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Shows, Movies, and Documentaries to Watch About Racial Injustice Shows, Movies, and Documentaries to Watch About Racial Injustice

Editorials

5 Powerful Shows, Movies, and Documentaries to Watch to Learn About Racial Injustice

Credit: Netflix/ When They See Us

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Guest post: Hiba Abdillahi

There’s a problem in our country. If you’ve been watching new news or checked in on social media, you have seen the murder of African American men at the hands of police (most recently, the tragic death of George Floyd while in police custody), racially-motivated encounters, and, as a result, protests, riots, and lootings that have spanned nationwide. 

The conversation about racial injustice, racial inequality, and systematic racism has never been louder or more charged up, and for those of you who may not know much about it or have never experienced it first hand, it’s a time to get educated.

The list of shows and documentaries that cover what it’s like to be black in America and capture institutionalized racism continues to multiply quickly as streaming services. 

But we’ve narrowed it down to a list of 5 shows, movies, and documentaries that can be a starting point for you and your family to help you understand how root of violence against black Americans and how it affects everyone. 

 

1. When They See Us (Netflix)

The jarring Netflix mini-series by Ava Duvernay is based on the story of the Central Park Five, a group of five black Latino boys failed by the justice system after they were wrongfully convinced of raping and assaulting a woman in Central Park in 1989.

 

2. 13th (Netflix)

How much do you know about the U.S prison boom? Once again filmmaker Ava DuVernay explores issues of race, justice, and mass incarceration in the United States in the Academy Award-nominated documentary.

 

3. I Am Not Your Negro (Youtube or Amazon Prime)

Sometimes we need to look back, to see how we can move forward. This documentary is based on an unfinished manuscript by James Baldwin and covers the history of racism in America, focusing on the stories of Civil Rights leaders Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

4. Dear White People (Netflix)

We could all use some comic relief these days while educating ourselves, of course. This comedy-drama series on Netflix follows a group of black college students at an Ivy League (predominately white) college. The series covers plenty of racial topics young African-Americans face including cultural bias, social injustice, misguided activism, and slippery politics.

 

5. If Beale Street Could Talk (Hulu

It’s the story we’ve seen play out in our society time and time again. Based on the novel by James Baldwin, the 2018 drama focuses on a young black man imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit and a young back couple fighting for justice and the American dream.

 

Bonus: Just Mercy

Michael B. Jordan’s film follows the real-life story of defense attorney Bryan Stevenson, who fought to clear Walter McMillian (played by Jamie Foxx), wrongfully convicted of murder and placed on death row.

Warner Bros. announced it will be free on all digital streaming platforms during the month of June to teach people about systemic racism. 

 

Click here to find out how you can donate to honor George Floyd.


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Manifest

‘Manifest’ Season 3 Teaser Focuses on Tail Fin in the Water – What Happened to Flight 828?

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Manifest Flight 828 Tail Fin Theories

When NBC renewed Manifest for a third season, Manifesters jumped for joy. Celebrations only intensified when it was revealed the season would return as part of NBC’s fall 2020 lineup in September (or late October given COVID delays). 

The trailer released by Manifest hones in on the question we’ve all been asking ourselves for way too long: what happened to the passengers aboard Flight 828?

Pieces of the second season are spliced together to amp up fans, but there’s a huge focus on the specific and major cliffhanger of the fishermen finding the tail fin of the plane in the water. My guess is that tail fin finding is going to propel the series into new and unexpected directions.

Manifest Will Return for a Third Season – Manifest

There's more to the mystery of Flight 828. ✈️

Posted by Manifest on Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Here’s what we know to be certain – Flight 828 landed five years after it took off from Jamaica. Upon landing, it exploded in front of all the passengers. Therefore, it’s very unlikely that there would be a tail fin floating around in the water. 

There’s a huge assumption that the tail fin is part of the plane, but it could also be a decoy plane used by the government since we obviously know the government is involved. Maybe they wanted people to think the plane sunk? And they took the real thing to inspect? The government wouldn’t be reckless enough to dump the real thing in the ocean.

Users pointed out that when the plane exploded, it didn’t actually show the tail fin getting destroyed, so it could be the real thing. 

However, another interesting point is that the tail fin being pulled out of the water and the one from the exploding plane look different. It could be another side of the fin, it could be a filming continuity error, or it might not be the same tail fin at all. 

Manifest Season 3 Tail Fin Conspiracy

Credit: Manifest/ NBC

There’s a chance it’s from a different plane. Personally, it looks like it would be from an older model aircraft, so maybe it’s from a plane that crashed prior?

Or maybe it’s a plane that the survivors will board to try to defy the death date? 

Interview: Jack Messina Talks All Things ‘Manifest’ Including Bromance with Zeke and Season 3

The fishermen are fully aware that Flight 828 returned, so we know that this timeline exists alongside the passengers and in the same dimension.  

There’s also the possibility that this is the “silver dragon” from the storm episode, which pointed to the possibility of this mystery happening once before in a “lightning always strikes the same place twice.” Maybe that Calling was showing them that this is where the plane went down — an “X” marks the spot kind of moment. 

Series creator Jeff Rake had this to say about the tail fin, if it offers you any insight: “We saw that plane land in New York. We saw that plane blow up on the tarmac at the end of the pilot. So how can a plane have landed and been exploded and then also be found at the bottom of the ocean? Once the entire world finds out about this tail fin, that’s going to re-trigger the global scrutiny and paranoia about Flight 828 and its passengers.” 

Could it be that the passengers aren’t even real? Rake has considered it: “Does this mean that the passengers are not the passengers? And if they’re not the passengers, who are they? That’s going to be a season-long, science-based, science meets mythology investigation. For those who have been feeling that the episodes have become a little science-light or investigation-light, they have a lot of good material coming down the pike.”

We’ll have to wait a few more months to get to the bottom of this mystery. 

Until then — share your best theories in the comments below! 


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Money Heist

7 Wild Facts We Learned from the Netflix Documentary ‘Money Heist: The Phenomenon’

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Crazy Facts About Money Heist from Netflix's Documentary "The Phenomenon"

Money Heist (La Casa de Papel) has risen the ranks as Netflix’s most popular show, but if you’ve watched the series, it’s not entirely a surprise. The Spanish-language series is one of the streaming service’s best offerings filled with charismatic characters, wit, plot twists, and passion. However, it wasn’t always a Netflix Original, and the worldwide success has been an unexpected albeit pleasant turn of events for the creators, writers, and cast. 

The Netflix documentary “Money Heist: The Phenomenon (La Casa de Papel: El Fenomeno)” explores what makes the show such a thrilling addiction that has resonated with people all over the world. 

What I found most interesting is that the series broke down everything that went into creating this world, these characters, and a storyline that captivates audiences. In the same way that the Professor could anticipate every move that would be executed by the police, the creators of the series have been able to tap into what audiences will connect with, what they want to see, and what will make this their favorite series.

Here are some of our favorite fun facts from the documentary — SPOILERS from all seasons ahead: 

1. The show was a flop

It’s honestly hard to believe that Money Heist didn’t find immediate success in Spain considering how good the series is. According to the documentary, the series started off strong with 4.5 million viewers, but with each passing week, viewership waned until it was down to 2 million.

For that reason, the series was canceled by Spanish channel Antena 3, which explains why season 2 had such a satisfying and fitting ending. Everything was wrapped up with the idea that the series was over and done with. And then Netflix came along and added to series to its list of programming.

Here’s where you learn about the power of word of mouth — Netflix didn’t promote the series at all but somehow (and rightfully so), it began picking up steam. People from all over the world began to discover just how brilliant the Professor was; they connected with a rogue group of robbers on a personal and intimate level. Eventually, Money Heist became the second most-watched series next to Netflix’s mainstay Stranger Things, and, of course, the streaming service was ready to capitalize by reviving the series and proposing the show creators another season. The rest, is, well, history. 

In fact, the series is the most viewed Netflix series in France, Italy, Argentina, Chile, Brazil, and Portugal. 

 

2.  They consulted real-life experts to make things very realistic

Money Heist doesn’t half-ass anything because the world is so far-fetched that it has to feel real. And it does. You’re completely enveloped in every aspect of the Professor’s plan and often find yourself wondering, “how are they going to pull that off?” The team putting together the series felt the same way and thus, when it came down to plotting how they are going to infiltrate high-security places and what they’re going to be stealing, they decided to consult the real-life experts to get the answers.

Personally, I was in awe of how technical the second heist was from removing the gold from the underwater vault and melting it down. The research included hiring a marine engineer to help with the construction of the antechamber that it used to go into the vault and remove the gold.

When it came to the melting down part, a father-and-son metalworker duo served as advisers on how to properly melt down 90 tons of gold into little pellets that could easily (we use that term loosely) be smuggled out. The experts were even used as extras to ensure the process was done correctly. The only difference is that they used copper instead of gold in the scene since it’s cheaper! 

 

3.  There’s a lot of movie magic 

You didn’t actually think they used real gold in the underwater scenes, right? There’s plenty of movie magic that goes into bringing the world of Money Heist to life, and a lot of it is fixed in post-production. Take for example the gold, which was just styrofoam coated in a gold color that began to concave after being submerged in water and needed to be edited piece-by-piece, frame-by-frame. 

However, there are elements that are truly crafted in a way that keeps everyone on their toes. The team built a set that they then submerged underwater so it would look realistic and make it seem like water was rising once they broke in.

The scene where the blimp flies over Spain at the kickstart of the second heist and all the money falls from the sky really happened, though, it wasn’t real money falling onto hundreds of extras — that would require production to stage an actual heist. The scene may have been minor, but it was necessary to get it just right in order for it to have the desired effect, which meant collecting and throwing the money over and over for several takes as the crew struggled to get it to fly in the right director. Eventually, it began raining and the paper money began melting. Moral of the story is that things go wrong just like in the Professor’s carefully crafted plan. 

And the boat scene where the gang reached international waters was not filmed on a chilly and gloomy day. In fact, it was shot during a scorching hot day in the Philippines and everyone was sweating and ready to pass out from the heat. They pulled it off, right!?

Is Season 5 of ‘Money Heist’ Happening? Everything We Know

4. They take risks 

The idea of “no risk, no reward” definitely comes into play here. When you watch the series, you’re constantly on the edge of your seat wondering what’s going to happen next, if the plan will go off without a hitch, and what obstacle will come crashing down on the team. The thrill is a product of the cast and crew’s desire to keep you on the edge of your seat. They wanted to make a series that’s unpredictable, and the only reason to do that is to take big risks with every storyline and every character. We see that with their decisions to kill off beloved main characters because it’s the only way to keep the storytelling authentic. 

Which…. leads us right into this next point (see below)! 

 

5. The show is written on the fly

There’s a general plan for the series but unlike the Professor’s carefully thought out and meticulous plans that anticipate every move, the series is written in the “heat of the moment.” That means that very few scripts are written in advance. The writer’s team is always working as the cast is filming to add in scenes, switch up dialogue, or change the direction of the series completely. 

If you think about it, it’s kind of brilliant because not only are you unsure of what’s going to happen next since it leaves the actors in suspense, but it allows the characters to react authentically to what is happening. 

Obviously, this requires everyone to have their head in the game at all times but also adds a lot of pressure and stress. The show creator Alex Pina says he wakes up and is terrified going into work everyday. Essentially, that’s the anxiety the robbers would be feeling in a real life heist.

 

6. It has some very famous fans

Plenty of celebrities have jumped into the red jumpsuits and joined the resistance including Stephen King and Brazilian soccer player Neymar, who was so obsessed with the series that he snagged a role in the series as a monk! Who would have thought?

 

7. The imagery is part of the resistance

When you think of Money Heist, there’s some imagery and symbolism that comes to mind including the red jumpsuits, the Dali mask, and, of course, Bella Ciao. There’s no way you watched the series and didn’t get the song stuck in your head for days on end.

Remember how I said show creators and writers knew what they were doing? Yeah, that was purposeful. The series uses the color red as it is usually associated with blood and passion. Red has become the show’s signature color. The song, which was sung by Italian anti-fascist partisans in World War II, has become the anthem. It was first sung when Moscow hits dirt in the Mint of Spain and the whole cast erupts in a euphoric celebration in season 1.

It’s later juxtaposed with a somber rendition by the Professor and his brother, Berlin, which allows the song to take on new and deeper meaning. It eventually becomes synonymous with being the symbol of the resistance and rebellion against the government. The song is being sung all over the world during protests, riots, and more. 

 


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Editorials

How to Watch ‘Hamilton’ on Disney+ this Fourth of July

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Hamilton the Musical Coming to Disney+

This July, you’re getting the best seat in the house for Hamilton and you aren’t paying hundreds of dollars for it! 

On July 3, Disney+ will begin streaming the Lin-Manuel Miranda smash Broadway musical, which follows the life of Alexander Hamilton and the Founding Fathers. 

The version of the original production was filmed at the Richard Rodgers Theatre on Broadway in June of 2016.

While you’ll be able to enjoy it from your living room, Miranda has gone out of his way to give you full Broadway experience. He tweeted the screen-adaptation will feature “whole show, every note & scene, & a 1-minute countdown clock during intermission.”

Here’s everything you need to know about streaming Hamilton on Disney+ 

How to Watch?

Hamilton will be available to Disney+ subscribers. You can stream it on online or on your streaming devices. 

 

How Much Does Disney+ Cost?

You can snag a subscription with on-demand access annually for $69.99 per year or monthly for $6.99. The annual membership saves you about $14 yearly. This gives you access to all of Disney and Marvel content! 

You can also get the bundle with ESPN+ and Hulu for an additional $12.99 a month. Bundling the three gives you a 25% savings or roughly $5 bundled rather than subscribing to each service separately.

 

What’s Hamilton Rated?

Miranda recently revealed the screen adaptation will be exactly the same as the stage performance sans two swear words. In order to qualify for the “PG-13” rating, the film must not have more than one swear word. The rating warns of “language and some suggestive material.”

 

Is It Worth My Money?

Disney has an extensive catalog and much like other streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime, it adds new content monthly from classic films, shows and cartoons, animated films, and brand new originals. 

For those who like Hamilton, Disney+ also offers the stage-to-screen film adaptation of Newsies. And if you’re looking for more of Miranda’s work, Disney+ is streaming the reboot of Mary Poppins and Moana.

10 Shows to Watch During 4th of July Weekend 2020


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