Coming to PBS tonight, Friday, March 27:
THE INN AT LITTLE WASHINGTON
A profile of world-renowned Virginian restaurant in its 40th year as it seeks a three-star Micheline rating.
Located in rural Washington VA, the titular establishment is the creation of Patrick O’Connell, a largely self-taught chef. As filmmaker Mira Chang’s portrait begins, O’Connell and his dedicated staff are convinced their world-class food and distinctive atmosphere will merit their elevation from two to three Micheline stars. Her camera is on hand to capture the phone call which congratulates O’Connell on achieving… two stars. While disappointed, the colorful chef takes the news well and uses it to light a fire under his feet to prove the restaurant deserves a third star. Chang’s light but enjoyable film follows him over the next year in this mission, which also coincides with preparations for a special 40th anniversary celebration – a perfect excuse to recount the iconic Inn’s history. Along the way, O’Connell reveals how he braved homophobia and distrust – and, later, annoyance with the disruption caused by bringing an international spotlight on the sleepy town – to become a valued member of the community.
New to OVID.tv this week:
New York, DocAviv, IDFA, Biografilm, Sheffield, SF Jewish, Bergen, Heartland
A wide-reaching exploration of the impact of Jewish settlements in the occupied territories of the West Bank.
I profiled the doc before Sundance here.
Now available via Vimeo on Demand for an exclusive “virtual theatrical engagement,” partially benefitting Anthology Film Archive, through midnight EDT on Sunday, April 5:
HEIMAT IS A SPACE IN TIME
Toronto, IDFA, New York, Visions du Réel, RIDM, Jeonju, Torino
An essay film exploring German history through three generations of the filmmaker’s family.
I previously wrote about the doc here.
New to VOD this week:
LIFELINE/ CLYFFORD STILL
DOC NYC 2019
An in-depth exploration of the life and work of the American Abstract Expressionist artist.
I previously wrote about the doc hereL.
New to DVD this week:
Drea Cooper and Zackary Canepari
Hot Docs, New Orleans, San Francisco, Traverse City, Camden, Hot Springs Doc, DOK Leipzig, Cucalorus, Athena, Atlantic
A profile of a female boxer’s Olympic dreams.
I previously wrote about the doc here.
Coming to Netflix today, Wednesday, March 25:
Nicole Newnham and Jim LeBrecht
Select Festivals (including COVID 19-cancelled/postponed events):
Documentary Fortnight, True/False, San Francisco, Human Rights Watch London, ReelAbilities, Miami
A chronicle of the origins of America’s disability rights movement.
My pre-Sundance doc profile may be found here.
Coming to PBS tonight, Tuesday, March 24:
EAST LAKE MEADOWS: A PUBLIC HOUSING STORY
Sarah Burns and David McMahon
PBS broadcast (March 2020)
The history of an Atlanta public housing community.
Located on the outskirts of Atlanta, adjacent to a golf course, East Lake Meadows opened in 1970, serving an urgent need for public housing for low-income families, primarily African Americans. After years of neglect that facilitated the emergence of crime in the community, an agreement was reached between developers and the city of Atlanta to demolish the housing in 1995 and replace it with a new mixed-income community. Filmmakers Sarah Burns and David McMahon explore the history of the development of East Lake Meadows through to its re-envisioning as an upwardly mobile part of the greater Atlanta area, delving into the narratives that enabled the transformation, and the role that racism and classism played. Interviews with former residents of the community speak to the positive forces that were overshadowed, unfairly, by a reputation for crime and violence that was blamed on residents, ignoring the systemic inequalities that stacked the deck against them. What emerges is a fascinating oral history of resilience and reclamation, setting straight the accepted but shamefully flawed official story, like so many others involving public housing in the nation’s history.