November 26, 2018

Screen Time: Week of November 26

From Maxim Pozdorovkin's "The Truth about Killer Robots.: 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 26 on Independent Lens, An Honest Liar, from Tyler Measom and Justin Weinstein, follows magician-turned-detective James “The Amazing” Randi as he deploys his singular wit and legerdemain to track down and expose fraudulent faith healers, fortune-tellers and psychics.

An eerie, eye-opening work of science nonfiction, Maxim Pozdorovkin’s The Truth About Killer Robots, which airs November 26 on HBO, considers several automation cases, from a factory in Germany to a bomb-carrying police droid in Dallas, raising questions of accountability and morality. Exploring the provocative viewpoints of engineers, journalists and philosophers, the film goes beyond sensational deaths to examine more subtle but pervasive ways that robots affect humanity.

Premiering November 26 on EPIX, Alex Winter’s The Panama Papers details the unprecedented coordination of journalists from around the world working in secret, at great personal risk, to expose the largest data leak in history: a global corruption scandal involving power-brokers, billionaires, elected officials, dictators, drug lords, and celebrities who had used a Panama-based law firm to hide their money.

The Price of Free, which won the US Documentary Grand Jury Prize at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, premieres November 27 on the YouTube channel SoulPancake, Participant Media’s digital division.  The film, from director Derek Doneen and producer Davis Guggenheim, follows Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi and his team of leaders around the world through gripping secret raids and quests for missing children.  
Kentucky Ayahuasca, a new series premiering November 28 on VICELAND, follows former bank robber and ex-convict Steve Hupp, whose life was changed when he found himself sharing a prison cell with a Peruvian shaman named Guadalupe who, upon release, introduced him to the healing potential of Ayahuasca. Now, Hupp and his family have opened a church deep in the Bible Belt of Kentucky.  

AXIOS, the four-part limited documentary series of news-oriented specials from HBO Documentary Films and the media company of the same name, concludes its run on HBO NOW, HBO GO, HBO On Demand and partners’ streaming platforms. Directed and produced by Matthew O’Neill and Perri Peltz , the fourth episode focuses on faith and the future. AXIOS reporters interview three iconic figures: revolutionary tech entrepreneur Elon Musk, Christian evangelist Franklin Graham and Microsoft founder and climate change advocate Bill Gates.