Doc Fest 2010: Vanishing Bees, Sex Magic, and Sly Stone

Posted originally by Michael Hawley at film-415.blogspot.com.

For this year’s Doc Fest I only managed to preview three films on screener DVD, but they’re all recommended. Maryam Henein and George Langowrthy‘s The Vanishing of the Bees is the third documentary on honeybee Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) I’ve seen in the past six months. It’s at least as good as Queen of the Sun, which just screened at the Mill Valley Film Festival (my capsule review), though it’s less artsy and more thorough and sobering in its presentation of information – which is not to say it’s dry.

Jonathan Schell and Eric Liebman‘s Sex Magic is a sometimes embarrassingly intimate gaze at 50-year-old “Sacred Sexual Healer” Baba Dez and his “sexual shamen training center” in Sedona, Arizona. You might roll your eyes as these uniformly hot-looking healers carry on about their dakas and dakinis, yonis and lingams and tantric mantras, but there’s no doubting their intense sincerity. And yes, the film has nudity and nookie galore, but it’s rarely presented in a leering manner.

Finally, Dutch filmmaker Willem Alkema turns an obsession with Sly and the Family Stone into an exhaustive search for one elusive Mr. Sylvester Stewart in Coming Back For More. His reward – and ours – is the first filmed interview with Sly in more than 20 years. Alkema intercuts the story of his quest with terrific archival materials and interviews, tracking the band’s rise to fame right up through Sly’s career implosion and descent into reclusivity. The interview takes up the film’s final 15 minutes, with a surprisingly lucid Sly holding forth on many subjects, including his acquaintanceship with Doris Day. (To read this post in its entirety, click here)

Follow the jump to find out when these 3 films are playing next

The Vanishing of the Bees: Saturday, 10/23, 5pm and Tuesday, 10/26 7:15pm

Sex Magic: Friday, 10/22 9:30pm and Tuesday, 10/26 9:30pm

Coming Back For More: Thursday, 10/28 9:30pm

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Categories: Reviews

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