Social Distancing: Day …
Next up, a list of a few of my favorite politically focused documentaries. These should keep you entertained as you navigate the next few days of our current reality.
Again, we will also be posting these titles on Instagram Stories so please share on your own story and tag @newportFILM so we can continue to grow (and connect) our community!
Best of Enemies
In the summer of 1968 television news changed forever. Dead last in the ratings, ABC hired two towering public intellectuals to debate each other during the Democratic and Republican national conventions. William F. Buckley Jr. was a leading light of the new conservative movement. A Democrat and cousin to Jackie Onassis, Gore Vidal was a leftist novelist and polemicist. Armed with deep-seated distrust and enmity, Vidal and Buckley believed each other’s political ideologies were dangerous for America. Like rounds in a heavyweight battle, they pummeled out policy and personal insult—their explosive exchanges devolving into vitriolic name-calling. Live and unscripted, they kept viewers riveted. Ratings for ABC News skyrocketed. And a new era in public discourse was born.
Directed with consummate skill by filmmakers Robert Gordon and Academy Award-winning Sundance Film Festival alum Morgan Neville (Twenty Feet From Stardom), Best of Enemies unleashes a highbrow blood sport that marked the dawn of pundit television as we know it today.
Running time: 87 minutes
Director: Robert Gordon, Morgan Neville
Available on: YouTube – Amazon Prime – Google Play – hulu
Awards: Camden International Film Festival-Audience Award
The Diplomat tells the remarkable story of the life and legacy of Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, whose singular career spans fifty years of American foreign policy from Vietnam to Afghanistan. Told through the perspective of his eldest son David, the documentary takes you behind the scenes of high stakes diplomacy where peace is waged and wars are ended. The film will be released in 2015, the 20th anniversary of Holbrooke’s crowning achievement: the Dayton Peace Accords which ended the war in Bosnia.
Running time: 104 minutes
Director: David Holbrooke
Available on: HBO Now – Hulu – HBO Go
Centered on the indomitable character of Imelda Marcos, The Kingmaker examines, with intimate access, the Marcos family’s improbable return to power in the Philippines. The film explores the disturbing legacy of the Marcos regime and chronicles Imelda’s present-day push to help her son, Bongbong, win the vice-presidency. To this end, Imelda confidently rewrites her family’s history of corruption, replacing it with a narrative of a matriarch’s extravagant love for her country. In an age when fake news manipulates elections, Imelda’s comeback story serves as a dark fairy tale.
Running time: 101 minutes
Director: Lauren Greenfield
Available on: Hulu – Showtime
Awards: Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards – Most Compelling Living Subject of a Documentary
Page One: Inside The New York Times
During the most tumultuous time for media in generations, filmmaker Andrew Rossi gains unprecedented access to the New York Times newsroom. For a year, he follows journalists on the paper’s Media Desk, a department created to cover the transformation of the media industry. Through this prism, a complex view emerges of a media landscape fraught with both peril and opportunity, especially at the Times itself.
Running time: 92 minutes
Director: Andrew Rossi
Available on: YouTube – Amazon Prime – Google Play – iTunes
At the age of 84, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has developed a breathtaking legal legacy while becoming an unexpected pop culture icon. But without a definitive Ginsburg biography, the unique personal journey of this diminutive, quiet warrior’s rise to the nation’s highest court has been largely unknown, even to some of her biggest fans – until now. RBG is a revelatory documentary exploring Ginsburg’s exceptional life and career from Betsy West and Julie Cohen, and co-produced by Storyville Films and CNN Films.
Running time: 98 minutes
Director: Julie Cohen, Betsy West
Available on: Amazon Prime – YouTube – Google Play – Hulu
Awards: Primetime Emmy Awards – Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking
Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards – Most Compelling Living Subject of a Documentary
Sexts, lies, and Carlos Danger: watch the wildest political meltdown in recent history as it unfolds. It’s 2013 and Anthony Weiner—still reeling from the sex scandal that ended his political career two years earlier—is back in the spotlight as he mounts an audacious comeback campaign for New York City mayor. But it’s not long before history repeats itself and new sexting allegations leave Weiner and his aides scrambling to contain the damage. Granted unfettered access to the candidate and his campaign, filmmakers Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg capture a jaw-dropping, behind-the-scenes look at the political machine as it breaks down. Winner of the Sundance Grand Jury Prize for U.S. Documentary.
Running time: 96 minutes
Director: Josh Kriegman, Elyse Steinberg
Available on: YouTube – Google Play – Amazon Prime – iTunes
Awards: Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards – Best First Documentary (Theatrical Feature)
Sundance Film Festival – Grand Jury Prize
Where’s My Roy Cohn?
One of the most controversial and influential American men of the 20th Century, Roy Cohn was a ruthless and unscrupulous lawyer and political power broker whose 28-year career ranged from acting as chief counsel to Senator Joseph McCarthy’s Communist-hunting subcommittee to molding the career of a young Queens real estate developer named Donald Trump.
Even those who think they know everything about Roy Cohn will find much that is new in this deeply researched film, which utilizes a great deal of material never publicly seen. Those with little previous knowledge of Cohn’s story will have their eyes opened to the sizeable impact he continues to have on us, despite being dead for decades. By showing how America’s current divisions are rooted in dark areas of our past, WHERE’S MY ROY COHN? offers an illuminating portrait of where we are today.
Running time: 97 minutes
Director: Matt Tyrnauer
Available on: Amazon Prime – YouTube – Google Play