June 18, 2019

Screen Time: Week of June 17

Director Petra Costa (center), shooting a scene from 'The Edge of Democracy.'. Courtesy of Netflix.

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


Premiering June 19 on Netflix, The Edge of Democracy traces the rise of democracy in Brazil following years of authoritarian rule under military dictatorship. Filmmaker Petra Costa was witness to this transition as a child in Brazil in 1985. Gaining unprecedented access to working-party leaders Lula de Silva and his protégée Dilma Rousseff, Costa traces the downfall of both democratic leaders following corruption scandals that resulted in the impeachment of Rousseff and the imprisonment of de Silva. Merging the personal and the political, Costa delves to the heart of her country’s unfolding identity crisis, examining widespread institutional corruption while connecting her own family’s complex political and industrial past to Brazil’s current crisis.

Kicking off POV ‘s 32nd season on June 17, Roll Red Roll, an IDA Pare Lorentz Documentary Fund grantee, is a true-crime thriller and impact campaign that explores the “boys will be boys” culture behind the Steubenville (Ohio) High School rape case and the national issue of rape culture across America. Director Nancy Schwartzman, a global human rights activist, aims to open a national dialogue that engages boys and men to get involved in the work to prevent violence and sexual assault. Earlier this year, Documentary interviewed crime blogger Alexandria Goddard, a main character in the documentary.

In 1953, President Eisenhower declared gay men and lesbians a threat to the security of the country and therefore unfit for government service. The Lavender Scare tells the story of the campaign by the federal government to identify and fire employees suspected of being homosexual. Produced and directed by Josh Howard, and based on the award-winning book by David K Johnson, the documentary spotlights the gay and lesbian citizens who fought for their careers and their civil rights, with narration from Glenn Close, Cynthia Nixon, Zachary Quintos, TR Knight and David Hyde Pierce. The Lavender Scare premieres on PBS on June 18.

From director/producer Todd Douglas Miller, Apollo 11 premieres June 23 on CNN. The documentary features rare, never-before-seen 70mm footage and over 11,000 hours of uncatalogued audio recordings from the National Archives and NASA. Through entirely archival material, this documentary tells the story of the mission from the perspective of the astronauts, the team at Mission Control and the millions of spectators across the country.

Mailchimp, the marketing automation platform and an email marketing service, launched a platform for original content. Mailchimp Presents is a collection of documentaries, short-form series and podcasts with entrepreneurs in mind.

Ecostreamz is a streaming service for eco-social digital programming with the intention of inspiring wonder and activism. The featured content includes documentaries about the environment, climate change, social justice and human rights. They have partnered with the Wild and Scenic Film Festival, The Borneo Project and International Primate Protection League, with Dr. Jane Goodall agreeing to join advisory board.