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Acquisitions – Documentary Films

Boston Bulger; Magnolia Adds Berlinger’s Gangster Docu to Most Wanted List

A couple of months post festival, and a large number of Sundance preemed docs are being cuffed up by the docu distrib forces around us. Joe Berlinger’s Whitey: The United States of America v. James J. Bulger has been picked up by Magnolia Pictures and The Wrap reports that a day and date theatrical and on demand release is being eyed for June, followed by a broadcast on CNN.

Gist: This captures the sensational trial of infamous gangster James ‘Whitey’ Bulger, using the legal proceedings as a springboard to explore allegations of corruption within the highest levels of law enforcement. Embedded for months with Federal Prosecutors, retired FBI and State Police, victims, lawyers, gangsters and journalists, Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Joe Berlinger examines Bulger’s relationship with the FBI and Department of Justice that allowed him to reign over a criminal empire in Boston for decades. Pulling back the curtain on long-held Bulger mythology, the film challenges conventional wisdom by detailing shocking, new allegations.

Worth Noting: 60 Minutes recently featured the events that lead to Bulger’s capture.

Do We Care?: Selected for the Docu Premieres program at Sundance, this critically played like gangbusters in Park City and will next be featured at the Hot Docs Film Festival in April.

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at IONCINEMA.com, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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