This vital documentary showcase celebrates many of the year’s most important nonfiction works, all premiering for the first time in the Bay Area. The 2022 program focuses on the wondrous aspects of the human condition, exposing our vast capacity for change and creativity.
SFFILM Doc Stories
November 3-8, 2022
Vogue Theater, Castro Theatre and Streaming
With nine features and 12 short films, the program includes portraits of renowned individuals such as Louis Armstrong, Nan Goldin, former Governor Jerry Brown, and Robert Downey Sr., along with inspirational stories about the French Laundry’s original owner Sally Schmitt; the first female mayor in Afghanistan, Zarifa Gahfari; and a motley crew of Wisconsin-based flagmakers.
We will be joined in person by Academy Award-winning directors including Laura Poitras, Cynthia Wade, and Ben Proudfoot, along with multi-hyphenate Sacha Jenkins, and Iron Man himself: Robert Downey Jr.
2022 In-Person Program
Opening Night: Jerry Brown: The Disrupter
Thu, Nov 3 at 7:00 pm | Vogue Theatre
Governor Jerry Brown has had a storied political life, and Marina Zenovich’s tremendous portrait of him captures the highs and lows, augmented by present-day interviews with her protagonist.
Shorts Block: New York Times Op-Docs
Fri, Nov 4 at 5:00 pm | Vogue Theatre
Op-Docs is the New York Times’ award-winning series of short-form documentaries by independent filmmakers. Always a Doc Stories highlight, this year’s selection explores the history behind the French Laundry, Mardi Gras traditions, and more.
Centerpiece: All the Beauty and the Bloodshed
Fri, Nov 4 at 8:00 pm | Vogue Theatre
Winner of the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, this complex exploration of a singular artist’s life, work, and perseverance is impossible to forget. When addiction to OxyContin threatens her life, Nan Goldin turns her piercing attention to the Sackler family, owners of Purdue Pharma and profiteers of the opioid crisis.
Sansón and Me
Sat, Nov 5 at 12:30 pm | Vogue Theatre
Bay Area filmmaker Rodrigo Reyes reimagines the framework for documentary reenactments with this powerful story of a young man whose life is irretrievably altered by the carceral system.
Lakota Nation vs. United States
Sat, Nov 5 at 3:00 pm | Vogue Theatre
The Black Hills in South Dakota are sacred land to the Lakota people. Long desired by the American government for its resources, this territory remains vital to the Oyate.
In Her Hands
Sat, Nov 5 at 6:00 pm | Vogue Theatre
Zarifa Ghafari is one of the few women ever elected to government in Afghanistan. With grit and determination, she strives to shift perspectives in a patriarchal society.
All That Breathes
Sat, Nov 5 at 8:30 pm | Vogue Theatre
Beautifully attuned to poetic detail in word, sound, and visual presentation, this Sundance prizewinner tells the story of two Muslim brothers who have spent most of their lives tending to injured animals, particularly black kites.
Mickey: The Story of a Mouse
Sun, Nov 6 at 10:30 am | Vogue Theatre
Walt Disney famously stated that “it all started with a mouse.” Director Jeff Malmberg has put together a loving tribute to one the most recognizable icons of all time. Malmberg presents Mickey’s legacy as being rooted at the forefront of art and culture throughout his life.
Shorts Block: Human Exposure
Sun, Nov 6 at 1:00 pm | Vogue Theatre
Featuring animation, essays, claymation, found footage, and archival work, each piece contemplates the fragility of life as exposed by film. This eclectic group of joyous shorts uses immersive, kinetic visuals to take a fresh look at the human condition around the world.
Special Castro Theatre Event w/ Robert Downey Jr.
Closing Night: “Sr.”
With special guest Robert Downey Jr.
Sun, Nov 6 at 3:00 pm | Castro Theatre
This loving portrait of filmmaker Robert Downey Sr. captures his life and body of work in its uncompromising singularity. Conversations are deftly juxtaposed with clips from several of Sr.’s films, including his beloved, must-see satirical masterpiece Putney Swope (1969).
Free Community Screening
Community Screening: Louis Armstrong’s Black & Blues
Sun, Nov 6 at 4:00 pm | Vogue Theatre | Free Screening
Louis Armstrong is rooted in our collective memory as a legend, but few understood the man. Viewed by his contemporaries as a sellout for white audiences, Armstrong is also considered to be one of the greatest musicians of all time who left an indelible mark on the art of jazz.
FREE – RSVP
2022 Streaming Program
Not able to join us in person? A selection of the titles included in the Doc Stories program is available to stream Nov 8 and Nov 9.
BROWSE THE STREAMING PROGRAM