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Description: In August 1966, the Cultural Revolution in full swing, 13-year-old Tian Ben is arrested for testing a pop record; he's sent to a remote mountain camp in Niu-Peng. There he's named "Four Eyes" and, with about 16 another older men and men, he's made to carry muck up a mountainside, create bricks, saw logs, and sing everyday to Chairman Mao of his faults. There's camaraderie among the five youths, especially with a young pickpocket called Baimao, and Tian is also drawn to a silent monk who cares for him when he falls ill and the others expect him to die. The camp is remote, so there are no fences or walls. Tian longs to escape.
Description: The shameful history of persecution of the Aborigines in Australia. The secret history of Australia is a historical conspiracy of silence. Written history has long applied selectivity to what it records, largely ignoring the shameful method that the Aborigines were, and continue to be, treated. Because Aborigines had not cultivated the land they were seen by British colonists as having no proprietorial rights to the land. They had no treaty and therefore no rights under British colonial rule. Tiny of their resistance is recorded.
Description: In 1910, the Pennsylvania Railroad successfully accomplished the enormous engineering feat of building tunnels under Fresh York City's Hudson and East Rivers, connecting the railroad to Fresh York and Fresh England, knitting together the whole eastern half of the United States. The tunnels terminated in what was one of the best architectural achievements of its time, Pennsylvania Station. Penn Station covered nearly eight acres, extended two town blocks, and housed one of the biggest public territories in the world. But just 53 years after the station’s opening, the monumental building that was supposed to last forever, to herald and represent the American Empire, was slated to be destroyed.
Description: Based upon the life of Commander Francic D. Fane (USNR), UnderWater Fighter follows the evolution of the US Navy's Underwater Demolition Unit from its inception near the end of Globe Fight II through its acceptance and finally successful utilization in Korea. Landmark underwater camera work makes Underwater Fighter a milestone in cinematic history.
Description: The assassination of Pancho Villa, on the outskirts of Parral, Chihuahua, plunged the town into mourning, and a wake for the revolutionary character was held by his closest collaborators. Conspicuous among the mourners were the four girls with whom Villa was having intimate relationships at the time of his death. Actually that Villa is no longer around to mediate and hold them apart, tensions between the girls grow and intensify, with unexpected consequences. An intimate and human portrait of the Centaur of the North.
Description: Switzerland in the 13th century: Shot in the middle of Globe Fight II, this classic movie returns to the origins of Switzerland and turns about the trouble of the tiny country vs a large power: Resist or obey?
Description: "Race d’Ep!" (which literally translates to "Breed of Faggots") was made by the “father of queer theory,” Guy Hocquenghem, in collaboration with radical queer filmmaker and provocateur Lionel Soukaz. The movie traces the history of modern homosexuality through the twentieth century, from early sexology and the nudes of Baron von Gloeden to gay liberation and cruising on the roads of Paris. Influenced by the groundbreaking work of Michel Foucault on the history of sexuality and reflecting the revolutionary queer activism of its day, "Race d’Ep!" is a shockingly frank, sex-filled experimental documentary about gay culture emerging from the shadows.
Description: Thirty years on from the 1984 Union Carbide plant malfunction, the consequences of which are tragically ongoing, A Prayer for Rain is the strong and moving storyline of the Bhopal tragedy, one of the nice corporate and environmental scandals of the last half-century. It dramatises the dependence of the local community on the chemical plant that will eventually cause catastrophe, and the series of oversights that led to an happening that stands as a benchmark for corporate irresponsibility in the developing world.
Description: A director of a tv series on the history of cinema, who has been grappling with the screenplay of his first detail film, receives an assignment to oversee the installation of a tv relay station in a remote region of Zahedan province, near the Afghanistan border. He has already hired Turkoman tribespeople for his movie and chosen his filming location. Meanwhile his wife, who is working on her Ph.D. dissertation about the Mongol invasion of Iran, attempts to dissuade him from accepting the assignment. One night, while working on his history of the cinema series, the director fantasizes a diagetic globe that consists of intelligent juxtapositions of his various worlds: the history of cinema, the history of the mongol invasion, his own movie concept and his imminent assignment to the desert.
Description: The movie takes zone at the end of the 19th century. The Cardinal Guglielmo Massaia has spent 20 years in Ethiopia to convert folks to the Catholic Church. He comes back to Italy and he tries to receive the support of the government of Piedmont. The Count Cavour, although he appreciates the Cardinal's deeds in Africa, cannot grant his Cabinet's help to the Cardinal's plans. The missionary man, trusting the Divine Providence, goes back to Africa by himself. The Cardinal, who is known among the folks as Abuna Messias, becomes a mate of lord Menelik. The help of the lord is fundamental to spread his word and accomplish his mission. The Head of the Coptic Church, Abuna Attanasio, does whatever he can to prevent Massaia from reaching his targets and to receive him exiled from Ethiopia. Menelik refuses to support Abuna Attanasio, who decides to address the Emperor, thus igniting a fight between the Emperor and his topics Menelik. In order to end the war, the Cardinal decides to leave Africa.
Description: Bringing 15th-century Africa--before the comeback of colonizers--to rich, colourful life, chronicling the exploits of legendary Yoruba lord Sango, ruler of the Oyo empire: his ascension to the throne, his wars with the Olowu and his own fight generals, his risky experimentations with potent charms, and his ultimate deification.
Description: The movie is based on the biography of V.O.Chidambaram Pillai written by Ma. Po. Si.(M.P.Sivagnanam). V. O. Chidambaram Pillai, founded the Swadeshi Stream Navigation Company to break the monopoly of the British over maritime trade out of India.
Description: Veerapandiya Kattabomman (1959) is a Tamil detail movie directed by B. Ramakrishnaiah Panthulu. The cast contains Sivaji Ganesan, Gemini Ganesan, Padmini, S.Varalakshmi, and Ramaswamy V.K. Eighteen kilometres north west of Tirunelveli lies the hamlet of Panchalankurichi, a zone of historical significance. The chieftains ruling Panchalankurichi place up stiff resistance vs the British East India Company, between 1798 and 1801.Veerapandiya Kattabomman was a fearless chieftain who refused to bow down to the demands of the British for agricultural tax on native land, a brave fighter who laid down his life for his motherland. The war he launched in Panchalankurichi has been hailed as the inspiration behind the first war of independence of 1857, which the British named the Sepoy Mutiny.
Description: Shudra: The Rising is a Hindi language movie with a story based on the caste system in ancient India, and more specifically the Hindu Varna system. It is directed by Sanjiv Jaiswal and dedicated to Bhim Rao Ambedkar. The movie depicts the four primary troops of the caste system - the Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and the Shudras. The movie shows different guidelines imposed on the Shudras such as waking with a bell around their ankles and a long leaf behind their back,and a pot hanging around their neck.
Description: June 14, 1941, 3 a.m. Over 40000 folks from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are deported by Soviets to Siberia. Among them is a philosophy student Erna, a happily married mother of a tiny girl. Separated from her husband Erna and her daughter are dispatched together with another girls and kids to remote Siberian territories. Despite hunger, fear and brutal humiliation Erna never in next fifteen years loses her sense of freedom and hope of returning to homeland. The storyline is inspired by true events.
Description: An Honest Liar says the wonderful storyline of the world-famous magician, escape artist, and world-renowned opponent of deception, James 'The Amazing' Randi. The movie brings to life Randi's intricate investigations that publicly exposed psychics, faith healers, and con-artists with quasi-religious fervor. A master deceiver who came out of the closet at the age of 81, Randi created fictional characters, fake psychics, and even turned his partner of 25 years, Jose Alvarez, into a sham guru names Carlos.
Description: This biographical movie is set in 1937, with Fallada suffering the results of living under a microscope. The movie features his decline, as he is intermittently imprisoned and threatened in order to motivate him to write for the Fatherland. Even the attention of his kind, patient wife and loving kids start to feel oppressive to him. This is one of the several movies to take a serious, in-depth look at the tribulations of a constructive artist pulled in all various directions by the true world.
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As he did with his first two Vietnam films, "Platoon" and "Born on the 4th of July", Oliver Stone creates a strong tale of the devastation of the Vietnam War. What makes this film so unique, both from Stone's earlier work and virtually each another American film about the Vietnam War, is that "Heaven and Earth" is said from the perspective of a Vietnamese woman. This film is based on two ebooks of memoirs written by Le Ly Hayslip, a Vietnamese girl who grew up in a easy farming village in central Vietnam but whose life --- and those of most Vietnamese people, we can infer --- is turned upside-down by the madness of the Vietnam War.Strictly as a movie, this is a nice but not nice film. Even at almost 2 1/2 hours, the structure is a bit stilted in order to accommodate such an extensive story. The first 30 mins are mostly voice-overs and the film doesn't pick up steam until later, when scenes are allowed to flow for extended amounts of time and we become caught in the drama. Tommy Lee Jones gives other brutally realistic performance as a lifetime military boy who can't leave the fight behind. Hiep Thi Ly is okay as Le Ly Hayslip; not Tommy Lee Jones caliber acting, but she competently plays a very hard role. I read she was an amateur actress only selected after an extensive casting call, and I'm glad that they decided to go with an current young Vietnamese girl instead of selecting a generic asian actress. It might not create a difference to most, but it certainly felt more "real" to me with an authentic Vietnamese-American in the main role. Oliver Stone shows his mastery of mood and camerawork as he jumps from the beauty of the Vietnam countryside, to the ravages of war, to the shocking (for Le Ly) wealth of suburban America. The film occasionally drags but overall I'd still give it an 8 out of 10 because it's such a strong and necessary addition to the cinematic depiction of the Vietnam War.The film also inspired me to read the 2 ebooks ("When Heaven and World Changed Places" and "Child of War, Girl of Peace") it was based on. Stone had to compress many happenings in order to fit the run time; for example, the Tommy Lee Jones hero is a fabrication based on 3 various boys (and probably meshed into one boy as much for the drama such an explosive hero provides as for the time constraints), while her ebooks spend extensive time on all 3 relationships. However, the dialogue for few key scenes were taken almost word for word from her books, and I thought it captured the spirit of the storyline remarkably well, especially for a major studio movie. I highly suggest anyone interested in the movie or in the fight to read these books, and I commend Oliver Stone for making a trilogy of necessary movies not just for cinema, but for American history.
Oliver Stone has everytime had a unique bond with Vietnam. He is a veteran of that fight and the theme about a veteran trying to cope with his fight experiences is a topics that comes back in few of his movies. This is the last film in his Vietnam trilogy. His first film was "Platoon" (1986), his second "Born on the Fourth of July" (1989) and the third one was "Heaven & Earth" (1993).In Heaven & World he says the real storyline of a Vietnamese village woman who survives a life of suffering and hardship during and after the Vietnam war. Before she meets and marries the U.S. marine Steve Butler, she already has had an whole life behind her. She once fled for the violence of the Viet Cong, leaving her farming village for Saigon together with her mother. But later she disgraced herself by becoming pregnant with her fresh master's kid and as an unmarried mother, she tried to create a living by being a freedom fighter, a hustler and sometimes a prostitute. As later as they are married, they transport to the USA, but life on the another side of the ocean certainly isn't as excellent as she imagined it to be...Some folks tell that it is a nice thing that Oliver Stone has finally made a film that shows the Vietnamese perspective of the fight and I agree, but only to a certain extend. It's real that we only receive to see films that present the American side of the storyline and that we need another films that give us a broader view on the matter, but "Heaven & Earth" isn't the only 'reversed' Vietnam film. Perhaps not many folks know this, but the French film "Indochine" (1992) does approximately the same. The main difference with "Heaven & Earth" is that it doesn't talk about the 'American' period, but about the French colonial period that proceeded it and in which time the Vietnam fight really started (The French had almost lost all their wars when the Americans came to support them and thereby got fully stuck into the fight themselves...). But it is true, Oliver Stone has done a great job with this movie. He has made it an interesting hero study, with the fight everytime show in the background. The acting is very nice and I don't think there should have been a better actor than Tommy Lee Jones to enjoy the role of Major Steve Butler. The another actors all did a nice job too, in fact, I might tell that Stone has had an perfect cast to work with and he probably got the most and the greatest out of them.If there is one lesser mission to this movie, although only a tiny one, than it gotta be the language. The Vietnamese all begin by speaking almost excellent English to every other, but when they speak to Americans their English is poor, yet when they speak to every another in front of an American its in Vietnamese. I trust it would have been better if Stone had selected to allow the Vietnamese speak their own language all the time and to speak with an accent when speaking to the Americans. But as I already said, I only see this as a minor feature and it certainly didn't spoil the nice times that I had with this movie. This is an underrated film that deserves to be seen by a nice audience. I give it a 7.5/10 at least, perhaps even an 8/10.
I don't understand why most folks don't appreciate this movie. I guess one reason is that it's not simple to look at your own people, US soldiers, as enemies, or at your country - in the final - as the land of fatty meaninglessnes. Or maybe they were expecting something various from Stone, something more than that history - not so unusual as someone observed - of a easy vietnamese country girl. The point, for me, is that this is not a movie about the vietnam war, which is only the background. If you create the effort to forget the vietnam war, its historical and cultural legacy, to avoid being on the side of one of the armies (maybe is easier for me, being an italian), you'll explore one of the most intense film about the family and the bonds with the world where you belong. Stone through the storyline of this easy woman succeeded in saying the storyline of whole humankind, analizing those which are its roots, its ties, its hopes, its condemnations. Honestly, one of the greatest films I've ever seen. Sincere, profound, touching. True.
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