Here’s what to watch this week at the virtual Michigan Theater 06/08 - 06/14

Some might make you laugh and some might make you cry

Michigan Theater and StateTheatre temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 crisis but the independent theaters are offering movies to rent online. (Michigan Theater, State Theatre)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Movie theaters statewide will be opening soon but Ann Arbor’s Michigan Theater has films to rent through its virtual movie palace.

Movies range in price and can be rented online and streamed through different devices, such as phones, tablets, laptops and smart TVs.

Several film distribution companies have partnered with the independent theater so that some of the proceeds from virtual tickets sales benefit the Michigan Theater Foundation.

In partnership with Magnolia Pictures, Michigan Theater is supporting the ACLU of Michigan by splitting profits from the purchases of three films; I Am Not Your Negro (2016), Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am (2019) and Whose Streets? (2017).

The three films can be bought individually for $6.99 each or as a $15 bundle.

Rent films through the theater website or individual movie pages.

New films this week:

These films will be available for rent on Wednesday and Friday.

Ay Mariposa

Not rated -- $12

An English and Spanish documentary, Ay Mariposa follows Marianna Trevino Wright, Zulema Hernandez and a butterfly as their lives are changed by plans to build a US-Mexico border wall.

Corpus Christi

Not rated -- $12

Twenty-year-old Daniel found Christ while incarcerated for a violent crime but when he is released into a small town to be a manual laborer, he instead becomes the town’s unconventional priest.

Mama Africa: Miriam Makeba

Not rated -- $10

Internationally-known, Miriam Makeba’s music and life are explored through archival footage and interviews in the 90-minute documentary.

Marona’s Fantastic Tale

Not rated - $10

The animated French-language film shows the life and the human companions of its canine protagonist Marona. It shows that love and happiness are different for dogs.

This virtual release will include a pre-recorded interview with the director, Anca Damian.

Picture A Scientist

Not rated -- $6.99

Biologist Nancy Hopkins, geologist Jane Willenbring and chemist Raychelle Burks show viewers how their experiences in the sciences have ranged from brutal harassment to years of slights in the field. The documentary highlights how a new perspective is needed to make science more equitable and diverse.

Video Blues

Not rated -- $4.99 (available Wednesday)

Emma Tusell’s experimental Spanish-language film reconstructs Tusell’s family history and identity through home video and voice-overs.

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Here’s what is already playing:


Not rated -- $12

Aspiring chef Abe is often caught in the middle of his family’s conflicting Jewish and Muslim identities. While exploring Brooklyn, New York, the 12-year-old meets Chico, a Brazilian chef who takes Abe under his wing.


PG-13 -- $5

Comprised of footage and riveting interviews with trainers and experts, the 2013 documentary explores the complexities of orcas, their treatment in captivity and the exploitation of the sea park industry.


Not rated -- $12

Conductor Eduard Sporck accepts the task of creating an Israeli-Palestinian youth orchestra but is forced to help the conflicting youth to find harmony while they prepare for a concert.

Diana Kennedy: Nothing Fancy

Not rated -- $9.99

The documentary follows the life of two-time James Beard Award winner Diana Kennedy with extensive interviews.


Not rated -- $10 (with Michigan Theater discount code)

As single mother Kathy cleans out her late sister’s house, she realizes how little she knew about her sister. Meanwhile, her son Cody befriends Korean War veteran Del and slowly gains the confidence to come out of his shell.

Hail Satan?

R -- $5

The 95-minute documentary shows how members of the Satanic Temple organize public actions to advocate for religious freedom and challenge corrupt authority.


Not rated -- $12

Award-winning “José” follows a young gay man as he navigates living in conservative Guatemala City, new feelings in a new relationship, self-reflection and survival.

Lucky Grandma

Not rated -- $12

After a visit to a fortune-teller, Grandma Wong heads to a local casino. After going all-in she soon finds herself in the middle of a war between two rival Chinatown gangs.

Military Wives

Not rated -- $4.99

A group of women whose partners are serving in Afghanistan come together to form the first military wives choir. The women find themselves to be the center of international attention and fame.

The Mindfulness Movement

Not rated -- $10 (nonmembers) $8.50 (students/senior/veterans) $8 (members)

The 100-minute documentary follows the growing number of people who believe that non-judgemental mindfulness is what will heal society and lead to happiness.

The Motions of Stillness

Not rated -- $3 (free for Michigan Theater members)

A Michigan Theater original, the documentary was shot in an Ann Arbor nature preserve on April 15 by Michigan Theater Technical Director Jared Van Eck.


Not rated - $12

The award-winning documentary is about a rural village in the Everglades, Florida where citizens face fragile financial situations and uncertainty.


R -- $5.99

Played by Elisabeth Moss, American horror writer Shirley Jackson and her husband (played by Michael Stuhlbarg) toy with a newlywed couple as Jackson begins writing a new masterpiece.

Spaceship Earth

Not rated -- $3.99

Starting in 199, eight people spent two years in a self-engineered replica of Earth’s ecosystem called BIOSPHERE 2. The documentary follows the biosphere experiment and those involved.


Not rated -- $12

American expat Tommaso wanders through life and the streets of Rome as he deals with his past, his self-esteem and an impaired grasp on reality. The 2019 film by Abel Ferrara is in Italian and English.

Up From The Streets: New Orleans – The City of Music

Not rated -- $12

The feature-length documentary examines the city of New Orleans through its musical history, culture and community. The film includes archival footage of performances and interviews with New Orleans musicians.

About the Author:

Sarah has worked for WDIV since June 2018. She covers community events, good eats and small businesses in Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in Applied Linguistics from Grand Valley State University.