5 years after Nixon started the war on drugs, we have over one million non-violent drug offenders living behind bars. The War on Drugs has become the longest and most costly war in American history, the question has become, how much more can the country endure? Inspired by the death of four family members from “legal drugs” Texas filmmaker Kevin Booth sets out to discover why the Drug War has become such a big failure. Three and a half years in the making, the film follows gang members, former DEA agents, CIA officers, narcotics officers, judges, politicians, prisoners and celebrities. Most notably the film befriends Freeway Ricky Ross; the man many accuse for starting the Crack epidemic, who after being arrested discovered that his cocaine source had been working for the CIA.
American Drug War shows how money, power and greed have corrupted not just drug pushers and dope fiends, but an entire government. More importantly, it shows what can be done about it. This is not some ‘pro-drug’ stoner film, but a collection of expert testimonials from the ground troops on the front lines of the drug war, the ones who are fighting it and the ones who are living it.
After 4 years of production including several sold out test screenings in New York, Austin & Los Angeles, the final version of American Drug War: The Last White Hope is locked and loaded. (Excerpt from americandrugwar.com)
Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism uses the inflammatory tactics of the Fox News Channel to demonstrate the conservative bias that’s handed down by Fox’s owner, media mogul Rupert Murdoch. The documentary gathers interviews from media watchdogs and former Fox employees (including a former anchor, Jon Du Pre, who describes his flailing efforts to create a celebration for Reagan’s birthday when the one he was sent to cover never materialized), but their overwhelming condemnation of Fox’s skewed news practices isn’t half as effective as footage taken directly from Fox itself–an appalling montage of pundit Bill O’Reilly telling guests to shut up.
WMD, a 100 minute non-fiction film, explores this story with the findings of a gutsy, media insider-turned-outsider, former network journalist, Danny Schechter, who is one of America’s most prolific media critics.
Schechter says he “self-embedded” himself in his living room to monitor media coverage, by fastidiously tracking the TV coverage on a daily basis.
He wrote thousands of words daily about the coverage for Mediachannel.org, the world’s largest online media issues network, and then collected his columns, blogs and articles in a recently published book, EMBEDDED: Weapons of Mass Deception (Prometheus Books).
He has continued his one-man investigation with WMD, a two-hour indie non-fiction film that asks the questions that his media colleagues refused to confront before, during and after the war. Featuring footage from inside Iraq, and inside the media, WMD tracks the media war through February 2004. (Excerpt from wmdthefilm.com)
From his famous motorcycle trips to his historic role in the Cuban Revolution, Argentinean revolutionary Che Guevara is profiled in a documentary produced to explore the life of the man whose visage has become an iconic symbol of hard left politics.
This man, who ordered the execution of countless human beings while in charge of the notorious La Cabaña prison in Havana, who terrorized Cuban society and who denied freedom to thousands of citizens whom he considered “deviants” or “anti-revolutionaries” can never be accepted as a hero, martyr or — the shock of it — a saint.
Its a good documentary in the fact that it brings to light other people in the revolution, and it has this kind of new way of presenting the man, with lots of hard guitar in the background to make him seem “radical” i guess. Jon Anderson the author of one of the best bio’s on him is interviewed many times, also there are interviews with American soldiers who fought in the revolution,which is very interesting to get to see them. Overall it is one of the better documentaries.
The superb documentary War/Dance reveals the redemptive power of music, even in the most horrific places. Focusing on three children in their early teens in war-torn Uganda–stoic Nancy, driven Dominic, and soft-spoken Rose–War/Dance tracks the efforts of the school of a refugee camp called Patongo to compete in Uganda’s countrywide music competition.
The contrasts are staggering; in interviews, the children describe their parents being killed by rebel soldiers, then footage of rehearsal shows them joyfully singing and dancing with their classmates.
Some of the sequences are harrowing (a scene where Nancy grieves for her murdered father is painful to watch), but without them, we wouldn’t understand how hard-won are the feelings of pride and accomplishment as their school performs for the competition’s judges.
The built-in structure of the competition gives this documentary a clear and engrossing storyline, much like Spellbound or Mad Hot Ballroom, but the heartbreaking circumstances and the emotional openness of the three teenagers makes War/Dance even more compelling.
Noted photographer David LaChapelle makes his feature directorial debut with this documentary on a new facet of street culture in South Central Los Angeles. In 1992, after long-simmering racial tensions in Los Angeles erupted in riots following the verdicts in the Rodney King trial, a man named Tommy Johnson sought to spread a new message in a new way to the city’s African-Americans.
Creating a character called Tommy the Clown, Johnson developed an act that combined hip-hop-flavored comedy and dancing with an anti-gang and anti-violence message. Johnson’s performances became wildly popular in South Central — so much so that at one point, 50 different groups inspired by Johnson’s example were performing in the area. In time, Johnson’s loose-limbed dance style inspired a new wave of hip-hop street dancing called “krumping,” a wildly athletic style in which arms, legs, and bodies fly with a frenzied abandon that moves at almost inhuman speeds.
Rize follows the birth of clown dancing and krumping in South Central, and records how many young people have adopted the dance as a style of competition, offering a safer and healthier alternative to the gang culture that has long dominated Los Angeles. Rize premiered at the 2005… (Barnes & Noble)
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