April 1, 2019

Screen Time: Week of April 1

From "Hostile Planet," a six-part series that premieres April 1 on National Geographic. Photo: Matthew Wright. Courtesy of National Geographic

Screen Time is your curated weekly guide to excellent documentaries and nonfiction programs that you can watch at home.


Launching April 1 on National Geographic as a six-part series that airs Mondays through May 6, Hostile Planet draws attention to the most extraordinary accounts of animals that have adapted to the cruelest evolutionary curveballs. The series zooms in on the world’s most extreme environments to reveal the animal kingdom’s most glorious stories of survival on this fast and continuously shifting planet. From the team behind The Blue Planet and Planet Earth II.

Premiering April 1 on Independent Lens and streaming throughout the month is Denali Tiller’s Tre Maison Dasan, a portrait of three young boys, who narrate their story of struggling to grow up with a parent in prison. They face the pressure of living in a society that often demonizes their parents, provides little support for their families, and assumes that they will follow the same path as their parents.

Available on iTunes beginning April 2 and produced by American Issues Initiative, Rigged: The Voter Suppression Playbook tracks the decade-long strategy devised and directed by Republicans to keep non-whites from voting.

Available on Vimeo through Cinema Libre as of April 2, Jihadists goes deep into the heart of the Salafi movement, to reveal the inner workings of extremist Islam. Filmmakers Lemine Ould Salem and François Margolin, were granted unparalleled access to fundamentalist clerics of Sunni Islam who proselytize for a “purer” form of Islam--including jihad of the sword--in Mali, Tunisia, Iraq and Afghanistan. The film paints a stark portrait of everyday life under jihadi rule.

Made following the discovery of amateur footage shot in China in 1966 during the first and most radical stage of the Cultural Revolution, In the Intense Now, from João Moreira Salles and streaming on Docuseek through Icarus Films, speaks to the fleeting nature of moments of great intensity. Scenes of China are set alongside archival images of the events of 1968 in France, Czechoslovakia and Brazil. These scenes serve to investigate how the people who took part in those events continued onward after passions had cooled.