four of the five Academy Award nominees for Best Documentary are available on DVD or Netflix instant. The other nominated film The Gatekeepers isn’t out on DVD yet and isn’t in any theaters in my area so I’ve not been able to see it.
Searching for Sugar Man
–heartwarming, amazing film about a talented, somewhat mysterious Detroit musician named Rodriguez who made brilliant music in the 70s. His musical career didn’t take off as expected. As Rodriguez moved on with his life as a tradesman and raised his daughters, his music became immensely popular in South Africa–his albums sold millions and he inspired many during Apartheid. What happened to him? Where is he now?
5 Broken Cameras
–“It takes strength to turn anger into something positive,” says Emad the filmmaker in 5 Broken Cameras. Later he remarks: “I film to heal.” Potent comments.
–Emad and his family live off the land in Bil’in in Palenstine. They pick olives. They don’t have regular jobs or fixed incomes. The IDF comes to take their land, to build a barrier. Bil’in represents nonviolent resistance. Even Israeli activists join in with the Palestinians to stop this. It’s an engrossing, powerful and inspiring documentary.
The Invisible War
–infuriating film about the military’s dirty little secret until now– sexual assaults among active military personnel that often don’t get prosecuted within the military
–20% of female military veterans have been sexually assaulted. 33% didn’t report it because the report was a friend of the rapist. 25% didn’t report because report was the rapist.
How to Survive a Plague
–this is the story of civil disobedience. the story of how the gay community organized for change when HIV/AIDS killed people at frightening high rates because there were no treatments. drugs weren’t being distributed fast enough in the United States. It’s powerful, provocative and an important part of our cultural history.