The Audacity of Nature Docs | What Barack Obama's Our Great National Parks Leaves Out

Chanelle Adams

We begin on the beach in Hanauma Bay, Hawaii. Small waves lap against the shore as the camera lands on a recognizable face. “I grew up in Hawaii,” says a barefoot Barack Obama. “This was my backyard.” Unlike his successor Donald Trump, Obama has largely stayed above the political fray. Now, as narrator of Our Great National Parks, a five-part Netflix docuseries that premiered in April, he’s dipping his toe...

The DJ and the Miracle Cure | The Perils of Postcolonial Medicine in Madagascar

Chanelle Adams

On March 16, Madagascar’s state-owned TV station aired an 18-minute documentary. Narrated by two airline pilots, it re-enacts a November 2019 visit to the island nation by an anonymous Brazilian woman purported to be a prophet. “Joana,” as she is dubbed in the film, crosses the island in two flights, one south-to-north and the other east-to-west, tracing the shape of a crucifix. She has been sent by God, she confides...

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