July 9, 2018

Screen Time: Week of July 9

From Natalia Almada's 2006 documentary 'Al Otro Lado,' now streaming on POV. Courtesy of POV.

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

Streaming on POV through July 15 are two films that take a ground-level view of border culture and politics between the US and Mexico. IDA Emerging Documentary Filmmaker Award honoree Natalia Almada's Al Otro Lado (2006) follows Magdiel, an aspiring corrido composer from the drug capital of Mexico, as he faces two difficult choices to better his life: to traffic drugs or to cross the border illegally into the United States. Almada artfully deploys the tradition of corrida—through performances by Los Tigres del Norte and Chalino Sanchez—as the soundtrack to Magdiel's story.  In Kingdom of Shadows (2016) Emmy®-nominated filmmaker Bernardo Ruiz takes an unflinching look at the hard choices and destructive consequences of the US-Mexico drug war. Weaving together the stories of a US drug enforcement agent on the border, an activist nun in violence-scarred Monterrey, Mexico, and a former Texas smuggler, the film reveals the human side of an often-misunderstood conflict.

Streaming on Netflix, Alma Har'el's Lovetrue follows three singular love stories in three starkly different regions in America, taking a deep dive into the mysteries, dysfunctions and poetry of these relationships. Through cinematic renderings of past memories and possible futures, Har'el explores performance to mine a deeper truth about true love.

Airing July 13 on HBO Sports and streaming on HBO Go, Fists of Freedom: The Story of the '68 Summer Games, the 1999 documentary from George Roy, examines one of the 20th century's most memorable moments—the dramatic Black Power demonstration of American sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos on the victory stand at the 1968 Summer Olympic Games in Mexico City. Using rare footage, archival photos and interviews with key figures from the era, Fists of Freedom revisits a pivotal event in American history.

Just four years before his death in 2007, legendary filmmaker Ingmar Bergman sat down with Swedish documentarian Marie Nyreröd at his home on Fårö Island to discuss his work, his fears, his regrets and his ongoing artistic passion. The result, Bergman Island, premiering July 14 on FilmStruck/The Criterion Channel, is an in-depth, revealing profile, packed with choice anecdotes about Bergman’s oeuvre, as well as his personal life.