Annal: 2002 Academy Award® for Best Documentary Feature

Results of the Academy Award® in the year 2002.

Film:Murder on a Sunday Morning

Murder on a Sunday Morning

Jean-Xavier de Lestrade

The Academy Award-winning documentary Murder on a Sunday Afternoon, which originally aired on HBO as part of its America Undercover series, is a troubling look at modern police investigation that unfolds in a story as compelling and suspenseful as any fictional drama. French director Jean-Xavier De Lestrade’s intimate camerawork pulls viewers into the jury box to help decide the fate of 15-year-old Brenton Butler, a black resident of Jacksonville, Florida, who becomes the prime suspect in the shooting death of an elderly white woman simply because…

Film:Children Underground

Children Underground

Edet Belzberg

This astonishingly intimate documentary follows five homeless children in Romania, where the collapse of communism has led to a life on the street for 20,000 children. From a 16-year-old girl who runs her gang with a mixture of brutality and compassion, to a small, intelligent, and remarkably articulate 12-year-old boy, these children seem at first feral and frightening—yet over the course of the movie their loneliness, desperation, and glimpses of hope will transform how you perceive them. Make no mistake: this is difficult watching.…

Film:LaLee's Kin

LaLee's Kin: The Legacy of Cotton

Susan Frömke, Deborah Dickson

Lalee’s Kin takes us deep into the Mississippi Delta and the intertwined lives of LaLee Wallace, a great-grandmother struggling to hold her world together in the face of dire poverty, and Reggie Barnes, superintendent of the embattled West Tallahatchie School System. The film explores the painful legacy of slavery and sharecropping in the Delta.

62-year old LaLee Wallace is the lifeblood of this film. Matriarch to an extended family that moves in and out of her house, LaLee is a woman of contradictions and hope. “Could have been worse,” she says quietly, surveying the rat- and roach-infested trailer she has been granted through a government program after her own house was condemned.

Wallace grew up in a family of sharecroppers; she began picking cotton at the age of six, stopped attending school a few years later, and still cannot read. As happened throughout the South, sharecropping gave way to low-paid labor, but with the enforcement…[more]



B.Z. Goldberg, Justine Shapiro

Promises presents a powerful portrait of seven Palestinian and Israeli children who live in and around Jerusalem. As filmmaker B.Z. Goldberg, who was raised in Israel, notes, “They live no more than 20 minutes from each other, but they are each growing up in very separate worlds.” The children include Mahmoud, Shlomo, Sanabel, Faraj, Moishe, and twins Yarko and Daniel. With the exception of the latter, all are religious (the twins are the grandchildren of a Holocaust survivor). Most have strong political beliefs and have seen their share of tragedy—Faraj’s…

Film:War Photographer

War Photographer

Christian Frei

War Photographer is the compelling portrait of the man considered the bravest and most important war photographer of our time, James Nachtwey. The film has been in competition in 36 major international film festivals, played theatrically in over 50 cities and has 5 times won prizes for Best Film or Best Documentary.

Although he has won many prestigious photography awards, including Magazine Photographer of the Year several times, Nachtwey is still not well-known by name. Most people, however, would recognize his extraordinarily powerful images of the violence and suffering of wartime that have appeared in almost every major publication worldwide over the last two decades.

For over two years Swiss filmmaker Christian Frei follows Nachtwey around the world, uncovering compassionate and unsettling images from some of the most incendiary spots on the globe—the burning farmhouses of Kosovo, the homeless and hungry of Indonesia,…[more]

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