Public Media Distribution and the Smithsonian Channel have announced the upcoming release of The Obama Years: The Power of Words (DVD: $24.99), slated for October 30. Over eight years, President Obama delivered more than 3,500 speeches and statements that ranged from redefining patriotism, candidly addressing race relations, inspiring hope and healing, and turning divisive moments into an opportunity for national unification. But which are the moments that history will remember? Narrated by actor Jesse Williams, The Power of Words tells the story of Barack Obama, “writer in chief,” taking viewers inside the defining moments of his political career through the prism of six of his most memorable speeches. The program also features insights from eminent historians Doris Kearns Goodwin and Douglas Brinkley, senior advisor Valerie Jarrett, Chief Strategist David Axelrod, Rep. John Lewis, Obama speechwriters Jon Favreau and Cody Keenan, Reagan speechwriter Clark Judge, and Smithsonian curator Harry Rubenstein of the National Museum of American History.
Acclaimed director James D. Stern provides an eye-opening look at Trump voters in American Chaos (DVD: $25.99), releasing October 23 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. In his latest documentary, Stern chronicles the cultural divide of the 2016 presidential election, traveling through America’s red states to interview and spend time with Donald Trump supporters from different backgrounds in an attempt to find answers and insights to explain the appeal of the billionaire candidate. Bonus features include audio commentary by Stern and cinematographer Kevin Ford, and a “Further Pandemonium” compilation of deleted and extended scenes.
From his breakout role in Mork & Mindy to his Academy Award-winning performance in Good Will Hunting, iconic actor Robin Williams (1951-2014) displayed an inimitable artistry that made him beloved by millions. In conjunction with the Trustees of the Robin Williams Trust, Time Life is celebrating the incomparable career of the singularly innovative actor with the release of Robin Williams: Comic Genius (DVD: 22 discs, $199.99), available exclusively now at RobinWilliams.com. The extensive boxed set includes five HBO stand-up specials, including Off the Wall (1978), An Evening with Robin Williams (1983), An Evening at the MET (1986), Live on Broadway (2002) and Weapons of Self Destruction (2009); never-before-released concert specials; talk show and late-night appearances on The Tonight Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, and Saturday Night Live; an episode of Inside the Actors Studio; USO shows; exclusive behind-the-scenes featurettes; the 2018 HBO documentary Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind; and a 24-page memory book with rare archival photos.
The Criterion Collection’s December slate kicks off December 11 with Euzhan Palcy’s (Hollywood’s first black female director) 1989 film A Dry White Season (DVD: $29.95, Blu-ray: $39.95), based on the courageous apartheid chronicle by André Brink that follows a white Johannesburg schoolteacher (Donald Sutherland) who remains blissfully incurious about the lives of his black countrymen until a wave of brutal repression comes crashing down on his gardener (Winston Ntshona). Also arriving on December 11 is filmmaker Samuel Fuller’s unconventional 1957 western Forty Guns (DVD: $29.95, Blu-ray: $39.95), featuring silver screen legend Barbara Stanwyck as a rancher who commands a posse of cowboys and falls for a U.S. marshal (Barry Sullivan). Coming December 18 is a new 4K restoration of Julien Duvivier’s long-unavailable 1946 black-and-white thriller Panique (DVD: $29.95, Blu-ray: $39.95), based on a novel by Georges Simenon that centers on eccentric, antisocial Monsieur Hire (Michel Simon), who feels drawn to a pretty young newcomer in town (Viviane Romance) and is framed for murder. Also slated for December 18 is the standalone Blu-ray 2K digital restoration of Ingmar Bergman’s piercing 1953 psychological drama Sawdust and Tinsel (Blu-ray: $39.95), an early breakthrough for the legendary Swedish filmmaker centering on a battle of the sexes between a turn-of-the-20th-century circus owner (Åke Grönberg) and his younger mistress (Harriet Andersson).
PBS Distribution has announced the upcoming release of the Frontline documentary Separated: Children at the Border (DVD: $14.99), which is slated for October 9. What’s happened to the more than 2,000 families who were separated after crossing the U.S. border unlawfully in 2018? And how did immigration policy in America reach this point? Investigating the government’s handling of immigrant children who were separated from their parents after crossing into America prior to Trump’s reluctant executive order stopping the practice in June 2018, the film also traces what happened on immigration during the Obama years that some say helped lay the groundwork for what the Trump administration did next. With on-the-ground reporting from Central America and at the border, Separated: Children at the Border takes a close look at how the U.S.’s immigration policies involving children have played out over the years—and why, even for those families who have now been reunited, the scars remain.
We recently sent a postcard promotion to former subscribers. Some postcards were accidentally mailed to current subscribers who will no doubt find the “We Miss You!” tagline rather confusing. Many current subscribers have subscriptions through EBSCO and other agencies and we want them to rest assured that nothing has changed on those subscriptions. Please feel free to email us at email@example.com if you have any questions.
The true story behind one of the most iconic and talented performers of our time is told in Whitney (DVD: $19.98, Blu-ray: $24.99), slated for release on October 16 from Lionsgate. With seven consecutive U.S. no. 1 singles, and 200 million+ albums sold worldwide, Whitney Houston (1963-2012) was a music sensation who starred in several blockbuster movies before her brilliant career gave way to erratic behavior, scandals, and death at the age of 48. With the cooperation of the Estate of Whitney E. Houston, Oscar-winning filmmaker Kevin Macdonald unravels the story of her life and career in this production that features never-before-seen footage, exclusive demo recordings, rare performances, audio archives, and original interviews with the people who knew the Grammy and Emmy award-winner. A two-time nominee at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, the documentary includes bonus features such as audio commentary with Macdonald and producer Simon Chinn, and a motion photo gallery.
Emmy-nominated documentary photographer and director Lauren Greenfield explores the heights of narcissism and greed within the global boom-bust economy in Generation Wealth (DVD: $19.98), slated for release on October 16 from Lionsgate. The opening film of the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, Generation Wealth captures a portrait of a materialistic, image-obsessed culture. Simultaneously a personal journey and historical essay, the multi-platform project—which also includes Greenfield’s 2017 same-titled book and a museum exhibition—bears witness to the corrupted American Dream, and the human costs of late-stage capitalism. Bonus features include photos by Greenfield.
PBS Distribution has announced the upcoming release of The Amazing Human Body (DVD: $24.99), slated for September 25. Presented in partnership with the BBC, this new series explores the human body through the use of cutting-edge graphics, exploring the ingenious ways your body develops, adapts, and endures. Case studies from across the globe showcase the dazzling secret science of the human body, including a child prodigy in Phoenix, a chilling dip in an icy lake, and low-level torture techniques in a London laboratory. Set to premiere on PBS on September 19, the three-part series includes the episodes “Grow,” “Survive,” and “Learn.”
PBS Distribution has announced the release of The Mayo Clinic: Faith – Hope – Science (DVD: $24.99, Blu-ray: $29.99), coming September 25. Executive produced by Ken Burns, and directed by Burns, Erik Ewers, and Christopher Loren Ewers, the documentary tells the story of William Worrall Mayo, an English immigrant who, after traveling throughout the Midwest looking for a place to practice, settled with his family in rural Minnesota. Together with the Sisters of Saint Francis and his sons Will and Charlie, he laid the foundation for a medical center that now treats over a million patients every year from 50 states and 150 countries, while employing 64,000 in Rochester, MN and at campuses in Jacksonville, FL, and Scottsdale, AZ. Blending historical narrative with contemporary patient stories, this film offers a timely look at how one institution has met the changing demands of healthcare for 150 years—and what that can teach us about facing the challenges of patient care today. Narrated by Peter Coyote and featuring interviews with patients including John McCain and the Dalai Lama, The Mayo Clinic: Faith – Hope – Science demonstrates the power of collaboration in medicine, the role of humanity in science, and the importance of hope in healing.