This has been a banner year for documentaries, with masterpieces such as “O.J.: Made In America” and “Weiner” proving to be dominant forces in the cultural conversation and the 2016 election season playing out as perhaps the strangest bit of non-fiction entertainment of all.
It’s the right time for the robust return of Doc NYC, the massive annual documentary film festival comprised, this year, of 93 feature films.
A lot of the movies unspooling during the fest between Thursday and Nov. 17 have close ties to New York City. These are some of the most notable of those offerings:
‘Citizen Jane: Battle for the City’
Downtown Manhattan would be a very different place were it not for Jane Jacobs’ tireless advocacy against Robert Moses’ proposed expressway that would have cut across SoHo and Little Italy. It’s one of the great New York stories and it’s the subject of the opening night documentary. Nov. 10, 7 p.m., SVA Theater
‘Woman on Fire’
The FDNY’s first transgender firefighter, Brooke Guinan, is the subject of a documentary that explores her transition and the challenges she’s faced in a male-dominated field. Nov. 15, 7:30 p.m., Cinépolis Chelsea; Nov. 17, 3 p.m., IFC Center
Former detainees testify to deplorable conditions at the city’s controversial jail in a documentary produced by notables including Bill Moyers. Nov. 12, 4 p.m., SVA Theatre
‘Off the Rails’
The wild story of MTA impostor Darius McCollum, who has been arrested dozens of times for illegally driving buses and conducting subway trains, demands a documentary treatment. Here it is, at Doc NYC, ahead of a theatrical opening on Nov. 18. Nov. 12, 9:30 p.m., SVA Theatre