Monday Movie Report: Tribeca Film Fest to open with doc about President Carter

The 19th Tribeca Film Festival is set to run this year from April 15-April 26, has officially announced its first movie.

The world premiere of the documentary “Jimmy Carter Rock & Roll President” will serve as the opening picture of the film festival, which is held in the New York City area. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the movie is directed by Mary Wharton and explores the role of popular music and Carter’s passion for it.

The premiere will take place at the historic Beacon Theatre, originally opened in 1929. It will be followed by a performance of Willie Nelson.

THR reports the documentary uses interviews with Carter, along with archived footage of Nelson, Aretha Franklin, Jimmy Buffett and Paul Simon.

In a statement, Carter said “the film accurately captures my love for all music and the importance music has played in my personal and professional life. I remain hopeful and believe that music can serve to bring us together as a nation.”

THR also cited a statement from Tribeca co-founder and CEO Jane Rosenthal, which read “we witness the power of art inspiring change and the positive impact of citizens raising their voices against injustice everyday. As filmmakers, we were inspired to create the Tribeca Film Festival after 9/11 because we believe in the power of art to restore community and inspire change.”

Carter, a Democrat, served as president from 1977 through 1980. Over the course of his presidency, he created the Department of Energy and the Department of Education. He also was instrumental in creating the Camp David Accords between Egypt and Israel. His term also took place during the Iran Hostage Crisis and an energy crisis.

Following his presidency, Carter earned the Nobel Peace Prize for his work with the Carter Center, which has pushed for fair elections, stopping human rights abuses and eradicating diseases. He also became a major supporter of Habitat for Humanity.

The festival showing the documentary about Carter is historically well known for its emphasis on independent film.

At the box office this weekend, it was the Blue Blur taking the top spot with nearly $60 million. “Sonic the Hedgehog” earned $57 million, coming ahead of last year’s “Detective Pikachu” which opened with $54.3 million.

The full top five was:
1. Sonic the Hedgehog – $57,000,000
2. Birds of Prey – $17,115,000
3. Fantasy Island – $12,400,000
4. The Photograph – 12,270,000
5. Bad Boys for Life – $11,305,000

For the upcoming weekend, releases include the horror movie “The Boy II” and the outdoors adventure film “The Call of the Wild.”

On the small screen, meanwhile, films available include:

  • Jojo Rabbit, my rating: 5 out of 5 (2019 Top 10), Large Association of Movie Blogs rating: 4.54 out of 5, Rotten Tomatoes rating: 80%, MetaCritic rating: 58.
  • 21 Bridges, my rating: 2.5 out of 5, Large Association of Movie Blogs rating: 2.9 out of 5, Rotten Tomatoes rating: 51%, MetaCritic rating: 51.
  • Midway, my rating: 2.5 out of 5, Large Association of Movie Blogs rating: 2.75 out of 5, Rotten Tomatoes rating: 42%, MetaCritic rating: 47.
  • A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, my rating: 3 out of 5, Large Association of Movie Blogs rating: 4 out of 5, Rotten Tomatoes rating: 95%, MetaCritic rating: 80.

Author: Matthew Liedke

Journalist and film critic in Minnesota. Graduate of Rainy River College and Minnesota State University in Moorhead. Outside of movies I also enjoy sports, craft beers and the occasional video game.

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