Category Archives: Recommendations

On Cable: LOST FOR LIFE

lost for lifeComing to Lifetime Movie Network tonight, Monday, September 1: LOST FOR LIFE

Joshua Rofé’s portrait of youth facing life behind bars premiered at AFI Docs last year. Further festival screenings included Nantucket, Annapolis, and Middleburg.

I previously wrote about the doc here.

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On DVD/VOD: CITIZEN KOCH

Citizen-Koch-Key-Image-Courtesy-Matt-Wisniewski-580x300Coming to DVD and VOD tomorrow, Tuesday, September 2: CITIZEN KOCH

Carl Deal and Tia Lessin’s exploration of corporate interests on democracy debuted at Sundance last year. Other festival engagements have included DOC NYC, Full Frame, Sarasota, Traverse City, Wisconsin, Big Sky, and Citizen Jane, among others.

I profiled the doc before Sundance here.

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Telluride 2014: Documentary Overview

TFF41_Poster_ChristianMarclay©TellurideFilmFestivalBeginning today, Friday, August 29, and running through Monday, September 1, the 41st edition of the Telluride Film Festival offering attendees their first look at what are typically among the upcoming Awards season contenders, many of them heading to Toronto next week, and to the New York Film Festival at the end of next month. Continuing the festival’s tradition of surprise and anticipation, the line-up for this year’s edition was not announced until yesterday, with a full list and descriptions available through their program guide. Below, I present a brief rundown of some of the nonfiction selections this year, by my count numbering 36 feature documentaries. Continue reading

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On DVD: AMERICAN PROMISE

american promiseComing to DVD this coming Tuesday, September 2: AMERICAN PROMISE

Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson’s twelve-year chronicle of African American education had its premiere at Sundance last year, where it won a special jury award. Screenings followed at the New York Film Festival, Full Frame, Hot Springs, Montclair, Pan African, and DokuFest, among many more.

My pre-Sundance profile of the doc may be found here.

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On TV: AFTER TILLER

after tillerComing to PBS’s POV this coming Monday, September 1: AFTER TILLER

Lana Wilson and Martha Shane’s intimate portrait of women’s health providers debuted at Sundance last year. It went on to screen at Hot Docs, Seattle, Sheffield, True/False, AFI Docs, and Full Frame, among many others.

I profiled the doc before Sundance here.

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In Theatres: THE NAKED ROOM

naked roomComing to NYC’s Anthology Film Archives tomorrow, Friday, August 29: THE NAKED ROOM

Nuria Ibáñez’s raw exploration of troubled children had its world premiere at Mexico’s FICUNAM last year. It went on to screen at DocsDF, Ambulante, Morelia, BAFICI, Thessaloniki Doc, Hola Mexico, and Rendezvous with Madness.

Taking place entirely within a single room – a hospital’s pediatric psychologist’s office – Ibáñez’s deceptively uncomplicated film hones in on the faces of young girls and boys as they are coaxed to reveal a host of debilitating concerns, from mental illness to the aftermath of sexual abuse. Responding to an offscreen therapist, and the occasional comments from their parents, the young subjects lay bare personal trauma, struggling to articulate what would be difficult even for adults. Taking a simple yet rigorous formalistic approach, Ibáñez forces the viewer to confront her subjects on their own level for the duration of the film, in the process offering validation and empathy for their pain.

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In Theatres: THROUGH A LENS DARKLY

through a lensComing to NYC’s Film Forum today, Wednesday, August 27: THROUGH A LENS DARKLY: BLACK PHOTOGRAPHERS AND THE EMERGENCE OF A PEOPLE

Thomas Allen Harris’ exploration of black self-representation premiered at Sundance earlier this year. It has also screened at Berlin, Santa Barbara, Montclair, Pan African, Atlanta, Boston LGBT, Frameline, and Open City Docs, among several others.

My pre-Sundance doc profile may be found here.

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