MVD Entertainment Group Oct. 23 will release on DVD Juno Films’ God Knows Where I Am, the story of Linda Bishop, a woman who suffered from bipolar disorder and died alone in an abandoned house.
Bishop, a well-educated New Hampshire mother, suffered from severe bipolar disorder with psychosis and was intermittently incarcerated and homeless, eventually being committed for three years to a state psychiatric facility. Successfully fighting her sister’s protective attempts to be named her legal guardian, Bishop was able to refuse treatment and medication, and eventually procured an early, unconditional release, despite the lack of post-release planning. Upon her release, she wandered 10 miles down the road from the hospital, broke into an abandoned farmhouse and lived off of rainwater and apples picked from a nearby orchard for the next four months, through one of the coldest winters on record. Unable to leave the house, she became its prisoner, and remained there, a prisoner of her own mind, eventually starving to death. Her body was discovered several months later and with it a diary that she kept documenting her journey.
The documentary is both a study of systemic failure and also a testament to the artistic and independent spirit of Bishop.
PBS Distribution will release two “Frontline” documentaries in November, Left Behind America and Our Man in Tehran on DVD and digital.
Frontline: Left Behind America is available on Digital HD and DVD ($24.99) Nov. 20. In the decade since the Great Recession, many American cities and towns have bounced back. But for some small and mid-size cities that were once hubs for innovation and manufacturing, economic recovery has remained elusive. This documentary asks why and is an in-depth look at one such city, Dayton, Ohio, as its citizens continue to fight for economic revitalization 10 years after the financial crisis. Although Dayton’s job market has recently seen a resurgence, the jobs coming back to the city aren’t the high-wage jobs that used to be there — and the poverty rate in Dayton has reached 34.5 percent, or nearly three times the poverty rate nationwide. In addition to the economic downturn, the city has also been hit hard by the opioid epidemic.
Frontline: Our Man in Tehran comes out Nov. 6 on DVD ($24.99) and is available now for download. As tensions rose between the United States and Iran over the summer, with threats of war and sanctions, this “Frontline” documentary is a portrait of life inside the Islamic Republic. New York Times reporter Thomas Erdbrink’s account of traveling around the country, meeting people, and learning stories about their lives, hopes and fears is revealed in the program. It journeys into the private world of Iran, documenting the people and the country in a way never before seen.
The documentary Dark Money is available now digital and will come out on DVD Oct. 9 from PBS Distribution.
Presented in partnership with POV, the Sundance award-winning documentary, directed and produced by Kimberly Reed, uncovers the truth of how American elections are bought and sold. Dark Money examines the influence of untraceable corporate money on our elections and elected officials. The film takes viewers to Montana — a frontline in the fight to preserve fair elections nationwide — to follow a local journalist working to expose the real-life impacts of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. A century ago, secret money swamped Montana’s legislature, but citizens rose up to prohibit corporate campaign spending. In the wake of Citizens United — which allows unlimited, anonymous money to pour into elections nationwide — Montana is once again fighting to preserve open and honest elections.
Whitney, about the life and death of singer Whitney Houston, arrives on Blu-ray plus digital ($24.99) and DVD ($19.98) Oct. 16 from Lionsgate.
Oscar-winning filmmaker Kevin Macdonald (Best Feature Documentary, One Day in September, 1999), with the cooperation of The Estate of Whitney E. Houston, unravels the mystery behind the music sensation who starred in several blockbuster movies before her brilliant career gave way to erratic behavior, scandals and death at age 48. The film, a two-time nominee at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival (Golden Eye, Queer Palm), features never-before-seen footage, exclusive demo recordings, rare performances, audio archives and original interviews with the people who knew Houston.
Bonus features include audio commentary with producer Simon Chinn and Macdonald and a motion photo gallery featuring images courtesy of The Estate of Whitney E. Houston.
The Ken Burns documentary The Mayo Clinic: Faith – Hope – Science is being released on digital, DVD and Blu-ray Sept. 25 from PBS Distribution.
Executive-produced by Burns, and directed by Burns, Erik Ewers and Christopher Loren Ewers, the documentary features interviews with patients, including John McCain and the Dalai Lama, to tell the story of William Worrall Mayo, an English immigrant who began practicing medicine with his sons Will and Charlie in Rochester, Minn.
Mayo laid the foundation for a medical center that now treats over a million patients every year from 50 states and 150 countries. Blending historical narrative with contemporary patient stories, the program also looks at what the Mayo Clinic’s history can teach us about facing the challenges of patient care today.
The Coolest Guy Movie Ever, a tribute to the John Sturges classic The Great Escape, is available now on DVD ($14.99), EST and VOD from Virgil Films.
The documentary follows hardcore fans that return to the locations where the film was made, revealing little known facts about The Great Escape, which starred Steve McQueen, James Garner, Richard Attenborough, Charles Bronson and James Coburn.
Narrated by an actor in the film, Lawrence Montaigne, The Coolest Guy Movie Ever celebrates the 55th anniversary of the theatrical release of The Great Escape.
An in-depth look at the influential music festival, The Us Generation blends rare concert footage and interviews with both organizers and performers.
The 1982 Us Festival was a three-day event boasting some of the biggest names in music, performing live in front of more than 1 million people at Glen Helen Regional Park in San Bernardino, Calif. It was the brainchild of Apple’s Steve Wozniak, who wanted to create something that was a true celebration of Americana, building a sense of community through the power of technology and music.
Highlights of the film include performances by Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, The Police, Fleetwood Mac, Santana, The B-52s, and The Cars; as well as archived appearances by Johnny and Joey Ramone, Carlos Santana, Sting, Ric Ocasek, Danny Elfman, and Fred Schneider. The documentary also includes exclusive interviews with Wozniak, Mick Fleetwood, Eddie Money, Marky Ramone, Kate Pierson, Stewart Copeland and Mickey Hart, among others.
The documentary Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami will debut Aug. 14 from Kino Lorber on Blu-ray and DVD.
A journey through the public and private worlds of pop culture mega-icon Grace Jones, the documentary contrasts musical sequences with intimate personal footage, highlighting Jones’s bold aesthetic. Director Sophie Fiennes’s documentary goes beyond the traditional music biography, going home with Jones to Jamaica, into the studio with long-time collaborators Sly & Robbie and backstage at gigs around the world. The film includes performances of “Slave to the Rhythm,” “Pull Up to the Bumper,” “Love Is the Drug” and more.
Special features on the DVD ($29.95) and Blu-ray ($34.95) include audio commentary with Jones, Fiennes and associate professor of Africana studies Judith Casselberry; audio commentary with Fiennes and critic Ian Haydn Smith; and a Q&A with Jones and Fiennes moderated by Piotr Orlov (courtesy of the Film Society of Lincoln Center).
Hulu announced the acquisition of whistleblower documentary Crime + Punishment.
The streaming service will partner with IFC Films to release the documentary simultaneously in theaters and on Hulu Aug. 24th. The deal also expands Hulu’s relationship with IFC Films, which includes an output agreement for non-documentary, narrative films.
After debuting at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, the film went on to win the U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Social Impact Filmmaking. It also won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2018 Independent Film Festival in Boston. Stephen Maing directed, produced and filmed, and Academy Award Winner Laura Poitras serves as an executive producer.
Crime + Punishment goes behind the scenes and undercover to expose discriminatory policing practices, intimidation and corruption within the New York Police Department. Told from multiple perspectives and precincts throughout New York City, the film chronicles the actions of a band of minority whistleblower officers known as The NYPD 12, as well as the efforts of ex-cop turned private investigator Manuel Gomez as they seek to expose the illegal use of arrest and summons quotas. The NYPD 12 find themselves weathering harassment and retaliation from within their own departments.
“It was an act of bravery and defiance by all the cops and families who allowed their stories to be documented over the past four years so I’m heartened to know their efforts will not be in vain and this story made widely accessible,” Maing said in a statement. “It’s exciting to have Hulu’s amazing partnership and share this film theatrically, pursue an ambitious social impact campaign and present these previously unheard voices of active duty officers into the national dialogue around police reform. I am grateful for the collaborations and support I’ve received along the way, but most importantly to the brave participants of the film who have stepped forward for the sake of other citizens and officers.”
The film is the latest to join Hulu’s documentary slate, which includes the recently-released Tiny Shoulders: Rethinking Barbie and March of the Penguins 2: The Next Step, as well as Grammy and Emmy Award winning film The Beatles: 8 Days a Week — The Touring Years, Too Funny to Fail, Obey Giant, Becoming Bond, Dumb, and Batman and Bill.
Both were originally filmed for and seen in IMAX and Giant Screen theaters.
Narrated by Robert Redford, National Parks Adventure comes from filmmaker Greg MacGillivray and offers a sweeping overview of the national parks’ history.
Dream Big: Engineering Our World, narrated by Jeff Bridges, celebrates the human ingenuity behind engineering marvels big and small. The first Giant Screen film for the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) initiative, Dream Big aims to inspire kids of diverse backgrounds to become innovators and will be accompanied by ongoing educational, museum and community efforts to expose young people from all backgrounds to engineering.
An education-focused 2-DVD edition of Dream Big: Engineering Our World will also be available featuring the movie along with a 150-page educator’s guide (12 lesson plans, including handouts), 10 educational shorts, eight behind-the-scenes featurettes and eight more short “Fun Fact” videos.