Documentary recommendations

I’ve seen some good documentaries recently:

Change Comes Knocking: The Story of the North Carolina Fund is an in-depth look at the work of combating poverty in the mid-60’s in North Carolina. The film uses old footage, old interviews, and interviews with folks still alive today. I found it to be … relevant.

Africa’s Great Civilizations. Episode one of this new series is available on PBS. Written by and featuring Henry Louis Gates, Jr., the first episode did indeed have information I did not already know, which makes me excited for the rest of the series.

– I started NetFlix’s “The White Helmets,” and it’s very good but I could not finish it. Too many dead children.

When We Rise is not entirely a documentary. It’s based on the memoir by queer activist and organizer Cleve Jones, and follows the lives of Jones and two other San Francisco activists for the last forty-five years. It is … not easy to watch. Especially the episodes where everyone is dying. However, this is the first queer history I’ve watched that does not systematically forget women, trans people, and queers of color. Also, this does not erase drug users, closeted queers, military queers, or the divisions within gay rights activism about method and purpose. This felt … familiar. Real. Incomplete, but a good and well-intentioned effort. I am glad I watched it.

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