Sunday, 2 August 2015

Documentary Films – Summer 2015

Japan: Memoirs of a Secret Empire (PBS – 3 part documentary)
The cultural story of Japan from the 16th century onward.


Pressure Cooker (Available on Hoopla)
A tough teacher, Wilma Stephenson, works in a poor neighbourhood high school to train students in the culinary arts to earn scholarships for college.


Citizenfour (Oscar Winner for Best Documentary Feature, 2015)
The story of Edward Snowden and his revelation of the NSA files – filmed as it occurred.


Good Hair
Comedian Chris Rock explores the commercial, cultural, and personal dimensions in the hair upkeep of the African American community and what it reflects of our society.


The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness
Showing the workings of the famed Studio Ghibli, with focus on its formidable founder Hayao Miyazaki.  I particularly enjoyed the special features showing a visit by John Lasseter and the view of the studio from the “resident cat’s” point of view.


The Gatekeepers (Oscar Nominee for Best Documentary, 2012)
Six former heads of the Shin Bet, Israel’s Secret Service, reflect on the successes and failures of the agency’s past actions, then wishing to veer away from the previous hardline approach to a more conciliatory one based on the two-state solution.


Red Obsession
The story of the newly rich in China driving up the demand for ultra premium red wine and its subsequent price collapse in the years following.


Cirque du Soleil - Flow: A Tribute to the Artists of "O" (Available on Hoopla)
Thoughts and lives of the artists and athletes from the “O” show in Las Vegas performed by Cirque du Soleil.


Vanishing of the Bees
Around the world incidents of sudden, dramatic, and mysterious honeybee colony collapse are occurring with no definitive cause.  The film documents the role of bees in agriculture, the perspectives of the bee keepers and possible next steps.


The Gruen Effect: Victor Gruen and the Shopping Mall
Victor Gruen, the man often thought of as the Father of the Shopping Mall, had created the malls to bring the feel of European city centres to the burgeoning suburbs to America.  Seeing his creation morphing into monuments focused on profit maximization, however, he spent the rest of his life dissociating from this concept so attached to him.


The Cove (Oscar Winner for Best Documentary Feature, 2010)
Filmed in secret, a group of activists uncovers the practice of dolphin fishing activity inside a cove in Japan, and argue that it’s cruel, unnecessary, and seek to bring to awareness that the meat sold to consumers is contaminated with mercury.


Born into Brothels (Oscar Winner, 2004)
Intending on filming the lives of prostitutes in Calcutta, India, the documentary photographer Zana Briski ended up making friends with 8 children born here and taught them photography, which depicted the poignant, toiling, and treacherous daily lives of those in the red light district from a child’s perspective.

No comments: