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Documentary of the Week

WNYC

Technology has made non-fiction film easier to make, more available and more popular than ever before. Here, WNYC selects the best documentaries as they come to screens of any size.

Location:

New York, NY

Networks:

WNYC

Description:

Technology has made non-fiction film easier to make, more available and more popular than ever before. Here, WNYC selects the best documentaries as they come to screens of any size.

Language:

English


Episodes

'Island in Between' looks at tensions between Taiwan and China

2/15/2024
In 'Island in Between,' filmmaker S. Leo Chiang reflects on geopolitical tensions between Taiwan and China. He takes a personal journey to the Kinmen islands that are on the front lines of conflict between the two countries.

Duration:00:01:52

'Bobi Wine: The People's President' follows a pop star turned politician

2/8/2024
'Bobi Wine: The People's President' follows a Ugandan pop star who enters politics to oppose the authoritarian regime that's held power for over three decades. The Oscar-nominated film covers several tumultuous years as Bobi Wine and his wife Barbie stand up to violence and intimidation.

Duration:00:01:58

'The ABCs of Book Banning' listens to students

2/1/2024
'The ABCs of Book Banning' gives a platform to grade school students and others to reflect on what it means when titles are pulled off their library shelves. Filmmaker Sheila Nevins, a longtime executive at HBO and MTV, makes her directorial debut with this film that's nominated for an Oscar in the category of Short Documentary.

Duration:00:04:11

Covering Ukraine in '20 Days in Mariupol'

12/8/2023
'20 Days in Mariupol' follows Associated Press cameraman Mstyslav Chernov in the Ukrainian city that was on the front lines of Russia's invasion. When most of the press corps pulled out of the city, Chernov stayed behind to capture footage. He won the Pulitzer Prize for his coverage.

Duration:00:01:58

'Deciding Vote' on legalizing abortion

12/1/2023
The short documentary 'Deciding Vote' looks back to 1970 when legalizing abortion in New York State hinged upon one assemblyman, George Michaels. Filmmakers Jeremy Workman and Rob Lyons explore what it took for Michaels to cast a vote that he'd knew would end his political career.

Duration:00:01:49

'The Disappearance of Shere Hite' profiles the controversial sex researcher

11/16/2023
'The Disappearance of Shere Hite' explores the rise and fall of the sex researcher who emerged in the 1970s with best-selling books then faded into obscurity. Filmmaker Nicole Newnham draws upon a vast archive of footage and enlists Dakota Johnson to read from Hite's writing.

Duration:00:01:44

Liv Ullmann in person at the DOC NYC festival

11/9/2023
'Liv Ullmann: A Road Less Travelled' profiles the actress-director-writer who will appear in person for the film's U.S. premiere at the DOC NYC festival on November 12. The film explores her journey as a storyteller and an activist for refugees.

Duration:00:01:54

'Another Body' explores deepfake pornography

11/3/2023
'Another Body' explores the rising cases of non-consensual deepfake technology used in pornography, whereby an unsuspecting woman's face is digitally edited into explicit content. The film follows a college student who investigates her own victimization when she can't find justice from police.

Duration:00:01:58

'The Pigeon Tunnel' profiles John le Carré

10/27/2023
Filmmaker Errol Morris profiles the renowned spy novelist David Cornwell - better known as John le Carré - in the documentary 'The Pigeon Tunnel,' based on the author's memoir. Cornwell describes this interview as 'definitive.' It would the final one he gave before his death in 2020 at age 89.

Duration:00:02:00

'Silver Dollar Road' tells a story of Black resistance

10/20/2023
'Silver Dollar Road,' based on reporting by ProPublica and The New Yorker, explores the story of the Reels family who fought developers to retain their inherited property in North Carolina. Director Raoul Peck ('I Am Not Your Negro') highlights the strength of the Reels' resistance to intimidation and legal pressure.

Duration:00:02:10

'Silver Dollar Road' tells a story of Black resistance

10/20/2023
'Silver Dollar Road,' based on reporting by ProPublica and The New Yorker, explores the story of the Reels family who fought developers to retain their inherited property in North Carolina. Director Raoul Peck ('I Am Not Your Negro') highlights the strength of the Reels' resistance to intimidation and legal pressure.

Duration:00:02:44

'Reality Winner' profiles a whistleblower

10/13/2023
'Reality Winner' profiles the whistle-blower who leaked a secret NSA report about Russian attempts to interfere with the U.S. election. Filmmaker Sonia Kennebeck interviews Edward Snowden and other whistleblowers to explore the legal, political and psychological dimensions of the case.

Duration:00:01:52

'Reality Winner' profiles a whistleblower

10/13/2023
'Reality Winner' profiles the whistle-blower who leaked a secret NSA report about Russian attempts to interfere with the U.S. election. Filmmaker Sonia Kennebeck interviews Edward Snowden and other whistleblowers to explore the legal, political and psychological dimensions of the case.

Duration:00:01:52

'Joan Baez: I Am a Noise' is a road trip through history

10/6/2023
'Joan Baez: I Am a Noise' profiles the folk singer whose career was intertwined with the civil rights and non-violence movements. The film follows her on tour at age 79 as she looks back on the relationships and politics that shaped her.

Duration:00:01:41

'Joan Baez: I Am a Noise' is a road trip through history

10/6/2023
'Joan Baez: I Am a Noise' profiles the folk singer whose career was intertwined with the civil rights and non-violence movements. The film follows her on tour at age 79 as she looks back on the relationships and politics that shaped her.

Duration:00:01:41

Intersex people speak their truth in "Every Body"

9/29/2023
"Every Body" explores the history, science and politics of people who were born with reproductive anatomy that doesn't easily fit the categories of male or female. Filmmaker Julie Cohen profiles three people who went public with their stories.

Duration:00:01:41

"26.2 to Life" explores a prison marathon

9/22/2023
"26.2 to Life" follows inmates at California's San Quentin prison as they train and compete for a marathon. Filmmaker Christine Yoo explores how each prisoner strives for their personal best, seeking different forms of redemption.

Duration:00:01:57

"The League" remembers a lost era of baseball

8/25/2023
"The League" is a vibrant history of baseball's Negro leagues that rose up in the Jim Crow era and pushed the game in new directions. Filmmaker Sam Pollard ("MLK/FBI") covers legendary players such as Satchel Paige as well as behind the scenes figures such as Newark's club co-owner Effa Manley.

Duration:00:01:43

Going to court over climate change in "Youth v Gov"

8/18/2023
"Youth v Gov" follows young people suing the United State government to address the climate crisis. The film shows the depth of a larger activist movement that won a victory this past week in Montana's courts.

Duration:00:01:56

"Stephen Curry: Underrated" profiles the early days of the NBA All-Star

8/11/2023
"Stephen Curry: Underrated" tells the origin story of the NBA All-Star from his college days at Davidson College when he grabbed the attention of fans with a series of March Madness upsets. Filmmaker Peter Nicks weaves that history together with Curry's storybook run at the NBA finals in 2022.

Duration:00:01:46