Category Archives: Documentary

On DVD: CITY OF GOLD

city of goldComing to DVD tomorrow, Tuesday, September 27: CITY OF GOLD

Laura Gabbert’s look at Jonathan Gold’s love of culinary Los Angeles premiered at Sundance last year. Its fest circuit also included DOC NYC, SXSW, Melbourne, Napa Valley, Vancouver, Traverse City, deadCENTER, Provincetown, Newport Beach, AFI Docs, New Zealand, and Montclair, among others.

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

Leave a comment

Filed under Documentary, Film, Film Festivals, Recommendations, Releases, Sundance

On DVD: HOW TO DANCE IN OHIO

how to dance in ohioComing to DVD tomorrow, Tuesday, September 27: HOW TO DANCE IN OHIO

Alexandra Shiva’s look at a rite of passage experienced by youth on the autism spectrum debuted at Sundance last year. Screenings followed at Nantucket, AFI Docs, Melbourne, Margaret Mead, Nashville, deadCENTER, and Full Frame, among other events.

My pre-Sundance doc profile may be found here.

Leave a comment

Filed under Documentary, Film, Film Festivals, Recommendations, Releases, Sundance

On TV: TOCANDO LA LUZ

TOCANDOLALUZ-KEYComing to PBS’s Doc World on the World Channel this Sunday, September 25: TOCANDO LA LUZ

Jennifer Redfearn’s portrait of three blind Cuban women debuted at Full Frame last year. It went on to screen at DOC NYC, Galway, Miami, and Bath, among other events.

I previously wrote about the film for DOC NYC, saying:
Havana, Cuba. An up-and-coming singer searches for confidence, a young woman in love longs for motherhood, and a veteran of the Revolution comes to terms with the death of her husband. Three women, united by blindness and a desire for independence, guide us through Cuba’s current economic and social landscape while pursuing their dreams and breaking through personal and societal limitations.

Leave a comment

Filed under Documentary, Film, Recommendations, Releases

In Theatres: SEED: THE UNTOLD STORY

seed_1_720_405_80Coming to theatres today, Friday, September 23: SEED: THE UNTOLD STORY

Taggart Siegel and Jon Betz’s look at the battle to save seed diversity debuted at Washington DC’s Environmental Film Festival. Screenings followed at Nashville, Rhode Island, Princeton Environmental, Sheffield, Florida, DOXA, and Woods Hole, among other events.

Recognizing the rapid disappearance of agricultural biodiversity over the past century, seed keepers are on a mission to protect what little we have left. Siegel and Betz survey the range of stakeholders – from independent farmers and community seed bank organizers to indigenous practitioners and food scientists – as they face off against biotech companies for the future of the world’s food sources. While covering similar territory as other recent films about seeds and biodiversity, and spending a bit too much screen time on repetitious proclamations on the sacredness of seeds, the film succeeds in conveying an urgency around the issue.

Leave a comment

Filed under Documentary, Film, Releases

In Theatres & On VOD: AUDRIE & DAISY

audrieComing to theatres and to Netflix today, Friday, September 23: AUDRIE & DAISY

Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk’s examination of the impact of online bullying on teenage sexual assault victims premiered at Sundance this year. Screenings followed at San Francisco, Hot Docs, Traverse City, Melbourne, and Montclair, among others. In addition to its theatrical and Netflix release, free community and university screenings have been set up across the country.

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

Leave a comment

Filed under Documentary, Film, Film Festivals, Recommendations, Releases, Sundance

In Theatres: THE JAZZ LOFT ACCORDING TO W EUGENE SMITH

THEJAZZLOFTACCORDINGTOWEUGENESMITH-KEYComing to theatres tomorrow, Friday, September 23: THE JAZZ LOFT ACCORDING TO W EUGENE SMITH

Sara Fishko’s look at legendary jazz history debuted at the New Orleans Film Festival last year. Its fest circuit also included DOC NYC, Rotterdam, Full Frame, Cleveland, Florida, BAFICI, and the Copenhagen Jazz Film Festival, among other events.

I previously wrote about the film for DOC NYC’s program, saying:
Between 1957 and 1965, former LIFE Magazine photojournalist W Eugene Smith obsessively photographed and taped the goings-on at the dilapidated Sixth Avenue loft he called home. As revealed in this astonishing WNYC-produced time capsule, what he captured is a treasure trove of NYC jazz of that period, including a three-week rehearsal by the legendary Thelonious Monk and jazz and classical music lessons given by the Juilliard-trained Hall Overton.

Leave a comment

Filed under Documentary, Film, Recommendations, Releases

In Theatres: GENERATION STARTUP

generation_startup_NEWComing to theatres tomorrow, Friday, September 23: GENERATION STARTUP

Cynthia Wade and Cheryl Miller Houser’s look at young entrepreneurs in Detroit debuted at Traverse City earlier this year. In addition to its limited theatrical release, the film will screen at the upcoming Milwaukee Film Festival and at other special events.

With American entrepreneurship at its nadir, and industry still seeking cheaper labor overseas, the prospects for a lasting economic upswing are uncertain. While Wade and Houser’s film celebrates some of the forward-thinking risk-takers who are trying to launch businesses, it refreshingly doesn’t sugarcoat the obstacles they face. Working in the particularly economically-depressed city of Detroit, the six subjects exploit the advantages of their location while trying to be part of the community that helps to build it back up, but acknowledge that they have an uphill battle to climb. Notably, they also address issues of diversity and the barriers traditionally faced by women and people of color, who often find themselves woefully under-represented relative to white men in startup enterprises. Nevertheless, the film’s cautious optimism gives hope, and potential inspiration, to other would-be innovators.

Leave a comment

Filed under Documentary, Film, Recommendations, Releases