On Friday, The New York Times celebrated forthcoming film festivals: "June must be movie month in New York," wrote Mekado Murphy. They were especially happy with left-wing films about "social justice."
They highlighted the Human Rights Watch Film Festival, sponsored by the left-wing lobby of the same name:
This popular series is entertainment through a social-justice lens. The 26th edition centers on three themes: art versus oppression; changemakers; and justice and peace. Included is the timely documentary 3 ½ Minutes, Ten Bullets, which looks at the aftermath of the murder of the Florida teenager Jordan Davis, who was shot at a gas station for playing his music too loud.
BEST BET Stanley Nelson’s documentary The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, about the history of the Black Panther Party in the United States, will close the festival.
Back in February, the Times hailed Nelson and his work on the Panthers at incredibly timely "in the wake of the nationwide protests over police killings of African-American men in Ferguson, Mo., and Staten Island. The moment is right for a documentary history of the Panthers, with its images of armed black men patrolling the streets and walking onto the floor of the California Legislature." PBS star Ken Burns is a big fan.
Other "best bets" in the Times also suggested a leftist tilt.
BEST BET Panos H. Koutras’s Greek film Xenia, a surreal road movie and gay coming-of-age drama that won best picture at the Hellenic Film Academy Awards.
BEST BET The closing-night film, Sean Baker’s comedy Tangerine, shot on an iPhone, about a day in the life of two transgender prostitutes. It made a splash at Sundance.
BEST BET The Stanford Prison Experiment, Kyle Patrick Alvarez’s narrative (and harrowing) staging of Dr. Philip Zimbardo’s 1971 study on the psychology of imprisonment, won accolades at Sundance and features a Who’s Who of American independent film actors.