63 UP – Review by Jennifer Merin

For those who’ve followed filmmaker Michael Apted’s entire UP Series, it’s a treat to catch up with the subjects’ latest developments in 63 UP, the eighth and likely final episode in the UP Series, Apted refers to the series as an exploration of the British class system, and asks all of his subjects whether they think the original premise for the series — “give me a child at the age of seven and I’ll show you the man” — is true. The now familiar participating women and men give responses that are varied, authentic and provocative.

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WHERE’S MY ROY COHN? – Review by Susan Granger

If you’re trying to understand today’s amoral political landscape, Matt Tyrnauer’s documentary about dirty trickster Roy Cohn explains a great deal. In 1973, when brash young real estate mogul Donald Trump met Roy Cohn, one of New York’s most ruthless and powerful power broker, Trump was completing the Grand Hyatt Hotel near Grand Central Terminal.

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Critics Choice Documentary Awards Nominees Announced – Jennifer Merin reports

The Critics Choice Association will once again be honoring the finest achievements in documentaries released in theaters, on TV and on major digital platforms, as determined by the voting of qualified CCA members (Full disclosure: I am a CCA member, along with 21 other AWFJ members) . THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM leads this year with seven nominations, including Best Documentary Feature, John Chester for Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Score, Best Narration, and Best Science/Nature Documentary.

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MILES DAVIS: BIRTH OF THE COOL – Review by Brandy McDonnell

Although she notes “That was the first, and it wasn’t going to be the last, unfortunately,” the film – also unfortunately – doesn’t delve too deeply into pesky issues like Davis’ violence toward women. (His other two wives, singer Betty Mabry and actor Cicely Tyson, are both still living but aren’t interviewed.)

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Irene Taylor Brodsky on MOONLIGHT SONATA: DEAFNESS IN THREE MOVEMENTS – Jennifer Merin interviews

Irene Taylor Brodsky’s Moonlight Sonata is a film about the generations of deaf people: the filmmaker’s deaf son growing up, his deaf grandparents growing older and, a century before them, Beethoven — a composer who wrote his iconic Moonlight Sonata as he went deaf. Here, Brodsky shares her thoughts and experiences making this highly personal documentary.

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HONEYLAND – Review by Diane Carson

More a rich metaphor than a full-bodied story, Honeyland hangs by a thread on Hatidze. She collects wild honey in a remote mountainous part of Northern Macedonia, though it’s difficult to learn even this given the absence of details. Fascinating and frustrating, Honeyland raises numerous questions for which it provides few, if any, answers.

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THOSE THAT, AT A DISTANCE, RESEMBLE EACH OTHER – TIFF19 Review by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

The achievements of award-winning Argentine-British filmmaker and artist Jessica Sarah Rinland make her a perfect fit for the Toronto International Film Festival’s experimental strand, Wavelengths. This year, her fascinating documentary Those That, at a Distance, Resemble Each Other explored questions about the relationship between original and imitation, and how this relates in both practical and conceptual terms to the field of museum conservation and beyond.

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ANTHROPOCENE: THE HUMAN EPOCH – Review by Susan Wloszczyna

Sometimes, Anthropocene: The Human Epoch feels like a loftier, artier and much more sobering Transformers sequel, what with its fixation on the monstrously huge machines that chomp into the planet and unsettle our ailing ecosystem for the sake of commerce.

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ANTHROPOCENE: THE HUMAN EPOCH – Review by Sheila Roberts

Anthropocene: The Human Epoch is an epic cinematic journey that’s equal parts mesmerizing, disturbing and timely. While our success as a species has tipped the planet’s systems outside their natural limits, the filmmakers express optimism that our tenacity and ingenuity that helped us thrive can also lead to innovative solutions that will pull these systems back to a safe place for all life on earth.

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