Movies Update: ‘Hamilton,’ ’13TH’ and More

Plus, a look back at summer blockbusters we miss.

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By Stephanie Goodman

Film Editor

Dear film fans,

As we head into the Fourth of July weekend, the movies are giving us a lot to think about at a difficult time for our country.

“Hamilton,” the filmed version of the Broadway musical, has finally arrived (on Disney+). You can read all about it here, from its Off Broadway start to the movie shoot. Speaking of which: A.O. Scott says in his film review that it feels “more vital, more challenging then ever,” raising questions about our nation’s founding and how that history has been handed down to us. As the well-known chorus goes, “Who lives, who dies, who tells your story?”

Ava DuVernay, whose Netflix documentary, “13TH,” chronicles the disproportionate incarceration of African-Americans, raised a similar point with us recently: “You have to analyze where the silences in those historical narratives are.” She was taking part in our roundtable with Stanley Nelson (“The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution”) and Sabaah Folayan and Damon Davis (“Whose Streets?”). In conversation with the writer Salamishah Tillet, the filmmakers spoke about racial justice and the moving image.

Though theaters remain largely closed, there’s still a lot going on in the film world. The academy invited more than 800 new members and announced it had met the diversity goals it set after #OscarsSoWhite. Still, as my colleague Kyle Buchanan writes, “only 19 percent of the current members are people of color while just 33 percent of Oscar voters are female.”

And if you’re missing summer blockbusters (I know I am), Scott, Manohla Dargis and Mekado Murphy are taking new looks at old favorites, from “Jaws” to superhero hits and cinematic car chases.

Have a happy holiday and stay safe!






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