Amazon Prime Video: Five of the best new shows and films to watch in May
J Balvin and Pink documentaries and Underground Railroad series among highlights
The Boy from Medellín: J Balvin
The Boy from Medellín
The Academy Award-nominated director Matthew Heineman (A Private War) turns his attention to the Colombian “Prince of Reggaeton” J Balvin. This documentary follows the singer in preparation for his homecoming concert at the Estadio Atanasio Girardot in December 2019. As the gig coincided with mass protests and riots against police brutality and political corruption, the film focuses on whether the star should speak out against the country’s conservative government. What could have been a jaded concert special ends up being a portrait of a superstar in personal and philosophical conflict.
The Underground Railroad
Moonlight’s visionary director, Barry Jenkins, teams up with the Pulitzer Prize-winning author Colson Whitehead for an adaptation of Whitehead’s 2016 novel. The Underground Railroad chronicles the escape of a young plantation slave, Cora (Thuso Mbedu), who embarks on a journey to freedom on which she discovers that the Underground Railroad is not a metaphor but a literal railway track that exists beneath the soil of the American south. Joel Edgerton plays Ridgeway, a slave-hunter who is determined to catch Cora and return her to the plantation. His infatuation and dogged persistence in trying to locate her stem from his unsuccessful attempts to capture Cora’s mother, Mabel, who previously fled to safety. As Cora travels through the US she encounters others in her predicament while coming to terms with her own abandonment.
With an all-star cast that includes Uzo Aduba, Morgan Freeman and Anne Hathaway, Solos is the latest ambitious creation from the Hunters showrunner, David Weil. The seven-part anthology series has a lofty premise, aiming to unravel the interconnectivity of our existence. With each story told from an individual perspective at a specific moment in time, Solos shows that even in isolation and in the most widely diverging situations there is a certain aspect of the human experience that connects us all.
Pink: All I Know So Far
All I Know So Far is a behind-the-scenes documentary of pop star Pink’s mammoth Beautiful Trauma world tour, from 2019. Directed by the visual-effects artist Michael Gracey, it focuses on the intricate technical aspects of the tour, which featured risky aerial stunts performed by the singer as well as pyrotechnics and elaborate dance routines. It also includes interviews with the singer and gives a glimpse of her life on the road with her two young children.
Adapted from Lauren Oliver’s best-selling young-adult novel and rewritten for the screen by the author herself, Panic is the story of life in a suffocating small town. During the endless summer, high-school seniors participate in a daring competition that they believe is their only chance to escape from their dead-end homestead. One year the rules suddenly change, the stakes are raised, and players must decide what they are truly willing to risk to win.