Yes, the Mill Valley Film Festival caters to the moneyed crowd living the good life in Marin County. But festival programmers Mark Fishkin and Zoe Elton have never flinched from challenging their audience with tales from less privileged corners of the world. Todays lineup alone includes Katyn, master director Andrzej Wajdas deeply personal recounting of the Soviet massacre of 15,000 Polish POWs (including his father) in 1940. Indie fave Kelly Reichardt (Old Joy) graces us with Wendy and Lucy, starring Michelle Williams as a lonely blue-collar gal desperately searching for her lost dog. Everybody talks about the destruction of the rainforest, but East Bay-by-way-of-Brazil filmmaker Denise Zmekhol returned after 15 years to document the changes in the heart-stopping Children of the Amazon. Theres much, much more, capped by tonights tribute to writer-director Paul Schrader, who scripted Taxi Driver (and three other Scorsese films) and wrote and directed American Gigolo and Affliction. The program includes Adam Resurrected, his latest study of guilt, morality, and empathy, featuring Jeff Goldblum as a Holocaust survivor in an Israeli mental institution circa 1960. Affluence does not necessarily breed indifference.
Oct. 4-12, 12:30 p.m., 2008