Sunday, June 27, 2010

More Docs

I. South of the Border
Oliver Stone premiered his new doc, South of the Border, an admittedly biased look at South American leaders, Hugo Chavez, Evo Morales, Lula de Silva, and Castro. Although Stone admits the bias, there were some interesting information in terms of a pan South American wave of new leaders who are not beholden to American interests and have flat out said no to institutions such as the IMF.

The most interesting part was the post movie discussion, especially with a particular academic pointing out some of the flaws in the film, only to be countered by Stone and other academics. Originally shot for TV, it appears to have received strong approval and has now been picked up for wider distribution.

II. Circo
A great doc shot by a lone filmmaker about a traveling family that has a long history of a circus family and what a hard life it is. A fascinating look at a hard life, family strife, constant migration for work, and how the strong history of circuses in Mexico is changing in today's world.

III. Barbershop Punk
A really important topic, net neutrality, and a man who fought the system. Unfortunately, this doc is so poorly done that I almost walked out of the theater. Only my fascination with the topic kept me in my seat. This could have been so much more.

IV. Into Eternity
This is a very cool, and almost surreal documentary film. It deals with the fact that Finland has created a repository deep in the bedrock to store nuclear waste up to 100 000 years into the future. The filmmaker asks the question, "can you trust our future descendants", and "should we tell our grandchildren about what we've buried". The answers from those involved with the creation and functioning of the facility are absolutely fascinating when we realize that what we've created will likely affect humans so far into the future that we do not even know if they will share our concerns, language, culture, etc. How do you warn your great(X 50 000) grandchildren not to touch the stove?

V. Waste land
The best for last. This is truly one of the best documentary films I've watched in the last 5 years. A filmmaker challenges a very wealthy rags to riches Brazilian artist, Vik Muniz, to use his power for transformation. A multi year art project takes him to the largest landfill site in Rio de Janeiro where we find a union of recyclists who search the trash dumped every day from the city, picking for recyclable materials and turning them into their daily wages. The artist interviews and photographs a number of these hard scrabble workers, turns their photos into art creations with the help of those photographed using recylable materials they themselves collected, and auctions off the art pieces in places like London with the proceeds going to the individuals and the collective workers. This is one of the most inspirational documentaries about the power of art to transform I have ever seen. I CANNOT RECOMMEND THIS ENOUGH!

1 comment:

Richard Grove said...

Great suggestions. I'll be looking for these over the next few months. Esp the last one.