Burl C.'s blog

Trouble the Water

ISBN: 
0795975111836

August 29, 2005 is a date that some will remember more than others. This is the day that hurricane Katrina struck Louisiana. Most of the documentaries about hurricane Katrina have been about the storm itself: the winds, the rains, the intensity, the levees and the flooding. Trouble the Water is a first-hand account of the storm told through the perspective of two local residents of the ninth ward, a husband and wife. They stayed in their attic throughout the storm and managed to film as much of it as possible. The scenes in this documentary are absolutely real as well as the hardships and tragedies of the couple involved. Be prepared to laugh and cry as this documentary piques a full range of emotions. If you click on the link above you'll find that the library's catalog has another embedded link to click on which will take you to the official website of the documentary and you can view the trailer there.

Rank

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I've been on this documentary kick for the last six months because there really are some interesting topics being covered out there. Our library has one copy of Rank.

This is a documentary about world championship bull riding and its top three main contenders as they compete for a prize of one million dollars and the solid gold belt-buckle.

This is more than just a film about a bull riding competition. It delves into the personal lives of each of the competitors and the ranchers that raise the bulls for the competition. Take a peek into the lives of Justin McBride, Mike Lee and veteran bull rider Adriano Moraes as they suffer injures, broken bones, strained relationships and all the highs and lows of winning and losing.

Coupling

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Historically, whenever I've tuned in to the BBC it's been for something serious- a Jane Austin adaptation, documentary or special news program. I was surprised and delighted to discover Coupling, a half-hour sitcom centered around six thirty-something singles (three men and three women). Written and produced by Stephen Moffat and Susan Vertue, it widens the dating perspective of comedies like Bridget Jones to give both men and women a chance to laugh about why finding a match can be such a difficult process. Read more »

Hugh Hefner: playboy, activist and rebel.

Much controversy abounds the infamous figure we all know as Hugh Hefner. Most of the information we get through the media about him either has to do with his magazine or his large mansion and its current inhabitants. A new documentary film by Brigitte Berman exposes the other unknown side of Hugh Hefner, the philanthropist, social activist and peace advocate. While some people view him as a sexist, others view him as great leader for pursuing equal rights and justice for all in a time when only a few dared to do so. If that sounds hard to believe then you'll want to see this documentary, Hugh Hefner: playboy, activist and rebel. As always with anything concerning Hugh Hefner, some of the language and contents contained in this documentary are not suitable for minors (those under the age of 17) and hence this film is Rated R.

Catfish

Wow! This will most likely win an Oscar and probably be the best documentary film of 2011. And no, this is not a documentary about fishing. It's too difficult to describe it without giving away the ending. Even if I describe how it starts, you'll already be lead to think about what the conclusion will be. Read more »

The Lottery

If you've been following the news I'm sure you are well aware of the state budget crises and the effect this is having on teachers and other public service employees. Adding to their woes are two new documentaries about public schools and education. I had a chance to see "The Lottery". Read more »

Judgment day: Intelligent design on trial

Yesterday I watched, "Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial." This is a documentary about the Dover, Pennsylvania's public school system and its legal battle over whether or not to teach "Intelligent Design" alongside evolution. Of course there are two sides to every story, but one would not expect a small public school system to be in federal court on constitutional challenges to the first amendment.

On one side are the public school science teachers who prefer to only teach evolution in their classrooms because they believe that "Intelligent Design" is the same thing as biblical creationism. On the other side you have parents and a couple members of the school board who believe that evolution is a theory and that "intelligent Design" is just another alternative theory that should at least have some honorable mention.

Normally such matters would be resolved locally but this case makes it all the way to a federal courtroom to prove either that Intelligent Design is science, or that Intelligent Design is a cover for biblical creationism.

It's a tense documentary but a good one.

The End of Poverty?

Over the weekend I watched "The End of Poverty." This film has been in just about all of the previews of other new documentaries that I've watched so I thought it had to be a good one. The preview (see below) does grab your attention, but after watching it, I have mixed feelings about it.

We all know that poverty exists and there are some individual choices we can make to help those in need, but I don't see how we can completely reorganize our entire country to help poorer countries. Would the sum of all individuals make a collective decision to consume less and conserve more energy? That seems to be the rhetorical question that the film is asking. The answer lies with us.

A river of waste.

There have been a number of food and "food production" documentaries out within the last two years with the most popular one being Food Inc.. Last night I saw another good one called, A river of waste. Read more »

Mugabe and the White African

Life is hard enough without the added pressures of the truly horrific and ugly things that people can do to one another. Without straying into the politics of race and class in Zimbabwe Africa, this documentary follows a white farmer from Zimbabwe as he continues his court battle to keep is land after Robert Mugabe, the president, changes the Zimbabwe constitution and starts a new land redistribution program. The Blacks from Zimbabwe don't want the Whites to be there and the Whites don't want to leave nor do they have anywhere else they can go since they are "legal" citizens of the country. The White farmers were eventually forced from their land when their property was burned down. The police and the military would not protect them. Some of the farmers are dead, some have disappeared and others have moved to Harare.
Warning: The extreme acts of violence contained in this documentary may be triggering to some.



If you still would like to see this documentary, it can be found by clicking here.

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