Now Streaming

VIRTUAL CINEMA SCREENINGS

Although the Downing Film Center is now open, we will continue to offer films that you can stream from home. Scroll down for information about the films currently available for streaming.

A portion of each ticket purchase will go to the Downing, but you must purchase your ticket via the links in our eNews or on this website. Click HERE for additional information about our virtual cinema program.


Through Thu, Jan 13

How They Got Over

NR | 1h 27m | In English | Documentary/Music
Watch Trailer Here

How They Got Over tells the story of how Black gospel quartet music became a primary source of what would be known as rock and roll, and in the process helped to break down racial walls in mid-twentieth century America. Beginning in the 1920s, Black singers across the country took to the highways as the new technology of radio and records made it possible to reach a wider audience. Intense competition brought new ways to entertain, first with guitars, later with full bands, then with a performance style that would inspire Mick Jagger and a host of other rock and rollers. Their music was infectious, wrecking many a house on the chittlin’ circuit, then graduating in the 40s and 50s to the Apollo and other major auditoriums across the country. The success of gospel quartets inspired record labels to form “doo-wop” groups that enticed gospel singers like Sam Cooke, Lou Rawls and Wilson Pickett to cross over to greater fame. How They Got Over features classic performance footage of the Soul Stirrers, Dixie Hummingbirds, Blind Boys of Alabama and Mississippi, Sensational Nightingales, Mighty Clouds of Joy, Highway QCs, Davis Sisters, Sister Rosetta Tharpe and many more. Some of the greatest names in quartet music are interviewed, giving vivid accounts of how they “got over” in their performances: shouting, bending over backwards, dancing, jumping off the stage — what came to be known as “gospel drama.” In capturing their story, the film celebrates the spirit of gospel performers and how they helped usher in a musical revolution that changed the world forever.

—First Run Features

The film offers great history and greater music.

Boston Globe

Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy

NR | 2h 1m | In Japanese with English Subtitles Drama/Romance | Watch Trailer Here

Three women deal with the problems of modern relationships in different situations. A young woman’s friend falls in love with her ex, while a bitter student asks his lover to trap his professor. Lastly, two old friends meet again after 20 years.

—Film Movement

Critic’s Pick: A poignant, sometimes piercing triptych of tales, each one predicated on chance encounters and romantic possibilities, it finds Hamaguchi in playful, beguiling and quietly affecting form.

—Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times

Fri, Jan 7–Thu, Jan 13

Hive

NR | 1h 24m | Drama
In Albanian with English Subtitles
Watch trailer here

Hive is a searing drama based on the true story of Fahrije (Yllka Gashi), who, like many of the other women in her patriarchal village, has lived with fading hope and burgeoning grief since her husband went missing during the war in Kosovo. In order to provide for her struggling family, she pulls together the other widows in her community to launch a business selling a local food product. Finding healing and solace in considering a future without their husbands–but their will to begin living independently is met with hostility. The men in the village condemn Fahrije’s efforts to empower herself and the women around her, starting a feud that threatens their newfound sovereignty—and the financial future of Fahrije’s family. Against the backdrop of Eastern Europe’s civil unrest and lingering misogyny, Fahrije and the women of her village join in a struggle to find hope in the face of an uncertain future. Hive is a pithy, devastating portrait of loss and our uphill journeys to freedom.

—Zeitgeist Films

Hive builds a strong storyline around the self-reliance and determination of an uneducated country woman, played with glammed-down but riveting cool by a granite-faced Yllka Gashi.

—Deborah Young, Hollywood Reporter

Fri, Jan 7–Thu, Jan 13

Joy Womack: The White Swan

NR | 1h 30m | Documentary | In English
Watch trailer here

The film follows several years in the life of Joy Womack, the first American to graduate from the Bolshoi Ballet Academy’s main training program, and the first American woman to sign a contract with the Bolshoi Ballet. Joy grew up in a typical American family. She always wanted to be a ballet dancer and moved to Russia when she was 15 to follow her dream. Without a word of Russian, not completely fit for the physical requirements of Russian ballet dancers, Joy shows her strength and dedication to ballet and accomplishing her dreams. We follow Joy’s personal and professional life: from her daily challenges, injuries, performances to becoming a ballet dancer with Bolshoi Theatre group and then prima ballerina of Kremlin Ballet, where she has performance of her lifetime — Swan Lake, before closing this chapter of her life and leaving Russia to pursue new opportunities.

—Film Movement

As a movie about the human spirit, the documentary is powerful and recognizable in that we all have a dream, and it takes time and effort to fulfill any dream, as demonstrated by Joy Womack’s perseverance.

—Andrew Stover, Film Threat

Fri, Jan 14–Thu, Jan 20

The Capote Tapes

NR | 1h 38m | Documentary | In English
Watch trailer here

Answered Prayers was meant to be Truman Capote’s greatest masterpiece, an epic portrait of New York’s glittering jet-set society. Instead, it sparked the downfall of the iconic author of Breakfast at Tiffany’s and In Cold Blood. Through never-before-heard audio archives and interviews with Capote’s famous friends and infamous enemies, The Capote Tapes reveals the rise and fall of one of America’s most influential writers and public figures.

—Greenwich Entertainment

This well-constructed film effectively highlights the key points of the Southern-born icon’s singular, often troubled life and proves a vivid, enjoyable portrait of a one-of-a-kind provocateur.

—Gary Goldstein, Los Angeles Times

Fri, Jan 14–Thu, Jan 20

Love It Was Not

NR | 1h 26m | Documentary
In Hebrew with English Subtitles
Watch trailer here

A young Jewish woman named Helena Citron is taken to Auschwitz, where she develops an unlikely romantic relationship with Franz Wunsch, a high-ranking SS officer. Thirty years later, a letter arrives from Wunsch’s wife asking Helena to testify on Wunsch’s behalf. Faced with an impossible decision, Helena must choose. Will she help the man who brutalized so many lives, but saved hers?

—Greenwich Entertainment

The result of long years of research, Love It Was Not is remarkable not only for its unusual central story and unique creative execution, but also for its extensive eyewitness testimonies.

—Alissa Simon, Variety