Sundance 2018: Won’t You Be My Neighbor? a reassuring testament of Fred Rogers’ legacy

In a scene from Morgan Neville’s documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, which premiered this year at the Sundance Film Festival, Fred Rogers testified at a U.S. Congressional hearing in which support seemed unlikely to approve a budget appropriation for public television. The late U.S. Senator John Pastore, a Democrat from Rhode Island, had rebuffed … Read more

Sundance 2018: 306 Hollywood beautifully curated artistry celebrating beloved grandmother’s legacy

There is a beautiful curation of artistry in every element of 306 Hollywood, a gem of a documentary directed by Elan Bogarín and Jonathan Bogarín that premiered this year at the Sundance Film Festival. While it is a genuine bountiful tribute to the directors’ beloved late grandmother, 306 Hollywood, which represented the street address of … Read more

Sundance 2018: The Oslo Diaries outstanding documentary journalism looking behind the scenes at Israeli-Palestinian peace process

Impossibility is a product of our prejudice. — Shimon Peres 1923-2016, in an interview with The Jerusalem Post. In The Oslo Diaries, an outstanding film of documentary-style journalism which premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, Shimon Peres, former president and prime minister of Israel, said he was still optimistic that a peaceful resolution to … Read more

Sundance 2018: Jennifer Fox’s The Tale rare, bold film with new narrative template on sexual grooming

The Tale, directed by distinguished filmmaker and writer Jennifer Fox, is one of those rare bold films that breaks from a narrative template. In this fictionalized autobiography, Fox sets a new direction away from the usual path of survival instincts that points instead at the complexities of sexual assault by identifying stages of sexual grooming … Read more

Sundance 2018: This Is Home: A Refugee Story warm, personable account of Syrian families making new attachments in America

In the harsh cacophony of the debate about immigration and refugees, facts and statistics rarely move the needle in changing opinion. And, there’s plenty of research available, especially longitudinal data collected over many years. It’s easy to summarize. Sources such as the Migration Policy Institute provide data that show education and income level are among … Read more

Sundance 2018: Audience-pleasing Hereditary, Damsel highlight Utah connections, locations

Utahns will recognize a good sampling of their state’s unparalleled scenery in two films – both containing unconventional elements to represent their respective genres — that premiered during this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Hereditary, directed and written by Ari Aster, an unusual horror film that has attracted much attention in Sundance’s Midnight program slate, and … Read more

Sundance 2018: Christina Choe’s Nancy subtle, satisfying psychological thriller

Seven years ago, online audiences drew close to the experiences of Amina Arraf, who described herself as a Syrian-American lesbian. Web traffic exploded on her blog A Gay Girl in Damascus and Arraf engaged in cyber relationships with political activists who identified as lesbian. Then Arraf disappeared, leading her readers and online friends to believe … Read more

Sundance 2018: Bisbee ’17 documentary reenacts one of most bizarre, humiliating responses to labor unrest

To some, the events of July 12, 1917 that culminated in one of the most bizarre and humiliating responses to labor unrest in U.S. history made the once thriving copper-mining town of Bisbee, Arizona, just seven miles from the Mexican border an “American tragedy”, “an ethnic cleansing” or a “corporate gulag.” Others saw the dramatic … Read more

Sundance 2018: Talal Derki’s Of Fathers and Sons an emotional look at radicalism’s impact on Syria’s children

In Of Fathers and Sons, director Talal Derki picks up where he ended Return to Homs, the 2014 winner of the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize for Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival. Derki, who was born in Damascus but now lives in Berlin, offered a small yet still visible glimmer of hope in the … Read more

Sundance 2018: Utah Film Center, Sundance Institute mark 5-year anniversary for Sundance Kids program

Two feature-length animation films – both stunning in their visualizations of classic stories and thematic interpretation – and a documentary about the trials and successes of competing in an international science fair comprise this year’s Kids section of the Sundance Film Festival. The 2018 edition of the Kids program is a five-year milestone for its … Read more