shed new light on the trying task of putting America back to work. "All those daunting economic numbers that tabulate how many Americans are unemployed and how many factory jobs have been lost in the last 30 years can seem abstract until you run into a documentary like Downeast,“ wrote New York Times.

Night Labor follows Sherman Frank Merchant, a forty-six year old man during his transition from an independent and rugged clam digger by day to manning a factory at night. With his white smock, arsenal of knives, and signature black beret, Sherman performs the tasks of preparing and arranging tools for the day laborers who arrive to their 6am shift. Night Labor is a beautifully photographed story that fuses drama and tension in the mundane sensory experiences of work, ultimately relying on cinema’s most basic powerful elements: image and sound.

Winner of twenty-one national and international awards, Mardi Gras: Made in China, subtitled “Beads, Breasts, and Business: A Story of Globalization Gone Wild“, follows the path of Mardi Gras beads from the streets of New Orleans during Carnival – where revelers party and exchange beads for nudity – to the disciplined factories in Fuzhou, China – where teenage girls live and sew beads together all day and night. Blending curiosity with comedy, Mardi Gras: Made in China is the only film to explore how the toxic products directly affect the people who both make and consume them.

Invisible Girlfriend was described by The Boston Globe as “a surprising and profoundly compassionate road trip about an America struggling to get back on its feet“. Charles is in love with his invisible girlfriend, Joan of Arc, so he decides to ride his big red bicycle 400 miles from Monroe through rural Louisiana to find her in a New Orleans bar. Along the way, he encounters a farmer, a witch, a tin man, and a man who honors the dead. Working within the tradition of creative non-fiction, Invisible Girlfriend is a Southern tale that transcends literal interpretations of images in order to open up rich, loamy textures of humor and drama.

Kamp Katrina, an award winning cinéma vérité documentary, follows a small group of people who have taken refuge in a garden transformed into a tent city by an extraordinary New Orleans couple, Ms. Pearl and her husband, David. Kamp Katrina focuses on the dialectic between madness and hope in their pursuit of stability.

Selected films

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