Documentaries and dialogue go together like peanut butter and jelly–at least the Aspen Institute and Aspen Film hope so. Tonight, the nonprofits launch the fourth year of their New Views series, a summertime program which screens topical films with discussions featuring filmmakers. Tonight, the series opens with “Blood Brother,” followed by director Steven Hoover. The film won Best U.S. Documentary and the Audience Award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, and focuses on one American’s transformative work with HIV-infected orphans in India.
On July 29, Anita Hill will speak at Paepcke following a screening of “Anita.” The law professor was at the center of the controversial Senate committee hearings over the nomination of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas in 1991, as she alleged sexual misconduct against the nominee. The groundbreaking documentary blends archival footage of the watershed moment for American politics with current interviews with Hill and her supporters.
On Aug. 5, New Views screens “Inequality for All,” an exploration of the widening gap between rich and poor in America. It focuses on former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, who argues the trend destabilizes markets and undermines democracy. Winner of a Special Jury Award at Sundance, the film offers a digestible explanation of issues like wage stagnation, consolidated wealth and high finance.
The series closes with “Gasland Part II” on Aug. 12, the sequel to the 2010 documentary that enflamed the national debate over hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) and detailed the environmental consequences in places like Garfield County and the Western Slope. The follow-up focuses on the people from fracked communities as they attempt to fight gas drilling companies.