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Sunday, December 15, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Stories tagged: documentary


‘The Kingmaker’ offers compelling look at Imelda Marcos, but it lacks true revelation

“The Kingmaker” chills the soul by presenting shantytown residents and school kids who extol the Marcos regime and even endorse its eight-year period of martial law. Imelda Marcos is not …


UPDATED: Thu., Dec. 5, 2019

Free speech doc ‘No Safe Spaces’ clearly sides with one set of voices

What might have been a pertinent, evenhanded examination of the notion of free speech on today’s college campuses wastes little time in exposing an overwhelmingly right-leaning bias in the disappointingly …


Review: Mushrooms are new superheroes in documentary ‘Fantastic Fungi’

Director Louie Schwartzberg, with the aid of gorgeous time-lapse photography and mycophilic talking heads including Michael Pollan, Eugenia Bone and Andrew Weil, covers a lot of ground – pun intended …


Review: ‘Where’s My Roy Cohn?’ a fascinating exploration of man who wrote Trump’s playbook

Former Vanity Fair editor-at-large and documentarian Matt Tyrnauer pulls back the curtain on Donald Trump’s notorious mentor Roy Cohn in the rollicking, salacious documentary “Where’s My Roy Cohn?,” a fast …


UPDATED: Thu., Oct. 24, 2019

The Boss co-directs his first movie: A concert documentary with some extras

“Western Stars,” a new documentary co-directed by and starring Bruce Springsteen, swaggers across the landscape like a cinematic epic, but it’s basically a concert flick with some extras. And those …


UPDATED: Wed., Sept. 25, 2019

Review: ‘Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool’ sees jazz legend with empathy, honesty

The trumpet was Miles Davis’ primary way of communicating with the world, and director Stanley Nelson makes a case that the vulnerable beauty of much of his music, notably the …


Review: Moving ‘Linda Ronstadt: Sound of My Voice’ is well-deserved tribute to iconic singer

What’s refreshing about “Sound of My Voice” (and Ronstadt in general) is her open, generous spirit. She was a connector, giving her blessing as Don Henley and Glenn Frey formed …


Review: ‘David Crosby: Remember My Name’ finds famously prickly musician has mellowed – but not by much

Haloed by a nimbus of cottony white hair, still sporting the walrus mustache he made chic in the 1960s, David Crosby presents a reflective, irascible, observant and irresistibly candid figure …


UPDATED: Tue., July 30, 2019

Review: Leonard Cohen and his muse are subjects of absorbing documentary

The absorbing documentary “Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love” chronicles the creative and romantic collaboration between musician Leonard Cohen and Marianne Ihlen, who inspired several of his earliest songs, including …


Review: Ron Howard’s ‘Pavarotti’ serious look at icon

Director Ron Howard’s recent interest in documentary filmmaking has created three productions that share a similar musical baseline but are very different in design and texture. “Made In America,” a …


‘Echo in the Canyon’ review: A ‘60s musical flowering gets plucked by Jakob Dylan’s vanity project

The hook for the documentary “Echo in the Canyon” is a 2015 tribute concert featuring Jakob Dylan of The Wallflowers, who conducts the on-camera interviews here with more self-conscious cool …


Review: “The Biggest Little Farm” cultivates a captivating look at couple’s endeavor

Since premiering at the Telluride Film Festival last year, “The Biggest Little Farm” has been a sensation on the festival circuit, and it’s easy to see why. The documentary chronicles …


‘Hail Satan?’ review: Taking on the Christian nation, the devil’s way

A demonic charmer of a documentary, director Penny Lane’s “Hail Satan?” goes a long way toward explaining why the relatively young and impressively large entity known as the Satanic Temple …


Review: America’s favorite sex therapist will charm the socks off you in ‘Ask Dr. Ruth’

Anybody can ask Alexa, “Am I going to get a boyfriend?” But when Dr. Ruth Westheimer, the famous sex therapist, puts the question to Amazon’s virtual assistant, in her thick …


Review: Aretha Franklin concert documentary ‘Amazing Grace’ is nothing short of a miracle

Draped in regal gowns, Aretha Franklin stands at the pulpit or sits at the piano, often closing her eyes to sing such standards as “Mary, Don’t You Weep,” “What a …


Review: Imax documentary ‘Apollo 11’ is a virtual round-trip ticket to the moon

NASA’s first lunar landing is not exactly an obscure event. And “Apollo 11” doesn’t profess to offer new information or insights. What it does offer is a wealth of fresh …


Documentary puts new attention on R. Kelly sex allegations

R. Kelly, one of the top-selling recording artists of all time, has been dogged for years by allegations of sexual misconduct involving women and underage girls – accusations he and …


UPDATED: Wed., Nov. 28, 2018

Review: ‘On Her Shoulders’ looks at one woman’s fight against sexual violence as a tool of war

“On Her Shoulders” is a moving, sensitive portrayal of a woman – and a people’s – perseverance. Although Murad’s hometown has been liberated, the Yazidis’ struggle to rebuild their homeland …


Review: Four British acting legends dish on their memorable careers in ‘Tea With the Dames’

Candid, insightful and unpredictable, Dame Eileen Atkins, Dame Judi Dench, Dame Joan Plowright and Dame Maggie Smith are not only acting legends but also great friends. And a treat to …


Review: PBS’ ‘Native America’ is a timely series about the people who were here first

Its main points are that there were people living in the Americas for millenniums before Columbus entered without knocking from the east (around 100 million when he got here, though …


Review: Mountain-climbing documentary ‘Free Solo’ is breaking box-office records because it’s great

“Free Solo,” from the directors of “Meru,” chronicles the exploits of champion climber Alex Honnold, whose specialty is scrambling up mountains and virtually any vertical plane without benefit of equipment …


Movie review: In ‘Fahrenheit 11/9,’ less would have been more for Moore

As much as Moore loves making fun of Trump any chance he gets, in “11/9” he has truly the knives out for Obama and establishment Democrats.


Review: ‘Pick of the Litter’ will charm you with its guide dogs in training

The documentary reveals something deeply moving, between the cute-puppy moments: the bond between dogs and their humans, and the everyday miracle the trained dogs bring.


Review: McQueen documentary is the best of the many fashion movies this year

There are two Alexander McQueens in “McQueen,” the fascinating documentary portrait of the acclaimed fashion designer, who committed suicide in 2010 at the age of 40.


UPDATED: Thu., July 26, 2018

Review: Daring ‘Whitney’ shares harrowing truths about the legendary singer

Oscar-winning documentarian Kevin Macdonald’s “Whitney” is daring both emotionally and aesthetically, and although it is his interpretation, it gets to a kind of truth about Houston the public has never …


Review: ‘Three Identical Strangers’ is the implausible-yet-true story of long-lost triplets

The tricky, twisty structure of this documentary, a scientific and philosophical inquiry by way of a detective story, suggests a joyous earthquake followed by a series of grim, unsettling aftershocks.


Review: The ‘Nelson Mandela of couture’ finally gets his due in this admiring new documentary

Talley, it turns out, merits admiration not only for his intellect, work ethic and ability to contextualize fashion within history, literature, visual art and music, but for the exacting eye …


Review: ‘Won’t You Be My Neighbor’ is much-needed emotional tonic for troubled times

If beloved legendary children’s television show host Mr. Rogers were once a representation of all things milquetoast, in the summer of 2018, his message of generous, abundant love and tolerance …


UPDATED: Fri., June 8, 2018

‘Won’t You Be My Neighbor?’ is poised to be a hit, and it might help redefine the meaning of ‘Christian film’

Mister Rogers is most famous as the sweater-clad television host who pioneered children’s programming and, in later years, became America’s unofficial comforter-in-chief. Now, 15 years after his death, he might …


‘Man vs. Snake’: Netflix documentary highlights WSU professor’s record-breaking arcade gaming skills

The game: a Pac-Man-esque, yet obscure, 1982 Rock-Ola release called Nibbler. The goal: consume all the food in the maze without letting the snake run into its own tail. It …