Tag Archives | Documentaries

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.

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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. video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player "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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How Your Food Choices Can Save The Planet

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

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Making The Planet Strange

We don't often plug crowdsourcing projects on disinformation, but Planet Weird is one movie we'd like to see. The filmmakers, led by Who Forted's Greg Newkirk, have already met their modest funding goal, but the more money they raise, the better the film will be. You can check out their page at IndieGogo; this is the trailer: ... and this is their description:
Have you ever been curious as to why things go bump in the night instead of the day...
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Court Bans BBC From Broadcasting Film About U.K. Riots

Reminiscent of Chinese authorities’ attitudes towards attempts to shed light on Tiananmen Square. The Guardian reports:

The ruling from a judge prevented the docu-drama, which had been due to be broadcast at 9pm on Monday, from being broadcast “by any media until further order”. The channel’s executives were forced to pull the film, which is based on the testimony of interviews conducted for the Guardian and London School of Economics research into the disorder.

For legal reasons, the Guardian cannot name the judge who made the ruling, the court in which he is sitting or the case he is presiding over. However, it is understood that lawyers for the BBC strongly object to his ruling, the nature of which is believed to be highly unusual.

The script from the programme, written by the award-winning playwright Alecky Blythe, was produced from verbatim transcripts of interviews conducted as part of the Reading the Riots study, which conducted confidential interviews with 270 rioters.

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Occupy Radio: ‘Radio Wars’ Documentary About Sirius XM and the History of Radio (Trailer)

Via Radio Wars:
Radio Wars focuses on the controversial history of satellite radio as it exposes the secret story behind the power struggles for radio dominance. Sirius and XM Satellite Radio were engaged in a heated entanglement before they became one company, and their mutual fight for survival against traditional radio, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and Wall Street, is one of radio’s most epic battles. Radio Wars delves deep into SiriusXM’s conflict-ridden history, from its earliest days to its darkest hour, and questions the motives of those who seek to control radio’s content in the future.
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The War on Kids (Trailer)

Via The War On Kids:
The War on Kids is a documentary on Public Education in America. While several documentaries on schools have come out since The War on Kids, these films tend to be either propaganda for charter schools or look at symptoms without any appreciation or understanding of underlying issues. To be a great documentary, it is essential to do the necessary work and dig deeper to uncover the heart of the problems observed. The numerous failures and pathologies associated with school are predominantly due to it autocratic structure. Because no one wants to voluntarily relinquish power, this fundamental problem is never addressed or even recognized.
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Hell House: A Documentary (Video)

The post on the Christian horror movie Harmless made me think of this interesting documentary from 2001 of a small town setting up a "Hell House," to warn people of the horrendous consequences of Sin:
Hell Houses are a distinctly American phenomenon which began in 1990 just outside of Dallas, at the Trinity Assembly of God Church. The original Hell House was conceived as a modern-day fire-and-brimstone sermon. Today, this religious ceremony of sorts is replete with actors, extensive lighting equipment and full audio-visual tech crews.
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