In the Golden Age of documentaries, the medium could use more artistry

by Peter D. Marshall

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It’s a commonly held belief that we’re experiencing a Golden Age of documentary film, and that assumption is solidly affirmed by the program of this year’s edition of AFI Docs.

The festival, now in its 13th year, will kick off June 17 at the Newseum with a film ideally suited to its audience of Washington players, media insiders and nonfiction film buffs: “Best of Enemies,” a portrait of the venomous intellectual rivalry between William F. Buckley and Gore Vidal, directed by Robert Gordon and Oscar-winning filmmaker Morgan Neville (“20 Feet From Stardom”).

Chock-full of revelatory archival footage of Buckley and Vidal going hammer and tongs on nightly television during the 1968 presidential conventions, “Best of Enemies” revolves around two brilliant, engaging and feisty protagonists, preserving an otherwise lost chapter of American social and cultural history and inviting viewers to reflect on the state of our current media culture, political discourse and public intellectuals as a nearly extinct species.

Read the rest of this article from The Washington Post.

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