Aspen Filmfest 2016: Critic’s Picks |

Aspen Filmfest 2016: Critic’s Picks

'Seven Songs for a Long Life'
Courtesy photo |

Twenty new features, foreign films and documentaries are on the docket for the 38th annual Aspen Filmfest with screenings in Aspen at the Wheeler Opera House and in Carbondale at the Crystal Theatre through Sunday, Sept. 25.

These are some of the anticipated highlights:

‘Seven Songs for a Long Life’

Aspen: Thursday, Sept. 22, 2:30 p.m.

Six patients and one singing nurse in a Scottish hospice turn to song as they grapple with terminal illness in a tender and surprisingly funny portrait of how we face death. Director Amy Hardie served as filmmaker in residence at the Strathcarron Hospice in rural Scotland, which allowed her to craft an intimate portrait that may reshape how you think about death.


‘Accidental Courtesy: Daryl Davis, Race & America’

Aspen: Friday, Sept. 23, noon

Carbondale: Saturday, Sept. 24, 5:30 p.m.

Bold R&B musician Daryl Davis travels the U.S. confronting members of the Ku Klux Klan, asking them how they can hate him without knowing him in a vital documentary that stares down American bigotry. The film won a special jury award at the SXSW Film Festival.


‘Gun Runners’

Aspen: Friday, Sept. 23, 2:30 p.m.

Carbondale: Friday, Sept. 23, 5:30 p.m.

A complex and immersive profile of two Kenyan men who give up their guns for a chance to train as competitive runners, this documentary – shot over eight years – is a revelatory look at the long journey to get to the starting line. The movie has its U.S. premiere in Aspen.



Aspen: Friday, Sept. 23, 8:15 p.m.

Jena Malone and Riley Keough give extraordinary, though subtle, performances in this perceptive and restrained drama from director So-yong Kim. The film, which premiered at Sundance in January, quietly dissects the complicated emotional relationship between two 20-somethings as they stumble into adulthood.


‘The Salesman’

Aspen: Saturday, Sept. 24, 8:15 p.m.

Carbondale: Sunday, Sept. 25, 5:15 p.m.

Winner of two awards at Cannes and Iran’s nominee for the Best Foreign Film Oscar, this revenge tale and psychological thriller is the latest from acclaimed director Asghar Farhadi, who Filmfest programmer Rachel Chanoff calls “one of the most exciting directors of this generation.”

— Andrew Travers

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