A24 Rolls Back Planned Streaming Release of Insurrection Documentary ‘The Sixth’ — Report

“Democracy needs a ground to stand on and that ground is the truth.”

These are the words of Maryland Congressman Jamie Raskin, featured in a trailer for the A24 documentary film “The Sixth,” a portrait of public service that features interviews with Raskin, a photographer, a Hill aide, and three police officers, all of whom, had their lives changed by the violent Capitol assault on January 6, 2021. The documentary hails from husband and wife team Sean Fine and Andrea Nix, who have received two Emmy Awards for their work with National Geographic, the Best Documentary (Short Subject) Oscar in 2013 for “Innocente,” and in 2021, through HBO, released “LFG,” a documentary that tracks women’s soccer’s fight with the US Soccer Federation over pay discrimination. This all to say, Fine and Nix are highly regarded in their field and yet their most recent and vital work, a film that tracks the insurrection through the eyes of public servants who lived through it despite the mob’s intentions, may not be getting the rollout it deserves.

More from IndieWire

Initially, according to a recent column in Politico, A24 had planned on making “The Sixth” widely available to stream on Prime Video for existing customers, but now, they seem to be rolling back that decision, only making it available to rent.

“The subjects were all told that the movie would be available on Prime starting at the beginning of May,” said Raskin to Politico in comment for the column. “And I was certainly telling that to people because the premiere was completely sold out. I was telling people they’d be able to access it on Prime Video. And then the Fines told us that although that was the original understanding, it was now not going to be available for streaming on Prime Video and people would have to pay for it. That obviously will change by millions the number of people who will see it.”

The Fines also went on the record with Politico, with Sean Fine saying, “We’re artists. You make something and somebody tells you it’s going to be in a museum — and then all of a sudden, it’s like, no, no, it’s only in this other room of the museum, and you have to pay more to go see it. You wonder why. Or if they say we’re going to keep your painting in a closet for a while and we’re going to bring it out when we think it’s good for people to see it. So it’s like, ‘Why is that?’”

With the recent critical and box-office success of A24’s “Civil War” — a film that does everything it can to avoid politics in favor of capturing chaos — it’s curious that this frugal and seemingly apolitical company is willing to pull back on marketing and releasing what could be an important document to the nation, especially at a time when insurrectionists are now being praised at rallies around the country. The irony is that the Fines were aiming to present a human narrative more than a political one from the very beginning.

“Every single one of our characters is serving the public in different ways,” Andrea Fine said to Politico. “And so we love that idea of, what if you’re just coming to do your job, and you’re saddled with that, and how they came through. And their jobs ultimately, unexpectedly in some ways, became hopeful for the end of the film, because every single one of our six characters are still going to work every day to serve the public in their own way. And I think that gives hope, because I think people have lost a little bit of a compass about thinking that anything good can happen in government anymore, or in law enforcement or journalism.”

A24 did not immediately respond to IndieWire’s request for comment.

Best of IndieWire

Sign up for Indiewire's Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.