Friday, August 18, 2023

'The Janes' about pre-Roe America is nominated in four categories at the News & Documentary Emmy Awards

As I've written twice, "Based on total nominations, I'd say The Janes is Good Night Oppy's stiffest competition" for Best Documentary at the News & Documentary Emmy Awards. It's time to examine this film and its nominations, beginning with The Janes | Official Trailer | HBO.

["]We had to go underground."

#TheJanesHBO tells the revelatory story of a group of unlikely outlaws. Defying the state legislature that outlawed abortion, the Catholic Church that condemned it, and the Chicago Mob that was profiting from it, the members of “Jane” risked their personal and professional lives to support women with unwanted pregnancies in the pre-Roe v. Wade era. Premieres June 8 on HBO Max.
The timing of the premiere was uncanny, as it happened the same month that the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. America needed a look at the pre-Roe situation in order to understand what a post-Roe America could look like. That alone makes The Janes a valuable and moving documentary and a worthy competitor to Good Night Oppy.

Follow over the jump for the nominees against which The Janes is competing in four categories.

Outstanding Social Issue Documentary
America ReFramed
Sapelo World
CIVIL Netflix
The Janes HBO Max
MSNBC Films Model America MSNBC
POV Accepted PBS
Only The Janes has nominations in categories in addition to this one, Outstanding Research: Documentary, Outstanding Direction: Documentary, and, as I mentioned to begin this entry, Best Documentary. On that basis alone, I consider it to be the front-runner to win Outstanding Social Issue Documentary. The other reason is that it has its subject matter, sexism and reproductive rights, to itself in this field. The rest of the nominees examine African-American lives and particularly the effects of racism, which I think is likely to split the vote among them.

Time to watch their trailers, beginning with Sapelo | Official Trailer | America ReFramed from World Channel.

The story of a unique American island, its matriarchal griot, Cornelia Walker Bailey, and her adopted sons as they come of age in the last remaining enclave of the Saltwater Geechee people.
The trailer makes the setting look idyllic, which is a contrast to the rest of the nominees, which are full of conflict.

Next, CIVIL | Official Trailer | Netflix.

CIVIL is an intimate vérité look at the life of maverick civil rights attorney Ben Crump and his mission to raise the value of Black life in America. Through the lens of award-winning filmmaker Nadia Hallgren (Becoming), CIVIL follows a year in the life as Crump takes on the civil cases for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Black farmers and banking while Black victims. Produced by Kenya Barris, Roger Ross Williams, Lauren Cioffi and Nadia Hallgren[.]
Oh, wow, I didn't know that Ben Crump was the attorney for the families of both George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. As I've written before, it's a good day when I learn something new.

Police brutality is also the subject of the next nominee, Model America | Official Trailer from MSNBC.

MSNBC Films presents "Model America,” an explosive four-part series that dissects America’s complicated relationship with race through the lens of the people of Teaneck, New Jersey, a “racial utopia” turned unlikely ground zero for the modern Black Lives Matter movement.
"We endured this pain for 30 years and we're back here again." Sigh.

After watching those two trailers, I was in the mood for something more optimistic, and it seemed at first that I would get it in Accepted | Official Trailer | POV | PBS.

Accepted follows four high school students at T.M. Landry, a prep school in rural Louisiana known for its viral videos of seniors being accepted to the Ivy Leagues and sending 100% of its graduates to college. But an explosive NY Times article exposes the controversial methods of its dynamic founder – and the fiction of meritocracy in American higher education. Official selection, 2021 Tribeca Film Festival.

Accepted made its national broadcast and streaming debut on the PBS documentary series POV and on Monday, October 10, 2022 on PBS!
I'm an educator and a believer in the power of education, so I felt the twist on what appeared at first to be a success story to be disheartening. I also found the number of views disappointing. Like all the POV trailers on YouTube, this one has views in the low hundreds. Again, it's difficult for a nominee to win if few people are watching it. Seeing that pattern induced me to subscribe to POV's channel.

Now for the rest of The Janes' nominations, all of which I've covered before, beginning with Best Documentary, which I discussed yesterday.

Best Documentary
Escape From Kabul HBO Max
FRONTLINE, The Associated Press Putin’s Attack on Ukraine: Documenting War Crimes PBS
Good Night Oppy Amazon Prime
The Janes HBO Max
I covered Best Documentary in 'Good Night Oppy' has six nominations at the News & Documentary Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Science and Technology Documentary and Best Documentary, but since then Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain is no longer listed among News & Documentary Emmy nominees. Until I examine all nominees, I'm going to be a good environmentalist by recycling my preliminary analysis.
While Good Night Oppy is the most nominated entry at this ceremony competing for this award, I don't know enough about its competition yet to pick a winner. The Janes has four nominations...and Escape From Kabul and the FRONTLINE episode "Putin’s Attack on Ukraine: Documenting War Crimes" have two each. Based on total nominations, I'd say The Janes is Good Night Oppy's stiffest competition...
I'm still rooting for Good Night Oppy, but after watching its trailer, I would be neither surprised nor disappointed if The Janes won. Just the same, I'm encouraged that Good Night Oppy beat The Janes in two categories, Best Documentary Feature and Best Score, at the Critics' Choice Documentary Awards, but I have to remember that a different set of people are voting on them. Electorates matter.

Next, Outstanding Research: Documentary, which I covered in '100 Foot Wave' has the most nominations but experts think 'The U.S. and the Holocaust' and 'The 1619 Project' have best chances to win Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series at the Emmy Awards.

I begin this section with the News & Documentary Emmy nomination for The U.S. and the Holocaust.
Outstanding Research: Documentary
37 Words ESPN
FRONTLINE, The Associated Press Putin’s Attack on Ukraine: Documenting War Crimes PBS
Hostages HBO Max
The Janes HBO Max
Lowndes County and the Road to Black Power Peacock
The U.S. and the Holocaust PBS
Ken Burns is known for doing his research, but that's not enough for me to say it's the favorite yet. I'll re-examine this category later.
I wrote "The Janes has a good shot to win Outstanding Research: Documentary" in Two Emmy-nominated documentaries about Watergate for Veep Day and after watching the trailer, I still think I'm right.

I'm going back to R.I.P. Sinéad O'Connor, who died one day before 'Nothing Compares' earned two News & Documentary Emmy Awards nominations, the first installment of this series, to examine the last category.
Outstanding Direction: Documentary
In Her Hands Netflix
The Janes HBO Max
Master of Light HBO Max
Nothing Compares Showtime
Retrograde National Geographic
Wildcat Amazon Prime
My preliminary pick...[is] "Retrograde" for Outstanding Direction: Documentary.
That reminds me that I should look at Retrograde, the most nominated documentary at these awards not also nominated for Best Documentary. That will have to wait, as its final exam time where I teach and I have to concentrate on my work. That doesn't mean I'm not blogging. I already have videos picked out for World Honey Bee Day and World Mosquito Day. Stay tuned.

Previous posts about the 2023 News & Documentary Emmy Awards

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