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Old 05-05-2006, 04:10 PM
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Default Documentaries

I've started a few threads about documentaries I've seen, and a couple of them died at the OP. So I think from now on I'll just find and bump this thread to discuss any interesting documentaries I stumble on. Some previous threads I've started:

Haiti: Unfinished Country - self-explanatory

The Corporation - self-explanatory

The Day My God Died - about the child sex trade

Arna's Children - a look at the lives of a few Palestinian residents of the West Bank

How about you? Seen any good documentaries lately?
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  #2  
Old 05-05-2006, 05:03 PM
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Default Re: Documentaries

I watched WWII documentaries all the time while growing up. V For Victory and Victory at Sea especially. Up until getting rid of cable earlier this year, documentaries and cartoons were about all I ever watched.
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Old 05-05-2006, 05:35 PM
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Default Re: Documentaries

National Geographic showed an excellent one on Hurricane Katrina the other night, Inside Hurricane Katrina I think it was called. It had footage I had never seen and really told the whole story quite well.

Rosie O'Donnels family cruise one on HBO was also good

Oh, and Terror's Children about Afghan refugee children in Pakistan was excellent. It's being shown on Discovery Times
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Old 05-05-2006, 05:53 PM
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Default Re: Documentaries

I highly recommend Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room the story of the whole Enron scandal.

It makes a great double bill with The Corporation, providing a superb example of the sociopathic nature of the capitalist corporation described there.
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Old 05-05-2006, 07:09 PM
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Default Re: Documentaries

The unfortunately titled Darwin's Nightmare was one of the best documentaries we've seen lately. It touches on about a jillion different Huge Important Issues--globalization, biodiversity, poverty--all within the microcosm of a small fishing village in Tanzania. It is just so good. Y'all all should see it.

Probably the scariest movie ever, The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara, and while we're at it, let's just throw in everything else Errol Morris has ever done or influenced. There are a couple of these I haven't seen yet, but I'm confident enough to assume they're also excellent. (Note that Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe is not one of the ones I've missed--I saw it in a theater! Yay me!)

Werner Herzog has also done lots of good documentaries, as long as we've gone there. Burden of Dreams, about the making of Fitzcarraldo; Fata Morgana, sufficiently weird that I can't tell you what it's really about; Grizzly Man, of course; My Best Fiend, about Klaus Kinski; God's Angry Man, about Dr. Gene Scott; and an assload of others.

I love documentaries, so I'm going to think of more, but I'm really really supposed to be working.
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  #6  
Old 05-05-2006, 09:16 PM
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Default Re: Documentaries

I liked both The Corporation and Enron: etc. and recently also enjoyed Walmart: The High Cost of Low Prices (although they did try a little too hard in spots, IMO) and Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism.

I really like documentaries, but don't get a chance to see enough of them.
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Old 05-07-2006, 12:12 AM
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Default Re: Documentaries

I was totally riveted by Pretty Things this afternoon
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Old 05-07-2006, 09:03 AM
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Default Re: Documentaries

Just the other day I watched a dandy of a documentary on Encore Western channel, Golden Saddles, Silver Spurs. It traced the history of Hollywood B-Westerns from the Silent Film Era to the 1950s.
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Old 05-07-2006, 02:37 PM
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Default Re: Documentaries

I find 95% of documentaries supremely annoying.

Reasons:

i) usually little information given in a lot of words
ii) every little thing is a sensation
iii) lame music: either hyper-reactionary, or yr 2000+ James Bond movie electo music.
iv) state of the art unnecessary sound effects
v) re-enactments, i hate re-enactments

One exception is the film on the Vietnam War my class watches weekly instead of a second lecture: unbelievable. No music, huge amounts of uncut and uncompromising footage, the best interviews, tasteful narration. Extremely raw and powerful. It is riveting.
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Old 04-05-2009, 02:19 PM
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Default Re: Documentaries

Lakshmi and Me on PBS. I know nothing about India, and found this difficult the watch. Lakshmi worked 70 hours a week as a maid, for 6 different families...one of whom she had been working for since she was 10 years old, yet she was still poor.

The filmmaker was one of her employers, and a single woman. So a single woman can make enough money to live independently in India, but not if she's lower caste I guess.
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Old 04-05-2009, 03:08 PM
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Default Re: Documentaries

Lakshmi worked 70 hours a week [...] yet she was still poor.

That's interesting. The underlying assumption there seems to be that working really hard is the way out of poverty. Over here the assumption is that working really hard is the trap the poor are caught in.

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Old 04-05-2009, 05:18 PM
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Default Re: Documentaries

If paid a living wage, 70 hours a week should pay for decent food and housing.
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Old 04-05-2009, 05:31 PM
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Default Re: Documentaries

That's a big "If". Where legislation is passed that ensures workers are paid enough to be able to save and build a better life for themselves and their families, there hard work will be a way to escape poverty, yes. And in places where such legislation is missing or unenforced, the poor are trapped.
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Old 04-05-2009, 08:11 PM
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Default Re: Documentaries

Who the #$&% is Jackson Pollack, absolutely hilarious film about a foul mouthed truck driving Granny who buys a painting at a yard sale, and her run in with Art Experts over provenance. Great fun to watch, she is a character and her stories are tremendous. Deals with the issue of provenance and where it is better traced through science or an experts eye. If you enjoy art you will enjoy it. If you collect art I think it is an important lesson on how to protect your investment.

King Corn was made by two film students who discovered that their grandafathers both were farmers in the same small town. They decide to grow an acre of corn, and follow their corn through the food supply. Also follows the history of farming in America. Really well done, humorous and thought provoking. Shows the whole perspective IMHO.
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Old 04-05-2009, 09:03 PM
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Default Re: Documentaries

We just watched The Business of Being Born which is basically hospital versus home birth. It was really just confirming a lot of the feelings I already had about some unnecessary hospital intervention. Along with that I'm reading Birth: The Surprising History of How We Are Born by Tina Cassady which is a really fascinating read.
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  #16  
Old 04-08-2009, 04:55 PM
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Default Re: Documentaries

I've been watching a ton of documentaries lately. Thanks to whoever revived this thread--now I've got several more to add to the list!

One that has particularly stuck with me is Aging Out, which follows a few former foster kids as they age out of the system and set out into the world with few skills and little support. It came out in 2005, and a book (I think it was this one) came out about the same time. I read somewhere that of the eight kids followed between the book and the movie, three are already dead. Since 2005. Which is just... appalling, obviously.
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Old 08-03-2010, 03:35 AM
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Default Re: Documentaries

Jackpot for (mostly nature) documentaries MacGillivray Freeman Films - Film Library.

I guess they're IMAX specialists as I have personally seen 3 of their films at the IMAX in Mobile, and several are on Netflix to watch instantly. We watched Journey to Amazing Caves tonight

For you parents/teachers each film has a teacher's guide available. Google the name of the film then teacher's guide to find them.
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Old 08-18-2010, 04:35 PM
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Default Re: Documentaries

Two contrasting Afghan ones are out/coming out.

I'm hearing good things about Restrepo, won Documentary at Sundance. Filmed in the Korengal valley, pretty hot spot North of Jalalabad. Hopefully I'll find a cinema showing it around here this week.


On the other extreme, with very little shooting at all, is Hooligans at War, which is coming out next month. I'm going to see it because I'm in it, mainly...


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  #19  
Old 08-18-2010, 05:46 PM
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Default Re: Documentaries

Are you a Hooligan CT?
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Old 08-18-2010, 06:23 PM
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Old 08-18-2010, 08:03 PM
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Default Re: Documentaries

Quote:
Originally Posted by LadyShea View Post
Are you a Hooligan CT?
No, I just commanded some of them. I don't play a major part in the documentary, despite getting a speaking role in the trailer.

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Old 08-24-2010, 01:45 PM
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Default Re: Documentaries

I watched My Flesh and Blood last night, and can't get it out of my head. It's a surprisingly unsentimental look at a single mom and her 13 children--11 of them were adopted, and most have some pretty significant challenges.

It is hard to watch, at times. The two younger boys are both dealing with excruciating terminal illnesses, and one also has some very severe emotional problems. I don't think I could take on all the issues that the mother, Susan Tom, has taken on, but I'm glad there are people in the world like her.

If it looks interesting to you, do yourself a favor and don't read too many reviews beforehand. I was shocked by the ending, and 12 hours later I am still reeling from it. But I'm glad I didn't know how it was going to end.


65 Red_Roses is a documentary that follows a young woman with cystic fibrosis in Vancouver named Eva, and her struggle to get a lung transplant. It also profiles two of her online friends who also have CF, and how they all emotionally support one another through the internet.

I'd followed Eva's blog off-and-on for years. Although the documentary ends on an optimistic note, it was hard to watch knowing that Eva started declining shortly after filming ended.

Her blog is here: 65_RedRoses

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  #23  
Old 08-24-2010, 04:00 PM
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Default Re: Documentaries

Quote:
I watched My Flesh and Blood last night, and can't get it out of my head. It's a surprisingly unsentimental look at a single mom and her 13 children--11 of them were adopted, and most have some pretty significant challenges.

It is hard to watch, at times. The two younger boys are both dealing with excruciating terminal illnesses, and one also has some very severe emotional problems. I don't think I could take on all the issues that the mother, Susan Tom, has taken on, but I'm glad there are people in the world like her.
See, I read a number like that, and I wonder if it's a form of hoarding, but with children instead of cats or trash. Apparently she has the room and the financial means, but I can't help but wonder at her motivations...what's driving that? Savior complex? Actual altruism?

Shit, one healthy kid is more than enough for me to handle. I don't have the strength for 13 with various extraordinary needs.
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Old 08-24-2010, 06:23 PM
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Default Re: Documentaries

Yeah, there may be some truth in that. Her sister and mother hinted that they thought she was trying to fill a void. Her husband of 13 years left after they had two biological kids together and adopted two more (the first without medical problems, and the second who was expected to be disabled and had brain surgery as an infant but is doing very well now).

Unfortunately, a lot of the medical care and running of the household had fallen to the older, healthier kids, which put them under a lot of pressure. Some of their needs also seemed to be brushed aside because the other kids had more severe issues that needed to be dealt with.

All in all, though, the family seems to work, Susan appears to be a very capable caregiver, and for the most part the kids all seem to be happy and thriving. There is one notable exception--the very angry teenage boy seen in the trailer. He has CF, ADHD, and probably attachment disorder. He's the source of a lot of conflict within the family, and his behaviors are well beyond what Susan is capable of dealing with (at least with so many others to look after). It's heartbreaking that between his medical and mental health issues he's never able to get the help that he really needs.

Anyway, the family dynamics are interesting and you should watch it.
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  #25  
Old 08-24-2010, 06:29 PM
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Default Re: Documentaries

This thread is broken! :ohnoes:

ETA: Hey now it works! :chin:
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