Screening Room: AFI DOCS Film Festival

Last Wednesday through Sunday, Washington, D.C. hosted the AFI DOCS Film Festival, one of the country’s top showcases for nonfiction movies. Many of the documentaries screening there will be opening throughout the country in the coming weeks and months, with at least a couple likely Oscar nominees among the batch. A few of the highlights:

  • Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press (Brian Knappenberger) — A taut and alarming look at how the entrenched interests of certain wealthy millionaires (Peter Thiel, Sheldon Adelson, Donald Trump) could be threatening the future of the free press in America. Premiering on Netflix June 23.
  • For Akheem (Landon Van Soest, Jeremy S. Levine) — An emotional fly-on-the-wall study of a critical point in the life of Daje Shelton, an at-risk teenager trying to survive all the pitfalls of her North St. Louis neighborhood.
  • The Force (Peter Nicks) — A deep dive into the inner workings of the Oakland Police Department as it contends with chaotic leadership, corruption, and public fury over fatal shootings. From the director of the amazing Oscar-nominated The Waiting Room. Hits theaters in September.
  • A Suitable Girl (Smriti Mundhra, Sarita Khurana) — A charming audience-pleaser about three young Indian women trying to find an appropriate husband as customs and expectations around arranged marriages shift in the rapidly modernizing society.

I covered as many of the offerings as possible for Film Journal International, you can see my reviews here and here.

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