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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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New York, NY

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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

Wim Wenders Profiles the Pope

5/18/2018
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In the documentary “Pope Francis: A Man of His Word,” filmmaker Wim Wenders interviews the pontiff on an array of topics. Wenders explores the meaning of the first Pope to name himself after St. Francis of Asissi who took a vow of poverty and stressed the importance of having a harmonious relationship with nature. — Thom Powers and Raphaela Neihausen For more information, click here to visit the film web site.

Duration:00:01:48

Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Formative Years

5/11/2018
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The documentary “Boom For Real: The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat” profiles the artist long before he broke auction records for an American artist. Filmmaker Sara Driver combines archival footage with new interviews of Basquiat’s peers from Manhattan’s downtown art scene in the late '70s. — Thom Powers and Raphaela Neihausen For more information, click here to visit the official film web site.

Duration:00:01:54

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Has a Sense of Humor

5/4/2018
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The documentary RBG examines the career of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, demonstrating her courage and humor. Filmmakers Betsy West and Julie Cohen deliver both a legal history and a personal portrait, including a study of Ginsburg’s early days as an ACLU lawyer crusading for women’s rights. — Thom Powers and Raphaela Neihausen For more information, click here to visit the film web site.

Duration:00:01:56

Remembering Robert Kennedy

4/27/2018
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The 4-part Netflix series “Bobby Kennedy for President” traces the political education of the candidate who was assassinated in 1968. Filmmaker Dawn Porter combines a wealth of archival footage with new interviews with Kennedy associates such as John Lewis, Marian Wright Edelman and Dolores Huerta. — Thom Powers and Raphaela Neihausen For more information, click here to visit the film web site.

Duration:00:01:53

When Rape Kits Go Untested

4/20/2018
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The HBO documentary “I Am Evidence” investigates the crisis of hundreds of thousands of rape kits that went untested across the United States. Actress and advocate Mariska Hargitay teams with directors Trish Adlesic and Geeta Gandbhir to focus on the crusade of Detroit prosecutor Kym Worthy and others who campaigned to rescue kits from storage. Their work led to identifying hundreds of perpetrators. — Thom Powers and Raphaela Neihausen For more information, click here to visit the film...

Duration:00:01:44

Amazing Grace Jones

4/13/2018
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In the documentary “Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami,” filmmaker Sophie Fiennes combines performance and intimate observation to profile the singer, model and icon. “Bloodlight” is the red light outside a recording studio and “Bami” is a Jamaican flatbread. The words refer to Jones’ art and life. She constantly blurs the lines between the two and is never less than riveting. — Thom Powers and Raphaela Neihausen For more information, click here to visit the film web site.

Duration:00:01:47

The Rise and Fall of ACORN

4/6/2018
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The documentary “ACORN and the Firestorm” traces the 40 year history of community organizers brought down by a right wing attack. Filmmakers Rueben Atlas and Sam Pollard show how a simple lie travels faster than a complicated truth. — Thom Powers and Raphaela Neihausen For more information, click here to visit the film web site.

Duration:00:02:02

Another Wall Street Time Bomb

3/30/2018
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The documentary “The China Hustle” tells a story of global financial corruption that could be a ticking time bomb for Wall Street. Director Jed Rothstein teams with executive producer Alex Gibney for a film that’s alternately funny, infuriating and terrifying, in the tradition of “Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room.” — Thom Powers and Raphaela Neihausen For more information, click here to visit the official film web site.

Duration:00:01:35

Gloria Allred is Ready to Fight

3/23/2018
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The documentary “Seeing Allred” profiles the attorney Gloria Allred and her legal crusades on behalf of women and minorities. Filmmakers Sophie Sartain and Roberta Grossman follow Allred as represents accusers of Bill Cosby, Donald Trump and others. — Thom Powers and Raphaela Neihausen For more information, click here to visit the film web site.

Duration:00:01:33

When a Sex Cult Moves In

3/16/2018
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The Netflix series “Wild Wild Country” looks back on the controversial religious leader Bhagwan Rajneesh who was accused of leading a sex cult in rural Oregon. Sibling filmmakers Chapman and Maclain Way team with executive producers Jay and Mark Duplass to examine how a clash of cultures turned into a massive case of poisoning, wire-tapping and immigration fraud. — Thom Powers and Raphaela Neihausen For more information, click here to visit the film web site.

Duration:00:01:51

Remembering War Photographer Chris Hondros

3/9/2018
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War photographer Chris Hondros took iconic images in Liberia, Iraq, Egypt and elsewhere before he was killed in Libya in 2011. Now his longtime friend Greg Campbell pays tribute to his career in the documentary “Hondros.” This is the 150th edition of Documentary of the Week. Hosts Thom Powers and Raphaela Neihausen discuss why they chose this film for that milestone. — Thom Powers and Raphaela Neihausen For more information, click here to visit the official film web site.

Duration:00:02:03

Policing in a Time of Crisis

3/2/2018
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The eight-part Netflix series “Flint Town” spends a year inside the police department in the Michigan city reeling from a water crisis. The filmmaking trio of Zackary Canepari, Drea Cooper and Jessica Dimmock cut through the sensationalism to highlight the city’s humanity. — Thom Powers and Raphaela Neihausen Fore more information, click here to visit the film web site.

Duration:00:01:45

The Rise of Historically Black Colleges and Universities

2/23/2018
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The new documentary “Tell Them We Are Rising” tells an expansive story of historically black colleges and universities - known as HBCUs. Filmmakers Stanley Nelson and Marco Williams cover multiple eras from Reconstruction to Civil Rights to the present day. The film is streaming on PBS Independent Lens and is now available on DVD and Blu-ray. — Thom Powers and Raphaela Neihausen For more information, click here to visit the official film web site.

Duration:00:01:48

Black Lives on Film

2/16/2018
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St. Clair Bourne was a pivotal figure in putting black lives on film, from the 1970s to his death in 2007. As founder of the Black Documentary collective, he also mentored generations of black filmmakers. Now a retrospective at the Metrograph provides a rare opportunity to see his documentaries on Paul Robeson, Amiri Baraka, Spike Lee and more, plus films by those who came up after him. Our segment highlights his film “Langston Hughes: The Dream Keeper." — Thom Powers and Raphaela...

Duration:00:01:48

A Saloon Owner Tries to Save the World

2/9/2018
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The documentary “The Peacemaker” profiles Boston bar owner Padraig O’Malley, who’s known in the world of international diplomacy for his skills at negotiating in conflict zones. Filmmaker James Demo follows O’Malley to war torn cities in Northern Ireland, the Balkans, the Middle East and beyond to understand what makes him tick. — Thom Powers and Raphaela Neihausen For more information, click here to visit the official film web site.

Duration:00:02:04

The Challenge of Police Reform

2/2/2018
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In the documentary “The Force,” director Peter Nicks embeds with the Oakland police force for two years during a period when leaders tried to reform after past abuses of power. While there are many documentaries about law and order, few bring the depth and nuance of this one. — Thom Powers and Raphaela Neihausen For more information, click here to visit the film web site.

Duration:00:01:56

The Life of Lorraine Hansberry

1/26/2018
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Lorraine Hansberry, the playwright best known for “A Raisin in the Sun,” gets a long overdue biography in the documentary “Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart.” Filmmaker Tracy Heather Strain spent 14 years on the film, and delivers a complex portrait of Hansberry as a writer, radical and lesbian ahead of her time. — Thom Powers and Raphaela Neihausen For more information, click here to visit the official film web site.

Duration:00:01:39

Obama’s Ticking Clock

1/19/2018
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In “The Final Year," filmmaker Greg Barker follows key members of President Obama’s foreign-policy team over the course of their last year in office. As we watch Secretary of State John Kerry, UN Ambassador Samantha Power and others at work, their approach makes a striking contrast to the current administration. — Thom Powers and Raphaela Neihausen For more information, click here to visit the official film web site.

Duration:00:01:56

The Magic of the Met

1/12/2018
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Susan Froemke’s documentary “The Opera House” looks back on the history of New York’s Metropolitan Opera, focusing on the 1966 opening of its current home at Lincoln Center. The history encompasses larger than life characters including New York’s master builder Robert Moses, the Met leader Rudolph Bing and visionary director Franco Zeffirelli. The new building opened with soprano Leontyne Price. — Thom Powers and Raphaela Neihausen For more information, click here to visit the film web...

Duration:00:02:07

Prince in His Prime

1/5/2018
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The performance film “Prince: Sign O the Times” came out in 1987, but was out of distribution for over 25 years. Now it’s back, on platforms such as iTunes and Showtime. The visuals are very much an '80’s period piece with an abundance of neon, smoke and shoulder pads. But the main attraction is Prince in his prime, playing alongside singer Sheena Easton, drummer Sheila E, dancer Cat Glover and an extraordinary band. — Thom Powers and Raphaela Neihausen For more information about the...

Duration:00:01:53

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