April 7, 2020

Screen Time: Week of April 6

Bill Withers, subject of Damani Baker and Alex Vlack's 2009 documentary, 'Still Bill.' Photo: Annulla  CC-BY-SA 2.0

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

We lost Bill Withers last week. But fortunately, Damani Baker and Alex Vlack had the good sense to document the wit and wisdom of the legendary soul artist behind such gems as "Lean on Me," "Use Me," "Ain't No Sunshine" and many more. Still Bill streams on Amazon Prime.

Mailchimp and SXSW have teamed up to stream 75 shorts that would have premiered at the 2020 edition. Among the offerings: All of the docs, including Carol Nguyen's No Crying at the Dinner Table, which won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary, and Kira Dane and Katelyn Rebelo's Mizuko, which won a Special Jury Recognition Prize.

The Gene: An Intimate History, which premieres April 7 on PBS, brings vividly to life the story of today's revolution in medical science through present-day tales of patients and doctors at the forefront of the search for genetic treatments, interwoven with a compelling history of the discoveries that made this possible and the ethical challenges raised by the ability to edit DNA with precision. Executive-produced by Ken Burns and Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee, and produced by Barak Goodman.

Streaming on Kanopy, Beadie Finzie's Only When I Dance follows Irlan and Isabela, two teenagers from the violent favelas of Rio de Janeiro, as they pursue their dreams of becoming professional ballet dancers. This inspiring story takes us from Rio—where their communities must raise the funds to support their ambitions—to exhilarating ballet competitions in New York and Switzerland. 

Streaming on the newly launched US version of DAFilms.com, Lionel Rupp's A Campaign of Their Own looks at the grassroots social justice movement that propelled Bernie Sanders' 2016 US Presidential campaign, through the perspective of two ardent supporters who travel to Philadelphia to protest Hillary Clinton's nomination at the Democratic National Convention.