New to DocPlay in April

April premieres on documentary streaming service DocPlay include movies on Australia’s second-wave feminists and neurologist Oliver Sacks (Awakenings), and series about presidential politics, a convicted paedophile priest and the fall of Berlin.

Brazen Hussies (April 8)

Brazen Hussies, a new documentary from Catherine Dwyer, is … an incendiary, exhaustive, emotive and well-researched look at long struggle of the Australian Women’s Rights Movement in the ‘60s and ‘70s. Clocking in at a tight 90 minutes, the film is incredibly propulsive in its eagerness to try and encompass as many aspects of the wide-ranging, grassroots movement as possible.” — Flicks.

Revelation (April 12)

Award-winning reporter Sarah Ferguson’s ground-breaking documentary series features interviews with two of Australia’s worst serial paedophiles – an ordained priest and a religious brother – and takes cameras into court to follow the drama of their criminal trials. The publicity promises the “unmissable final chapter is a cinematic, feature-length event, transporting you to the heart of power in the global Catholic church”. Said The Guardian: “ABC’s documentary about a convicted paedophile priest is difficult to watch, but perhaps it’s necessary to bear witness… The detail of the abuse is horrendous and I wish I hadn’t heard it. But maybe as someone raised Catholic and still has some cultural affinity with the Irish branch of the church, I needed to.”

Berlin 1945 (April 15)

2020 BBC series about the city’s most fateful year, as told by those who experienced it: Germans and Allied soldiers. Reads the blurb: “Through the eyes of the victors and the vanquished, Berlin 1945 reveals a multi-layered transformation of a city and its inhabitants. With never-seen archival footage, we reconstruct the lives not only from those liberated from concentration camps and occupied countries, but also from Germany’s followers, silent masses, and perpetrators. We create a fast-paced collage of testimonies from this period, giving voice to Soviet, US, UK and French soldiers as well as the German population anxiously awaiting the outcome of the fighting.”

America’s Great Divide: From Obama to Trump (April 19)

PBS Frontline series that aired eight months ahead of the 2020 US election. Billed as “an investigation into America’s increasingly bitter, divided and toxic politics”, it traces how Barack Obama’s failure to unite a racially, culturally and politically divided country laid the groundwork for the rise of Donald Trump. “Each dense and detailed episode runs just under two hours, the first focusing on Obama and the second on Trump,” said the Sydney Morning Herald. “Although it’s punctuated by news footage and evocative black-and-white photos of the leaders, the chronology resembles a procession of talking heads.”

Oliver Sacks: His Own Life (April 22)

Explores the life and work of the legendary neurologist and storyteller, as he shares intimate details of his battles with drug addiction, homophobia, and a medical establishment that accepted his work only decades after the fact. “Director Ric Burns (brother of Ken – and a very fine filmmaker himself) weaves together interviews, archive material, still photographs and audio to build up an insightful, affectionate and satisfying portrait of an immensely inspiring figure.” — Stuff.

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