2019 DOC NYC movie review: ‘Healing From Hate: Battle for the Soul of a Nation’

November 18, 2019

by Carla Hay

Tony McAleer, Amar Kaleka and Sammy Rangel in “Healing From Hate: Battle for the Soul of a Nation” (Photo courtesy of Big Tent Productions)

“Healing From Hate: Battle for the Soul of a Nation”

Directed by Peter Hutchison

World premiere at DOC NYC in New York City on November 13, 2019.

The rise of hate crimes in recent years has led to an increase in documentaries and news reports about bigotry and its effects on our culture. “Healing From Hate: Battle for the Soul of a Nation” focuses on former extreme racists who have devoted their lives to helping others get out of the belief systems and lifestyles of hate groups. The three main stars of the film are Life After Hate co-founders Frank Meeink (the real-life inspiration for the dramatic film “American History X”) and Tony McAleer, as well as Sammy Rangel, a Latino former gang member who founded the group Formers Anonymous for ex-bigots. (Rangel says in the documentary that he used to hate white people.) All of the men openly admit to committing several hate crimes in the past, and they’ve spent time in prison. The film points out several common denominators of people who join extreme racist groups: They usually had abusive childhoods; they feel mistreated by mainstream society and joined hate groups to have surrogate families; and they often abuse drugs and/or alcohol, even if they leave the hate groups. All of the ex-racists fit this profile, and they talk about their ongoing struggles with substance abuse.

McAleer, who is originally from Vancouver, says he changed his ways after the birth of his daughter and son. One of the more effective parts of the film is when he returns to his hometown to visit members at Temple Shalom, where his hate crimes started. Another standout scene is when McAleer and Rangel visit the Sikh temple (gurdwara) in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, where in 2012, a white supremacist murdered six people and wounded four others before committing suicide. In an emotionally powerful moment, the documentary shows McAleer and Rangel going to the scene of the crime to meet with Amar Kaleka, son of the gurdwara’s murdered founder, as they talk and pray about the tragedy. The movie’s archival footage includes the 2017 deadly Unite the Right rally in Charlottsville, Virginia.

Other people featured in the movie are Randy Blazak, a criminologist and researcher of hate groups; Thomas Engelmann, founder and ex-member of the Aryan Brotherhood, which does a lot of recruiting in prisons; and author Michael Kimmel, a founder of Stony Brook University’s Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities. Also interviewed are former neo-Nazi Randy Furniss and African American activist/radio host Julius Long, who formed an unlikely friendship with each other after Long rescued Furniss from being attacked by an angry crowd protesting against white supremacist Richard Spencer’s 2017 speech at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Spencer is featured in the movie getting into a spirited debate about racism with Life After Hate co-founder Christian Picciolini, who is no longer affiliated with Life After Hate. You might notice a pattern here: This is a very male-centric movie.

The documentary, although well-intentioned, can’t quite overcome its biggest flaw: It basically ignores women. Female current or former white supremacists, are not mentioned or interviewed. In addition, most of the men in these reform groups have children, but the mothers of these children aren’t interviewed either. The film never bothers to answer these questions: Where are these mothers’ perspectives, and how are these children being raised? The filmmakers don’t mention if any effort was made to include an adequate number of female viewpoints in the documentary. Although it’s true that the vast majority of violent hate crimes are committed by men, and most of the white supremacists who march at rallies are men, it’s also indisputable that women are a big part of white supremacy, and women’s roles in this damaging movement have been irresponsibly overlooked in this documentary. For example, women who are racists have other insidious methods of inflicting fear on the targets of their hate, besides committing violence. Viral videos and several news reports have proven that female racists like to call the police on people of color who are minding their own business and not breaking the law.

“Healing From Hate” also avoids discussing that within the white supremacy movement is an inherent culture of misogyny because of the belief that white, Christian males are the most superior of the human race. However, the movie does not address any sexist beliefs these former racists probably had while in the movement, and the documentary never mentions if their therapy also includes “detoxing” from the overwhelming sexism in white supremacy. (A more accurate title of the movie is “Healing From Male Racists,” not “Healing From Hate.”) Since men are the only focus of this documentary about current and reformed bigots, it paints an incomplete and inaccurate picture that male racists should be bigger priorities than female racists. And this documentary’s emphasis on male redemption is itself kind of sexist. Not surprisingly, all the group therapy leaders in this documentary are men, and almost everyone interviewed for this movie is a man.

A friendly reminder to the filmmakers: Females are 51 percent of the U.S. population. If you’re going to do a documentary whose subtitle is “Battle for the Soul of a Nation,” it would help if you included perspectives from the gender that represents the majority of this nation. “Healing From Hate” director Peter Hutchison plans to make two companion documentaries: “Angry White Men: American Masculinity in the Age of Trump” (based on the sociology work of Kimmel) and “Auschwitz: Facing the Legacy of Hatred,” which will focus on McAleer’s redemption by showing him visiting the sites of Polish death camps. Let’s hope that the makers of these companion documentaries don’t forget that healing from hatred doesn’t exist in a male vacuum, and female voices need to be valued and heard too.

2019 DOC NYC movie review: ‘Ganden: A Joyful Land’

November 18, 2019

by Carla Hay

“Ganden: A Joyful Land” (Photo courtesy of Guge Productions)

“Ganden: A Joyful Land”

Directed by Ngawang Choephel

Tibetan with subtitles

World premiere at DOC NYC in New York City on November 12, 2019.

If you ever wondered about how influential Tibetan Buddhist monestary Ganden survived China’s invasion of Tibet, by relocating to India in 1959, and rebuilding in 1966, this thoughtful documentary explains it all. Ganden is where a young Dalai Lama had his religious origins and his awakening as an activist for world peace. Although the Dalai Lama is not interviewed in the documentary, several Ganden monks who were part of the relocation share their memories of what it was like to be refugees from their native Tibet and to rebuild the monastery in India, a country that welcomed them, with the help of the Dalai Lama.

For the documentary, director Ngawang Choephel (who also narrates the film in a soothing tone) has kept the pacing very deliberate and historically oriented. It’s the kind of film that would be right at home in a museum, a school class on Tibetan Buddhism, or on PBS. In other words, “Ganden: A Joyful Land” might be too slow-paced for those who prefer their documentaries with more flash or quick-cutting editing styles, but just like the monks in the film, tranquility is valued over adrenaline. (Choephel says he began filming Ganden in India in 2011, and about half of the monks interviewed in the movie have since passed away, which adds a certain historical weight as archival footage.)

One of the strongest qualities of the film is the cinematography, which is simply gorgeous. Some of the most compelling and colorful imagery is of monks creating mandala paintings for the Tagtse Dumshoe festival, using sand-like paint. Because the movie has first-person accounts of the monks who founded Ganden in India, their stories are the heart and soul of the film. Many of the monks consistently say that even if they didn’t have enough to eat in the early years of the monastery, life at Ganden was extremely fulfilling for them. One of the monks said that when he went home to visit with his family, he couldn’t wait to get back to the monastery.

Of course, the hardships and suffering they endured are not ignored in the film, and neither is a mention of the high number suicides of the refugee monks and the monks who were still in Tibet, because of their despair over China’s invasion and religious persecution. Despite these depressing but necessary aspects of the film, “Ganden: A Joyful Land” is ultimately an inspiring story of faith, hope, and the will to survive in a world where a peaceful existence is always at risk.

2019 DOC NYC movie review: ‘He Dreams of Giants’

November 18, 2019

by Carla Hay

Terry Gilliam and directors Louis Pepe and Keith Fulton on the set of “He Dreams of Giants” (Photo by Jeremy Royce)

“He Dreams of Giants”

Directed by Keith Fulton and Lou Pepe

World premiere at DOC NYC in New York City on November 10, 2019.

For nearly 30 years, director Terry Gilliam tried to get a movie made based on the novel “Don Quixote,” but he experienced the kind of bad luck and setbacks that you might see in a movie. This documentary shows how difficult the journey was for Gilliam to make the adventure comedy “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote,” which had its world premiere at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, and finally had a U.S. release through Fathom Events in April 2019, in a select number of theaters for one night only. The movie is now available on home video, and can be streamed for free on Crackle. “He Dreams of Giants” directors Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe previously did another documentary—2002’s “Lost in La Mancha”—that covered the same topic, so “He Dreams of Giants” is really an update of that documentary.

Gilliam’s production problems for “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote” included cast members (including Johnny Depp, Vanessa Paradis, Ewan McGregor, John Hurt and Gilliam’s former “Monty Python” castmate Michael Palin) who dropped out of the film and moved on to other projects. (“He Dreams of Giants” shows early footage of Depp filming the movie in 2000.) The movie was also plagued by bad weather and other mishaps. And the biggest obstacle of all was the financing, which Gilliam lost several times and struggled to keep, even when the movie began filming. The documentary shows that even while making the movie during this final phase, Gilliam and other filmmakers on the project (including his producer daughter, Amy Gilliam) were bracing themselves for something to go wrong.

Adam Driver and Jonathan Pryce were the actors who ended up being the two main stars of “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote.” Driver played an ad executive who goes back and revisits a student film he made called “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote,” in which he had cast an actor (played by Jonathan Price) as Don Quixote. The documentary shows Driver, Pryce and other cast members getting acquainted over table reads of the script. The documentary also has plenty of scenes of Gilliam directing the film and sometimes getting frustrated when things don’t do as planned. He acknowledges that having a quick temper is one of his flaws. For all the years that it took to get the film made, “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote” ended up being filmed in just 55 days.

Even though the cast changed over the years, some members of the crew stayed with the film during its entire turbulent journey, including costume designer Lena Mossum, cinematographer Nicola Pecorini and a few of the actors playing supporting roles as giants. The documentary shows Gilliam getting teary-eyed and emotional when Mossum shows how she kept all the original costumes preserved and intact for decades, and he’s elated when he finds out that Pryce fits into the Don Quixote costume. Early on in the documentary, Gilliam gives credit to the illustrations of Gustave Doré, who illustrated the 1868 edition of the “Don Quixote” book, as an inspiration for how he wanted his movie to look.

Much like a book, “He Dreams of Giants” is divided into chapters, with titles such as “Momentum,” “I Can’t Sleep,” “The Madness” and “The Will to Survive.” There’s some archival footage of Gilliam discussing the movie over the years in TV interviews. And there’s new, somewhat pretentious-looking footage of Gilliam looking thoughtful or a pacing around in completely white backdrop, as if to show he’s a “serious artist,” alone in his thoughts.

Even with all the artistic ambitions of “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote,” Gilliam is smart enough to know that the movie has limitations in box-office appeal, and he doesn’t have the clout he used to have in the ’80s, since his last several movies have all been flops. “The marketplace has no faith in this movie,” he says with a tinge of sadness. “I’m no longer an A-list director.” As for what people can learn from all the ups and downs he went through to get the movie made, Gilliam sums it up best when he says, “Life is hard. The idea that it should be fun—who the fuck invented that story?”

2019 DOC NYC movie review: ‘Tyson’

November 18, 2019

by Carla Hay

Mike Tyson in “Tyson” (2019)

“Tyson”

Directed by David Michaels

World premiere at DOC NYC in New York City on November 9, 2019.

Not to be confused with the 2009 Mike Tyson documentary “Tyson” (directed by James Toback), this new “Tyson” documentary (directed by David Michaels) is also about Mike Tyson, but it’s an updated look at the former boxing champ’s life. There’s also another movie called “Tyson,” which was a 1995 HBO biopic, starring Michael Jai White as Tyson. The Michaels-directed “Tyson” movie made a huge mistake with the title of the film, since it’s bound to confuse people who might think it’s the other “Tyson” documentary. So with all these “Tyson” movies in the world, how is this second documentary different from the first one?

For starters, the Michaels-directed “Tyson” documentary doesn’t cover anything new in Tyson’s pre-2008 life that wasn’t already covered in the Toback-directed first “Tyson” documentary. The Michaels-directed “Tyson” documentary should’ve had a title like “The Redemption of Mike Tyson.” That’s essentially the theme of the film, as it pushes a narrative that Tyson is now an upstanding family man, after having a long history of violence and abuse against others. Tyson is interviewed in the documentary, as well as his current and third wife, Kiki; his daughter Mikey; his son Amir; his biographer Larry Sloman; his addiction specialist Sean McFarland; and his longtime friends Dave Malen, Al B. Sure and Damon Elliott. It’s a very one-sided narrative, because Tyson’s critics are not interviewed at all.

The 2009 “Tyson” documentary was unique because Tyson was the only person interviewed for the movie; the rest of the film consisted of archival footage. The result was that the 2009 “Tyson” documentary was rambling and flawed, but a riveting and unflinching look at Tyson’s troubled soul. There were things he said in that first documentary that would be cause for alarm in this #MeToo era. For example, he called his rape accuser Desiree Washington “wretched swine,” and admitted that although he “took advantage” of many women, he didn’t take advantage of her. He also vividly described how he liked to sexually dominate women.

Even though Tyson was convicted in 1992 of raping former beauty contestant Washington, and he spent three years in prison for it, he still denies committing the crime. His denial is more muted in Michaels’ “Tyson” documentary (which doesn’t have the victim-shaming language the first “Tyson” documentary had), but Tyson’s anger over spending time in prison for the crime is still palpable. Even though Tyson shed tears in both documentaries when discussing his traumatic childhood, his past mistakes, and deaths of loved ones, director Michaels portrays Tyson in a much more filtered, sympathetic way than what viewers seen in director Toback’s “Tyson” documentary, because Michaels allows several Tyson family members and associates to constantly defend him and insist that Tyson is one of the sweetest people they’ve ever met.

In the Toback-directed documentary, Tyson was divorced from his second ex-wife, Monica Turner, and had not yet begun the next chapter in his life as a professional entertainer. Tyson made a comeback in pop culture with his memorable cameo playing himself in the 2009 blockbuster comedy film “The Hangover.” In 2014, Tyson became the co-creator and star of Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim animated series “The Mike Tyson Mysteries.” In the Michaels-directed documentary, Tyson admits he was still strung out on drugs during his “Hangover” comeback period, and it took him several years and multiple stints in rehab to get to where he is now. Tyson claims he’s now clean and sober, and that his kids (he currently has seven children by three different women) are now his top priority. (One of the movie’s opening scenes is of Tyson accompanying his daughter Milan to her tennis game.) His wife Kiki is described as a “breath of fresh air” and an “angel,” but like a carefully Photoshopped and curated Instagram account, her marriage to Tyson, as it’s presented in this movie, looks too good to be true. The cracks show when Tyson admits that he’s never been faithful to his wives and partners, and that infidelity is one of the main reasons why he’s had a string of failed relationships. Kiki also acknowledges that she and Tyson often argue, but family members (including her parents) say she’s strong-willed and is no pushover.

Kiki describes their rocky courtship as something she chose to endure in order to get a so-called happy ending. (They started dating when she was 19, and he was 29, and he broke her heart when he abruptly married second wife Monica in 1997. After their 2003 divorce, Kiki and Tyson reunited, and married in 2009, the same year that Tyson’s 4-year-old daughter Exodus tragically died from an accidental strangling by exercise equipment.) One of the recurring themes in both “Tyson” documentaries is how he describes himself as a “pig” but also “generous” to a fault, and how he lost millions to what he calls “leeches” in his life, which led to him declaring bankruptcy in 2003. Based on the lavish spending by him, Kiki and ex-wife Monica (he openly talks about these spending sprees in the film), his money problems won’t be over anytime soon. Tyson has stayed out of trouble for years, so maybe he really has changed into someone who no longer abuses drugs, alcohol or women. Maybe he really is no longer the conflicted bully that he had the reputation of being for most of his life. But if there’s another documentary about him in 10 years (and please let it have another title besides “Tyson”), we’ll have to see if this reformed Mike Tyson is real or is a façade.

2019 DOC NYC movie review: ‘I’m Gonna Make You Love Me’

November 18, 2019

by Carla Hay

Brian Belovitch in “I’m Gonna Make You Love Me”

“I’m Gonna Make You Love Me”

Directed by Karen Bernstein

World premiere at DOC NYC in New York City on November 7, 2019.

Brian Belovitch is the embodiment of “gender fluid.” He lived as a male in his childhood and teen years, transitioned into a transgender woman in his 20s, and then decided to go back to living as a gay man when he was in his 30s. Why did he want to be a woman in the first place? Belovitch explains in this documentary: “I loved the idea of being something other than myself. Let’s forget about Brian, and become some other creation.” How did that work out for him? “I’m Gonna Make You Love Me” tells that fascinating story in a way that is entertaining and informative without being exploitative. Karen Bernstein, who directed “I’m Gonna Make You Love Me,” is a close friend of Belovitch, and that kinship shows in how the film was made, as he’s allowed to share his life story with dignity and respect. The movie’s main flaw (which is a minor one that doesn’t take away from the movie’s overall message of self-acceptance) is the editing, which jumps back and forth in the story timeline. This zig-zag narrative might off-putting to people who like biographical stories told in chronological order.

So, who is Brian Belovitch? Born in Fall River, Massachusetts, in 1963, Belovitch was raised primarily in Providence, Rhode Island, in a family of two daughters and five sons. (Some of his siblings are interviewed in the movie.) His father was a Russian Jew, his mother was Portuguese, and he grew up in a culture of homophobia, which was very common in families of that era. As a child, Belovitch was shamed and bullied by his family members and others for being effeminate, and his father often physically abused him. When strangers mistook him for a girl, his mother would get very angry and offended. In the documentary, Belovitch looks back on this traumatic period in his life and says, “By today’s standards, I would be considered a trans kid.”

A turning point in his life was his teenage relationship with his first boyfriend, Paul Bricker (Belovitch calls him a “soul mate”), whom he met at a gay bar in Providence. Unlike his unhappy home life where his parents had trouble accepting his queerness, Belovitch found complete acceptance in his relationship with Bricker, whose mother, Gloria, treated Belovitch like a family member. Gloria, who is interviewed in the documentary, says of Belovitch: “He was worth putting in my time and love.” While living in the Lola Apartments (what Belovitch calls a “trans ghetto”) in Providence, he began dressing as a woman. He says, “I was addicted to the reaction and attention I got from folks.” Throughout his younger life, as a man and as a woman, Belovitch says he would often be a sex worker, out of desperation to help pay the bills. He says in the documentary that his biggest decisions were “made for love,” but “most of my decisions were made for survival.”

At 18 years old, he moved to New York City and tried to live as a gay man for about nine months. His relationship with Paulie Bricker ended, and then Belovitch decided to commit to being a transgender woman, and changed his name to Natalie Belo. Belovitch says there was another reason why he wanted to live as a woman, besides preferring the attention that he got as a female: He didn’t want to be a gay, and he didn’t want to be a man, because being a man reminded him of the homophobic men from his childhood. Even though Belovitch tells his life story with amusing wit, there’s a lot of deep-seated trauma that’s brought up in this documentary (including childhood sexual abuse), so people who are easily triggered by similar issues should be warned that this is not always an easy film to watch.

While living as a Natalie Belo, Belovitch said he spent “thousands” on his physical transformation, including electrolysis, breast augmentation, butt implants (he still has silicone-related health issues) and female hormones. As Natalie, she met her first husband, David (a bartender at the time), in 1979, and they married in 1980. David joined the Army, and the couple moved to Germany, where David was stationed. While in Germany, Natalie became a “Tupperware lady,” but being an Army wife didn’t suit her, and she was still going through some confusion about her gender identity. She and David broke up after they moved back to New York City.

Natalie’s life then took an exciting but dark turn, as she reinvented herself as aspiring actress/singer Natalia “Tish” Gervais (this became her legal name for a while), and she plunged into the downtown Manhattan nightlife scene of the ’80s. She found a small level of fame as a cabaret singer/celebutante, including as a member of the “It’s My Party” revue, and her close friends included other nightlife scenesters, such as entertainment journalist Michael Musto (who’s interviewed in the documentary) and drag queen Nelson Sullivan. However, Tish became an alcoholic and drug addict, and spent years as a slave to her addictions. She got sober in 1986, after a rock-bottom incident when she stole money from the box office of a theater owned by her friend Edith O’Hara, who gave Tish an ultimatum to go to rehab and stay off of drugs.

It was around this time that Belovitch decided to go back to living as a man. He’s now an addiction counselor who’s happily married to second husband Jim (a botanist), who’s also interviewed in the movie, which has a scene of them attending a Pride parade in Providence. (This isn’t spoiler information, since it’s shown in the beginning of the film.) To understand Belovitch’s difficult journey to self-acceptance, he says it partly comes from his “fear of being average,” but he admits: “Having lived the life that I’ve lived is hardly boring dinner conversation.” As for coming to terms with what his true identity is, he sums it up this way: “All I ever wanted to be was comfortable.”

2019 DOC NYC review: ‘Vas-y Coupe!’

November 18, 2019

by Carla Hay

Jacques Selosse employees in "Vas-y Coupe!"
Jacques Selosse employees in “Vas-y Coupe!” (Photo courtesy of By the By Productions)

“Vas-y Coupe!”

Directed by Laura Naylor

French with subtitles

World premiere at DOC NYC in New York City on November 9, 2019.

If you’ve ever wondered about some of the people behind the making of French champagne, then “Vas-y Coupe!” is a candid but slow-paced peek into the crucial harvesting process. “Vas-y Coupe!” translates to “Go ahead, cut!” in English. This movie focuses on Jacques Selosse, a family-run vineyard in France’s Champagne region and what happens during harvest season. The documentary was inspired by director Laura Naylor’s real-life experiences harvesting grapes at the vineyard in 2016, about a year after she first discovered the vineyard through a sommelier friend.

Founded in the 1950s, Jacques Selosse is located in the small village of Avize, and much of the culture in the movie feels like a 1950s time warp. The roles of the men and women are, for the most part, sharply segregated by gender. Although there are a few harvesters who are female (and they’re briefly spotted on camera), the male harvesters and their male supervisors get the most of the focus in this documentary. The women in the film are primarily shown in the kitchen and fulfilling the roles of cooks, food servers and maids. The women are preoccupied with preparing meals and trying on beauty products, while the men do the dirty work of picking and distilling the grapes. Even with the Selosse family that owns the vineyard, the men in the family are the ones who get to taste and evaluate the company’s product made from the harvested grapes.

In addition to the gender lines that are clearly defined, there are also class lines that are almost never crossed. The laborers know their place as servants, and there’s sometimes tension with the vineyard owners/supervisors over wage issues. The rough-and-tumble nature of this working-class crew sometimes leads to them clashing with each other, as minor squabbles are captured on camera. But if you’re looking for shocking, dramatic moments, you won’t find them here in this mostly quiet film. To its credit, what’s shown in this movie doesn’t look staged, like a reality show.

But to its detriment, the movie suffers from editing that shows too much repetition of mundane tasks. It’s not necessary for viewers to keep seeing similar scenes of the women in the kitchen discussing the meals they’re preparing, followed by scenes of the women serving the meals to the laborers gathered in the dining room area. In order for a documentary like this to stand out, there has to be at least one big, riveting personality to keep viewers interested, but the people in this movie are just too average to make this a compelling story. And unfortunately, the movie gets bogged down in so much “slice of life” footage that the end result is a documentary that is duller than it should be.

True Crime Entertainment: What’s new this week

The following content is generally available worldwide, except where otherwise noted. All TV shows listed are for networks and streaming services based in the United States. All movies listed are those released in U.S. cinemas. This schedule is for content and events premiering this week and does not include content that has already been made available.

Monday, November 18 – Sunday, November 24, 2019

TV/Streaming Services

All times listed are Eastern Time/Pacific Time, unless otherwise noted.

Monday, November 18

“Live Rescue: Police Patrol”
Episode 235
Monday, November 18, 8 p.m., A&E

“Live Rescue”
Episode 209
Monday, November 18, 9 p.m., A&E

“Fatal Attraction”
“Caught in a Lie (Tahnika Duppins)” (Episode 901) **Season Premiere**
Monday, November 18, 9 p.m., TV One

“The Devil Speaks”
“Buried at the Ranch” (Episode 203)
Monday, November 18, 9 p.m., Investigation Discovery

“People Magazine Investigates”
“Without a Trace” (Episode 403)
Monday, November 18, 9 p.m., Investigation Discovery

Tuesday, November 19

“Ernie & Joe: Crisis Cops” (documentary film)
Tuesday, November 19, 9 p.m., HBO

“Relatively Evil”
“Blood Money” (Episode 106) **Season Finale**
Tuesday, November 19, 9 p.m., Investigation Discovery

“The Truth About Murder With Sunny Hostin”
“Break, Enter, Kill” (Episode 105)
Tuesday, November 19, 10 p.m., Investigation Discovery

Wednesday, November 20

“Bikram: Yogi, Guru, Predator” (documentary film)
Wednesday, November 20, 3 a.m. ET, Netflix

“Dream/Killer” (documentary film)
Wednesday, November 20, 3 a.m. ET, Netflix

“Homicide Hunter: Lt. Joe Kenda”
“Last Fare” (Episode 911)
Wednesday, November 20, 9 p.m., Investigation Discovery

“Shattered”
“End of Innocence” (Episode 306)
Wednesday, November 20, 10 p.m., Investigation Discovery

Thursday, November 21

“A Wedding and a Murder”
“The Widow Wore Red” (Episode 211)
Thursday, November 21, 9 p.m., Oxygen

“The Object of Murder”
“Secrets on the Lake” (Episode 103)
Thursday, November 21, 9 p.m., Investigation Discovery

“Live PD Presents: PD Cam”
Thursday, November 21, 9 p.m., A&E

“Live PD Presents: PD Cam”
Thursday, November 21, 9:30 p.m., A&E

“Live PD: Wanted”
Episode 106
Thursday, November 21, 10 p.m., A&E

“Home Sweet Homicide”
“In the Name of the Father” (Episode 106) **Season Finale**
Thursday, November 21, 10 p.m., Investigation Discovery

Friday, November 22

“Narcoworld: Dope Stories” (Season 1)
Friday, November 22, 3 a.m. ET, Netflix

“Dateline NBC: Secrets Uncovered”
“Secrets in Pleasant Grove” (Episode 806)
Friday, November 22, 7 p.m., Oxygen

“Relentless With Kate Snow”
“Justice for Jody” (Episode 108) **Season Finale**
Friday, November 22, 8 p.m., Oxygen

“Live PD: Roll Call”
Friday, November 22, 8 p.m., A&E

“Live PD: Rewind”
Friday, November 22, 8:06 p.m., A&E

“Live PD”
Friday, November 22, 9 p.m., A&E

“20/20”
(Season 42, Episode 8)
Friday, November 22, 9 p.m., ABC

“Dateline”
(Season 29, Episode 9)
Friday, November 22, 9 p.m., NBC

Saturday, November 23

“The Disappearance of the Millbrook Twins” (TV special)
Saturday, November 23, 7 p.m., Oxygen

“Live PD”
Saturday, November 23, 9 p.m., A&E

“Highway to Hell: Murder in the Fast Lane”
Saturday, November 23, 10 p.m., Investigation Discovery

“48 Hours”
Season 33, Episode 9
Saturday, November 23, 10 p.m., CBS

Sunday, November 24

“Snapped”
(Episode 2614)
Sunday, November 24, 6 p.m., Oxygen

“Murder for Hire”
“Not Your Average Grandma” (Episode 118)
Sunday, November 24, 7 p.m., Oxygen

“Killer Siblings”
“Carrs” (Episode 105)
Sunday, November 24, 8 p.m., Oxygen

“On the Case With Paula Zahn”
“Twisted Justice” (Episode 1904)
Sunday, November 24, 10 p.m., Investigation Discovery

“On the Case With Paula Zahn”
“A Dream Shattered” (Episode 1905)
Sunday, November 24, 10 p.m., Investigation Discovery

Movies in Theaters

 

“Citizen K”

MPAA Rating: Not rated

Limited release in U.S. theaters on Friday, November 22. 

Oscar-winning writer/director Alex Gibney’s revelatory “Citizen K” is an intimate yet sweeping look at post-Soviet Russia from the perspective of the enigmatic Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a former oligarch turned political dissident. Benefitting from the chaos that ensued after the dissolution of the U.S.S.R., Khodorkovsky was able to amass a fortune in financing and oil production and became the richest man in Russia. But when he accused the new Putin regime of corruption, Khodorkovsky was arrested, his assets were seized and following a series of show trials, he was sentenced to more than 10 years in prison.

“Dark Waters”

MPAA Rating: R

Limited release in U.S. theaters on Friday, November 22. 

Inspired by shocking true events, “Dark Waters” (directed by Todd Haynes) tells the story of tenacious attorney Rob Bilott (played by Mark Ruffalo), who uncovers a dark secret that connects a growing number of unexplained deaths due to one of the world’s largest corporations. In the process, he risks everything—his future, his family, and his own life—to expose the truth.

“Shooting the Mafia”

MPAA Rating: Not rated

Limited release in U.S. theaters on Friday, November 22. 

This documentary, directed by Kim Longinotto, is a profile of Sicilian photographer Letizia Battaglia, who began a lifelong battle with the Mafia when she first dared to point her camera at a brutally slain victim. A woman whose passions led her to abandon traditional family life and become a photojournalist in the 1970s–the first female photographer to be employed by an Italian daily newspaper–Battaglia found herself on the front lines during one of the bloodiest chapters in Italy’s recent history. She fearlessly and artfully captured everyday Sicilian life—from weddings and funerals to the grisly murders of ordinary citizens—to tell the narrative of how the community she loved in her native Palermo was forced into silence by the Cosa Nostra. Weaving together Battaglia’s striking black-and-white photographs, rare archival footage, classic Italian films, and the now 84-year-old’s own memories, Shooting the Mafia paints a portrait of a remarkable woman whose whose bravery and defiance helped expose the Mafia’s brutal crimes.

Radio/Podcasts

The Sneak

The Sneak, hosted by USA Today’s For the Win managing editor Nate Scott, focuses on true cime in sports. The podcast is a collaboration between USA Today Sports and podcast network Wondery. In its first season, The Sneak will look at a bizarre heist connected to the world of high school football in the Pacific Northwest.

Events

All start times listed are local time.

Morbid

A live rendition of the true-crime podcast Morbid.

When: Tuesday, November 19, 9 p.m.
Where: AS220 Main Stage & Gallery, 115 Empire Street, Providence, RI 02903
Age recommendation: All ages
Tickets: SOLD OUT

My Favorite Murder

A live rendition of the true-crime podcast My Favorite Murder, hosted by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark.

When: Friday, November 22, 7 p.m.
Where: O2 Apollo, Manchester, England
Age recommendation: Children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult.
Tickets: SOLD OUT

When: Saturday, November 23, 7 p.m.
Where: Theatre Royal, Glasgow, Scotland
Age recommendation: Children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult.
Tickets: SOLD OUT

When: Sunday, November 24, 8 p.m.
Where: Bord Gais Energy Theatre, Dublin, Ireland
Age recommendation: Children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult.
Tickets: €49.00 per ticket; VIP packages SOLD OUT

When: Monday, November 25, 8 p.m.
Where: Bord Gais Energy Theatre, Dublin, Ireland
Age recommendation: All ages allowed.
Tickets: €49.00 per ticket; VIP packages SOLD OUT

2019 DOC NYC: recap and award winners

November 16, 2019

by Carla Hay

The 10th annual DOC NYC—which took place in New York City from November 6 to November 15, 2018—has continued its status as an outstanding international festival for documentary visual media, with more than 300 films at the festival. Almost all of the DOC NYC screenings and other events took place at the SVA Theatre, IFC Center and Cinépolis Chelsea. DOC NYC also has panel discussions about filmmaking, offering a wealth of opportunities to share knowledge, discover new talent and network with professionals. This year’s DOC NYC was dedicated to D.A. Pennebaker, the iconic documentarian (best known for “Don’t Look Back”), who died on August 1, 2019, at the age of 94.

AWARD WINNERS

Wang Tiancheng in "City Dream"
Wang Tiancheng in “City Dream”

DOC NYC 2019 also had competitions, with all voted for by juries, except for the Audience Award and the Kanopy DOC NYC U Award. The winners were:

Viewfinders Competition (for films with a distinct directorial vision): “City Dream,” director Weijun Chen’s look at a feisty street vendor Wang Tiancheng’s battle to not be displaced by the Urban Management Bureau in Wuhan, China.

Special mention: “Love Child,” director Eva Mulvad’s portrait of an Iranian man who flees Iran with his mistress and their son because of Iran’s death-penalty laws against adultery.

Metropolis Competition (for films with New York City stories): “Maurice Hines: Bring Them Back,” director John Carluccio’s profile of Tony-nominated entertainer Maurice Hines, the older brother of Gregory Hines.

Shorts Competition: “Bob of the Park,” director Jake Sumner’s profile of Robert “Birding Bob” DiCandido, who’s described in the DOC NYC materials as the “archvillain of New York City bird watchers.”

Special mentions: “A Childhood on Fire,” directed by Jason Hanasik; “Yves & Variation,” directed by Lydia Cornett

Audience Award: “I Am Not Alone,” director Garin Hovannisian’s profile of former Armenian political prisoner Nikol Pashinyan, who becomes a Member of Parliament and leads a peaceful protest against injustice.

DOC NYC PRO Pitch Perfect Award: “After Sherman,” directed by Jon-Sesrie Goff

Kanopy DOC NYC U Award (for student directors): “Kostya,” directed by Oxana Inipko (School of Visual Arts)

In addition, category awards were given to DOC NYC’s Short List films, which are considered frontrunners to be nominated for Oscars and other major film awards.

Short List: Features

“The Edge of Democracy” (Photo courtesy of Netflix)


Directing Award: “The Edge of Democracy,” directed by Petra Costa 
 
Producing Award: “American Factory,” produced by Steven Bognar, Julie Parker Benello, Jeff Reichert and Julia Reichert 
 
Editing Award: “Apollo 11,” edited by Todd Douglas Miller 
 
Cinematography Award: “The Elephant Queen,” cinematography by Mark Deeble
 
Special Recognition for Courage in Filmmaking: “For Sama,” director Waad al-Kateab
 
Short List: Shorts
 
Directing Award: “Stay Close,” directed by Luther Clement and Shuhan Fan

The 2019 DOC NYC Visionaries Tribute (which has non-competitive categories), an invitation-only event presented on November 7, honored Martin Scorsese and Michael Apted, each with the Lifetime Achievement Award; “American Factory” directors Steven Bognar and Julia Reichart with the Robert and Anne Drew Award for Documentary Excellence; and New York Women in Film & Television executive director Cynthia Lopez with the Leading Light Award.

Other celebrities who attended DOC NYC included Robbie Robertson, J.K, Simmons, Ron Howard, Katie Couric, Andre Leon Talley, Michael Moore, Kate Nash, Dr. Ruth Westheimer and Olivia Harrison.

2020 Screen Actors Guild Awards: Robert De Niro to receive Life Achievement Award

November 12, 2019

Robert De Niro
Robert De Niro (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)

The following is a press release from the Screen Actors Guild:

Robert De Niro – Academy Award®-winning actor, producer and director – has been named the 56th recipient of SAG-AFTRA’s highest tribute: the SAG Life Achievement Award for career achievement and humanitarian accomplishment. De Niro will be presented the performers union’s top accolade at the 26th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, which will be simulcast live on TNT and TBS on Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020 at 8 p.m. (ET), 7 p.m. (CT), 6 p.m. (MT) and 5 p.m. (PT).

The SAG Life Achievement Award is given annually to an actor who fosters the “finest ideals of the acting profession.” De Niro will add the award to his extraordinary catalog of preeminent industry and public honors, which includes two Academy Awards®, a Golden Globe® Award, the Cecil B. DeMille Award®, a Silver Berlin Bear, a Kennedy Center Honor, a Presidential Medal of Freedom, a GLADD Excellence in Media Award and the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Chaplin Award. He was also awarded an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from Brown University.

“Robert De Niro is an actor of extraordinary depth and ability. The characters he creates captivate our imaginations. From the smoldering inferno of young Vito Corleone to the raging bull Jake Lamotta and everybody’s grandpa Ben Whittaker, he continues to touch our hearts and open our minds to new and exciting worlds of understanding and emotion,” said Gabrielle Carteris, President of SAG-AFTRA. “It is my great privilege to announce that SAG-AFTRA’s highest honor will be presented to one of the most singular talents of our generation, Robert De Niro.”

“I have been a member of this union for over 50 years. It’s an honor to receive this award from SAG-AFTRA,” says De Niro.

A Lasting Impact Through Film

De Niro is the recipient of a SAG Award® for his work as a member of the cast of American Hustle. He received Screen Actors Guild Awards cast nominations for his work in Silver Linings Playbook, for which he also earned an individual nomination, and Marvin’s Room. De Niro is a seven-time Academy Award nominee, a six-time BAFTA nominee and a nine-time Golden Globe nominee. De Niro, who made his directorial debut in 1993 with A Bronx Tale, in which he also starred, can currently be seen in Joker.

De Niro’s breakthrough role was in the 1973 film Mean Streets, where he began the first of nine collaborations with director Martin Scorsese. Other films created out of their special partnership include Goodfellas, Cape Fear, Casino and the recently released Netflix film, The Irishman.

De Niro’s incredible repertoire of films includes his Academy Award®-winning roles in “The Godfather II” and “Raging Bull,” as well as Oscar®-nominated turns for his work in “The Deer Hunter,” “Taxi Driver,” “Awakenings,” “Cape Fear” and “Silver Linings Playbook.” De Niro has proven his versatility with his memorable dramatic roles in “The Untouchables,” “Jackie Brown” and “Backdraft,” and several successful comedies in his career, including “Meet the Parents,” “Meet the Fockers,” “Little Fockers,” “Analyze This” and the dramedy “Midnight Run.”

Accomplishments in Television

De Niro’s career has spanned into television where he has received a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination and four Emmy nominations for his work both on- and off-screen. For his performance as disgraced financier Bernie Madoff in the HBO miniseries “The Wizard of Lies,” De Niro received a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Limited Series, as well as Emmy and Golden Globe nominations. He won a Satellite Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film for his portrayal of Madoff.

He also earned Emmy nominations for his work as an executive producer on “The Wizard of Lies” and, again this year, as executive producer alongside Oprah Winfrey, Ava DuVernay, Jonathan King, Jane Rosenthal, Jeff Skoll and Berry Welsh, on the Netflix drama “When They See Us,” based on events surrounding the 1989 Central Park jogger case.

De Niro served as an executive producer for the NBC series “About a Boy,” starring Minnie Driver.

Philanthropist and Activist

New Yorkers know him as one of the driving forces behind the revitalization of downtown Manhattan into a center for the film industry. In 1989, he and Jane Rosenthal founded the Tribeca Film Center, the first commercial space in Tribeca dedicated to housing film, television, and entertainment companies.

After the attacks of 9/11, De Niro and Rosenthal co-founded the Tribeca Film Festival as a way to breathe new life into their neighborhood and spur economic development through the arts. Now welcoming its 19th year, the festival brings hundreds of thousands of visitors downtown each year and is a prominent cultural event not only for New Yorkers, but for the entire film industry. Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal were the 2011 recipients of the Rockefeller Foundation’s Jane Jacobs Medal for Lifetime Leadership.

He is also co-founder and co-chair of the Tribeca Film Institute, which supports the work and stories of underserved filmmakers.

In addition to his entertainment and philanthropic work, De Niro is involved in several capital ventures including part ownership of restaurants Nobu and Tribeca Grill, as well as The Greenwich Hotel in New York City and the Locanda Grill, located inside the hotel.

About the Life Achievement Award

Nominated and voted on by members of the SAG-AFTRA National Honors and Tributes Committee, the Life Achievement Award is bestowed for outstanding achievement in fostering the best ideals of the acting profession. The recipient of this award is a well-established performer who has contributed to improving the image of the acting profession and has a history of active involvement in humanitarian and public service endeavors.

About SAG-AFTRA

SAG-AFTRA represents approximately 160,000 actors, announcers, broadcaster journalists, dancers, DJs, news writers, news editors, program hosts, puppeteers, recording artists, singers, stunt performers, voiceover artists and other professionals. SAG-AFTRA members are the faces and voices that entertain and inform America and the world. With national offices in Los Angeles and New York and local offices nationwide, SAG-AFTRA members work together to secure the strongest protections for media artists into the 21st century and beyond.

Connect with SAG-AFTRA
Website: http://www.sagaftra.org
Twitter: http://twitter.com/sagaftra/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/sagaftra/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/sagaftra
Instagram: http://instagram.com/sagaftra
Newsroom: http://www.sagaftra.org/newsroom

About the 26th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards®

The 26th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards®, presented by SAG-AFTRA with Screen Actors Guild Awards, LLC will be produced by Avalon Harbor Entertainment, Inc. and Hazy Mills Productions and will be simulcast live on TNT and TBS on Sunday, January 19, 2020, at 8 p.m. (ET) / 5 p.m. (PT). For more information about the SAG Awards®, SAG-AFTRA, TNT and TBS, visit sagawards.org/about.

Connect with the SAG Awards
Hashtag: #sagawards
Website: http://sagawards.org
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/sagawardsofficialpage/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/sagawards/
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/sagawards/

About TNT

TNT, a WarnerMedia Entertainment brand, is basic cable’s #1 network in primetime among young adults and is home to some of television’s most popular slate of original series, including The Alienist, Animal Kingdom, Claws, I Am the Night and the upcoming sequel The Alienist: The Angel of Darkness. TNT’s forthcoming, premium unscripted series include Shaq Life and the live, multiplatform event Chasing the Cure.

TNT also presents popular shows such as Bones and Castle; primetime specials and sports coverage, including the NBA and NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championships and the professional wrestling league All Elite Wrestling (AEW).

About WarnerMedia

WarnerMedia is a leading media and entertainment company that creates and distributes premium and popular content from a diverse array of talented storytellers and journalists to global audiences through its consumer brands including: HBO, HBO Now, HBO Max, Warner Bros., TNT, TBS, truTV, CNN, DC, New Line, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Turner Classic Movies and others. WarnerMedia is part of AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T).

2020 Golden Globe Awards: Ricky Gervais returns as host

November 12, 2019

Ricky Gervais
Ricky Gervais (Photo by Kristina Bumphrey/StarPix)

The following is a press release from Dick Clark Productions and NBC:

Global comedy superstar Ricky Gervais, in his unique and legendary fashion, will resume hosting duties for a record fifth time at the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards. The three-hour telecast will air live on NBC coast to coast Sunday, January 5, 2020 at 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT from The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California.

The Golden Globes serve as the official kickoff to the 2020 awards season. 25 categories — 14 in film and 11 in television — are voted on by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA).

“Once again, they’ve made me an offer I can’t refuse. But this is the very last time I’m doing this, which could make for a fun evening,” said Gervais.

“There is always a palpable electricity in the room when Ricky takes the Globes stage. His return as master of ceremonies at the Golden Globes is much anticipated,” said Paul Telegdy, Chairman, NBC Entertainment. “It is sure to make for an unexpected evening. We can’t wait to see what he has up his sleeve.”

“When Ricky Gervais is at the helm of the Golden Globes Awards, we can always expect the unexpected,” said President of the HFPA Lorenzo Soria. “We’re excited to see it all unfold on Jan. 5!”

“In a world where many award shows are opting to go the no host route, the Golden Globes are going all in! It’s going to be a great night,” added Mike Mahan, CEO, Dick Clark Productions.

Last January’s NBC telecast of “The 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards” averaged 18.6 million viewers in “live plus same day” Nielsens, delivering the biggest audience for a primetime telecast, excluding news and sports, in 10 months, since the prior March’s Academy Awards. The Jan. 6 “Golden Globes” coverage also generated a year-to-year increase in the key adults 18-49 demographic, with a 5.2 rating vs. a 5.0. That 5.2 more than quadrupled NBC’s non-sports 18-49 average in the timeslot the previous season and the audience of 18.6 million was up 13.5 million persons versus the prior season’s average.

Creator and star of “The Office” and “Extras,” Ricky Gervais has won three Golden Globes, two Primetime Emmys and seven BAFTAS. “The Office” is the most successful British comedy of all time, shown in more than 90 countries with seven remakes. The NBC version is the most successful U.S. remake of a British show in more than 30 years.

Gervais hosted the Golden Globes in 2010-12 and returned for a fourth time in 2016.

Considered the most influential British comedian since Charlie Chaplin, Gervais is an award-winning stand-up comedian, with five international tours to date. His live stand up show “Fame” became the fastest selling UK stand-up show in history.

Gervais can most recently be seen in the dark comedy “After Life,” which he created, directs, stars in and executive produced. The series premiered March 8 worldwide on Netflix and will return for a second season in 2020.

In 2017, Gervais toured worldwide with his first stand-up special in seven years. “Humanity,” which was also recorded as a Netflix special, takes aim at human behavior with his trademark wit. He recently embarked on his follow up tour, “SuperNature,” which will also be released on Netflix.

Gervais is featured in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the most downloaded Internet show of all time. He was named in Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World and awarded the Sir Peter Ustinov Comedy Award from the Banff World Television Festival.

The Golden Globe Awards, often referred to as “Hollywood’s Party of the Year,” is one of the biggest nights on the calendar for live viewing. It’s also one of the few awards shows that combine the honorees of both film and television. The 2019 Golden Globe Awards telecast averaged a 5.2 rating in adults 18-49 and 18.6 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research.

Produced by Dick Clark Productions in association with the HFPA, the Golden Globe Awards are viewed in more than 210 territories worldwide. Lorenzo Soria is President of the HFPA. Mike Mahan, CEO of Dick Clark Productions and Barry Adelman, Executive VP of Television at Dick Clark Productions will serve as executive producers.

About Hollywood Foreign Press Association
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) was founded in 1943 – then known as the Hollywood Foreign Correspondents Association – by a group of entertainment journalists based in Los Angeles. During World War II, the non-profit organization established a cultural bridge between Tinseltown and millions of cinema fans around the world who demanded drama and inspiration through entertainment. The HFPA continues to do so today with a membership representing more than 55 countries. Since 1944, the group has hosted the annual Golden Globe® Awards – the premier ceremony which honors achievements in both television and film. The licensing fees from the Golden Globe® Awards has enabled the organization to donate more than $37.5 million to more than 70 entertainment-related charities, film restoration, scholarship programs and humanitarian efforts over the last 25 years. For more information, please visitwww.GoldenGlobes.com and follow us on Twitter (@GoldenGlobes), Instagram (@GoldenGlobes), and Facebook (www.facebook.com/GoldenGlobes).

About Dick Clark Productions
Dick Clark Productions (DCP) is the world’s largest producer and proprietor of televised live event entertainment programming with the “Academy of Country Music Awards,” “American Music Awards,” “Billboard Music Awards,” “Golden Globe Awards,” “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest” and the “Streamy Awards.” Weekly television programming includes “So You Think You Can Dance” from 19 Entertainment and DCP. DCP also owns one of the world’s most unique and extensive entertainment archive libraries with over 60 years of award-winning shows, historic programs, specials, performances and legendary programming. DCP is a division of Valence Media, a diversified media company with divisions and strategic investments in premium television, wide release film, specialty film, live events and digital media. For additional information, visit www.dickclark.com.