Don't walk! Run to the box office. Nine superb documentaries are opening theatrically during the month of June. They cover an appealing range of subjects and feature a watch-worthy roster of celebrated and compelling lead characters -- including big name players in the show biz, political and circus arenas. All of these nonfiction features are very worth seeing. Hopefully, you'll find a selection at your local theater. But, if not, this would be a perfect time to speak up and make a formal request to management to book and screen the documentaries you want to see. Here's the annotated list:
- Rejoice and Shout - Directed by Don McGlynn - A rousing documentary that chronicles the 200-year history of gospel music, with appearances by Bill Carpenter, Andrať Crouch, The Selvy Family, Anthony Heilbut, Marie Knight, Darrell Petties, Smokey Robinson, Mavis Staples and other greats.
- One Lucky Elephant - Directed by Lisa Leeman - The story of Flora, an orphaned African elephant adopted by circus producer David Balding, who made her part of his family. Now, she's an adult and he realizes that she needs the company of other elephants. Limited release.
- Conan O'Brien Can't Stop - Directed by Rodman Flender - Comedian and commentator Conan O'Brien reclaims his post-TV relevance by going on the road with a one man show. The film follows him on and back stage, and is peopled by a lot of his celebrated friends. In limited release.
- The Last Mountain - Directed by Bill Haney - Chronicles the dramatic battle in which residents of a tiny Appalachian community fight to prevent Massey Energy Company, deemed the 'dirtiest coal company in history,' from blowing up and mining Coal River Mountain, the last great peak in the region. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. supports the cause of the local people -- and the environment. In limited release
- Just Like Us - Directed by Ahmed Ahmed - Comedian Ahmed Ahmed, accompanied by other stand up comics from the Muslim world, takes us on tour to Dubai, Beirut, Riyadh and New York, breaking cultural and geopolitical taboos all along the way. Limited release.
- Queen of The Sun: What the Bees Are Telling Us - Directed by Taggart Siegel - A compelling and comprehensive study -- all of the important buzz -- about the Bee Colony Collapse Disorder pandemic, covering its history, its rapid growth and its projected effects on the future of humankind. Limited release.
- Buck - Directed by Cindy Meele - An engaging, quiet, sensitively realized, magnificent profile of Buck Brannaman, the cowboy known as 'the real horse whisperer.' Limited release
- If A Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front - Directed by Marshall Curry - Following the story of Daniel McGowan, an Earth Liberation Front (ELF) member who was sentenced to life imprisonment for committing multimillion dollar arsons against Oregon timber companies. The FBI calls ELF America's 'number one terrorist threat!' They say they're trying to save the planet. Limited release.
- Page One - Directed by Andrew Rossi - An unusual look inside the news machine that is the New York Times, focusing especially on the Media Desk and newsman Dave Carr to take a look at how new media is effecting the Grey Lady. Limited release.
- Raw Faith - Directed by Wm. Peter Wiedensmith - As a Unitarian Minister, Marilyn Sewell served her congregation with devotion, and was much loved. This intimate documentary follows her as she decided to leave the ministry in order to pursue her own private life and personal dreams. Limited Release.