March 25, 2019

Screen Time: Week of March 25

From Ross Kauffman's "Tigerland," which airs March 30 on Discovery Channel. Courtesy of Discovery Channel

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

Premiering March 30 on Discovery Channel, Tigerland, from Born into Brothels director Ross Kauffman and The Cove producer Fisher Stevens, takes viewers to Far East Russia, where the guardians of the last Siberian tigers risk everything to save the species.

Directors/producers Marc Levin and Daphne Pickerson follow renowned neurosurgeon and Emmy-winning CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta on a journey across the US to understand why Americans rank near the bottom of major developed nations in terms of life expectancy. Driven primarily by an epidemic of self-inflicted deaths of despair, this sobering statistic can be seen as a symptom of the toxic, pervasive stress in America today. One Nation Under Stress premieres March 25 on HBO, HBO GO and HBO Now.

Premiering March 29 on Netflix is Theo Love’s The Legend of Cocaine Island, a comic caper doc about a group of debt-ridden, down-on-their-luck misfits who embark on an adventure to find a mythical $2 million stash of cocaine buried on a Caribbean island.

Streaming now through April 10 on Mubi, Half-Life in Fukushima, from Mark Olexa and Francesca Scalisi, follows a Japanese farmer who is eking out a solitary life in the shadow of the site of the 2011 Fukushima tsumani and nuclear disaster.

Streaming on the just-launched OVID-TV, is Travis Wilkerson’s Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun?As I wrote in my coverage of the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, “Wilkerson’s work exhumes a long-buried story in his past—the murder of a black man at the hands of Wilkerson’s great-grandfather. As the filmmaker ventures deeper into the Deep South and his ancestral folklore, his investigative journey takes on a Faulknerian resonance….And while this Southern gothic murder mystery doubles with Wilkerson’s own reckoning with the shame of the legacy he carries, his film evokes Faulkner’s great epigram: ‘The past is not dead; it’s not even past.’”

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