OVID’s November Releases: Wayne Wang’s “Soul of a Banquet,” German drama series “Generation War,” the strange world of Jim Finn, and much more!

OVID.tv is proud to announce its November slate of 29 streaming releases, including 23 exclusive streaming premieres.

For the first time, OVID is adding narrative television to its ever-growing roster of titles. The series presented this month are Generation War, sometimes called “Germany’s Band of Brothers,” the gritty French sex work drama Maison Close, and the spooky international smash hit The Returned (Les Revenants).

Just in time for Thanksgiving, OVID presents eight documentaries that celebrate both the practical and opulent sides of food culture. These include Joy Luck Club filmmaker Wayne Wang’s Soul of a Banquet and Andreas Johnson’s Bugs, which asks us to consider the final frontier in sustainable food sources.

We are also proud to present thirteen remarkable short films by Jim Finn. With titles like Christmas with Chavez and Encounters With Your Inner Trotsky Child, these bold, playful and unapologetically leftist works are right at home on OVID.

New members can start their free 7-day trial at OVID.tv!

(Image from Wayne Wang's Soul of a Banquet, premiering on OVID on November 19th)
Berkeley in the Sixties (1990)

Wednesday, November 3rd

Berkeley in the Sixties
Directed by Mark Kitchell
Bullfrog Films | Documentary | USA | 1990

Berkeley in the Sixties recaptures the exhilaration and turmoil of the unprecedented student protests that shaped a generation and changed the course of America. Many consider it to be the best filmic treatment of the 1960s yet made.

This Academy Award-nominated documentary interweaves the memories of 15 former student leaders, who grapple with the meaning of their actions. Their recollections are interwoven with footage culled from thousands of historical clips and hundreds of interviews. Ronald Reagan, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Mario Savio, Huey Newton, Allen Ginsburg, and the music of Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix, Joan Baez and the Grateful Dead all bring that tumultuous decade back to life.

“Attempts not only to document events, but also to re-create how it felt to be a student activist on the Berkeley campus during those crucial moments.” —The New York Times

Generation War (2014)

Friday, November 5th

Generation War
Directed by Philipp Kadelbach
Music Box Films | Miniseries | Germany | 2014

Billed as a German Band of Brothers, the three-part miniseries Generation War vividly depicts the lives of five young German friends forced to navigate the unconscionable moral compromises of life under Hitler.

“Exciting and suspenseful.” —The Dissolve

The Drunkard’s Lament (2018)

Wednesday, November 10th

The Drunkard’s Lament
Directed by Jim Finn
Documentary | USA | 2018

When Branwell — the ne’er-do-well, tubercular brother of the Brontë sisters — discovered that Emily was writing her first novel, he offered to be her editor. Once he realized that he was the model for the alcoholic Hindley Earnshaw character, he reimagined the story as a musical memoir of his own life with Hindley as the hero. Edited and arranged from the damaged film fragments, notes, sheet music and letters to his best friend Francis, this weird and revisionist adaptation looks to have premiered on the 50th anniversary of the deaths of Emily and Branwell Brontë.

Encounters With Your Inner Trotsky Child (2014)

Encounters With Your Inner Trotsky Child
Directed by Jim Finn
Experimental Short | USA | 2014

The first installment in the Inner Trotsky Child video series.

“Riffs on the self-help genre by reading the persecution of the Russian Marxist of the title as an allegory for finding inner peace. Mimicking the wobbly appearance of Eighties video graphics, the film employs New Age-y visualization techniques (one section is entitled “Arrogant Breath of the Puffed-Up Bourgeoisie: A Guided Meditation”) and quasi-spiritual affirmation exercises conducted by a German-speaking aerobics instructor. Though Encounters elicited laughter with its hyperbolic Communist rhetoric and lo-fi video effects, it also prompts a serious engagement with its central premise: that to imagine a better life for ourselves means, in part, imagining a different history.” —Genevieve Yue, Film Comment


Zinoviev’s Tube
Directed by Jim Finn
Experimental Short | USA | 2014

In this tape—the second in the Inner Trotsky Child video series—narrator Lois Severin is back with advice for post-Berlin Wall leftists dealing with life in the Prime Material Plane of Corporate Capitalism. Instead of a silver cord, you will use Zinoviev’s Tube to astrally project your mind to a zombie cesspool with Ronald Reagan and hear Muammar Qaddafi’s advice on returning from space travel. There is also the familiar soothing music and affirmation exercises of the first tape, Encounters with Your Inner Trotsky Child. The movement’s founder Lois Severin, a former Trotskyite turned suburban housewife, was responding to the move from mass sociopolitical engagement of the 60’s and 70’s to the personal fulfillment fantasies of the 80’s—the Jane Fonda-ization of the Left.


Chums From Across the Void
Directed by Jim Finn
Experimental Short | USA | 2015

Little Radek, the step-dancing Bolshevik; Machera, the Andean Robin Hood, and Maria Spiridonova, the Russian socialist assassin are your guides for Past Leftist Life Regression therapy. In this third Inner Trotsky Child video, narrator Lois Severin—a former Trotskyite turned suburban housewife—attempts to radicalize the personal fulfillment and self-help scene. Like the Christian fundamentalist activists in the 1970’s who prepared the way for the Reagan Revolution, the Inner Trotsky Child movement was a way to cope with life in the Prime Material Plane of Corporate Capitalism and to create a 21st-Century revolution of the mind.


Christmas With Chavez (2013)

Christmas With Chavez
Directed by Jim Finn
Experimental Short | USA | 2013

Every Christmas, Americans look back with gratitude at the UN speech given by Hugo Chavez in 2006.


Sunday School with Franz Hinkelammert
Directed by Jim Finn
Documentary | USA | 2009

The violent overreaction to 9/11 and to the revolutions of the 1960’s cannot be explained only with fear and politics. Franz Hinkelammert, a German-born liberation theologian, economist and philosopher, brings religion front and center to the discussion in a unique way.


Great Man and Cinema (2012)

Great Man and Cinema
Directed by Jim Finn
Experimental Short | USA | 2012

Kim Jong Il, the Stalinist David O. Selznick, runs the state film studio as a way of promoting his own and his father’s cult of personality. The film’s title Great Man and Cinema comes from a propaganda booklet filled with stories of how the Dear Leader has written, edited, produced and given acting advice in films for the last 40 years.


Dick Cheney in a Cold, Dark Cell
Directed by Jim Finn
Experimental Short | USA | 2009

It’s hard to understate the amount of anxiety created by a vice president who usurped authority for eight years to start wars and wreck the economy and then sidled off to Wyoming to be a a retired Hero of the Right. Impunity is not just the stuff of autocratic dictatorships in the third world.


Decision 80
Directed by Jim Finn
Experimental Short | USA | 2003

“A decisive moment in American history remixed into the prelude to your worst fucking nightmare.” — New York Underground Film Festival

“‘Beam me up, Scottie, I think we really blew it.’ A timely look back at the mechanics of a painful historic moment.” —Cinematexas


super-max (2003)

Directed by Jim Finn
Experimental Short | USA | 2003

“Finn’s chilling super-max is a tour of maximum security prisons shot from a moving car, their hulking forms framed by telephone poles and power lines that divide landscape and sky. The concluding voice-over, making reference to Lewis and Clark, implicitly equates the European occupation of this continent with imprisonment.” —Fred Camper, Chicago Reader


Directed by Jim Finn
Experimental Short | USA | 2003

“Jim Finn’s wüstenspringmaus, a well-sprung, rear-screened account of a gerbil’s life in the Seventies.” — Guy Maddin, Film Comment


el güero
Directed by Jim Finn
Experimental Short | USA | 2001

“A refreshing look at karaoke, psychedelic dance moves, and donuts all mashed together into a small and swinging film about a man who considers his private thoughts and private jokes worth sharing with a large audience. And it’s unlikely that many would disagree.” — Impakt Festival


comunista! (2001)

Directed by Jim Finn
Experimental Short | USA | 2001

“You are invited to Jim’s party! Snake optional.” —Cinematexas Festival

Delphine’s Prayers (2021)

Wednesday, November 11th

Delphine’s Prayers
Directed by Rosine Mbakam
Icarus Films | Documentary | Belgium, Cameroon | 2021

Delphine reclines on a daybed in her bright apartment in Belgium, an empty crib beside her. “I started to work the streets like crazy,” she says, matter-of-factly recounting her life story. “Selling my body.”

Delphine, who is only identified by her first name, is quick-witted, engaging, passionate, and intense. In Delphine’s Prayers, she frankly shares her experiences with director Rosine Mbakam over several interview sessions, deftly switching between languages. The sessions are intimate—sometimes painful, sometimes funny—carried by Delphine’s exuberant storytelling style and her clear bond of trust with Mbakam, whom she has known for years.

You Will Be My Ally (2012)

You Will Be My Ally
Directed by Rosine Mbakam
Icarus Films | Narrative Short | Cameroon | 2012

Domé, a 35 year-old woman from Gabon, is intercepted at the airport in Brussels. There seems to be a problem with her papers and she is subjected to a long interrogation. Is she forging her passport or will she be allowed into Belgium?

Doors of the Past
Directed by Rosine Mbakam
Icarus Films | Documentary | Belgium, Cameroon | 2021

In the early ’90s, many African women fled their homes due to war and political instability and settled down in Belgium. 20 years later, they are haunted by their past. How to express the anxieties that gnaw at them? How do they say the unspeakable? What if women other than these refugees started to open the doors of the past?

Maison Close (Season One) (2010)

Friday, November 12th

Maison Close (Season One)
Directed by Jacques Ouaniche
Music Box Films | Series | France | 2010

Set in a lavish 19th Century Parisian bordello, the provocative and popular French erotic drama Maison Close invites American audiences into a sumptuous, stylized world where desire and power reign. By turns both erotic and political, this uncompromising, finely crafted television series reimagines age-old themes–and the world’s oldest profession–in bold new ways.

“A hard-hitting, tangled drama about the lives of 1870s sex workers finally hits the U.S.—and it’s riveting.” —Salon

Bugs (2017)

Tuesday, November 16th

Directed by Andreas Johnsen
Kino Lorber | Documentary | Denmark | 2017

With global food shortages on the horizon, forward-thinking chefs, environmentalists and food scientists are turning toward an unexpected source of protein: insects. Bugs is an artful and thoughtful new documentary that provides a perfect entry point to insect cuisine. For three years, a cast of charming and brave food adventurers from the Nordic Food Lab traveled the world—from Europe to Australia, Mexico, Kenya, Japan and beyond—to learn what some of the two billion people who already eat insects had to say. Filmmaker Andreas Johnsen followed them as they foraged, farmed, cooked and tasted everything from revered termite queens and desert-delicacy honey ants to venomous giant hornets and long-horned grasshoppers.

Equal parts travelogue, nature documentary, food porn and political treatise, Bugs is a beautifully shot film that makes a convincing argument for the inherent flavor of insects and raises unexpected and important questions about the future of our food culture along the way.

Evolution of Organic
Directed by Mark Kitchell
Bullfrog Films | Documentary | USA | 2017

Evolution of Organic brings us the story of organic agriculture, told by those who built the movement. A motley crew of back-to-the-landers, spiritual seekers and farmers’ sons and daughters rejected modern chemical farming and set out to invent organic alternatives. The movement grew from a small band of rebels to a cultural transformation in the way we grow and eat food. By now organic has mainstreamed, become both an industry oriented toward bringing organic to all people, and a movement that has realized a vision of sustainable agriculture.

This is not just a history, but looks forward to exciting and important futures: the next generation who are broadening organic; what lies ‘beyond organic’; and carbon farming and sequestration as a solution to climate change — maybe the best news on the planet.

Our Blood Is Wine (2017)

Wednesday, November 17

Our Blood Is Wine
Directed by Emily Railsback
Music Box Films | Documentary | USA | 2017

Filmmaker Emily Railsback and award-winning sommelier Jeremy Quinn provide intimate access to rural family life in the Republic of Georgia as they explore the rebirth of 8,000-year-old winemaking traditions almost lost during the period of Soviet rule. By using unobtrusive iPhone technology, Railsback brings the voices and ancestral legacies of modern Georgians directly to the viewer, revealing an intricate and resilient society that has survived regular foreign invasion and repeated attempts to erase Georgian culture. The revival of traditional winemaking is the central force driving this powerful, independent and autonomous nation to find its 21st century identity.

Eat This New York (2004)

Thursday, November 18

Eat This New York
Directed by Andrew Rossi
First Run Features | Documentary | USA | 2004

Featuring culinary luminaries Daniel Boulud, Sirio Maccioni, Keith McNally, Drew Nieporent, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, and Danny Meyer, Eat This New York is the story of two friends’ struggle to open a restaurant in the food capital of the world. As Billy Phelps and John McCormick suffer through financial crisis, the loss of their chef, and a crumbling relationship, the filmmakers turn the camera on New York City’s legendary restaurateurs who, reflecting on the challenges of opening and running a restaurant, prove that dreams can come true.

“Will grip those fascinated by the restaurant business.” —The New York Times


The Last Season
Directed by Sara Dosa
First Run Features | Documentary | USA | 2014

Amid the bustling world of Central Oregon’s wild mushroom hunting camps, the lives of two former soldiers intersect. Roger, a 75 year-old sniper with the US Special Forces in Vietnam, and Kouy, a 46 year-old platoon leader of Cambodia’s Khmer Freedom Fighters who battled the Khmer Rouge, come together each fall to hunt the elusive matsutake mushroom, a rare mushroom prized in Japanese culture and cuisine. However, the pair discover more than just mushrooms in the woods: they find a new life, a livelihood, and a means to slowly heal the scarring wounds of war.

“A lyrical ode to the wonders of love and nature, even amid inevitable change.” —San Francisco Chronicle

The Goddesses of Food (2018)

Friday, November 19

The Goddesses of Food
Directed by Vérane Frédiani
Kino Lorber | Documentary | France | 2018

In November of 2013, TIME Magazine released an international cover story called “The Gods of Food”. Unfortunately, not a single female chef appeared on the list. The Goddesses of Food is here to change popular perception.

In the male-dominated food universe, discover the women changing the game on all levels. Presenting the best female chefs, including multi-Michelin star chefs Dominique Crenn and Barbara Lync, and introducing rising new stars and those making incredible food in all corners of the world.


Soul of a Banquet
Directed by Wayne Wang
Oscilloscope Films | Documentary | USA | 2014

Director Wayne Wang (The Joy Luck Club) takes us into the world of Cecilia Chiang, the woman who introduced America to authentic Chinese food. Chiang opened her internationally renowned restaurant The Mandarin in 1961 in San Francisco and went on to change the course of cuisine in America. The film is equal parts a delectable showcase of gastronomy and a touching portrait of Chiang’s journey from a childhood in Beijing before the Cultural Revolution to accidental restaurateur on the west coast of the United States. Soul of a Banquet features interviews with Alice Waters, Ruth Reichl, and Cecilia Chiang herself.

The Raw and the Cooked
Directed by Monika Treut
First Run Features | Documentary | Germany | 2012

GermanyTaiwan is known around the world as having one of the most diverse cuisines in Asia, and food is the foremost passion of its 23 million inhabitants. The Raw and the Cooked is a sumptuous exploration of the island’s rich culinary traditions, and their relationship to the Taiwan’s unique mix of cultures.

“Scrumptious! A cornucopia of cuisines, leaving the audience hungry for more.” —Variety

The Yellow Wallpaper (1989)

Wednesday, November 24

The Yellow Wallpaper
Directed by Marie Ashton
Women Make Movies | Dramatic Short | USA | 1989

This short dramatic film brings to life the classic Charlotte Perkins Gilman story of the same name, which has become an important addition to American literature course curricula. Set in the late 1800s, the story features Elizabeth, an aspiring writer who becomes ill and is forced by her doctor and her husband to take a “rest cure.” Completely isolated, her mind creates a world inside the wallpaper in her room-a world in which a woman is trapped and unable to escape.

The Returned (Season One) (2013)

Friday, November 26

The Returned (Season One)
Directed by Fabrice Gobert and Frédéric Mermoud
Music Box Films | Series | France | 2013

In an idyllic French Alpine village, a seemingly random collection of people find themselves in a state of confusion as they attempt to return to their homes. What they do not yet know is that they have been dead for several years, and no one is expecting them back. Buried secrets emerge as they grapple with this miraculous and sinister new reality, struggling to reintegrate with their families and past lovers. But it seems they are not the only ones back from the dead. Their arrival coincides with a series of gruesome murders that bear a chilling resemblance to the work of a serial killer from the past…

A gripping, stylish mix of real and surreal, the highly cinematic The Returned (Les Revenants) features a wide range of top French film actors and a haunting, atmospheric soundtrack by Scottish post-rock band Mogwai.

“Brilliant.” —The New York Post

Complete list of films premiering on OVID this month (in alphabetical order):

Berkeley in the Sixties, Mark Kitchell (1990)
Bugs, Andreas Johnson (2016)
Christmas with Chávez, Jim Finn (2013)
Chums from Across the Void, Jim Finn (2015)
comunista! Jim Finn (2001)
Decision 80, Jim Finn (2003)
Delphine’s Prayers, Rosine Mbakam (2021)
Dick Cheney in a Cold, Dark Cell, Jim Finn (2009)
Doors of the Past, Rosine Mbakam (2012)
Eat this New York, Andrew Rossi (2004)
el güero, Jim Finn (2001)
Encounters with Your Inner Trotsky Child, Jim Finn (2014)
Generation War (miniseries), Philipp Kadelbach (2014)
Great Man and Cinema, Jim Finn (2012)
Maison Close – Season 1 (drama series), Jacques Ouaniche (2010)
Evolution of Organic, Mark Kitchell (2017)
Our Blood is Wine, Emily Railsback (2017)
Soul of a Banquet, Wayne Wang (2014)
Sunday School with Franz Hinkelammert, Jim Finn (2009)
super-max, Jim Finn (2003)
The Drunkard’s Lament, Jim Finn (2018)
The Goddesses of Food, Vérane Frédiani (2018)
The Last Season, Sara Dosa (2014)    
The Raw and the Cooked, Monika Treut (2012)
The Returned – Season 1, Fabrice Gobert and Frédéric Mermoud (2013)
The Yellow Wallpaper, Marie Ashton (1989)
wüstenspringmaus, Jim Finn (2003)
You Will Be My Ally, Rosine Mbakam (2012)
Zinoviev’s Tube, Jim Finn (2014)

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