Category Archives: Film

2021 Sundance Docs in Focus: IN THE SAME BREATH

Courtesy of Sundance Institute


IN THE SAME BREATH
Nanfu Wang investigates the dual forces of propaganda and patriotism in the response to the coronavirus outbreaks in both China and the US.

Festival Section:
Premieres (Day One film)

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On DVD: THE DISRUPTED

New to DVD this week:
THE DISRUPTED

Director:
Sarah Colt

Co-Director:
Josh Gleason

World Premiere:
DOK.fest Munich 2020

Select Festivals:
Mountainfilm, Woods Hole

About:
A portrait of three working class individuals facing disruption and change in their economic situations.

I previously wrote about the doc here.

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On DVD: BORN TO BE

New to DVD this week:
BORN TO BE

Director:
Tania Cypriano

World Premiere:
New York Film Festival 2019

Select Festivals:
Docaviv, Hamptons, Palm Springs, Hong Kong, Melbourne, Sarasota, Cleveland, Nashville, Cinequest, Seattle Asian American

About:
A portrait of a physician who specializes in gender transition surgery and his patients at Mt Sinai.

I previously wrote about the doc here.

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2021 Sundance Docs in Focus: BRING YOUR OWN BRIGADE

Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Lucy Walker


BRING YOUR OWN BRIGADE
Lucy Walker offers a compelling and comprehensive essay exploring the history and causes of wildfires.

Festival Section:
Premieres

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On VOD: HEALING FROM HATE: BATTLE FOR THE SOUL OF A NATION

Coming to VOD this Friday, January 22:
HEALING FROM HATE: BATTLE FOR THE SOUL OF A NATION

Director:
Peter Hutchison

World Premiere:
DOC NYC 2019

Select Festivals:
Martha’s Vineyard, Big Sky Doc

About:
Former hate group members help others attempting to leave behind radicalism.

I previously wrote about the doc here.

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2021 Sundance Docs in Focus: AMY TAN: UNINTENDED MEMOIR

Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by KPJR Films


AMY TAN: UNINTENDED MEMOIR
The late James Redford profiles the life and career of the noted author.

Festival Section:
Premieres

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On DVD: ASSASSINS

Coming to DVD today, Tuesday, January 19:
ASSASSINS

Director:
Ryan White

World Premiere:
Sundance 2020

Select Festivals:
DOC NYC, Zurich, Warsaw, Stockholm, Full Frame, Double Exposure, Hot Docs, Brisbane, Hawai’i

About:
An investigation of the bizarre story behind the brazen assassination of the half-brother of Kim Jong-un.

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

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On TV: THE AREA

Coming to The WORLD Channel’s America ReFramed today, Tuesday, January 19:
THE AREA

Director:
David Schalliol

World Premiere:
Full Frame 2018

Select Festivals:
Black Harvest, SF IndieFest

About:
A longitudinal portrait of a historically Black South Side Chicago neighborhood as it faces destruction.

For generations, Englewood has been home for hundreds of Black families, part of a legacy that stretches back to the Great Migration. Notably, despite decades of inequities and racist policies that have historically limited the ability of many Black people to be homeowners, Englewood has beaten the odds, with half of its families owning their homes. David Schalliol’s film begins in 2012, when the Norfolk Southern railroad company has already begun to decimate Englewood, buying up property to expand its nearby rail yard. Working in concert with local politicians, all too eager to reframe the neighborhood as suffering from urban blight and to erase its long history, Norfolk Southern’s victory is sadly inevitable. Despite this, some local residents refuse to go quietly, demanding to be treated with respect and to be offered fair compensation for their homes. Schalliol follows their righteous, if Sisyphean, struggle – and the sad demise of Englewood – over five years in this sensitively observed profile.

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2021 Sundance Docs in Focus: WRITING WITH FIRE

Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Black Ticket Films


WRITING WITH FIRE
Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh chronicle the trailblazing work of India’s only news outlet run by Dalit women – once known as “untouchable.”

Festival Section:
World Cinema Documentary Competition

Country:
India

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On DVD: ROLLING THUNDER REVUE: A BOB DYLAN STORY BY MARTIN SCORSESE

Coming to DVD via the Criterion Collection today, Tuesday, January 19:
ROLLING THUNDER REVUE: A BOB DYLAN STORY BY MARTIN SCORSESE

Director:
Martin Scorsese

Premiere:
Netflix (June 2019)

Select Festivals:
DOC NYC, Sydney

About:
Bob Dylan’s legendary tour from the mid-1970s is filtered through the Martin Scorsese’s distinctive lens.

The film screened as part of DOC NYC, for which our program notes read:
In 1975, Bob Dylan embarked on a two-year tour that became legendary. Now Martin Scorsese draws upon footage shot on that tour to create a documentary as unique as Dylan, with fictional elements interwoven. The film includes a parade of iconic figures including Allen Ginsberg, Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell, Gordon Lightfoot, and Patti Smith.

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