While you’re enjoying Memorial Day Weekend, Indiewire has selected a number of films to help usher in the start of the summer vacation season for our latest curated Hulu Documentaries page. Watch all these docs for free now!
This celebration of the beckoning call of summer begins with Bruce Brown’s classic 1966 surfing film “The Endless Summer.” Two men try to extend the season year-round by literally traveling around the world in the search of the perfect weather to keep surfing. Combined with a surfing music soundtrack, the popular film influenced countless imitators to go on similar journeys.
For many New Yorkers seeking a summer getaway, the Hamptons are much more convenient than circumnavigating the planet. The location has been forever captured in the Maysles brothers’ seminal 1975 portrait of Edith Bouvier Beale and her daughter Edie, “Grey Gardens,” made with Ellen Hovde and Muffie Meyer. Thirty years later, previously unused footage was assembled into a sequel, “The Beales of Grey Gardens,” further exploring the unforgettable Edies and their unique relationship.
Joshua Zeman and Barbara Brancaccio explore a story from their past in their unsettling “Cropsey.” In the summer of 1987, a kidnapping in Staten Island brought to life an urban legend of a child killer. Years later, the filmmakers return to their hometown to uncover the surprising and genuinely creepy truth.
Filmmaker Taylor Greeson also revisits a tumultuous time in his past in “Meadowlark.” The summer he turned twelve, Greeson embraced Mormonism, began a secret relationship with a much older man, and lost his brother to murder. Exploring the confluence of these events helps him make sense of his life in the present.
Finally, while Lucy Walker’s “Devil’s Playground” doesn’t strictly take place in the summer, its subjects take similarly revelatory odysseys during rumspringa, a period of time when Amish teenagers are permitted to explore mainstream society before deciding to accept the path of their parents.
EDITOR’S NOTE: “Indiewire @ Hulu Docs” is a regular column spotlighting the Iw-curated selections on Hulu’s Documentaries page, a unique collaboration between the two sites. Indiewire selections typically appear in the carousel at the top of the page and under “Featured Content” in the center. Be sure to check out the great non-fiction projects available to watch free of charge. Disclosure: Some of the selections are titles provided to Hulu by SnagFilms, the parent company of Indiewire.
ABOUT THE WRITER: Basil Tsiokos is a Programming Associate, Documentary Features for Sundance and a consultant to documentary filmmakers and festivals. Follow him on Twitter (@1basil1) and visit his blog (what (not) to doc).