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Saturday , October 19 2013
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Money and bikes

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Ever notice how documentary films and foreign films are regarded as a separate genre whatever the content? There are those who will seek out docus or foreign films no matter what subject or country is on display. Which is kind of cool considering that that’s exactly on the lineup for this weekend.

A couple of docs dealing with economics open Friday. Money For Nothing: Inside the Federal Reserve unwinds at the Edwards Grand Palace. Director Jim Bruce will be appearing in person for a Q&A on Friday October 11th after the 4:55 and 7:35 screenings, and after the 11:40 morning screening on Saturday October 12th.

Another doc, Inequality For All features the wit and wisdom of Robert Reich, currently a professor at UC, Berkeley, and former Secretary of Labor under Clinton. Reich met Clinton when both were at Oxford as Rhoads Scholars. Reich also served in the Ford and Carter administrations. Inequality For All hammers out Reich’s version of how the rich have gotten richer while everyone else is at the bottom of the wealth canyon.

Wadjda is from Saudi Arabia and literally represents the first film from a woman director in that country, which in itself certainly makes the curiosity factor high. There’s a lot of cultural customs on display that makes for an interesting time but don’t confuse this with something like The Patience Stone. Wadjda is a kid’s film pure and simple. Sony Pictures Classics doesn’t really do kid’s films (My Kid Could Paint That aside), they do art films. A little girl wants a bike but in her society little girls aren’t allowed to ride same. Little Wadjda must overcome the odds. The adults wear cool clothes that are loose and flowing. After a while I felt like I was watching an after school special.

Both Wadjda and Inequality For All open exclusively at the River Oaks Three. Another indie film Escape From Tomorrow, opening at the downtown Sundance (unseen at press time), has the marketing conceit that it was shot on the sly at Disney World.

- Michael Bergeron

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