Sundance and Slamdance are behind us but two more related titles, THE CONDUCTOR and WHEN WE WERE BULLIES, are mentionworthy, still

If 2021 was a year of major documentaries, then 2022 is already shaping up to be even better for reality-based filmmaking. Sundance and Slamdance both had amazing documentaries to offer last month, but here are two other great documentaries to seek out post-haste.

“The Conductor”
Director: Bernadette Wegenstein

Marin Alsop grew up admiring orchestral conductors and knew she had the chops to do it too. However, even though she studied under the tutelage of no less than Leonard Bernstein, Alsop was told time and again that women cannot lead an orchestra. She refused to hear it, and through grit, determination and no small amount of talent, Alsop not only made it but now mentors young women from the next generation. It’s a study in incredible resolve, and Alsop never loses her spirit no matter how many times the world told her no.

The film played at Sundance 2021 and Tribeca in the fall. It will be screening in cities in both the United States and Canada this winter. Go to for more information on screenings near you.

“When We Were Bullies”
Director: Jay Rosenblatt

Jay Rosenblatt is now in his mid-sixties, and not unlike anyone his age, has begun looking back and reevaluating his life. This he does by reconnecting with classmates from long ago, but Rosenblatt has a darker purpose: He and his classmates once bullied one of their own, and Rosenblatt uses his film, if not as a way to atone for past misdeeds, then perhaps to understand the group dynamics among young people that lead to ostracization, or worse.

“When We Were Bullies” opens February 11th at Film Forum in New York (more information)