Some movies we think are VERY MUCH worth watching...
Here are some movies and documentaries we think you'd like to see. If you have any recommendations, please let everyone know by leaving a review- thanks!
MUST SEE- Five Stars!
More Than Honey- Already hailed as a definitive work on the subject, this comprehensive documentary examines the disappearance of honeybee populations worldwide. Cutting-edge film making illustrates the causes and consequences of this alarming phenomenon.
t is no exaggeration to say that this is one of the finest documentaries ever made. Even if you have some grasp of the degree to which the human food supply depends on its "partnership with" (subordination of?) a species of insect, you will not appreciate the full scope of this dependency until you see this video. Clearly a labor of love from a highly skilled filmmaker. Markus Imhoof rises here to the status of world cultural treasure. Don't miss it!
Chasing Ice- Environmental photographer James Balog deploys time-lapse cameras to capture a record of the world's changing glaciers, compressing years into seconds to illustrate how these ice mountains are disappearing at a breathtaking rate.
Although a stunning portrayal of climate change, this film is so much more than that. It takes you on a journey following nature photographer James Balog as he tries to capture changes in glaciers over a period of several years. James Balog is a modern day adventurer who engulfs himself 100% into his work, at times even to his own detriment. This story is amazingly breathtaking and at the same time tragically moving. This is not a political documentary.
Blackfish- This fascinating documentary examines the life of performing killer whale Tilikum -- who has caused the deaths of several people while in captivity -- and questions the safety and humaneness of confining these intelligent creatures.
This doc tore me up, from the inside out. I held on to my stomach for most of the film in anguish, pain and disgust at the human race. It's now the next day and my stomach feels like I did sit-ups all night. This is what we have become people, not only with these whales but most everything that we feel that we "own". We don't own ANYTHING(!) on this planet- it has merely been gifted to us for us to enjoy. Our brains should have evolved enough to simply love and enjoy nature, not to feel like we need to own and control it. We as a human species are phasing ourselves out of the picture. Once we are gone, old species that are able to hang on will recover. New species will evolve- without being hindered by mankind. Corporate people like Seaworld's execs in charge of this crime should be put in cages so paying customers can parade around them, spit and throw things at them in their tiny 6X6 cells. Let them feel what its like and how long their high powered minds last before caving in on them. Its all about the almighty buck people- if you want to change something- quit paying for it. If people put their mouth where their money is, Seaworld will roll belly up like this whale did- and they'll stop jacking us all off. Do they REALLY think selling a whale's sperm is "educational"!? Mother Nature know's she is sick and dying. She also knows what is killing her. Do you think She is not wise enough to eliminate the cause of Her dis-ease..? We've had our chance, time is running out fast.
Hot Coffee- This documentary examines the so-called "hot coffee lawsuit" in which a woman sued McDonald's after she spilled her coffee and burned herself, specifically looking at the reasons why the fast-food giant invested heaps of money to sway public opinion.
Who knew that "tort reform" was a successful plan by corporate interests to restrict citizens' legal rights. Who knew that the McDonald's coffee lady wasn't really a frivolous suit (McDonalds paid her secretly to shut up about that). Karl Rove and rigged judicial elections. Limits on jury awards that shift the burden to the taxpayer. Fake citizens groups. Forced arbitration that can deny a rape victim her rights...the corporate interests have won big and we didn't even know it was happening, at least until Susan Saladoff invited us to wake up and smell the hot coffee. Bravo Susan! This is a must watch if you care about the stealth robbery of your legal rights.
The Elephant in the Living Room- Set against the backdrop of a heated national debate, director Michael Webber takes viewers deep inside the controversial subculture of raising the most dangerous animals in the world as common household pets. This emotionally-charged, gripping documentary took me to a place that I never knew existed: the subculture of exotic pet ownership. Gaboon vipers, African lions, chimpanzees and many more exotic animals are living right here in Anytown, USA!
Project Nim- Oscar-winning filmmaker James Marsh peers inside the landmark 1970s experiment for an unflinching look at Nim, the chimp whom scientists raised as human and taught sign language to prove that apes can communicate like humans. James Marsh delivers another sleek and stylish doc that happens to contain a wildly passionate and horrifying indictment of both the arrogance of man and the unfortunate proclivity of animal rights abuse. some of the footage contained in the latter half of this film will test your metal to witness animal suffering and what could be argued as outright torture. Whether you agree with some of the more tree-hugging aspects of the film's latter half, you would be hard-pressed not to shed a tear for the maligned star of the film Nim Chimpsky (as he is affectionately called by his handlers). A whole group of humans, both heroes, villains, and that horrible grayness in-between, conspired to domesticate him and make an experiment out of his life. The results that James Marsh uncovers are less than inspiring.
Vanishing of the Bees- This documentary details the economic, political and ecological consequences of a dwindling world honeybee population. It's a phenomenon with a name -- Colony Collapse Disorder -- but no explanation or solution exists.
Bees are far more important than most think. Here's just another example how our modern technology is wreaking damage on other inhabitants of the earth. Thankfully, there is a solution, so it's not all a downer. The first step for solving a problem is to know a problem exists; this movie does it quite well. It may not be the whole problem or the whole answer, but it is a vital part. The bees deserve our attention . . . and respect . . . and help!
Zeitgeist: The Movie- I just watched this film and had to share it with you. It's mainly a conspiracy theory film. Covered here are lies of the bible, lies of 911 and lies of American power and control. A truly militant film, not for those who feel too strongly about their religion or politics. Everything about this film is controversy. Watching this documentary will make you smarter and will cause you to question beliefs you may have had for your entire life. This film will kick your brain's ass from one side of the street to the other. Crank up the volume for the first 10 minutes or so and see if you don't get rocked to your very core. It's probably one of the best intros I have ever seen! I GREATLY urge you to watch this!
The Whale Warrior: Pirate for the Sea- Explore the controversial career and tactics of militant marine conservationist Paul Watson in this documentary that profiles his rise as an activist and his most daring attempts to stop hunters from illegally slaughtering sea creatures.
I hope this documentary helps to inform some people who otherwise would not have known that this sort of thing still goes on to this day. Its almost unbelievable how grusome whalers and seal hunters really are. A must-see for all of humanity!
Fuel- With America so dependent on oil, filmmaker Joshua Tickell sets out to prove that biodiesel, made from vegetable oil, is a viable alternative. Although politicians and energy execs have done their best to quell it, the benefits of biodiesel are real. This documentary (winner of the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance) chronicles Tickell's quest to popularize the untraditional fuel source, citing the environmental and economic advantages the country could reap by adopting it. I love this movie because it is about how to change as much as it is about what needs to change. It is inspiring and educating. It does go for a dramatic stretch in the end, and it is to provoke change. There are things to be learned from this film that aren't being scientifically advertised to people in the media like everything else is. You must take a conscientious step to open up your mind to see the bigger picture. Because when it comes down to it, this film is about caring for the world we leave behind when we die. It is positive- give it a try!
Dirt! The Movie- Dirt takes center stage in this entertaining yet poignant documentary from Bill Benenson and Gene Rosow, which unearths our cosmic connection to soil and explores how diverse groups of people are uniting to save the natural resource. Drawing inspiration from William Bryant Logan's book Dirt: The Ecstatic Skin of the Earth, the filmmakers combine lively animations with personal accounts from farmers, scientists, activists and more.
Witch Hunt- Sean Penn narrates this documentary that chronicles the story of John Stoll and other residents of Bakersfield, Calif., who were wrongly convicted in the 1980s of child molestation and other crimes. Recounting how an overzealous district attorney coerced children into testifying against their parents -- including accusations of devil worship -- the film examines how these families have struggled to cope with the emotional fallout.
Tapped- The high cost -- to both the environment and our health -- of bottled water is the subject of this documentary that enlists activists, environmentalists, community leaders and others to expose the dark side of the bottled water industry. Americans may rethink their obsession with bottled H20 when they learn of the unregulated industry's willingness to ignore environmental and health concerns, and the problems that arise as a result.
Inside Job- From filmmaker Charles Ferguson comes this sobering, Oscar-winning documentary that presents in comprehensive yet cogent detail the pervasive and deep-rooted corruption that led to the global economic meltdown of 2008. Through unflinching interviews with key financial insiders, politicos, journalists and academics, Ferguson paints a galling portrait of an unfettered financial system run amok -- without accountability. And nothing has changed! If you've lost your house or are in danger of losing it, please watch this and fight back. Actor Matt Damon narrates.
GasLand- In this Oscar-nominated documentary, director Josh Fox journeys across America to examine the negative effects of natural-gas drilling, from poisoned water sources to kitchen sinks that burst into flame to unhealthy animals and people. Is natural gas a viable alternative to the country's dwindling energy resources, or do the potential harmful consequences outweigh the positives? Fox's film raises these and many more probing questions.
Our precious rivers, land and air is at stake; and family by family, village by village, state by state, the damage is being done. Do yourself a favor and watch this film - tell your friends and neighbors about the costs of natural gas drilling - before its too late. This is happening now, here, and is poisoning one of the most important resources we have.
The Oil Factor- Despite official statements that U.S. wars in the Middle East and Central Asia are being waged in the name of terror, it's hard to ignore that three-quarters of the world's oil supply comes from these regions. Narrated by Edward Asner, this thought-provoking documentary explores the realities of the conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan and sheds light on the United States' true motives. Featured experts include Noam Chomsky and author Ahmed Rashid.
Considering that we get no in-depth journalism from our news media, and many Americans still believe that we are fighting a war on terror, I'd say that this is vital viewing for all Americans! I have seen literately dozens of documentaries and about half a dozen books on this subject, but I still managed to come up with 3-1/2 pages of notes on information that I had not known. This is VITAL viewing!
The Garden- Filmmaker Scott Hamilton Kennedy's politically charged, Oscar-nominated documentary follows a group of low-income families struggling to protect a 14-acre urban farm in the middle of South Central Los Angeles from bureaucratic real estate developers. A lightning rod for controversy in 2004, this cause célèbre drew the attention of numerous activists and politicians, including Dennis Kucinich, Joan Baez and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigoisa.
The Garden deals with issues of social justice as well as of economic efficiency. How is it more efficient for land to lie idle rather than be used to raise crops? If it is not, why hasn't the city government used its eminent domain powers to force transfer of ownership of the land to the community after fair compensation to the owner? In this country neoconservative ideology has persuaded many that paramount to individual liberty is the freedom to use one's property as one pleases. But what of the freedom from hunger, discrimination, illiteracy, or injustice stemming from the unequal distribution of power? Are these lesser freedoms? If not, then what does "liberty and justice for all" suggest we should do in the case of the "Garden"? A heartbreaking true story that illustrates perfectly the race politics and backroom dealings that still pervade our society.
The Botany of Desire- While visiting places like Peru, Kazakhstan and Amsterdam, learn from author Michael Pollan as he explains the natural history of apples, tulips, marijuana and potatoes and describes how common plants such as these deftly manipulate human desires. Based on Pollan's best-selling book, this documentary encourages viewers to look at the world from a vastly different perspective and improve their relationships with nature.
Botany of Desire creates a provocative and very well done portal into the plant world and seeing life from that perspective. Provides a healthy linkage with a broader continuum of life, enriching us. Fascinating to see how just 4 plants so affected world history. Beautifully photographed, scenes are balanced with clear insights.
The Cove- Daring animal activists arrive with surveillance equipment at a scenic cove in Taijii, Japan, to capture footage of a secretive and heavily guarded operation run by the world's largest supplier of dolphins. As the group sets out to expose the horrifying truths behind the capture of dolphins for the lucrative tourist industry, they also uncover an environmental catastrophe.
This is possibly the most moving documentory I have ever seen. The image of Richard Barry walking calmly, determinedly, (and illegally as he is officially banned) into the International Whaling Commission conference carrying a monitor on his stomach playing the footage of dolphin slaughter in Taijii, Japan, that his unusual activist team had succeeded in covertly filming, will stick with me for the rest of my life as a testament of the sheer power of one human determined to make personal amends no matter the cost. This will shake you to your core!
Watch this if you care about the plight of our oceans. Watch this if you are interested in international corporate and government politics and maneuvering—how powerful industrial countries essentially buy off poor countries to secure their support and stymie international commissions, even when the whole rest of the world sees the truth clearly. Watch this if you care about the quality of the food on your table. Watch this because you want to regain your hope that humans can get their collective act together before it's too late and we kill our ecosystem taking ourselves with it.
180 Degrees South: Conquerors of the Useless- Inspired by pioneering outdoorsman Yvon Chouinard's freewheeling 1968 van trip to Patagonia, South America, a band of bliss-seeking surfer-mountaineers sets out -- in 2007, by boat -- to remake the journey in this adventure documentary. Jeff Johnson and his buddies hug the coast, stopping at the Galapagos Islands and Easter Island before arriving in Patagonia -- a region that's still breathtaking but is now besieged by environmental threats.
You do NOT want to miss this film. It's a documentary smorgasbord of adventure travel, climbing, surfing, sailing, environmental conservation and some take-away gems on spiritual growth and discovery in the journey. Besides Jeff Johnson, whose journals become the center of the film, you meet Yvon Chouinard and Doug Tompkins, who made a similar trip to Patagonia in 1968. That trip not only changed their lives, but when the film of Tompkins and Chouinard's trip was seen by Jeff, it inspired him to one day attempt a similar trip. Pay attention to the interview snippets with Chouinard and Tompkins interspersed throughout the film. They're amazing. Exactly how the trip will change Johnson's life remains to be seen. But after the 1968 trip, Chouinard went on to found the clothing company Patagonia and Chouinard Equipment (now Black Diamond Equipment). Tompkins went on to found a little company called North Face. And they both began a life long fight to preserve wilderness.
Ayurveda for Stress Relief- Respected health professional Dr. John Douillard uses the ancient health practices of ayurveda to guide you through a simple daily practice to help relieve stress, anxiety, exhaustion and insomnia. From simple changes in diet, sleeping patterns and breathing techniques, you can reduce, and learn to prevent, stressful reactions to events in your life. This program also includes instructions for a daily yoga routine to complement the practice.
Ayurveda for Detox- Respected health professional Dr. John Douillard guides you through a simple daily program based on the ancient system of health practices known as ayurveda, designed to gently detoxify your body from the harmful compounds it absorbs in daily living. Elements explored include diet, meditation and simple breathing and yoga practices to help decrease weight gain, soothe painful joints and increase overall energy levels.
Ayurveda: The Art of Being- Embark on a documentary journey through the history of this holistic form of health care and natural well-being. Partially based in methods of healing that identify incongruence in the body's energy, Ayurveda has roots in India, Egypt, Greece, Rome, Tibet, China, Russia and Japan. One of the central figures in the film is Brahamand Swamigal, an Indian practitioner of Ayurveda who explains its basic principles.
Hemp Revolution- Producer-director Anthony Clarke's documentary explores the hemp plant's fascinating history and thousands of uses, as well as the economic and cultural forces behind its prohibition. Clarke argues that the hype surrounding hemp, also known as cannabis or marijuana, has overshadowed the plant's benefits as a source of paper pulp and its uses as a cotton substitute. He comes down hard on chemical and drug companies as well as the U.S. government.
The Future of Food- Before compiling your next grocery list, you might want to watch this eye-opening documentary, which sheds light on a shadowy relationship between agriculture, big business and government. By examining the effects of biotechnology on the nation's smallest farmers, director Deborah Koons Garcia reveals the unappetizing truth about genetically modified foods: You could unknowingly be serving them for dinner.
Angels in the Dust- In a nation ravaged by AIDS and the aftereffects of apartheid, middle-class Marion Cloete leaves her Johannesburg suburb behind to establish a village and school for South Africa's orphans; Louise Hogarth's documentary chronicles the inspiring story. With help from her family and many others, Cloete's mission is realized in Botshabelo, a traditional African community that houses, nurtures and gives hope to more than 500 children.
Inside the Living Body- Take a fascinating journey inside the bizarre world of a living human being with this compelling documentary from National Geographic, where microscopic cameras and other state-of-the-art technologies reveal perspectives that will blow your mind. Tracking the body of a female from infancy to old age, viewers will observe the digestion of a meal, the development of the cardiac system and other mesmerizing aspects of the body's inner workings.
Night and Fog- Employing haunting images, such as a hill of human hair or a pyramid of shoes, director Alain Resnais contrasts 1955 footage of Auschwitz's quiet, empty buildings with black-and-white footage shot there in 1944. This landmark documentary -- one of the first cinematic reflections on the unspeakable horrors of the Holocaust -- is as lyrical as it is graphic, and has influenced contemporary movies such as Schindler's List.
War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death-
Based on Norman Solomon's revealing book and narrated by actor Sean Penn, War Made Easy exposes the government's and the media's purported history of deceiving the American people and leading us into war after war. Using archival footage of past presidents, including Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon and both Bushes, and media correspondents like Walter Cronkite, the documentary sheds light on propaganda pushing and draws parallels between the Vietnam and Iraq wars.
America the Beautiful-
Director Darryl Roberts' provocative documentary examines America's fixation with outward appearance and the unrealistic standards of beauty dictated to the public by the media, pop culture and the fashion industry. Featuring interviews with fashion experts, media personalities and celebrities such as Mena Suvari and Aisha Tyler, the film looks at everything from plastic surgery's growing popularity to widespread concerns about eating disorders.
****Highly Recommended: Four Stars!****
Oscar nominee Shohreh Aghdashloo narrates this penetrating examination of Iran, whose leaders have manifested a deep hostility toward the United States and its allies for years, and now possess a nuclear program to back up their rhetoric. Rare footage of Iranian leaders and interviews with historians and political experts illuminate the determination of Iran's religious rulers to impose their will on their people and those they consider enemies.
My Name Is Alan, and I Paint Pictures-
Filmmaker Johnny Boston explores the creative process and the definition of art in this revealing documentary portrait of Alan Russell-Cowan, an aspiring painter who suffers from paranoid schizophrenia. For Alan, painting provides a release from his symptoms, but his delusions and auditory hallucinations are also key contributors to his artistic vision. Through his work, a real picture of mental illness becomes clear.
Farmageddon- Awesome documentary opening the eyes of the American public (and the world) to the travesty perpetrated upon small family farm operations. Farmageddon is a must-see-and-share movie! Reclaiming our rights and protecting our heritage begins with awareness of the real threat. Whether you're a vegan or omnivore, you'll be moved by the real life experiences of folks who've invested not only money but themselves into the enterprise of providing healthy, nutrient-dense foods to the folks who want it. Government intervention in private matters is intrusive and often abusive. While others are taking back Wall Street, let's make sure we take back our Heritage Agriculture.
My Life as a Turkey- When naturalist Joe Hutto became "mother" to a clutch of 16 wild turkey eggs, he had no idea of the heartache and joy that were to become part of his daily existence for the next 18 months, as he raised the chicks and helped them leave the nest. A GREAT documentary!
Fed Up- Childhood obesity has become an ever-more serious medical issue in the United States. This eye-opening documentary examines the underlying causes behind the epidemic, including the marketing strategies of major U.S. food producers.
The health crisis in America is an epidemic and it is wonderful to see documentaries with a high profile speaking out about it. Here we see assembled data, anecdotal and emotionally charged evidence about why our youth is so unhealthy. It's saddening to watch, and inspiring at the same time. Hopefully, people will watch this and do their own investigation, and actually act based on what they see and learn, since it's only making a change in how we feed our children which will make any difference between the next generation dying painfully and too young or being healthy
Free the Mind- This documentary follows the efforts of neuroscientist Richard Davidson as he prescribes yoga and meditation in an attempt to ease the suffering of two war veterans with PTSD and a child with anxiety and ADHD.
This is a well done documentary about the science of meditation and the profound changes that simple meditation and mindfulness practices make in the lives of real people, in this case, two Iraq/Afghanistan war veterans and a young boy. The personal stories of the three subjects of the film were shared with us in respectful way, but also in a way that gave us true insight into the pain, guilt, regret, and fear these people experienced, and ultimately the relief, joy, and hope they felt as the benefits of meditation and mindfulness began to manifest. As a long-term practitioner I can attest to the experiences that these people had “before” and “after” meditation as I have had them myself and have witnessed it in countless others. If you are curious about meditation and mindfulness this film will be helpful, and you will be left feeling happy and uplifted.
God Loves Uganda- This powerful documentary examines the evangelical campaign to spread the values of America's Christian right in Uganda, including a fierce fight against sexual immorality taken on by both American and Ugandan fundamentalist religious leaders.
The picture says it all. The white man's hand on the black child's head, and the look the child is giving the camera. "WTF is this hand doing on my head and what is this gibberish nonsense he is spouting?". They did the same thing to the American Indians- took away their peyote and left them with alcohol and tobacco to kill their morals, and profit from. Jesus (and ALL great teachers) said "feed them". Leave the rest for them to figure out on their own. There is no sense in pushing one man's belief on another. Just look around and see what good that has done!
Blood Brother- After traveling to India, American tourist Rocky Braat wound up finding new purpose in life helping children with HIV and AIDS. This inspiring film documents the challenges he faces and the love he finds as he creates a meaningful life. A movie that could change your life!
A Place at the Table- Using personal stories, this powerful doc illuminates the plight of the 49 million Americans struggling with food insecurity. A single mother, a small-town policeman and a farmer are among those for whom putting food on the table is a daily battle.
It is a startling fact that there are 50 million people in the US that don't know where there next meal is coming from. Food insecurity is an invisible, but very real problem in our country. Of the developed world, the US ranks 23 in food security. The facts are spelled out concisely and with clarity by articulate victims of the program, scholars, physicians and activiists like Jeff Bridges and Tom Colicchio of "Top Chef" fame. This film should be mandatory viewing for all members of Congress and local legislative bodies, not to mention everyone of us who is blessed with the ability to afford to eat nutriciously.
Last Call at the Oasis- This compelling documentary explores the global water crisis, examining deficiencies in the supply system and communities affected by water shortages. Scientists, activists and social entrepreneurs shed light on this shocking and pervasive problem.
Human beings have simply out-grown our planet's ability to sustain. No, its not politically correct to say this but the truth hurts and should be acknowledged. Also, the fact that we are currently draining pristine aquifers, polluting the water with heavy metals and assorted chemicals, then dumping this contamination into the ground water in our uncontrolled lust for fossil fuels is just sick. The practice of "fracking" should never have been approved by any government and should be stopped immediately. I could go on but it boils down to that we are our own worse enemy and are leaving one screwed up planet for the following generations
The Central Park Five- This piercing documentary examines the case of five teenagers, all African-American or Latino, who were convicted of the brutal rape of a white woman in Central Park in 1989. Years later, the confession of the real rapist set the jailed men free.
It is infuriating that cops and prosecutors can get away with stuff like this, without repercussions. And it happens almost everyday in America. With the work of the volunteers with The Innocence Project, hundreds of people have been exonerated due to DNA evidence. A Ken Burns film.
Life in the Freezer- Naturalist David Attenborough serves as host for this journey to Antarctica. Created by National Geographic in conjunction with the BBC, the series captures the continent's breathtaking beauty, inhospitable conditions and diverse animal life. This natural history lesson explores the ecosystem and seasonal weather patterns and looks at how whales, seals, penguins and other birds breed, feed and survive in the Antarctic.
If only for one scene- get this to watch the unbelievable footage of the Leapord seal catching and killing the penguin. In the behind the scenes footage, he offers it to the cameraman! You just can't go wrong with David Attenborough!
The House I Live In- This documentary shines a harsh light on America's "war on drugs" and its long-term impact on society. Filmmaker Eugene Jarecki captures the stories of dealers, police officers, prison inmates and others affected by the crusade.
For those who need to "believe" that drugs are the real scourge of civilization, this film will only annoy you. For those wondering why after 40+ years of living in The Drug War it doesn't feel like we're any closer to resolution, this documentary will give you something to think about. I consider this to be one of the most important documentaries of the last decade, specifically because of Orwell's warning that if you're not thinking about the words you use, you're letting someone else do the thinking for you.
West of Memphis- After the 1994 conviction of three troubled teens for the murders of three younger boys, questions began to arise about the prosecution of the case, with numerous legal experts and celebrities demanding that previously ignored evidence be examined.
I remember watching Paradise Lost & Paradise Lost 2 when they premiered on HBO around 17 years ago and being absolutely riveted. Those documentaries were the first time I had ever seen someone wrongfully convicted and imprisoned. Although I never became directly involved with the case, I must have told hundreds of people about these documentaries. Three brutally murdered 8 year old boys and three wrongfully convicted "weird" teenagers never left my mind. Now, with Paradise Lost 3 and West Of Memphis being released, the culmination of almost 20 years of efforts for justice has been somewhat served. I only wish the real killer would be caught and convicted to ease the suffering of the victims and fully exonerate the West Memphis Three. This film, produced by Peter Jackson and more eloquently and professionally done than the three Paradise Lost Films, discusses the case, new investigations, new evidence and new suspects. I cannot recommend this film enough! This film could inspire you to become an activist for justice, or at the very least, just inspire.
Hiroshima: BBC History of World War II- This fascinating documentary recounts the world's first nuclear attack and examines the alarming repercussions. Covering a three-week period from the New Mexico test blast to dropping the bomb on Hiroshima, the program chronicles America's political gamble and the planning for the momentous event. Archival film, dramatizations and special effects take viewers aboard the Enola Gay and inside the exploding bomb.
This is one of the best documentaries I've seen on this subject. The film makers have used archival footage, actors, computer special effects and, most importantly, interviews with crew members and survivors of the atomic bombs that ended World War II. The subject matter is presented in an even-handed way that clearly presents both sides of what has become a controversial topic. There is some excellent footage of the Enola Gay and some very interesting footage of rows and rows of B-29s on Tinian Island. It's really something to see all those great aircraft. The affects of the bombs dropped on both Hiroshima and Nagasaki are covered quite well, with reenactments portrayed by actors under narration by actual surviving victims. There are three short extra features that I would highly recommend as well. One is an interview with the director who makes the comment that this film would not have been possible to make any earlier than this (because of the computer generated effects), nor could it have been made any later (because of the age of the people interviewed). Another extra is a War Department film short that was produced in 1946. It was very interesting to see how this subject matter was presented only a year after the fact. There is also some raw footage taken of the crew members of both planes that dropped the bombs making statements about what was going through their minds during their missions. It's striking to realize how young these guys were. Regardless of whether or not you think America did the right thing by using atomic weapons, you should see this excellent film.
The Harvest/La Cosecha- This gripping documentary follows three of the more than 400,000 migrant child farm workers in the United States who miss out on childhood and school as they work up to 14 hours a day, seven days a week, without the protection of child labor laws.
This is a recent film... not 20 years ago. If you don't believe it, just drive out to the fields and meet the people that pick our food.
Kumaré- Filmmaker Vikram Gandhi puts an unexpected twist on this sobering documentary about spirituality and the power of suggestion when he poses as a prophet named Kumaré and develops a sizable following in the American Southwest.
Gandhi wonders how difficult it would be to pose as a guru and enlist followers. Apparently, it isn't. But once he has the sacred trust of those followers in his hands, the crushing responsibility of his half-baked premise comes crashing down on him. How do you tell someone you were just kidding once you've fooled them into falling completely in love with you? This movie tells you virtually everything you need to know about humankind's longing for external guidance, the nature of religious organizations, and why benevolent and nefarious confidence men alike can be so successful. A very entertaining and well produced flick with barely a wasted frame. Be your own guru!!!
Garbage Warrior- Oliver Hodge's award-winning documentary chronicles the life and work of visionary Michael Reynolds, the radical architect-engineer who has been designing and building self-sustaining, eco-friendly homes out of disposable materials for 30 years. Battling opposition from bureaucrats, politicians and big business, Reynolds strives to show the entire world that "Earthship Biotecture" is the key to preserving mankind's future on earth.
This is an outstanding documentary that looks systemically at the pros and cons to sustainable architecture. It has really stuck with me and I recommend it to everyone.
Human Planet- This sweeping documentary series explores the daily interaction between humans and the natural world, taking viewers to witness reindeer herding in Norway, icebreaking in Ottawa and tree house building in West Papua, among other amazing stories.
Ibogaine : Rite Of Passage- This is a revealing documentary produced and directed by Ben De Loenen about the most promising treatment modality for drug dependency available now, Ibogaine. It is the only substance we know, which is capable of blocking acute withdrawal in opioid addicts as well as cocaine and alcohol.
"At the beginning of the night-long ordeal, while the tribe drummed and sang around me, I saw, open-eyed, a golem-like figure made of rough tree branches sit down on a bench, cross his legs, and lean forward, observing me curiously. I was later told this was the spirit of Iboga, coming to meet me. Afterward, I watched Scrabble-like letters turn in the air to spell out a curious phrase : "Touchers Teach Too" - one of a series of hints that seemed vaguely prophetic. For much of the night I was taken on a detailed tour of my early life. Many reports of Iboga trips describe such a biographical survey, though nobody knows how a complex alkaloid molecule can unlock such deep doors in the psyche, or how neurochemical reactions can create the palpable sense I had - reported by others as well - of a presence guiding me through the process."
Although the FDA decided in 1993 that Ibogaine showed enough signs of being an effective tool in the treatment of addiction, money is the problem; this natural occurring molecule cannot be patented and is not a maintenance drug with addictive properties; reason for the pharmaceutical industry not to invest in its development... Educate yourself about this unique tool!
Facing the Habit- Junkie and former millionaire stockbroker Dave starts looking for more experimental treatments after 10 years of failing to kick his heroin habit. He journeys to Mexico to undergo treatment with Ibogaine, a controversial drug made from a mysterious West African root known as iboga. Filmmaker Magnolia Martin's searing portrait of addiction won Best Short Documentary at the 2007 San Francisco Frozen Film Festival.
Jewels of the Jungle- Adventurous researcher Dr. Gary Strobel heads into some of the world's most amazing forests and jungles in search of undiscovered natural medicines. Join Strobel as he plunges fearlessly into the tangled trees of Bolivia and Peru, braves the Australian outback and scours Andean highlands in search of new curatives. This program also captures Strobel in the lab as he analyzes specimens that may lead to cures for malaria, cancer and other diseases. A wonderful documentary of the life and work of Gary Strobel, including his encounter with an uncaring and ignorant federal bureaucracy. Dr. Strobel visits remote places in South America and Australia in search of plants which may have healing properties. If you believe in the importance of "natural" medicines you will really enjoy this movie.
Medicine Men Go Wild- Chris and Xand van Tulleken, identical twins from Great Britain, put their medical training to the test as they explore the alternative healing practices of different cultures in this dynamic and beautifully photographed documentary series. In the Congo, the young doctors live with a tribe that uses plants to treat illness. In Asia, they discover what effect religious beliefs have on pain tolerance. Their adventures continue in Russia and Peru. There is also some pretty intense ayahuasca footage- don't miss this one!
The Buddha: The Story of Siddhartha- Through a visual tapestry of evocative paintings and sculptures, this compelling Emmy-nominated documentary from filmmaker David Grubin explores the life of the Buddha, his quest for serenity and his eventual enlightenment. Insightful interviews with contemporary Buddhists, including the Dalai Lama and Pulitzer Prize-winning poet W.S. Merwin, shed light on Buddhism and its relevance today. Richard Gere narrates.
This documentary goes beyond most. It has tender narration, beautiful animated sequences, wonderful, enchanting music, and a story that is truly enriching and inspiring. This is both entertaining and enlightening. The documentary does not compare Buddhism to Judeo-Christian-Islam, but if you have any imagination at all, youll see strong parallels that compel you to wonder, and this wonder will get you thinking for weeks afterward about what it means to be compassionate, peaceful, and blessed.
If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front- Filmmakers Marshall Curry and Sam Cullman examine the case of Daniel McGowan, a member of the radical environmental group Earth Liberation Front who was arrested for committing arson against two Oregon timber companies. Dissecting ELF's self-described use of "economic sabotage" to stop deforestation and other damage to the planet, the film also explores the ramifications of the FBI's decision to classify them as terrorists.
A really fantastic film that tells a compelling story about protesting, eco-activism, and terrorism all with a balanced viewpoint. It is interesting to see the kind of moral dilemma that might make a fiction story actually told by real people and this is the strength of this documentary.
All in This Tea- Few people know the fascinating history of tea growing and making. This intriguing documentary aims to change that by following renowned tea importer David Lee Hoffman as he scours the far-flung corners of China to find the richest teas on earth. Tea making is an art and tradition that goes back generations in the East, and Hoffman makes it his goal to bring to the rest of the world the exquisite teas produced by struggling small farmers.
The Ground Truth- Director Patricia Foulkrod's powerful documentary spotlights American soldiers sharing -- with aching honesty -- their experiences on the battlefield in Iraq and back home as they try to reassemble their lives. These men and women discuss the anguish of war, the difficulties of readjusting to life after their tours of duty and the often callous treatment returning troops receive from the military and the Veterans Administration.
THE GROUND TRUTH is spellbinding, surprising, illuminating & saddening--even if you imagine, as I had, that you are already convinced of our folly over there. The Ground Truth is a wake-up call to a country whose population--as shocking and appalling as this is--seems to be asleep in the back seat as its corrupt and power-mad government, still at the wheel, careens around another new curve atop the cliff.
The English Surgeon- Get acquainted with the work of British brain surgeon Henry Marsh, who, since his haunting first visit to a Russian hospital in the early 1990s, has been devoted to founding a quality brain surgery clinic in the former Soviet Union. Marsh cobbles together secondhand tools and used equipment from hospitals in the U.K. to treat patients in need, such as Marian, a Ukrainian man for whom Marsh is his greatest hope.
Absolutely fascinating on all levels, emotional, intellectual and philisophical. After all, what motivates a superbly intelligent, articulate and talented British neurosurgeon to commit enormous amounts of his time and resources to help desperately ill patients in Ukraine? Surgeon Marsh is bitter and impatient with Britain's wasteful and bureaucratic NHS (National Health Service). He is a healer and he finds fulfilment among those who need him most. The tragedy of Ukranian patients with brain tumors is exacerbated by a system that refuses to provide timely care (making problems worse) and a jealous Ukranian system that chooses to hobble Marsh's only ally, Ukranian surgeon Igor. NB: This is absolutely NOT a film about charity. Marsh acknowledges "killing" patients and "wrecking" lives by choosing to operate. His description of how the choice to operate resembles a double-game of Russian Roulette is brilliant and worth the time spent watching (as is his reunion with the family of the girl he "killed"). As good as a doc gets.
Old Partner- Set in the fertile fields of South Korea, Chung-Ryoul Lee's pensive yet playful documentary examines the enduring bond between an elderly farmer and his loyal ox, forged over 40 years of service, while his sometimes jealous wife stands by. Mr. Lee tends to the ox with special care, feeding him by hand and keeping the land free of pesticides, while the aging beast faithfully carts him back and forth from town, never leaving his side.
Incredibly simple yet deeply powerful tale about that most fundamental life drama -- facing mortality. The film's message is also simple: it's the connections with other living souls that make a life worthwhile, or not. Economically told, with crystal clear characters, plenty of humor, and enough pathos to move even the most hard-bitten moviegoer, this film will truly get under your skin. And happily, it's an animal tale without a "tragic" ending... rather, the ending is appropriate and satisfying. Don't miss this absolute gem!
1 Giant Leap- Filmmakers Duncan Bridgeman and Jamie Catto explore the global nature of music and art in this documentary that incorporates music and visuals from 25 countries including Senegal, Ghana, India, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, and America. The film mixes tempo with talk and songs with stories and features the works of Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Dennis Hopper, Ram Dass, Tim Robbins, Brian Eno, R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe, Neneh Cherry and more. Anyone with a interest in world music, philosophy, world religions, and modern society should appreciate this. Great idea, well executed, highly original.
Hofmann's Potion- This enlightening documentary about LSD -- discovered in 1943 by Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann -- features reflective interviews with many of LSD's early supporters and researchers as it maps out the timeline of the drug's existence. Although LSD eventually became sought by those wanting to experience the ultimate psychedelic trip, it was promoted early on as a cure for alcoholism and drug addiction and used to aid those with mental disorders.
Cast: Duncan Blewett, Ram Dass, Stanislav Grof, Abram Hoffer, Albert Hofmann, Aldous Huxley, Laura Archera Huxley, Timothy Leary, Dr. Ralph Metzner, Humphry Osmond and Myron Stolaroff.
Tibetan Book of the Dead- You'll feel instantly at peace with this chronicle of one of the most unique books of Buddhist spirituality, narrated by singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen. Sit back and explore the rites prescribed by the text and see how they're applied by people around the world. Two parts -- "A Way of Life" and "The Great Liberation" -- are included.
This is more of a documentary about The TBD with some wonderful insights to the contents in a general sense. The people, culture and setting are all wonderful too. Part 2 is at times staged, but very informative never the less.
I've been studying Buddhism for several years and practicing for almost as long. This movie clarified concisely some ideas I wasn't exactly sure about for whatever reason. I loved the simple directness with which it pointed out that the formless, infinite clear light is one's own mind, free of the shadows of samsaric delusion. This particular choice of words paired with the visuals on the screen, made perfect sense to me. I know I've read this before and I experience it in meditation or contemplation, but I have always been thinking there is something more that I am missing. Somehow, the directness of this film made me realize that I have perhaps been overthinking things. The film is very well paced with wonderful animation and scenes of Tibet that serve to really underscore the narration. A perfect example of this is at the end when the lama tells the boy, "when we are born, we cry but the world is overjoyed; when we die, the world cries, but perhaps we will find the Great Liberation" and the camera zooms out to reveal this huge expanse of sky and mountain. It really is amazing how far back that camera must have been. Great cinematography. Something else I really liked was the perfect simplicity and logic throughout the film. An example of this is the exact right timing of the boy to ask the lama the question, "so what is the meaning of the journey of life?" and the lama answers, "to be compassionate and seek the truth." Out of context, that probably sounds almost meaningless or trite, but in context, it becomes a very solid inspiration to practice if you had any doubts or laziness. I loved this film and have already watched it twice.
Deep Blue- Shot in more than 200 locations across the globe, this extraordinary documentary narrated by Pierce Brosnan reveals the infinite variety of plant and animal life of the ocean's deepest depths and surrounding ecosystems. The film features breathtaking cinematography that captures the everyday drama of animals including killer whales, polar bears, birds, seals, crabs, fish and dozens of other fascinating creatures.
I was amazed by this film, especially the deep sea parts. I had no idea there were creatures like that- it was like it was make believe, but its real! There are no words to even describe it so this film moves like a meditation- be prepared to be blown away.
Crude- Filmmaker Joe Berlinger's provocative documentary explores the ongoing battle waged by 30,000 indigenous Ecuadorans and their lawyers against Chevron for dumping billions of gallons of toxic oil waste into the Amazon. Berlinger examines the environmental catastrophe -- dubbed the "Amazon Chernobyl" -- from all sides, following the drama as it moves from the contamination site to the courtroom and beyond, even landing on the cover of Vanity Fair.
As I watched this film, oil still gushed unabated from BP's mile-deep drilling catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico. My objective wasn't to get depressed, but to get a foretaste of what's to come for us. The surrealistic Ecuadorian legal battle has been going on since 1993, and the clean up efforts have been sandbagged by finger pointing. Joe Berlinger's documentary features Pablo Fajardo, a young Ecuadorian attorney who took on Chevron. But the film wisely keeps focus on the devastation of poor people and Amazonian vistas.
One sometimes wishes the film delved a little further into the facts of the case in an independent fashion, rather than just relying on the constant he said/she said back-and-forth engaged in by both of the legal teams. Powerful as this treatment is, particularly in visits to the affected areas, one can't help but feel that a lot of questions are left unanswered.
This is a very powerful film- will we ever learn?
What a Way to Go- Human civilization is on a dire path toward self-destruction, according to this illuminating documentary that explains the often hidden connections between global warming, the waning supply of oil, the faltering economy and other critical trends. Making it clear that there are no easy answers to these world-threatening issues, writer-director Tim Bennett paints an ominous picture, supported by input from several prominent scientists and activists.
With all due respect to Al Gore, Mr. Bennett truly and finally tells it like it is. There's no soft soap or happy ending here, and yet, there is something much more powerful...a call to action by all of us to stop the impending train wreck ahead for humanity, and find a different way to live. A life tied to nature and in harmony with it and not the capitalist, corporate dead end we are pursuing.
Blind Spot- According to filmmaker Adolfo Doring, humankind is facing a catastrophic catch-22: Destroy the world by exhausting its supply of fossil fuels, or stop using oil and let the modern economy collapse. This documentary presents evidence of waning petroleum reserves and explores why industrial society has become so dependent on oil. Experts also explain how gasoline use leads to global warming and predict what will happen when it's gone.
The Devil's Miner- There are a few basic facts that may enhance your viewing experience so I will provide them here: the heat in the mines is constant and oppressive; the cold outside the mines is damp and bone-chilling; the altitude of 14,300 ft provides little oxygen and makes breathing difficult; the air inside the mines has less than a third the oxygen of the air outside the mines so air must be pumped in via hoses and pumps (but the smaller mines can only afford to turn on the air pumps for a few hours during the day); everyone chews cocoa leaves because it aids oxygen absorption and curbs hunger (there are no overweight miners) -- the miners rely on the cocoa leaves for survival, it is not recreational drug use. Perhaps after seeing this movie you will be motivated to be more grateful for what you have and to take some small action to help those who desperately need it.
911: In Plane Site- This provocative documentary probes the theories behind the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, focusing on live video footage captured that day that aired only once on TV and was never shown again. The film examines alternative causes of the crash on the Pentagon and questions whether the damage was inflicted by a 757. The documentary also asks if explosives might have been already present in the World Trade Center and aboard United Airlines Flight 175.
I can not say everything this movie has shown is facts, but it does raise some good questions. Take into account all these other film makers raising questions about our government. What is the economic state of this country? Who is profiting and who is not? Is fear a better control method than force? A country in fear may willingly give up their rights in hope of safety. Does the Federal Reserve (owned by bankers) run our government? Are we moving to a cashless society were eventually we will use RFID (radio frequency identification) chips to make transactions. Does anyone remember in 1999 when gas prices in the Midwest were only 85 – 99 cents a gallon? Sudam Hussein was producing too much oil and flooding the market driving down prices. A lot of people who raise the question if the Iraq war was about oil then why is there a shortage? Maybe it was not about getting the US more oil and more about controlling the oil market. Who is profiting from the war in Iraq? Do the people running our country have any financial interest in high oil prices and the manufacturing of weapons? Are we heading to a one world government (Globalization)? Is greed running rampant? Does none of the eye brow raising questions make you look at the big picture going on? Maybe it’s just all a coincidence.
Drowned Out- In this acclaimed documentary, filmmaker Franny Armstrong -- the mind behind the McDonald's trial exposé, McLibel -- captures the heart-wrenching story of an Indian family forced to choose between their homeland and the rising waters of the Narmada Dam. Shot over three years, the film captures the Jalsindhi villagers' protests, hunger strikes and an emotional Supreme Court case, as well as interviews with best-selling author Arundhati Roy.
The River Narmada Dams Projects are some of the worst violations of human rights that most have never heard about. It's the systematic and irreversible destruction, displacement, and neglect of an entire community. For millions of people, and thousands of acres, it is already too late. Their lives, as they had known them, are gone. Even more tragic is the fact that the victims have protested peacefully and reasonably for years and years only to ultimately be ignored and dismissed by regional, national, and international authorities. What good do their court victories serve when the 'powers that be' refuse to enforce the decisions? I ardently thank Franny Armstrong. Documentaries like this are such an important part of the struggle. Inform yourself. This film is a great place to start.
With a staggering number of Americans suffering from obesity and other food-related maladies, this film takes a timely and hard-hitting look at how the food we eat is helping or hurting our health, and what we can do to live (and eat) better. Nutritionists, naturopaths, scientists, doctors, medical journalists and more weigh in on everything from using food as medicine to the value of organic food and the safety of the food we consume. Backed by abundant scientific studies (which have been blacklisted from mainstream medical journals), this knowledge will be of interest to a new generation of health care professionals and to those who are fascinated by good nutrition as the basis for good health. Let thy food be thy medicine, and thy medicine be thy food.
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