There are 104 features crammed into the eight days of the sixth-ever DOCNYC, and that’s not even counting the shorts. As such, there’s no unifying theme — just lots and lots of non-fiction work, showing off the diversity of a genre that’s impossible to narrow down. We sometimes think of documentary as mere journalism, and there are many titles here who main m.o. is to expose ignored strifes and social maladies. But form is always key, and there are plenty here as driven by aesthetics as any fiction film.
It’s best to break these up via loose category. Here are some ways in to this vast program:
New York stories
Gotham City is duly represented in DOCNYC’s lineup, though even there lies great diversity. “Missing Ingredient” portrays two longtime eateries struggling to last in a changing, increasingly moneyed metropolis. The ever-widening income gap is underlined in “Class Divide,” which finds low-income families living amongst the hyper-wealthy in Chelsea. Both are grim reminders of our wintry economic times, but “An Autobiography of Michelle Maren” singles out a middle-aged woman living on disability and still trying to overcome an abusive past.