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.
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 »
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 »
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.
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.
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 »
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.
Last Friday I decided to scan the shelves in the library and pick up something random but interesting. I came across a DVD called, “The Sweethearts of Prison Rodeo.” The title alone is interesting. This documentary film is about inmates housed in the Oklahoma State Penitentiary. Once a year, every since 1940, the male inmates have been allowed to participate in a rodeo that serves as a short reprieve for them and entertainment for non-inmates. Anyone is welcome to attend. In 2007, a decision was made to give women the opportunity to participate in the rodeo. A group of women decided to put together a rodeo team and compete head-to-head with the men. This documentary shows both the men and women’s competitions but it is mainly about the lives of women in the Oklahoma State Penitentiary and their rodeo team. Please be advised that some of the scenes in the rodeo portion contain severe injuries, blood, broken bones and others have compared this to a “Gladiator-Like” atmosphere.
Hoarders is an A&E reality television show that focuses on people that engage in compulsive hoarding. I watched the first four episodes and could not believe my eyes. There are people that collect things, store things and buy knick-knacks, and then there are hoarders. Hoarders are the extreme versions of those that like to collect and store things in their homes. Read more »
There are a lot of television shows involving criminal investigations and murder. The public must love them otherwise there wouldn’t be so many. I have to admit that I’ve been sucked into a few of them. I’ve seen: