While we all are happy that big blockbuster films are coming back into theaters and many are glad to see them with a crowded theater. Documentaries have been catching people’s eye over the course of the year. Many have even been better than the mainstream releases rolling out into theaters. Here are just a few that have caught my attention.
The Sparks Brothers
The first of two films by critical darling Edgar Wright. In his first-ever documentary feature, Wright pays tribute to the band “Sparks” and discusses their impact on the music industry through their discography. The film is presented in a flashy and very acrobatic style that keeps the audience on their tone and never bored. The Sparks Brothers are filled with cameos from musicians and actors who are fans of their music. You do not need to be a fan of “Sparks” to enjoy this, it is a documentary for newcomers by a long-time fan.
Summer of Soul
Musician Questlove makes his directorial debut Summer of Soul. This documentary tells the story of the Harlem Cultural Festival and how it has impacted the Black community through its electrifying music. Questlove makes the documentary feel very sentimental and heartfelt while also giving context to why the event was so significant. It is told by showing real footage of the event and evidence of events preceding it.
This film currently has a release date of the fall of 2021. However, I was able to see it at Sundance Film Festival and it truly is worth the wait. The film follows Amin a man who discusses his traumatic childhood while having to go through life day by day with his husband. Flee is told through a visually striking animation style that no other medium could capture.