The Hottest August

The Hottest August

April 20, 2020


Brett Story

This film raises the specter of our changing climate with interviews from ordinary New Yorkers sharing their anxieties about the future.


About the Documentary

The Hottest August presents an up-close and personal look at New Yorkers’ growing concerns over a variety of societal changes, from rising rents to marching white nationalists, during one sweltering month in 2017. Raising the specter of our changing climate without ever mentioning it directly, the film is a different kind of climate change documentary — one that focuses on the very human experience of yearning for security in an increasingly uncertain world.

Weaving together interviews with individuals all over New York filmed over the course of the month of August 2017, award-winning filmmaker Brett Story holds up a mirror to a society contemplating its future survival.

The Filmmakers

Brett Story

Brett Story is an award-winning nonfiction filmmaker based in Toronto whose films have screened at festivals internationally, including the Viennale, True/False, Oberhausen, It’s All True, and Dok Leipzig. Her 2016 feature documentary, The Prison in Twelve Landscapes was awarded the Special Jury Prize at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival and was a nominee for Best Feature Documentary at the Canadian Screen Awards. The film was broadcast on PBS’s Independent Lens in April of 2017. Brett holds a PhD in geography from the University of Toronto and is currently an assistant professor in the School of Image Arts at Ryerson University. She is the author of the book, Prison Land: Mapping Carceral Power across Neoliberal America, and co-editor of the forthcoming volume, Infrastructures of Citizenship. Brett was a 2016 Sundance Institute Art of Nonfiction Fellow and a 2018 Guggenheim Fellow in film and video. 

Full Credits

Learn more about the documentary

Join the Discussion

What do YOU think our future looks like? Which one of the many characters featured in this film do you relate to the most? How do you find security and comfort in an increasingly uncertain world?