Coming to Netflix today, Wednesday, March 25:
Nicole Newnham and Jim LeBrecht
Select Festivals (including COVID 19-cancelled/postponed events):
Documentary Fortnight, True/False, San Francisco, Human Rights Watch London, ReelAbilities, Miami
A chronicle of the origins of America’s disability rights movement.
My pre-Sundance doc profile may be found here.
Coming to PBS tonight, Tuesday, March 24:
EAST LAKE MEADOWS: A PUBLIC HOUSING STORY
Sarah Burns and David McMahon
PBS broadcast (March 2020)
The history of an Atlanta public housing community.
Located on the outskirts of Atlanta, adjacent to a golf course, East Lake Meadows opened in 1970, serving an urgent need for public housing for low-income families, primarily African Americans. After years of neglect that facilitated the emergence of crime in the community, an agreement was reached between developers and the city of Atlanta to demolish the housing in 1995 and replace it with a new mixed-income community. Filmmakers Sarah Burns and David McMahon explore the history of the development of East Lake Meadows through to its re-envisioning as an upwardly mobile part of the greater Atlanta area, delving into the narratives that enabled the transformation, and the role that racism and classism played. Interviews with former residents of the community speak to the positive forces that were overshadowed, unfairly, by a reputation for crime and violence that was blamed on residents, ignoring the systemic inequalities that stacked the deck against them. What emerges is a fascinating oral history of resilience and reclamation, setting straight the accepted but shamefully flawed official story, like so many others involving public housing in the nation’s history.
New to OVID.tv last week:
KARL MARX CITY
Petra Epperlein and Michael Tucker
New York, Chicago, Stockholm, Palm Springs, Guadalajara, CPH:DOX, Movies That Matter, Indielisboa, Docaviv, Durban
A personal exploration of the legacy of the East German surveillance state.
I previously wrote about the doc here.
Coming to DVD tomorrow, Tuesday, March 24:
SHOOTING THE MAFIA
DOC NYC, Berlin, CPH:DOX, Docs Against Gravity, Biografilm, London, Vilnius, Zurich
A portrait of an acclaimed Sicilian photographer and her lifetime bravely bearing witness to the Mafia’s crimes.
I profiled the doc before Sundance here.
Coming to PBS’s POV this coming Monday, March 23:
THE RESCUE LIST
Alyssa Fedele and Zachary Fink
Full Frame 2018
DOC NYC, San Francisco, Heartland, Big Sky, BendFilm, DocLands, Denver, Sebastopol Doc
Ghanaian activists are on a mission rescue and rehabilitate victims of a child-slavery industry.
The film screened as part of DOC NYC, for which our program notes read:
Surrounding Ghana’s Lake Volta – the largest man-made lake on Earth – is an active child-slavery industry. Sold by desperate families and abused by fishing masters, some 20,000 children work in perilous conditions. Activists like Stephen Kwame Addo, who escaped from such a fate himself, work to rescue as many children as possible and rehabilitate them before attempting to reunite them with their families. This ultimately hopeful film intimately documents the experiences of three boys as they make the transition back to normal life after their harrowing ordeal.
Coming to VOD tomorrow, Friday, March 20:
DOC NYC, Hot Docs, Full Frame, AFI Docs, CPH:DOX
An exploration of the potential implications of a major DNA technology.
I previously wrote about the doc here.
Coming to HBO tomorrow night, Thursday, March 19:
AFTER TRUTH: DISINFORMATION AND THE COST OF FAKE NEWS
SXSW 2020 (festival cancelled)
An investigation into the development, dissemination, and impact of conspiracy theories and fake news.
Today’s social media-focused world of TL;DR insta-news has enabled the rapid weaponizing of rumor, conspiracy, and outright lies in the form of disinformation campaigns disguised as fact. The current US presidential administration has done possibly irreparable harm to the trust and respect traditionally afforded to the legitimate press, taking a play out of dictatorial playbooks by labeling any media entity that dares to be critical as “fake news.” This egregious co-opting of the term and its application not to actual purveyors of falsehoods but instead to actual journalism further complicates the general public’s ability to address the phenomenon clearly. Filmmaker Andrew Rossi cogently takes on this complex landscape, delving into a handful of stories – chiefly Pizzagate, the Seth Rich “assassination,” and the Jade Helm/Bastrop TX conspiracy, among others – and tracing how these events unfolded, exploring who perpetrates the falsehoods both knowingly and unknowingly, and revealing how the victims continue to suffer the consequences. Most revealing, the film follows notorious pro-Trump disinformation peddlers Jack Burkman and Jacob Wohl behind the scenes as they bungle a press conference baselessly accusing special counsel Robert Mueller of sexual misconduct, clearly demonstrating their reprehensible tactics.