• L­–R: ‘Watergate’, ‘Hillary’, George W. Bush’, ‘America’s Great Divide’. (SBS)Source: SBS
As Americans get set to head to the polls, explore the issues and the personalities of candidates past and present, in an engrossing collection now streaming at SBS On Demand.
By
SBS Guide

25 Sep 2020 - 10:43 AM  UPDATED 28 Sep 2020 - 10:50 AM

Hillary

M
USA, 2020
Language: English
Director: Nanette Burstein
Duration: 4 x 60 minutes
What’s it about?
This intimate portrait interweaves revealing moments from never-before-seen 2016 campaign footage with chapters of Hillary Clinton’s life. No longer running for office, Clinton speaks candidly about her political and personal experiences. The four-part series also features exclusive interviews with husband Bill, daughter Chelsea, friends and journalists, as it examines how she became simultaneously one of the most admired and vilified women in the world.

Four-part series Hillary airs weekly on SBS at 8.30pm from Wednesday 16 September. All four episodes are now streaming at SBS On Demand.

The toughest part of making the 'Hillary' doc, according to Nanette Burstein
Nanette Burstein tells us how she got the famously private Madame Secretary to open up, for the fascinating documentary about a life lived in the public eye.
The Playlist 132: Nanette Burstein talks 'Hillary' / 'The Good Fight' / 'The West Wing' rewatch / 'One Night In Miami' (TIFF)

Our minds are very much on U.S. politics this week, given that Americans will head to the polls for the 2020 presidential election in less than 50 days. We're joined by documentary filmmaker Nanette Burstein, who talks to Fiona about making a landmark biography of Hillary Rodham Clinton. Nothing was off limits during the 35-hours spent interviewing Hillary about her life as a feminist trailblazer and polarising figure in US political life - or when Nanette asked Bill Clinton to open up about confessing all to Hillary about his affair with Monica Lewinsky. You won't want to miss this interview. Elsewhere in this episode, we preview the new season of The Good Fight, Ben has been (re)watching The West Wing, and Fiona has high hopes for Regina King's One Night In Miami. 

 

The Clinton Affair

MA15+
USA, 2018
Language: English
Director: Alex Gibney
Duration: 7 x 45 minutes
What’s it about?
Staying with the Clintons, Academy Award-winning documentary director Alex Gibney focuses this series on the extraordinary sequence of events that led to only the second presidential impeachment trial in America’s history. Between a vast right wing conspiracy against the Clintons and a West Wing conspiracy against Monica Lewinsky, Americans were divided not only along party lines but within themselves. Quick to condemn the behaviour of the president and Lewinsky, no one could look away from the scandal that rocked the nation.

 

America’s Great Divide: From Obama to Trump

M
USA, 2020
Language: English
Director: Michael Kirk
Duration: 2 x 113 minutes
What’s it about?
Providing gripping and crucial context for the present moment, this two-part documentary from the PBS Frontline program traces the growth of a toxic political environment that has paralysed Washington and dramatically deepened the gulf between Americans and holds political leaders across two presidencies accountable for their role.

 

Watergate

Eps 1–2: M; Eps 3–6: PG
USA, 2018 
Language: English
Director: Charles Ferguson
Duration: 6 x 45 minutes
What’s it about?
After Richard Nixon’s election to the presidency, and with the backdrop of attacks from the media and the growing anti-war movement, Nixon chooses the dark path to the Watergate burglary. With dramatised versions of real-life events, this six-part series brings an extraordinary time in recent history back to vivid life.

Watergate premieres on SBS at 8.30pm, Sunday 27 September, with episodes airing weekly. All 6 episodes are now streaming at SBS On Demand:  

 

 

George W. Bush

M
USA, 2020
Language: English
Director: Jamila Ephron
Duration: 2 x 110 minutes
What’s it about?
This two-part series follows George W. Bush’s unorthodox road to the presidency through the contested election of 2000 and chronicles the events that dominated his eight years in office, including most significantly the decision to invade Iraq. From senior producer Barak Goodman for America’s PBS series of presidential profiles, the series includes archival footage and interviews with journalists and major players in Bush’s inner circle.

 

The New York Times Presents: The Weekly

PG, M, MA15+
USA, 2019–20
Language: English
Duration: from 26 to 48 minutes
What’s it about?
The New York Times brings their unparalleled journalism to the screen with this series of programs investigating various current affairs. Many political topics are covered, including Don McGahn’s tenure as White House Counsel, Rudy Giuliani’s involvement in the Trump presidency and candid conversations with various Democratic presidential candidates. SBS On Demand has a whole host of episodes available to stream. ‘Open arms’ looks at American arms manufacturers’ supplying of bombs for use in war:

 

Paradise Papers: Secret Investigation

M
USA, 2017
Language: English
Duration: 48 minutes
What’s it about?
The Paradise Papers refers to a leak of millions of documents revealing how and which companies and individuals use artificial (and often legal) structures to avoid paying tax. VICE News followed the journalists on their year-long investigation in putting together this inside story. Be quick. Paradise Papers is leaving SBS On Demand on 31 October.

 

Trump’s First Year

M
USA, 2017
Language: English
Duration: 44 minutes
What’s it about?
Donald Trump’s election as president in 2016 stunned the world. His ‘America First’ mantra resonated during the campaign, but has been met with substantial criticism within and outside the USA since. One year into his leadership, VICE News looks at the contributing factors leading up to the election and analyses how his presidency has affected the people who voted for him.

 

Cyberwar

M
Canada, 2016–17

Language: English
Director: Ilse Fernandez
Duration: Season 1: 16 x 22 minutes; Season 2: 8 x 22 minutes
What’s it about?
Tapping into the geopolitics of hacking and surveillance, host Ben Makuch travels the world to meet with hackers, government officials and dissidents to investigate the ecosystem of cyberwarfare. Seasons 1 and 2 of this Canadian documentary series are now streaming at SBS On Demand. Both leave on 14 November. With each episode under 30 minutes, it’s nice and bingeable.  

 

Trump’s Wall

PG
USA, 2017

Language: English
Duration: 44 minutes
What’s it about?
VICE News examines the rhetoric and reality behind one of the most divisive infrastructure projects in American history – the border wall between the USA and Mexico. Be quick. Trump’s Wall leaves SBS On Demand on 14 November.  

 

Moment of Truth: Kavanaugh and Ford


USA, 2018

Language: English
Duration: 20 minutes
What’s it about?
This VICE News report covers the accusation in September 2018 by professor Dr. Christine Blasey Ford that she was sexually assaulted by US Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh while they were in high school together. Her testimony came as Kavanaugh’s nomination was before the Senate. He was voted in by the narrowest margin of any justice of that court since 1881.

 

The Impeachment Show

G
USA, 2019

Language: English
Duration: 3 x 44 minutes
What’s it about?
In this three-part series, VICE News’ Michael Moynihan uses field reports, interviews and provocative discussions to document the public prosecution of Donald Trump. Investigation into the Ukraine scandal is at the heart of the series.

 

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