RESISTERHOOD – Review by Carol Cling

I haven’t played — or even thought about — anagrams for decades. Until Resisterhood’s title reminded me that “sister” and “resist” share the same letters. But the subject matter of this new documentary is no game. It’s a call to action for those opposed to, and hoping to end, Donald Trump’s presidency in 2020 — even as the truths we’ve always held to be self-evident seem more vulnerable by the day..

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THE WAY I SEE IT – Review by Brandy McDonnell

Featuring interviews with Souza’s family, former cohorts in both administrations and historians, the film, like its subject, argues fiercely that Trump lacks the character, empathy and leadership for the role of president, warning voters that the president is a real person and that choosing one as a means to the end results in Americans getting the kind of bad leaders they deserve.

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URSULA VON RYDINGSVARD: INTO HER OWN – Review by Lois Alter Mark

The theory that great art comes from great pain just may be validated in Daniel Traub’s moving documentary about Ursula von Rydingsvard, the acclaimed sculptor whose massive works reflect a past she continues to grapple with and explore. Born in Germany in 1942, von Rydingsvard was one of seven children. Her father was physically and emotionally abusive, and she admits she’s grateful she was able to channel her anger and pain creatively.

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MLK/FBI (TIFF20) – Review by Pam Grady

Filmmaker Sam Pollard eschews talking head interviews in favor of filling the frame with archival material. The Montgomery bus boycott, the March on Washington, the march from Selma to Montgomery, the signing of the Civil Rights Act into law, and other moments, earth-shaking and intimate, are the images that unfurl on screen. The effect is arresting. Pollard doesn’t just bring history to life, but King himself. There he is: living, breathing, changing hearts, minds, and society.

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THE PUBLIC TRUST – Review by Martha K Baker

Public Trust director David Garrett Byars begins softly with his and Drew Xanthopoulos’ cinematography of sweeping shots of canoes in water and of clouds over red rocks and green trees. Then, going harder, Byars interviewed whistleblowers turning against the brazen Trump Administration, including Ryan Zinke. He was replaced as Secretary of the Interior by David Barnhart, who is moving the office into a building with Exxon.

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OTTOLENGHI AND THE CAKES OF VERSAILLES – Review by Diane Carson

Ottolenghi and the Cakes of Versailles shows food is mouthwatering art. Early in the documentary, London-based, self-described philosopher chef Yotam Ottolenghi receives an unusual request via an email from the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art. Will he oversee a celebration of exquisite pastries to accompany the 2018 Visitors to Versailles exhibit documenting that French court, home of the aristocracy from 1682 to 1789.

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April Wright chats STUNTWOMEN: THE UNTOLD HOLLYWOOD STORY – Sarah Knight Adamson interviews

April Wright’s Stuntwomen: The Untold Hollywood Story covers a topic that needs both awareness and recognition. Based on Mollie Gregory’s eponymous nonfiction book, the documentary is a historical look at female stuntwomen, with a modern take on today’s filmmaking environment, in which stunt coordinators rehearse multiple viewpoints of a stunt, mapping out all of the moves before the camera begins to roll.

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OLIVER SACKS: HIS OWN LIFE -Review by Liz Braun

Oliver Sacks: His Own Life is an engaging and moving account of a truly extraordinary life. And you need know nothing about the revered British neurologist and prolific author to be completely engaged by Ric Burns’ fine documentary. It does seem safe to predict a sudden increase in sales of Sacks’ books after the documentary is released.

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ENEMIES OF THE STATE (TIFF20) – Review by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

Investigative journalist and filmmaker Sonia Kennebeck has released her third documentary, Enemies of the State, a confidently executed film that voices a fundamental lack of confidence in the very concept of the ‘truth’ itself when it comes to human beings, their strengths, their passions and their very real darknesses. The film follows the tight-knit DeHart family, devout Christians whose lives were turned upside down when their home was raided in 2010 by the FBI on the grounds that adult son Matt had solicited child pornography.

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