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Description: The Bridge is the controversial documentary that shows folks jumping to their death from the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Director Eric Steel staked out for a year under the infamous bridge filming 23 suicides. The footage was then compiled along with interviews from family, friends, witnesses, and survivors to make this disturbing yet very intriguing documentary.
Description: Each year, thousands of Antarctica's emperor penguins create an astonishing adventure to breed their young. They walk, marching day and night in single file 70 miles into the darkest, driest and coldest continent on Earth. Morgan Freeman narrates this amazing, true-life tale touched with humour and alive with thrills. Breathtaking photography captures the transcendent beauty and staggering drama of devoted parent penguins who, in the fierce polar winter, take turns guarding their egg and trekking to the ocean in find of food. Predators hunt them, storms lash them. But the security of their adorable chicks makes it all worthwhile. So follow the leader ... to adventure!!
Description: What would your family reminiscences about dad sound like if he had been an early supporter of Hitler’s, a leader of the notorious SA and the Third Reich’s minister in charge of Slovakia, including its Final Solution? Executed as a fight criminal in 1947, Hanns Ludin left behind a grieving widow and six young children, the youngest of whom became a filmmaker. It's a fascinating, maddening, sometimes even humorous look at what the director calls "a typical German story." (Film Forum)
Description: A movie about three teenagers - Klara, Mina and Tanutscha - from the Berlin district of Kreuzberg. The trio have known every another since Kindergarten and have plenty in common. The three 15-year-olds are the greatest of friends; they are spending the summer at Prinzenbad, a huge open-air swimming pool at the heart of the district where they live. They're feeling cute grown up, and are convinced they've actually left their childhood behind.
Description: The Large One is an investigative documentary from director Michael Moore who goes around the country asking why large American corporations produce their product abroad where labor is cheaper while so many Americans are unemployed, losing their jobs, and would happily be hired by such companies as Nike.
Description: A growing number of Evangelical Christians trust there is a revival underway in America that requires Christian youth to assume leadership roles in advocating the causes of their religious movement. Jesus Camp follows kids at a Christian summer camp as they hone their "prophetic gifts" and are schooled in how to "take back America for Christ." The movie is a first-ever look into an intense training ground that recruits born-again Christian kids to become an active part of America's political future.
Description: Michael Moore's view on what happened to the United States after September 11; and how the Bush Administration allegedly used the tragic happening to push forward its agenda for unjust fights in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Description: Lightbulbs, fire, barbed wire, mousetraps, staple guns, thumbtacks and glass are weapons of choice in The Backyard. This undercover documentary takes you deep into the controversial arena of backyard wrestling where the limits are constantly being tested...and broken. The Backyard follows few backyard wrestlers in various countries as they pursue their dream to become professional wrestlers.
Description: A documentary about the closure of General Motors' plant at Flint, Michigan, which resulted in the loss of 30,000 jobs. Features the attempts of filmmaker Michael Moore to receive an interview with GM CEO Roger Smith.
Description: A documentary on the once promising American rock bands The Brian Jonestown Massacre and The Dandy Warhols. The friendship between respective founders, Anton Newcombe and Courtney Taylor, escalated into bitter rivalry as the Dandy Warhols garnered major international success while the Brian Jonestown Massacre imploded in a haze of drugs.
Description: In the Realms of the Unreal is a documentary about the reclusive Chicago-based artist Henry Darger. Henry Darger was so reclusive that when he died his neighbors were surprised to search a 15,145-page manuscript along with hundreds of paintings depicting The Storyline of the Vivian Girls, in What is Known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glodeco-Angelinnian Fight Storm, Cased by the Kid Slave Rebellion.
Description: An Oscar nominated documentary about a middle-class American family who is torn apart when the father Arnold and son Jesse are accused of sexually abusing numerous children. Director Jarecki interviews folks from various sides of this tragic storyline and raises the question of whether they were rightfully tried when they claim they were innocent and there was never any evidence vs them.
Description: A documentary movie that highlights two road derived dance styles, Clowning and Krumping, that came out of the weak income neighborhoods of L.A.. Director David LaChapelle interviews every dance team about how their special dances evolved. A fresh and positive activity away from the drugs, guns, and gangs that ruled their neighborhood. A raw movie about a growing sub-culture movements in America.
Description: Berlin Movie Fest 1984. The greatest zone for each cinema fan. Everyone wants to be in on the festival, but that may be really difficult, if one has no accreditation. Also Journalist Matthies gets to know the guidelines of being in or out when he wants to see a screening and is not welcome. Thus he watches an old German silent flick which he is barely interested in. The next day the newspapers are full of reports about a newly discovered German masterpiece from the silent era. It seems that Matthies had luck. He just saw *the* movie everybody is talking about now. Also everybody is speculating about its director, who remains unknown. When Matthies talks to Ackrewa, an old befriended projectionist, about the film, the latter seems to recall the name of the director. Matthies decides to research the case. An odyssey into film-history starts and if it is successful Matthies will come up with a top story.
Description: Sicko is a Michael Moore documentary about the corrupt health care system in The United States who's main target is to create profit even if it means losing peoples lives. "The more folks you deny health insurance the more cash we make" is the business model for health care providers in America.
Description: The film's purported intention is to make a bridge between the various political positions that coexist, sometimes violently, in the Basque Country. In order to do so, Medem edits the interviews giving a sense of dialogue between parties that refused to sit down and talk. Due to its lack of contextualization, the movie may be difficult to understand to audiences without previous knowledge of the Basque problem—it is obviously a movie designed to be viewed by Spanish audiences, or folks familiar with the issues.
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Water is the source of everything; our lives, our history, it has power, it is capable of sustaining life or destroying it, it holds communication from outer zone and it defines our future. It is also the longest border to Chile, contrastingly one of the driest territories on earth. These aquatic holistic musings are the basis of Patricio Guzmán's recent part documentary, part spiritual investigation into what makes his homeland what it is.The first thirty mins or so of The Pearl Button is an acc of what the ocean represents complemented with pretty imagery of the sea and ice-caps with poetic portrayals of the Andes semi-submerged geography. Although charmingly romantic, a simmering sensation of art-house dread begins to collect as the brain starts to wonder whether other hour of this is possible to sit through without cracking launch the wine. Luckily however, fascinating interviews with surviving members of the original indigenous Chilean tribes break up the daydream-like ocean fascinations as the film establishes a structure.The main turning mission of the movie is when Guzmán begins to document the comeback of Catholicism and the white Europeans to the country and their utter disregard for the indigenous people. 'Indian hunters' were paid ten shillings for each child's ear they should deliver from the tribes. The shift in focus is intentionally punitive and everything suddenly takes on a much solemner tone. Humanity's beauty and poetry is abruptly pivoted to humanity's cruelty and malice, the extremes visually harmonised to the oceans comparative calm and ferocity.The game of the film itself comes from the payment for which Jemmy Button, a native Yámana, received to travel to England as a freak present piece for a British naval captain. The idea of a tribesman travelling to London in the middle of the industrial revolution is so alien in today's globe that it's almost impossible to contemplate or truly understand.Guzmán's narration is almost hypnotic in its delivery and smartly complements both the holistic and the brutality of the story. Although the videography and cinematography are on opportunity exquisite, there are times when Guzmán allows himself a tiny too much constructive freedom and deviates into artful whimsy. These moments are relatively short however and manage to just about successfully weave into the documentary as a whole.The Pearl Button feels like an odd movie to sit through at times as you're not sure whether you're watching an art-house documentary about natures beauty or a harrowing critique of humanity's violence, but then that's the point. It leaves you scratching your head but is strong enough to truly receive under the skin.
"The Pearl Button," is the follow up work by renowned Chilean writer/director and documentarian, Patricio Guzman. Much like his mesmerizing 2010 documentary, "Nostalgia for the Light," "The Pearl Button," begins out showcasing the brilliance and natural beauty of the Chilean night sky. Only this time Guzman juxtaposes it vs the cool, sensual freshness of the land's natural, cascading waterways. Gently, Guzman shifts gears and slips in interviews with the indigenous Chileans and learns of a cosmic edifying method of life through the eyes of the elder Kawesqars, the ancient water nomads of Patogonia. Romantic stories of 600 mile adventures along the coastal seascape in miniature paddle boats were relived as if they emanated from other time and zone that couldn't exist today. And for all intents and purposes, it doesn't, except in the minds and lore of the elder Kawesqars. Due to modern shipping lanes and commercial fishing rights, the boat folks are no longer allowed to freely travel. Many younger members would hardly know how. It seems the modern generation is so busy surviving that they have forgotten how to live.The movie comes in at a quick moving eight-two minutes. It is shot in color with minimal color correction that deftly enhances the powerful cinematography provided by Katell Djian. Unsurprisingly, the look and feel of the shooting is related to Nostalgia for the Light, as Djian worked both. Yet, there is more to both movies than superb night sky spectacles and rich, ripe waterways or vast, barren deserts. Both movies call attention to the brutality of the Pinochet regime. Nostalgia for the Light, provides a pretty segway into the find for disappeared bodies much like the Chilean government searches the sky for disappeared stars. In "The Pearl Button," Guzman connects the cosmos and the essence of life to water calling to mind that humans ultimately evolved from aquatic life forms. And, the aquatic life forms sprang forth from a cosmic impulse detonated from a heavy energetic collision resulting in the first precursor of life, water, entering into the planetary environment. Water is the essence of life. And it remembers.However, as colonialism began to encroach, a fresh method of life emerged that was far various that the life the cosmos had revealed. Here Guzman indulges himself in a tiny Chilean lore of the legend of Jemmy Button. Jemmy Button was the representation of an ordinary indigenous Chilean. He was taken under the security of a British naval officer in exchange for a fancy pearl button. The officer took Jemmy back to Britain and learned Jemmy the methods of a British gentlemen. Jemmy attended the finest school and was dressed accordingly and even given a respectable haircut. After a year Jemmy was returned to his family and community. He never fit in again and lived the rest of his days as an outsider.Much can be made of the plight of Jemmy Button as Guzman uncovers and delivers other horrifying example of Pinochet's brutal attack on dissidents. Unnervingly and in a manner akin to a medical coroner, a recreation of how a body, not necessarily a corpse, would be disposed of seemingly without a trace. Real to most crimes, however, an error occurred in the process and a body washed a shore eventually revealing other episodic disappearance of dissidents. Most estimates accept that somewhere between 12,000 to 14,000 bodies were disposed into these once life giving waters. Nevertheless, Guzman finds optimism and hope for the future. During reclamation efforts, one of the instruments used to hasten the drowning and to hold the body submerged, was recovered without the typical barnacles attached. It was recovered with a pearl button attached.Guzman, once again, proves himself a gifted, master storyteller with both earthly and cosmic sensibilities. Highly recommended.
I personally have a certain mistrust for the films that attempt to affect the audience sentimentally; I do not favor my mind being taken hostage by the director through affection and tears which I think happened to some extent in Pearl Button. However this does not even slightly devalue this nice work of art in my opinion.The film explores the astonishing globe of the old natives and tries to visually search a language for the modern boy to understand this lost globe at least partially. It seems that a superb and special globe has been lost to us due to the arrogance of modernity, science and industrial age.The director tries to present the audience that this forgotten old globe was not the globe of mindless savages, as many wish us to trust for glorifying the progress of capitalism and modernity. I also love how the film draws the absurdity of the brutal crimes happened by the hands of oppressors in the face of the vast universe. Storyline of the Jemmy Button made a lot of sense to me as an immigrant and an Iranian. Jemmy Button lost his land, his freedom and his identity for some pearl buttons; when he returned to his land he was never able to be at peace with his fresh identity or his old methods of life again. For a second I re-thought myself as the Jemmy Button of the modern era. I felt that I was fooled by the shining pearl buttons which for me was the American Commercial Cinema, the Western false promises of corporate freedom, gratis store and the colorized advert of the American globalized consumerism and its methods of life. It seems that I and many like me are losing their sense of attachment with their ancestors and history. We are adapting this absurd but strong consumerist identity that has no true value like the pearl buttons, but is very shiny.
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