As told in a new documentary, The Real Dirt on Farmer John, the story of John Peterson is an allegory for the woes of family farmers — and the triumphant return to traditional artisan farming that is giving new life to small-scale agriculture.
"New Orleans buries too many of its young," Wynton Marsalis says in the documentary's introduction. The Whole Gritty City, airing Saturday on CBS, follows young students who take refuge in New Orleans marching bands.
As we approach the third anniversary of the demonstrations in Egypt, Fresh Air critic John Powers reviews a documentary that captures the story of Cairo's Tahrir Square. He says the film "is less a final reckoning than an exciting bulletin from the front lines of an unfinished revolution."
In 2013, "you really feel as if directors are taking chances in their storytelling," says film critic David Edelstein. He loved the movie Her, and says the biggest surprises of the year were All Is Lost and Much Ado About Nothing. He also explains why 12 Years a Slave didn't make his top 10.
HBO's new TV special is part biography, part music-appreciation lesson and part performance piece. Critic David Bianculli says it's a superbly compiled work, overseen by two of the people most intimately familiar with the composer himself.
The famed author and illustrator broke the rules of American children's literature in the '50s and '60s, but many Americans have never heard of him. The documentary Far Out Isn't Far Enough — now out on DVD — looks at his life and work. (Originally broadcast July 1, 2013.)
Two new documentaries are making headlines. Gabriela Cowperthwaite's Blackfish centers on the whale that killed a trainer before an Orlando SeaWorld audience in 2010. The Act of Killing by human rights researcher Josh Oppenheimer, looks at the mass executions of communists in Indonesia in the 1960s.
The famed author and illustrator broke the rules of American children's literature in the '50s and '60s, but many Americans have never heard of him. A new documentary, Far Out Isn't Far Enough, looks at his life and work.
In a striking documentary, Sarah Polley turns the camera on her own family. The director and actor, known for films such as Away from Her and The Sweet Hereafter, was teased growing up about not looking like her actor father. At 27, she discovered that it wasn't a joke.
In her classic '60s documentary, Shirley Clarke profiles a loquacious 33-year-old gay hustler who dreams of having a nightclub act. Her subject could hardly be more complex — and in examining him, she raises important questions about the relationship between fact and fiction.