Park City, Utah: Sundance has long had a reputation as the pre-eminent launching pad for cinematic documentaries, and that was especially true last year when a bunch of Sundance 2018 premieres went on to do extremely well at the box office. Titles such as RBG, Won’t You Be My Neighbor? and Three Identical Strangers have made a significant theatrical and critical impact in 2018 (not to mention an impact on our Year in Review).
Sundance 2019 had no shortage of buzzed-about docs on offer, with the highest profile one being Dan Reed’s Leaving Neverland, about the long-term sexual abuse two men claim they suffered as children at the hands of pop star Michael Jackson.
Although it only screened once, it was unquestionably the most talked-about film of the festival, and by all accounts an extremely harrowing watch. HBO will air the film in early March. (Letterboxd member David Ehrlich’s in-depth review is worth a read.)
Other documentary titles that garnered buzz at this year’s Sundance Film Festival include The Great Hack, covering the Cambridge Analytica Facebook scandal, Alex Gibney’s The Inventor: Out for Blood In Silicon Valley, about controversial blood-testing start-up Theranos and its founder Elizabeth Holmes, and Where’s My Roy Cohn?, a look at the life of the infamous New York lawyer best known these days for mentoring a youthful Donald Trump.
There were three other documentaries making waves at Sundance that Letterboxd had the chance to see. Read on for details.