Ah, summer! The season of superhero blockbusters and exhilarating action movies – enterprises that demand little more of us than shutting down some of our brain power and sinking into cushy stadium seats.
But the summer of 2018 has put a wrinkle in that pattern. We’re in the midst of a mini documentary boom, during a season in which a surprising number of people have made the effort to go out to the movies – to see a nonfiction film.
Since its June release, Morgan Neville’s documentary portrait of beloved TV personality and children’s advocate Fred Rogers, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?,” has grossed $22 million at the box office.
Two other docs – Julie Cohen and Betsy West’s homage to Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, “RBG,” released in May, and Tim Wardle’s potent and unsettling adoption saga, “Three Identical Strangers,” which opened in June – have also hit big at the box office, grossing some $13.7 million and $10 million, respectively.
It’s too soon to tell if this current love affair with documentaries is the beginning of a trend or simply a testament to the quality of these three films. But sometimes numbers tell a story that has less to do with profit statistics than with an almost indescribable state of yearning: What if this summer’s big documentaries – and a few others that aren’t as splashy but are still worth your time – are giving audiences something they didn’t know they needed?
At a time when the press is under constant attack and many of our government leaders operate under a rather elastic definition of the truth, maybe audiences are looking to connect with stories they can truly believe in.
Read the story at TIME.
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