Recommended Viewing October 2010
- Published: 09 October 2010
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Check out this month's selection of DVDs for creative thinkers.
Exit Through the Gift Shop
This is the true story of how the world's greatest Street Art movie was never made.
"A film about a man who tried to make a film about me" is how renowned British graffiti artist Banksy describes this feature.
Banksy is used to fiercely guarding his identity to avoid prosecution, so it was perhaps no surprise when he refused to be filmed by an eccentric French shop owner named Thierry Guetta.
Exit Through The Gift Shop traces Thierry's attempts to capture the world of graffiti art in thrilling detail, following many of the most infamous figures at work in the streets.
We trace Thierry's efforts to locate and befriend Banksy only to have the artist turn the camera back on its owner with spectacular results. An incendiary true story of low-level criminality, companionship and incompetence.
The story of how one man set out to film the un-filmable. And failed.
12 Biggest Lies
Director: André van Heerden
Cloud Ten Pictures
Every person on the planet walks around with opinions based on what they think they know. And those opinions direct how all of us act and react.
But very few ever question the substance that forms those crucial opinions.
Eternity's biggest battle isn't between good and evil... it is between truth and lies. From the very nature of truth to how our world began, from morality to religion, from population control to political correctness, from Israel to Islam, from atheism to God... our entire world runs on what we believe.
Follow popular actor Kevin Sorbo (Hercules, Andromeda, Soul Surfer) as he introduces some of the world's leading minds as they tackle the world's 12 Biggest Lies.
Leon Blum: For All Mankind
Director: Jean Bodon
First Run Features
This powerful documentary tells the story of Leon Blum – a Jew who served as prime minister of France, and who was also a prisoner of the Nazis at the Buchenwald concentration camp.
Blum, the first Jew to lead France, devoted his life to improving the well-being of workers and was an early champion of women’s rights.
In 1936, as the head of the Popular Front, an alliance of leftwing movements, he became prime minister.
In 1940, his socialist views and Jewish heritage placed him in jeopardy, and the Vichy government deported him to Buchenwald.
After the war, Blum was welcomed home by the French people and was re-elected prime minister in 1946.
Art + Soul
Director: Warwick Thornton
Hetti Perkins presents Art + Soul, a powerful and emotionally engaging television series about contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art, and the artists who create it.
An Eastern Arrernte and Kalkadoon desert woman, Hetti is senior curator of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, daughter of political activist Charles Perkins and sister of filmmaker Rachel Perkins ( First Australians , Bran Nue Dae ).
With great generosity, she shares her extraordinary knowledge of Aboriginal art, visiting the homes and studios of artists in remote desert communities, the tropical top end, and in urban environments.
She also brings personal anecdotes to the fore, recalling her family’s own story, and her father’s legacy: "Art for me is a way for our people to share stories and allow a wider community to understand our history and us as a people."
Past and present, tradition and modernity, the imagination and individual experiences of artists, converge. Art + Soul views Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art through a political prism, which allows for a richer appreciation of the artworks and thereby of Aboriginal Australia and the life forces that underpin it. The series celebrates the survival and resilience of a whole culture.
Directors: Avi Lewis & Naomi Klein
First Run Features
In the wake of Argentina’s spectacular economic collapse, Latin America’s most prosperous middle class finds itself in a ghost town of abandoned factories and mass unemployment.
Thirty unemployed auto-parts workers walk into their idle factory in Buenos Aires, roll out sleeping mats and refuse to leave. All they want is to re-start the silent machines. But this simple act has the power to turn the globalization debate on its head.
Filmmakers Avi Lewis and Naomi Klein take viewers inside the lives of the workers and their families, who must fight for jobs and their dignity by confronting factory owners, politicians and judges.
The result is a real-life political thriller that pits ordinary workers against the local ruling elite and the powerful forces of global capitalism.
Gangs of Baghdad
Director: Aida Schaepfer
Zahra Pictures. Available from Amazon
After the fall of Baghdad, criminal activity spread quickly throughout the city. Iraqis from all walks of life were falling victim, not only to politically motivated violence, but to other terrible crimes such as kidnapping, blackmail and murder, that were committed by rampant gangs.
In this film, several Iraqis share their stories of unimaginable physical and emotional abuse at the hands of these gangs, including one family s ordeal after the abduction and brutal murder of their son, Wissam, a hopeful contestant on an Iraqi television song competition.
And, Rana, a young Iraqi woman, who describes her despair after being abducted from her own home and later on forsaken by her father. These and other stories in the film shed light on the grim situation that Iraqis are enduring daily as a result of this gang related violence.
The DVD includes an interrogation of a real gang caught by Al-Mahdi army, a militant group notorious in their own right. The footage was obtained secretly and has never been shown. It provides a look into the mind of an Iraqi gang member and the psychology of violence.
DVDs selected by Katrina Fox, Editor-in Chief.
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