(Episode 194) "Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile" Director: Joe Berlinger.
Meet one of the best documentarians on the planet! Joe Berlinger! Emmy-winning and Academy Award®-nominated filmmaker Joe Berlinger has been a leading voice in nonfiction film and television for over two decades. A pioneer in the genre of true crime documentaries, Berlinger draws attention to social justice issues in the US and abroad with such landmark documentaries as Brother’s Keeper, Paradise Lost, and Crude. Highlighting the issue of oil pollution in the Amazon rainforest, Crudewon 22 human rights, environmental, and film festival awards and triggered a high profile First Amendment battle with oil-giant Chevron, while Brother’s Keeper and Paradise Lost influenced a generation of documentary filmmakers and are routinely studied in numerous film and law schools across the country. The New York Times included Brother’s Keeper in its guide to the 1000 best movies ever made, a list that represents all genres of film. Berlinger has received multiple awards from the Directors Guild of America, the National Board of Review and the Independent Spirit Awards. Whitey: United States of America v. James J. Bulger, is a feature-length documentary produced by CNN Films and theatrically released by Magnolia in 2014. Berlinger’s film captures notorious crime boss Whitey Bulger’s sensational trial, using it as a springboard to explore allegations of corruption within the highest levels of law enforcement. The film was one of six Berlinger features to have premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.In addition to social justice filmmaking, Berlinger has explored cultural icons in such documentaries as Metallica: Some Kind of Monster, a film that redefined the rockumentary genre, and Under African Skies, about the 25th Anniversary of Paul Simon’s Graceland album. The film was nominated for three primetime Emmy awards after its 2012 Sundance Film Festival premiere, including Outstanding Nonfiction Special. In the summer of 2016, Netflix released Berlinger's Tony Robbins: I am Not Your Guru, a riveting vérité film that goes behind the scenes of renowned life and business strategist Tony Robbins and his mega once-a-year “Date With Destiny” seminar. Also for Netflix, Berlinger directed and produced Hank: 5 Years From the Brink, a dissection of the actions taken by then Secretary of Treasury Hank Paulson to stave off a global meltdown during the financial collapse of 2008.In 2017, Berlinger completed Intent to Destroy, which pulls back the curtain on the violent history of the Armenian Genocide and legacy of Turkish suppression and denial over the past century. The film won numerous film festival awards after its Tribeca Film Festival world premiere and was broadcast on Starz. In 2018 Berlinger executive produced Paris to Pittsburgh for Bloomberg Philanthropies and National Geographic. The film highlights the impassioned efforts of individuals across the United States who are battling climate change despite the Trump administration’s decision to exit the Paris Climate Agreement. The film debuted in December of 2018 and aired globally in 172 countries.In addition to his feature documentary work, Berlinger, a two-time Emmy and Peabody award winner (with five additional Emmy nominations), has created hundreds of hours of television as both a producer and director, including the Emmy-winning History Channel series 10 Days That Unexpectedly Changed America and the Emmy-nominated Gray Matter. He directed and produced six seasons of the critically acclaimed Sundance Channel series Iconoclasts and directed/executive-produced the first two seasons of the Emmy-nominated Master Class, a series for the Oprah Winfrey Network. His numerous HBO productions include Addiction, Judgment Day andVirtual Corpse, and he has created series for VH1 and Court TV. Berlinger’s dramatic television directorial credits include NBC's acclaimed hit drama Homicide: Life on the Street, as well as the short-lived UPN/Dick Wolf series D.C.Berlinge