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THREE DOCS REVIEWED: “Desert One,” “Red Penguins” and “Unsettled”

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With the multiplexes shuttered, and the so-called event films on hold for months yet, it’s a boomtime for documentaries, which continue their march onto streaming platforms. Here are a few choice non-fiction flicks to keep an eye out for. “Desert One” It’s been four decades since Iranian students overran the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, beginning a hostage situation that would only end 444 ... more >

INTERVIEW: Dawn Porter, filmmaker (“John Lewis: Good Trouble”)

"He wanted to get back out and keep on marching "(Porter commenting on John Lewis's determination)

Could there possibly be a more apt time for a documentary about John Lewis, the civil rights pioneer and longtime Georgia congressman, than now? In this singular moment of protest and cultural shift, documentarian Dawn Porter is hoping that her new film “John Lewis: Good Trouble” will be a part of the conversation. “Despite some evidence to the contrary, I count myself as an optimistic person. ... more >

AFI Docs | Four documentary films worth noticing

The best from AFI Docs 2020 (final chapter)

(This article closes out Eric Althoff's coverage of this year's AFI Docs festival) "Blood on the Wall' Filmmakers Sebastian Junger and Nick Quested trace the long, long path of Central American migrants “caravaning” to the United States through treacherous areas of Mexico run by the cartels and narcotraffickers.  This intriguing doc examines the issue from all sides, from the poverty endemic ... more >

AFI Docs | “Belly of the Beast”

Modern-day eugenics in California's prisons

(during all of this week, Screen Comment’s Eric Althoff gives readers his take on the choicest films from the 2020 crop of AFI Docs, the world’s premier documentary film festival which took place online this year due to the coronavirus) Incredibly, California didn’t rescind its eugenics laws until 1979.  If that weren’t shocking enough, then “Belly of the Beast” will surely raise eyebrows as ... more >

AFI DOCS | 9TO5: THE STORY OF A MOVEMENT

The gender parity movement wouldn't have been the same without them

(during all of this week, Screen Comment’s Eric Althoff gives readers his take on the choicest films from the 2020 crop of AFI Docs, the world’s premier documentary film festival which took place online this year due to the coronavirus) Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar, who won last year’s Oscar for best documentary for their film “American Factory,” are back to shine their cameras on a largely ... more >

AFI Docs Series | Jimmy Carter rock & roll president

A music-loving President, bonding with America's greatest musicians

(during all of this week, Screen Comment’s Eric Althoff gives readers his take on the choicest films from the 2020 crop of AFI Docs, the world’s premier documentary film festival which took place online this year due to the coronavirus) Now 95 and the longest-lived of any former president, Jimmy Carter is seen in the opening moments of Marc Wharton’s doc at home in Plains, Georgia, spinning a ... more >

“It’s a really big ask to say, hey, put your trust in me to tell this story” (filmmaker AJ Schnack on the making of “Long gone summer”) 

Capturing a slice of MLB history

Major League Baseball’s 2020 season has been mothballed for months because of covid-19, and even when the truncated schedule begins in late July, it’s doubtful that, for health reasons, there will be any fans in attendance. There’s no way that filmmaker AJ Schnack could have foreseen this when he started work on his “30 for 30” documentary “Long Gone Summer” a few years ago, but it may have ... more >