Every year, Rooftop closes out the summer with a festive night of short films about things coming to an end. In this year’s program, bronzed idols and guly felines and just about everything else fall to pieces. Perhaps they’ve all got the end-of-summer blues. Let’s not spend any time bemoaning past mistakes or missed opportunities, it’s not time for “should haves” or “would haves.” It’s time for some late-summer, life lessons, like How To Live With Regret, how to woo your babysitter, and what not to do when your friend is trapped in quicksand. The summer may be coming to a close, but without endings there would be no new beginnings.
A Night at the Garden
Marshall Curry | USA | 7
In 1939, 20,000 Americans rallied in New York’s Madison Square Garden to celebrate the rise of Nazism – an event largely forgotten from American history. A NIGHT AT THE GARDEN uses striking archival fragments recorded that night to transport modern audiences into this gathering and shine a light on the disturbing fallibility of seemingly decent people.
The Fall of Lenin
Svitlana Shymko | Ukraine | 11
An ironic documentary film about the farewell to the phantoms of the USSR in Ukraine. The spiritual session with the ghost of Lenin guides us through our past, present and future. The film presents the dawn and the twilight of idols, and the curious afterlife of history’s ghosts. It is inspired by laws adopted in 2015 by the parliament of Ukraine which condemn the Soviet totalitarian regime and ban the use of Communist symbols.
Jeremy Comte | Canada | 16
Set in a surface mine, two boys sink into a seemingly innocent power game with Mother Nature as the sole observer.
How to Live With Regret
John Wilson | USA | 9
A short tutorial on how to live a long life filled with regret.
I Was In Your Blood
Joseph Sackett | USA | 7
A young boy falls in love with his babysitter.
Nathan Kensinger | USA | 18
Faced with rising sea levels, three New York City neighborhoods are purchased by the government, to be demolished and permanently returned to nature. They are the first communities in the city to undergo a 'managed retreat' from the waterfront, in the face of climate change. Over the course of a year, seasons change, homes are destroyed, and wild animals begin to return, as the coastline of Staten Island is transformed.
Elizabeth Lo, R.J. Lozada | USA | 9
An annual bus service that takes children to visit their mothers in prison explores the impact of mass incarceration on a generation of youth.
Nikita Diakur | Germany | 12
An ugly cat struggles to coexist in a fragmented and broken world, eventually finding a soulmate in a mystical chief. Inspired by the internet story "Ugly the Cat."