Documentary Retroview: Taxi To The Dark Side (2007)

Documentary Retroview: Taxi To The Dark Side (2007)

Alex Gibney’s new film, Taxi To The Dark Side, released on January 18, 2008, is a shocking expose about the American military’s use of torture to get confessions–not always truthful ones–from prisoners suspected of terrorism. Meet the prisoners and the perps.

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Documentary Retroview: SHADOW OF AFGHANISTAN 1959-2012 – (2006, 2012)bauman

Documentary Retroview: SHADOW OF AFGHANISTAN 1959-2012 –  (2006, 2012)bauman

There seems to be no end to the strife and anguish experienced by the people of Afghanistan during recent history. Except for a brief period of peace and democracy, the nation has been subjected to continuous foreign influence and invasions, civil war and discord that have maimed the Afghan people and threatened their culture

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Documentary Retroview: LIMELIGHT (2011)

Documentary Retroview: LIMELIGHT (2011)

The Rise and Demise of Peter Gatien Filmmaker Billy Corben’s glitzy documentary, Limelight, follows the rise and demise of New York club lord, Peter Gatien, who ruled the city’s nightlife during the 1980s, until his trend-setting establishments, including the eponymous Limelight, were shut down by officials who accused Gatien and his crew of employees of […]

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BRING YOUR OWN BRIGADE – Documentary Review

BRING YOUR OWN BRIGADE – Documentary Review

Bring Your Own Brigade is filmmaker Lucy Walker’s courageous and compelling documentary about an extremely hot topic: the ongoing inferno of wildfires in Southern California and elsewhere on the West Coast and, by extension, across the nation. Walker’s eye witness camera captures close up images of the uncontrolled fires cutting through affluent communities in wide paths of devastating destruction. She follows local residents who are fleeing their homes on car-congested bands of blacktop cutting through raging flames and she records up close and personal accounts of survivors whose property was miraculously spared and others who lost all of their worldly goods to the to the rampaging blaze.

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Movie Review: BLACKFISH (2013)

Movie Review: BLACKFISH (2013)

The blackfish referenced in this documentary’s title is named Tilikum. He was arguably the world’s best known killer whale, or orca, and he resided at SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida, where he’d been captive and on display at the theme park for more than two decades, and was regularly featured in SeaWorld’s animal shows at Shamu Stadium.

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CROPSEY (2009) – Documentary Retroview

CROPSEY (2009) – Documentary Retroview

Cropsey is an urban legend that haunted Barbara Brancaccio and Joshua Zeman while they were growing up in Staten Island, NY. In this documentary, the filmmakers return to their childhood environs to investigate the myth about the elusive boogeyman, wacko and supposed satanist who allegedly lived in the abandoned ruins of the notorious Willowbrook Mental Institution, which he used as a base for abducting and killing local children. Ultimately, the discovery of the body of a missing girl proved the legend to be true.

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REBEL HEARTS – Documentary Review

REBEL HEARTS – Documentary Review

Rebel Hearts is a compelling from-the-heart documentary that follows The Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, a sisterhood of devoted nuns who bravely stood up to the demeaning and oppressive patriarchy of the Catholic Church to fight for the right to be treated as equals, especially with regard to education and the expression of their credo through art, particularly the controversial graphics of Sister Mary Corita Kent.

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LIVING IN EMERGENCY (2010)- Documentary Retroview

LIVING IN EMERGENCY (2010)- Documentary Retroview

Stories of Doctors Without Borders Filmmaker Mark Hopkins pays tribute to the dedicated doctors, nurses and support personnel who work for Medicines Sans Frontieres, the international NGO that provides health care in third world countries where medical treatment would be otherwise unavailable. Subtitled ‘Stories of Doctors Without Borders,’ the film follows several doctors as they […]

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BODY OF WAR (2007) – Documentary Retroview

BODY OF WAR (2007) – Documentary Retroview

Body of War tells the heart wrenching story of how 22-year-old Tomas Young enlisted to serve his country and became a victim of the Iraq War. Two days after the 9-11 attacks on the World Trace Center, 22-year-old Tomas Young responded to George Bush’s call for men to defend and avenge America by enlisting in […]

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Water Wars (2009) – Documentary Retroview

Water Wars (2009) – Documentary Retroview

According to a World Bank study, the demand for water will exceed supply by 40 percent within twenty years. By presenting an overview of recent flooding, drought, and other water-related disasters in Bangladesh, India and New Orleans, director Jim Burrough’s Water Wars: When Drought, Flood and Greed Collide presents a prescient look into the future of fresh water access and control, which many believe will be the cause for World War III.

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GROOMED – Movie Review

GROOMED – Movie Review

Groomed is an intensely personal documentary in which the filmmaker chronicles her own journey to discover the truth about her childhood encounter with a predatory sexual abuser and to recover from the long lasting impact his abuse has had on her life as an adult. Gwen van de Pas, now living in San Francisco with a wonderfully understanding and supportive man, is beset by nightmares and panic attacks and sets out to investigate the cause of them.

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DELIVER US FROM EVIL (2006)- Movie Review

DELIVER US FROM EVIL (2006)- Movie Review

In her Academy Award nominated (2006) documentary, Deliver Us From Evil, director Amy Berg uses gripping testimony by victims, interviews with expert witnesses and archival footage to reveal the Catholic Church’s shocking cover up of ongoing incidents of child abuse by members of the clergy.

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FTA – Movie Review – 1972/2009

FTA – Movie Review – 1972/2009

FTA is an anti-war documentary that went missing shortly after its premiere in 1972. Now restored and available to the public, the film is an important record showing the strength of the American people’s opposition to the Vietnam War. Documetary Film And Historical Record Along with Winter Soldier, FTA stands as an important historical document, […]

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Garbo: The Spy – Movie Review – 2009

Garbo: The Spy – Movie Review – 2009

This wonderfully entertaining and educating documentary is a real life spy thriller that profiles the mystery man, a double agent during World War II, who who changed the course of history. He was the most important, successful and daring spy of his day, an unidentified legend in his own time, the only one to receive distinguished service honors from both the British and Germans.

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Documentary Review: TIM’S VERMEER (2013)

Documentary Review: TIM’S VERMEER (2013)

In this fascinating documentary, inventor Tim Jenison sets out to prove that the 17th century Dutch Master, deemed the greatest realist painter of all time, was secretly using an optical instrument to capture his photo-like images. It provides a uniquely original view of timeless masterpieces.

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Documentary Review: CODED BIAS

Documentary Review: CODED BIAS

We might all be in need of and very keen on watching escapist comedies during the ongoing pandemic social restrictions, but this compelling documentary is an important and timely film. Knowledge is power, and Coded Bias delivers knowledge that can help us to resist/reverse the further deterioration of democracy and of human civilization as we know it.

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MOSSVILLE: WHEN GREAT TREES FALL – Documentary Review

MOSSVILLE: WHEN GREAT TREES FALL – Documentary Review

The November 2019 release of Todd Haynes’ compelling truth-based narrative Dark Waters reminded moviegoers about how chemical titan DuPont de Nemours’ corporate greed delivered death-dealing PFOA pollution to six water districts around its plant in Parkersburg, West Virginia, poisoning some 70,000 people, including factory employees, their families and others living in the area — some […]

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DIXIE CHICKS: SHUT UP AND SING (2006) – Documentary Retroview

DIXIE CHICKS: SHUT UP AND SING (2006) – Documentary Retroview

The Dixie Chicks’ popularity plummeted after main singer Natalie Maines made an off the cuff comment about the Iraq War. This documentary, directed by Barbara Kopple, chronicles the group’s efforts to reclaim their place in the hearts of their fans and at the top of the music charts.

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Khodorkovsky (2011) – Documentary Retroview

Khodorkovsky (2011) – Documentary Retroview

Mikhail Khodorkovsky is an icon in Russia, and throughout the rest of the world, too. He’s young, attractive, smart and extremely rich. And he’s in jail. German filmmaker Cyril Tuschi profiles the fascinating Khodorkovsky, tracing his life and career from the time his early childhood, through his standout student career in Soviet Russia and his rise to prominence in post-Soviet Russia’s growing capitalist economy.

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PUSSY RIOT: A PUNK PRAYER (2013) – Documentary Retroview

PUSSY RIOT: A PUNK PRAYER (2013) – Documentary Retroview

Whether you’re a fan of punk music or not, you’ll have to concede that in both style and substance the punk rock movement has pushed hard against the forces of repression wherever they exist. And, sometimes — or quite often — the powerful forces of repression strike back in hideously unjust ways. Such is the case with Pussy Riot, a feminist punk rock band of performing artists who hail from and work in Moscow.

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EARTH DAYS (2009) – Documentary Retroview

EARTH DAYS (2009) – Documentary Retroview

To explore the fundamental premises and chronicle the advent of Earth Days, our annual celebration of Gaia and whatever ecological awareness we can muster, documentary director Robert Stone has assembled and interviewed a special tribe of the environmental movement’s elders — Stuart Udall, Denis Hayes, Paul Ehrlich, Pete McCloskey and Rusty Schweickart among other activists, politicians and forecasters — who give testimony about advances made by conservationists during the 1960s and 70s, and lead us to an understanding of what happened beginning with the Nixon administration to bring us to our current situation — on the brink of environmental disaster.

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Freedom Riders (2010) – Documentary Retroview

Freedom Riders (2010) – Documentary Retroview

Documentarian Stanley Nelson’s Freedom Riders chronicles the actions of and pays tribute to an important group of civil rights activists who played a major role in the nonviolent civil rights movement.

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63 UP – Documentary Review

63  UP – Documentary Review

For those who’ve followed filmmaker Michael Apted’s entire UP Series, it’s a treat to catch up with the subjects’ latest developments in 63 UP, the eighth and likely final episode in the series. Apted refers to the series as an exploration of the British class system, and asks all whether they think the original premise for the series — “give me a child at the age of seven and I’ll show you the man” — is true. The now familiar subjects’ responses are varied, authentic and provocative.

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Filmmaker Michael Apted: Leading Up to 63 UP

Filmmaker Michael Apted: Leading Up to 63 UP

Michael Apted helms both documentaries and narrative features, and has won numerous awards for both kinds of films. But he is best known for his career-defining Up Series, a unique documentary project that has been in progress since 1964. In the Beginning At the inception of the Up Series, Apted was working as a researcher […]

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Documentary Retroview: 56 UP

Documentary Retroview: 56 UP

56 UP is the latest chapter in The UP Series, filmmaker Michael Apted’s monumental series about fourteen British citizens, following their lives since 1963, when they were seven year old boys and girls living in very different circumstances in diverse regions of the United Kingdom.

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