For immediate release | January 26, 2020

ALA Film and Media Round Table announces 2020 Notable Videos for Adults list

PHILADELPHIA – The American Library Association (ALA) Film and Media Round Table: Notable Videos for Adults Committee has compiled its 2020 list of Notable Videos for Adults, a list of 15 outstanding films released on video within the past two years and suitable for all libraries serving adults. Its purpose is to call attention to recent video releases that make a significant contribution to the world of video. The list is compiled for use by librarians and the general adult populace.

The Notable Videos for Adults Committee selected 15 outstanding titles from among 45 nominees for this year’s list of Notable Videos for Adults. The availability of closed captions (CC) and/or subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing (SDH) is preferred; inclusion of the same is indicated below.

Always In Season (2019, dir. Jacqueline Olive) 90 minutes. Multitude Films. DVD. Available from Good Docs. CC.

In 2014, an African-American teenager, Lennon Lacy, was found dead, hanging from a swing set. Ruled a suicide, Lacy’s family and others seek justice, believing his death was the result of a lynching.The film explores this tragedy in the context of the legacy of lynching in America.

Crime + Punishment (2018, dir. Stephen Maing) 112 minutes. Hulu. DVD. Available from Good Docs. CC.

Follows the officers of the “NYPD 12” on their mission to expose administrative corruption in the New York City Police Department and the effects of it’s illegal quota system targeting communities of color.

Dawnland: A Documentary about Cultural Survival and Stolen Children (2018, dir. Adam Mazo and Ben Pender-Cudlip) 86 minutes. Upstander Project. DVD and Blu-ray. Available from CC.

Gripping testimonies from Native Americans and the first U.S. government-endorsed truth and reconciliation commission, as they seek facts and healing following decades of white assimilationist child welfare policies, tribal disintegration, and family separation within the territory of the Wabanaki Confederacy in Maine.

Hail Satan? (2019, dir. Penny Lane) 95 minutes. Magnolia Pictures. DVD. Available from various distributors. CC.

The separation of church and state is at the heart of this documentary about the subversive and often humorous activities of The Satanic Temple and its members.

It Must Schwing! The Blue Note Story (2019, dir. Eric Friedler) 115 minutes. Studio Hamburg Enterprises. DVD and Blu-ray. Available from various distributors. CC.

Through performances and interviews, learn about Alfred Lion and Francis Wolff, two jazz lovers who emigrated to the United States and started Blue Notes Records, promoting exceptional artists, advanced recording techniques and artistic freedom.

Kusama Infinity (2018, dir. Heather Lenz) 80 minutes. Magnolia Pictures. DVD. Available from various distributors. CC.

Presents the career of nonagenarian Yayoi Kusama, the Japanese artist known for her achievements in various media. Archival and contemporary footage showcase her dazzling achievements.

Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice (2019, dir. Rob Epstein & Jeffrey Friedman) 95 minutes. Greenwich Entertainment. DVD and Blu-ray. Available from various distributors. CC.

Linda narrates this documentary starting with her early Stone Poney days through the 70s and 80s as a “rock queen.” Both concert clips and interviews add to show a woman challenged by Parkinsons who cares deeply about the music.

Maiden (2019, dir. Alex Holmes) 97 minutes. Sony Pictures Classics. DVD and Blu-ray. Available from various distributors. CC.

Traces the inspirational story of the pioneering all-woman crew, led by 24-year-old Tracy Edwards, and their quest to compete in the 1989 Whitbread Around the World yacht race.

Personal Statement (2018, dir. Juliane Dressner & Edwin Martinez) 87 minutes. Reify Films. DVD. Available from Good Docs and various distributors. English & Spanish with Spanish subtitles. CC.

Highlights harsh realities facing low-income high school students in Brooklyn, New York, as they act as guidance counselors to their classmates and prepare themselves for application to college.

Raise Hell: The Life and Times of Molly Ivins (2019, dir. Janice Engel) 93 minutes. Magnolia Pictures. DVD. Available from various distributors. CC.

With high intellect and razor-sharp Texas wit, Molly Ivins, national newspaper columnist and woman before her time, boldly confronts political scandal, abuse of power, and bad government.

Roll Red Roll (2018, dir. Nancy Schwartzman) 80 minutes. Sunset Park Pictures. DVD. Available from RoCo Films Educational. CC.

A confrontation of rape culture and how social media plays a role in detailing the ugly truth of two revered high school football players’ sexual assault of a teenage girl. A small town garners national attention and brings to light the question: Why didn’t anyone stop it?

The River and the Wall (2019, dir. Ben Masters) 97 minutes. Gravitas Ventures. DVD & Blu-ray. Available from various distributors. CC.

A stunning travel adventure across 1200 miles of the southern U.S. border as five friends journey on bicycle, horseback and canoe while exploring the terrains of land and policy beneath possible construction and contradictions of building a continuous border wall on the people and wildlife living nearby.

They Shall Not Grow Old (2018, dir. Peter Jackson) 132 minutes. Warner Bros. Pictures. DVD & Blu-ray. Available from various distributors. CC.

Director Peter Jackson uses state-of-the-art technology to restore original archival footage from the BBC and the Imperial War Museum in this film about the First World War. He uses photographs and actual voice recordings from over 100 former officers and men who served from all over the British Empire.

Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am (2019, dir. Timothy Greenfield-Sanders) 120 minutes. Magnolia Pictures. DVD. Available from various distributors. CC.

Nobel Prize winning novelist Toni Morrison reflects on her life and career as an editor, educator and single mother.

Untouchable (2016 dir. David Feige) 105 minutes. Blue Lawn Productions. DVD & Blu-ray. Available from CC.

After discovering his daughter had been sexually abused, a Florida lobbyist works to pass some of the toughest sex offender laws in the nation.The film interweaves the heartbreaking stories of men and women who are caught in the struggle of being branded sex offenders and trying to reintegrate into society.

The Notable Videos for Adults Committee members are:

Bryan McGeary, Waidner-Spahr Library, Dickinson College, Pennsylvania

Jodie Borgerding, Amigos Library Services, Missouri

Barbara Carlson, Hewlett-Woodmere Public Library, New York

Tiffany Hudson, Salt Lake City Public Library, Utah

Kate Jones, State University of New York at Oswego, New York

Michele McKenzie, Library & Learning Resources, City College of San Francisco, California

Michael Pasqualoni, Syracuse University Libraries, New York

Melanie Zaskey, Southeast Florida Library Information Network, Florida

Michele Zwierski, Nassau Library System, New York


Bryan McGeary


FMRT Notable Videos for Adults Committee