The 2019 George Polk Award in Journalism for Medical Reporting was awarded to Kirby Dick, Amy Ziering, and Amy Herdy for their Netflix original documentary, “The Bleeding Edge.” The announcement was made at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on Feb. 19.
The annual awards recognize special achievements in journalism, with an emphasis on investigative and enterprise reporting.
The only feature documentary this year to be recognized for a George Polk Award, the “The Bleeding Edge” exposes the failure of risk-prone medical devices brought to market without clinical trials and implanted in patients by physicians who lack appropriate training for the surgical procedures involved.
The documentary is especially critical of the birth-control device Essure, which was developed with funding from a former FDA commissioner. The Bayer Corporation pulled Essure from the market days before the film first aired, the awards announcement noted.
Native to the grasslands and savannahs of eastern and southern Africa, rhinoceros are under assault from almost every conceivable direction—poachers coveting the horns of these gentle giants, trophy hunters out for a big game kill, extractive resource initiatives, and local communities seeking to grow and prosper all pose increasing threats.
While the rhino’s precarious survival has been well-publicized, the possibility that smaller populations of the species could actually be wiped out has not perhaps been as widely known. Until a solitary male rhino named Sudan became the international symbol of looming extinction.
“Kifaru,” David Hambridge’s account of efforts to protect the only surviving northern white rhinos in the wild, arrives at a critical stage in the preservation of the species.
Confronting the possibility of extinction through the eyes of a dedicated team assigned as Sudan’s caretakers adds another layer of urgency, transforming the film from competent conservation documentary into compelling real-life drama.
Behind its thousands of lines of code is a deeply human story of innovation and risk-taking, as portrayed in “Ember.js: The Documentary.”
The documentary leans heavily on interviews with the framework’s co-founders, Tom Dale and Yehuda Katz. Although it’s clearly geared towards those with an interest in programming, it’s not really a “programming” documentary per se.
The film discusses events and concepts even non-technical people can understand — like the risky decision to leave a stable job to start something new.
The unbelievable strangeness inherent in truth has made for some incredibly destabilizing documentaries about the blurred lines of fact and fiction.
Films like “Dear Zachary,” “Catfish,” “Exit Through The Gift Shop,”’ and “The Imposter” all blow themselves up in the middle featuring twists so disarming, so surprising that they make one question the very reality and existence of what you’ve been watching.
So prepare to be fooled, thrilled, and surprised with a new classic of this upending subgenre with “Untitled Amazing Johnathan Documentary,” a doc that uses the integral subject of magic and artifice to create a riveting meta-story about the illusory nature of truth, trust, and the self-examining questioning of what you thought to be real.
Directed by Ben Berman, who has worked on some crazy shows as an editor and director like “Tim and Eric,”and the gonzo “Lady Dynamite,” his film is wild too, a discombobulating rabbit hole within rabbit holes, but likely in a way he never ever imagined.
It’s the story of magician Amazing Johnathan (real name John Szeles). Johnathan has been given a devastating diagnosis; he has a terminal heart condition and is going to die.
But as Berman goes out to follow Jonathan on a comeback tour, nothing is quite what it seems, and soon the director finds himself at the center of his own documentary, unintentionally having to Michael Moore himself into the story.
Hulu recently acquired “Untitled Amazing Johnathan Documentary” at the Sundance Film Festival. A premiere date has not been announced.
More than 170 million people downloaded the first season of NPR’s popular true-crime podcast “Serial,” spawning widespread scrutiny over the prosecution and conviction of Adnan Syed.
Syed was sentenced in 2000 to life in prison for the 1999 kidnapping and murder of his 18-year-old Baltimore high school classmate and ex-girlfriend, Hae Min Lee.
Now, as Syed remains behind bars despite the fact that a court overturned his conviction, HBO is unveiling “The Case Against Adnan Syed,” a new four-part documentary series about the controversial trial.
“The Case Against Adnan Syed” premieres March 10 on HBO.