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Trailer Watch: June Beallor’s “2020 Chaos and Hope” Reflects on a Year of Unprecedented Crisis

A global pandemic, a sinking economy, attempts to overturn the U.S. presidential election, racially-motivated police brutality culminating in the Black Lives Matter movement: 2020 was indeed a “year of multiple colliding crises,” as historian Erika Lee describes in the trailer for June Beallor’s “2020 Chaos and Hope.” 

A retrospective on one of the most turbulent years of our lifetimes, the doc revisits 2020 through the diverse perspectives of frontline workers, activists, scientists, and politicians, among others. “2020 Chaos and Hope” includes interviews with experts including emergency medicine doctor Kamini Doobay, author and historian Heather Cox Richardson, researcher Joan Donovan, and President Biden’s chief medical advisor, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci.

“So many things are changing at once,” Professor Deva Woodly emphasizes in the trailer. “The outcomes of the struggles are going to set the tone for the rest of the century.”

Described as a “comprehensive time capsule of the year 2020,” the doc higlights the battle over information that erupted in multiple social and political arenas, including conspiracy theories around the COVID-19 virus’s origins and the Biden-Trump battle for presidency. “Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok: our sense of reality has gotten very distorted,” the trailer tells us.

As the film’s title suggests, however, the mayhem of 2020 was met with the humanity of citizens in even greater ferocity, manifested in the grassroots movements, mutual aid, and community that emerged amid the adversity. 

A four-time Emmy nominee, Beallor took home the honor for Outstanding Informational Special in 1996 for producing “Survivors of the Holocaust,” a doc following personal accounts of Jewish folks before, during, and after WWII. 

“2020 Chaos and Hope” premieres in Los Angeles at the Laemmle Monica Film Center November 23.

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