RAISE HELL: THE LIFE & TIMES OF MOLLY IVINS – Review by Martha K Baker

Really, all Janice Engel had to do was run as many old videos of the great Molly Ivins, journalist and iconoclast, to entertain her worshippers. Heaven knows, there is plenty of tape to unspool, bushels of quotes to regale, and heaps of one-liners to rehearse. But Engel does more than that in this classic biopic.

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FIDDLER: A MIRACLE OF MIRACLES – Review by Martha K Baker

Even if you don’t like musicals but like documentaries, “Fiddler” has something to show you. If in the mix, you also like modern history, “Fiddler” shows you that, too. The result is kind of a miracle in itself, that is, a documentary that plaits parallel threads into a remarkable braid.

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LINDA RONSTADT: THE SOUND OF MY VOICE – Review by Martha K Baker

Rob Epstein, who directed The Celluloid Closet, among other award-winning documentaries, adds nothing to the art form of the documentary film with “Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice.” All Epstein does with this exquisite documentary is provide a platform for that sound. And, in this case, it’s enough, for that voice has been silenced.

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OFFICIAL SECRETS – Review by Martha K Baker

With a mostly crackerjack cast and an important recent history story to tell, Official Secrets should be better. Seeing it matters, for it speaks about lies, governments, wars based on lies, and a whistleblower with integrity. It must be watched with one eye on its significance, another on its weakness.

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DAVID CROSBY: REMEMBER MY NAME – Review by Martha K Baker

David Crosby appeared as but one of the interviewees in the recent rock doc, Echo in Laurel Canyon. In this documentary, David Crosby: Remember My Name, he is front and center. Despite his current solo career, David Crosby will always be sharing the spotlight with Nash and Stills and Young and with The Byrds.

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THE KITCHEN – Review by Martha K Baker

Director Andrea Berloff does not hesitate to let the blood run, the bullets burst, or the plot twist. She wrote the script with Ming Doyle and Ollie Masters from the comic book series. Be warned: f bombs detonate with c and t bombs throughout. The Kitchen is not a fine film, but it has its deadly serious skirmishes between the sexes and the immigrant populations in New York City.

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THE NIGHTINGALE – Review by Martha K Baker

If The Nightingale were just about that specific time and place in history, it would signify. But it is also about timeless issues of race. class and gender. It is about a man who must humiliate himself before his superiors and, in turn, treats those beneath him like night soil. Laden with symbolism, this grim fairy tale is set in dark, deep woods, where death lurks around every moss bank.

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