With the Oscars just under a week away, Indiewire's latest curation of Hulu's Documentaries page offers a selection of docs exploring similar themes and topics as those explored in this year's non-fiction nominees. Watch these films now while you wait for the results on February 24th!
Filmmaker Emad Burnat puts his safety on the line to capture the encroachment of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict on his village in feature doc nominee "5 Broken Cameras." In Andrzej Fidyk's "Belarusian Waltz," performance artist Alexander Pushkin similarly risks his freedom and possibly his life by staging stunts openly criticizing Belarus' dictatorial regime, while Gabriele Zamparini and Lorenzo Meccoli seek alternatives to conflict through interviews with activists and thinkers in "Peace!"
Dror Moreh's provocative "The Gatekeepers" affords a first-hand look at Israel's national security and its implications for the seemingly endless conflict in the region. Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith's "The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers" explores the consequences of a former Pentagon insider's leak of classified documents to the press, while Charles Ferguson's "No End in Sight" offers a comprehensive analysis of the American occupation of Iraq from some of the key decision makers.
"How to Survive a Plague," by David France, revisits the dogged activism that paved the way for effective treatment for AIDS. Peter Friedman and Tom Joslin's seminal "Silverlake Life: The View From Here" serves as a powerful reminder of the realities that faced people with AIDS, and their companions, while Josh Rosenzweig's "30 Years From Here" takes a decades-spanning look back at the pandemic and its legacy.
Kirby Dick's "The Invisible War" exposes the prevalence of rape in the military, and, as significantly, its shameful cover-up by the institution. Nick Broomfield and Joan Churchill's "Soldier Girls"follows the basic training of women soldiers in Georgia, while Richard Robbins' "Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience" gives voice to male and female soldiers reflecting on their time at war.
In "Searching for Sugar Man," Malik Bendjelloul investigates the unexpected impact an obscure American musician had on Apartheid-era South Africa. Joe Berlinger's "Under African Skies" similarly explores the intersection of Western music and Apartheid, looking at the controversy around Paul Simon's legendary "Graceland" album, while Deborah Hoffmann and Francis Reid's "Long Night's Journey Into Day" profiles the efforts of the country's Truth & Reconciliation committee to find a way forward after the end of Apartheid.
Also available at Hulu are docs loosely inspired by the documentary short nominees: "The Least of These" explores American immigration policies (the subject of "Inocente" is undocumented); "The Way We Get By" focuses on senior citizen troop greeters (echoing the subjects of "Kings Point"); "1 a Minute" profiles breast cancer survivors (also explored in "Mondays at Racine"); "3 Points" investigates the impact of the Darfur genocide on young people ("Open Heart" deals with young Rwandan children); and "The Flaw" analyzes the reasons for the American financial crisis (which provides the backdrop in "Redemption").
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. 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, Shorts & Panel Programmer for DOC NYC, and a consultant to documentary filmmakers and festivals. Follow him on Twitter (@1basil1) and visit his blog (what (not) to doc).