Special Screening: 16 BARS

Coming to NYC’s DCTV this coming Monday, March 25:
16 BARS

Director:
Samuel Bathrick

Premiere:
DocLands 2018

Select Festivals:
DOC NYC, Miami, Big Sky Doc, Salem, Virginia, Milwaukee

About:
An acclaimed musician leads a transformative program in a Virginia jail.

The film screened as part of DOC NYC, for which our program notes read:
Grammy-winning hip hop artist Todd Thomas – better known as “Speech” of the iconic group Arrested Development – leads a unique collaborative music workshop in the Richmond City Jail in Virginia. Striving to overcome their demons, four past and present inmates work side-by-side with Speech to transform their experiences, hopes, and fears into songs. Exploring cycles of addiction and incarceration through the power of music and storytelling, Samuel Bathrick’s inspiring film offers a window into rehabilitation.

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In Theatres: ROLL RED ROLL

Coming to theatres today, Friday, March 22:
ROLL RED ROLL

Director:
Nancy Schwartzman

Premiere:
Tribeca 2018

Select Festivals:
Nantucket, New Orleans, Hot Docs, Traverse City, Hamptons, Denver, Göteborg, Guanajuato, Globe Docs, Sidewalk, Santa Barbara, Double Exposure, Bend, Tallgrass, Hot Springs Doc, Big Sky Doc, SF Jewish, Human Rights Watch

About:
An exploration of rape and its cover-up in a small town.

I previously wrote about the film for Nantucket’s program, saying:
After a teenage girl is raped by members of the Steubenville OH high school football team, a true-crime blogger investigates the social media generated during the incident and discovers shocking details about the crime – including the identities of both perpetrators and bystanders – and her reporting brings national attention to the small town. Powerful and topical in the era of Time’s Up and #MeToo, Nancy Schwartzman’s searing film speaks to an unconscionable culture of complicity and denial about sexual assault not only in Steubenville, but in society as a whole.

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On DVD/VOD: THE OYSTER FARMERS

New to DVD and VOD this week:
THE OYSTER FARMERS

Director:
Corinne Ruff

Premiere:
Lighthouse 2017

Select Festivals:
Princeton Environmental, Garden State, Asbury Park

About:
A look at efforts to restore oysters to NJ’s Barnegat Bay, once a thriving ecosystem.

Ruff’s earnest, if overly staid, film focuses on modern day aquaculture and its role in trying to build up the lost oysters of coastal NJ. It briefly presents the history of oysters in the region – once so plentiful they were sold from streetcarts like hot dogs until their decline began in the 1920s due to man made pollution and other factors – but primarily focuses on several baymen and baywomen, most of them the latest in a generational lineage in the industry, as well as aquaculture farmers who are sourcing oyster seeds to plant and grow over the course of several seasons. These subjects discuss how the bay has changed, robbed of the natural filtering property of the oysters, and how recent efforts are helping to make oysters more plentiful and sustainable again, leading the way for both environmental and economic regeneration.

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On DVD/VOD: ACROCATS!

New to DVD and VOD this week:
ACROCATS!

Director:
Jacob Feiring

Premiere:
Hot Springs Doc 2017

Select Festivals:
DOC NYC, Big Sky Doc, SF Doc, Florida, Sidewalk

About:
A behind-the-scenes look at a traveling cat circus.

I previously wrote about the film for DOC NYC’s program, saying:
Samantha Martin has been training animals since she was a kid. Spurred by a midlife crisis to quit her day job, she creates The Amazing Acrocats, a traveling cat circus. But driving around in an undependable RV full of moody felines isn’t as glamorous – or lucrative – as it sounds. As debt mounts, and success seems elusive, how long can Samantha hold out for circus stardom?

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On DVD: CONTAINMENT

containment_640x360New to DVD this week:
CONTAINMENT

Directors:
Peter Galison and Robb Moss

Premiere:
Full Frame 2015

Select Festivals:
Sheffield, Zurich, Vancouver, Denver, RiverRun, Tallgrass, GlobeDocs, Global Peace, Woods Hole, SF Green

About:
A sobering consideration of how humanity can safely contend with radioactive waste.

I previously wrote about the doc here.

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On DVD: THE LAST RESORT

New to DVD this week:
THE LAST RESORT

Directors:
Dennis Scholl and Kareem Tabsch

Premiere:
Miami Jewish 2018

Select Festivals:
DOC NYC, Virginia, Key West, Jewish fests in Toronto, Rochester, and Cleveland

About:
A revealing revisitation of Jewish life in 1970s Miami.

I previously wrote about the doc here.

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On DVD: ON HER SHOULDERS

New to DVD this week:
ON HER SHOULDERS

Director:
Alexandria Bombach

Premiere:
Sundance 2018

Select Festivals:
DOC NYC, SXSW, Hot Docs, Sheffield, AFI Docs, Full Frame, Human Rights Watch, SF Jewish, Jerusalem, Dokufest, Melbourne, Sun Valley, Doc 10, Ashland, Cleveland, Kansas City, Sarasota, Montclair, Maryland, Dallas, Nashville, Seattle, Warsaw, Biografilm, Heartland

Notable Recognition:
The doc was shortlisted for the Academy Awards.

About:
A look at the burden carried by a young woman as she advocates for her people on the global stage.

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

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