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Up To Date

Up To Date's Indie, Foreign & Doc Critics' 'Three To See,' October 26-28

A man stands at the edge of a cliff, looking down.
National Geographic
Alex Honnold is the first and only person to reach the top of Yosemite's El Capitan mountain using no ropes.

Battles, triumphs, and defying the odds are all common themes in life, and in film. Some survive Auschwitz, while another climbs a 3,000-foot rock wall with nothing but his hands and feet. An astonishing survival story, or just one of personal triumph, is exactly what Up to Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics offer this weekend. 

Steve Walker

 "After Auschwitz," not rated

  • Six elderly female survivors of Auschwitz reflect on their dehumanizing internment, the state of their home countries post-liberation, and their eventual relocation to America, where they found peace and opportunity. 

"Free Solo," PG-13

  • A documentary profiling adrenaine junkie Alex Honnold, whose goal is to climb El Capitan without ropes, where his certain death is only kept at bay by tiny crevices in the sheer rock face and his nible fingers.

"Tea With the Dames," not rated

  • This delightful documentary finds British acting royalty Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Joan Plowright, and Eileen Atkins spending a dishy afternoon talking about the ups and downs of their lengthy careers and home lives.

Cynthia Haines

"Tea With the Dames," not rated 

  • Four legendary British actresses invite you to join them for tea, gossip and a lot of laughter. Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Eileen Atkins, and Joan Plowright are familiar faces and longtime friends — 60 years and counting.

"Free Solo," PG-13

  • For Alex Honnold there are two options, be the first person to free solo climb El Capitan, or die trying. The Yosemite scenery will take your breath away but the images of a lone man climbing a 3,000-foot rock wall will bring you to the edge of your seat. 

"Colette," R

  • A biographical drama about Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette's rise from self-described French country girl to the talk of Paris at the turn of the 20th century. A vibrant Keira Knightley stars alongside Dominic West's energetic portrayal of Henry Gauthier-Villars.

Bob Butler 

"Free Solo," PG-13

  • Filmmaker E. Chai Vasarhelyi says he avoided doing a solo climbing documentary because it was too dangerous, but he portrays Alex Honnold's journey as more than a climb. It's a testament to a man's determination, and the resilence of the human spirit. 

"After Auschwitz," not rated

  • Six survivors of Auschwitz interweave stories of their horrifying youth with how they made a new life here in America, creating a heartwarming twist on the evil they knew too well. 

"Colette," R

  • In a world of male privilege and control, the tale of a female's journey to self-determination and influence. Keira Knightley stuns in as a French country girl who revolutionizes literature and Parisian society.
Since 1998, Steve Walker has contributed stories and interviews about theater, visual arts, and music as an arts reporter at KCUR. He's also one of Up to Date's regular trio of critics who discuss the latest in art, independent and documentary films playing on area screens.