THE WEIGHT OF GOLD – Review by Diane Carson

The Weight of Gold examines mental health issues of Olympic athletes. The frank discussion of depression, including suicidal thoughts, applies to more than just elite athletes, because perhaps one in five Americans are affected, making this film important to large audiences

Read more

MOVIE OF THE WEEK August 7, 2020: A THOUSAND CUTS

So timely that it includes scenes filmed just a few weeks ago that show people wearing masks against the coronavirus, Ramona S. Diaz’s documentary A Thousand Cuts is a passionate call to arms. Centered on persistent, feisty Filipina journalist Maria Ressa and her fearless pursuit of the truth behind the Philippines’ President Rodrigo Duterte’s brutal, extrajudicial war on drugs, it will resonate with anyone who cares about preventing authoritarian attacks on the freedom of the press.

Read more

HARVARD BEATS YALE 29-29 – Retroview by Jennifer Merin

Kevin Rafferty, filmmaker and Harvard grad, uses archival footage and interviews with team members to ‘replay’ the legendary football game in which the undefeated teams of Harvard and Yale battled it out for the 1968 season’s final victory. The film’s title, Harvard Beats Yale 29-29, may give away the results, but the football plays, commentaries and remembrances presented in this sports documentary are gripping–even if you’re not a football fan.

Read more

SUNLESS SHADOWS – Review by Diane Carson

Iranian director Mehrdad Oskouei’s documentary Sunless Shadows explores the lives of six teenage women confined to a juvenile detention center for murder. All the victims are men: fathers, husbands, brothers-in-law. Through unmediated footage of daily interactions and direct address to a camera they control alone in a room, the subjects reveal their personal and political reasons.

Read more

AND SHE COULD BE NEXT – Review by Leslie Combemale

And She Could Be Next chronicles the campaigns of women of color candidates Stacey Abrams, Veronica Escobar, Lucy McBath, and Rashida Tlaib and other powerhouse women who are shaping the future with better representation in government. The expression ‘Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop’ never fit a group of people more aptly, and it’s a joy to see.

Read more

HELMUT NEWTON: THE BAD AND THE BEAUTIFUL – Review by Diane Carson

Director Gero von Boehm’s fawning documentary delivers an uncritical profile of the unconventional photographer Helmet Newton, who often stunned portrait and fashion circles with his women, nude, posed defiantly and seductively. For Newton, two dirty words in photography are “art” and “good taste.” He is, he proudly asserts, a professional voyeur.

Read more

Linda Goldstein Knowlton on WE ARE RADICAL MONARCHS – Betsy Bozdech interviews

Emmy-nominated filmmaker Linda Goldstein Knowlton’s latest film, We Are the Radical Monarchs, is a documentary that tells the uplifting, fist-pumping story of a new kind of scouting troop for young girls. After a successful tour of film festivals, We Are the Radical Monarchs will reach a wider audience on PBS. The film underlines the importance of inclusion, representation, and activism in today’s world.

Read more

SCREAM, QUEEN! MY NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET – Review by Sarah Ward

While Scream, Queen! is a movie about Freddy’s Revenge — and a welcome step back into the horror saga a decade after it released its most recent chapter — it’s really a movie about the film’s star, Mark Patton, who thought he’d earned the door-opening role of a lifetime but was then forced to weather the ebbs and flows the industry could throw at a gay man in 80s-era mainstream Hollywood.

Read more

JOHN LEWIS: GOOD TROUBLE – Brandy McDonnell reviews

Serving his 17th term as a member of Congress, the Georgia Democrat, 80, has spent more than six decades fighting for equality for Black Americans, from marching with Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma, Alabama, where he was badly injured by police officers, to getting on the bus as one of the original “Freedom Riders” who protested against segregation in transportation.

Read more

WE ARE THE RADICAL MONARCHS – Review by Susan Wloszczyna

Who are the Radical Monarchs you might ask. Think about a progressive scouting troop based in Oakland, Calif., that is dedicated to girls of color aged 8 to 13, one that empowers them to speak out on the wrongs and prejudices that are infecting our nation right now while learning how to stand up for social justice in myriad forms.

Read more