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Back You are here: Home Reviews DVDs Recommended Viewing: November 2010

Recommended Viewing: November 2010

DVDgenericCheck out this month's selection of DVDs for creative thinkers.

Please Remove Your Shoes
Director: Rob DelGaudio
Available from Please Remove Your Shoes

Please_remove_shoesPlease Remove Your Shoes is a revealing documentary about broken government process. It is also an empathetic story about a half dozen public servants who try to fix it. And it is a familiar topic to all of us who have flown in the last 15 years: the security routine at the airport - first the FAA and now the TSA.

The film examines the period before 911 and the current situation eight years later and asks the questions that make Washington squirm: “Are we really any better for all our money spent? Or is it safe to say that nothing has changed?

The answers come in excoriating detail in places, and by unnerving implication in others. Direct disobedience of agency charter, subversion of management practices, and terrifying abuse of power and secrecy become the film’s markers for the superagency charged with protecting us on airplanes.

With testimony from some of the original congressional lawmakers who have created TSA to the federal air marshals, screeners, and testing agents who “served” it, you’ll wonder if we weren’t actually safer before 911, as they reveal their personal stories about a government agency run amok, which lies and covers up its oversights as frequently as it makes them.

Vivid HD visuals and undercover recordings add grit and realism to the personal horror stories of the “cast.”

The film leaves no doubt that we need a better system to watch over our transportation. But the unsettling feeling that occurs to most is a sense of broader familiarity with the sins of this agency that look disconcertingly similar to the crimes of others. Who will watch our watchdogs?


Blessings: The Tsoknyi Nangchen Nuns of Tibet
Director: Chariot Productions
Available from Chariot Videos

BlessingsIn the summer of 2005, renowned Buddhist teacher, Tsoknyi Rinpoche III, accompanied by a handful of western students, traveled to the Nangchen region in Eastern Tibet.

The purpose of the trip was to document the lives and assess the needs of the Tsoknyi Nangchen Nuns - 3000 remarkable women who live and practice an ancient yogic tradition in nunneries and hermitages scattered across this remote, mountainous region.

Blessings: The Tsoknyi Nangchen Nuns of Tibet tells the story of this extraordinary journey.

Narrated by Richard Gere, the video explores the unique world of the nuns who study under Tsoknyi Rinpoche's guidance. Their lives are seen through the eyes of the western women who accompanied Tsoknyi Rinpoche to Nangchen and are attempting to make their own link with the often strange, but hauntingly familiar, world of Tibetan Buddhism.

Compelling interviews with Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo and Tsultrim Allione place the practice Nangchen nuns in the context of the largely male dominated history of Buddhism in Tibet.


The Living Matrix: The Science of Healing
Directors: Greg Becker and Harry Massey
Available from The Living Matrix

Living_MatrixThe Living Matrix – The Science of Healing uncovers new ideas about the intricate web of factors that determine our health.

The film features a group of dedicated scientists, psychologists, bioenergetic researchers and holistic practitioners who are finding healing potential in new places. And energetic information-based medicine looks particularly powerful.

Leaders in science are examining the body through the lens of quantum physics. They’ve discovered that we're far more than biochemical machines.

Instead, our cells are senders and receivers of information, controlling our health in ways we never imagined.

In the film, researchers and others who faced health challenges put the science in perspective when they tell their stories.

The family of a young Greek boy with cerebral palsy tries to improve his quality of life through reconnective healing.

A British woman, diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor, immerses herself in neuro-linguistic programming.

An American woman runs out of options to treat her chronic fatigue syndrome, and as a last resort, begins using an information-based therapy.

All three make remarkable recoveries.

How can we account for these cases, and many others like them?

Modern biochemical medicine has no framework for explaining these events, often dismissing them as spontaneous remissions... or the result of some kind of placebo effect.

But what if we had the scientific basis to not only explain the phenomenon, but the means to deliberately initiate these ‘miracle cures’?

Dancing Dreams
Directors: Anne Linsel and Rainer Hoffman
First Run Features

PinaBauschPina Bausch, born 1940 in Solingen, Germany, did her dance training at the Folkwang School in Essen under Kurt Jooss, where she achieved technical excellence. Soon after the director of Wuppertal's theatres, Arno Wüstenhöfer, engaged her as choreographer, from autumn 1973, she renamed the ensemble the Tanztheater Wuppertal.

Under this name, although controversial at the beginning, the company gradually achieved international recognition. Its combination of poetic and everyday elements influenced the international development of dance decisively.

Awarded some of the greatest prizes and honours world-wide, Pina Bausch is one of the most significant choreographers of our time.

In 2008, her final project involved selecting 40 teenagers who had never heard her name to be part of her dance piece Contact Zone.

For 10 months, the dancers discover the genius of Bausch (who died in 2009) and their own bodies.


Lolita: Slave to Entertainment
Director: Timothy Michael Gorsky
Available from Green Planet Films

LolitaOn Mothers Day 2002, Valerie Silidker and Tim Gorski set out to uncover the real life story of Lolita, the worlds oldest performing whale.

Their journey delivered them from Miami Florida to San Juan Island where she was captured three decades ago.

The intimate, heart-rending tale unfolded before them as they unearthed many heavily guarded secrets of the multi-billion dollar Marine Theme Park industry.

Viewers travel with Gorski and Silidker as they visit Lolitas immediate family in the wild and interview the renowned orca biologist Ken Balcomb who wants her back.

A stark reminder of the cruelty inflicted on dolphins and other creatures and why they should not be kept in captivity.


The Power of Emotion
Director: Alexander Kluge

Power_emotion.jpgIconoclast, philosopher, aesthete: Alexander Kluge is all this and more. One of the founding fathers of the New German Cinema, Kluge made a varied and significant impact on the history of cinema.

Combining a series of subtly interconnecting vignettes ranging from staged dramatic pieces, non-fiction footage, archival prints and film excerpts, The Power of Emotion is one of Kluge's most fascinating and philosophical collage films.

Organic and densely layered, Kluge's filmic meditation on the intangible, undeniable and often irrational mechanics of human emotion argues that materiality is the opposite of emotion, and that emotions, by nature, search for a happy ending.

Image: © 1983 Kairos Film, Dr. Alexander Kluge, ZDF.







DVDs selected by Katrina Fox, Editor-in Chief.

For details of where to send review copies, click on the Contact menu.


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