I Didn’t See You There

By C.J. Hirschfield April 27, 2022 A monument to circus showman P.T. Barnum stands in Reid Davenport’s hometown of Bethel, Connecticut. “He got a pedestal,” says the director of I DIDN’T SEE YOU THERE, the new documentary at the 65th SFFILM Festival, while the disabled filmmaker’s perspective is from the sidewalk. The film, a meditative […]

American Justice on Trial

By C.J. Hirschfield April 21, 2022 (updated April 23) Just as the Academy Award-nominated feature documentary ATTICA effectively used historical footage and interviews with key participants to illustrate our country’s history of systemic racism, so too does the excellent new documentary AMERICAN JUSTICE ON TRIAL.

MAMA BEARS RISING

By C.J. Hirschfield March 30, 2022 Last month, Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued a letter calling on professionals, including teachers and doctors, to report parents who give their trans children gender-affirming care. And even though the ACLU says it’s not legally binding, it is just another in a long line of assaults on trans and […]

BAD AXE

By C.J. Hirschfield March 30, 2022 There is a serious discussion that takes place in the superb new documentary Bad Axe about whether the film is or is not a love letter to the eponymous town—or will its coverage of some of the town’s less savory Trumpian residents cause people to hate it? Not to […]

CLEANING TRAUMA

By C.J. Hirschfield March 30, 2022 I don’t know if a film completely focused on the business of trauma cleaning, or a film wholly centered on the complicated life of Sandra Pankhurst would work on its own, but when these themes are combined, the result is a compelling and compassionate Australian documentary that embodies the […]

MR. BACHMANN AND HIS CLASS

By C.J. Hirschfield March 14, 2022 Cinema junkies forgive iconic documentary filmmaker Frederick Wiseman for the length of some of his works that venture deep into American institutions; his most recent City Hall covering the government of Boston clocked in at four and a half hours. We absolve him because he is so good at […]