American Folklore

American Folklore

9 Episodes

The first installation of Docs in Focus IV zeroes in on peripheral existence in present-day America. David Mueller and Lynn Salt's A Good Day to Die examines the genesis of the American Indian Movement and the generational, human cost of our nation's original sin. Alex Mar's American Mystic offers a triptych portrait of three individuals living off the grid—Gianfranco Rosi's Below Sea Level documents a Southern California desert community who have turned their backs on society. Tania Cypriano's Born to Be offers a glimpse inside the groundbreaking Mount Sinai Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery; Donal Mosher and Michael Palmieri The Gospel of Eureka delves into a thriving queer community in the midst of the Ozarks. Homing in on the power of the written word, Vanessa Gould's Obit. whisks the spectator inside a team of obituary writers at The New York Times, while Scott Thurman's The Revisionaries traces the work of one man to re-write the history and science curriculum from within the Texas State Board of Education.

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American Folklore
  • American Mystic

    Episode 1

    Alex Mar • USA • 2010

    Chuck lives in the South Dakota badlands. While he and his wife struggle to make ends meet, they find meaning in their Lakota Sioux heritage, making great effort to preserve their rituals, such as sundancing. In Northern California, Morpheus, a pagan priestess, cultivate...

  • Below Sea Level

    Episode 2

    Gianfranco Rosi • Italy • 2008

    Roughly 200 miles southeast of Los Angeles, in the wild desert of Southern California, is an ad hoc town without electricity or running water. Some denizens are just passing through, others are here to stay. While disparate circumstances have brought them here, ...

  • Born to Be

    Episode 3

    Tania Cypriano • USA • 2020

    New York's Mount Sinai Hospital houses the groundbreaking Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery, a mecca for quality gender-affirming care. Here Dr. Jess Ting works with transgender and non-binary patients to navigate their own particular journeys—Cashmere, lon...

  • The Gospel of Eureka

    Episode 4

    Michael Palmieri and Donal Mosher • USA • 2019

    Eureka, Arkansas is a one-of-a-kind oasis in the traditionally conservative bastion of the Ozarks. Alongside a devout Christian population is a thriving queer community, whose epicenter is a local gay bar run by Lee and Walter. The proudly out hus...

  • Obit.

    Episode 5

    Vanessa Gould • USA • 2017

    How to fit a life into 1,000 words? The obituary writers at the New York Times race against the clock to cull details, weaving decades of personal and professional history into a compelling digest of singular existence. Theoretically bleak work is revealed as life-af...

  • The Revisionaries

    Episode 6

    Scott Thurman • USA • 2012

    The Texas Board of Education dictates the curriculum for nearly five million public schoolchildren. Over the course of a decade Don McLeroy, a dentist, Sunday school teacher, and avowed young-earth creationist, rose from his local school board to state chairman, leadi...

  • A Good Day To Die

    Episode 7

    David Mueller and Lynn Salt • USA • 2010

    At the age of 5, Dennis Banks was taken from his grandparents and relocated to a federal boarding school, where the prime objective was to rid American Indian children of their culture, traditions, and heritage. Experiencing the ripple effects of his co...

  • Dawson City: Frozen Time

    Episode 8

    Directed by Bill Morrison • 2016 • USA

    Bill Morrison's documentary transports us to a landscape where early cinema intersected with the peak of the Canadian Gold Rush.

  • The Force

    Episode 9

    Peter Nicks • 2017 • USA

    Oakland Police Department. Sean Whent is hired as the department's chief, with the mandate to come in and clean up shop. He arrives with the best intentions, but soon learns that repairing the trust between the community, and those charged to protect them, will be no ea...