Tag Archives | Documentaries

Sate Your Documentary Addiction

I’m overburdened with media! I’ve a pile of books to read, news to collate, new music to parse and podcasts to digest. My Netflix queue overfloweth. And if I ever get time to devour something in my free time, sadly, it usually isn’t the pure escapism of fiction. I think I’ve been reading non-fiction and watching documentaries for so long, my brain is now wired to be impatient with what should be delicious candy.

My problem is that I continue to welcome all recommendations from friends, co-workers, DJs, online sources, journalists and Disinfonauts. But I am thankful that the terse and listographic nature of the internet, as well as the myriad of sources for content organization, have actually streamlined this process. A digital native, I irrationally worry that I’ll be missing some current event or corner of the world’s many subcultures.

I’ll die before I give up on trying to subsume it all into my subconscious!… Read the rest

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A True Story About a False Prophet: Kumaré

What happens when a thoroughly secular second-generation Indian-American decide to grow his hair and beard long, put on a robe and beads and present himself to spiritually lost Westerners as a Guru? Vikram Gandhi decided to find out. The results are funny, but more than a little heartbreaking. Arizona New Agers flock to his side, finding profundity in his every word and asking few to no questions about where the young spiritual teacher “Kumaré” they idolized came from and where he was taking them. Their insistence on interpreting his message of “illusion” as metaphor ultimately blinds them to the truth that he is telling them: He’s a fake, and that they don’t need a guru at all.

You can find Kumaré on Netflix Instant and a variety of other video streaming services now. Learn more about the film here.

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A Triple Bill of Deception

Via orwellwasright.

Sometimes you watch something with a premise so implausible, so outrageous it has to be true. Some things remind you of the reality of the human condition: our willingness to accept and live lies; the ease with which we can be deceived and manipulated even when everything points to a con. It is hard to say whether this psychological trait is a product of gullibility and stupidity. Perhaps it is neither – perhaps it says more about our readiness to accept things at face value based on the assumption that people are basically decent and wouldn’t tell such obvious lies. More than a few people have found out the hard way the naïveté of this outlook, as the documentaries The Imposter and Catfish and the film based on a true story Compliance clearly show.

The Imposter is a textbook example of such a premise that, were it a work of fiction, you’d probably switch it off for being too far-fetched. Three years after the disappearance of 13 year old Texan Nicholas, he is found alive half way around the world in Spain. He tells a story of kidnap and torture and is returned to his family in the States, who appear to be oblivious to the increasing number of glaring inconsistencies with the son who disappeared and the teenager before them sporting stubble, a different appearance and a European accent. Their unquestioning acceptance of this rather obvious imposter is as notable as the audacity of the con itself.

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Four Documentaries on Cannabis: the basics, the economics, the history, and the benefits

via chycho

A lot of documentaries have been produced on cannabis over the last few years and I have no doubt that many more will most likely be produced in the future, especially now that the battle to end prohibition has kicked into high gear.

The focus of these documentaries varies vastly, and it’s sometimes hard to know beforehand if what you are about to watch will satisfy your curiosity. There are overlaps between the works, understandably so since the central theme of all of them is cannabis, however, the ones that do standout are the ones that emphasize certain details of the story. Four of these documentaries are embedded below.

In the first we address some of the basic issues at hand by taking a tour with a very pleasant and delightful young man. The second is about the business of getting high, centered on the marijuana trade industry in British Columbia, Canada.… Read the rest

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‘The Union: The Business Behind Getting High’

In advance of my DisinfoCast interview with Adam Scorgie, I’d like to share his well-known documentary The Union: The Business Behind Getting High with our readers. Scorgie and company were kind enough to upload the full version to YouTube. Many of you may have seen this, but if not, get ready for an infuriating but enlightening look at the hypocrisy and ineffectiveness of the United States’ continuing prohibition against marijuana.

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New Film Explores Human Rights Implications of War on Drugs

Filmed in more than twenty states, The House I Live In tells the stories of individuals at all levels of America’s War on Drugs. From the dealer to the narcotics officer, the inmate to the federal judge, the film offers a penetrating look inside America’s criminal justice system, revealing the profound human rights implications of U.S. drug policy. Winner of the 2012 Sundance Grand Jury Prize, The House I Live In will be released in theaters on October 5th.

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Matt Groff’s Viral Drug War Spending Chart

Filmmaker Matt Groff is raising money for a documentary film about the war on some drugs. A simple chart he created for the project has spread far and wide across the interwebs (at right) and Matt has been taken to task for the way the numbers add (or don’t add) up. He responds on his blog:

As the rough chart from my trailer has gone somewhat viral, I’ve started to get some questions on what it represents and I wanted to offer up some clarity on how it came about. The three questions that have arisen most often are the following: where does the 1.3% addiction rate statistic come from? How does this chart add up to $1.5 trillion? Does it make sense to use a relative measurement (addiction rate) with an absolute measurement (spending)?

Where does the 1.3% addiction rate statistic come from?

One of the challenges of evaluating America’s system of drug prohibition is tracking down and assembling the raw data that comes from various entities.

Read the rest

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Anti-Obama ‘Documentary’ Biggest Hit Since ‘Fahrenheit 9/11′

What a turnaround – finally a right-wing activist documentary that people want to see, with no response from the left’s usual filmmaker suspects such as Michael Moore and Robert Greenwald. David Wright reports for ABC News:

It’s rare that a low-budget documentary becomes a genuine blockbuster, but conservative firebrand Dinesh D’Souza‘s controversial new film, “2016: Obama’s America,” is one of the hottest tickets at the box office right now.

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“I’m overwhelmed,” D’Souza said. “This is my first venture into film territory.”

The film is now showing in more than 1,000 theaters, and that number is expected to double by Friday, which would put the movie’s release on par with a major Hollywood blockbuster. Last weekend, “2016″ was already earning more money per screen than “The Bourne Legacy” and “The Expendables 2″ — combined…

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