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Salem Film Fest 2017

Colorful Characters

MATTRESS MEN

Friday, March 3,


WRESTLING ALLIGATORS

Controversial James E. Billie, alligator wrestler, Vietnam veteran, folk singer and half-white Seminole Indian chairman, created Indian gaming and an instant jackpot for his impoverished tribe.

THE MAN WHO SAW TOO MUCH

Is Mexican tabloid photographer Enrique Metinides, obsessed with hyper-violent crime scenes and accidents, a journalist, paparazzi or artist? A fascinating biography of a complex man.

THE HAPPY FILM

A successful graphic designer chronicles his efforts to redesign his personality through controlled experiments with meditation, therapy and drugs that don’t go as planned.

TICKLING GIANTS

Bassem Youssef launches an Egyptian “The Daily Show” during the Arab Spring and endangers life and livelihood when the Morsi regime doesn’t appreciate his jokes. A film about free speech, censorship and “democracy”.

MATTRESS MEN

A sixty-something mattress salesman becomes a local celebrity as “Mattress Mick”, the tacky YouTube persona his friend creates in an attempt to breathe new life into his failing business.

Saturday, March 4,


KARL MARX CITY

A filmmaker pulls back the iron curtain on her East German hometown to uncover the truth about her father’s suicide and his rumored Stasi (secret police) connections in a chilling look at oppression and surveillance.

GOD KNOWS WHERE I AM

A homeless woman’s body and her diary are found in an abandoned New Hampshire farmhouse. As her identity unfolds, a system that fails to protect those who cannot protect themselves is revealed.

STRAD STYLE

A rural Ohio dreamer with an obsession for 'Stradivari' and all things violin, through the magic of social-media, convinces a famous European concert violinist that he can make a copy of the most famous and valuable violin in the world.

LEAGUE OF EXOTIQUE DANCERS

Eight unforgettable Burlesque Hall of Fame inductees share the good, the bad and the ugly about the golden age of stripping with bawdy good humor and moving insight.

Sunday, March 5,


SHORTS BLOCK 1

A collection of short documentary films.

ZIMBELISM

Remarkable tales from the darkroom on Marilyn Monroe, JFK and others from one of the last working elders of street photography, humanist photographer George S. Zimbel.

SHORTS BLOCK 2

A collection of short documentary films.

THE GROWN-UPS

A compassionate glimpse into the lives of Down Syndrome adults who long for more independence and challenge than they have working in the bakery at the school they’ve attended for decades.

WINTER AT WESTBETH

A year in the lives of three longtime residents of a New York West Village artist community as they pursue their creative passions well into their 70s, 80s and 90s.

THE PEACEMAKER

In the heart of the world's most intractable conflicts, Cambridge, Massachusetts resident Padraig O'Malley tries to broker peace using the unorthodox methods and dogged determination he discovered while battling his own addictions.

Tuesday, March 7,


FOREVER PURE

The owner of the only Israeli football team never to have signed an Arab player sparks a catastrophic battle between the team leadership and its right-wing, racist fans when he hires two Muslim players from Chechnya.

HOW TO BUILD A TIME MACHINE

Fixated on H.G. Wells’ “The Time Machine”, two men dedicate their lives to building a real life time machine to recapture memories and conquer time.

Wednesday, March 8,


SNOW MONKEY

A vivid and startling portrait of war-damaged children and their street gangs in Jalalabad, Afghanistan by the renowned artist and filmmaker George Gittoes.