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 […]

THE CREATIVE HIGH

By C.J. Hirschfield In 2020, more people in San Francisco died of overdoses than of covid-19—an almost impossible statistic to comprehend. So a film featuring people living in that city who are in recovery from addiction is timely and hopeful; what is unique is that all nine of them have had their lives dramatically transformed […]

 IMPERFECT: Defying Expectations

By C.J. Hirschfield If you’re producing a mainstage musical with a large cast, you can pretty much expect that there will be moments of anxiety, frustration, self-doubt—and even romance. In the excellent and thought-provoking new documentary IMPERFECT, all of this happens–and more. The more is because the particular production of Chicago-The Musical that the film […]

FLEE Brings Secrets to Animated Life

By C.J. Hirschfield More and more often, documentary filmmakers are turning to animation to tell stories—or parts of stories—that can’t be represented in any other way. In the case of the compelling new film FLEE, the storyteller spent much of his life since childhood in the shadows as an illegal Afghan refugee, and even now […]

UNDERSTANDING WHAT HAPPENED AT ATTICA

Ashia Lance Interviews Stanley Nelson Co-Directors Stanley Nelson and Traci Curry brilliantly reshape race narrative in ATTICA by giving voice to the unheard minorities and disrupting the dominant historical narrative. It is a strategy that Nelson has used in his many films including THE MURDER OF EMMETT TILL, JONESTOWN: THE LIFE AND DEATH OF PEOPLE’S TEMPLE […]

WRITING WITH FIRE

By C.J. Hirschfield The recent convictions in the Ahmaud Arbery case were only possible thanks to a video shot on a smartphone; the device is now ubiquitous around the world and is shining light in places where darkness used to thrive.   The power of this portable camera to obtain justice is never more apparent […]