Kanopy is a streaming service you can access from the comfort of your couch. To access simply go to our website (crlibrary.org,) click on the resources and services tab and select Kanopy. From there you’ll have access to thousands of movies and documentaries the New York Times referred to as “a garden of cinematic delights”. Lucky you! So start reaping your harvest by checking out one or two of my top ten picks (which are not in any order- I enjoyed them all for very different reasons.)
10. My Friend Dahmer
We all have those friends who carefully tend to plants or animals, post their delicious lunch on their social media accounts, work a regular day job-seemingly normal and then curl up at night to zone out to true crime serial killer shows. Maybe it’s the Zodiac Killer, John Wayne Gacy, Charles Manson, or any other serial killer you may have on the top of your head. There’s something intriguing about them. How did they grow up? What happened to them as children that could have turned them into a red-nosed, big shoed child killer? This one about Dahmer is an intimate portrayal of one of America’s most infamous killers and it’s good.
Here’s the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LP4yqd90BT0
9. Captain Fantastic
Are you a good parent? How do you know? Do you base your parenting on your family values? Your community and society? Ben (Viggo Mortensen) and his wife Leslie (Trin Miller) raise their six children in the Washington state wilderness completely off the grid. Some of their younger children have never seen the world outside of the forest. The parents devote their lives to teaching their children to critically think for themselves, to be physically fit and to live in harmony with nature. So when Ben learns of his wife’s death, he grapples with connecting his children to the “civilized” world so they can attend their mother’s funeral.
Here’s the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CjEL1f4-xAw
Welcome to the interesting world of Alamein, or Boy. Boy lives on a farm in the Bay of Plenty region of New Zealand where he hangs with his grandma and cousins and tries to impress the girls with his sweet Michael Jackson moves. He believes his father will come back for him after he gets done with his important business wherever that may be. His father does return (from jail) where he and his gang try to recover buried cash he’d left before taking off. Boy, enamored by the thought of having a Dad on the scene helps him look. This is a story of hope, belonging and humor. It’s a little zany but also works to show the innocence and obstacles children face.
Here’s the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oP05fUP9xAo
Moonlight is a coming of age story. It is a story about processing the pains of your past in order to be able to continue with your future. It’s about not being able to be yourself because of who you’re around. Set in three phases we follow Little, Chiron, and Black; all one complicated human at three different phases-childhood, adolescence and adulthood. This film examines themes of black masculinity, bullying, drug addiction, and homosexuality. It is a beautiful piece that explores how we ultimately come to terms with who it is we’re meant to be in this world.
Here’s the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L78cbXlWJqU
Set in LA in the 1990’s, Gook’s main characters are two Korean American brothers, Eli and Daniel who are trying to keep their late fathers’ shoe store afloat. The brothers befriend an 11-year old African American, Kamilla who is suffering hardships of her own. Tensions run high between the Asian American and African American communities and then the Rodney King verdict is announced making matters even more complicated. This is a great movie about South Central LA and the complexities of everyday life there in the ’90s.
Here’s the trailer:
5. Songs my Brothers Taught Me
This movie is set on the Pine Ridge reservation, a Lakota reservation in South Dakota. It follows three siblings; one brother in jail, one desperately trying to leave for LA and his sister, one of the only things keeping him there. The film explores sibling love, the challenges indigenous people have continued to face and resilience.
Here’s the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lUHAE9lMb8
4. A Street Cat named Bob
A Street Cat Named Bob is the true story of James Bowen, a busker and heroin addict at the lowest point of his life. One day when he is taking a bath, he hears a noise from the kitchen. He rushes out to see a rather large orange tabby and his life is changed forever.
Here’s the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cLniYMy21M
3. The Silent Child
The Silent Child is based on Libby a profoundly deaf four-year-old who up until she meets a social worker, has no way to communicate. A fascinating look into what it’s like to be without this sense.
Here’s the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkqaNN_4_Prxj49dSl6F8nQ
2. The Last Black Man in San Fransisco
This is a beautiful and poignant movie. Jimmie Fails lives with his best friend Mont and Mont’s blind uncle in the Bayview-Hunters Point district in San Francisco. He dreams of reclaiming an old Victorian house where he grew up in the Fillmore district, an area of San Francisco that has become increasingly gentrified. The cinematography is jaw-droppingly gorgeous and it’s the story of Frisco you probably haven’t heard. Before watching this movie I didn’t realize there was a man-made island (Treasure Island) the Navy used for testing and it seeped radioactive waste into the land (Bayview-Hunters Point). There’s a scene in the movie where a young girl skips past a man in a yellow biohazard suit and it’s such a strange juxtaposition. This is a must-see.
Here’s the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXly1MOy9zc
1. Hunt for the Wilderpeople
Ricky Baker, abandoned by his mother, makes a few wrong turns and ends up in on a remote farm with his foster mother, Bella and her distant husband Hec. Bella is able to connect with the child by offering him a bed, hot water bottle and letting him “run away” every night. He’s even given his own gun, which he names Tupac, after his idol. When Bella dies, Hec tells Ricky the authorities will take him back so Ricky fakes his own suicide and bolts for the wilderness, creating a wild and bumpy manhunt. This movie is exactly what you need to breathe some comic relief into your life.
Here’s the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPaU4Gymt3E