With the Emmy nominations announced today, a slew of worthy political documentaries have re-entered the limelight. For many, the films are somewhat old news, having already been released theatrically and even won Academy recognition, but there’s no such thing as too much of a good thing.
Alex Gibney’s “Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer,” “Laura Poitras’ “The Oath” and Roberto Hernandez and Geoffrey Smith’s “Presumed Guilty” were nominated for both best documentary and best longform investigative journalism.
I’ve seen the first two and can vouch for their compelling stories and deep coverage into important issues, in the former, corruption and power in the political scene, and in the latter, the misguided war on terror. Reviewing “The Oath” for the Utne Reader, I wrote the film “paints a fascinating portrait of the complexities of Islamic fundamentalism and those who are caught in its thrall.”
Also nominated for best doc were Jennifer Arnold’s “A Small Act“, the late Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger’s Afghanistan doc “Restrepo” (which was also recognized for outstanding editing) and Robert Kenner’s corporate food expose, “Food, Inc” (which also garnered a nom for best longform informational programming).
If you haven’t caught up to all of these yet (as I should), consider this a reminder.