One of the best documentaries of the year is also, on its surface, one of the simplest. To make “The Hottest August,” director Brett Story spent the month of August 2017 talking to New Yorkers about their hopes for the future as well as their anxieties.
Story and her crew visited many well-traveled spots as well as some out-of-the-way places like Rockaway Beach, where residents worried about an eroding shoreline even before Hurricane Sandy devastated the area in 2012.
The film was named for the expectation that the month would be the hottest August on record in the northern hemisphere — and while, in the end, it turned out to be slightly cooler than August 2016, the trendline has continued upward.
What emerged from Story’s interviews was a portrait of ordinary people living in the shadow of looming climate change, and the threats it poses to their ways of life. The film’s official description is “a film about climate change, disguised as a portrait of collective anxiety.”
The film is funny and fascinating, but with an air of the uncanny hanging over everything.
“The Hottest August” opened in select theaters on November 15.
Read the story at Vox.
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