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The Top and Bottom Documentaries of 2020

The Top and Bottom Documentaries of 2020

Like my list of the year’s best and worst in cinema coming a little late “this year,” so it is with my list of the best and worst in “2020’s” documentaries. But, then, as I wrote in this blog’s predecessor, this was unlike any other “year” that preceded it – especially since, based on distribution schedules, it ended up being longer than 12 months and included offerings whose release dates differed markedly from what was originally planned. That’s played havoc with what’s been made eligible for “2020” awards consideration, given that some haven’t come out until very recently (and some not in public distribution at all), while others originally debuted in 2019 but had their wide-scale distribution plans altered. And, even though I have seen most of this year’s major releases and awards contenders, in the interest of full disclosure, I must confess that there are some offerings I haven’t screened (and thus have not been considered in the compilation of this list). So, with that said, here’s what made my Top 10 and Bottom 5 for “2020,” along with a short list of honorable mentions, including both domestic and foreign documentary offerings. The Top 10 Countdown 10. “Galore” (Netherlands) ...
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Laughs Aplenty on The Cinema Scribe

Laughs Aplenty on The Cinema Scribe

Tune in for the latest Cinema Scribe segment on Bring Me 2 Life Radio, Tuesday, April 6, at 2 pm ET, available by clicking here. And, if you don’t hear the show live, catch it later on demand on Spreaker, Spotify, Apple, iHeartRadio, Google Podcasts, Castbox, Deezer, Podchaser and Jiosaavn ...
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This Week in Movies with Meaning

This Week in Movies with Meaning

Reviews of “The Mauritanian,” “The Forty-Year-Old Version” and “Nasrin” are all in the latest Movies with Meaning post on the web site of The Good Media Network, available by clicking here ...
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‘The Mauritanian’ passionately pursues the truth

‘The Mauritanian’ passionately pursues the truth

“The Mauritanian”(2021). Cast: Tahar Rahim, Jodie Foster, Benedict Cumberbatch, Shailene Woodley, Zachary Levi, Corey Johnson, Baya Belal. Director: Kevin Macdonald. Screenplay: M.B. Traven, Rory Haines and Sohrab Noshirvani. Story: M.B. Traven. Book: Mohamedou Ould Slahi, Guantánamo Diary, Larry Siems, editor. Web site. Trailer. Pursuing the truth is indeed a noble endeavor, one that’s made all the more virtuous when infused with passion. That’s particularly crucial when attempts are made to intentionally obscure it and the stakes are high. So it is for an intrepid counselor defending a falsely accused suspect in the fact-based historical drama, “The Mauritanian.” In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, the government was eager to round up suspects responsible for the event at any cost – and no matter how valid the evidence was against them. The campaign to arrest them was carried out with all deliberate speed, even if the detention and prosecution of said suspects moved at a snail’s pace. Many of the alleged guilty parties were sent to a high-security holding facility at the U.S. military base in Guantanamo, Cuba, where they were essentially locked up with the keys thrown away. During their stay, they were subjected to repeated extreme interrogation tactics in ...
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‘The Forty-Year-Old Version’ logs the quest for personal fulfillment

‘The Forty-Year-Old Version’ logs the quest for personal fulfillment

“The Forty-Year-Old Version”(2020). Cast: Radha Blank, Peter Y. Kim, Oswin Benjamin, Imani Lewis, Haskiri Velazquez, Antonio Ortiz, TJ Atoms, Reed Birney, Andre Ward, Jacob Ming-Trent, Welker White, Stacey Sargeant, William Oliver Watkins, Ashlee Brian, Meghan O’Neill. Director: Radha Blank. Screenplay: Radha Blank. Web site. Trailer. Waiting for our life to be fulfilling can be a frustrating exercise. We know we have something to say and goals we’d like to accomplish, yet, for whatever reason, things just never seem to materialize. We’re thus likely to sit back in bewilderment, unable to understand why nothing comes together. But, rather than spin our wheels and waste our time in unproductive speculation, we might be better off focusing our introspection on the root cause of the issue – us. Taking stock of our authentic selves and figuring out what it is we were truly meant to do could prove more revealing, as an exasperated middle-aged woman discovers for herself in the insightful new comedy, “The Forty-Year-Old Version.” Thirty-nine-year-old African-American playwright Radha Blank (Radha Blank) feels unsatisfied. A decade earlier, she had been named a rising star in the New York theater community, becoming one of the city’s distinguished “30 Under 30.” Since then, though, ...
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This Week in Movies with Meaning

This Week in Movies with Meaning

Reviews of “Minari,” “Two of Us” and “I Care a Lot,” as well as a Top 10 Movie list blog preview, are all in the latest Movies with Meaning post on the web site of The Good Media Network, available by clicking here ...
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