November 13, 2018

Screen Time: Week of November 12

From Nathaniel Kahn's "The Price of Everything." Photo Courtesy of HBO.
Screen Time is your curated weekly guide to excellent documentaries and nonfiction programs that you can watch at home.

Premiering November 12 on HBO and streaming through the month on HBO Now and HBO Go, The Price of Everything, from two-time Academy Award nominee Nathaniel Kahn, examines the role of art and artistic passion in today’s money-driven, consumer-based society. Featuring collectors, dealers, auctioneers and a rich range of artists, the film exposes deep contradictions as it holds a mirror up to contemporary values and times, coaxing out the dynamics at play in pricing the priceless.

Who should control expression? By what criteria should they use to edit what we’re exposed to? What other solutions do you see for keeping the most disturbing things off the Internet, without censoring? Would you know what to delete and what to ignore? Filmmakers Hans Block and  Moritz Riesewieck set out to find out, seeking out content moderators hired by Silicon Valley to do “digital cleaning”--sifting through and removing what they deemed as inappropriate content on the Internet, thereby influencing what people around the world see and think. The Cleaners premieres November 12 on Independent Lens, where it will also stream later this month.

Filmmaker Barbara Kopple explores the legacy of the 1989 murder of Noreen Boyle in Mansfield, Ohio. Her 12-year-old son Collier gave a devastating videotaped testimony blaming his father for the murder. Now, over two decades later, Collier returns to Ohio seeking to retrace his past and confront his imprisoned father, who remains in denial of his guilt. Collier’s depth of character is a wonder to behold from childhood to adulthood. Out of this tragic story, we witness the power of human resilience. A Murder in Mansfield premieres November 17 on Investigation Discovery.

Marking the 40th anniversary of the largest mass suicide in American history, Jonestown: Terror in the Jungle premieres November 17 on Sundance TV.  The two-part series, directed by Shan Nicholson, traces the rise of Jim Jones, from charismatic preacher and civil rights activist to maniacal cult leader, who persuaded hundreds of his followers to move to Guyana--and pay the ultimate price.

Enemies: The President, Justice & The FBI premieres November 18 on Showtime. The four-part series presents the long, complex history of US presidents testing the rule of law and the FBI’s job to enforce it. Using the present as a prism into the past, filmmaker Jed Rothstein examines which lessons about democracy and the law held up, which didn’t, and how the current investigation of the Trump Administration might turn out.

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