When You Want to Explore Other Parts of America At-Home, GCIFF programmer Rodney Uhler
The Rider (Available on Hulu, Starz)
Chloé Zhao’s 2017 feature about a young rodeo champion trying to reestablish his purpose after a debilitating injury was criminally underseen despite winning dozens of awards, including at Cannes, the Gotham Awards, Palm Springs Film Festival. A captivating and nuanced portrayal of balancing passion, purpose and pride plays out against the gorgeous scenery of American heartlands.
The American Factory (Available on Netflix)
The winner of the 2020 Academy Award for Best Documentary was also the first feature in the partnership between Barack and Michelle Obama’s production company and Netflix is the story of one Ohio factory’s transformation after it is bought out and transformed by a Chinese company. The filmmakers’ fly on the wall approach allows for us to witness the results of the culture clash both at a large corporate level and in an intimate human manner. The film shys away from casting judgement and painting anyone a hero or villain, allow the subjects and audiences a more direct connection.
Columbus (Available on Hulu)
A story about an unexpected friendship set in an unexpected treasure trove of architecture. Casey, in a breakout performance by Hayley Lu Richardson, lives with her mother in a little-known Midwestern town haunted by the promise of modernism. Jin, the ever-wonderful John Cho, a visitor from the other side of the world, attends to his dying father. Both are burdened by the future in different ways, and find surprising respite in one another and the architecture surrounding them.