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Three Participant Films at 2015 AFI DOCS

AFI Docs throws open 81 windows on stories both little and large

The Washington Post  – June 12, 2015

By Michael O’Sullivan

Documentaries open windows.

As the 2015 AFI Docs gets underway Wednesday night with a gala screening of “Best of Enemies” — an examination of the 1968 television debates between William F. Buckley Jr. and Gore Vidal — it’s clear from the slate of films that one of the ambitions of the documentary festival, now in its 13th year, is to illuminate fascinating subjects. Among the bold-face names profiled by the 81 short and feature-length films, which will be screened at the AFI Silver Theatre in Silver Spring and other venues around Washington, are Apple visionary Steve Jobs, singers Mavis Staples and Nina Simone, tennis pioneer Althea Gibson, writer and AIDS activist Larry Kramer and actor Marlon Brando.

But the festival, which runs through June 21, also shines light on less well-known subjects, including the circus elephant known as Tyke, who in 1994 mauled her trainer to death, opening a discussion about the abuse of performing animals. Read more here.