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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Politics > History > Media > Propaganda > Rape > Sexual Slavery > WWII > Autobiography > Filmm > All Governments Lie (2016/First Run DVD)/The Apology (2013/Icarus DVD)/Chantal Akerman By Chantal Akerman (1997/Icarus DVD)/Cinema Novo (2016/Icarus DVD)/The Future Of Work and Death (2016/First Run D

All Governments Lie (2016/First Run DVD)/The Apology (2013/Icarus DVD)/Chantal Akerman By Chantal Akerman (1997/Icarus DVD)/Cinema Novo (2016/Icarus DVD)/The Future Of Work and Death (2016/First Run DVD)/Indian Point (2015/First Run DVD)/Injecting Aluminum (2017/Cinema Libre DVD)/Oncle Bernard: A Counter-Lesson In Economics (2015/IndiePix DVD)

Picture: C+/C+/B-/C+/C+/B/C+/C Sound: C+/C/B-/C/C+/B/C+/C Extras: C-/B/D/C/D/C/D/D Documentaries: B/B/B/B/B/C+/B/C+

Here's a solid new group of documentaries all of our readers ought to know about...

Fred Peabody's All Governments Lie (2016) is produced by Oliver Stone and exposes the subtitle 'truth, deception and the spirit of I.F. Stone' argues that since the great, legendary reporter I.F. Stone was exposing government fraud, the kind of lying and cover-ups by governments in the last 6 decades have become increasingly complicated have become more blatant, outrageous, awful, dangerous and are the original fake news. Thus this film not only argues for the truth and the post-modern ways it is attacked, but why hard journalism is more important than ever before, especially in the cyber age.

This one is worth going out of your way for.

Extras include Extended Interviews.

Tiffany Hsiung's The Apology (2013) deals with how after over 7 decades later, Japan has still not officially stated regret, admittance of guilt and apology for how the Imperialist/Fascist government kidnapped and forced women in all the neighboring countries to be sex slaves for their troops, known as 'comfort woman' as we follow women from China, the Philippines and South Korea looking for closure. Instead, they get insulted, harassed and that includes some vulgar talk by certain Ultra-Right Wing Japanese who apparently still think they should have won WWII, et al. Part of this is obviously about that government not wanting to pay financial compensation, but it also points to an ugly trend there (displayed by the Fukushima crisis) of leanings that are disturbingly regressive.

At 104 minutes, we see the truth, the pain and how little has actually changed in all this time, how these female victims may have never received the help they needed immediately and how the United Nations has also failed them. Even worse, this is just the tip of the iceberg of how bad such practices are worldwide, but that Japan was so wrong in WWII and new generations are sociopathically not going to admit that might also spell unexpected problems later. I give these women credit for being brave enough to come forward to tell the truth. There is a ton of evidence to prove they are not lying and I hope they get some results soon, especially as some of them are elderly and they won;t be around much longer. All the victims are at least entitled to an official apology, but where's the world court lawsuit backed by formidable interests?

Extras include Bonus Clips.

Filmmaker Chantal Akerman does this autobiographical film, Chantal Akerman by Chantal Ackerman (1997) about her life and career that's a good introduction to her work and an interesting look at the life of this diverse filmmaker.

Divided into two parts, half of the film focuses on Akerman and her normal everyday life and the other half are segments from her films intertwined to make a new film. In other words, she shows both sides of her creative and interesting lifestyle as part of the Cinema, Our Times series (also known as Cineastes de notres temps). Excerpts from early films, her most popular film Jeanne Dielman and even a look at her youthful years, with this film you as a viewer can explore the life of a filmmaker that's aimed to teach and inspire film students and cinephiles the world around.

The film also features critics Emmanuel Burdeau, Jean Narboni and filmmaker Luc Moullet.

Presented in standard definition with a full frame aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and a lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 French audio track with English subs, the film looks and sounds fine for the DVD format unless you watch it on a 4K display, in which the quality is compressed and choppy. Many different formats were made amidst the library of her films and are all presented nicely in this DVD edition. Total runtime for the film is a little over an hour in length.

No extras, but you can read more about her films and work elsewhere on this site.

Eryk Rocha's Cinema Novo (2016) is a new documentary about one of the most underrated world film movements of the last 70 years, a New Wave in Brazil that lasted 12 years (in three four-year segments) that was a national breakthrough, a fight against authoritarianism in the country and created one of the most underseen, intelligent discourses in world cinema history. I can tell you that few of the films here, all looking very interesting, have barely had U.S. releases at any time and that time is long overdue.

Running 92 minutes, we get interviews with all involved at the time (most of whom were still alive when this was being made) plus archival interviews and the clips are intriguing. The only problem is that the films should have all been identified, but are not, so only a scholar on the subject or big fan will know them. That does not help education on the subject at all.

Otherwise, that such a cinema would rise up against so many odds in a country with so many issues is incredible and at a time when Hollywood and its films have become so stale that even the franchises are losing money or barely breaking even worldwide, it is a breath of fresh air to be reminded (sadly, too many need to be re-reminded) that films should be about human beings, not happy meals and toy surprises. This is a must-see for all serious film people.

Extras include an excellent 16-page, illustrated booklet on the film that explains the movement in more detail with a Randall Johnson/Robert Starn essay that is very impressive.

Sean Blacknell & Wayne Walsh's The Future Of Work and Death (2016) arrives when the ida of 'universal income' is being discussed in the face of robots and artificial intelligence taking up so many jobs, it might be needed to help people survive. This fine new documentary touches upon that, but also goes back to the past about how work become a good thing, honorable and even a tool of 'good conformity' but also how science and the science that might make the robots and AI possible may keep us alive longer or as part of other genetic or mechanical technologies.

It manages to be very thorough for its short 89 minutes including archival interviews with Issac Asimov, plus many of hi intellectual and technological successors (people we need to hear more from soon) asking us to rethink our existence, what our free time means now and might mean later and all this even extends to how we find happiness and the new forms that might take. I really liked this one and it is another gem worth going out of your way for, especially since it is about to become more relevant, especially as several points so well discussed and covered here just become more and more prominent everyday.

There are sadly no extras.

Indian Point (2015) is an interesting award winning documentary a nuclear power plan that is located just 35 miles from Times Square. With over 50 million people living in close proximity to the facility that has been around for generations, its continued operation has the support of the plant's operators and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, yet has stoked a great deal of controversy in the surrounding community, including a vocal anti-nuclear contingent concerned about an incident that happened at Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant (which was and still is pretty disastrous) could happen in one of the biggest cities in the United States.

Directed by Ivy Meeropol, the film presents a balanced argument about the issues surrounding nuclear energy and offers grim look at what can happen with nuclear power in the not too distant future. The film covers Government aspects and makes you realize how hot this topic is right now, though you may not necessarily think of it as being an imminent threat right away.

Presented in standard definition on DVD with a widescreen, anamorphically enhanced aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and a nice sounding, lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo track, the film looks fine on disc though is in a compressed format and lacks some of the details that it would in 1080p.

Special Features: Bonus and Deleted Scenes.

The film aims at being a wakeup call about the nuclear energy topic and succeeds in that regard, and has high production value but its topic will interest a niche crowd.

Marie Ange Poyet's Injecting Aluminum (2017) is part of a great cycle of environmental/health documentaries showing that sudden increases in health issues and death (especially since the 1980s) are not just all coincidences and came out of nowhere, but are of irresponsibility by some companies who just want to dirty the planet and do not care who they hurt or kill. Of course, they'll say we are 'suckered' by a 'liberal talking point' or 'don't understand' what is going on, but the dead bodies and doctor bills keep piling up and these odd naysayers never have answers of that save 'there is no 'scientific evidence' ironically coming from people who support idiots who suddenly 'do not believe in science' until they can make millions of dollars from it.

This time around it is the sad story about how too much excess aluminum (or al-u-mini-um as the British might say) has been allowed in the environment by companies handling it (Alcoa and Reynolds would be the big companies in this case in the U.S. where applicable) and the the story starts in the 1990s in France when a new painful muscular disease called 'Macrophagic Myofascitis' turns up and after serious, hardcore, solid research, scientists and doctors discover it is linked to too much aluminum in the human body. Like the problem with lead in non-individual vaccines we've discussed in covering past documentaries on the subject (resulting in autism, et al), the aluminum is in vaccines there and it turns out the kind of aluminum used in the newer vaccines were NEVER TESTED PROPERLY so why and who is covering this up? Is it really worth big profits at the cost of all these human lives and insane pain the likes of which have never been recorded in this way before, seen like this before?

It certainly also points to insane lack of regulation in vaccine production, which itself seems to coincide with the switch from glass hypodermic needles to less-safe plastic ones and other demotions not helping anyone. Needless to say this is only the beginning of covering this angle, but its no wonder we get new disease outbreaks of diseases thought cured. Parents and the public are being blatantly lied to, so parents are damned if they do or damed if they don't. Wonder if we'll get better rules, laws and leadership to ever fix this latest man-made crisis? Hmmm.

There are sadly no extras save trailers, but this one could use much more.

Finally we have Richard Brouillette's Oncle Bernard: A Counter-Lesson In Economics (2015), which may seem a step backwards from the Future DVD above, going wrong, how the ironically named Neo-Liberalism (not a comeback of civil rights or common sense, but a new manifesto for draining the earth of all of its wealth at any cost, no matter how harmful or dirty the takers may be) very challenging for many. However, hanging in there (or taking pauses when you need a break) makes it worth it, even if some of the information is overlapping with things you know.

Even if you do not agree with Maris on everything, that is not the point. The idea is to get you to think honestly about the world around you and he does a good job of this because he does know what he speaks of. Worthy of Noam Chomsky on the same subjects, this one is definitely worth a look.

There are sadly no extras, but a follow-up and/or companion to the ideas expressed would have been a plus.

Now to more tech playback details. With Akerman and Indian) already dealt with above, the remaining releases are anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 presentations, save Oncle, which is one continuous shot of the interviewee in black & white (seemingly shot on film (Kodak Tri-X?) with an Aaton camera here in 1.33 X 1 bookended in the 1.78 X 1 frame. As expected, any older video (digital or analog, hard drive or videotape) produces flaws and aged limits including video noise, video banding, dropouts, telecine flicker, tape scratching, cross color, faded color, staircasing and tape damage where applicable. I thought they all looked about the same to me, but Oncle was a little weaker than it should have been.

As for sound, Aluminum joins Akerman as the only lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 releases no the list, leaving the rest as lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (though Novo is almost more like lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono) with Apology (some location audio issues), Novo (age) and Oncle (weaker than expected) the only under-performers here. It is all tolerable, but be careful of high playback levels and volume switching.

- James Lockhart (Akerman, Indian) & Nicholas Sheffo



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