Category Archives: Film

On DVD: THE PHANTOM

Coming to DVD tomorrow, Tuesday, August 3:
THE PHANTOM

Director:
Patrick Forbes 

World Premiere:
Tribeca 2021

About:
A searching examination of a Texas murder to determine whether or not an innocent man was put to death, exploring the prejudice and discrimination that persists today in America’s Hispanic community.

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On TV/VOD: OBAMA: IN PURSUIT OF A MORE PERFECT UNION

Coming to HBO and HBO Max beginning tomorrow, Tuesday, August 3:
OBAMA: IN PURSUIT OF A MORE PERFECT UNION

Director:
Peter Kunhardt

World Premiere:
HBO/HBO Max (August 2021)

About:
A three-part docuseries chronicling the personal and political journey of President Barack Obama as the US grapples with its racial history.

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Special Screening: MISHA AND THE WOLVES

Coming to NYC’s JCC Manhattan tomorrow, Tuesday, August 3:
MISHA AND THE WOLVES

Director:
Sam Hobkinson

World Premiere:
Sundance 2021

Select Festivals:
CPH:DOX, Hot Docs, Docaviv, Thessaloniki Doc, RiverRun

About:
The fascinating tale of a woman’s self-mythologizing Holocaust survival story.

I profiled the doc before Sundance here.

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On TV: PIER KIDS

Coming to PBS’s POV today, Monday, August 2:
PIER KIDS

Director:
Elegance Bratton

World Premiere:
Outfest 2019

Select Festivals:
DOC NYC, New Orleans, True/False, BlackStar, Wicked Queer, Frameline, Virginia

About:
A portrait of several homeless queer youth of color in NYC.

The film screened as part of DOC NYC, for which our program notes read:
Caught up in the precariousness of survival and self-preservation, homeless queer and trans youth of color hang out at Christopher Street Pier, forging their own chosen family. Genuine and charming, these eloquent youth must contend with overwhelming amounts of homophobia and abuse. As real as it gets, and with intimate, immersive access to the hazardous life of its vulnerable but fearless protagonists, director Elegance Bratton’s still-hopeful portrait exposes a raw side of New York City many often choose to ignore.

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On VOD: MR SOUL!

Coming to HBO Max this Sunday, August 1:
MR SOUL!

Director:
Melissa Haizlip

Co-Director:
Sam Pollard

World Premiere:
Tribeca 2018

Select Festivals:
Hot Docs, True/False, AFI Docs, New Orleans, Rotterdam, Durban, BlackStar, Urbanworld, Pan African, Los Angeles, Chicago, Denver, London, Indie Memphis, Woodstock, Heartland

About:
A portrait of the pioneer behind SOUL!, the acclaimed African-American public television cultural variety show.

I previously wrote about the doc here.

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On TV: ROAD RUNNERS

Coming to The WORLD Channel’s Doc World this Sunday, August 1:
ROAD RUNNERS

Director:
Mike Todd

World Premiere:
Doc World broadcast (August 2021)

About:
Young Montego Bay athletes prepare to compete in Jamaica’s greatest sporting event.

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In Theatres & On VOD: SABAYA

Coming to theatres and VOD today, Friday, July 30:
SABAYA

Director:
Hogir Hirori

World Premiere:
Sundance 2021

Select Festivals:
Nantucket, CPH:DOX, True/False, Docaviv, Hong Kong, Moscow, Melbourne

About:
An immersion into dangerous efforts to rescue Yazidi women and girls from their horrific fate as ISIS sex slaves.

I profiled the doc before Sundance here.

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In Theatres: PRAY AWAY

Coming to theatres tomorrow, Friday, July 30:
PRAY AWAY

Director:
Kristine Stolakis

World Premiere:
Tribeca 2020 (unscreened)

Select Festivals:
Telluride, Hot Docs, Florida, Doc10, AFI Docs

About:
A powerful exposé on gay conversion programs, revealing the damage inflicted by shame and repression through intimate testimonies from current members and former leaders of the pray the gay away movement.

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In Theatres & On DVD/VOD: FINDING KENDRICK JOHNSON

Coming to theatres and to DVD/VOD tomorrow, Friday, July 30:
FINDING KENDRICK JOHNSON

Director:
Jason Pollock

World Premiere:
DVD/VOD release (July 2021)

About:
An investigation of an apparent coverup in the death of a Black high school student in Georgia, whose body was found rolled up in a gym mattress.

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In Theatres & On VOD: ENEMIES OF THE STATE

Coming to theatres and to VOD tomorrow, Friday, July 30:
ENEMIES OF THE STATE

Director:
Sonia Kennebeck

World Premiere:
Tribeca 2020 (unscreened)

Select Festivals:
DOC NYC, Toronto, CPH:DOX, Calgary, Glasgow

About:
Everything is not as it seems for an American family that flees to Canada to protect their hacker son from US government persecution.

The film screened as part of DOC NYC, for which our program notes read:
Director Sonia Kennebeck investigates the strange case of Anonymous hacktivist Matt DeHart and his claims of persecution by the US government. He and his parents fled the US seeking asylum in Canada after law enforcement brought charges against him for child pornography. DeHart counters that he’s being framed, targeted for his support of Wikileaks, and that he was tortured in a US prison. Unfolding like an espionage mystery, the film follows a multiyear quest for truth, with unexpected twists and turns until the very end.

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