NYC, August 2017, the summer after the presidential inauguration. A city oppressed by the unrelenting heat and the tensions that have been simmering ever since the election. A city that is trying to grapple with a growing anxiety over economic insecurity, rising rents, marching white nationalists and ever-present news of natural catastrophes across the country. THE HOTTEST AUGUST, Brett Story’s (THE PRISON IN TWELVE LANDSCAPES) latest documentary, is a complex and nuanced portrait of a city and its inhabitants. Sampling works from Zadie Smith, Karl Marx, and Annie Dillard, it offers a hypnotic glimpse into a society on the verge of catastrophe, registering the anxieties, distractions, and survival strategies that preoccupy ordinary lives.
Q&A with producer Danielle Varga to follow.