screen savors: Diana documentaries and the film ‘Get Out’

To commemorate 20 years since the death of princess Diana three documentaries will be shown on Israeli television.

princess diana 298.88 (photo credit: AP [file])
princess diana 298.88
(photo credit: AP [file])
For many, the date August 31, 1997, instantly evokes memories of the tragic sudden death of the woman who will always be known as Princess Diana. To commemorate 20 years since she died, YES VOD and YES Docu are showing three documentaries about her life, death and legacy.
Diana’s Death: The Search for the Truth, which begins airing on YES VOD on September 1 and will be broadcast on that date on YES Docu at 10 p.m., is the least interesting by far. It’s simply an examination of the minutiae surrounding the car accident, with possibilities of conspiracy theories raised but never substantiated, and tasteless reenactments.
Diana: Seven Days that Shook the World, which airs on YES VOD on August 31 and will be shown that day on YES Docu at 10 p.m., covers much the same ground that the feature film The Queen explored. It focuses on the national mourning for Diana in the UK and the initial responses of the royal family, which struck many as being cold and uncaring, and were certainly tone deaf. This film tells an interesting story that was new to me about the conflict between Prince Charles, who was attuned to the love the public felt for his ex-wife even as it overwhelmed him, and Queen Elizabeth II, who has never understood how to play to the modern media. This documentary also captures a particular moment when a pattern was set for how the media and the public handle certain kinds of events, with crowds turning out to mourn very publicly, and the media transforming the reporting of events (Diana has been killed) into an endless parade of details on her last moments and the car crash.
The third film is the one everyone with an interest in Diana will want to see, Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy, which begins on YES VOD on September 2 and airs on YES Docu on that date at 10 p.m. This is just what it sounds like – an intimate reflection on her life by her sons, with recollections by other family members and old friends. This is the movie that will remind you why the world fell in love with this young blonde and why she meant so much to so many. Princes William and Harry share home movies and snapshots of their much-photographed mother, who never looked as lovely or as relaxed as when she was holding them.
Although a lot of the world’s interest in Diana had to do with gossip, fashion and her proximity to celebrities such as Elton John, she had substance as well as style.
This film will remind you that she used her fame to bring attention to causes that mattered, such as treating AIDS patients with dignity at a time when they were shunned and harassed. When she shook the hand of a young man with AIDS in a hospital in 1987, it was no empty gesture but a plea to the world to recognize the humanity of AIDS sufferers. She also worked for the homeless and other causes. Just a few months before she died, she auctioned off many of her dresses and donated the $4.5 million she raised to charity, which is not something you see many of today’s celebs doing. This celebration of her life mentions these accomplishments and many others.
The year isn’t over, but Jordan Peele’s film Get Out was certainly the most original, entertaining and just plain clever movie of 2017 so far, and you can see it on HOT VOD starting on August 27. It uses a simple horror movie trope to tell the story of a young African American man who goes to visit his white girlfriend’s family in Connecticut, only to find himself in the middle of a bizarre plot that threatens his life. But its horror story coexists with extremely funny social comedy, and it never goes quite where you think it will.
It stars British actor Daniel Kaluuya in the lead role and Allison Williams, who played Marnie on Girls, as his girlfriend.
Bradley Whitford (Josh on The West Wing) plays her liberal but bloodthirsty father.