Category Archives: Recommendations

On TV: TWELVE DISCIPLES OF NELSON MANDELA

Coming to The WORLD Channel’s AfroPoP tonight, Friday, February 21:
TWELVE DISCIPLES OF NELSON MANDELA

Director:
Thomas Allen Harris

World Premiere:
Toronto 2005

Select Festivals:
Thessaloniki Doc, Africa in the Picture, Pan African, Bermuda

About:
The story of the first wave of black South Africans who fought for freedom in exile.

After the death of his stepfather, Benjamin Pule Leinaeng, filmmaker Thomas Allen Harris sets out to tell not only Leinaeng’s story, but that of his close friends and fellow freedom fighters, in total a dozen young men who grew up under apartheid, supported the African National Congress, and, eventually, had to leave their homeland to try to garner support for their cause in the international community. For his part, Leinaeng resettled in New York City, where he met Harris’ mother, and, together, created a central hub of sorts for the movement. Reflections from the surviving Mandela “disciples,” as well as Harris and his family, are combined with dramatic re-enactments and film shot by Leinaeng to trace the freedom fighters’ often surprising and sometimes dangerous activities, intimately revealing both the costs and joys of their three decades of work conducted in exile.

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On TV: WE BELIEVE IN DINOSAURS

Coming to PBS’s Independent Lens tonight, Monday, February 17:
WE BELIEVE IN DINOSAURS

Directors:
Clayton Brown and Monica Long Ross

World Premiere:
San Francisco 2019

Select Festivals:
DOC NYC, AFI Docs, St Louis, Hot Springs Doc, Woods Hole, Sidewalk, Southern Circuit, Rocky Mountain Women’s, Virginia

About:
An exploration of the influence of American creationism through Kentucky’s contentious Ark Encounter museum.

The film screened as part of DOC NYC, for which our program notes read:
In rural Kentucky, a creationist group builds a life-size, $120 million Noah’s Ark museum – replete with animal, human, and dinosaur models – in an attempt to affirm the factuality of the Biblical story. Standing against this attempt to co-opt history and science are a local geologist, an atheist activist, and a former creationist. Throw in a tax scheme that funnels public funds into the Ark at the expense of local economic sustainability, and the result is an outlandish tale that must be seen to be believed.

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On DVD: MCCARTHY

New to DVD this week:
MCCARTHY

Director:
Sharon Grimberg

World Premiere:
American Experience (January 2020)

About:
A comprehensive account of the rise and fall of notorious Wisconsin senator Joseph McCarthy.

I previously wrote about the doc here.

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On VOD: RAW HERRING

New to OVID.tv last week:
RAW HERRING

Directors:
Leonard Retel Helmrich and Hetty Naaijkens-Retel Helmrich

World Premiere:
Tribeca 2013

Select Festivals:
Hamburg, Nederlands

About:
A look at a peculiarly Dutch fishing tradition.

I previously wrote about the doc out of Tribeca here.

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Big Sky 2020 Overview

Festival:
The 17th Big Sky Documentary Film Festival

Dates:
February 14-23

About:
Montana’s largest film event presents approximately 45 new and recent documentary features, as well as retrospective work, shorts, and panels. Continue reading

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On VOD: THE PEARL BUTTON

pearlNew to OVID.tv last week: THE PEARL BUTTON

Director:
Patricio Guzmán

World Premiere:
Berlin 2015

Select Festivals:
Toronto, BAFICI, Biografilm, Sydney, Jerusalem, Melbourne, San Sebastian, Bergen, Vancouver, London, Yamagata

About:
A personal excavation of Chile’s dark legacy.

I previously wrote about the film here.

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On VOD: BOYS WHO LIKE GIRLS

New to OVID.tv last week:
BOYS WHO LIKE GIRLS

Director:
Inka Achté

World Premiere:
Sheffield 2018

Select Festivals:
DOC NYC, Bergen, Sao Paulo, Nordisk Panorama, Helsinki

About:
Indian men and boys seek to break the cycle of gendered violence.

The film screened as part of DOC NYC, for which our program notes read:
In the aftermath of the infamous Delhi gang rape, one man works to change the way Indian boys view females. Harish and his nonprofit are devoted to educating impoverished male youth like Ved to respect women and girls. Despite the progress the activist makes in combating toxic masculinity, Harish struggles to find funding because his work is focused on males. Provoking and thoughtful, Inka Achté’s film is a tender tale of activism in the midst of a furious global discussion on gendered violence.

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