Winner of this year’s Documentary Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, THE EXILES begins as a lively portrait of the spitfire documentarian and NYU professor Christine Choy. After introducing viewers to their larger-than-life, vodka-swigging subject, filmmakers Ben Klein and Violet Columbus hone their focus, following Choy as she tracks down the three exiled survivors of the pro-democracy Tiananmen Square massacre she profiled for an abandoned 1989 film project. Choy and her subjects dive into this decades-old footage as they look to find closure and answers among the painful realities of a corrupt, insidious political system that still haunts and impacts the lives of so many after 30 years. Not simply a colorful portrait of Choy, The Exiles offers an intriguing look at a devastating and relevant historic event through her idiosyncratic lens. Choy’s unapologetic and electric personality stays with you as she urges proactive and fierce change in a world where our collective freedom is constantly threatened.
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