and the Firestorm
Marx City (2017/Film
Movement)/Sins Of My
C+ Sound: C/C+/C+/C+/C+/C+ Extras: C-/D/C-/C-/B/C-
for more documentaries with vital stories you definitely should know
start with Reuben Atlas & Sam Pollard's ACORN
and the Firestorm
(2017) telling the story about how the 40-year-old organization that
was helping poor, disadvantaged and vulnerable people became a target
of the Right because it helped Barack Obama get elected President of
the United States, so a campaign was started that helped cause it to
collapse and this is how it happened.
the organization became to large, uncentralized and did not set up
certain guidelines that could have helped it survive, a combination
of an embezzlement scandal and a bizarre bit where two goofs
impersonated a pimp and his prostitute, asking for an affordable
building to open a brothel at one of ACORN's locations (the worker
insanely tried to help them without once thinking something was wrong
with this) helped bring it down forever.
is a disaster for those in need, more in need now than when the
events happened or this documentary was finished, but the 84 minutes
here show they did help a huge amount of people and what a tragedy it
is for those in need and for democracy. This is a great record of
what they accomplished while they lasted and that so much said about
them was myth and a pack of lies. Glad I got to see this one.
Bolbrinker & Thomas Tielsch's Bauhaus
(2018) is the latest of a cycle of documentaries on art, culture and
design (architecture often included) how one of the most important
movements in those categories came out of the disaster that was WWI
and in Germany, where they lost the war and were devastated. It
shows how the school was established, but whom, how innovative and
forward-thinking it really was, how it was a threat to the Nazis who
closed it down, forcing it to other free countries where it thrived
and how its work helped rebuild the world post-WWII.
seen some works that included Bauhaus before and all the way to New
Wave music, but this decent 90 minutes that includes some great
works, rare stills, rare film footage and more. Very informative,
you should see this one once just for all it offers.
Igier & Stephanie Lebron's Genetically
(2018) tells the very sad story of how poor farmers in Argentina have
been exploited for decades to grow tobacco with a series of chemicals
(most of which have since been banned, never wearing gloves, masks or
other protective gear in the process) has resulted in record leukemia
illnesses and deaths, children being born with all kinds of birth
defects at very abnormal rates and how the chemicals (bet you can't
name or pronounce them all) are in the bloodstreams of practically
all of the residents there.
is sad the government there allowed this to happen, but the money is
huge and know this is happening in any country where this kind of
endless chemical usage is going on, all the way up to the Round-Up
weed-killer scandal that this program also includes. It is also a
warning to anyone who loves their children, as most people are not
rich enough to protect their children from this, but with so much of
these chemicals all over (people are actually going to smoke these
chemicals!?!) the place, is their anyone who ultimately won't be
runs a tight, strong 54 minutes and belongs on your must-see list.
(2017) is a very interesting look at the closed police state society
of East Germany, which fell after the Berlin Wall and The Cold War
and was the most successful surveillance society of the analog era
and as part of the Warsaw Pact countries led by the now-defunct
Soviet Union. The director grew up there are a little girl and had
to go back to find out what happened there, why her father committed
suicide and reconstruct the past to get to the truths even beyond her
unfortunate, sometimes chilling and tragic in any language, she finds
out all kinds of things, we see very rare still film, film footage,
video footage (much of it in black and white; her new HD footage is
in black and white as an ironic contrast) and the result is a
priceless history lesson, some of which is being sadly repeated. So
tight was the state, one expert says the film The
Lives Of Others
(reviewed on Blu-ray elsewhere on this site) and would have been
impossible because even the watchers were being recorded.
love how no matter where she goes, Epperlein carries her
faux-fur-covered microphone (the cover is to dampen the wind) and
points it almost like a weapon to make sure she does not miss one
detail with a determination that deserves a standing ovation. What
she does is what great documentary filmmaking is all about and 89
minutes here is never boring, always informative and offers all kinds
of facts and truths long, long overdue.
out of your way to see this one and you too will be impressed.
Of My Father
(2011) is about the two sons of Pablo Escobar, the famed drug kingpin
who became the first great drug lord dealing in cocaine, which was
being touted as being as safe as candy when he got his start during
the late 1970s disco era and landed up controlling 80% of all of its
worldwide production at the time, making him one of the richest and
most powerful individuals outside of the legitimate capitalist elite.
Many of you many have seen the first two season of the underrated
TV series (reviewed elsewhere on this site) and as it turns out, the
show was extremely accurate in showing and telling his rise and fall.
should be noted that the TV series often used actual archive footage
throughout each episode and we get slight overlap here, but scene
after scene here, it is uncanny how the series hit the nail on the
head on the history. The sons have many memories to share, insight
and rare family treasures (along with their mom) to show and tell and
overall, this is always interesting to view. They also show their
father's opponents and the sons meet the sons of them, looking for
peace and closure of a time that seems long ago, but was not.
well made, this makes for great viewing and is highly recommended.
we have Sean Slater's Target:
(2019) tells yet another underreported, awful, horrific, shocking and
repelling tale of how a group of poor people were used for
experimentation without knowing it. To make things worse, the area
of the title was already the point of controversy over a segregated
housing project that was eventually trashed long-term because monied
interests wanted it to fail and could have cared less what happened
to these people. That was covered in the incredible documentary The
which you can read more about at this link...
if that was not bad enough, the federal government in the early days
of The Cold War said they wanted to have a test case to 'protect'
America by have a 'test case' in what would happen if a major U.S.
city was hit by a nuclear device by the USSR, et al, so after
examining several locations, they picked St, Louis and guess what
housing project and surrounding areas they decided to spray with a
course, they were lied to and told the spray was just to get rid of
insects, though the sprayers were wearing way more protective gear
(gear that might have still been even insufficient to protect them!)
as they kept spraying and respraying the area. The result was people
got cancer, other illnesses, suffered severely and died in greater
numbers and the like than would have ever been the case otherwise.
Attica or the ACORN story, this is one of those awful events like the
ones with the poor Argentinian farmers being exploited with
petrochemicals that is hardly known and is truly outrageous. Anyone
who thinks otherwise has issues. This is as strong as any entry here
and strongly recommended.
anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on all six DVDs look good, but
also feature older stock footage on analog videotape (PAL and NTSC,
depending) and even old film footage, so expect some flaws including
video noise, video banding, telecine flicker, tape scratching, cross
color, faded color and tape damage. We're lucky some of this footage
survived, especially old black and white video.
sound in all six cases are lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo with spots
of Mono with Acorn the one with the most audio issues as it has more
location audio issues and amateur-produced audio/video than the rest.
Otherwise, they are good.
for extras, all but Bauhaus
(with no extras) and Sins
have trailers, with Sins
adding two audio commentaries by the director, one in Spanish, the
other in English.