Tag Archives | Documentaries
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.
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
Stan: I don't understand that stuff at all, I need Morgan Freeman to explain it to me. Jimmy: Yeah, I love when Morgan Freeman explains stuff. Clyde: Whenever I'm confused about what's going on in a movie, I'm always so relieved when Morgan Freeman shows up and explains the plot to me.
- South Park
Don’t be distracted by January’s fiscal cliff or looming budget deficits. The central problem of our economy is widening inequality.
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:
… Read the rest
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.
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. "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...
With global warming looming, Amazonian rain forests being felled, and the world’s rivers and oceans choked with pollution, it’s easy to feel a little despondent. Is there anything we can really do to change the situation? And what role do we play in contributing to these problems? These thoughts weighed heavily on my mind and I was determined to find some answers. Oddly enough, it was my stomach that led the way.
I met chef Chad Sarno, who prepared the first meal I had ever had that was entirely made up of plants. Not a drop of butter or milk, and definitely no beef, duck, or chicken. He cooked lasagna, with cheese made from cashew nuts and pasta made from thinly sliced courgettes. Being half-Chinese, with roast duck and char siu my all- time favorite dishes, this was foreign territory for me. But I was instantly hooked. I had no idea that a plant-based meal could taste so good or be so satisfying, especially since I’d always believed a meal wasn’t a meal without a big portion of meat.… Read the rest