Cool Docs for Summer’s Hottest Month

August 3, 2017

As the dog days of summer descend, Outside magazine recently served up some thoughts on a few of the hottest documentaries premiering over the next month.

First out of the gate is Al Gore’s follow up to the 2006 prize-winning “An Inconvenient Truth.” Gore’s latest, “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power,” brings us up to date on what’s improved on the climate front and what’s gotten worse. (In the opinion of Outside…everything!). Noting that “Sequel”–directed by Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk–feels more cinematic, Outside offers the opinion that the new film improves on the original in every way, at least as a piece of documentary filmmaking. On a less laudatory note, however, the magazine declares the film comes up a bit short in presenting optimistic insight into how this issue is being embraced, at least domestically. “Part of the problem, ” they contend, “is that, for many voters and politicians on the right, opposing environmental initiatives has become a core principle.” Outside goes on to say that, while impressive and persuasive, Gore’s latest “overlooks the shift to uglier politics, preferring to focus on renewable energy and a message of hope.” Have you seen the film? If so, visit our Facebook page and let us know what you think!

What might a rancher, farmer and fisherman have in common? According to a new documentary, which debuted this past winter at Sundance and will air on Discovery on 8/31, in at least some instances the answer is a concern for conservation. Aptly titled “Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman,”  the film has been called “a thoughtful portrait of conservation efforts in the American heartland…as it recounts the fight to protect wild spaces at the foot of Montana’s Rocky Mountain Front, the soil under industrial-scale farms in Kansas, and the waters of the Gulf of Mexico’s fisheries. The film was directed by veteran filmmakers Susan Froemke and John Hoffman, and is narrated by Tom Brokaw. Outside praises the doc, saying it “compellingly demonstrates how individual efforts to protect our land and water make a difference.”

Finally, it may not surprise you that there’s a documentary out there involving some suspected Russian slight of hand. No, not THAT slight of hand, but the use of performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) by Russian athletes. “Icarus,” written and directed by Bryan Fogel, features, according to Outside, a “Bond-thriller twist…that allegedly comes all the way from the Kremlin”. You can check out the trailer here.

The film debuts on Netflix August 4.