The Body Politic is a harbinger for hope in a country plagued by gun violence. Our protagonist is Brandon Scott, a young Mayor who grew up during Baltimore’s most troubling years and sets out, with unyielding idealism, to change the course of his battered and beloved city. Scott is elected Mayor amid the George Floyd uprising, and he introduces an ambitious plan for violence reduction and police reform that he promises will lower the city’s murder rate. Pundits claim Brandon’s political health and the city’s health are tied to the number 348 – the total murders Baltimore had the previous year, more homicides than NYC, a city fifteen times its size. After entering office and barely getting a chance to enact his first safety reforms, violence surges to new highs. As the media and political foes attack his holistic approach, Brandon’s commitment to his principles put his future as a politician at risk.
Presenting one episode of this four-part documentary series, which traces the modern history of the Supreme Court, and the people, decisions and confirmation battles that have shaped America. From our right to privacy, to access to the ballot, and all rights protected by the Constitution, the nine unelected justices of the Supreme Court have the final word on issues that shape our democracy and daily lives. The series unfolds during a profoundly consequential year, unlike any in recent memory—the historic confirmation of Ketanji Brown Jackson, the fallout of an unprecedented leak from inside the Court’s chambers, and a Supreme Court, remade by Donald Trump, on the brink of overturning Roe v. Wade. To understand this critical moment and how we got here, we go back to the 1950s, when the Court led by Chief Justice Earl Warren heralded an era of progressive legal decisions that set us upon the zigzagging path we are still walking today, as the Court’s role in American society has become increasingly prominent and bitterly contested. Supreme reveals how much of the country’s story is wrapped up in the Supreme Court’s deliberations, and considers what this means for America’s future.
Courtesy of Showtime
Between Life & Death revisits the story of Terri Schiavo, a deeply personal decade-long saga that captivated the country and forced Americans to reckon with profound issues at the intersection of faith and politics that reverberate to this day. At only 26, Terri suffered a brain injury that left her in a persistent vegetative state, with no hope of recovery. While Terri’s husband wanted to let her die, her parents insisted she be kept alive. What began as a personal family dispute in local Florida courts escalated into an international news event and seminal right-to-die legal battle, involving the highest levels of government. Using an exceptional wealth of archival footage, this film examines how politicians and activists on the religious right harnessed Terri’s story and the power of the “pro-life” movement for political gain, laying the groundwork for a post-Roe America. Both an intimate portrait of a family divided and a rigorously reported examination of religious influence in America, Between Life & Death weaves together past and present to ask universal questions about the government’s role in our private lives and who gets to decide if a life is worth living.
Courtesy of NBC News Studios, MSNBC Films, and Latchkey Films
From award-winning filmmaker Dawn Porter comes The Lady Bird Diaries, a groundbreaking all-archival documentary film about Lady Bird Johnson, one of the most influential and least understood First Ladies. The feature film looks at the 123 hours of personal and revealing audio diaries that Lady Bird recorded during her husband’s administration. The film reveals Lady Bird as an astute observer of character and culture and a savvy political strategist. It recasts her crucial role in LBJ’s presidency and brings viewers behind the scenes of one of the most tumultuous and consequential periods in modern American history.
An AP team of Ukrainian journalists trapped in the besieged city of Mariupol struggle to continue their work documenting atrocities of the Russian invasion. As the only international reporters who remain in the city, they capture what later become defining images of the war: dying children, mass graves, the bombing of a maternity hospital, and more. With nearly a decade of experience covering international conflicts for The Associated Press, including the Russia-Ukraine war, 20 Days in Mariupol is Mstyslav Chernov’s first feature film. The film draws on Chernov’s daily news dispatches and personal footage of his own country at war. It offers a vivid, harrowing account of civilians caught in the siege, as well as a window into what it’s like to report from a conflict zone, and the impact of such journalism around the globe.
Against the Grain showcases provocative and inspiring stories of individuals and institutions who challenge the status quo, break away from conventional thinking, and push boundaries, even if it means delving into uncomfortable and complicated places.