There were a lot of great movies this year, and a lot of them were documentaries. Here are my picks. In no particular order. Enjoy! – Matt Holzman, host, KCRW’s First Take Screening Series
The days between JFK’s murder and his burial, as seen through the sunglass-covered eyes of his widow. The political collides with the personal in a beautiful, emotional and thought-provoking film. Natalie Portman’s performance is Oscar-worthy; Mica Levi’s score will take home the hardware for sure.
Stereotypes and movie-making tropes be damned in this story of a poor black kid doing his best to survive…and be who he really is. Brave filmmaking and brave performances make for a great night out at the movies.
3. American Honey
A mesmerizing if slightly melancholy trip through the heart of America in a van with a group of nowhere kids, a bag of weed and a hip-hop mix tape. A documentary-like introduction to a group of young people who are ordinarily invisible and treated as disposable.
4. Manchester by the Sea
There are broken hearts everywhere in this small fishing village, but very few tears…it’s New England after all. But you’ll come away from this beautifully crafted story of love, loss and hope feeling like you just had a good cry.
A documentary made of documentaries that asks: What does it mean to watch? You may not understand how this seemingly meandering movie operates on you, but you don’t need to. Just enjoy the feeling of being part of the human race, in all it’s messy glory.
PS – You could have seen many of these already if you were a KCRW Advocate!
Just join KCRW at the $32/month level!