Hidden Gems on Kanopy

by Craig B.

I’m already a cinema junkie by nature, but during our recent stay-at-home orders, I’ve ratcheted up the regimen. If black belts could be handed out for eyestrain, I’d be a sensei master. To broaden my expertise, I’ve been taking advantage of every nook and cranny the internet has to offer. Kanopy is one such cranny, but in this case, it’s not even hidden. Sno-Isle library users can access its sizable collection using their library cards. Don’t have a card yet? By all means, get one! They’re free!

Kanopy offers a mix of award-winning, classic, independent, and documentary films to stream on a variety of devices. Currently, you may borrow up to fifteen videos per month on Kanopy. Once you’ve logged in with your library card and password, you’ll need to create an account with your name, your email address, and a Kanopy password. After that, you’re ready to go.

Without further ado, here’s a list of some of the gems I’ve been glutting.


Before Hunt for the Wilderpeople came out, I’d never even heard of Writer/Director Taika Waititi. Now, I see him everywhere. He’s been working in film and television for a long time, yet somehow managed to fly under my radar undetected. Now that I’ve discovered him, I can’t get enough of his infectious optimism. He tinges our sometimes turbulent and untrustworthy world through a calculated lens of childish naïveté, and pleads that we offer wrongdoers a second chance. Boy is no exception. If you like your coming-of-age stories served up bittersweet, you’ll love this flick.

Loving Vincent

Loving Vincent is a detective story about the mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of artist Vincent Van Gogh. The plot reminds me of Citizen Kane or Immortal Beloved, where an investigator tries to piece together a satisfying tapestry from seemingly incongruous vignettes. What makes Loving Vincent special is its aesthetics; it’s entirely hand-painted in the style of Van Gogh’s art. The result is an absolutely gorgeous and absorbing experience.

Ken Burns: The Civil War

Perhaps no documentary did a more thorough job of convincing the younger version of myself that documentaries were worth watching. Clocking in at a whopping 11 hours and 30 minutes, Ken Burns’ masterpiece has withstood the test of time. It is a roiling Vesuvius of information that makes an excellent visual compliment to Shelby Foote’s sprawling, three volume history on the same topic. If you’re a consummate Civil War freak and you haven’t seen this behemoth yet, do yourself a favor and rent it today.

I hope you enjoy these titles. To see even more titles, check out my list! As always, we’d love for you to share with us what you’re watching and reading. Tell us what gems you’ve discovered, or better yet, create a list of your own!

Hidden Gems on Kanopy

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