Upon opening the door to my apartment in Saint Petersburg, I am suddenly and completely blinded by golden light. An instant later, the bright rectangle dashes away from my face and, in a quick jolt, describes the edges of the bare hallway with its peeling stucco and an oval of a mirror.
Bernardo Ruiz’s 2012 documentary Reportero centers on the independent Mexican investigative news magazine Zeta, whose reporters were increasingly the targets of violent attacks from the cartels. Shortly before the documentary began shooting, two of Zeta’sreporters had been murdered. The film portrays the difficulty and profound risk involved in trying to do standard investigative journalism in present-day Mexico.
Leslie Thornton’s Peggy and Fred in Hell (19832013) begins with a close-up shot of vocal folds, whipping back and forth as if in the wind. It’s an announcement, not only of the tone of the film to follow, but of one of the themes that will occupy the entire Flaherty NYC Fall 2015 season.