In Theatres: UNDER THE WIRE

Coming to theatres today, Friday, November 16:
UNDER THE WIRE

Director:
Chris Martin

Premiere:
Sheffield 2018

Select Festivals:
DOC NYC, Reykjavik, Cologne, Hamptons, AFI Docs

About:
The story of war correspondents Marie Colvin and Paul Conroy.

The film screened as part of DOC NYC, for which our program notes read:
War correspondent Marie Colvin repeatedly and selflessly put her life on the line to report the atrocities unfolding in conflict-ravaged Syria, specifically against its innocent civilians. This gritty adaptation of fellow correspondent Paul Conroy’s titular book puts the viewer under fire on the frontline alongside the intrepid journalists, using harrowing on-the-ground footage. A heart-gripping story of friendship and extraordinary courage, Chris Martin’s film is testament to journalists who risk it all and pay the ultimate price.

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On TV: JONESTOWN: TERROR IN THE JUNGLE

A new docuseries coming to SundanceTV this weekend, Saturday, November 17 and Sunday, November 18:
JONESTOWN: TERROR IN THE JUNGLE

Director:
Shan Nicholson

Premiere:
DOC NYC 2018

About:
A detailed look at the rise and fall of Jim Jones and Peoples Temple.

The first half of the series premiered as part of DOC NYC, for which our program notes read:
Based on the best-selling book by investigative journalist Jeff Guinn, THE ROAD TO JONESTOWN: JIM JONES AND PEOPLES TEMPLE, and timed to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Jonestown massacre, this new series from SundanceTV chronicles the rise of Jim Jones, a charismatic preacher turned manipulative cult leader who ordered the deaths of his own followers. Chilling interviews with Peoples Temple survivors along with newly declassified archival material offer the definitive account of the tragedy that captivated the world.

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On TV: A MURDER IN MANSFIELD

A MURDER IN MANSFIELD

Coming to Investigation Discovery tomorrow, Saturday, November 17:
A MURDER IN MANSFIELD

Director:
Barbara Kopple

Premiere:
DOC NYC 2017

Select Festivals:
Nantucket, IDFA, Cleveland, Montclair, Sydney, AFI Docs, Traverse City

About:
A man confronts the lifelong legacy of the murder of his mother by his father.

I previously wrote about the doc for Nantucket’s program, saying:
Two-time Academy Award-winning filmmaker Barbara Kopple explores the legacy of the 1989 murder of Noreen Boyle in Mansfield, Ohio, and the life-changing impact this crime had on Boyle’s family. As a 12-year-old, Noreen’s son Collier took the stand in his mother’s murder trial and testified against his father, John. Nearly two decades later, Collier returns to Ohio to confront his imprisoned father, who still maintains a hold on him, in an attempt to free himself from the burden of this tragedy.

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On TV: ENEMIES: THE PRESIDENT, JUSTICE & THE FBI

A new docuseries coming to Showtime beginning this Sunday, November 18:
ENEMIES: THE PRESIDENT, JUSTICE & THE FBI

Directors:
Jed Rothstein (episodes 1-3) and Alex Gibney (episode 4)

Premiere:
DOC NYC 2018

About:
About the complex, often-fraught relationship between US presidents Nixon, Reagan, Clinton, and Trump with the FBI.

An episode of the series premiered as part of DOC NYC, for which our program notes read:
From Oscar and Emmy-winning director Alex Gibney, and inspired by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Tim Weiner’s book, ENEMIES: A HSTORY OF THE FBI, this new Showtime series explores the complex history of tension between American presidents and the FBI, from Watergate to the present day.

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In Theatres: OF FATHERS AND SONS

photo by Kahtan Hasson and Talal Derki

Coming to theatres tomorrow, Friday, November 16:
OF FATHERS AND SONS

Director:
Talal Derki

Premiere:
IDFA 2017

Select Festivals:
Sundance, DOC NYC, Hot Docs, ZagrebDox, True/False, One World, Thessaloniki, CPH:DOX, Full Frame, Cleveland, DocumentaMadrid, Sydney, Munich, Melbourne, Camden, El Gouna, Hamptons, Sun Valley, Sarasota

About:
An in-depth look at a radical jihadist and his family in Syria.

I profiled the doc before Sundance here.

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In Theatres & On VOD: THE LAST RACE

Coming to theatres and to VOD this Friday, November 16:
THE LAST RACE

Director:
Michael Dweck

Premiere:
Sundance 2018

Select Festivals:
Hamptons, Hot Springs Doc, Gold Coast, Florida, Denver, Virginia

About:
An exploration of a once-thriving but now vanishing subculture of stock car racing in Long Island.

I profiled the doc before Sundance here.

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On TV: TRANSMILITARY

Coming to Logo TV tomorrow, Thursday, November 15:
TRANSMILITARY

Director:
Gabe Silverman

Co-Director:
Fiona Dawson

Premiere:
SXSW 2018

Select Festivals:
AFI Docs, Florida, Minneapolis-St Paul, Frameline, Outfest

About:
Four transgender members of the US military work to end the ban on their service, only to see Trump try to reinstate it.

While lesbians, gay men, and bisexual members of the military saw the end of the discriminatory Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell law, the estimated 15,500 transgender servicemen and women were still barred from serving openly. Silverman and Dawson’s film introduces four brave soldiers who work behind the scenes to change this, beginning in 2015: Logan, FTM, has seen acceptance from his fellow soldiers and does not want to leave behind a career in the military; his partner, Laila, MTF, has not seen the same acceptance and seeks a medical discharge to live authentically as a woman; Jennifer, MTF, is a celebrated military intelligence officer, fearful of losing everything and not being able to support her wife and kids; and El, FTM, is not out to anyone in his current deployment, but does share his experience with supportive brothers-in-arms with whom he trained. After the group with which they’re working with to enact change is approached by Obama’s secretary of defense for a surprise meeting, they celebrate the unexpected lifting of the ban – until Trump’s election throws an unwelcome spanner in the works. The film would have benefitted by profiling fewer subjects and by focusing more expressly on the present-day impact of the current administration rather than the slow and often unfilmable advocacy work that took place behind closed-door meetings, but it remains an affecting and topical story.

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