Category Archives: Documentary

On TV: EATING UP EASTER

Coming to PBS’s Independent Lens tonight, Monday, May 25:
EATING UP EASTER

Director:
Sergio Mata’u Rapu

World Premiere:
Hawai’i 2018

Select Festivals:
Los Angeles Asian Pacific, NY Asian American, CAAMFest, Martha’s Vineyard, Global Peace, Margaret Mead, St Louis, Wild & Scenic, Minneapolis-St Paul, Washington DC Environmental,

About:
A personal examination of the deleterious impact of globalization and tourism on Easter Island.

I previously wrote about the doc here.

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On TV: MOSSVILLE: WHEN GREAT TREES FALL

Coming to The WORLD Channel’s Reel South tonight, Monday, May 25:
MOSSVILLE: WHEN GREAT TREES FALL

Director:
Alexander John Glustrom

World Premiere:
Full Frame 2019

Select Festivals:
DOC NYC, New Orleans, Hot Springs Doc, Washington DC Environmental, BendFilm, Raindance, Durban, Indie Grits, Montclair, Wild & Scenic, Planet in Focus

About:
An intimate profile of one man’s struggle against environmental racism.

I previously wrote about the doc here.

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In Virtual Release: THE RABBI GOES WEST

Coming to virtual theatrical this Sunday, May 24:
THE RABBI GOES WEST

Directors:
Gerald Peary and Amy Geller

World Premiere:
San Francisco Jewish 2019

Select Festivals:
DOC NYC, Vancouver, Jewish fests in Boston, Birmingham, Jerusalem, and Miami

About:
A Brooklyn transplant to Montana attempts to evangelize his strand of Hasidic Judaism.

I previously wrote about the doc here.

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On TV: LANCE

Coming to ESPN in two parts, this Sunday, May 24 and next Sunday, May 31:
LANCE

Director:
Marina Zenovich

World Premiere:
Sundance 2020

About:
The rise and fall of Lance Armstrong.

I profiled the doc before Sundance here.

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On TV/VOD: AKA JANE ROE

Coming to FX tonight, Friday, May 22 and to VOD via Hulu tomorrow, Saturday, May 23:
AKA JANE ROE

Director:
Nick Sweeney

World Premiere:
FX broadcast (May 2020)

About:
Right before her death, Norma McCorvey – better known as “Jane Roe” – sets the record straight on her true beliefs.

In 1969, 21-year-old Norma McCorvey was denied an abortion in Texas, and was unable to obtain one, legally or illegally, elsewhere. Eventually, she was referred to attorneys Linda Coffee and Sarah Weddington, who were looking for a poor pregnant woman who could serve as a pseudonymous plaintiff for the case that would become Roe v Wade. Following the landmark US Supreme Court case, McCorvey revealed herself to be “Jane Roe.” Decades later, following the publication of her autobiography, she made headlines by becoming a staunch anti-abortionist and acolyte of Operation Rescue after her conversion to Christianity, also renouncing her homosexuality in the process. Director Nick Sweeney speaks with McCorvey in a nursing home in the last months before her 2017 death, getting her perspective on her connection to the forever contentious issue and her controversial reversal. She reveals a difficult life, one of abuse and disenfranchisement, and a recurring feeling of being used – first by Coffee and Weddington, who used her as a symbol but did not involve her in the case in any practical manner, and then, she confesses, by Operation Rescue, who had systematically targeted her to flip and use to undermine the pro-choice movement. McCorvey makes a “deathbed confession” that it was all an act, done for profit and publicity – a charge verified by reformed evangelical pastor Robert Schenck, who used to work with her. There’s power in McCorvey, held up as an anonymous symbol on both sides of the reproductive rights debate, speaking her more complicated truth and claiming her own agency, though the viewer may want a greater sense of acknowledgement from her of the damage done by her cynical about face.

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In Virtual Release: KATE NASH: UNDERESTIMATE THE GIRL

Coming to virtual theatrical via Alamo Drafthouse tomorrow, Friday, May 22:
KATE NASH: UNDERESTIMATE THE GIRL

Director:
Amy Goldstein

World Premiere:
Los Angeles 2018

Select Festivals:
DOC NYC, DOK.Fest Munich, Sheffield, Cleveland, St Louis, Hot Springs Doc, ZagrebDox, Krakow, Doc Edge, Minneapolis-St Paul, Salem, Bentonville

About:
A portrait of the musician and actress.

The film screened as part of DOC NYC, for which our program notes read:
Director Amy Goldstein crafts an intimate and inspiring portrait of British darling and powerhouse musician Kate Nash, whose meteoric rise to fame is quickly followed by a soul-crushing release from her major record label and devastating financial developments. Determined to make music on her own terms, Nash self-funds her third album, pursues acting opportunities, and produces her own world tour. Unfiltered and unfettered, Nash’s resilience will make you laugh, cry, and sing.

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In Virtual Release: DIANA KENNEDY: NOTHING FANCY

Coming to virtual theatrical tomorrow, Friday, May 22:
DIANA KENNEDY: NOTHING FANCY

Director:
Elizabeth Carroll

World Premiere:
SXSW 2019

Select Festivals:
DOC NYC, Hot Docs, San Francisco, Hawaii, Vermont, Tallinn Black Nights, Sedona

About:
A portrait of the nonagenarian British author, an expert in regional Mexican cuisine.

The film screened as part of DOC NYC, for which our program notes read:
Diana Kennedy fell in love with Mexican food over 60 years ago, and has made it her mission to document and celebrate the regional varieties of Mexico’s cuisine ever since, becoming the world’s leading authority. Now in her 90s, the celebrated British-born chef and cookbook author is still as feisty and no-nonsense as ever, leading teaching workshops, advocating for environmental sustainability, and planning to turn her home into a foundation for culinary education in Mexico.

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