JOHN LEWIS: GOOD TROUBLE

by C.J. Hirschfield

At age 79, and after 60 years of activism, John Lewis is still organizing; still mobilizing; still legislating. Oh yes, and he’s definitely still dancing.

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In the illuminating and luminous new documentary, John Lewis: Good Trouble, acclaimed Bay Area director Dawn Porter (Trapped, Gideon’s Army) creatively and conscientiously chronicles the life and career of the legendary civil rights activist and Democratic Congressman from Georgia.

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ELLA FITZGERALD: TOO MARVELOUS FOR WORDS

by Kim Nalley

Within the first seconds of Ella Fitzgerald: Just One Of Those Things  British Eagle Rock’s documentary on the jazz vocalist, the seamless connection between the tempo and lyrics of Ella Fitzgerald singing How High The Moon and the shaky black and white images of Ella racing down the highway in a car portends that this is going to be a great film. Sit down, relax, and fix yourself a drink because this is a movie worth savoring.

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DIANA KENNEDY: NOTHING FANCY—INDEED

By Patricia Unterman

To tell you the truth, my dear film buffs, I’m a reader, not a moviegoer, and I only read fiction.  If I watch a movie, it has to be in a movie house on a big screen and it has to promise a good story, ideally involving sex.   Documentaries, for me, are a bore.

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But despite all odds, I was mesmerized by a new documentary on the life of Diana Kennedy, the grouchy, 97-year-old writer of regional Mexican cookbooks, by first-time movie director Elizabeth Carroll.  The film felt novelistic to me—nuanced, revealing, true.  It picked me right up from a desk chair in front of my little computer screen and dropped me in the upland forests of Michoacán. Continue reading

Cranky– and Curious–about Cuisine

By C.J. Hirschfield

When a 97 -year-old cookbook writer is called “the Mick Jagger of Mexican cuisine,” and the “Indiana Jones of food,” you know there’s gotta be a story there. There is, and a fascinating one at that. Directed by Elizabeth Carroll and available for virtual screening now, the new documentary Diana Kennedy: Nothing Fancy shares the life and work of an impatient, antisocial, cranky, profane, opinionated woman—whose life has been driven by her enthusiasm and curiosity about authentic Mexican regional cooking. She is an absolutely marvelous force of nature.

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