Fans of David Bowie will love this film, but there is more here; Moonage Daydream does more than Bowie songs with kaleidoscopic imagery, it allows viewers to see the arc of Bowie’s thoughts and feelings.
Let The Little Light Shine, directed and produced by Kevin Shaw, documents the battle between a predominantly Black school, National Teachers Academy (NTA), and the encroaching gentrification. The documentary focuses on the parents, students, and principal of NTA but also covers the school’s initial struggles. Let The Little Light Shine shows an authentic look at a grassroots movement to save a school; a look at the politics, fake change, and catering to white people that places undue pain on Black people.
Like the US, they also rewrite history, downplay or ignore their historical role and how that directly influences generational wealth among white people, and generational trauma among Black and Indigenous people. BLK: An Origin Story highlight specific groups, individuals, and locations, in four episodes, that are essential to Black people’s arc in Canada.
God Said Give ‘Em Drum Machines is an informative, fascinating journey through musical evolution with the pioneers in techno who crafted the sounds we still hear and bop to today. The roots begin in Detroit, where young Black men played with sounds through their love of science fiction and started the sound known as techno.
There are shows from childhood that shape us for better or worse. Butterfly in the Sky, directed by Bradford Thomason and Brett Whitcomb, looks at the origins and struggles to bring the beloved PBS show Reading Rainbow to television. The documentary, aired at Tribeca, interviews the crew, educators, children from the show, and show’s host and star, LeVar Burton. Reading Rainbow inspired children to enjoy reading, and that impact is indelibly embedded in the foundation of countless people. Butterfly in the Sky takes us down memory lane and shows us what was happening behind those joyous scenes.
Sell/Buy/Date, a docudrama mixed in comedy, premiered at SXSW Festival. It stars Sarah Jones, with a story by her and David Goldblum that looks at the sex industry via the intersections of privilege. The documentary or, as Sarah Jones calls it “unorthodoc” is about Sarah Jones trying to make the documentary based on her play of the same name. Entertaining, honest in Sarah Jones’s confusion, Sell/Buy/Date skillfully touches on the main points regarding sex work, sex trafficking and decriminalization.
Science fiction films broaden ideas and possibilities for the present and future. Though each decade has memorable films and concepts in the sci-fi genre, the 80s were pivotal due to the vast ideas explored on the silver screen. Like how Romero’s Night of the Living Dead made a blueprint for zombies that all other films and shows followed, the 80s science fiction films crafted dystopian, futuristic worlds and ideas that most present-day science fiction movies pull from. In Search of Tomorrow discusses each year of the 80s and picks apart the film’s quality, vision, technology, practical and special effects, and moments that impact audiences.
Aftershock, directed by Paula Eiselt and Tonya Lewis Lee, personalizes the Black maternal mortality and morbidity epidemic in the United States in this documentary. Through…
Satoshi Kon, The Illusionist, playing at Nightstream’s virtual festival, written and directed by Pascal-Alex Vincent, looks at Satoshi Kon’s creations and impact on the industry and the challenges he faced. The documentary explores a man that, like his creations, was complex but loved the entirety of humanity.
Mary J. Blige’s My Life explores the emotions and life of musical icon Mary J. Blige during her sophomore album titled My Life. That album struck a chord with a generation and spoke to their pain and struggles. It should come as no surprise that Mary J. Blige herself was struggling at that time. While the documentary, directed by Vanessa Roth, does talk to Mary J. Blige about the hardships of that time, it is more a reflection. Indeed, she has come far and part of what helped her, she acknowledges, were her fans.