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Jan
20
    

PARK CITY, Utah — The talking heads in some documentaries at the Sundance Film Festival are not just real people recollecting real events.

Some are actors, recruited by the directors to help put human faces and voices to events lost in time, for which the filmmakers would have had to rely on static old photographs or artist sketches accompanied by narration to relate a story for which no video record exists.

The opening-night film Thursday at the 11-day festival, “Chicago 10,” uses a voice cast including Nick Nolte, Roy Scheider, Mark Ruffalo, Jeffrey Wright, Liev Schreiber and Hank Azaria for clever animated sequences that recreate the bedlam of the trial of anti-war demonstrators accused of inciting violence at the 1968 Democratic National Convention.

“Nanking,” a study of the brutal Japanese occupation of the Chinese city in 1937, employs powerful performances by Woody Harrelson, Mariel Hemingway and others reciting from letters, journals and other accounts of people who lived through the invasion.

“Strange Culture” features Tilda Swinton, Thomas Jay Ryan and other actors in dramatized segments of events that led to the arrest of a University of Buffalo professor on suspicion of bioterrorism.

“Chicago 10″ director Brett Morgen had endless archival footage of street protests and defendants such as Jerry Rubin and Abbie Hoffman discussing the events in public. What he lacked was a way to incorporate the trial, until he came across a comment from Rubin that the courtroom saga was a cartoon show.

Read the full AP story.



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