Notable non-fiction films screening at Columbia’s downtown arthouse theater, Ragtag Cinema.
True/False & Ragtag Cinema are projects of Ragtag Film Society.




Dir. RaMell Ross

This work of drifting portraiture loosely traces the lives of two young men in Hale County, Alabama, flowing in and out of their homes and basketball practices in a fearless reimagining of how stories are told about black lives in the American South. First-time director RaMell Ross carefully presents important moments from almost a decade of Quincy and Daniel’s lives. Everything is recorded with intimacy while preserving the universal mystery of another human being’s life. This poetic film asks us to be open-minded about what documentaries are “supposed” to be so we can also be open enough to immerse ourselves in the lives of others, allowing the subjects the same humanity that we, as viewers, afford ourselves

Presented by Ragtag and the Jonathan B. Murray Center for Documentary Journalism. The film also plays on October 31 and November 1.



Dirs. Chase Whiteside & Erick Stoll

Diego, a young circus artist, must return home and reunite with his brothers after their ninety-three year old grandmother, América, falls from her bed, causing their father to be jailed under accusation of elder neglect. Diego is a dreamer who sees poetry and purpose in this tragedy. He believes América, despite her immobility and advanced dementia, fell willfully, to bring the separated family back together. But Diego’s dream of familial cohesion fades as the brothers clash over money, communication, and the considerable challenge of offering full-time care to América. This stunning documentary began its life at Rough Cut Retreat & True/False and has since traveled to dozens of festivals across the world. 



Dir. Steve Loveridge

She began as Matangi. Daughter of the founder of Sri Lanka’s armed Tamil resistance, she hid from the government in the face of a vicious and bloody civil war. When her family fled to the UK, she became Maya, a precocious and creative immigrant teenager in London. Finally, the world met her as M.I.A. when she emerged on the global stage, having created a mashup, cut-and-paste identity that pulled from every corner of her journey along the way; a sonic sketchbook that blended Tamil politics, art school punk, hip-hop beats and the unwavering, ultra-confident voice of a burgeoning multicultural youth. Never one to compromise on her vision, Maya kept her camera rolling throughout.


Dir. Shevaun Mizrahi

A beautifully composed and magical documentary, Distant Constellation introduces us to the colorful residents of a Turkish retirement home, a community made up of pranksters, historians, artists and would-be Casanovas. An Independent Spirit Award nominee, Mizrahi’s playful, dreamy film is one of the most unforgettable cinematic experiences of the year. (RCR 2016 and T/F 2017)