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DOC PREVIEW: “Rita Moreno, a girl who just decided to go for it”

Directed by Mariem Pérez Riera

Over a long career Rita Moreno defied both her humble upbringing and relentless racism to become a celebrated and beloved actor, one of the rare EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony) Award Winners of our time. Born into poverty on a Puerto Rican farm, Moreno and her seamstress mother immigrated to New York City when Moreno was five years old. After studying dance and performing on Broadway, Moreno was ... more >

FIRST LOOK: “Driving while black: race, space and mobility in America”

A new documentary offering from PBS

“Driving while black: race, space and mobility in America” is a two-hour documentary film by historian Dr. Gretchen Sorin and Emmy–winning director Ric Burns that will air on PBS this Tuesday. Recounting the history and personal experiences—at once liberating and challenging—of black people on the road from the advent of the automobile through the seismic changes of the sixties and beyond ... more >

“All in: the fight for democracy,” directed by Lisa Cortés and Liz Garbus, not only seeks to reveal ongoing voter suppression fraud but also inspire Americans to protect their democracy | REVIEW

Music by Meshell Ndegeocello and Gil Talmi

There’s no other way to begin than to say Lisa Cortes and Liz Garbus’s new documentary “All In: The Fight for Democracy” is the most important film of 2020. Voter suppression. Let these words sink in. Voter suppression has been in play for hundreds of years. As the film reminds us (or rather, those who need to be reminded), the constitution starts with three words, “We the People.” But who are ... more >

The pursuit of self-realization taken to another level: “Rising Phoenix” (PREMIERING ON NETFLIX THIS WEEKEND)

Directed by Ian Bonhôte and Peter Ettedgu

Thanks to covid-19, both the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics were postponed to 2021. That means the competitors will have another whole year to train and prepare for their events in Tokyo. And however disappointing, it’s just one more bump on the road for the Paralympics athletes featured in the new documentary “Rising Phoenix,” which opens on Netflix this weekend. Directed by Ian Bonhôte and ... more >

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

Coming soon to your streaming platform

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 >