New to DocPlay in August
Seeds of Deceit August 2
Before his death in 2017, Jan Karbaat was the most renowned fertility doctor in the Netherlands. But as his patients’ offspring began connecting the dots of their ancestry, it emerged he had secretly used his own semen to impregnate more than 65 patients during the ’70s and ’80s. Decades later, Dr. Karbaat was sued for malpractice but suspiciously passed away a month before his trial began. “Across three episodes, director Miriam Guttmann weaves a complex narrative which balances the perspectives of the women abused by Karbaat, the dozens of children he fathered, and the ‘superdonors’ who returned to his clinic over and over again to illegally ‘spread their seed’ far and wide.” — Variety.
The Dissident August 5
Academy Award-winning director Bryan Fogel’s documentary thriller exposes the labyrinth of deceit behind Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder in the Saudi embassy in Istanbul. Offering a wealth of never-before-seen footage and unprecedented access to those closest to the story, The Dissident is a story of money, tyranny and technology run amok. At the film’s core is Khashoggi himself, a principled reformer who sought to create a more just and open society in his Saudi homeland. “May not reveal anything substantially new, but it’s a fierce, forceful and highly illuminating film, set out with clarity and verve.” — The Guardian.
Philly D.A. August 9
In 2017, civil rights attorney Larry Krasner became Philadelphia’s District Attorney after pledging to end mass incarceration by changing the culture of the criminal justice system from within. Now, the bureaucrats he spent his campaign denigrating are his co-workers; the police he alienated are his rank-and-file law enforcers. From the eye of this political storm, comes unprecedented access into Krasner’s office and behind the scenes of the criminal justice system. “The sprawling eight-hour, eight-episode docuseries … is never quite as immersive as promised, and at odds with a Krasner campaign pledge … With an impending election later this year, one can’t help but catch a kind of ego-driven whiff on this docuseries.” — RogerEbert.com.
Aalto August 12
This journey into the life and work of one of the greatest modern architects shares for the first time the intimate love story of Alvar Aalto and his architect wife, Aino, and take the viewer on a cinematic tour to their creative processes and iconic buildings all over the world. “An intimate approach to the great Finnish architect … Strong on Alvar Aalto’s private life and the important role played by his wife Aino in his practice, Virpi Suutari’s documentary is less surefooted in revealing his buildings to the viewer.” — Sight & Sound. (View trailer here.)
James & Isey August 26
Kaikohe Demolition director Florian Habicht captures a Northland celebration of life and aroha like no other, when Isey and James invite us into their lives in the week leading up to Isey’s 100th birthday. “It’s a rare film that can be this free of sentiment and saccharine while still positively rolling in romanticism, nostalgia and pure, honestly given aroha. James & Isey, at every level it pitches itself at, is an unclassifiable triumph of heart and instinct over the odds.” — Stuff. (View trailer here.)