Senator John McCain, who passed away from brain cancer in 2018, participates in his own memorial in this melancholy portrait, discussing his life and career alongside friends and family and colleagues from both sides of the aisle. Through fond but not flaw-dismissing portraiture, the film is also the Kunhardt brothers’ eulogy to bipartisanship in Washington.
Nominations for the 2019 NAACP Image Awards.
This year more than ever, documentaries are expected to challenge our idea of what’s real and what’s fake. That doesn’t apply to this list, which is the (subjectively one person’s) true ranking of the best nonfiction films of 2018. From the conventional yet topical to the more creatively compelling, we’ve been watching them all as the year goes on, and we’ve highlighted the essentials. We recommend you check them all out (and don't forget to catch up with the best documentaries of 2017 when you're done).
Sundance documentaries. It’s a truism that the Park City festival is the U.S.’ premiere doc showcase, but in 2018 something like 20 top docs debuted there on the way to theatrical release. Just listing my favorite 15 in alphabetical order takes my breath away: “Bisbee ’17,” Crime + Punishment,” “Dark Money,” “Hal,” “Hale County This Morning, This Evening,” “Jane Fonda In Five Acts,” “King In the Wilderness,” “The Last Race,” “On Her Shoulders,” “The Oslo Diaries,” “RBG,” “The Sentence,” “Shirkers,” “Three Identical Strangers,” “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”
Peter Kunhardt’s spotlight on the final 18 months of Martin Luther King Jr.’s life premiered at Sundance to universal acclaim, his lens capturing not just the activist’s achievements in the Civil Rights Movement, but the turmoil, anxiety, and conflict Dr. King waded through during that time.
Floyd Russ’s “Zion” was awarded best short. Netflix’s “Wild Wild Country” won for best limited series and HBO’s “John McCain: For Whom the Bell Tolls” took the ABC News VideoSource Award. PBS’ “POV” won for best curated series, Showtime’s “The Trade” for best episodic series, MEL Films for best short form series, and Jayisha Patel’s “Circle” for the David L. Wolper Student Documentary Award.
A family legacy of recording history, and making it, helped produce the brilliant career of celebrated documentary filmmaker Peter Kunhardt. Six Emmy Awards crowd a small shelf in a corner of Peter Kunhardt’s modest loft/office space in Pleasantville, home to his company, Kunhardt Films. The impressive statuettes, even though slightly tucked away, silently express just how good Kunhardt is at what he does.
The International Documentary Association is out with the nominees for its 2018 IDA Documentary Awards. Winners of the 34th edition will be announced December 8 duyring a ceremony hosted by Ricki Lake at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles. See the full list of nominees below.
Said Broadcast Film Critics Association president Joey Berlin: "The year 2018 has been called 'The Year of the Documentary,' and we are so happy to give these films and shows the recognition and high praise that they deserve." A full list of nominees follows.
On August 25, 2018, one more old soldier simply faded away. But this wasn’t just any old soldier. Not even three months earlier, Emmy-winning documentarians and Westchester County residents George, Teddy, and Peter Kunhardt released the HBO documentary John McCain: For Whom the Bell Tolls, a two-hour examination of the Senate maverick’s mercurial life and times.
The HBO documentary serves as a biography, a salute and a eulogy to the ailing senator. The most pushback that we see John McCain receive in the new HBO documentary, John McCain: For Whom the Bell Tolls, is withdrawn as soon as it's put forth.
Valediction? Validation? Both? Does it matter? For me, there’s something a little bit weird about commemorating someone’s life while they’re still alive, although of course it solves the, “If only I could ask the subject of this documentary for his own thoughts on this” problem. Senator John McCain has been living with end-stage brain cancer for about a year, and he probably doesn’t have a ton of time left, and it’s an interesting perspective from which to document a life.
Valor, stubborn conviction and sacrifice are themes repeated throughout "John McCain: For Whom the Bell Tolls," HBO's documentary memorializing the life and career of the Vietnam War hero and six-time Arizona senator. The 81-year-old, who revealed this year that he'd been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, is interviewed throughout the film, as are his family and some of his bitterest political rivals.
WASHINGTON — The filmmakers behind the HBO documentary “John McCain: For Whom the Bell Tolls” interview family, friends, rivals and colleagues to capture the life of the Arizona senator, who is now battling brain cancer. But the project, which debuts this weekend, does not include President Donald Trump. In hours of interviews, the filmmakers asked McCain about Trump, but chose not to dwell on the fissures between the two.
John McCain: For Whom the Bell Tolls is a pre-obituary for one of the most fascinating, maddening, and respected lawmakers in American history. Directed and produced by Peter Kunhardt and his sons, George and Teddy – a team responsible for other politically themed HBO documentaries, including one about Ted Kennedy that debuted as the senator was battling a brain tumor — John McCain: For Whom the Bell Tolls arrives as McCain is publicly contending with the same affliction.
In one of the most moving pieces of footage from Peter Kunhardt’s new documentary, “King in the Wilderness,” opening in select theaters today and premiering on HBO on Monday, we see Dr. King being thrown a surprise birthday party by his friends and staff, many of whom were concerned about his mental and emotional well-being.
It is incredibly difficult to make a documentary on a high-profile subject that feels fresh; these kinds of films often either get caught up in chronicling every single life detail or rehash facts that are already well-known, rendering the viewing experience largely unnecessary. HBO‘s King in the Wilderness does not fall victim to these plights. Instead, it blows right past them, establishing its own unique tone from the very beginning and providing new insight to final years of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s life
It is almost exactly half a century to the day since the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in a motel in Memphis, Tenn., and in that span he has been apotheosized into something close to legend. So much so, in fact, that we run the risk of not spending enough time with the actual man, of not knowing as much as we should about the controversial final years that reveal an individual more radical, and more disregarded, than he has been remembered.
“King in the Wilderness” is a provocative title for a Martin Luther King Jr. documentary, because it creates an image so counterintuitive it’s disarming. In the twelve years he strode across the national stage — from the end of 1955, when the Montgomery Bus Boycott began, through 1968, the year he was assassinated — King was a beacon of transcendent fire and radical moral courage. That was just as true during the last 18 months of his life, the period covered by Peter Kunhardt’s eye-opening, meticulous, and haunting movie. So why, during that time, was King in the wilderness?
Multiple Emmy winner Peter Kunhardt examines the conflicted period between the Voting Rights Act and the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in this probing study for HBO.
When I recommend documentaries, it’s sometimes for their high level of artistry and sometimes because the subject matter feels important. When you think about it, it should always be both, but I am the first to say it isn’t. HBO’s new documentary on storied Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee is both. Please watch this program.
“It’s been my experience that people lie… a lot of people lie in Washington. They have no reverence for the truth.” If you’re feeling a little chilled by the relevance of these opening words of The Newspaperman: The Life and Times of Ben Bradlee, you’re not alone. This portrait of legendary Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee could not be more timely for our current era of “fake news” and journalists’ relentless pursuit of the truth.
John Maggio's documentary about legendary newspaper editor Ben Bradlee could not be more relevant at a time when such legacy media as The New York Times and The Washington Post are leading the journalistic pack with their reporting on the current presidential administration.
The Trump administration's campaign against mainstream journalism provides a timely backdrop to "The Newspaperman: The Life and Times of Ben Bradlee," a deeply personal, utterly fascinating portrait of the late Washington Post editor's above-the-fold life.
As any rational person would expect, the subject of HBO’s “The Newspaperman: The Life and Times of BenBradlee”—the executive editor who presided over the Washington Post’s coverage of the Watergate scandal that drove Richard Nixon from office—quickly emerges as a heroic figure.
A documentary premiering at the Sundance Film Festival on Saturday promises never-before-heard details about the James Foley story. The 1996 Marquette University graduate was kidnapped in 2012 while working as a freelance journalist in Syria. Two years later, video surfaced showing an ISIS militant beheading him. The video of the execution was seen around the world.
The mother of slain journalist James Foley said Wednesday the family was “delighted” to see the return of four Iranian-American citizens freed by Iran in a prisoner swap with the United States and is hopeful that the U.S. government will make hostages more of a priority.
A Kennedy Center honorary, Emmy winner and Oscar nominee is coming to the Robert Redford founded festival this year. Rumored for a few weeks, it is now official – Sting will be playing the Sundance Film Festival on January 23 in a performance in support of Jim: The James Foley Story.
The Sundance Film Festival 2016 kicks of. The world famous Sundance Film Festival is getting underway in Park City in Utah.