Directed by Brett Story • 2019 • United States
A complex portrait of a city and its inhabitants, this urgent documentary from Brett Story (THE PRISON IN TWELVE LANDSCAPES) gives us a window into the collective consciousness of the present. The film’s point of departure is New York City, including its outer boroughs, during the month of August 2017. It’s a time heavy with the tension of a new president, growing anxiety over everything from rising rents to marching white nationalists, and unrelenting news of either wildfires or hurricanes on every coast. The film pivots on the question of futurity: what does the future look like from where we are standing? And what if we are not all standing in the same place? THE HOTTEST AUGUST offers a portrait of a society on the verge of catastrophe, registering the anxieties, distractions, and survival strategies that preoccupy ordinary lives.