The gorgeously humane Quest documents a tumultuous decade in one family’s life

There’s no real attempt at a thesis or story arc in Quest, Jonathan Olshefski’s long-in-the-making documentary about a decade in the life of a black family in an impoverished Philadelphia neighborhood. It’s bookended, with subtle political overtones, by the 2008 and 2016 presidential elections, but there’s nothing as…

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Arthouse icon Agnès Varda takes a wise and whimsical road trip in Faces Places

Driving a box truck disguised as a giant camera, Agnès Varda and Jean “JR” René tour the French countryside in Faces Places, visiting farms, coal towns, factories, tiny cemeteries, and a toppled German bunker that sits like a Brutalist monument on a Norman beach. The odd couple pairing is almost too cute: the arthouse…

The Death And Life Of Marsha P. Johnson is more than just another true-crime documentary

In the earliest days of the gay rights movement, the sight of a man wearing a dress was one of the most visible and shocking symbols of queerness. It’s what a lot of sheltered Americans thought of as “gay”—a man who wanted to live as a woman—and it’s what many of them mocked and feared. Political activism and popular…

A half-century of secrets comes to light in true-crime miniseries The Keepers

The Keepers, Netflix’s newest documentary miniseries, ostensibly revolves around the 1969 murder of Sister Cathy Cesnik, a beloved teacher at a Baltimore Catholic high school whose case remains unsolved nearly 50 years later. But she’s only a small part of a bigger puzzle—which is how Sister Cathy, who’s painted with…

Visit vicious internet trolls in their own homes with this stomach-churning documentary

It goes without saying at this point that the internet is full of trolls—we expect any trip to Twitter or Facebook to be disrupted by some sort of angry person who views all ideological opponents as subhumans, and we anticipate that any article (not on The A.V. Club, of course) will be followed by poorly spelled…

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Witness the fury of nature in the trailer for Werner Herzog’s Into The Inferno

It’s time to add one more item to your intimidatingly long index of Netflix originals that you’re definitely going to get around watching one day, because it’s extremely difficult to watch two frail humans staring into the burbling maw of a magma-filled crater while Werner Herzog recites apocalyptic poetry without…

The trailer for Leonardo DiCaprio’s climate change documentary is here to bum you out

If you haven’t yet gotten your fill of a bewhiskered Leonardo DiCaprio trudging through the wilderness and bearing witness to a seemingly unending string of soul-crushing atrocities, then you are in luck. His new documentary project with actor-documentarian Fisher Stevens (Crazy Love) for National Geographic, about…

Hillsong: Let Hope Rise is a conversion experience for the already converted

If you somehow wandered into Hillsong: Let Hope Rise with absolutely no idea what Christianity was, you’d probably walk away thinking the whole thing sounds great. This Jesus guy—whoever he is—is equal parts passionate lover and protective father figure, and his followers are all very nice people who look like they’re…

Netflix stirs the pot with two very different trailers for its Amanda Knox documentary

If you are highly suspect of Amanda Knox’s claims to innocence for the 2007 killing of Meredith Kercher—for which she spent four years in an Italian prison—then this new Netflix documentary might be for you. However, if you do believe her account of that very strange and confusing murder case that gripped the…