Aretha Franklin documentary “Amazing Grace” to anchor fall voter drive

Aretha Franklin documentary “Amazing Grace” to anchor fall voter drive

Source:  Variety

Aretha Franklin documentary “Amazing Grace” will be going out on tour this fall and winter.

The film will be part of a 22-state road show that will offer free screenings of the documentary as a centerpiece of multi-day voter registration events being sponsored by the Poor People’s Campaign, a historic civil rights organization that Franklin supported since it was founded by Martin Luther King, Jr. in the 1960s.

The tour was announced on Monday at a press conference prior to a screening of “Amazing Grace” at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

In a separate development, “Grace” producer Alan Elliott tells Variety that an expanded version of “Amazing Grace” is being prepared for release in theaters next spring to coincide with Franklin’s birthday in March.

Watch “Amazing Grace” on Amazon Prime Video.

Read the story at Variety.


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“Councilwoman” chronicles the story of a politician — and proud hotel housekeeper

“Councilwoman” chronicles the story of a politician — and proud hotel housekeeper

Source:  NBC News

During the day, Carmen Castillo wears a uniform and cleans rooms at a high-end hotel.  At night, she makes financial and policy decisions as a city council member in Providence, Rhode Island.

Now the story of the immigrant hotel-housekeeper-turned-politician is coming to public television.

A mother of three and a grandmother, Castillo is currently serving her third term on the city council in Providence, a city with a $773 million annual budget.

The city council job is part time paying $18,000 a year, so she continues to work full-time as a hotel housekeeper, a job she has held for 24 years.

“Councilwoman” will have its broadcast premiere on Tuesday, September 3rd on the WORLD Channel, as part of the latest season of “America ReFramed.”

Read the story at NBC News.


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“The Rise of Jordan Peterson” set for an October release

“The Rise of Jordan Peterson” set for an October release

Source:  Deadline

Gravitas Ventures has acquired U.S. rights to “The Rise of Jordan Peterson,” a feature documentary directed by Patricia Marcoccia about the controversial Canadian psychology professor-turned-YouTube philosopher.

Marcoccia charts the rise of Peterson, who in 2016 sparked outrage and support for his stand against political correctness and Canadian human rights legislation, leading to his popularity as a global intellectual.

Peterson’s 2018 book “12 Rules For Life,” has been published in 50 languages and sold more than 3 million copies.  His YouTube videos are nearing 150 million views.

“The Rise of Jordan Peterson” is set to rollout in theaters and on-demand on October 29.

Read the story at Deadline.

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Errol Morris’s controversial Steve Bannon documentary, “American Dharma,” finally finds a distributor

Errol Morris’s controversial Steve Bannon documentary, “American Dharma,” finally finds a distributor

Source:  The Hollywood Reporter

A year after making its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival and subsequently being snubbed by distributors, Errol Morris’s Steve Bannon documentary, “American Dharma,” will finally see the light of day.

Utopia, co-founded in February by musician and director Robert Schwartzman, has acquired the U.S. rights to the film from the Oscar winner behind “The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara,” “The Unknown Known,” and “The Thin Blue Line.”

After Venice, “American Dharma” screened at the Toronto International Film Festival and New York Film Festival and received strong reviews.

But the idea of former Trump senior advisor Bannon getting a platform ignited a backlash that made the film radioactive for buyers.

The film was dropped from headlining the New Yorker Festival after Jim Carrey, Judd Apatow, and others threatened to pull out of the event in protest.

Read the story at The Hollywood Reporter.

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Who Created Donald Trump?  “Where’s My Roy Cohn?” provides some answers

Who Created Donald Trump? “Where’s My Roy Cohn?” provides some answers

Source:  Vanity Fair  

Donald Trump has name-checked Roy Cohn during some of the most stressful moments of his presidency—calling upon his late personal lawyer, fixer, and mentor in unscrupulousness as if he might be able to summon Cohn from the grave to help with his present legal mess.

It was one of these pleas—privately made during the first month of Robert Mueller’s investigation into Trump’s alleged corruption—that gave former Vanity Fair editor Matt Tyrnauer the title of his new documentary about the controversial 20th-century American figure.

The first trailer for “Where’s My Roy Cohn?,” provides a fascinating snapshot of Cohn who—aside from his work with Trump—acted as chief counsel to Senator Joseph McCarthy’s Communist-hunting subcommittee, represented mobster John Gotti, and wielded so much cultural power that Nancy Reagan called to personally thank him for helping get her husband elected president.

“Where’s My Roy Cohn” opens in Los Angeles and New York City on September 20.

Read the story at Vanity Fair.

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The Horrors of ICE’s “Trans Pod”

The Horrors of ICE’s “Trans Pod”

Source:  The Atlantic

“I decided to come to the U.S. to save my life,” says Luz, a transgender woman from Honduras, in Sylvia Johnson’s short documentary “Luz’s Story.”

Luz entered the United States via an official port of entry and asked for protection through political asylum.  She was promptly imprisoned.

Since early 2018, New Mexico’s Cibola County Correctional Center has incarcerated more than 180 women in its “transgender pod”—the only known ICE-run detention facility for transgender-identifying women.

Johnson, who works part-time at the Santa Fe Dreamers Project, told The Atlantic that the women in the trans pod face extraordinary hardships and obstacles to winning their cases.

“While in custody, they face a shocking lack of medical and mental-health services,” she said. “They are put in abusive solitary confinement, they experience high levels of sexual assault, and they face discrimination from the government and the corporation that detains them.”

Johnson cited the deaths of Roxsana Hernandez Rodriguez in 2018 and Johana Medina Leon this year as grave evidence of ICE’s inability to detain trans women safely.

Watch “Luz’s Story” above and read the story at The Atlantic.

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