The Hottest August

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A complex portrait of a city and its inhabitants, The Hottest August gives us a window into the collective consciousness of the present. The film's point of departure is one city over one month: New York City, including its outer boroughs, during August 2017. It's a month 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 mirror onto a society on the verge of catastrophe, registering the anxieties, distractions, and survival strategies that preoccupy ordinary lives.


  • Clare Coulter

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Dec 23, 2019

Story’s an original, and the film is a revelation — a movie that’s as deep as we’re willing to read into it, and an invaluable time capsule for summers far in our future, assuming we ever get there.

Metacritic review by Peter Debruge
Peter Debruge
Nov 14, 2019

This collection of interactions with ordinary people is a cinematic gift both simple and multilayered, an intellectual challenge and an emotional adventure.

Metacritic review by Glenn Kenny
Glenn Kenny
The New York Times
Nov 11, 2019

The documentary represents a city ground down by inequality and division, where millions of selves who have by and large given up on one another.

Metacritic review by Christopher Gray
Christopher Gray
Slant Magazine