Category Archives: Releases

On VOD: DEREK DELGAUDIO’S IN & OF ITSELF

Coming to Hulu today, Friday, January 22:
DEREK DELGAUDIO’S IN & OF ITSELF

Director:
Frank Oz

World Premiere:
SXSW 2020 (unscreened)

Select Festivals:
DOC NYC, Montclair, Philadelphia

About:
The illusionist’s acclaimed one-man show.

The film screened as part of DOC NYC, for which our program notes read:
For more than 500 performances, Derek DelGaudio left New York City audiences moved and astonished by his one-man show combining the art of illusion and storytelling. Filmmaker Frank Oz turns DelGaudio’s intimate live performances into an unforgettable film about redemption and identity that builds with both emotion and wonder to a jaw-dropping final act. Now that live performance has been drastically curtailed by the pandemic, the chance to be immersed in this one-of-a-kind experience feels all the more precious.  

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In Select Theatres: THE HUMAN FACTOR

Coming to select theatres today, Friday, January 22:
THE HUMAN FACTOR

Director:
Dror Moreh

World Premiere:
Telluride 2019

Select Festivals:
DOC NYC, Hamptons, Chicago, AFI Fest, Philadelphia, Cork, Jerusalem, Woodstock, Savannah

About:
A look back at peace negotiations between Israel and Palestine in 2000 through the memories of American diplomats.

The film screened as part of DOC NYC, for which our program notes read:
Filmmaker Dror Moreh proved himself an expert navigator of powerful figures in his Oscar-nominated film The Gatekeepers, about the leaders of Israel’s Shin Bet security agency. Now he employs his talents to probe the American-led negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians in 2000. The main insiders on camera are six top American diplomats who testify to the human factor—the personal contact between the lead politicians Ehud Barak, Yasser Arafat and Bill Clinton—for a revelatory look at a lost opportunity.

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On VOD: MY REMBRANDT

Coming to VOD tomorrow, Friday, January 22:
MY REMBRANDT

Director:
Oeke Hoogendijk

World Premiere:
IDFA 2019

Select Festivals:
Docs Against Gravity, Montclair, Vancouver, GlobeDocs, Docville, Cologne

About:
Profiles of various owners – private and institutional – of works by the Old Master.

I previously wrote about the doc here.

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In Virtual Release: COMING CLEAN

Coming to virtual cinemas tomorrow, Friday, January 22:
COMING CLEAN

Director:
Ondi Timoner

World Premiere:
Bentonville 2020

Select Festivals:
Sidewalk, Woodstock, Milwaukee, Denver, BendFilm,

About:
An expansive look at America’s opioid crisis.

Drug addiction has long been a serious issue in the US, but our most recent opioid epidemic can be traced back to the late-1990s, with the rise of prescriptions for pain killers. A confluence of factors, including the greedy machinations of pharmaceutical companies and doctors, as well as a depressive economy leading to an increase in vulnerable individuals, set the stage for skyrocketing abuse, addiction, suffering, and death. With opioids impacting not just marginalized communities, media and politicians paid more attention than they would normally – a larger societal problem – but effective solutions to slow or halt the course of opioid abuse have been slow in coming. Ondi Timoner’s film covers a lot of ground, profiling recovering users as well as several individuals trying to tackle the problem, from politicians to attorneys. As with many projects that attempt to address a huge issue like this, there’s an inclination to feature as many stories as possible to illustrate the complexities of addiction, often leading to a cursory or episodic feel. That said, the film’s focus on forward-thinking efforts in two states, Utah and Colorado, to combat the opioid crisis wisely helps to ground the problem. Timoner succeeds in underscoring the need for industry accountability, regulation, and compassionate treatment over punishment if the country has any hopes of seeing the other side of this epidemic.

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On DVD/VOD: WELCOME TO CHECHNYA

Coming to DVD and VOD today, Thursday, January 21:
WELCOME TO CHECHNYA

Director:
David France

World Premiere:
Sundance 2020

Select Festivals:
Berlin, True/False, One World, Miami, CPH:DOX, Hot Docs, Thessaloniki Doc, Sheffield, Human Rights Watch

About:
An exposé of Chechnya’s state-sanctioned policy to rid Chechnya of LGBTQ+ individuals.

I profiled the doc before Sundance here.

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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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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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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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