The tale of three bold African-American women who made NASA history arrives on HBO. And Season 7 of “Portlandia” comes to Netflix.
What’s on TV
HIDDEN FIGURES (2016) 8 p.m. on HBO; also on HBO streaming platforms. Based on the nonfiction book by Margot Lee Shetterly, this Oscar-nominated film recounts the efforts of three African-American women who, despite the racial and gender discrimination they faced, helped provide the calculations for the launch of the astronaut John Glenn into orbit in 1962. “Like many movies about the overcoming of racism,” A. O. Scott wrote in The New York Times, the film “offers belated acknowledgment of bravery and talent and an overdue reckoning with the sins of the past.” Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe star as NASA’s invaluable “human computers.”
SURVIVING HARVEY: ANIMALS AFTER THE STORM 8 p.m. on Animal Planet. The record-breaking Hurricane Harvey battered southeast Texas last week, killing at least 50 residents across eight counties, causing immense infrastructure damage and displacing thousands from their homes. One climate expert said the storm could be “the worst flood disaster in U.S. history.” This special highlights an organization that has rescued hundreds of displaced animals since the hurricane hit, reuniting the vulnerable pets with their owners and putting the unclaimed up for adoption.
PORTLANDIA on iTunes, Amazon and Netflix. The former “Saturday Night Live” comedian Fred Armisen and the Portland, Ore., native Carrie Brownstein (of the rock band Sleater-Kinney) portray multiple characters in this satirical comedy. Created by its stars and Jonathan Krisel, the sketch series presents a parody of Portland, with its playful jabs at uptight feminists and farm-to-table-obsessed diners. The eighth and final season launches in January 2018.
13 TZAMETI (2006) on Mubi. The Georgian filmmaker Gela Babluani makes his directorial debut with this suspenseful black-and-white thriller. Fresh out of work after his boss suddenly dies, Sebastien, a young Georgian immigrant living in France, steals a letter meant for his former employer that includes information about a high-paying job. Desperate for the money, Sebastien follows the letter’s secretive instructions, boards a train and is unknowingly followed by the police. When he reaches his destination, he falls victim to an elaborate variation of Russian roulette run by a secret club of high-stakes gamblers who bet on the lives of other men. “Addressing the atavistic side of the male psyche, which gravitates toward cockfights and extreme sports, ‘13 Tzameti’ dares you to be shocked,” Stephen Holden wrote in The Times.
IN DARKNESS (2011) on iTunes, Amazon and Filmstruck. As a Jewish ghetto in the Polish city of Lvov (now Lviv, in Ukraine) is being liquidated, an opportunistic sewer worker, Leopold Socha (Robert Wieckiewicz), charges a group of Jews money for their protection after he finds them hiding in the tunnels. His business operation eventually gives way to empathy as the Nazi forces intensify their search. Adapted from the book “In the Sewers of Lvov,” by Robert Marshall, the film chronicles the true story of those who led secret lives in underground spaces during the Holocaust, and the man who risked his life to save them.
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