Tribeca Film Festival – Lessons from 5 incredibly important documentaries

While there weren’t any movies that blew me away this year, these are the ones that managed the important task of highlighting a worthy piece of history that calls for the future.

Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story

When I was telling a 20-something about my anticipation of seeing this movie, he gave me a confused look. “I’ve heard that name before. But it was a man.” I knew exactly what he was talking about. “No, that’s Hedly Lamarr from Blazing Saddles.” The ultimate Mel Brooks joke.

Anyway, Hedy Lamarr was an amazing woman who, while at the top of her fame of a Hollywood screen queen, had a hobby in science. As much as I enjoyed the content, I think the movie would have benefited cut out most of the clips from her films.

Lesson: Women are just as nerdy as men and that’s AWESOME.


City of Ghosts

As someone who was admittedly not fully educated on Syria, I found this documentary to be amazingly easy to understand. Told from the perspective of the journalists who are seeking to spread the truth, you’ll be inspired by their humanity.

Lesson: We need the press. We NEED them.


A Gray State

There’s little likelihood that I would ever watch the movie that this movie is partially about, but it sure makes for an interesting subject. The story revolves around a young couple who had sunk every penny and a seemingly endless amount of time into producing a movie about the end of the world. The storytelling is what shines here. I’ve never been so pulled and pushed with emotion knowing the outcome.

Lesson: LISTEN to your family.


Intent to Destroy

Turkey has yet to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide. Why? Because the term “genocide” was coined after the events took place. Does that make sense to you? How about this, no U.S. President has since used that term. Wow.

Told partly on set of The Promise, starring Oscar Isaac and Christian Bale, it’s mind-blowing seeing the interviews with the extras who are Armenian. Joe Berlinger captures fact and fiction side-by-side.

Lesson: Don’t forget. Don’t FORGET.


Frank Serpico

I hate to admit this, but I’ve never seen Serpico. I knew it was an Al Pacino cop movie, but I had no idea of anything else. As in most cases, the truth is much more interesting. While the pace could be picked up a bit, the story is there and you’ll be shocked.

Lesson: Do the right thing.

About Melissa Hanson

Melissa Hanson aka Dial M For Melissa –
Managing Editor / Podcast Producer –
Growing up, Melissa’s favorite destination was always the video store and would agonize over whether to watch something new or to rewatch a favorite. Things have not changed.
Follow on Twitter @DialMForMelissa

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