April 27, 2020

Screen Time: Week of April 27

From Cristina Ibarra and Alex Rivera's 'The Infiltrators," which premieres May 1 as part of Oscilloscope Laboratories' virtual cinema initiative. Courtesy of Oscilloscope Laboratories

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

Premiering May 1 as part of Oscilloscope Laboratories' virtual cinema initiative, The Infiltrators, from Cristina Ibarra and Alex Rivera, tells the story of young immigrants who are detained by US Border Patrol and thrown into a detention center. These detainees, Marco and Viri, are on a mission to stop unjust deportations—by being detained. Their attempt at a prison break, however, doesn't go according to plan. This hybrid film—a blend of documentary footage of the real infiltrators and re-enactments of events inside the detention center—tells a thrilling story in a bold cinematic language.

Now streaming on the WORLD Channel is Pacific Heartbeat, a public television documentary series about the Pacific Islander experience. Season 9 brings us Matthieu Rytz's Anote's Ark, which takes us to the island nation of Kiribati, one of the most remote places on the planet, which is facing imminent annihilation from sea-level rise; Joanna Lester's Power Meri, which follows Papua New Guinea's first national women’s rugby league team, on their journey to the 2017 World Cup in Australia; Mitchell Hawks' Born This Way: Awa's Story, which profiles an openly trans Maori teen through her final year in college; and, from Dean Hamer and Joe Wilson, The Rogers, an intimate glimpse into the lives of the first openly transgender men in the Pacific Islands—The Rogers of Samoa.

Streaming on MUBI through May 18, Chang Yung's This Is Not a Movie follows journalist Robert Fiske, a 40-year veteran who has reported on some of the most violent and divisive conflicts in the world, as he continues to risk his life to ferret out the truth.

Streaming on Filmatique through May 18 is Gianfranco Rosi's Sacro GRA, a meditation on the highway that encircles Rome and the residents whose homes overlook the highway.

Now streaming on Al Jazeera English through May 21, Christian Frei's Genesis 2.0 The Hunt for the Wooly Mammoth follows a team of researchers as they embark on a dangerous sea crossing from their village in northern Siberia to the uninhabited New Siberian Islands to excavate an ancient animal carcass in the farthest reaches of the Siberian arctic.

Visions du Reel is currently streaming online through May 2, and the Nyon-based festival is spotlighting the work of Brazilian documentary maker Petra Costa, including Elena, Olmo and the Seagull and the Academy Award-nominated The Edge of Democracy. Costa will also conduct an online masterclass on Thursday, April 30.

Now through May 6 on Amazon Prime, check out some of the selections from the 2020 SXSW Film Festival, including all of the doc shorts that had been slated for the live iteration, as well as three of the doc features: Karen Bernstein's I'm Gonna Make You Love Me, Matt Riddlehoover's My Darling Vivian and Alex Lee Moyer's TFW No GF

The Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival Virtual Showcase launches May 1 with a special screening of Episodes 3 and 4 of the highly anticipated PBS series Asian Americans. The episodes will be available for viewing from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm PST. At 5:00 pm, episode producers S. Leo Chiang and Grace Lee, as well as series producer Renee Tajima-Peña, will be on hand for a special Q&A.