“John Lewis: Good Trouble” recalls the life of the longtime civil rights activist

“John Lewis: Good Trouble” recalls the life of the longtime civil rights activist

Source:  TIME

A new documentary about U.S. Rep. John Lewis traces the life of the legendary civil rights activist and congressman through interviews and rare archival footage.

The film, “John Lewis: Good Trouble,” covers over 60 years of Lewis’s work as an activist and lawmaker in the Democratic party, from protesting for voting rights to calling for gun control and health care reform.

Director Dawn Porter, whose previous documentaries include “Gideon’s Army” and “Spies of Mississippi,” weaves together interviews with Lewis and his family members and footage of his social activism, which spans thousands of protests and 45 arrests in total.

She blends these two elements with insights from his colleagues in Congress and across American politics, from the late Rep. Elijah Cummings to Stacey Abrams, who detail how his experience and influence have shaped his approach to political organizing, policy, and legislation across 33 years as a U.S. representative for Georgia.

“John Lewis: Good Trouble” arrives in theaters and on demand on July 3.

Read the story at TIME.


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Part documentary, part thriller, “The Infiltrators” is a tense, politically engaged drama

Part documentary, part thriller, “The Infiltrators” is a tense, politically engaged drama

Source:  The Washington Post

In the intriguing, marvelously inventive documentary “The Infiltrators,” a young Dreamer named Marco notes that whether he’s called “illegal” or “undocumented” doesn’t really matter.  “They’re just other words for being afraid.”

But he doesn’t stay scared for long.  As a member of the National Immigrant Youth Alliance, a band of creative and indomitable activists, Marco goes undercover at the Broward Transitional Center in Pompano Beach, Fla., where hundreds of nonviolent detainees wait to hear if they will be released or deported.

Posing as a naive undocumented immigrant, Marco gets himself arrested by the Border Patrol and sent to Broward, where he proceeds to organize low-priority detainees, advising them on navigating a privatized bureaucracy that otherwise threatens to swallow them whole.

Soon he is joined by Viri, who engages in similar activities on the women’s wing of the institution.

“The Infiltrators” is available now at the AFI Silver Virtual Screening Room.

Read the story at The Washington Post.


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Quibi’s “Run This City” follows the rise and fall of 23-year old mayor Jasiel Correia

Quibi’s “Run This City” follows the rise and fall of 23-year old mayor Jasiel Correia

Source:  The Daily Beast

New streaming platform Quibi prides itself on brevity.  Videos are designed for mobile viewing and are no more than ten minutes long—“quick bites,” as it were.

“Run This City,” a 10-part documentary on the platform, is a familiar tale of local political scandal meets true crime, but in micro-segments.

At its center is former Fall River, Massachusetts mayor, the charismatic, fast-talking Jasiel Correia, who happens to bear a striking resemblance to Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal.

Correia was elected at 23 years old in 2015, re-elected in a landslide in 2017, and then arrested by the FBI twice while in office for accusations of wire fraud and filing false tax returns.

The charges are based on a local business geotargeting app, SnoOwl, founded by Correia, and claims that he defrauded investors in the company by spending the money they put into the company on personal items.

Correia, who has been promoting the documentary on social media, admits that SnoOwl never made any money, but is adamant about his innocence.

Read the story at The Daily Beast.


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“After Truth” examines the real-world impact of fake news

“After Truth” examines the real-world impact of fake news

Source:  IndieWire

A film about fake news might seem like a tough sell given the nonstop political discourse of the last few years, but Andrew Rossi’s “After Truth: Disinformation and the Cost of Fake News” offers a new take on the issue.

“After Truth” takes a more personal look at the subject by examining the human cost of malicious disinformation, rather than relitigating the actual conspiracy theories.

Yes, Pizzagate, conspiracies about the 2016 murder of Democratic National Committee employee Seth Rich, and several other recent well-known conspiracies are extensively covered in the documentary, but the film is primarily focused on the victims of those intentional falsehoods.

While the documentary prioritizes victims over conspiracies, the goal is still very much to combat the fake news epidemic, and the project offers insights that even those thoroughly exhausted by years of news coverage on disinformation will find interesting.

“After Truth: Disinformation and the Cost of Fake News” is available now on HBO.

Read the story at IndieWire.


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“Kill Chain: The Cyber War on America’s Elections” reveals just how fragile our democracy really is

“Kill Chain: The Cyber War on America’s Elections” reveals just how fragile our democracy really is

Source:  TIME

If you don’t want to know how easy it is for a canny individual—or a malicious state actor—to hack into the electronic voting technology used in the U.S., don’t watch “Kill Chain: The Cyber War on America’s Elections.”

In this unnervingly persuasive HBO documentary, directors Simon Ardizzone, Russell Michaels and Sarah Teale marshal cyber-security experts, statisticians, and lawmakers to expose cracks in the system that could easily allow hackers to affect voting results.

The filmmakers’ sources also include actual hackers, among them an individual who breached Alaska’s voting system in 2016 just to see if he could.  Although he explains in an on-camera interview (his face obscured to protect his identity) that he declined to alter any data, he says he could have sold his “backdoor” access for millions.

“Kill Chain: The Cyber War on America’s Elections” is available now on HBO.

Read the story at TIME.


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Breezy doc “American Sector” explores what happens to a border wall after it collapses

Breezy doc “American Sector” explores what happens to a border wall after it collapses

Source:  IndieWire

The Berlin Wall fell in November 1989, but it was never destroyed — only dismantled.

More than 30 years later, fragments of the concrete border that once separated East and West Germany are now scattered around the world; these lonely slabs of rock stick out of the ground like cold, gray monoliths and radiate with the knowledge of another time.  Dozens can be found in the United States alone.

Courtney Stephens and Pacho Velez’s “The American Sector” may not have time to visit every section of the Berlin Wall that’s been imported to the U.S. (the film runs 65 minutes without credits), but this light and thoughtful documentary road trip still manages to draw a comprehensive map of what the Cold War relic has come to represent — and what freedom means to the people of a nation that’s been defined by its pursuit.

“The American Sector” recently made its world premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival.

Read the story at IndieWire.


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