I have been thoroughly desensitized by the internet. Countless videos of accidents, deaths, mutilation, severed limbs, and beheadings have numbed most of my sensitivty to human suffering. I watched the documentary The Act Of Killing last night and for the first time since my inception to the internet, I can honestly say I was visibly shaken up. The Act of Killing is a documentary based on the Indonesian genocide in 1965. The killings resulted in one of the most brutal genocide in history, with nearly a million people slaughtered within a year. If you’ve ever tried to imagine what a Nazi conquered world would be like, this documentary might be closest thing we’ll ever have to actually knowing. What we discover is that when history is written by the victors, we see something very frightening emerge: acceptance of brutality as not only necessary, but heroic. The same paramilitary death squads that carried out the assassinations are politically strong today and count with government ministers among their members. They proclaim themselves national heroes and boast loudly about their “achievements”, which include murder, torture and rape. Director Joshua Oppenheimer interviews some of these gangsters and invites them to reenact the murder scenes by adapting them to their favorite movie genres (Westerns, musicals, etc.) 24 hours later, I am still left in a state of shock and disillusionment that evil, monstorous men are able to walk the streets with their head held high. Harrowing, shocking, and at times unbearable to watch… this movie is surprisingly poetic and beautiful. There are few films out there that I’d call essential viewing, but I think this documentary is one of them.This incident isn’t just about Indonesia, but it speaks volumes about our humanity and what we humans are capable of.
Not the hugest Lil Wayne fan, but we still hope he can get out of that funk, get off the syrup crap and turn his life around.
For Anyone Thinking About Taking Out A Crippling Loan To Attend A For-Profit College, Check Out This Documentary
College Inc. is a insightful look into the seedier side of the for profit college system. Both the defenders and its critics are interviewed about the merits of the for-profit educational system and, in the end, the viewer can make up their own mind about the subject. But the evidence clearly shows that for-profits have very little value; is unaccredited, which means these credits don’t transfer to state colleges; has a poor quality education and often times costs far more to attend these colleges than it does a state college and a community college; and the quality of the education is often times very questionable. For instance, three nursing students Martha, Nora and Susan went to the for-profit Everest College. They never set foot in a hospital during their time there and their education mainly consisted of learning about The Church of Scientology’s Evils of Psychiatry. Another sad case is of one Ann Cobb, a 35-year old divorced woman, who is knee deep in $60,000 in student loans and only makes $8,000 a year on food stamps. Even after graduating, she still hasn’t been able to find a job and can’t pay off her loans. Other problems with the for-profits are pressure tactics used by recruiters to get as many people to sign up. The more people they get to sign up the more money they make so they sign just about any person off of the street without discriminating whether this person is a worthwhile college student. I recommend this film to any and all students who are thinking about going to a for-profit college.
Here’s a seriously sad documentary called Guys And Dolls, which documents the trails and tribulations of guys who have pretty much given up the notion of ever having a real girlfriend and have turned to love dolls for companionship. If anything, you guys should use this documentary as motivation to get off your ass, seize the day and ask out that girl you’ve been waiting the perfect moment for. If you were waiting for a sign, here it is.
If you want to put all doubts to rest as to the who, what, where, how and why of the Biggie and Tupac murders, this documentary answers all your questions and leaves you with no doubt as to who masterminded the tragic deaths of these two rap legends. Props to Nick Broomfield for doing a helluva job of connecting the dots and exposing the LAPD of dropping the ball to cover their own asses. Fans of The Wire will understand.
A father and son document their lives caring for someone they love, who is stricken with cancer. A man steals from a grocery store. An elderly couple, their hair pristine white, finally tie the knot. A young man tells his grandmother via a phone call that he is gay and that he hopes she can come to love his significant other as much as him. A group of women sing as they perform their daily duties. A photographer describes his way of life. People walk, go to work, talk to each other, talk to the camera, as they do in life. Because this is life. Life is extraordinary and life is mundane. And life, no matter from what perspective we examine it, is mesmerizing. And Kevin Macdonald’s film “Life in a Day” is all of that and more.
This is one of the most enthralling, captivating, and magnificent works of art ever produced by human hands. And that is the honest truth, since it was, in deed, created by hundreds of people. Some of them filmmakers, most of them just ordinary Janes and Joes like you and me. Detailing what happened in their lives on July 24, 2010 and submitting their footage to Mr. Macdonald and producer Ridley Scott, they provided the materials for a genuine masterpiece. “Life in a Day” is a masterpiece not because it is artistic or cared for with creative tenderness (even though it is). It’s a masterpiece because it is unabashedly honest and personable. I watched the movie on its live Youtube debut while it was simultaneously screened at the Sundance film festival. And for an hour and thirty-four minutes, I sat there captivated. Nothing could have torn me from my seat. Even though most of what I saw was fairly ordinary, things I could see walking down any street in any town. Paradoxical as it sounds, the mundane is mesmerizing.
In his movie, Mr. Macdonald and his hundreds of co-directors examines human life as fact and with honesty. He reveals the frailties, tenderness, brutality, horrors, and beauty of life in our world all within that short window of an hour and a half. It’s so captivating because it’s all real and these are stories that many of us can identify with, and others we hope never to. That’s when the movie really becomes a tear-jerker. Sometimes there are long stretches of time on particular subjects, other times it’s a montage accompanied by truly wonderful, ear-worm music. There is so much that I want to say about “Life in a Day” but I must restrict myself. Because the movie really has to be seen to be believed. I cannot possibly do this film’s emotional and psychological justice simply by writing about it. All I should (and will) do is tell you my reaction, as I just have. This is one of my most personal reviews and it’s fair because it’s a personal film. It engages the audience more than any documentary could ever do (though I haven’t seen “Shoah” yet) and it leaves us with that utterly profound and beautiful sensation that only a great picture can do. Even though it is very, very simple in a lot of ways. After all, Steven Spielberg once said “Oftentimes the simplest ideas are the best ones.” He was right. Boy, was he right.
“Life in a Day” is a masterpiece.
Here’s a pretty intense documentary that takes you to the front lines of the war in Afghanistan as a squad of Marines try to take control of a Taliban stronghold. Although we can sit back in the comforts of our home and distanced from the mayhem, this documentary does a good job of bringing us closer to the emotions felt by everyone affected by war.
I’ve seen every episode of every single locked up reality show on TV and I thought another documentary about a jail in Miami wouldn’t phase me at all, but boy was I completely wrong. There’s something about this documentary that scares the crap out of me and making me think twice about ever committing a crime. This is a PSA for anyone who thinks jail is a walk in the park.