Category Archives: Recommendations

In Theatres: UNAPOLOGETIC

Coming to theatres today, Friday, August 27:
UNAPOLOGETIC

Director:
Ashley O’Shay

World Premiere:
BlackStar 2020

Select Festivals:
DOC NYC, New Orleans, Black Harvest, St Louis, Cucalorus, Big Sky Doc, Athena, Cleveland, Human Rights Watch, Outfest Fusion

About:
Two fierce abolitionist leaders offer a deep look into the movement for Black Lives.

The film screened as part of DOC NYC, for which our program notes read:
Fed up with misdeeds committed by Chicago law enforcement and a political system unwilling to hold anyone accountable, two millennial Black women take action. Spoken-word artist Bella and PhD candidate Janaé work tirelessly rallying the community and challenging a power structure that historically turns a deaf ear to young, Black, female voices. Over the course of a year, filmmaker Ashley O’Shay documents these courageous activists in their quest for political liberation and social justice.  

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In Theatres & On VOD: LILY TOPPLES THE WORLD

Coming to Discovery+ today, Thursday, August 26, and to theatres tomorrow, Friday, August 27:
LILY TOPPLES THE WORLD

Director:
Jeremy Workman

World Premiere:
BlackStar 2020

Select Festivals:
Cleveland, Florida, Ashland, Minneapolis-St Paul, San Francisco, Maryland, RiverRun, Sarasota

About:
20-year-old Lily Hevesh—the world’s greatest domino toppler and the only woman in her field—in a coming-of-age story of artistry, passion, and unlikely triumph.

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Jerusalem 2021: Documentary Overview

Festival:
The 38th Jerusalem Film Festival

Dates:
August 24-September 4

About:
This respected Israeli event presents more than 100 features, including approximately 30 documentaries.

Continue reading

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On VOD: GENERATION GROWTH

Coming to Discovery+ today, Monday, August 23:
GENERATION GROWTH

Director:
Mu Sun

World Premiere:
Heartland 2020

Select Festivals:
Hot Springs Doc

About:
A Bronx educator who has developed an indoor gardening curriculum to bring hope, health, and opportunity to low-income students works to expand the program across the country.

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On VOD: UNDER THE VOLCANO

New to VOD this week:
UNDER THE VOLCANO

Director:
Gracie Otto

World Premiere:
SXSW 2021

About:
The story of George Martin’s AIR Studios Montserrat and the island that changed music forever.

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In Theatres: MISSING IN BROOKS COUNTY

Coming to theatres today, Friday, August 20:
MISSING IN BROOKS COUNTY

Director:
Lisa Molomot, Jeff Bemiss

World Premiere:
Dallas Docufest 2020

Select Festivals:
DOC NYC, Double Exposure, United Nations Association, Hot Springs Doc, Rocky Mountain Women’s, Fargo, Salem, Sonoma, Thin Line, Cleveland, Annapolis, Ashland, Sarasota, RiverRun, Mountainfilm

About:
The deadly consequences of America’s immigration policy are revealed in a Texan border town.

The film screened as part of DOC NYC, for which our program notes read:
Just 70 miles north of the Mexican-US border is a land haunted by ghosts. Brooks County, Texas is a barren landscape designed as a deterrent to illegal crossings, but people continue to attempt to cross, and many die trying. The municipality lacks the resources to properly deal with this sad reality, and the numbers keep rising. Multiple locals proffer contrasting opinions as two families search for their loved ones, and the toll of an unsustainable immigration policy is laid bare.

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On VOD: MR SOUL!

Coming to HBO Max this Sunday, August 22:
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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In Theatres: ON BROADWAY

Coming to theatres today, Friday, August 20:
ON BROADWAY

Director:
Oren Jacoby

World Premiere:
Hamptons 2019

Select Festivals:
DOC NYC, New York Jewish, RiverRun, Atlanta Jewish, Miami Jewish, Sedona, Boulder Jewish

About:
A history of and love letter to Broadway.

The film screened as part of DOC NYC, for which our program notes read:
For anyone who loves theater, this contemporary history of Broadway is a joy, packed with legendary stars and performances. Key players—Helen Mirren, Christine Baranski, August Wilson, James Corden, Alec Baldwin, John Lithgow, Viola Davis, Hugh Jackman, and Ian McKellen—take us behind the scenes of Broadway’s most groundbreaking shows, from A Chorus Line to Hamilton. The film includes performances by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Patti Lupone, Bernadette Peters, James Earl Jones, and Mandy Patinkin.

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In Theatres & On VOD: BARBARA LEE: SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER

Coming to theatres and VOD tomorrow, Friday, August 20:
BARBARA LEE: SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER

Director:
Abby Ginzberg

World Premiere:
San Francisco 2020 (unscreened)

Select Festivals:
DOC NYC, San Francisco Jewish, Pan African, Cleveland

About:
A portrait of the outspoken US Congresswoman.

The film screened as part of DOC NYC, for which our program notes read:
An intimate, inspiring, and timely portrait of Congresswoman Barbara Lee, a true pioneer of American civil rights who was the lone voice in opposition to the authorization of military force after the September 11th attacks. A unique selection of political commentators, activists, politicians, and family members add depth to the story of the highest-ranking Black woman in the US Congress. Uncompromising and conscientious to the core, she is its most steadfast voice for peace, and for economic and racial justice.  

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In Theatres: MOMENTS LIKE THIS NEVER LAST

Coming to theatres this Friday, August 20:
MOMENTS LIKE THIS NEVER LAST

Director:
Cheryl Dunn

World Premiere:
DOC NYC 2020

Select Festivals:
Docaviv, Melbourne

About:
A compelling, immersive portrait of the late artist Dash Snow.

I previously wrote about the film for DOC NYC’s program, saying:
Dash Snow rejected a life of privilege to make his own way as an artist on the streets of downtown New York City in the late 1990s. Developing from a notorious graffiti tagger into an international art star, he documented his drug- and alcohol-fueled nights with the surrogate family he formed with friends and fellow artists Ryan McGinley and Dan Colen before his death by heroin overdose in 2009. Drawing from Snow’s unforgettable body of work and involving archival footage, Cheryl Dunn’s exceptional portrait captures his all-too-brief life of reckless excess and creativity.

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