This year’s Sundance Film Festival adapted to the pandemic with finesse, rolling out an online slate that included 26 feature-length documentaries that could be streamed on a screen of your choice: a phone, laptop, even your living room TV via Chromecast, AirPlay or Wifi. A few satellite screenings around the United States gave cinephiles the opportunity to gather in person (largely outdoors). Most Sundance attendees interfaced online; virtual parties were a surprise hit of this year’s festival. Could networking as an avatar in a simulated karaoke bar be a harbinger of the future? More on that later. First, let’s get to two festival award-winning docs, Writing with Fire and Flee.
Writing with Fire
Premiering in the World Cinema Documentary section was Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh’s debut feature, Writing with Fire, which tells the story of Khabar Lahariya — translated as «News Wave» — India’s only female-run newspaper. A film with a subject like this could seem to tell itself; Women who speak truth to power in a media landscape dominated by men has, at its core, . . .
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