Pressure to launch

Documentary | Challenger: The Final Flight examines the origin of a NASA disaster
by Marty VanDriel
Posted 9/24/20, 03:13 pm

The U.S. space program has been a source of pride to Americans and an inspiration to millions around the globe. But these missions into space have come with a cost—both financially and in human lives. 

The four-part Netflix documentary Challenger: The Final Flight tells the story of the space shuttle disaster of 1986. Producers use original footage of flight crew training and interviews with NASA officials, subcontractor employees, and journalists to paint a picture of an agency rushing to complete missions to justify its massive budget.

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Apple TV+

Playing politics

Documentary | Boys State offers a look at the political instincts of young Americans
by Emily Whitten
Posted 9/24/20, 03:09 pm

Every summer, the veterans organization American Legion hosts nearly 20,000 teens in weeklong camps called Boys State. Hundreds of boys in each state run for mock political office (or did before COVID-19, at least), including the top spot of governor. Even if you’re not a political junkie, the experience seems like a lot of fun, especially as presented in the new documentary Boys State, filmed in Texas in 2018. 

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Glimpses of abortion’s divides

Documentary | Divided Hearts of America peers into America’s abortion debate
by Leah Hickman
Posted 9/24/20, 03:01 pm

When is a person a person? Who determines a child’s quality of life? What happens in an abortion procedure? 

Former NFL athlete and current father of seven Benjamin Watson started asking these questions of prominent thinkers last year. Filming for his documentary Divided Hearts of America began in 2019. Even with race issues and social justice taking center stage in 2020, Watson says abortion is the “core issue” at the center of all others. 

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