I’ve been able to watch four of the five Oscar-nominated documentaries. I’ll update this post if I happen to get a chance to see the fifth nominated documentary before this weekend.
This film is about a Chinese automotive glass company called Fuyao and their efforts to build and run a factory here in the US. It’s also a window into the cultural differences between China and the US. Read my review here. (Netflix)
The Edge of Democracy
This timely film looks behind the scenes of Brazil’s politics the past few years, which included the imprisonment of one former president and the impeachment of another. In some ways, it is a warning of where things are headed here in the US. The film exposes the negative effect of dark money into politics and the need for campaign finance reform. I remember at the time when reading about some of the events described here that it was all about corruption. I learned it had more to do with the backstabbing and corruption of the people bringing the charges. (Amazon Prime)
For Sama is a brutally honest look at what it was like to live in Aleppo during the bombings by Syrian and Russian forces. The film graphically shows what happens under dictatorial leadership. In between moments of laughter and happiness, there is death and destruction.
It is a sad commentary when small children know more about cluster bombs than about fairytales. (Amazon Prime)
This film looks at the life of a woman whose primary source of income is the honey she sells from a collection of hives. It covers a wide range of tangential subjects such as healthcare, poverty, race, class, and greed. It’s hard to believe that there are people still living without running water and electricity. Tossed into this mix of isolation, struggle, and despair are the neighbors from hell. (Amazon Prime Rental)
This film tells the story of a hospital in Syria. Unfortunately, it is not available for rent. I haven’t been able to catch this one.
Before I get to my pick for the Oscar in the documentary category, I suggest you take a look at my best of 2019 post. There are several documentary films that I feel should have been nominated. My favorite from last year was the film The Devil We Know. Additionally, I feel that there needs to be a separate category for documentary series.
My pick to win the Oscar is The Edge of Democracy.