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Pure Nonfiction: Inside Documentary Film

Updated 9 days ago

News & Politics
Society & Culture
TV & Film
Personal Journals
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If you love documentary films, hear from the top storytellers on Pure Nonfiction. Host Thom Powers is well-connected in this world as a documentary curator for the Toronto International Film Festival, DOC NYC, and SundanceNow Doc Club. He leads conversations that are frank, funny and revealing. Listen to interviews with Oscar-winning filmmakers Barbara Kopple, Alex Gibney, and Roger Ross Williams; as well as the directors of “Making a Murderer,” “Weiner” and “OJ: Made in America.” Often the stories behind the scenes are as dramatic as what’s on the screen. On Twitter, Facebook, Instagram: @purenonfiction. Subscribe now.

Read more

If you love documentary films, hear from the top storytellers on Pure Nonfiction. Host Thom Powers is well-connected in this world as a documentary curator for the Toronto International Film Festival, DOC NYC, and SundanceNow Doc Club. He leads conversations that are frank, funny and revealing. Listen to interviews with Oscar-winning filmmakers Barbara Kopple, Alex Gibney, and Roger Ross Williams; as well as the directors of “Making a Murderer,” “Weiner” and “OJ: Made in America.” Often the stories behind the scenes are as dramatic as what’s on the screen. On Twitter, Facebook, Instagram: @purenonfiction. Subscribe now.

iTunes Ratings

198 Ratings
Average Ratings
150
20
9
7
12

Great

By HTS22 - Jun 19 2017
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Great podcast, well done. Please do a podcast on the film "Vaxxed."

Very well put together

By Pete from Sanford - Nov 10 2016
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I could get used to this!!

iTunes Ratings

198 Ratings
Average Ratings
150
20
9
7
12

Great

By HTS22 - Jun 19 2017
Read more
Great podcast, well done. Please do a podcast on the film "Vaxxed."

Very well put together

By Pete from Sanford - Nov 10 2016
Read more
I could get used to this!!
Cover image of Pure Nonfiction: Inside Documentary Film

Pure Nonfiction: Inside Documentary Film

Updated 9 days ago

Read more

If you love documentary films, hear from the top storytellers on Pure Nonfiction. Host Thom Powers is well-connected in this world as a documentary curator for the Toronto International Film Festival, DOC NYC, and SundanceNow Doc Club. He leads conversations that are frank, funny and revealing. Listen to interviews with Oscar-winning filmmakers Barbara Kopple, Alex Gibney, and Roger Ross Williams; as well as the directors of “Making a Murderer,” “Weiner” and “OJ: Made in America.” Often the stories behind the scenes are as dramatic as what’s on the screen. On Twitter, Facebook, Instagram: @purenonfiction. Subscribe now.

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This means that the episode rankings aren't working properly. Please revisit us at a later time to get the best episodes of this podcast!

Rank #1: 110: Joshua Wong on Hong Kong

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“Joshua: Teenager vs Superpower” on Netflix follows the Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong who started leading protests at the age of 14. His actions helped give rise to a democracy movement that brought over a million people to the streets this summer. Pure Nonfiction host Thom Powers interviewed Joshua and the film’s director Joe Piscatella at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2017 when the documentary made its debut and Joshua was 19. Since then, Joshua served time in prison for charges related to organizing a demonstration. He was released from prison after two months in June 2019.

On Twitter: @joshuawongcf @PureNonfiction @thompowers

The post 110: Joshua Wong on Hong Kong appeared first on Pure Nonfiction.

Jul 21 2019
22 mins
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Rank #2: 109: Running with Beto

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Beto O’Rourke rose from obscurity to political stardom in 2018 when he ran for the Texas Senate seat against incumbent Ted Cruz.
Filmmaker David Modigliani follows that journey in “Running with Beto,” now playing on HBO. On this podcast, Modigliani is joined by three Beto volunteers who are prominently featured in the film: Shannon Gay, Marcel McClinton and Amanda Salas. Their discussion was moderated by DOC NYC senior programmer Karen McMullen in front of a live audience at New York’s Metrograph theater. 

On Twitter: @PureNonfiction @thompowers

The post 109: Running with Beto appeared first on Pure Nonfiction.

May 30 2019
29 mins
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Rank #3: 108: Asif Kapadia on Ayrton Senna, Amy Winehouse & Diego Maradona

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“Diego Maradona”, making its world premiere at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, is the latest from director Asif Kapadia. Pure Nonfiction host Thom Powers interviewed Asif about that film along with his previous documentaries “Senna” (about Formula One race car driver Ayrton Senna) and the Oscar-winning “Amy” (about singer Amy Winehouse). Their conversation took place in March at the CPH:DOX festival in Copenhagen.

On Twitter: @asifkapadia @PureNonfiction @thompowers

The post 108: Asif Kapadia on Ayrton Senna, Amy Winehouse & Diego Maradona appeared first on Pure Nonfiction.

May 16 2019
39 mins
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Rank #4: 107: Rachel Lears on filming Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

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“Knock Down the House” captures four working class candidates running for Congress in West Virginia, Nevada, Missouri and New York City. That last one is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who overcame enormous odds to become the youngest woman elected to Congress at age 29.

Director/producer/cinematographer Rachel Lears and her husband producer/editor Robin Blotnick follow AOC early on from her days as a bartender. Their previous film “The Hand that Feeds,” about immigrants forming a union in a Manhattan deli, won the 2014 DOC NYC Audience Award.

“Knock Down the House” is now playing on Netflix. This interview, moderated by DOC NYC senior programmer Karen McMullen, was recorded with a live audience for the screening series Pure Nonfiction at IFC Center.

On Twitter: @jubileefilms @PureNonfiction @thompowers

The post 107: Rachel Lears on filming Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez appeared first on Pure Nonfiction.

May 02 2019
27 mins
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Rank #5: 106: Werner Herzog on “Meeting Gorbachev”

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Werner Herzog talks about the history of Germany, the Soviet Union and dispenses marital advice on this episode. His latest film “Meeting Gorbachev” is based on interviews he conducted with the former Soviet leader over 2017-18. The film was co-directed by his longtime producer André Singer.
Pure Nonfiction host Thom Powers interviewed Herzog at TIFF Doc Conference in September 2018. Hear their previous interview about “Into the Inferno” on episode 29.

On Twitter: @PureNonfiction @thompowers

The post 106: Werner Herzog on “Meeting Gorbachev” appeared first on Pure Nonfiction.

Apr 25 2019
47 mins
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Rank #6: 105: Sam Green & David Harrington on Kronos Quartet

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Kronos Quartet performs live for the documentary “A Thousand Thoughts” about the group’s history. The film is directed by Sam Green, who narrates the live performances, and Joe Bini.

Pure Nonfiction host Thom Powers interviews Green and Kronos founder David Harrington about this unique act of live cinema.

On Twitter: @kronosquartet @PureNonfiction @thompowers

The post 105: Sam Green & David Harrington on Kronos Quartet appeared first on Pure Nonfiction.

Apr 18 2019
49 mins
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Rank #7: 104: Penny Lane on “Hail Satan?”

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“Hail Satan?” looks at the Satanic Temple that started six years ago as political provocation and grew into an international movement. Director Penny Lane (“Our Nixon,” ‘Nuts!”) and producer Gabriel Sedgwick got drawn into the topic by a Village Voice article by Anna Merlan.
Pure Nonfiction host Thom Powers interviews Lane about key members of the Satanic Temple including co-founder Lucien Greaves and Detroit artist Jex Blackmore. Lane chronicles how tensions arise from both outside and inside the organization.

On Twitter: @lennypane @hailsatanfilm @PureNonfiction @thompowers

The post 104: Penny Lane on “Hail Satan?” appeared first on Pure Nonfiction.

Apr 11 2019
27 mins
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Rank #8: 103: Alison Klayman on Steve Bannon in “The Brink”

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Director Alison Klayman (“Ai Wei Wei: Never Sorry”) spent a year on the road with Steve Bannon as he met with European right wing leaders to spread his nationalist ideology. That journey is captured in “The Brink.”

The film’s producer Marie Therese Guirgis started the project with a Bannon connection from outside politics. Fifteen years ago, she worked at the arthouse film distributor Wellspring that was acquired by Bannon’s media company. Guirgis and Klayman discuss what they learned about Bannon and the making of “The Brink” with Pure Nonfiction’s Raphaela Neihausen. 


On Twitter: @aliklay @TheBrinkFilm @PureNonfiction

The post 103: Alison Klayman on Steve Bannon in “The Brink” appeared first on Pure Nonfiction.

Apr 04 2019
34 mins
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Rank #9: 102: Baseball on Drugs in “Screwball”

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“Cocaine Cowboys” director Billy Corben and producer Alfred Spellman talk to Pure Nonfiction  host Thom Powers about their new comic documentary “Screwball” covering  the baseball drug scandal that disgraced Yankee Alex Rodriguez and other players.

Hear their previous interview on episode 42 discussing “Cocaine Cowboys.”

On Twitter: @billycorben @alfredspellman @thompowers @PureNonfiction

The post 102: Baseball on Drugs in “Screwball” appeared first on Pure Nonfiction.

Mar 28 2019
39 mins
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Rank #10: 101: Alex Gibney on how Theranos fooled Silicon Valley

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HBO’s documentary “The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley” looks at the case of Elizabeth Holmes who created the company Theranos promising to revolutionize the field of blood-testing. The company swiftly rose to be valued at billions of dollars, but was eventually exposed as a fraud.

Host Thom Powers interviews director Alex Gibney and producer Erin Edeiken about the making of the film.

Pure Nonfiction’s theme music is composed by Andre Williams who passed away this week at age 82. We send our condolences to his family and friends. See Tricia Todd’s documentary “Agile, Mobile, Hostile: A Year with Andre Williams”

On Twitter: @alexgibneyfilm @HBODocs @thompowers @PureNonfiction

The post 101: Alex Gibney on how Theranos fooled Silicon Valley appeared first on Pure Nonfiction.

Mar 21 2019
37 mins
Play

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