August 8, 2022

Screen Time: Week of August 8, 2022

A Black woman with short curly hair stands in front of a red background, bare-shouldered and staring at the camera. From Juliana Kasumu’s 'Baby Bangz: Black Power in Hair,' now streaming on New Yorker.com.

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

Frontline’s Afghanistan Undercover, which exposes the reality of women living under Taliban rule, airs August 9. Correspondent Ramita Navai shares stories of not only women facing punishments from Taliban officials, but the women activists fighting to rescue them. Watch the documentary on PBS. 

Camilla Nielsson’s President follows the complexities behind the test for political power in Zimbabwe in the 2018 general election. As Nelson Chamisma challenges current president Emmerson Mnangagwa’s position, the differing interpretations of democracy and the lengths one will go to for power are highlighted. Premiers August 8 on PBS’ POV

Juliana Kasumu’s Baby Bangz: Black Power in Hair, available for streaming on newyorker.com, expresses the importance of Black hair through rich visuals and thoughtful commentary. Intimate shots of the process, as well as the conversations about the deeper culture that are shared in the chair, create a commentary on gentrification and a brief but beautiful ode to Blackness.

ESPN’s Why Not Us: Southern Dance is another documentary touching on Black culture, as it offers a behind-the-scenes look at the Dancing Dolls, Southern University’s dance line. The series highlights the “Black girl magic” the Dolls emulate and shares the struggles faced while being Black in the dance world. The docu-series airs August 11 on EPSN+.

Lee Cooper’s Sheffield Doc/Fest Selection Maisie follows 84-year-old David Raven, a.k.a. Maisie Trollette, UK’s oldest drag performer. For over 50 years, Raven has performed as Maisie, making him a skilled performer and a witty commentator. The documentary is a reminder that age doesn’t define. Watch on BFI Player. 

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