November 4, 2020

Screen Time: Week of November 2, 2020

A home burns as the Camp Fire rages through Paradise, CA. Fomr Ron Howard's 'Rebuilding Paradise.' Photo: Noah Berger. Courtesy of National Geographic

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

The Washington Post presents America’s Pandemic, a three-part documentary series by Whitney Shefte and Jorge Ribas that explores a failed response to the coronavirus pandemic that has claimed the lives of over 225,000 Americans, despite decades of preparation in Washington, DC.

Making its broadcast premiere November 8 on National Geographic, Ron Howard’s Rebuilding Paradise takes viewers back to the morning of Nov. 8, 2018, when a devastating firestorm engulfed the picturesque city of Paradise, California. By the time the Camp Fire was extinguished, it had killed 85 people, displaced 50,000 residents and destroyed 95% of local structures. It was the deadliest US fire in 100 years—and the worst ever in California’s history. Rebuilding Paradise tells a tale of resilience in the face of tragedy, as a community ravaged by disaster comes together to recover what was lost and begin the important task of rebuilding. is a Prague-based platform for documentaries, managed by Doc Alliance, a consortium of seven prominent European documentary film festivals: CPH:DOX, Doclisboa, Millennium Docs Against Gravity FF, DOK Leipzig, FIDMarseille, Ji.hlava IDFF and Visions du Réel. is celebrating its 15th anniversary this month by hosting the Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival’s "Short Joy" competition, which showcases the best short docs from around the world. You can enjoy all of the films in "Short Joy" for free through November 8.

Streaming live via The Center for Media, Culture and History at New York University is L.A. Rebellion: Short Films, a selection of work from the LA Rebellion movement that launched in the 1960s at UCLA Film School. Charles Burnett, Billy Woodberry, Julia Dash and Ben Caldwell were among the drivers of the movement. The post-screening discussion, happening November 5 from 5-7 p.m. ET, will feature Josslyn Luckett, Assistant Professor of Cinema Studies at NYU, and Michele Prettyman, scholar of African American cinema, visual and popular culture at Fordham University. Jon-Sesrie Goff, executive director of The Flaherty, will moderate the discussion. This event is free and open to the public but RSVP is required.

Streaming November 9 on Criterion Channel is Marc Singer’s Dark Days, which earned three awards at the 2000 Sundance Film Festival. The film profiles a homeless community that lives in a train tunnel below the streets of New York City. Shot in black-and-white with a crew comprised of the tunnel’s inhabitants, Dark Days is a haunting and soulful record of invisible lives.