The call to remember Shoah, sharing a past dispassionately so we’re better armed to confront the present, resonate in bittersweet and personal documentary “NINA & IRENA” | INTERVIEW

If a filmmaker or publicist contacts me regarding my reviews, it’s usually to complain—with the unhappy missive-composers often forgetting that the job of a critic is to, well, critique and not to make friends or earn pats on the back.  One does not undertake this type of writing to be popular, or even liked.  (I could point to my school years as evidence of this, but never mind.)  If we’re lucky, ... more >

“THE DISAPPEARANCE OF SHERE HITE” | Interview with the director

Starring Dakota Johnson, Shere Hite and Michael Conrad
Directed by Nicole Newnham

Many people are familiar with the Kinsey Report on sexual behavior, which rocked the establishment in the early fifties, but far fewer know about 1976’s Hite Report, which effectively described the frequency and variability of female orgasm. The report’s author, feminist researcher Shere Hite, was alternately celebrated and vilified for her writing, with media outlets often outwardly hostile to ... more >

Ken Burns returns with “THE AMERICAN BUFFALO,” along with trusted colleagues | INTERVIEW

The American Buffalo is back

At the start of the twentieth century, it was estimated that fewer than 1,000 bison were left on the Great Plains following two centuries of unchecked extermination. Today, thanks to conservation efforts, they number approximately 450,000—but still far, far below the tens of millions of animals that once roamed the continent.   In “THE AMERICAN BUFFALO,” master documentarian Ken Burns traces ... more >

“GOLDA” director Guy Nattiv chats about working with Helen Mirren and bringing the past to life

The Israeli filmmaker will next co-direct a film with an Iranian star

It’s been a bit of a long road for Israeli filmmaker Guy Nattiv, whose new film about Golda Meir’s turbulent days during the Yom Kippur War of 1973 is dramatized in “Golda.” Working from a script by Nicholas Martin (“Florence Foster Jenkins”), the film casts Oscar-winner Helen Mirren as the embattled prime minister battling both foreign armies as well as an essentially all-male military power ... more >

If you want to learn more about the Manhattan Project, filmmaker Steve James has just the documentary for you: “A COMPASSIONATE SPY” | INTERVIEW

"The story was, the U.S. entered the war and we were heroes"

Thanks to a certain current blockbuster film, almost everyone is now familiar with J. Robert Oppenheimer, the so-called father of the atomic bomb. And while Christopher Nolan’s film starring Cillian Murphy does indeed touch upon the fact that Soviet spies worked alongside him at Los Alamos, what became of those spies is not discussed in “Oppenheimer.” However, “A Compassionate Spy,” the new ... more >

Revisiting “KOKOMO CITY” for its theatrical run with director D. Smith | IN CONVERSATION

We learned about this film at DC/DOX, and now you can catch it in theaters

At DC/DOX last June I saw “Kokomo City,” which details the lives of four Black trans sex workers facing multiple hardships. Director D. Smith, a trans woman and a Grammy nominee, spoke with me via phone during DC/DOX—and with the film now set to play in theaters this weekend, our conversation has been reposted. How did you decide to make this documentary? To do something like this, you ... more >

“PRUNING” starring Madeline Brewer; Jamie Boyle’s “ANONYMOUS SISTER”; “KATIE’S MOM”; “PETER CASE: A MILLION MILES AWAY”; “LAKOTA NATION VS. UNITED STATES,” a few hand-picked films to watch this summer

“PRUNING” Director : Lola Blanc In this psychological horror short, Madeline Brewer (“The Handmaid’s Tale”) stars as an agitprop right-wing commentator in the model of Tomi Lahren, who will seemingly press any button in order to generate outrage. “Pruning” shows that Brewer’s character knows better than to say what she does but still going ahead anyway in the name of fame (or infamy) and ... more >