Festival Notes: ‘For the Love of Docs’ 2020

It takes a certain kind of person to imagine a different world than the present one they’re living in.  Such seems to be the running theme found in the line-up of DEADLINE’s recent For the Love of Docs Film Festival—or, at the very least, in the couple of films this writer was able to catch.  An online festival celebrating the art of the documentary which ran from October 13 to December 15, its selection covers a wide-ranging breadth of captivating subjects—from a young teenage girl navigating the world with mentally-challenged parents (Wildflower), to the ever-changing, fast-paced world of artificial intelligence in (iHuman).  Two documentaries, House of Cardin and We Are the Radical Monarchs!, seem at first glance to be of two very disparate milieus: that of the glamorous, international stage of haute couture in the former and that of post-#BlackLivesMatter, intersectional-feminist-activism-by-way-of-Girl-Scout-Honor in the latter; both of which, through an intimate lens, focus on proactive visionaries eager to change the world around them in innovative ways.


House of Cardin (2019)

From the very beginning, the story of Pierre Cardin has been that of a visionary.  With a famous name attached to everything—from eyewear to menswear, to even retro-futuristic fashion and furniture and avant-garde theatre—the French-Italian designer defined modernity in an era that struggled with breaking from its past.  With House of Cardin, filmmakers P. David Ebersole and Todd Hughes sought to shed new light on the man behind the once-ubiquitous, eponymously-named brand.  Using a fun and snappy editing style, the film charts Cardin’s career trajectory from his early days at the House of Dior as one of many young up-and-comers learning the trade, to striking out as the creative director and head couturier of his own soon-to-be global brand.  The documentary succeeds not only in peeling back the layers behind the legendary designer’s creative processes, but also provides insight into his personal life, including his famous love affairs with Jeanne Moreau and André Oliver.  Ultimately, his greatest love was that of all kinds of art—that which caught the eye and touched the soul.


We Are The Radical Monarchs (2019)

Meanwhile, on the other side of the globe, a group of young girls from Oakland are making their own mark, enacting social change in their community and beyond.  Dubbing themselves the Radical Monarchs, the titular organization’s mission to educate and galvanize the next generation through activism bursts across the screen with a fervor to rival that of the many protests we see them participate in.  Directed by Linda Goldstein Knowlton, We Are The Radical Monarchs taps into the possibilities of a better and brighter future through the young, hopeful eyes of a new generation.


Images courtesy of IMDb.com and We Are The Radical Monarchs’ official Facebook page.