This week, a pretty interesting documentary series called Flying: Confessions of a Free Woman is hitting your local DVD store — or your Netflix queue (November 11, to be exact). It’s appropriately titled, because it really is a 21st century Fear of Flying. The subject is the filmmaker Jennifer Fox, a 40-something woman who provides an intimate, compelling and lively portrait of her own life, as well as those of her friends, mostly “taking stock of their men situation.”
Flying: Confessions of a Free Woman Fox has a married lover; she has him hold the camera, but doesn’t allow us to see him. Using pretty simple and quirky camera techniques like that, and passing a camera to friends when they have a conversation, energizes the filmmaking. Fox is good at storytelling and she’s pretty enjoyable to watch, but I imagine men and women will experience this series very differently. It’s shot very much from a woman’s perspective (for shame!), and it made me think about how there are no high-profile female doc filmmakers who get in front of the camera. Not Barbara Kopple or Rory Kennedy/Liz Garbus or anyone, right? Judith Helfand (Blue Vinyl) is not exactly a household name. Meanwhile, guys such as Michael Moore, Morgan Spurlock, Nick Broomfield, and Ross McElwee have successfully put their mugs on screen. (Actually, I take that back — you can catch Koppel in one of the most exciting doc moments of all time when she gets involved in a fracas with the sheriff in her amazing Harlan County U.S.A. But I guess that doesn’t really count.)
Shot over five years, Flying: Confessions of a Free Woman is a six-hour series that follows Fox as she navigates her lovers, her desire for freedom and a pregnancy while using the camera and her friends as a sounding board. Check it out!

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Tom Roston
Tom Roston is a guest columnist for POV's documentary blog. He is a former Premiere magazine senior editor, who graduated from Brown University and started his career in journalism at The Nation and then Vanity Fair. Tom's freelance work has appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, The Los Angeles Times, The Hollywood Reporter and other publications. He has written several Kindle Singles, including the bestselling Kindle Singles Interview: Ken Burns. Tom's current list of favorite documentaries are: 1. Koyanisqaatsi by Godfrey Reggio; 2. Hoop Dreams by Steve James; 3.Stories We Tell by Sarah Polley; 4.Crumb by Terry Zwigoff; 5. Montage of Heck by Brett Morgen