“The Kingmaker” explores the extravagant wealth and ongoing political ambition of former Filipino first lady Imelda Marcos

“The Kingmaker” explores the extravagant wealth and ongoing political ambition of former Filipino first lady Imelda Marcos

Source:  The Hollywood Reporter

Kingmaker.  Puppetmaster.  Power behind the throne.  Whatever you want to call her, Imelda Marcos has been calling most of the shots in Philippine politics for a large part of the past half-century and new documentary “The Kingmaker” insists that, at 90, she’s not done yet and won’t leave the stage until she’s helped her son, Bongbong, win the vice presidency of the country.

Whether that happens or not, director Lauren Greenfield (“The Queen of Versailles,” “Generation Wealth”) paints an engaging, appalling but inevitably partial portrait of a woman who has navigated through countless political and personal squalls but remains irretrievably drawn to the flame of power.

“The Kingmaker” recently screened at the Venice Film Festival.

Read the story at The Hollywood Reporter.


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Nat Geo releases trailer for “The Cave” about an underground hospital in war-torn Syria

Nat Geo releases trailer for “The Cave” about an underground hospital in war-torn Syria

Source:  Deadline

National Geographic has released the first trailer for “The Cave,” a documentary that tells the true story of an underground hospital in war-torn Syria and the inspirational female doctor running it.

Directed by Ferras Fayyad, who was Oscar-nominated for his 2018 film “Last Men In Aleppo,” the film will open the Toronto International Film Festival’s documentary program next month and will be released in October.

“The Cave” follows Dr. Amani, a young, aspiring pediatrician in Syria who is forced to end her studies to run the medical team at at an underground hospital in the besieged Syrian city of Al Ghouta, leading a team of mostly women working with meager resources.

Due to the nonstop onslaught of warfare, victims flood the subterranean haven through secret entrances and an intricate network of tunnels.

Read the story at Deadline.

Watch the trailer for Sundance standout refugee doc “Midnight Traveler”

Watch the trailer for Sundance standout refugee doc “Midnight Traveler”

Source:  Vulture

In 2015, the Taliban put out an order for the death of Afghan director Hassan Fazili, so the filmmaker gathered his family and fled the country to seek asylum in the European Union.

That’s the premise for the upcoming documentary “Midnight Traveler,” which Fazili filmed on three camera phones, in hiding in the mountains and across borders, to offer a disarmingly personal and intimate, up-close perspective on the sprawling global refugee crisis.

The film won the Sundance Film Festival’s Documentary Special Jury award and made Vulture’s “15 Movies We Loved at Sundance” list back in February.

“Midnight Traveler” opens in New York on September 18 and Los Angeles on October 4.

Read the story at Vulture.

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Cebu’s dancing inmates featured in upcoming Netflix docuseries “Happy Jail”

Cebu’s dancing inmates featured in upcoming Netflix docuseries “Happy Jail”

Source:  Rappler

Netflix’s five-part docuseries, “Happy Jail,” goes inside the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC), a maximum security prison in the Philippines where dancing is part of the inmates’ exercise and rehabilitation.

CPDRC shot to worldwide fame in 2007 when its performance of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” went viral.

Ten years later, the prison faces intense scrutiny when a former inmate, Marco Toral, is hired to run it.

Directed by Emmy Award winner Michele Josue (“Matt Shepard Is a Friend of Mine”), “Happy Jail” premieres August 14 on Netflix.

Read the story at Rappler.

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“Unmasking Jihadi John: Anatomy of a Terrorist” premieres Wednesday on HBO

“Unmasking Jihadi John: Anatomy of a Terrorist” premieres Wednesday on HBO

Source: HBO

Mohammed Emwazi was a grade school student in London with a promising future ahead of him in 1995.

By 2014, he had become known as “Jihadi John,” a masked ISIS terrorist in Syria who internationalized his notoriety by broadcasting his beheadings of Western hostages on the internet.

From Oscar-nominated, BAFTA, and Emmy-winning director Anthony Wonke and BAFTA-winning producer and investigative journalist Richard Kerbaj, “Unmasking Jihadi John: Anatomy of a Terrorist” examines what propelled Emwazi’s journey down a violent path despite U.S. and British authorities being aware of his extremism.

The film also highlights the self-declared operational failures by counter-terrorism officials as Emwazi became ISIS’s chief executioner and propagandist.

Emwazi’s brutality is illustrated through harrowing, first-hand accounts from his surviving hostages, and the collaboration between the world’s leading intelligence agencies, including the CIA and UK intelligence agents, who ultimately tracked him down and ended his life.

“Unmasking Jihadi John: Anatomy of a Terrorist” premieres July 31 on HBO.

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How Kim Jong-Un smuggles his $500,000 Mercedes into North Korea

How Kim Jong-Un smuggles his $500,000 Mercedes into North Korea

Source:  The New York Times

Kim Jong-Un frequently shows off the luxury Mercedes he has obtained in open defiance of U.N. sanctions intended to ban luxury goods from North Korea.

Using shipping data, corporate records, satellite imagery, and interviews, The New York Times tracks the circuitous routes that North Korea uses to import illicit goods.

Watch “How Kim Jong-Un Gets His $500,000 Mercedes” above and read the story at The New York Times.

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