11 Movies Searching for the Truth at Sundance 2019

January 19, 2019 by Nick Nadel

From probing documentaries to “based-on-a-true-story” narratives, the films screening at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival come from filmmakers who seek to tell the truth about a wide variety of hot button topics. The #MeToo era and “fake news” are explored in several buzzy documentaries, while serial killer Ted Bundy and British intelligence whistleblower Katherine Gun are among the real-life people getting the biopic treatment. Can you handle the truth being exposed at Sundance? Read on to find out.

Untouchable 
Filmmaker Ursula Macfarlane delves into the sexual assault allegations that brought down disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein. Former staffers, journalists, accusers and more offer first-hand testimony on how Weinstein gained — and abused — his Hollywood power.

Raise Hell: The Life & Times of Molly Ivins 
Filmmaker Janice Engel profiles the late Texas journalist and author of such bestsellers as Bushwacked: Life in George W. Bush’s America. The doc explores Ivins’ hilarious takedowns of politicians and steadfast defense of the Bill of Rights.

Official Secrets 
Keira Knightley stars as British intelligence agent Katherine Gunwho leaked a top-secret memo exposing an illegal spy operation in the lead-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, in this thriller from director Gavin Hood (Rendition).
 
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
Acclaimed actor Chiwetel Ejiofor makes his directorial debut with this inspirational true story about a young boy in rural Malawi who seeks to build a windmill for his family’s land.

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile
Acclaimed documentarian Joe Berlinger (Paradise Lost; Sundance’s Cold Blooded) takes a chilling look into the crimes of infamous serial killer Ted Bundy (played by Zac Efron) from the point-of-view of his longtime girlfriend, single mother Liz Kloepfer (Lily Collins).

Mike Wallace Is Here
Filmmaker Avi Belkin’s in-depth profile of late 60 Minutes newsman Mike Wallace examines how the acclaimed journalist’s quest for truth matters in the era of “fake news.”

Leaving Neverland
Filmmaker Dan Reed’s four-hour documentary delves into the sexual assault and molestation allegations swirling around the late Michael Jackson. The film includes accounts from two accusers, who became acquainted with the pop star in their youth.

The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley 
Acclaimed documentarian Alex Gibney (Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room) and filmmakers Jessie Deeter and Erin Edeiken are behind this look into Elizabeth Holmes, the disgraced founder of the Theranos start-up who perpetuated a massive fraud on the tech world.

Cold Case Hammarskjöld
Danish TV host and filmmaker Mads Brügger examines the mysterious death of United Nations secretary-general Dad Hammarskjold, whose 1961 plane crash in Africa was suspected to be an assassination.

The Report
Screenwriter Scott Z. Burns (The Informant) writes and directs this ripped from the headlines tale of Senate Staffer Daniel Jones (Adam Driver) who leads an investigation into the “enhanced interrogation techniques” used by the CIA after 9/11.

The Great Hack
From filmmakers Karim Amer and Jehane Noujaim (Startup.com) comes this frightening look into how personal information is collected and weaponized in the political and cultural wars. The doc explores our new digital reality through the lens of the recent Cambridge Analytica/Facebook data breach.

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2019