Tribeca Film Festival Preview: What To Catch At This Year's Fest
Sons of Perdition

This weekend marks the beginning of this year's Tribeca Film Festival, which brings film lovers from all over to the cavernous streets of downtown Manhattan, and sends your trusty Cinema Blend correspondents running all over creation to cover it. Eric Eisenberg, Perri Nemiroff and myself will be covering Tribeca over the next ten days, seeing all kinds of indie films, doing all kinds of interviews, and trying to sleep once in a while in the meantime.

We've already started seeing some of the films from this year's festival, and below we've got a list of 20 films that we either know are worth your time or are anxious to see yourself. Keeping checking Cinema Blend daily for new reviews and interviews from the festival, and if you're there too, let us know in the comments!

Sons of Perdition

A depressing documentary, but one that's particularly timely given the scandals that surround Warren Jeffs and his polygamist community-- the story of the boys exiled from their communities seems like it has potential for truly heartbreaking stuff on film.

"There are no monogamists in heaven," proclaims Warren Jeffs, the notorious (and now incarcerated) leader and "prophet" of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. For decades, the church's followers have practiced polygamy, believing dozens of young wives and scores of children bring them closer to God, but as Jeffs' cultish influence over the community grows, they soon find themselves sacrificing their freedom of thought.

But what was life like in the sheltered world the Jeffs created? What does it mean if you leave? For a group of teenage boys, the desire for autonomy means banishment from their homes and families. Directors Tyler Measom and Jennilyn Merten spent more than two years documenting their struggles—from enrolling in school, getting jobs, and meeting girls to helping other family members break free. Measom and Merten fascinatingly follow the lives of these three exiles and the challenges of being on their own in mainstream America. But at the same time, they seamlessly interweave the former lives that they are running away from, creating a picture that is both inspiring and heartbreaking. Measom and Merten have a made a gripping story of new beginnings and hope that most of us could never imagine.
Originally published April 21, 2010