DOC NYC 2020: 9-11 Kids

9-11 Kids explores both race and class in profiling the lives of the children sitting in class when President George W. Bush learned of 9/11. Everyone remembers where they were on the morning of September 11th.  For one group of people, the morning is particularly memorable.  This is because then-President George W. Bush was visiting Emma E. Booker Elementary School. All of us have seen the photo where Bush’s chief of staff, Andy Card, whispers…

"DOC NYC 2020: 9-11 Kids"

It’s a Wonderful Life Arrives Gets 4K Ultra HD Steelbook

One year shy of its 75th anniversary, Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life arrives on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray with a beautiful steelbook cover. To be fair, this is not the first 4K UHD release for the classic film.  It was previously released last year on 4K UHD.  The difference between the two versions is that this one includes a mini-poster and a steelbook cover.  The remastered and restored Black & White version is on…

"It’s a Wonderful Life Arrives Gets 4K Ultra HD Steelbook"

DOC NYC 2020: Truth to Power

Truth to Power: Barbara Lee Speaks for Me is a powerful and inspiring biography of the highest-ranking Black woman in Congress. Only one person voted against the 2001 authorization for military force.  That person is longtime Rep. Barbara Lee.  While she is the only one to go through with her feelings on the vote, other colleagues regret not joining her.  A number of colleagues are interviewed about this including Lynne Woolsey (D-CA, James Clyburn (D-SC),…

"DOC NYC 2020: Truth to Power"

DOC NYC 2020: ‘Til Kingdom Come

‘Til Kingdom Come is a documentary that shows why evangelicals and right-wing Israelis have gotten in bed with each other. This documentary may be short but it puts the spotlight on rural communities in Kentucky among others.  If it makes you uncomfortable, then the film is doing its job.  There are a number of Orthodox Jews in America and Israel that welcome evangelical support for Israel.  The thing is that evangelicals are not supporting Israel…

"DOC NYC 2020: ‘Til Kingdom Come"

DOC NYC 2020: The Meaning of Hitler

The Meaning of Hitler is not a conventional film by any means but it is effective in getting its point across about understanding the past. There has been a rise of white nationalism and anti-Semitism in the past few years.  It is not just limited to Europe but we are also seeing it in the United States.  Filmmaking team Petra Epperlein and Michael Tucker seek to understand what is happening now by exploring the past. …

"DOC NYC 2020: The Meaning of Hitler"

DOC NYC 2020: Kings of Capitol Hill

Kings of Capitol Hill is an eye-opening look at the history of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and its role in American politics. AIPAC was founded in order to support a strategic alliance between the US and Israel. The large majority of the founders were Jewish Democrats.  Eighty percent of Jews had been Democrats for decades and many had been politically involved.  Some came into leadership positions because of American involvement in the Vietnam…

"DOC NYC 2020: Kings of Capitol Hill"

Sergeant York: A Heroic Tale…But Propaganda

Gary Cooper delivers a marvelous performance as the acclaimed World War 1 hero in Sergeant York but the film is propaganda of the era. Alvin C. York’s (Gary Cooper) story was a dream for any studio executive in the 1930s.  Here’s a guy who was not only a religious man but a grew up poor in Tennessee.  York may have been a pacifist but conscientious objectors were required to serve.  His service record includes killing…

"Sergeant York: A Heroic Tale…But Propaganda"

Dodsworth Beautifully Remastered on Blu-ray

Dodsworth, under the direction of William Wyler, is one of the best pieces of cinema to come out of the 1930s and is available on Blu-ray. Like so many films of its era, Dodsworth originated as a novel before taking to the stage.  In this instance, playwright/screenwriter Sidney Howard adapted his play for the screen.  None of this would ever happen without Sinclair Lewis’s novel, of course. Sam Dodsworth (Walter Huston) founded Dodsworth Motors some…

"Dodsworth Beautifully Remastered on Blu-ray"

Chick Fight: Can We Talk About Fight Club?

One woman learns a lot about herself when she joins an all-female fight club in Chick Fight as a way of putting her life back in order. Move over, David Fincher–there’s a new fight club in town. Wait!  Are we even allowed to talk about Fight Club or any fight club?!?  In all honesty, I couldn’t resist the joke about fight club.  That is assuming we can talk about a fight club.  I don’t make…

"Chick Fight: Can We Talk About Fight Club?"

Mank: A Look Back At Classic Hollywood

Mank, directed by David Fincher, takes a look back at 1930s Hollywood through the eyes of Oscar-winning screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz. If there is one thing that Mank gets right, it’s Herman J. Mankiewicz being an alcoholic.  Well, that and writing Citizen Kane.  Oh, and the drama with Orson Welles (Tom Burke) over credit for writing the screenplay.  This is where I must recommend Sydney Ladensohn Stern’s biography, The Brothers Mankiewicz. We know that Mank…

"Mank: A Look Back At Classic Hollywood"