This November will be full of new releases, including heart-wrenching stories, both true and fictional, that will make you think. As you’re planning your weekends up to the holiday season, watch these dramas, memoirs and documentaries. I dare you not to be inspired and moved.
1. “Loving” (Nov. 4)
Mildred and Richard Loving married in Washington, D.C. in 1958. In 1959, the couple pled guilty and was sentenced to a year in prison. Their crime: interracial marriage. This story is old but definitely relevant: same-sex marriage has been legal in the United States for over a year now, but the struggles of those facing prejudice for their sexual orientation are far from over. “Loving” is the true story of the pivotal case, Loving v. Virginia, and shows the adversity that people have faced in the fight for their rights as human beings.
2. “Crd” (Nov. 4)
This edgy and sensual film delves into the lives of college students at an arts school in India. Competition is king here, but one student dares to make his own voice known despite the oppressive atmosphere. National Award Winning Director Kranti Kanadé brings this true story to life, and his creation has already been heralded by Namrata Joshi, India’s leading critic, as a film that, “breaks all rules of filmmaking” and “goes where no Indian film has gone before.” If you relished the tension and high-tempo energy of “Whiplash,” try “Crd.”
3. “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” (Nov. 11)
“Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” is based on the best-selling novel by Ben Fountain and was directed by “Life of Pi’s” Ang Lee, a promising start. The teaser trailer juxtaposes the absurd theatricality of a halftime show with Billy Lynn’s war flashbacks. Lynn is a young veteran who is one of the few veterans being honored for their service and walking in the spectacle. The film questions the way we honor and treat our veterans and brings up the hushed mental health topic of post-traumatic stress disorder. “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” sheds light on the glory of battle versus the tragic nightmare of being on the front lines.
4. “National Bird” (Nov. 11)
Since 2004, 403 drone strikes have killed 3,058 people. Of those killed, 2,498 have been militants. The documentary “National Bird” almost breaches government confidentiality by interviewing those who had to identify whether people were militants or civilians. They asked hard questions such as, what was it like to hold that power in your hands, then watch as your observation became an assassination?
5. “Notes on Blindness” (Nov. 16)
This British documentary continues the earnest work of the Emmy Award-winning short film of the same name. “Notes on Blindness” follows John Hull, an author who is slowly going blind and trying to understand and cope with his loss of sight by keeping audio recordings. Over three years, Hull recorded over 16 hours of his observations of what it’s like to lose the visual aspect of your life. His diaries were first published in 1992 as “Touching the Rock.” If the unique premise of this quiet yet intense film isn’t convincing enough, it also has a 100 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
6. “Lion” (Nov. 25)
“Lion” is the movie adaptation of Saroo Brierley’s memoir “A Long Way Home.” When Brierly was 5 years old, he was separated from his family when he got lost and jumped onto the wrong train. He was later adopted in Australia, but after yearning to know the truth about his brother and mother, he travels back to his native India to find his family using Google Earth. Since the film’s premiere at various film festivals, it has won the Audience Award for Best Narrative at the Middleburg Film Festival with its heartrending story of longing and homecoming.