And the Oscar Goes To… Not a Clue

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Arty Chick’s AFIDOCS 2020 Wrap-up

We’ve been going to AFIDOCS since 2014. It’s usually a great long weekend of documentaries and mixing with film lovers and filmmakers. This year because of COVID-19, it was a virtual festival, entirely online and though the films were great, I really missed that human interaction, as well as the live Q&A sessions after many of the films. Nevertheless, it was a great few days of intensive documentary watching. Here are my takes on what I saw.

Review: Bully. Coward. Victim. The Story of Roy Cohn

You might think last year’s Where’s my Roy Cohn told us all we need to know about the man who spawned the current occupant of the White House. But Ivy Meeropol, the granddaughter of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, thinks there’s a lot more to tell. In her new documentary she’s got an axe to grind and she pulls out everything in her arsenal. If you’ve never heard of Roy Cohn, this film is a trove of anecdotes about him, his “friends” in high places, his self-hating homosexuality, and yes, his mentorship of Trump. It’s a litany of his evil deeds and there’s not really anyone in the film who has a good thing to say about him, except gossip columnist Cindy Adams. He eventually comes off as a pathetic man.

Review: Where’s My Roy Cohn?

There’s something inherently distressing and depressing – and more than a little scary – about the documentary Where’s My Roy Cohn? The title is taken from a 2018 quote attributed to none other than Donald Trump, lamenting the fact that his former lawyer/fixer Roy Cohn wasn’t still around to employ all the tactics that Cohn was known for: treachery; hypocrisy; media manipulation; offensiveness; ruthlessness; a sense of entitlement. Pick your poison. Cohn was a master, and Trump misses him dearly. Rudy Giuliani may be trying his best to channel Cohn, but as the documentary reveals, Cohn is a tough act to follow.