Docs at the Box

Friday 4 - Thursday 10 October 2013

Enjoy a special week of documentaries at the Music Box Theatre. These films have been painstakingly selected by Music Box Theatre Head Programmer Brian Andreotti as a very special opportunity to see interesting subject matter up on the big screen.

Among the many outstanding films the Music Box considers for programming each calendar are countless well-crafted and intriguing documentaries. These films are fascinating studies created by directors so committed to a cause, individual or event that they are driven to explore, in intense detail, their subject. Although we can’t show them all, in recent months we’ve received so many outstanding submissions that we’ve opted to screen as many of our favorites as possible in a week’s time. Voila! The Music Box Theatre is proud to present its first ever documentary film festival, Docs at the Box!


Friday, October 4th, 2013

  • 9:40pm: Informant

Saturday, October 5th, 2013

  • 2:00pm: Plimpton! Starring George Plimpton as Himself
  • 4:30pm: Shepard & Dark
  • 7:00pm: Trials of Muhammad Ali

Sunday, October 6th, 2013

  • 1:30pm: Anita: Speaking Truth to Power
  • 3:30pm: Bettie Page Reveals All
  • 5:45pm: Informant
  • 7:45pm: The Punk Singer
  • 9:45pm: Smash & Grab: The Story of the Pink Panthers

Monday, October 7th, 2013

  • 5:30pm: Plimpton! Starring George Plimpton as Himself
  • 7:30pm: Shepard & Dark
  • 9:30pm: My Father and The Man In Black

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

  • 5:30pm: My Father and The Man In Black
  • 7:30pm: Evocateur: The Morton Downey, Jr. Movie
  • 9:30pm: Bettie Page Reveals All

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

  • 5:30pm: Shepard & Dark
  • 7:30pm: Informant
  • 9:30pm: The Punk Singer

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

  • 5:30pm: Smash & Grab: The Story of the Pink Panthers
  • 7:30pm: Free the Mind
  • 9:45pm: Our Nixon


Tickets are $9.25
A Festival Pass (Good for use for all films in the festival) is $40. That’s a 60% discount!


  • Fri 4 Oct 2013, 9:40pm
  • Sun 6 Oct 2013, 5:45pm
  • Wed 9 Oct 2013, 7:30pm

Informant (2012)

directed by Jamie Meltzer

A gripping portrait of Brandon Darby, an activist turned FBI informant who has been alternately vilified and deified. Darby became an overnight hero when he traveled to Katrina-devastated New Orleans to rescue a friend stranded in the Ninth Ward. Soon after, he co-founded Common Ground, a grassroots relief organization. But he began hiding a shocking secret. After two protesters were arrested at the 2008 Republican National Convention, Darby revealed he had been instrumental in the indictment as an FBI informant.

The only film with access to Darby since his public confession, Informant meticulously constructs a picture of his life through interviews and tense reenactments.

  • Sat 5 Oct 2013, 2:00pm
  • Mon 7 Oct 2013, 5:30pm

Plimpton! Starring George Plimpton as Himself (2012)

directed by Tom Bean, Luke Poling in English

Plimpton! tells the story of writer, editor, amateur sportsman and friend to many, George Plimpton. Using Plimpton’s own narration – along with thoughts and stories from friends, family and contemporaries – the film is a joyful celebration of a life lived fully, richly, strangely, and, at times, a life that is hard to believe was actually lived by just one man.

  • Sat 5 Oct 2013, 4:30pm
  • Mon 7 Oct 2013, 7:30pm
  • Wed 9 Oct 2013, 5:30pm

Shepard & Dark (2012)

directed by Treva Wurmfeld starring Sam Shepard, Johnny Dark in English

Sam Shepard and Johnny Dark met in Greenwich Village in the early 1960s and, despite leading very different lives, remained close friends ever since. Shepard became a Pulitzer Prize winning playwright and an Academy Award-nominated actor, while Dark was a homebody who supported himself with odd jobs. Nevertheless, he and Dark wrote to each other, amassing hundreds of letters.

  • Sat 5 Oct 2013, 7:00pm

Trials of Muhammad Ali (2013)

directed by Bill Siegel starring Muhammad Ali in English

Chicago Sneak Preview! Filmmakers scheduled to appear! The Trials of Muhammad Ali covers the explosive crossroads of Ali’s life. When Cassius Clay becomes Muhammad Ali, his conversion to Islam and refusal to serve in the Vietnam War leave him banned from boxing and facing a five-year prison sentence. Ali’s choice of belief and conscience over fame and fortune resonates far beyond the boxing ring, striking issues of race, faith and identity that continue to confront us all today.

From his Louisville roots, through his years in exile, to receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Trials traces Ali’s path from poet to pariah to global ambassador for peace. At each stage, the challenges Ali faces go far beyond the boxing ring and ultimately encompass issues of power, race, faith and identity that confront us all.

The Trials of Muhammad Ali is not a boxing film and has no highlight reel. Instead, it focuses on Ali’s toughest bouts: his decision to join a controversial religious group, his battle to overturn a five-year prison sentence for refusing US military service, and his struggle with Parkinson’s.

  • Sun 6 Oct 2013, 1:30pm

Anita: Speaking Truth to Power (2013)

directed by Freida Lee Mock

Chicago Sneak Preview!
In October of 1991, Anita Hill was thrust onto the world stage as she sat before a Senate committee of 14 white men and with a clear, unwavering voice recounted the repeated acts of sexual harassment she had endured while working with U.S. Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas. Anita Hill’s graphic testimony was a turning point for gender equality in the U.S. and ignited a political firestorm about sexual misconduct and power in the workplace that resonates still today.

  • Sun 6 Oct 2013, 3:30pm
  • Tue 8 Oct 2013, 9:30pm

Bettie Page Reveals All (2013)

directed by Mark Mori starring Bettie Page, Hugh Hefner, Bunny Yeager, Paula Klaw, Dita Von Teese, Tempest Storm

Bettie Page Reveals All! is an intimate look at one of the world’s most recognized sex symbols! Narrated by Bettie herself, the film tells her life story-from her humble beginnings to her legendary career as a pin-up model. In a series of never before heard interviews recorded in 1996 & 1999. Bettie candidly discusses everything from her sudden retirement at the peak of her modeling career to her broken marriages, born-again Christianity, bouts of mental illness and resurgence in popularity. Hearing Bettie tell these stories in her own words, with her razor sharp wit and abundant personality shining through is a revelation for her legions of fans!

  • Sun 6 Oct 2013, 7:45pm
  • Wed 9 Oct 2013, 9:30pm

The Punk Singer (2013)

directed by Sini Anderson

Kathleen Hanna, lead singer of the punk band Bikini Kill and dance-punk trio Le Tigre, rose to national attention as the reluctant but never shy voice of the riot grrrl movement. She became one of the most famously outspoken feminist icons, a cultural lightning rod. Her critics wished she would just shut-up, and her fans hoped she never would. So in 2005, when Hanna stopped shouting, many wondered why. Through 20 years of archival footage and intimate interviews with Hanna, THE PUNK SINGER takes viewers on a fascinating tour of contemporary music and offers a never-before-seen view into the life of this fearless leader.

  • Sun 6 Oct 2013, 9:45pm
  • Thu 10 Oct 2013, 5:30pm

Smash & Grab: The Story of the Pink Panthers (2013)

directed by Havana Marking

Playing out like a noir thriller spiced with cutting-edge animation and shocking real surveillance footage, Smash & Grab is an exclusive all-access pass into the mysterious world of international jewel thieves.

  • Mon 7 Oct 2013, 9:30pm
  • Tue 8 Oct 2013, 5:30pm

My Father and The Man In Black (2013)

directed by Jonathan Holiff

Before there was Johnny and June, there was Johnny and Saul. Secretly recorded audio diaries and telephone calls with Johnny Cash from the 1960s and 1970s reveal a brand new side of the legendary singer. An intense personal adventure that just happens to feature one of 20th-century music’s greatest icons, MY FATHER AND THE MAN IN BLACK tells the inside story of ‘bad boy’ Johnny Cash and his talented but troubled manager, Saul Holiff, whose unexplained suicide leaves a son searching for his father in the shadow of a legend.

  • Tue 8 Oct 2013, 7:30pm

Evocateur: The Morton Downey, Jr. Movie (2012)

directed by Seth Kramer, Daniel A. Miller, Jeremy Newberger starring Morton Downey, Jr. in English

Filmmakers scheduled to appear!
In the late ‘80s, Downey tore apart the traditional talk format by turning debate of current issues into a gladiator pit. His blow-smoke-in-your-face style drew a rabid cult following, but also the title “Father of Trash Television.” Évocateur: The Morton Downey, Jr. Movie dissects the mind and motivation of television’s most notorious agitator.

Prepare for a rollercoaster ride through Downey’s euphoric ascent to fame and nauseating plummet to infamy.

  • Thu 10 Oct 2013, 7:30pm

Free the Mind with post-screening Mindfulness Discussion Panel

Free the Mind

directed by Phie Ambo

Join us for a very special mindfulness event at the Music Box Theatre. There will be an exclusive, one-off screening of mindfulness documentary Free the Mind and a mindfulness discussion panel afterwards.

Details on the special panelists here

Brain scientist Professor Richard Davidson sets up his mind to conduct an unusual experiment: He will teach American war veterans and children meditation and yoga. Can veterans through meditation and yoga ease their pain and nervous system, find happiness and be more peaceful and get back to a life more like the one they had before the war?

  • Thu 10 Oct 2013, 9:45pm

Our Nixon (2013)

directed by Penny Lane in English

Throughout Richard Nixon’s presidency, three of his top White House aides obsessively documented their experiences with Super 8 home movie cameras. Young, idealistic and dedicated, they had no idea that a few years later they’d all be in prison.

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