Still from <em srcset=Through the Repellent Fence: A Land Art Film (2017), directed by Sam Wainwright Douglas (photo by Michael Lundgren, courtesy of Postcommodity)” width=”720″ height=”480″ srcset=”×480.jpg 720w,×294.jpg 440w,×721.jpg 1080w,×240.jpg 360w, 1400w” sizes=”(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px”>

Still from Through the Repellent Fence: A Land Art Film (2017), directed by Sam Wainwright Douglas (photo by Michael Lundgren, courtesy of Postcommodity)

From the plight of workers at a massive textile factory in western India (Machines, February 16) to the youth protest movement spearheaded by two rappers in Senegal (The Revolution Won’t Be Televised, February 17 and 18) to the lives of families in the Chinese cities that process the world’s plastic waste (Plastic China, February 22, 23), this year’s edition of Doc Fortnight offers a global portrait of hardship, upheaval, and creative problem-solving. The Museum of Modern Art’s (MoMA) annual series of new documentaries also includes a retrospective of the works of Bay Area filmmaker Emiko Omori — including her works about the artist and filmmaker Chris Marker and the tattoo artist–turned–T-shirt mogul Ed Hardy (both February 21) — and a night of nonfiction new media works produced by Canada’s National Film Board (February 20).

Contemporary art figures prominently in this year’s Doc Fortnight program, perhaps most notably in Through the Repellent Fence: A Land Art Film (February 18, 19), which tracks the art collective Postcommodity’s creation of a temporary installation bisecting the US–Mexico border. Also included is artist Fiona Tan’s Ascent (February 23), in which she stitches together a climb of Japan’s Mount Fuji using 4,500 photographs taken over the course of the past 150 years. From such whimsical fodder — which also includes Ulysses in the Subway, a 3D project by digital artists Paul Kaiser and Marc Downie and veteran avant-garde filmmakers Ken and Flo Jacobs (February 17, 18) — to the humanitarian and political pursuits of traditional investigative documentaries, Doc Fortnight gathers stories from the farthest reaches of the globe alongside those unfolding on New York City’s streets. And one particular NYC street — Tribeca’s Cortlandt Alley, to be exact — will be the focus of a concurrent installation by artist Julia Heyward in MoMA’s film lobby. The artist’s 1,440-minute documentary chronicles movie shoots that have taken place in the picturesque alley below her apartment.

When: Opens Thursday, February 16, continuing through Sunday, February 26
Where: Museum of Modern Art (11 W 53rd Street, Midtown, Manhattan)

More info here.

Benjamin Sutton is an art critic, journalist, and curator who lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn. His articles on public art, artist documentaries, the tedium of art fairs, James Franco's obsession with Cindy...