WE ♥ DOCS
"Her blood is the ocean." Blue Fox has released an official trailer for a documentary film titled She Is the Ocean, the latest from doc filmmaker Inna Blokhina. This first premiered at the Ocean Film Festival back in 2018, and also played at the Vancouver Women In Film Festival last year, and will be available in "virtual cinemas" to watch this fall. A woman is like the ocean: a true force of nature. She Is the Ocean follows nine extraordinary women, scattered across all corners of the globe. But they are united by the same sea, and their love for these waters is matched only by their dedication to preserve and protect them. A journey of both natural beauty and human empathy, She Is the Ocean is the story of many powerful women with depths unknown. As straightforward as this doc seems, profiling each of these ladies, it's still an inspiring and empowering look at the rise of women all around the world. Plus - who doesn't love the ocean? Dive in.
"The impact can be made locally - and all it takes is one city." Zipporah Films has released the first trailer for City Hall, the latest documentary from acclaimed, legendary doc filmmaker Frederick Wiseman. His films keep getting longer and longer every year! Ex Libris was 3 hours 17 minutes, then Monrovia, Indiana was 2 hours 23 minutes, and now City Hall is 4 hours 32 minutes long, oh boy. The film is an extensive look at Boston's city government, covering racial justice, housing, climate action, and more. City gov touches almost every aspect of our lives. Most of us are unaware of or take for granted these necessary services such as police, fire, sanitation, veterans affairs, elder support, parks, licensing of various professional activities, record keeping of birth, marriage and death as well as hundreds of other activities that support Boston residents and visitors. City Hall shows the efforts by Boston city government to provide these services. Even though this is an extremely long doc film, I will be watching it, as Wiseman always finds some of the most remarkable moments from his footage to share. Playing at the Venice, Toronto, + New York Film Festivals.
"I don't care about being popular. I care about climate justice." Hulu has debuted the official trailer for a documentary titled I Am Greta, formerly known as just Greta, telling the story of inspiring climate activist Greta Thunberg from Sweden. The vibrant documentary follows teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg on her international crusade to get people to listen to scientists about the world's environmental problems. It begins with her school strike that started in 2018, all by herself, and follows her around the world over the next two years as she becomes an international icon for climate change. It also shows as much as people love her, they also hate her - and they just can't stand to see someone speaking truth to power. I saw this at the Venice Film Festival where it premiered and I loved it, saying in my review that it is "a deeply satisfying watch. It really moved me to tears." I hope the film inspires more people to get out fight to save this planet.
"Doing everything we can becomes the job." HBO has released an official trailer for a documentary film titled Siempre, Luis, which originally premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. Welcoming audiences into the man's passionate, patriotic, family-focused world, Siempre, Luis ultimately tells the story of a proud American whose dedication to community and fatherhood has rendered him an unstoppable force of nature. A story that embodies the tenacity and passion of the American Dream, the doc is a portrait of the pioneering activist Luis A. Miranda Jr. Luis is a decades-long fighter for Latino communities, a key player in the New York City and national political arena, and a loving father of three – including the award-winning composer, lyricist and actor, Lin-Manuel Miranda. This looks like more than just your average biopic - a story about kindness & courage, and someone still doing so much to make a difference nowadays.
"You won't believe what's going on now." HP has unveiled an official trailer for a short documentary series titled Dear Future Me, from filmmakers Sarah Klein & Tom Mason. Dear Future Me, a new documentary short film in two parts, features both high school seniors opening their prophetic letters and 6th graders writing to their future selves. The results are surprising, engaging, emotional and most of all, heartwarming. But even more than reminiscing about their middle school selves, the letters prompt reflections on identity, race, sexuality and just how much growing and changing kids do in six short years. Of course! This is one of those things we all do in school, or at least we've heard about, and it's a fun exercise in recognizing how fast time passes and how we change as time passes. And it goes without saying, but it's even more poignant to watch this now considering how crazy things are in the world in 2020. Watch the trailer + two shorts below.
"We create inequalities by what we choose to value, and what we choose to ignore." Vertical has released an official trailer for a documentary film titled The Great American Lie, from filmmaker Jennifer Siebel Newsom, which is actually arriving on VOD next month. This already premiered at the San Francisco Film Festival last year, and is a vital and important film about one of the glaring problems with America today. The Great American Lie examines the roots of systemic inequalities through a unique gender lens. With America facing widening economic inequality and stagnant social mobility, this film takes audiences on an empathy journey, inspiring a path forward. This looks like an eye-opening film that speaks truth to power, and speaks honestly about what is broken, what might be the way to fix it, and what we can do. Take a look.
"Feels like a glimpse into a heavenly realm." Sony Pictures Classics has released the official US trailer for the documentary The Truffle Hunters, one of our favorite doc films this year. This originally premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, and will also be screening at the Zurich, Toronto, and New York Film Festivals this fall. Deep in the forests of Piedmont, Italy, a handful of men, seventy or eighty years young, hunt for the rare and expensive white Alba truffle-which to date has resisted all of modern science's efforts at cultivation. This is one of my favorite doc films of the year! I saw it at Sundance and totally fell in love with it, writing in my review: "Just bask in the glory of this doc film and make sure to book a table at a restaurant serving truffle because you'll definitely be hungry for some after finishing this." So many amazing truffle hunting dogs are featured in this film, it's just the best. All of them such lovely, smart doggos. Enjoy.
"We try to live 100 days in 1 day!" Greenwich Ent. have released the official trailer for the music history documentary Billie, a profile of the iconic jazz singer Billie Holiday. Billie had one of the greatest voices of all time. She was a woman of breath-taking talent and global popularity while also stirring controversy. She started a notable rebellion singing "Strange Fruit" which exposed the realities of Black life in America and earned her powerful enemies. Then in the late 1960’s journalist Linda Lipnack Kuehl set out to write the definitive biography of Billie. Over the next decade, she tracked down and tape-recorded interviews with the extraordinary characters that populated the iconic singer's short, tumultuous life. These incredibly intimate testimonies are not only told by some of the musical greats, but Billie Holiday herself is revealed through the eyes of her cousin, her school friends, lovers, lawyers, pimps and even the FBI agents who arrested her. Certainly looks like a compelling, riveting, and comprehensive film about the life of this legendary jazz icon.
"There's less judgemental people at a skatepark than there is in a church." Hell yes! Welcome to London's Dogtown. Check out this official trailer for a documentary film titled Rom Boys, about 40 years of rad at a skatepark outside of London called Rom (stop by its official website). This is premiering at the prestigious Paris Surf & Skate Festival this month. When the park suffers a major tragedy during the middle of filming, the story then shifts focus to how these skaters and riders rally together to try and save the park from closure for a new generation of Rom Boys AND Girls. Shot beautifully in stunning 4K this is the first time a feature length documentary has looked at the early British skateboarding scene and the first generation of skaters and BMX riders from the late seventies and eighties who are still going strong. This definitely does look rad! And it's refreshing to hear stories & chat with these people who have a different perspective on life.
"Jamal was publishing articles that were critical of the Saudi regime…" "THAT could not be tolerated." Showtime has revealed an official trailer for an eye-opening political documentary film titled Kingdom of Silence, which is premiering on the TV channel next month (after a supposed theatrical release). This is the second doc film premiering this year that is about murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi - the first one is titled The Dissident and we just featured the official trailer. Kingdom of Silence is yet another Alex Gibney documentary, this one providing a more detailed look at the history of the United States' relationship with Saudi Arabia. And eventually it examines how Khashoggi's death amplified entanglements between the two countries. It's not just about all that oil, is it? Or is there more going on here? Gibney's most recent doc films have been a bit formulaic, but it's still good to see him digging deep into this particular story about politics.
"I shouldn't be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet, you all come to us young people for hope. How dare you!" Yes - preach! We all know who she is, we've all seen her speeches. Greta Thunberg is an inspirational hero, a passionate activist and defender of this beautiful planet we all live on. I Am Greta is a new documentary profile of Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg, marking the feature directorial debut of filmmaker Nathan Grossman. It's an emotional, intimate, gratifying doc film following closely her rise to power the last few years. A stirring story of hope - hope in younger generations. The film doesn't necessarily bring anything new to the table, Greta has already been doing her best to make everyone aware of what's going on with our planet, but it is still a deeply satisfying watch. It really moved me to tears.
Watch the film B***ING MAN doesn't want you to see! Uh oh! What do we have here…? Catch the official trailer for a documentary film titled Blurring Man, about the infamous and beloved Burning Man festival in the Black Rock Desert. What if you took a day laborer from El Salvador to Burning Man? That's pretty much what this film is about. Elmer survives a harrowing journey across the Sonoran desert into the United States to seek a safer life, and soon finds himself on an entirely different desert trek: that of the affluent millennial on their journey to self-actualization at legendary experience festival Burning Man. Together they start to examine the truth, and whether it's really the "good vibes only" place it claims to be. This looks like it's trying to provoke, but I am very curious to see what they reveal and what happens when they get there.