Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Top Ten Documentaries

Hey, look, it's someone other than Joe writing on this blog! As I said before, Joe will probably post more than my sister and I ever do. What can I say, he's dedicated. Anyway, this weekend my soon to be sister-in-law-in-law (it's a thing) graduated from college!!! Congrats Jasmine! Well, she texted me Sunday to ask for my top ten documentaries, as we have discussed how good documentaries are before and (I'm assuming) she now has some extra time on her hands. Instead of just giving her a list, I decided to blog about it since Joe has been so on top of things.

Please note that these are in no particular order. The link will take you to the trailer for the film.

1. The Imposter
In 1994, Nicholas Barclay disappears from his home. Three years later, he is found halfway across the globe in Spain. Only, this isn't truly the child they were looking for. I found this film fascinating with it's use of interviews and reenactments with the actual people. Also, in a way, this is a story of redemption, but I don't want to give too much away. Watch the film. It's several tortured people all in a bad place.

2. The Invisible War
I've read about military rapes, but I never realized how bad it can be until I watched this film. The number of women that spoke who were raped by a fellow officer and then charged with adultery, when HE was married and HE got away without punishment, made me sick to my stomach. It's a very simple request that is being made by this film: allow trials to happen outside of the military. No one should ever be allowed to get away with rape.

3. Side By Side
The subject of film vs. digital is explored in this documentary. What I love about this is all of the directors and cinematographers that got involved in this project. On the side of digital, you have Lucas and Cameron who will never touch film again. On the side of film, you have Nolan who will probably use film until it's death. And then you have everyone in between. It's a great look at the pros and cons of both works of art and Keanu Reeves should actually just start doing interviews now.

4. Bowling for Columbine
Let me start by saying I hate that trailer. It makes the film look like every other Michael Moore film in existence. He goes into a place, argues with people, is way too confrontational, and people get mad. This movie is not really that. Yes, he does that, yes, he talks about gun control, but the beauty of this movie is how he handles the story of Columbine. This has the best interview with Marilyn Manson I have ever seen, and there are changes that he attempts that are helpful and good ideas. So, not all about gun control...and if you skip the end, it's way less confrontational too, haha.

5. How to Survive a Plague
I found this documentary hauntingly powerful. The use of the footage from that time is fantastic, as well as the interviews that were filmed more recently. It's a great look at the battle that was fought by so many people that helped us get to where we are today with AIDS.

6. This Film is Not Yet Rated
An interesting look at the rating system in America, the film examines why the board is confidential, what the non-existent guidelines are, and why violence is okay but sex in film is not.  I highly recommend it.

7. Searching For Sugarman
This movie tells a great deal about the human spirit. It's such an uplifting tale of a man who made a difference without even knowing it and the moment that he realized what happened. I loved this, and not just because of the look at Detroit that was there. A fantastic film.

8. Girl 27
In the 1930's, a girl who was hired to perform at a party for some studio executives was raped. However, no one talks about it and nothing was done about it. This story was fascinating, and all of the ways in which our system of justice messed up was disturbing. I loved all of it.

9. Deliver Us From Evil
There has been a lot of press over the last few years regarding the Catholic Church and sexual abuse scandals, however none of these have been able to show the truth behind it like this documentary. The priest accused actually speaks and takes responsibility. It's...disturbing...but also very informative.

10. Waiting for Superman
A look at the education system and how it fails young people. This movie does a great job of evaluating all the problems, the unions, the testing, everything. It was fantastic.

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