Undue Burden: Director Dawn Porter on ‘Trapped’


For years, women’s health rights in the U.S. have been steadily eroding, in large part due to restrictive laws passed by conservative state governments regulating abortion clinics, known as TRAP laws (Targeted Regulations of Abortion Providers), particularly in the South. While cloaked in faux concern for women’s health on the part of legislators, these laws […]

Sundance 2015: Morgan Neville & Robert Gordon Rescue Vidal/Buckley Debates from Obscurity in ‘Best of Enemies’

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Largely forgotten by history, Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley, Jr. squared off in a series of crackling debates on ABC in 1968, which scored high ratings, got the country talking, and left both men forever scarred. When you read the description of Best of Enemies, which had its world premiere this week in the […]

‘Call For Help’ Features Renegade Relief Workers in Post-Earthquake Haiti


“That’s why we do what we do.” — Global D.I.R.T., Haiti, 2010 Five years ago, the already-impoverished island country of Haiti was besieged by a terribly destructive earthquake, killing over 200,000 people and leaving the country in desperation. Basic human necessities such as food, water and shelter were immediately scarce, and even though numerous NGOs and humanitarian groups quickly […]

Petra Costa’s Intimate Film Elena Uncovers Truths About Loss, Love and Catharsis


This post originally appeared in The Huffington Post. “She told me she felt a huge emptiness, here.” In a country obsessed with explosions and cop chases, can a lyrical film rooted in beauty and emotion find an engaged audience? Image courtesy of Busca Vida Filmes In her new film ELENA, Brazilian filmmaker Petra Costa uses visceral […]

‘Brothers On The Line’: New Documentary Explores Dramatic Fight for Worker’s Rights


I’ve always felt confident about the American history education I received in various public schools (my 12th-grade civics teacher Sharon Levin comes to mind). But after watching Sasha Reuther‘s riveting documentary Brothers on the Line, I realize that every education has a significant gap or two, and one of mine involved the fascinating and rich history of […]

Texas Spitfire Abbie Evans Fights Epidermolysis Bullosa In Cary Bell’s ‘Butterfly Girl’


Butterfly Girl, a documentary that premiered at SXSW 2013, tells the refreshing story of a spunky young Texan with a debilitating disease. Abigail Evans—Abbie— is a spitfire who says what she means, and deals with her health misfortunes the best way a teenager can: with equal parts sarcasm and optimism, and with a constant twinkle in […]

Startup Culture Exposed in 3D Printing Doc ‘Print the Legend’


Directors Luis Lopez and Clay Tweel discuss their award-winning documentary Print the Legend, which had its world premiere this month at the 2014 South By Southwest Film Conference and Festival. Premiering last week at South By Southwest, the documentary Print the Legend chronicles the mainstream rise of 3D printing over the past five years, due in large […]

The Bitter Buddha: At 54, Comedian Eddie Pepitone Is Finally Ready for His Close-Up


The Bitter Buddha, directed by first-time filmmaker Steven Feinartz, is an in-depth portrait of the life of comic Eddie Pepitone. Sometimes angry, frequently instrospective, and always funny, Pepitone is one of those comedians whose name doesn’t immediately ring a bell, but once you see him, you go, “Oh, yeah, that guy.” Such is the life of a 30-year veteran […]