New to DocPlay in December

Documentaries about screen, music and leadership icons dominate this month’s premieres on DocPlay.

Here are the highlights:

Suzi Q (December 3): Before Suzi Quatro burst on the music world in 1973, there were almost no women in rock, and absolutely none who played bass and sang lead vocals and led the band and rocked out and reached millions of people around the world. Singer, songwriter, bass player, bandleader, actress, radio-presenter, poet – there is only one Suzi Q, the pint-sized, leather-clad rocker who has sold more than 50 million records and in 2019 released a new album, celebrating 53 years as a working musician. This revisionist history of “women in rock’n’roll” is billed as “an intimate insight into a driven, ageless performer”.

The Leadership (December 10): Australian CEO and ‘dreamer’ Fabian Dattner, leads an international group of 76 female scientists on an Antarctic voyage designed to transform them “into the sort of leaders they want to be.” Her hope is that once these women are primed to lead in science, they will be able to make meaningful change around the world. But on board, Dattner’s own leadership style and philosophy are both severely tested. This exclusive from the producers of Mystery Road and Sweet Country is billed as “an altogether unexpected and original reflection on what it takes to be a good leader, while unearthing the profoundly troubling systemic obstacles to women’s advancement in science and beyond”.

The Killing Season (December 10): Sarah Ferguson’s three-part examination of the forces that shaped Labor during the Kevin Rudd/Julia Gillard leadership years is being promoted as a documentary series like no other. “Visually striking, scripted like the best political dramas, The Killing Season is an enthralling account of one of the most turbulent periods of Australian political history. Packed with political intrigue, strong feelings and frank disclosures, this is a must-watch series. A comprehensive cast of the main players speak frankly, providing a dramatic portrait of a party at war with itself.”

No Time for Quiet (December 17): During a long hot summer, 40 girls and gender diverse youth aged 10 to 17 converge in Brunswick for the inaugural week-long GIRLS ROCK! MELBOURNE Camp. Greeting them are a host of dedicated volunteers – local female rock legends and punked up teachers, all keen to empower each of the participants through rock ‘n’ roll. Over the course of the week, and months after camp, we follow five participants as they find their sense of belonging and identity through music.

Belushi (December 31): Exclusive feature documentary from award-winning filmmaker R.J. Cutler about the too-short life of John Belushi, the once-in-a-generation talent who captured the hearts and funny-bones of audiences worldwide. Told using previously unheard audiotapes, this film examines Belushi’s extraordinary life in the words of his collaborators, friends, and family, including Dan Aykroyd, Jim Belushi, Penny Marshall, Lorne Michaels, Carrie Fisher, Chevy Chase, Harold Ramis, Jane Curtin, Ivan Reitman and his high school sweetheart and later wife Judy Belushi. The New York Times said it “taps the sweetness in a culture fixture with an irreplaceably weird sense of fun“.

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