In Theatres & In Virtual Release: JIMMY CARTER: ROCK & ROLL PRESIDENT

Coming to select theatres and to virtual cinemas today, Wednesday, September 9:
JIMMY CARTER: ROCK & ROLL PRESIDENT

Director:
Mary Wharton

World Premiere:
Tribeca 2020

Select Festivals:
Nantucket, AFI Docs

About:
A consideration of the importance of popular music in the life and political career of the former US president.

Presidential biographies are often fairly staid affairs, stories of how privilege and/or determination allowed the subject to become a great leader and take the seat of the highest office in the country, followed by a recitation of his great achievements or challenge while in power. Mary Wharton’s version is refreshingly different, using the unique lens of music to frame the story of the 39th president. Far from simply acknowledging that Jimmy Carter liked rock ‘n’ roll – which, while in and of itself telling of a generational difference between older politicians – the film explores how he marshalled support from musicians like the Allman Brothers and Jimmy Buffett on his campaign to help attract younger voters to get him elected, as well as his canny use of music as a soft power during his administration, such as his arranging of a trip to Nashville for the Chinese ambassador to the US. While the focus on music fades away a bit in the final stretch of Wharton’s film, its impact is clearly established, making for an enjoyably nostalgic and creative appreciation of Jimmy Carter and of his embrace of music’s ability to unify audiences.

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On DVD: LOS REYES

New to DVD this week:
LOS REYES

Directors:
Bettina Perut and Iván Osnovikoff

World Premiere:
IDFA 2018

Select Festivals:
CPH:DOX, Film Comment Selects, DocPoint, Göteborg, Montclair, Biografilm, Miami, Portland

About:
A portrait of two stray dogs living in a Chilean skatepark.

I previously wrote about the doc here.

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On VOD: THE SOCIAL DILEMMA

Coming to Netflix tomorrow, Wednesday, September 9:
THE SOCIAL DILEMMA

Director:
Jeff Orlowski

World Premiere:
Sundance 2020

About:
An exposé of the insidious hidden systems of control behind our increasingly networked world.

My pre-Sundance profile of the doc may be found here.

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On TV: HUMAN NATURE

Coming to PBS’s NOVA tomorrow, Wednesday, September 9:
HUMAN NATURE

Director:
Adam Bolt

World Premiere:
SXSW 2019

Select Festivals:
DOC NYC, Hot Docs, Full Frame, AFI Docs, CPH:DOX

About:
An exploration of the potential implications of a major DNA technology.

I previously wrote about the doc here.

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On DVD/VOD: THE CORDILLERA OF DREAMS

Coming to DVD and VOD today, Tuesday, Seprtember 8:
THE CORDILLERA OF DREAMS

Director:
Patricio Guzmán

World Premiere:
Cannes 2019

Select Festivals:
DOC NYC, Biografilm, San Sebastian, Busan, Chicago

About:
The continuation of the master documentarian’s exploration of Chile’s fraught history.

I previously wrote about the doc here.

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On DVD: DESERT ONE

Coming to DVD tomorrow, Tuesday, September 8:
DESERT ONE

Director:
Barbara Kopple

World Premiere:
Toronto 2019

Select Festivals:
DOC NYC, AFI Fest, Double Exposure, Palm Springs, Full Frame, Big Sky Doc

About:
An up-close look at the mission to free American hostages during the 1979 Iranian revolution

I previously wrote about the doc here.

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On DVD: MOSSVILLE: WHEN GREAT TREES FALL

Coming to DVD tomorrow, Tuesday, September 8:
MOSSVILLE: WHEN GREAT TREES FALL

Director:
Alexander John Glustrom

World Premiere:
Full Frame 2019

Select Festivals:
DOC NYC, New Orleans, Hot Springs Doc, Washington DC Environmental, BendFilm, Raindance, Durban, Indie Grits, Montclair, Wild & Scenic, Planet in Focus

About:
An intimate profile of one man’s struggle against environmental racism.

I previously wrote about the doc here.

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On DVD: AND SHE COULD BE NEXT

Coming to DVD tomorrow, Tuesday, September 8:
AND SHE COULD BE NEXT

Directors:
Grace Lee and Marjan Safinia

World Premiere:
AFI Docs 2020

About:
A behind-the-scenes look at the campaigns of six women of color political candidates in 2018.

I previously wrote about the project here.

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SF DocFest 2020 Overview

Festival:
The 19th SF DocFest

Dates:
September 3-20

About:
Emerging after the postponement of its typical late May/early June dates, this Northern Californian event goes online with just under 30 nonfiction features. Continue reading

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In Virtual Release: HEALING FROM HATE: BATTLE FOR THE SOUL OF A NATION

Coming to virtual cinemas tomorrow, Friday, September 4:
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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