On TV/DVD: THE BOMBING OF WALL STREET

Coming to PBS’s American Experience and to DVD tomorrow, Tuesday, February 13:
THE BOMBING OF WALL STREET

Director:
Susan Bellows

Premiere:
American Experience (February 2018)

About:
An exploration of a still unsolved terrorist plot that targeted Wall Street in 1920.

At lunchtime on September 16, 1920, in front of Wall Street’s JP Morgan bank headquarters, a horse-drawn carriage laden with explosives claimed the lives of 38 and injured more than a hundred others in the area. While the act of terror remained unsolved, authorities believed it to be the work of anti-capitalist forces, including anarchists and communists, and renewed efforts to target those viewed as radicals, notably immigrant workers and labor organizers. Leading the charge against this early war on terror and nascent red scare was the US Justice Department’s Bureau of Investigation, whose Radical Division (later known as the General Intelligence Division) was under the command of ambitious young attorney J Edgar Hoover. Bellows works backwards from the bombing to trace its origins in an America that had begun to be defined by great economic and political divisions and unrest, resulting in government crackdowns and abuses of power, and further radicalization of those who would question the status quo. Like the better entries of the venerable PBS series, this project simultaneously offers insight into history while underscoring all-too-timely similarities to the present day.

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On TV: FOR AHKEEM

Coming to America ReFramed tomorrow, Tuesday, February 13:
FOR AHKEEM

Directors:
Jeremy S Levine and Landon Van Soest

Premiere:
Berlin 2017

Select Festivals:
Nantucket, Hot Docs, Tribeca, Sheffield, AFI Docs, Florida, Montclair, Documentary Edge, DOK.fest Munich, DMZ Docs, Message to Man, Milwaukee, Antenna

About:
An African-American teenage girl strives to graduate from high school.

I previously wrote about the doc here.

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On TV: ATOMIC HOMEFRONT

Coming to HBO this coming Monday, February 12:
ATOMIC HOMEFRONT

Director:
Rebecca Cammisa

Premiere:
AFI Docs 2017

Select Festivals:
DOC NYC, St Louis, DocuWest, Hot Springs Doc

About:
Ordinary citizens uncover the atomic secrets of St Louis.

I previously wrote about the doc here.

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On TV: DO NOT RESIST

filkins-do-not-resist-1200Coming to PBS’s POV this coming Monday, February 12:
DO NOT RESIST

Director:
Craig Atkinson

Premiere:
Tribeca 2016

Select Festivals:
Hot Docs, Traverse City, AFI Docs, DOXA, Human Rights Watch, Telluride Mountainfilm, Bergen, Zurich, Dokufest, Camden

About:
An exploration of the militarization of America’s police force.

I previously wrote about the doc here.

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On TV: ERIC CLAPTON: LIFE IN 12 BARS

Photo: Ron Pownall

Coming to Showtime this Saturday, February 10:
ERIC CLAPTON: LIFE IN 12 BARS

Director:
Lili Fini Zanuck

Premiere:
Toronto 2017

Select Festivals:
DOC NYC, Camden, IDFA

About:
An intimate, revealing musical odyssey on the life and career of the guitar legend, told by those who have known him best.

I previously wrote about the doc here.

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In Theatres: THE PEACEMAKER

Coming to theatres tomorrow, Friday, February 9:
THE PEACEMAKER

Director:
James Demo

Premiere:
Full Frame 2016

Select Festivals:
DOC NYC, Hot Docs, Sheffield, DOXA, IFF Boston, Woods Hole, Guth Gafa, St Louis, Salem, Sebastopol Doc, Cleveland, Belfast, Florida, SF Doc, Galway

About:
An Irish mediator of divided societies struggles with his inner demons.

The film screened as part of DOC NYC, for which our program notes read:
Padraig O’Malley is legendary among the international human rights community for being a negotiator in crisis zones from Northern Ireland to Kosovo to Iraq. He funds his efforts as the co-owner of a bar in Cambridge MA – but he also struggles with addictions to alcohol and work. We meet Padraig in the third act of his life as he strives to find salvation in conflict zones, his personal relationships, and within himself.

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On DVD: BIG CHARITY: THE DEATH OF AMERICA’S OLDEST HOSPITAL

New to DVD this week:
BIG CHARITY: THE DEATH OF AMERICA’S OLDEST HOSPITAL

Director:
Alexander Glustrom

Premiere:
New Orleans 2014

Select Festivals:
Atlanta, Louisiana

About:
The story of corruption that brought down the longest operating hospital in the US.

Glustrom’s project is at once a requiem to a New Orleans institution and an investigation into its controversial closing in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Charity Hospital served the city for nearly three centuries, providing health care for the poor when other institutions wouldn’t. During Katrina, staff and patients weathered the storm without food, water, or power, but in its aftermath, questionable decisions motivated by political forces led to Charity’s demise. Despite its truncated length, Glustrom’s film remains compelling, and speaks to broader issues around health care, economics, and class that extend far beyond Louisiana.

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