Slay the Dragon opens with the Flint Water Crisis in 2014, when officials of Flint, Michigan made a costly decision that poisoned the predominantly black residents of Flint. Brown liquid poured from household sinks, deaths occurred, and children were exposed to the contamination. The Flint Water Crisis is still to this day far from resolved. The government leadership’s laxness in fixing the problem attributed to a sense of security over their government seats. If their congressional maps guarantee them re-election, why bother with the woes of marginalized voters?

Inspired by David Daley’s book Ratf**ked, Why Your Vote Doesn’t Count, Slay the Dragon explores a method of voter suppression – other than voter ID laws, poll taxes that recently struck Florida, and shortened deadlines for absentee voters – that corrode democracy in ways easily underestimated or overlooked by those who lack political literacy.

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house of hummingbird review

Nostalgic coming-of-age movies have become the order of the day as of late, but House of Hummingbird, which follows a lonely 14-year-old girl named Eun-hee as she navigates adolescence in ’90s South Korea, eschews the rose-colored glasses in favor of a magnifying glass. Directed by Bora Kim in her feature film debut, House of Hummingbird digs deep beneath the shine and luster of the rapidly industrializing Seoul of the ’90s and instead focuses on the cracks that were beginning to form under the surface, and the people who fell through those cracks.

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the place of no words review

“Where do we go when we die?” When 3-year-old Bodhi Palmer asks his real-life father and mother (Mark Webber and Teresa Palmer) that question, it seems to denote the start of a profound journey of existential discovery. But in The Place of No Words, that journey takes some unexpected detours that don’t always pan out.

Writer and director Mark Webber casts his own extremely photogenic family in The Place of No Words, a deeply personal exploration of grief and mortality. When young Bodhi asks his father that dreaded question about death, the duo embark on an imagined journey in which they are Vikings exploring a rugged Nordic landscape. But there’s an endearing amateurish quality to The Place of No Words that gives the film an added layer of intimacy, while preventing it from being a truly escapist fantasy.

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doctor who vr

Every Doctor Who fan dreams about hearing that vworp vworp sound outside their bedroom window, and running outside to find the time-traveling alien reaching out their hand. Now that dream can become a reality with the new Doctor Who: The Runaway virtual reality film from the BBC and Passion Animation Studios. This Doctor Who VR animated film drops you right in the middle of the cosmic action, as Jodie Whittaker’s 13th Doctor scrambles to save the universe from being swallowed by a black hole — with your help.

/Film got the chance to experience this 13-minute VR film at the Tribeca Immersive Virtual Arcade during the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City. Here’s what it’s like to run with the Doctor.

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apocalypse now final cut

Francis Ford Coppola has tinkered with Apocalypse Now in the past, but now he’s ready to deliver what he considers the final cut. Coppola went back to his Vietnam War epic to craft a new, definitive version, which will debut at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival. There’s no word yet on what will happen after the Tribeca screening, but it’s safe to assume the Apocalypse Now: Final Cut will find its way to Blu-ray eventually.

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Tribeca Film Festival 2019 Lineup

The Tribeca Film Festival isn’t the biggest festival, but year after year it features an impressive lineup. This year is no exception, featuring what Tribeca has declard to be their most “eclectic feature filmmaking slate yet.” Films include Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, the controversial Ted Bundy movie starring Zac Efron that debuted at Sundance; Dreamland, starring Margot Robbie; and A Day in the Life of America, a documentary directed by Jared Leto. See the complete Tribeca Film Festival 2019 lineup below.

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the party's just beginning review

Karen Gillan is still a relatively unknown quantity in the U.S. After shooting to cult success in Doctor Who, Gillan muddled through a few obscure comedy roles before getting her big break as Nebula in Guardians of the Galaxy. But her prosthetic-covered, blue painted face has hindered her chance at widespread recognition, though her performance in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle may have finally earned her the attention she deserves — if people could see beyond the Rock’s pecs.

She deserved to shoot to stardom with the unfortunately titled 2014 TV series Selfie, in which Gillan played a vain, selfish, and damaged heroine addicted to the instant gratification of social media. She gave a stunning performance in a show that was seen by too few and that was gone too soon. But Gillan’s directorial debut, The Party’s Just Beginning, takes that damaged, troubled character and runs with it — spawning an intriguing heroine for a dark, oddball film that deals with the lasting damages of grief.

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all about nina review

Movies about comedians are usually a gamble. Often they’re too self-indulgent, or mawkish, or overly mean-spirited. Rarely do they balance the high drama of comedians’ inherent insecurities and the, you know, comedy. But the few that do succeed because they strike a personal chord — one that mirrors the self-deprecating performance and painfully real revelations of a good stand-up set.

All About Nina is as personal as you can get. Written and directed by Eva VivesAll About Nina is a searing, semi-autobiographical portrait of a troubled young woman trying to make her big break in the comedy scene. Played with an intoxicating swagger by Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Nina is an abrasive stand-up comedian who never shies away from provoking people on and off-stage, but hides a dark past of her own.

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Song of Back and Neck review

Do we really need another sad middle-age white guy comedy? Probably not, but if we have to have them, at least let them be more like Paul Lieberstein’s Song of Back and Neck. The artist best known to audiences as Toby from TV’s The Office makes his first step behind the camera for feature filmmaking to largely positive results, handling some slightly morose material with equal parts sincerity and dry humor.

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maine review

If you see Maine features a woman hiking a trail alone and assume you’re in for a retread of Wild, think again. In upstart director Matthew Brown’s sophomore feature, we see people fleeing the burdens of their life in the great outdoors in search of escape and fulfillment – but ultimately finding neither. The answers to life’s problems do not simply appear out of thin air in the woods, as much as the film’s two hikers might try to will them into existence. And yet, there’s catharsis in the film’s complete lack of cathartic moments, just as there’s deep feeling in the emotional reserve and an intense connection with characters who can never get outside of themselves to connect to each other.

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