Coming to HBO Max this Wednesday, August 15: A LA CALLE
Director: Nelson G Navarrete, Maxx Caicedo
World Premiere: DOC NYC 2020
Select Festivals: Docaviv, Human Rights Watch, Cleveland, Miamia, Movies That Matter, United Nations Association
About: An on-the-ground account of the extraordinary efforts of ordinary Venezuelans to reclaim their democracy from the dictatorship of Nicolás Maduro.
The film screened as part of DOC NYC, for which our program notes read: Venezuela’s recent political upheavals are made vivid in Maxx Caicedo and Nelson G Navarrete’s film, whose title translates to “to the street.” Covering multiple perspectives in the tradition of epic documentaries such as THE SQUARE and WINTER ON FIRE, the film captures history unfolding over several years. The filmmakers gain close access to Leopoldo López, whose arrest and imprisonment inspires a national movement against the dictatorship of Nicolás Maduro. This vital chronicle not only helps us understand Venezuela, it also exemplifies a spirit of resistance against corruption that is universally inspiring.
About: Using audio recordings, animation, and new on-camera interviews with people who knew him, the film explores the impact of Truman Capote’s explosive final, unfinished novel.
The film screened as part of DOC NYC, for which our program notes read: Truman Capote was a singular figure in the 20th century. He presented himself unapologetically on television at a time when most gay men took pains to avoid scrutiny. His books Breakfast at Tiffany’s and In Cold Blood were bestsellers and critical darlings.
Now Ebs Burnough’s film delivers a fresh portrait that reinvigorates our understanding of this vital writer. Among the film’s revelations are newly discovered tapes of interviews that The Paris Review co-founder George Plimpton conducted with Capote’s friends after his death.
The film dwells strongly on Capote’s final uncompleted novel, Answered Prayers, which set out to expose Manhattan’s social aristocracy after he befriended them. Plimpton’s tapes shed new light on what happened. They are interwoven with Capote’s notorious television appearances and insightful interviews with the likes of Dick Cavett and Jay McInerney. One unexpected interview is with Capote’s assistant, Kate Harrington, who he treated like an adopted daughter.
Filmmaker Ebs Burnough brings an understanding of elite cultural circles from his own distinguished career, which includes a stint in Obama’s White House. He navigates the complexities of Capote’s life with great skill. The film doesn’t shy away from Capote’s darker side, but it gloriously celebrates his towering achievements.