July 17, 2017

Screen Time: Week of July 17

Julian Assange in 'Risk.' Courtesy of Praxis Films/Neon/Showtime.

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

Premiering Saturday, July 22 on Showtime is Laura Poitras' RISK, which chronicles the complex relationship between the filmmaker and Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. Time Out calls it "A jaw-dropping profile of one man's battle with world governments, common decency and his own out-of-control ego."

Premiering tonight, Monday, July 17 on POV is Ido Haar's Presenting Princess Shaw, the story of an aspiring musician who inspired an internationally famous video artist to create a magical collaboration that would introduce her talent to a whole new audience. Minneapolis Star Tribune calls it "a millennial twist on 'American Idol,' with the subjects and filmmaker each using technology to produce something new and astounding."

Having its series premiere Saturday, July 22 on Spike is Gone: The Forgotten Women of Ohio, from Oscar-nominated director Joe Berlinger. The program sheds new light on a growing number of unsolved murders that have cast a dark shadow over a small Ohio town.

Currently streaming on Fandor is Astra Taylor's 2005 doc Zizek!, an exuberant portrait of the erudite and outrageous Slovenian cultural critic Slavoj Zizek. Newsday wrote that the film "captures the taut mind and disheveled lifestyle of a very funny man."

Currently streaming on Netflix is Charles Burnett's 2003 film Nat Turner: A Troublesome Property, which combines historical documents, interviews, and re-created scenes to dramatize the 1831 Nat Turner Slave Rebellion. Chicago Reader calls the film "a masterpiece...Burnett refuses to privilege any single version of Turner, instead giving us two dozen talking heads, half of them black, and seven actors playing him."

Voting begins today, July 17, for the PBS Online Film Festival, which features diverse films from PBS member stations and ITVS and POV.