Barb Bretz

For 20 years, Author Heather Mcghee searched for causes and solutions to economic inequality in America. Why in a country of such wealth could everyone not have the “nice things” other industrialized countries provided their people; universal health care, free or more affordable education and reliable modern infrastructure?


She discovered the financial crisis, rising student debt and even collapsing public infrastructure grow from the common root of racism.




Aretha Franklin's 1999 autobiography From These Roots drew criticism from reviewers who felt the traumatic experiences, especially of her early childhood, were glossed over. This biopic may be a target for the same reason. It might please audiences to a higher degree than it will the critics. It’s a worthy tribute and takes a deeper look into experiences that shaped Franklin, yet mysteries do remain.



  Stillwater had its covid-delayed premiere at Cannes this July where it received a five-minute standing ovation. Here’s Barb Bretz with your Friday Film Review.

Directed and co-written by Tom McCarthy, who also co-wrote and directed the academy award-winning Best Picture Spotlight, I’d raised the bar for this film. It took 2 hours for a twist in the plot to hook me, but I was still less satisfied than I’d hoped to be, by the time the credits rolled.



  Flee” is an animated documentary which won the Grand Jury Prize in the World Documentary category at the virtual 2021 Sundance Film Festival. Here’s Barb Bretz with this week's Friday Film Review.






Together Together premiered at virtual Sundance 2021 in the U.S. Dramatic category.  It will be screened by Park City Film this weekend; May 28-30. Here’s Barb Bretz with your Friday film review.


This very different take on friendship, fatherhood, and the making of a family was one of my favorites from Sundance this year.



  The documentary, “Street Gang; How We Got To Sesame Street” premiered at Virtual Sundance 2021 and is being released in theatres April 23. Here’s Barb Bretz with your Friday Film Review.


Directed by Marilyn Agrelo (“Mad Hot Ballroom”) and inspired by Michael Davis’ New York Times bestseller, this documentary chronicles the birth and evolution of the beloved children’s program Sesame Street.

Friday Film Review--'Our Friend'

Feb 13, 2021

Our Friend, had its world premiere at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival. It was released on January 22, 2021. Barb Bretz has this week's Friday Film Review.



Our Friend, is a true story based on Matthew Teague’s 2015 Esquire essay entitled, “The Friend: Love is not a Big Enough Word.” In 2012, Teague’s 34 year-old wife and mother of their two young daughters, received a cancer diagnosis changing all their lives.


  The #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Turn of the Key and In a Dark Dark Wood returns with another suspenseful thriller set on a snow-covered mountain. 

Ruth Ware, an alias for Ruth Warburton, is a British, psychological-crime, thriller author and no stranger to the New York Times bestseller list. Her latest book, One By One, could be the perfect read when you leave the slopes surrounding us here in Park City and curl up by the fire.


Sundance Film Festival


  Human Factors, written and directed by Ronny Trocker, screened as part of the World Cinema Dramatic Competition. Here's Barb Bretz with her take.

The film, is very ‘European’ in style and setting. Language is German and French with English subtitles.

Sundance 2021: 'Together Together'

Feb 4, 2021
Sundance Film Festival


 Together, Together premiered in the U.S. Dramatic category.  Barb Bretz has this review:

Sundance Film Festival

  One For the Road was chosen as an opening night film at this year’s festival. Barb Bretz has this review.

The co-writer and director Baz Poonpiriya, is an up-and-coming Thai director whose 2017 film Bad Genius, won a record-breaking 12 categories at the 27th Suphannahong National Film Awards in Thailand.

Sundance 2021 - 'Summer of Soul'

Jan 29, 2021
Sundance Film Festival

Well known for his gig as musical director for the Tonight Show and drummer for its in-house band, Roots, Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson made his directing debut on the opening night of Sundance 2021 with the documentary Summer of Soul (...Or, When the Revolution could not be Televised).

According to a black journalist who’d worked for the New York Times, 1969 was the pivotal year when the word ‘Negro’ changed to ‘Black’. Along with that change came revolutions in civil rights, culture, clothing, hair fashion and music.


"Uncle Frank" premiered at Sundance 2020. This top notch cast tells a unique and emotional story you won't want to miss. Here's Barb Bretz with your Holiday Film Review.

Alan Ball, writer/director of "Uncle Frank," has received well-deserved acclaim for the Academy award winning American Beauty screenplay and TV series Six Feet Under and True Blood. Sundance audiences received this newest project with laughter, tears and standing ovation applause.

"The Climb," was in a way, born at the Sundance Film Festival. Directed by Michael Angelo Covino and co-written and co-starred in by Covino and Kyle Marvin, it premiered here in 2018 as a “short."


"The truth will set you free...but first, it will piss you off!” declared Gloria Steinem. 

Here's Barb Bretz with a review of The Glorias based on the life of Gloria Steinem.

The Glorias is not a documentary but it is a creative way of documenting someone's life. Director Julie Taymor also co-wrote the screenplay and her visionary story-telling is unique with too many magical moments and powerful quotes to list.