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The Documentary Films .Net site has never been casually used to help raise funds for charity.  However in the last year members of our staff have have had the pleasure of meeting a great couple who are both dealing with cancer while raising their young son.  At the moment, neither of their cancers are life threatening, but they and millions of others struggle with cancer’s affects every day.  Both are involved in the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life event, so the publishers of the site felt it would be an event worthy of bringing to the attention of our readers.

Josh Davis, this site’s publisher will be walking at the Lawrence, Kansas Relay For Life held at the Free State High School track.  The event will be held overnight starting in the evening on June 13th.  Teammates will be walking throughout the night to raise awareness and funds to fight cancer.

If you are interested in donating, you can do it online via credit card directly to the American Cancer Society.  Donations can be accompanied by a note honoring someone you know who has been touched by cancer.

A link to my event webpage is provided below.

Any donation no matter how small is appreciated.


By  Bryan Newbury
April 28, 2008

A person’s views on the death penalty don’t just change. They evolve. When someone takes the time to investigate the process and the punishment, the only intelligent conclusion he can arrive at is that capital punishment is a barbaric miscarriage of justice. This seems to be the case At the Death House Door puts forward, and it would be difficult to argue to the contrary.

Most who maintain a fervently anti-death penalty stance have a Road to Damascus moment in which the act of a state killing in order to discourage killing unravels before them. For some, it was the case of Roger Keith Coleman of Grundy, Virginia. In 1992, Coleman became a cause célébre. All the pieces seemed to fall into place. Here was a coal miner who seemed to have had to complete a decathlonesque performance en route to the rape and murder of his sister-in-law. Key evidence seemed to point to at least a shadow of a doubt. Governor Wilder was up for reelection, and seemed to be hearing none of the case.

The same year saw the execution of Ricky Ray Rector. Though the evidence of his guilt wasn’t in question, the issue of trying, convicting and executing a man who was essentially retarded shone a light on the craven political advantage in vengeance and blood lust. Governor Bill Clinton took the time to return to Arkansas, mid-campaign, in order to make sure the execution transpired. 
–Read the rest of this entry »


By Umut Newbury
December 18, 2007

It is seven days from Christmas 2007 and that puts us one step closer to Shopocalypse according to Rev. Billy of the Church of Stop Shopping.

No American shopper would want to be bothered by the true impact of her consuming behavior at this time of the year. Christmas is so instilled in our social existence in North America that even the most conscientious, eco-friendly and sustainable-living oriented folks out there want to make exemptions to please loved ones. No one wants to be the Grinch. Director Rob VanAlkemade’s documentary What Would Jesus Buy? is a sobering film about the lengths we all go to avoid being the Grinch and how we are hurling ourselves toward Shopocalypse because of our consumerism and over-consumption.
–Read the rest of this entry »



These films represent a broad section of new documentaries by American independent filmmakers. From examinations of the American political system and the country’s use of natural resources to explorations of cultural development and intimate portraits of legendary artists, these films represent a thematic and artistic variety. This year’s 16 films were selected from a record 953 submissions. Each film is a world premiere.

The films screening in Documentary Competition are:

AN AMERICAN SOLDIER (Director and Screenwriter: Edet Belzberg)—Uncle Sam really wants you! A compelling exploration of army recruitment in the United States told through the story of Louisiana Sergeant, First Class Clay Usie, one of the most successful recruiters in the history of the U.S. Army. World Premiere

AMERICAN TEEN (Director and Screenwriter: Nanette Burstein)— This irreverent cinema vérité chronicles four seniors at an Indiana high school and yields a surprising snapshot of Midwestern life. World Premiere

BIGGER, STRONGER, FASTER* (Director: Christopher Bell; Screenwriters: Christopher Bell, Alexander Buono, Tamsin Rawady)—A filmmaker explores America’s win-at-all-cost culture by examining his two brothers’ steroids use…and his own. World Premiere

FIELDS OF FUEL (Director and Screenwriter: Josh Tickell)— America is addicted to oil and it is time for an intervention. Enter Josh Tickell, a man with a plan and a Veggie Van, who is taking on big oil, big government, and big soy to find solutions in places few people have looked. World Premiere

FLOW: FOR LOVE OF WATER (Director: Irena Salina)— Water is the very essence of life, sustaining every being on the planet. FLOW confronts the disturbing reality that our crucial resource is dwindling and greed just may be the cause. World Premiere

GONZO: THE LIFE AND WORK OF DR. HUNTER S. THOMPSON (Director: Alex Gibney)—Fueled by a raging libido, Wild Turkey, and superhuman doses of drugs, Thompson was a true “free lance,” goring sacred cows with impunity, hilarity, and a steel-eyed conviction for writing wrongs. Focusing on the good doctor’s heyday, 1965 to 1975, the film includes clips of never-before-seen (nor heard) home movies, audiotapes, and passages from unpublished manuscripts. World Premiere

THE GREATEST SILENCE: RAPE IN THE CONGO (Director and Screenwriter: Lisa F. Jackson)— Jackson travels to remote villages in the war zones of the Congo to meet rape survivors, providing a piercing, intimate look into the struggle of their lives. World Premiere

I.O.U.S.A. (Director: Patrick Creadon)—Few are aware that America may be on the brink of a financial meltdown. I.O.U.S.A. explores the country’s shocking current fiscal condition and ways to avoid a national economic disaster. World Premiere

NERAKHOON (THE BETRAYAL) (Director: Ellen Kuras; Co-Director: Thavisouk Phrasavath; Screenwriters: Ellen Kuras, Thavisouk Phrasavath)— The epic story of a family forced to emigrate from Laos after the chaos of the secret air war waged by the U.S. during the Vietnam War. Kuras has spent the last 23 years chronicling the family’s extraordinary journey in this deeply personal, poetic, and emotional film. World Premiere

THE ORDER OF MYTHS (Director: Margaret Brown) — In 2007 Mobile, Alabama, Mardi Gras is celebrated…and complicated. Following a cast of characters, parades, and parties across an enduring color line, we see that beneath the surface of pageantry lies something else altogether. World Premiere

PATTI SMITH: DREAM OF LIFE (Director and Screenwriter: Steven Sebring)— An intimate portrait of music icon Patti Smith that mirrors the essence of the artist herself. World Premiere

ROMAN POLANSKI: WANTED AND DESIRED (Director: Marina Zenovich; Screenwriters: Marina Zenovich, Joe Bini, P.G. Morgan)— Marina Zenovich’s new documentary examines the public scandal and private tragedy which led to legendary director Roman Polanski’s sudden flight from the United States. World Premiere

SECRECY (Directors: Peter Galison, Robb Moss)— Amidst the American hunger for instantaneous news and up-to-date “facts,” this unflinching film uncovers the vast, invisible world of government secrecy. World Premiere

SLINGSHOT HIP HOP (Director: Jackie Reem Salloum)—The voice of a new generation rocks and rhymes as Palestinian rappers form alternative voices of resistance within the Israeli-Palestinian struggle. World Premiere

TRACES OF THE TRADE: A STORY FROM THE DEEP NORTH (Director: Katrina Browne; C0-Directors: Alla Kovgan, Jude Ray; Screenwriters: Katrina Browne, Alla Kovgan)—History finally gets rewritten as descendants of the largest slave-trading family in early America face their past, and present, as they explore their violent heritage across oceans and continents. World Premiere

TROUBLE THE WATER (Directors: Tia Lessin, Carl Deal)— An aspiring rap artist and her streetwise husband, armed with a video camera, show what survival is all about when they are trapped in New Orleans by deadly floodwaters, and seize a chance for a new beginning. World Premiere


Fox News: ” Filmmaker Michael Moore’s brilliant and uplifting new documentary, “Sicko,” deals with the failings of the U.S. health care system, both real and perceived. But this time around, the controversial documentarian seems to be letting the subject matter do the talking, and in the process shows a new maturity.”

Hollywood Elsewhere: “I have to say that I went into this documentary with limited expectations, but I came out teary-eyed.””It’s not just an eye-opener, in short, but a movie that opens your emotional pores.”
–Read the rest of this entry »


By David Loftus
May 6, 2007

When the screening ended, the crowd leapt to its feet to applaud and cheer the subject of the newly-completed (or rather, nearly-completed) documentary. Characteristically, but good-naturedly, he shouted: “Stop! Stop! I’ll only say something that’ll alienate you later!”

On Thursday, April 19, “Dreams with Sharp Teeth,” a new film by the producers of Werner Herzog’s “Grizzly Man,” received its first public screening at the Writers Guild Theatre in Los Angeles.
–Read the rest of this entry »


The Documentary Film Makers Course taught by the authors of The Documentary Film Makers Handbook has set another date – May 12-13, 2007. Learn how to get your doc made from a practical standpoint as we discuss story, legal, funding, production, post, sales and distribution. Special guest Aline Allegra from Current TV will be on hand to discuss acquisitions. Go to to register for the course.

SPECIAL DISCOUNT for all members. $50 off with coupon code DOCDISCOUNT. That’s $249, instead of the usual $299. Hope to see you there.


UPDATE: The Bridge will be released to DVD on June 12, 2007. 

The Golden Gate Bridge, with its views of the San Francisco Bay and skyline, is an American icon and a major tourist destination. But it is also the site of more suicides than any other place in the world. The question of why this particular bridge is such a magnet for suicides (along with the broader issue of suicide, and mental illness in general) is explored in Eric Steele’s debut documentary, which he began to work on after reading Tad Friend’s New Yorker article on the subject. Every day during 2004, Steele set up his cameras and filmed the Golden Gate Bridge during daylight hours. Day after day, he and his crew observed thousands of people crossing the bridge on foot from San Francisco to Marin County and back. They filmed everyone from tourists to bicyclists, but ever so often a person would climb over one small part of the bridge’s mile-long railing and let go. However, while the camera can record the act of suicide, it cannot tell us what leads a person to such an extreme action or what thoughts run through someone’s mind during those last moments. In an attempt to uncover some of these mysteries, Steele crossed the country in order to interview friends and families of the jumpers he captured on film, on-scene witnesses to various jumps, and even a jump survivor. These testimonials elevate the jumpers in the film from nameless statistics to human beings whose lives have inexorably led them to a tragically decisive moment on the Golden Gate Bridge. Like the bridge itself, this film is beautiful, powerful, and possesses an underlying darkness.

–David Wonk, Programmer for Tribeca Film Festival

From January through December 2004, Steel used 10-to-12-person crews to train his cameras day and night on this landmark — using both close-up lenses and wide angle shots to see the full expanse of the bridge.

By the time he finished, he had taped 23 of the 24 suicides that occurred that year. Now he has released a documentary called “The Bridge” that shows some of the jumps. The film has produced both praise and condemnation for his choices.

ABC News Story


UPDATE:  Read Bryan Newbury’s review of The Bridge.


Starz isn’t known for original documentary films, but this film is an entertaining documentary that any Hunter fan will enjoy.  As with any writer, it is tough to capture his work in a film, and this film tends to rely heavily on previous documentaries, footage from movies based on his work, and most importantly interviews with friends.  Those interviewed rarely get much screen time before jumping to a different interviewee , but by the end of the film, their love for Hunter and significant amount of his personality comes through.


Distinguished FEATURE Documentary Award
James Longley
Typecast Pictures, Typecast Releasing, HBO Documentary Films

Distinguished SHORT Documentary Award
Marcelo Bukin
ANGEL’S FIRE (Fuego de Angel)
Rec Stop and Play, Global Humanitaria

Stanley Nelson
Firelight Media, Seventh Art Releasing, WGBH, PBS

Davis Guggenheim
Laurie David, Lawrence Bender, Scott Z. Burns
A Lawrence Bender/Laurie David Production, Participant Productions, Paramount Classics

Mark Samels, executive producer Sharon Grimberg, series producer
Episodes Submitted: “The Boy in the Bubble” (Barak Goodman, John Maggio, dirs./prods.), “Eugene O’Neill” (Ric Burns, dir./wtr.); Marilyn Ness, Steve Rivo, Robin Espinola, Mary Recine, prods.) “John and Abigail Adams”(Peter Jones, dir.; Elizabeth Deane, prod./wtr.), “Las Vegas” (Stephen Ives, dir./prod.; Amanda Pollak, prod.)

Brent Renaud, Craig Renaud
DCTV, Discovery Times Channel

Carrie Lozano – University of California, Berkeley


The film started as and examenation of the disappearing wetlands, but when Katrina struck, vertern IMAX filmmaker Greg MacGillivary immediately began shooting the resulting damage that hits Louisianna.

Hurricane on the Bayou will be released nationwide to IMAX theaters on December 22.  MacGillivary follows a group of four musicians, both legendary and rising, as they uncover the culture of New Orleans; explore the beautiful, alligator filled bayous on airboats; recount their personal stories of Katrina; and most of all, bring the focus to the rapidly disappearing wetlands that are New Orleans’ first line of defense against the destrucition of the city and culture


BANISHED (Director: Marco Williams) — This story of three U.S. towns which, in the early 20th century, forced their entire African American populations to leave, explores what — if anything — can be done to repair past racial injustice. World premiere.

CHASING GHOSTS  (Director: Lincoln Ruchti) — The 1982 Video Game World Champions share their philosophies on joysticks, groupies and life. World premiere.

CRAZY LOVE (Director: Dan Klores) — An unsettling true story about an obsessive relationship between a married man and a beautiful, single 20-year-old woman, which began in 1957 and continues today. World premiere.

EVERYTHING’S COOL (Directors: Judith Helfand, Daniel B. Gold) — A group of self-appointed global warming messengers are on a high stakes quest to find the iconic image, proper language, and points of leverage to help the public go from embracing the urgency of the problem to creating the political will necessary to move to an alternative energy economy. World premiere.

FOR THE BIBLE TELLS ME SO (Director: Daniel Karslake) — Grounded by the stories of five conservative Christian families, the film explores how the religious right has used its interpretation of the Bible to support its agenda of stigmatizing the gay community and eroding the separation between church and state. World premiere.

GHOSTS OF ABU GHRAIB (Director: Rory Kennedy) — This inside look at the abuses that occurred at the infamous Iraqi prison in the fall of 2003 uses direct, personal narratives of perpetrators, witnesses, and victims to probe the effects of the abuses on all involved. World premiere.

GIRL 27 (Director: David Stenn) — When underage dancer Patricia Douglas is raped at a wild MGM stag party in 1937, she makes headlines and legal history, and then disappears. GIRL 27 follows author-screenwriter David Stenn as he investigates one of Hollywood’s most notorious scandals. World premiere.

HEAR AND NOW (Director: Irene Taylor Brodsky) — Filmmaker Irene Taylor Brodsky tells a deeply personal story about her deaf parents, and their radical decision — after 65 years of silence — to undergo cochlear implant surgery, a complex procedure that could give them the ability to hear. World premiere.

MANDA BALA (SEND A BULLET) (Director: Jason Kohn) — In Brazil, known as one of the world’s most corrupt and violent countries, MANDA BALA follows a politician who uses a frog farm to steal billions of dollars, a wealthy businessman who spends a small fortune bulletproofing his cars, and a plastic surgeon who reconstructs the ears of mutilated kidnapping victims. World premiere.

MY KID COULD PAINT THAT (Director: Amir Bar-Lev) — A 4-year-old girl whose paintings are compared to Kandinsky, Pollock and even Picasso, has sold $300,000 dollars worth of paintings. Is she a genius of abstract expressionism, a tiny charlatan, or an exploited child whose parents have sold her out for the glare of the media and the lure of the almighty dollar? World premiere.

NANKING (Director: Bill Guttentag, Dan Sturman) — A powerful and haunting depiction of the atrocities suffered by the Chinese at the hands of the invading Japanese army during “The Rape of Nanking”, one of the most tragic events of WWII. While more than 200,000 Chinese were murdered and ten of thousands raped, a handful of Westerners performed extraordinary acts of heroism, saving over 250,000 lives in the midst of the horror. World premiere.

NO END IN SIGHT (Director: Charles Ferguson) — A comprehensive examination of the Bush Administration’s conduct of the Iraq war and occupation. Featuring first-time interviews with key participants, the film creates a startlingly clear reconstruction of key decisions that led to the current state of affairs in this war-torn country. World premiere.

PROTAGONIST (Director: Jessica Yu) — PROTAGONIST explores the organic relationship between human life and Euripidean dramatic structure by weaving together the stories of four men — a German terrorist, a bank robber, an “ex-gay” evangelist, and a martial arts student. World premiere.

WAR DANCE (Director: Sean Fine, Andrea Nix Fine) — Devastated by the long civil war in Uganda, three young girls and their school in the Patongo refugee camp find hope as they make a historic journey to compete in their country’s national music and dance festival. World premiere.

WHITE LIGHT/BLACK RAIN: THE DESTRUCTION OF HIROSHIMA AND NAGASAKI (Director: Steven Okazaki) — WHITE LIGHT/BLACK RAIN offers a visceral, topical and moving portrait of the human cost of atomic warfare. World premiere.

ZOO (Director: Robinson Devor) — A humanizing look at the life and bizarre death of a seemingly normal Seattle family man who met his untimely end after an unusual encounter with a horse. World premiere.


WALPOLE, N.H. (AP) – Ken Burns thought he was done with war movies after his series “The Civil War.” But he says two troubling statistics fuelled the creation of “The War,” a 14-hour documentary about the Second World War.

“It was really a couple of statistics that got me,” Burns said. “One was that we’re losing a thousand (Second World War) veterans a day, and the other is that our children just don’t know what’s going on.”

Burns said he was astonished at the number of high school graduates who believe the United States fought with the Germans in the Second World War.

“That to me was terrifying, just stupefying,” said Burns, who will show the first two-hour instalment of “The War” to Dartmouth College on Dec. 1.

The series follows four American towns – Waterbury, Conn., Mobile, Ala., Sacramento, Calif., and Luverne, Minn. – through the war years, focusing both on the soldiers from the towns sent to war and the families and friends left behind. “The point of view is from ordinary people, who do the fighting and who do the dying in all wars,” Burns said.

© The Canadian Press 2006


mueck.jpgRon Mueck, a hyperrealist sculptor, recently opened a new exhibition of his work at the Brooklyn Museum.  For several years his shows have been accompanied by a 25 minute documentary that shows some of his work and his process.  That documentary is now available online and worth checking out.  After viewing it, if you are within traveling distance from his current show, you will likely be going.


Brooklyn Museum Exhibit Page


Borat is a force at the U.S. box office.  This past weekend in its second week of release it remained on top with weekend ticket sales of 29 million, following up its opening weekend of 26 million when it was on just over 800 screens.

“Documentary”, “documentary to be shown outside the US”, and “foreign documentary” all are terms that keep coming up when participates describe how the Borat was portrayed to them when they signed releases and when the being in the film was pitched to them.

For the few who don’t know, Borat is a character played by comedian Sacha Baron Cohen who represents himself as a Kazakhstan journalist, naive to US culture.  In order to set up his interviews, he and his production crew often represent themselves as a news crew or in most cases documentary filmmakers. 

The foreign angle has a number of individuals in the film upset.  They are not helping out a struggling documentary filmmaker, but rather are prominently featured in a film that is a US number one box office phenomenon.

According to ABC news, the couple who owned the Four Seasons Kosher Bed & Breakfast were told, “the documentary was commissioned by the Kazakhstan Department of Tourism”.

At least two groups of participates have begun the process of suing the Borat production in order to attempt to collect a great appearance fee for being part of the movie.

With increased doubt about whether a filmmaker is truthful or even genuine in approaching potential subjects for a film, filmmakers are likely to find it tougher to get individuals to agree to appear in their films.

By in News

More The Bridge coverage here and here.

See the full size Ted Rall comic.

It’s apparently OK to say the S-word on TV — as long as it’s on a program that the Federal Communications Commission says even faintly resembles a news show.

The FCC reversed itself Tuesday and deemed acceptable a Survivor contestant’s use of the obscenity during an interview on a December 2004 episode of The Early Show on CBS. The contestant used a vulgar term for “smooth talker” to describe a fellow contestant on Survivor: Vanuatu.

Full USA Today article.

By allowing a entertainment interview on a morning “news” show to be exempt from the strict standards, controversy about documentary content should largely go away. Ken Burns’ “The War” use of profanity in combat footage and interviews should no longer be a issue that might have kept some PBS affiliates from running it.


DVD Releases November 7, 2006

WordplayReview – Purchase at – “Wordplay” starts the story of the New York Times crossword puzzle, and the current and historical creative forces behind it. But as it dances across the story, filling it in as one of its devotees might across the puzzles, it reveals an entire amazing world behind its practice, creation, and history, from the annual crossword convention in Stamford to the breadth of individuals who enjoy it daily.

The Passing Show: The Life & Music of Ronnie LaneReviewPurchase at Amazon.comFilm Web Site – This brilliant musical documentary tells the story of Ronnie Lane from his heyday with first the Small Faces and then the Faces, through the sixties and seventies, his experiments with a rural life and the touring musical circus that he dubbed The Passing Show. Finally it charts his latter days once he developed Multiple Sclerosis. Featuring numerous musical clips and interviews with family, friends and colleagues including Eric Clapton, Pete Townshend, Ian McLagan, Kenney Jones, Glyn Johns, Henry McCullough, Joe Ely and many more.

The Blood of My BrothersReviewPurchase at – The Blood of My Brother shows the war in Iraq from the perspective of an Iraqi family grieving the loss of a son who was killed by an American patrol as he stood guard at a mosque. The subtle dynamic between grief and rage is eloquently explored by director Andrew Berends, while he extends the scope of the doc to encompass the burgeoning culture of militancy found among young Iraqi men. From the family weeping at the gravesite to the Battle of Najaf, The Blood of My Brother gets closer to the troubles in Iraq than the embedded media ever could.

Death Before DishonorReviewPurchase at - When put in a position were one is either going to jail or selling out his friends and colleagues, the outcome naturally lends itself to self protection.  The mafia is perhaps best known for a code that attempted to prevent snitching.  But today this philosophy of keeping silent is now seen in the urban “Stop Snitching” movement.  Death Before Dishonor gets the takes of today’s leading hip-hop figures on the subject.

Live Tonight Sold Out - ReviewPurchase at – Originally conceived by Kurt Cobain, LIVE! TONIGHT! SOLD OUT! is a video document of Nirvana’s rise from a scruffy trio from the Pacific Northwest into one of the most iconic and important bands in the history of rock music.

LoudquietloudReviewPurchase at – When college rock darlings the Pixies broke up in 1992, their fans were shocked and dismayed. When they reunited in 2004, those same fans and legions of new listeners were ecstatic and filled with high hopes. loudQUIETloud follows the rehearsals and the warm up shows for the full-fledged, sold out reunion tour. It also catalogs, in the cinema verite style of the Rolling Stones’ “Gimme Shelter” and Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Look Back”, the less glamorous side of the touring band lifestyle, getting as close to this enigmatic act as anyone is ever likely to get. LoudQUIETloud captures the Pixies, their families and their fans in what seems to be a once in a lifetime chance at rock n roll redemption.

The Who: The Vegas JobReviewPurchase at

By in News

He is one of the world’s most revered film directors, and they are probably the world’s biggest band. Martin Scorsese is now going to give the same treatment to the Rolling Stones that he has given to Bob Dylan, and a host of acclaimed Hollywood movies before that.

This week Scorsese began filming the band for a documentary movie due out in cinemas next year, and the director has surrounded himself with some of the industry’s best names in cinematography, documentary film-making and camerawork.

The Stones are on the New York leg of their Bigger Bang world tour, and were filmed at one their smallest venues, the art deco Beacon Theatre, by Scorsese last night and on Sunday night. Footage from the concerts is expected form the main part of the film, along with behind-the-scenes moments, interviews and historical footage of the band.

How the finished product will turn out, probably only Scorsese, 64, really knows. Nobody connected to the project will yet talk about it publicly.

The Guardian full article

By in News

Both times it aired earlier this month, the CNBC documentary “The Age of Wal-Mart” attracted larger audiences than any other business program on the network that week.

That’s not particularly noteworthy until you consider that they were reruns. More than a rerun: The Peabody Award-winning film is two years old and CNBC has shown it 44 times.

Television executives notice those kind of numbers, and the trend explains how Josh Howard got his job 10 months ago, running a newly formed documentary unit at CNBC and preparing the network’s first news magazine for its December debut.

“It just tells you that there’s a real appetite for in-depth documentaries on people and trends (in business),” the CNBC president, Mark Hoffman, said.

NY Sun article

Review of previous Wal-Mart documentary Store Wars


Brad Will, 36, a documentary filmmaker and reporter for Indymedia in New York, Bolivia and Brazil, died today of a gunshot to the chest when pro-government attackers opened fire on a barricade in the neighborhood of Santa Lucia del Camino, on the outskirts of Oaxaca, Mexico. He died with his video camera in his hands.

A friend of Brads reporting for NarcoNews provides the details.



By in News

As posted here several days ago look for The Bridge and it depiction of death to be a leading documentary and film news story in the coming year.  The New York Times considers both The Bridge and Exit.  The article uses the excuse of comparing them to do a history of snuff films and death on film. 


The evolution of snuff has paralleled that of pornography. Portable equipment and new media have made it easier to capture and disseminate images of real sex. The same goes for real death. Streaming video is to snuff as VCR’s were to pornography. Where snuff images were once so rare as to be almost mythic, they are now, if not quite commonplace, certainly more accessible. Videos of deadly insurgent attacks in Iraq are posted on YouTube. Hostage beheadings are available to any Google user.
Readers’ Opinions
Forum: Movies

In more ways than one, this era of immersive, one-click-away snuff was inaugurated on Sept. 11, 2001, when falling bodies and crumbling towers became the most widely viewed scenes of mass death in human history. The recent glut of extreme images reflects many things: the state of the world, the latest in technology, perhaps even our lowered inhibitions.

Full New York Times Story

By in News

Narrated by acclaimed journalist Christiane Amanpour, THE JOURNALIST AND THE JIHADI: THE MURDER OF DANIEL PEARL was directed and produced by Ahmed A. Jamal and Ramesh Sharma, who gained unprecedented access to many of the key figures in the kidnapping and subsequent murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in early 2002. Anant Singh (“Sarafina!,” “Cry, The Beloved Country,” HBO’s Oscar®- nominated “Yesterday”) also produced.

The debut of THE JOURNALIST AND THE JIHADI: THE MURDER OF DANIEL PEARL coincides with events taking place around the globe between Oct. 6 and 15, and organized by the Daniel Pearl Foundation, which battles cultural and religious intolerance through journalism, music and dialogue.
–Read the rest of this entry »

By in News

A full review of Rank will be coming later in the week, but for now let me say if you have a chance to catch this film you should.  The inherent drama of bull riding is undeniable, but the personal stories of the bull riders and breeders makes this film.

If I wasn’t riding bulls for a living, I wouldn’t have a really good job or nothing because I am not a really smart guy or nothing.  My talent is livestock.  I just have a feel for livestock, raising and riding bulls.

–Mike Lee 21, third in points going into finals

Bull that can jump the highest, kicks the hardest, and spins the hardest, those are the rankest bull.

–Champion Bull Breeder

Rank official web site.


In an hour long documentary for German television, Werner Herzog returns to the South American jungle with Juliane Koepcke, the woman who was the sole survivor of a plane crash there in 1972. They travel the streets of the country and eventually go to the site of the crash.  The film is now available in its entirety online.

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