Silverdocs, the annual documentary film festival in Maryland hosted by AFI and the Discovery Channel, announced today that it plans to honor Spike Lee at the eight-day gathering in June. It's an interesting choice. Anyone active in the documentary community can rattle off a ton of accomplished filmmakers in the field whose degrees of visibility will never reach Lee's celebrity stature. Nanette Burstein? Marina Zenovich? Nick Broomfield? All talented directors with growing bodies of work deserved of recognition, especially by the doc-friendly crowd.

But I'm not complaining. Lee has proven himself just as competent in the arena of non-fiction, and he rarely gets the same kind of credit for it. When the Levees Brokewas the essential survey of Hurricane Katrina's crippling impact, and 4 Little Girls mourned death and persecution without negating the perseverance of human spirit. With the unique sort of rabble-rousing Lee has been known for, he's a sort of documentary film himself: During previous public appearances, he has lashed out at a number of targets ranging from George W. Bush to 50 Cent. Silverdocs plans to put him onstage this summer after screenings of his films for a discussion of his career, but who knows what sort of controversy he'll stir up? A good one, no doubt.
categories Cinematical