Screen Time: Week of August 20
Screen Time is your curated weekly guide to excellent documentaries and nonfiction programs that you can watch at home.
Premiering August 20 on Mubi, Thom Anderson's Los Angeles Plays Itself examines the way Los Angeles is represented and misrepresented in film and television throughout history. Detailing the numerous depictions of the city throughout history, Andersen critiques the popularized vision of Los Angeles and the adverse effects it has had on communities—unraveling dark truths and conspiracy’s just beneath the glitzy surface of the city.
Premiering August 23 on Logo, Vavani Vérité's Quiet Heroes chronicles the AIDS crisis in Salt Lake City, Utah—at a time when the religious, political and medical communities provided no support to HIV/AIDS patients. At a time when the Church of Latter Day Saints encouraged gay men to marry women and start a family to cure themselves of their "affliction," the disease spread rapidly through secret affairs and accidental marital transmissions of HIV. Quiet Heroes chronicles Dr. Kristen Ries, the first physician in Utah to begin treating HIV/AIDS patients that had been left behind by their community.
Coming out August 23 on DVD through Women Make Movies, Michelle Merman's The Rest I Make Up documents the life of Cuban-American playwright María "Call me Irene" Fornés. After developing a close relationship with Irene, Memran discovered the celebrated playwright suffered from an undiagnosed case of dementia that had stopped her from writing. The Rest I Make Up chronicles Irene's life and later friendship with Memran, while also diving into an examination of how the creative spirit thrives, even when hindered by an inability to continue creating in the same way. Piecing together archival footage and weaving it with Merman's own interactions with Irene, the film captures Irene's spontaneity—the same spontaneity she used to shape American Theater.
Premiering August 24 on Hulu, Stephen Maing's Crime + Punishment follows the lives and struggles of a group of black and Latino whistleblower cops and the young minorities they are pressured to arrest and summons in New York City. Set in the middle of a landmark class-action lawsuit over illegal policing quotas, Crime + Punishment provides a glimpse inside the United States' most powerful police department and the career-risking efforts a group of officers take to shed a light on harmful policing practices that have shaped New York City. Crime + Punishment is both an IDA Enterprise Documentary Fund grantee and a project of IDA's Fiscal Sponsorship Program.
From Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Steve James (Hoop Dreams, Life Itself) comes a new docu-series premiering August 26 on Starz. America to Me follows the students at Chicago's Oak Park and River Forest High Schools. The series paints an intimate picture of the racial, economic and class issues in modern American education, conversing with students, families, faculty, and administrators about the pressures and challenges students face in education today.