Recommended Viewing: August 2010
- Published: 14 August 2010
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Check out this month's selection of DVDs for smart, creative thinkers.
The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers
Directors: Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith
First Run Features
Co-winner of this year’s Freedom of Expression Award from the National Board of Review (and one of their Five Best Documentaries of the Year), Winner of the Special Jury Award at IDFA, and in contention for the year’s Best Documentary Oscar, The Most Dangerous Man in America tells the story of Daniel Ellsberg, a high-level Pentagon official and Vietnam War strategist, who in 1971 concludes that the war is based on decades of lies and leaks 7,000 pages of top secret documents to The New York Times, making headlines around the world.
A riveting story of how this one man’s profound change of heart created a landmark struggle involving America’s newspapers, its president and Supreme Court.
With Daniel Ellsberg, Patricia Ellsberg, Tony Russo, Howard Zinn, Hedrick Smith, John Dean, and, from the secret White House tapes, Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger, who called Ellsberg “the most dangerous man in America”.
Director: Luc Besson
A journey into the depths of the ocean, Atlantis is director Luc Besson’s triumphal, awe-inspiring celebration of the beauty and wonder of the world beneath the sea.
Expanding on themes he explored in his international hit The Big Blue , Besson and his regular collaborators—composer Eric Serra and cinematographer Christian Petron—travel the globe to capture the grace and beauty of such diverse aquatic wildlife as Australian great white sharks, giant manta rays, Bahamian dolphins and sea snakes in the Seychelles.
Divided into thematic movements and akin to a great marine Baraka, it serves not so much as a documentary than as a meditative journey into the big blue.
Thrilling, lyrical and mysterious, Atlantis transports us to a world beyond words, the savagery and beauty of which will haunt your memory long after the film ends.
Drinking Water: Let the Truth Be Told
Director: David Kennedy
Available from Green Planet Films
A four-part DVD set (30 mins each) that includes:
China’s Battle with Crippling Waters
A documentary about China’s battle with the crippling effects of naturally high fluoride in drinking water on humans.
The Fluoride Deception
An interview with Christopher Bryson regarding his book of the same name, exposing a 70-year deception by protective government agencies of the American public regarding the dangers of excess fluoride exposure.
Why I Changed my Mind
An interview with Professor Paul Connett with Professor Hardy Limeback regarding his change of heart and the facts and events leading up to the dramatic shift in his position.
EPA Scientists Speak to Congress
Dr J. William Hirzy’s testimony before a US Senate Subcommittee on drinking water regarding its call for an immediate moratorium on all fluoridation programs because of what he calls the proven link between ingested fluoride and cancers, followed by his interview with Michael Connett explaining the EPA Union’s concerns about fluoridation.
Meredith Monk: Inner Voice
Director: Babeth M. VanLoo
First Run Features
Meredith Monk is a composer, singer, director, choreographer and creator of new opera, music theater, films and installations. She has been proclaimed as a ‘magician of the voice’ and ‘one of America’s coolest composers.’During a career that spans more than 45 years, Monk has been hailed by audiences and critics as a major creative force in the performing arts.
Inner Voice celebrates Monk’s life and work, and illuminates the role that Buddhism has had in her artistic practice.
Using a wealth of resource material including personal archives, film clips of performances, and interviews with her collaborators, as well as conversations with the multi-talented artist herself, director Babeth M. Vanloo articulates Monk’s extraordinary drive to live for, and through, artistic expression.
Tracing the path of her unceasing creativity up to and including her 2008 music theater piece, Songs of Ascension, the documentary elucidates the mystical nature of artistic creation and the life-affirming energy of an authentic inner voice.
Empire of the Word
Director: Mark Johnston
Eight years in the making, Empire of the Word is a compelling look inside the act of reading and traces its impact on more than 5000 years of human history.
Introduced and narrated by one of the world’s great readers, Canadian writer Alberto Manguel, the series traces reading’s origins, examines how we learn to read, exposes censors’ attempts to prevent our reading, and proposes what the future might hold for this most human of creative acts.
Each episode shares the history of reading by introducing us to the fascinating characters that populate the grand story.
We meet Martin Luther being marched into Wartburg Castle in the Sixteenth Century, where he will translate the Bible into German for the first time. We are also introduced to contemporary characters such as Barbara Taylor, an adult illiterate living in Toronto and fighting to learn how to read.
Some characters we meet live in danger, such as Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen, whose writing has inflamed passions in the Indian sub-continent.
Director: Konrad Wolf
First Run Features
After a breakdown, Rita returns to her childhood village. As she recovers, she remembers the past two years: her love for the chemist Manfred, 10 years her senior, his enthusiasm about his new chemical process, which turned to bitter disappointment in the face of rejection, his escape to West Berlin a few weeks before the Wall was built, and his hope that she would follow him.
Based on Christa Wolf’s internationally acclaimed novel and criticized in the GDR for questioning the construction of the Wall, Divided Heaven was made during a brief cultural thaw in the early 1960s.
Strongly influenced by French Nouvelle Vague cinema, this classic film directed by the legendary Konrad Wolf (I Was Nineteen, Goya, Solo Sunny) was praised by critics as one of Germany’s 100 Most Important Films.
DVDs selected by Katrina Fox, Editor-in Chief.
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