Hamptons Doc Fest’s Virtual Cinema is currently highlighting the five Oscar nominees for Best Documentary Feature. In addition to The Mole Agent, which was featured during last year’s festival, films include Collective, Crip Camp, My Octopus Teacher, and Time.
“Hamptons Doc Fest warmly congratulates the five Oscar nominees for Best Documentary. You’ve enriched our lives!” expressed Hamptons Doc Fest Founder and Executive Director Jacqui Lofaro.
Alexander Nanau’s Collective (109 minutes) follows a group of Romanian journalists that discover astonishing health care fraud following a deadly nightclub fire. “Some documentaries reassure you that the world is better when they’re over (inequity has been exposed); others insist it could be better (call the number in the credits to see how),” Manohla Dargis said in a New York Times review. “Collective offers no such palliatives. Instead, it sketches out an honest, affecting, somewhat old-fashioned utopian example of what it takes to make the world better, or at least a little less awful.”
James Lebrecht and Nicole Newnham’s Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution (108 minutes) explores how a now defunct ramshackle summer camp in the Catskills for teenagers with disabilities helped spark the disability rights movement. “No matter how fondly you recall your time at sleepaway camp, chances are your experiences weren’t as formative as the ones recounted in Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution, a documentary streaming on Netflix,” Ben Kenigsberg said in a New York Times review. “The film, directed by a former camper, Jim LeBrecht, and Nicole Newnham, makes the case that a Catskills summer camp for the disabled fostered a sense of community and creativity that fed directly into the American disability rights movement in the 1970s.”
Maite Alberdi’s The Mole Agent (84 minutes) revolves around an 83-year-old man enlisted to become a resident “mole” at a Chilean nursing home. “Watching The Mole Agent, it can initially feel like there’s a greater scheme at play. Why are the cameras documenting what he’s already going to record with fancy gadgets? Is this a set-up? Are we being lied to?” Nick Allen said in a Rogerebert.com review. “But let me dispel that distracting worry now—the documentary’s only motive is that it wants to show life inside the home, through someone initially removed from this community of lovely, but often lonely people.”
Pippa Ehrlich and James Reed’s My Octopus Teacher (90 minutes) delves into a truly unique bond forged between a free-diver and an octopus living in a South African kelp forest. “That’s when I realized: This animal trusts me. She no longer sees me as a threat, and her fear changes to curiosity,” documentary subject Craig Foster told NPR about when the octopus began to leave her den while he was in the vicinity. “That’s when the real excitement comes and you think, ‘Oh, my goodness, I’m being let into the secret world of this wild animal’ — and that’s when you feel on fire.”
Garrett Bradley’s Time (81 minutes) documents entrepreneur Fox Rich’s efforts to get her husband, Rob G. Rich, who is serving a 60-year prison sentence for a robbery they both committed, released. “Time in my mind is a love story,” Bradley told Deadline about the film. “It’s a story about a 21 year pursuit to unify a family.”
“And if you haven’t seen these compelling documentaries yet, we encourage you to catch up on them before the winner is announced at the Oscars broadcast on April 25th,” Lofaro added.
Hamptons Doc Fest provides where to screen the five films on their website.
For more information, visit www.hamptonsdocfest.com.