• Film

Docs: “The First Step” – A Landmark Criminal Justice Bill

Originally published: February 16, 2023 The First Step is a powerful documentary following CNN media personality Van Jones as he successfully brought together both major American political parties at a time of extreme polarization to pass The First Step Act – a landmark criminal justice bill promising a path to an early release for eligible incarcerated people who invest their time and energy in programs that reduce recidivism. Brothers Lance (producer) and Brandon (director) Kramer – whose credits include City of Trees and The Messy Truth – spoke to us on Zoom about the journey of documenting Jones’ bridge-building efforts during the Trump administration and the fierce opposition he faced from both sides.
  • Film

Docs: “Money Shot” Explores Adult Website’s Controversy, Clampdown

Director Suzanne Hillinger’s new documentary Money Shot: The Pornhub Story, available now on Netflix, tells a nuanced story about the fight to destabilize, delegitimize and topple the titular adult video-streaming website — one of the top 15 most visited online destinations in the world. Money Shot: The Story of Pornhub hints at a broader story about the complicated relationship with sexualization in Western culture, and the social expediency of perhaps willfully conflating the distasteful with the criminal in service of a moral-minded mission.
  • Film

Docs: “Film: The Living Record of Our Memory” Highlights the Critical Importance of Cinematic Preservation

How much less might we know about the world without being able to watch films from different eras and different countries that we would or could never travel to? And to what extent should that reality inform a sense of global responsibility that extends beyond national borders when it comes to film preservation? Those questions inform director Inés Toharia’s absorbing documentary Film: The Living Record of Our Memory, now playing in theatrical engagements via Kino Lorber, and give her movie an emotional power that shouldn’t come as a surprise for any true cineaste. In part a celebration of the monastic profession of film archivists, laboring to preserve cinema for humankind’s future, the documentary is also a fascinating historical and sociocultural document on its own, spanning both time and the globe.