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Documentary of the Week

WNYC

Every week, WNYC tells you about the best documentaries as they become available on screens of any size. Our hosts are Thom Powers and Raphaela Neihausen, co-founders of the Pure Nonfiction podcast and the DOC NYC festival, the largest non-fiction film festival in the U.S.

Every week, WNYC tells you about the best documentaries as they become available on screens of any size. Our hosts are Thom Powers and Raphaela Neihausen, co-founders of the Pure Nonfiction podcast and the DOC NYC festival, the largest non-fiction film festival in the U.S.
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Location:

New York, NY

Networks:

WNYC

Description:

Every week, WNYC tells you about the best documentaries as they become available on screens of any size. Our hosts are Thom Powers and Raphaela Neihausen, co-founders of the Pure Nonfiction podcast and the DOC NYC festival, the largest non-fiction film festival in the U.S.

Language:

English


Episodes

Environmental Thriller

7/12/2019
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The documentary "Sea of Shadows" follows activists trying to save the rare totoaba fish from extinction, going up against poachers, smugglers and the mafia from Mexico to China. Filmmaker Richard Ladkani covers action by land and sea with the pacing a thriller. — Raphaela Neihausen and Thom Powers For more information, click here to visit the film web site.

Duration:00:01:27

Leonard Cohen in Love

7/5/2019
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In "Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love," filmmaker Nick Broomfield profiles Marianne Ihlen, who was Leonard Cohen's lover and the subject of his songs "So Long, Marianne" and "Bird on a Wire." The film captures an era of artistic expression, drugs and free love. Broomfield also had a relationship with Marianne, who inspired him to make his first film fifty years ago. — Raphaela Neihausen and Thom Powers For more information, click here to visit the film web site.

Duration:00:01:58

A Women's Sailing Crew Races Around the World

6/28/2019
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"Maiden" is a documentary adventure story chronicling the first all-women sailing team to compete in an around-the-world race, defying sexist naysayers. Filmmaker Alex Holmes interviews the key players, including Skipper Tracy Edwards, and weaves their accounts with extraordinary footage shot on board the Maiden amidst ocean storms and accidents. — Raphaela Neihausen and Thom Powers For more information, click here to visit the film web site.

Duration:00:01:40

Toni Morrison Looks Back

6/21/2019
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The documentary “Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am” profiles the Nobel Prize winning author of “Song of Solomon,” “Beloved” and other novels. Filmmaker and photographer Timothy Greenfield-Sanders frames Morrison speaking directly to the camera and gives her work context in interviews with Oprah Winfrey, Angela Davis, Walter Mosley and others. — Raphaela Neihausen and Thom Powers For more information, click here to visit the film web site.

Duration:00:01:46

Up Close with Chelsea Manning

6/14/2019
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The documentary “XY Chelsea” profiles Chelsea Manning, alternately seen as a whistleblower or traitor, who spent seven years in prison — the longest any American ever has for leaking government secrets. Filmmaker Tim Travers Hawkins follows the transgender activist, who went to prison as Bradley and emerged as Chelsea. — Raphaela Neihausen and Thom Powers For more information, click here to visit the official film web site.

Duration:00:02:00

Rescuing Modern Slaves

6/7/2019
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The documentary “Ghost Fleet” follows a modern anti-slavery crusader, Patima Tungpuchayakul, as she goes on a mission to remote islands to rescue escapees from illegal fishing boats. Filmmakers Shannon Service and Jeffrey Waldron expose a hidden system in the Thai fishing industry that’s estimated to keep tens of thousands in slave labor at sea. — Raphaela Neihausen and Thom Powers For more information, click here to visit the official film web site.

Duration:00:01:48

Beto’s Run for Senate

5/31/2019
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The documentary “Running with Beto” follows Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke over a year as he becomes a national political figure with an unexpectedly strong challenge against incumbent Senator Ted Cruz. Filmmaker David Modigliani captures how Beto energizes a new base of voters by taking strong left-wing positions on issues like immigration, gun control and police violence. — Raphaela Neihausen and Thom Powers For more information, click here to visit the film web site.

Duration:00:02:04

Warhol, Dylan, Ginsberg and...Barbara Rubin

5/24/2019
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The documentary “Barbara Rubin and the Exploding NY Underground” shines a light on the experimental filmmaker who moved in the circles of Bob Dylan, Andy Warhol and Allen Ginsberg. Filmmaker Chuck Smith chronicles how Rubin burst on the scene as a teenager to push boundaries of cinema, sexuality and drugs. — Raphaela Neihausen and Thom Powers For more information, click here to visit the film web site.

Duration:00:02:02

Christo’s Floating Piers

5/17/2019
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“Walking on Water” documents the visionary artist Christo as he undertakes his biggest project since the death of his partner Jeanne-Claude, creating a floating bridge on Italy’s Lake Iseo. Filmmaker Andrey Paounov captures Christo’s attempt to create the impossible, aided by his nephew Vladimir Yavachev. — Raphaela Neihausen and Thom Powers For more information, click here to visit the official film web site.

Duration:00:01:58

How to Start A Farm

5/10/2019
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The family friendly documentary “The Biggest Little Farm” follows John and Molly Chester as they trade city life to create a biodiverse farm with multiple species of plants and animals. We watch their trials and tribulations for over seven years as the farm comes to life only to be threatened by drought and wildfires. — Raphaela Neihausen and Thom Powers For more information, click here to visit the official film web site.

Duration:00:01:41

From Waitress to Congress

5/3/2019
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The documentary “Knock Down the House” follows four working-class candidates running for Congress, including a young long shot from the Bronx named Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Director Rachel Lears captures how Ocasio-Cortez emerged, from a movement supported by the organizations Justice Democrats and Brand New Congress, to become a rising star. — Raphaela Neihausen and Thom Powers For more information, click here to visit the film web site.

Duration:00:01:57

Satanists for the First Amendment

4/19/2019
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“Hail Satan?” is a documentary comedy profiling a network of pagan worshippers and political provocateurs in the Satanic Temple. Director Penny Lane follows co-founder Lucian Greaves and his band of merry Satanists as they challenge state governments over freedom of religion. — Raphaela Neihausen and Thom Powers For more information, click here to visit the official film web site.

Duration:00:02:19

Baseball on Drugs

4/12/2019
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The documentary “Screwball” looks at the colorful Miami characters involved in the baseball doping scandal that implicated Alex Rodriguez and other Major League Baseball players. Filmmaker Billy Corben (“Cocaine Cowboys”) blends comedy with true crime, upholding Florida’s reputation as a sunny place for shady people. — Raphaela Neihausen and Thom Powers For more information, click here to visit the official film web site.

Duration:00:01:57

Sex Work in Court

4/5/2019
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“Blowin’ Up” spends two years inside an innovative Queens court that focuses on prostitution and human trafficking. Filmmaker Stephanie Wang-Breal takes her title from slang that refers to leaving a pimp.The film covers both victories and setbacks in an effort to rethink the justice system. — Raphaela Neihausen and Thom Powers For more information, click here to visit the official film web site.

Duration:00:01:59

Steve Bannon Around the World

3/29/2019
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“The Brink” follows the divisive political strategist Steve Bannon after he’s ousted from the White House as he spends a year taking his nationalist agenda abroad. Filmmaker Alison Klayman (“Ai Wei Wei: Never Sorry”) gets close access to Bannon as he meets with right wing leaders in multiple countries to create a new organization called The Movement. — Raphaela Neihausen and Thom Powers For more information, click here to visit the official film web site.

Duration:00:01:48

Exposing Rape Culture

3/22/2019
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The documentary “Roll Red Roll” investigates a rape case in Steubenville, Ohio, where high-school football players documented their crime on social media. Filmmaker Nancy Schwartzman chronicles how the case changed public opinion after many local football supporters initially cast doubt on the victim. — Raphaela Neihausen and Thom Powers For more information, click here to visit the official film web site.

Duration:00:01:59

Sketching Orson Welles

3/15/2019
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In “The Eyes of Orson Welles,” filmmaker Mark Cousins looks into the sketchbooks of the fecund creator who revolutionized radio, theater and film. Cousins, known for his monumental history “The Story of Film,” succeeds at giving us a fresh perspective on how Welles saw the world. — Raphaela Neihausen and Thom Powers For more information, click here to visit the film web site.

Duration:00:02:05

Re-investigating the ‘Serial’ Case

3/8/2019
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HBO’s four-part series “The Case Against Adnan Syed” follows investigators as they re-open the Baltimore murder case made famous by the Serial podcast. Filmmaker Amy Berg uncovers new details and testimonies that stir fresh questions over whether justice was served. — Raphaela Neihausen and Thom Powers For more information, click here to visit the film web site.

Duration:00:01:59

Going to the Moon

3/1/2019
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The documentary “Apollo 11” brings a fresh perspective to the first voyage to the moon, with rare 70 mm archival footage and audio recordings from inside mission control. For the 50th year anniversary of the journey, filmmaker Todd Douglas Miller has created a suspenseful epic fit for the IMAX screen. — Raphaela Neihausen and Thom Powers For more information, click here to visit the official film web site.

Duration:00:01:50

Wrestling Their Way to College

2/22/2019
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The documentary "Wrestle" is set at a failing high school in Huntsville, Alabama, where Coach Chris Scribner mentors students to get scholarships for wrestling. Filmmakers Suzannah Herbert and Lauren Belfer follow four students who variously cope with absent parents, teenage pregnancy and run-ins with the law while trying to compete for the state championship. — Raphaela Neihausen and Thom Powers For more information, click here to visit the official film web site.

Duration:00:01:45