Sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll (and more): The documentaries of South by Southwest

The documentary slate is always strong at South by Southwest; here are a few that our critics felt stood out this year.

“Daughters of the Sexual Revolution.”

“Daughters of the Sexual Revolution: The Untold Story of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders” comes from Oscar-nominated “Murderball” director Dana Adam Shapiro. The film, Matt Shiverdecker writes, “tackles our country’s evolving morality in the 1970s through the lens of one of the most overtly sexual icons in American popular culture at that time.”

Review: ‘The most sexed-up cheerleaders anywhere’: Documentary looks at early days of Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders

Charles Ealy says “Weed the People” makes a powerful argument for marijuana’s medicinal uses. The film looks at “cannabis and its anti-cancer properties – and at how everyday people are making all sorts of efforts to get it to help themselves or their children.”

Review: ‘Weed the People’ makes powerful, poignant case for medical marijuana

“If I Leave Here Tomorrow.”

SXSW is the ideal place to screen a music documentary. “If I Leave Here Tomorrow” chronicles the history of Lynyrd Skynyrd, including its early days and the 1977 plane crash that killed Ronnie Van Zant and several others. Joe Gross says the doc is moving and well made.

Review: The moving ‘If I Leave Here Tomorrow’ chronicles Lynyrd Skynyrd

Shiverdecker calls “TransMilitary” “a provocative and timely documentary … that looks at the difficulties faced by the estimated 15,500 active duty troops in the United States military who identify as transgender.”

Review: Transgender service members fighting to change U.S. military policies

Looking for some gentleness in the world? “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” explores the life and legacy of Fred Rogers, creator of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.” Natalie Mokry writes, The documentary makes sure we never forget those beautiful days in the neighborhood.

Review: When the world seems cold, the spirit of Mister Rogers still shines through

“People’s Republic of Desire.”

“People’s Republic of Desire” won the Documentary Feature Grand Jury Award at SXSW 2018. Gross writes that the film about live-streaming performers in China who vie to make millions from online fans is “a completely bonkers William Gibson sci-fi story come to life.”

Review: The future is now in the terrific ‘People’s Republic of Desire’

Austin loves Bill Murray, and Bill Murray seems to really love Austin. “The Bill Murray Stories: Life Lessons Learned from a Mythical Man,” which had its world premiere at SXSW, “traces the origin stories of the many legendary tales of Murray popping into other people’s lives,” Matthew Odam writes.

Review: ‘The Bill Murray Stories’ taps into the joy of post-modern America’s spirit animal

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Photos: ‘Daughters of the Sexual Revolution’ red carpet
Find more reviews, interviews and celebrity videos from SXSW Film 2018

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