Strand screens its Short List

Dec 28, 2012
“Chasing Ice,” which closed the 2012 Camden International Film Festival, will be screened Sunday afternoon, Jan. 6 at Rockland’s Strand Theatre.

Rockland — With award season fast approaching, Strand staffers have mined the Academy’s shortlist of the 15 best Documentary Films of 2012 to present a special program of the year’s finest nonfiction filmmaking Sundays in January and February. From well-known titles to new discoveries, there is certain to be something for everyone, documentary enthusiasts or not, on the Strand’s Short List. Tickets are $8.50, $7.50 for students and senior citizens.

The first film will be “Chasing Ice” Sunday, Jan. 6 at 3:30 p.m. at the Strand Theatre, 345 Main St. “Chasing Ice “is the story of one man’s mission to change the tide of history by gathering undeniable evidence of our changing planet. In 2005, photographer James Balog conceived the boldest expedition of his life: The Extreme Ice Survey. With a band of young adventurers in tow, Balog began deploying revolutionary time-lapse cameras across the brutal Arctic to capture a multi-year record of the world’s changing glaciers.

On Jan. 13 at 3:30 p.m., “The Central Park Five,” co-directed by Ken Burns, his daughter Sarah Burns and David McMahon, will be screened. In 1989, five black and Latino teenagers were arrested and charged for brutally attacking and raping a white female jogger in New York City’s Central Park. News media swarmed the case, calling it the crime of the century. The truth about what really happened did not become clear until after the five had spent years in prison for a crime they did not commit. With “The Central Park Five,” this story of injustice finally gets the telling it deserves.

“The House I Live In,” screened Jan. 20 at 3:30 p.m., captures heart-wrenching stories from individuals at all levels of America’s War on Drugs. From the dealer to the grieving mother, the narcotics officer to the senator and the inmate to the federal judge, the film offers a penetrating look inside America’s longest war — a definitive portrait revealing its profound human rights implications.

On Jan. 27 at 3:30 p.m., “How to Survive A Plague” chronicles an improbable group of young people who, faced with their own mortality, broke the mold as radical warriors taking on Washington and the medical establishment. This film is the story of two coalitions — ACT UP and TAG (Treatment Action Group) — whose activism turned AIDS from a death sentence into a manageable condition. With unfettered access to a trove of never-before-seen archival footage from the 1980s and '90s, filmmaker David France puts viewers smack in the middle of the controversial actions, the heartbreaking failures and the exultant breakthroughs of heroes in the making. This film is co-presented with the Camden International Film Festival.

“The Waiting Room,” screened Feb. 3 at 3:30 p.m., is a character-driven documentary film that uses extraordinary access to go behind the doors of an American public hospital struggling to care for a community of largely uninsured patients. The film, which uses a blend of cinema verité and characters' voiceover, offers a raw, intimate and even uplifting look at how patients, staff and caregivers each cope with disease, bureaucracy and hard choices. The ER waiting room serves as the grounding point for the film, capturing in vivid detail what it means for millions of Americans to live without health insurance.

The series will conclude Sunday, Feb. 17 at 3:30 p.m. with “Detropia.” Detroit's story has encapsulated the iconic narrative of America over the last century — the Great Migration of African Americans escaping Jim Crow; the rise of manufacturing and the middle class; the love affair with automobiles; the flowering of the American dream; and now, the collapse of the economy and the fading American mythos. With a vivid, painterly palette and haunting score, “Detropia” sculpts a dreamlike collage of a grand city teetering on the brink of dissolution.

For more information on all upcoming live concerts, films, HD broadcasts, and events at the Strand, visit; call 594-0070, ext. 5; or send email to

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115 or

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