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Screen Time: Week of November 7, 2022

By Kelsey Brown

Protestors of gerrymandering gather outside of the Supreme Court, from Chris Durrance and Barak Goodman's ‘Slay the Dragon’. Photo courtesy of Magnolia PicturesScreen Time Screen Time is your curated weekly guide to excellent documentaries and nonfiction programs that you can watch at home.

It’s Election Day in the US, so in the voting spirit, most of these documentaries in this week’s Screen Time delve into the struggles and challenges of voting—the harm of gerrymandering to the vulnerability of the electoral system. 

The Emmy-nominated documentary The Great Hack, from Karim Amer and Jehane Noujaim, investigates how the political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica used data to influence people’s perspectives on political issues prior to the 2016 presidential election. Data is the most valuable asset on earth, and this documentary discusses how an individual's personal information is translated into profit for trillion-dollar industries. Watch now on Netflix.

Slay the Dragon, from Chris Durrance and Barak Goodman, follows the journey of a woman leading a grassroots organization aiming to end gerrymandering in the US. The documentary discusses the dangers of the practice of manipulating voter districts and the efforts made by everyday people to combat it. Watch now on Hulu.

In Kill Chain: The Cyber War on America’s Election, Harri Hursti, a Finnish hacker-turned-election expert, investigates the questions of the integrity of the 2016 US Presidential election. Through investigating election-related hacks, Hursti exposes how vulnerable the US electoral system truly is. Available on HBO Max. 

Culture critic Elvis Mitchel explores Black contributions to cinema in the 1970s in Is That Black Enough For You?!? The documentary is studded with a star cast that reflects on Black impact on culture, cinema, music, and beyond. Available for streaming on Netflix on Nov. 11. 

From Frontline comes Whose Vote Counts?, a collaboration among Columbia Journalism Investigations and USA TODAY Network, and The New York Times, examines voter disenfranchisement and voter suppression in the US. The documentary explores why historically Black and brown people’s votes haven’t held equal value. Watch now on PBS. 

Christy Wegener’s I Am Vanessa Guillen investigates the murder of a 20-year-old soldier at her US Army Base. Her death brought focus onto Fort Hood, which has become infamous for mysterious deaths of soldiers. The documentary delves into how one woman’s death sparked a movement of holding the US Army accountable for the treatment of soldiers. Watch now on Netflix.