Mercer Island’s Fall 2011 Documentary Film Series Starts This Friday, Oct. 7th

Free admission, parking and popcorn! How cool is that?!

The Mercer Island Fall 2011 Documentary Film Series will begin this Friday, October 7th, at 7:30 pm– it runs every Friday evening through November 18th.  Each film will be shown Aljoya Retirement Community.

This series’ theme is Economies of Scale: Interconnectedness and Isolation of People, Places, and Things. Along with each film showing, attendees will be able to participate in a Q & A session with Lance Rhoades, film historian and program director for the Mercer Island Arts Council Classics on Film Program. Rhoades will also provide commentary for each film.

Below is a list of the films in the series, with a brief description for each film. Enjoy!

The One Percent (a.k.a. Born Rich)(Jamie Johnson, 2006)
As he approaches his 21st birthday, an heir to the Johnson & Johnson fortune considers the role money has played in families with immense wealth. Through conversations with his father, the family lawyer, and several of his friends and acquaintances, the filmmaker provides rare insights into attitudes of people born into extreme privilege.
Date: Fri. October 7, 7:30pm

Inside Job (Charles Ferguson, 2010)
This winner of the 2011 Oscar for Best Feature Length Documentary is a penetrating investigation into the reasons for the collapse of global financial markets in 2008. Fervent in its approach, the film raises serious questions about the culpability of individuals who were never held accountable for their actions.
Date: Fri. October 14, 7:30pm

Food, Inc. (Robert Kenner, 2008)
As the agriculture industry has consolidated, questions have arisen about the safety and quality of the food supply. This documentary looks at current conditions in agribusiness, how they came to be, and what alternatives are being presented by individuals and companies.
Date: Fri. October 28, 7:30pm

The Gleaners & I (A French Film, Agnès Varda, 2000, France)
Director Varda, sometimes called the “Grandmother of the French New Wave,” here documents people who, by choice or necessity, live off the abundance of food regularly wasted by French farmers and consumers. A moving and poetic film, The Gleaners & I finds parallels between the scavengers she meets and Varda’s own work as a filmmaker. In French with subtitles. Co-sponsored by The Mercer Island Arts Council and The Mercer Island Sister City Association.
Date: Fri. November 4, 7:30pm

Waste Land (Lucy Walker, Karen Harley, João Jardim, 2010)
Vik Muniz grew up picking among the garbage of the world’s largest landfill near Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. After years as a successful artist, he returns to his childhood home to join the residents in an effort to turn garbage into art, and to turn their lives into something better.
Date: Fri. November 18, 7:30pm


  1. Went to the film “Born Rich (a.k.a. Born Rich)” on Friday evening and found it fascinating. Documentary film making is an art form that enables the viewer to peek into intimate real world situations; and when done well, can touch us on an emotional level that is different than fictional stories. Thanks so much for the post about this documentary series.

  2. You are very welcome! I think the mindset that documentary films are boring is created from a huge misconception. There are so many talented film makers who are working in the documentary genre.

    What was the most fasinating aspect of “Born Rich,” in your opinion?

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