With unprecedented access, CARTEL LAND is a riveting, on-the-ground look at the journeys of two modern-day vigilante groups and their shared enemy – the murderous Mexican drug cartels. In the Mexican state of Michoacán, Dr. Jose Mireles, a small-town physician known as “El Doctor,” leads the Autodefensas, a citizen uprising against the violent Knights Templar drug cartel that has wreaked havoc on the region for years. Meanwhile, in Arizona’s Altar Valley – a narrow, 52-mile-long desert corridor known as Cocaine Alley – Tim “Nailer” Foley, an American veteran, heads a small paramilitary group called Arizona Border Recon, whose goal is to stop Mexico’s drug wars from seeping across our border. Filmmaker Matthew Heineman embeds himself in the heart of darkness as Nailer, El Doctor, and the cartel each vie to bring their own brand of justice to a society where institutions have failed. CARTEL LAND is a chilling, visceral meditation on the breakdown of order and the blurry line between good and evil.
This candid New York love story explores the chaotic 40-year marriage of famed boxing painter Ushio Shinohara and his wife, Noriko. Anxious to shed her role as her overbearing husband’s assistant, Noriko finds an identity of her own. . . .
A documentary which challenges former Indonesian death-squad leaders to reenact their mass-killings in whichever cinematic genres they wish, including classic Hollywood crime scenarios and lavish musical numbers. . . . .
A group of Egyptian revolutionaries battle leaders and regimes, risking their lives to build a new society of conscience. . . . .
Investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill is pulled into an unexpected journey as he chases down the hidden truth behind America’s expanding covert wars. . . Read more at IMDB or buy it now at Amazon.
An investigative documentary about the epidemic of rape of soldiers within the US military. Read more at IMDB or support this site by buying it at Amazon.
The story of two coalitions — ACT UP and TAG (Treatment Action Group) — whose activism and innovation turned AIDS from a death sentence into a manageable condition. Read more at IMDB or support this site by buying it at Amazon.
A documentary featuring interviews with all surviving former heads of Shin Bet, the Israeli security agency whose activities and membership are closely held state secrets. Read more at IMDB or support this site by buying it at Amazon.
A documentary on a Palestinian farmer’s chronicle of his nonviolent resistance to the actions of the Israeli army. Read more at IMDB or support this site by buying it at Amazon.
A rare behind-the-curtain look at the Earth Liberation Front, the radical environmental group that the FBI calls America’s ‘number one domestic terrorist threat.’ Read more at IMDB or support this site by buying it at Amazon.
In modern dance since the 1970s, few choreographers have had more influence in the medium than the late Pina Bausch. This film explores the life and work of this artist of movement while we see her company perform her most notable creations where basic things like water, dirt and even gravity take on otherworldly qualities in their dancing. Read more at IMDB or support this site by buying it at Amazon.
What does it mean to lead men in war? What does it mean to come home? Hell and Back Again is a cinematically revolutionary film that asks and answers these questions with a power and intimacy no previous film about the conflict in Afghanistan has been able to achieve. It is a masterpiece in the cinema of war. Read more at IMDB or support this site by buying it at Amazon.
A redemptive tale of an aspiring rap artist surviving failed levees and her own troubled past and seizing a chance for a new beginning. Read more at IMDB or support this site by buying it at Amazon.
From 1940 to 1944, France’s Vichy government collaborated with Nazi Germany. Marcel Ophüls mixes archival footage with 1969 interviews of a German officer and of collaborators and resistance fighters from Clermont-Ferrand. They comment on the nature, details and reasons for the collaboration, from anti-Semitism, xenophobia, and fear of Bolsheviks, to simple caution. Part one, “The Collapse,” includes an extended interview with Pierre Mendès-France, jailed for anti-Vichy action and later France’s Prime Minister. At the heart of part two, “The Choice,” is an interview with Christian de la Mazière, one of 7,000 French youth to fight on the eastern front wearing German uniforms.
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Quad rugby as played by the US team, between 2002 games in Sweden and the 2004 Paralympics in Athens. Young men, most with spinal injuries, play this rough and tumble sport in special chairs, seated gladiators. We get to know several and their families. They talk frankly about their injuries, feelings in public, sex lives, competitiveness, and love of the game. There’s also an angry former team member gone north to coach the Canadian team, tough on everyone, including his viola-playing son.
Moving from one parish to another in Northern California during the 1970s, Father Oliver O’Grady quickly won each congregation’s trust and respect. Unbeknownst to them, O’Grady was a dangerously active pedophile that Church hierarchy, aware of his predilection, had harbored for over 30 years, allowing him to abuse countless children. Juxtaposing an extended, deeply unsettling interview with O’Grady himself with the tragic stories of his victims, filmmaker Amy Berg bravely exposes the deep corruption of the Catholic Church and the troubled mind of the man they sheltered. Read more at IMDB or support this site by buying it at Amazon.
Jesus Camp follows several young children as they prepare to attend a summer camp where the kids will get their daily dose of evangelical Christianity. Becky Fischer works at the camp, which is named Kids on Fire. Through interviews with Fischer, the children, and others, Jesus Camp illustrates the unswerving belief of the faithful. A housewife and homeschooling mother tells her son that creationism has all the answers. Footage from inside the camp shows young children weeping and wailing as they promise to stop their sinning.
A man confronts the trauma of past sexual abuse as a boy by a Catholic priest only to find his decision shatters his relationships with his family, community and faith. Read more at IMDB or support this site by buying it at Amazon.
This controversial documentary about the stand-off between an unorthodox Christian group – the Branch Davidians, under the leadership of the young, charismatic David Koresh – and the FBI and ATF in Waco, Texas, from February to April 1993 presents a diffe
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In 1971, Daniel Ellsberg shook America to its foundations when he smuggled a top-secret Pentagon study to the New York Times that showed how five Presidents consistently lied to the American people about the Vietnam War that was killing millions and tearing America apart. President Nixon’s National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger called Ellsberg “the most dangerous man in America,” who “had to be stopped at all costs.” But Ellsberg wasn’t stopped. Facing 115 years in prison on espionage and conspiracy charges, he fought back. Ensuing events surrounding the so-called Pentagon Papers led directly to Watergate and the downfall of President Nixon.
This documentary follows the 2002 mayoral campaign in Newark, New Jersey in which the Cory Booker attempted to unseat longtime mayor Sharpe James. Read more at IMDB or support this site by buying it at Amazon.
A documentary of the Bill Clinton 1992 presidential campaign and the organization who ran it. Read more at IMDB or support this site by buying it at Amazon.
The story of how an eccentric French shop keeper and amateur film maker attempted to locate and befriend Banksy. Read more at IMDB or support this site by buying it at Amazon.
An uplifting feature documentary highlighting the transformative power of art and the beauty of the human spirit. Read more at IMDB or support this site by buying it at Amazon.
It is happening all across America-rural landowners wake up one day to find a lucrative offer from an energy company wanting to lease their property. Read more at IMDB or support this site by buying it at Amazon.
Directors Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud and their crew of 500 people spanned the globe for four years to capture these amazing and startlingly beautiful images of various species of migrating birds as they fly thousands of miles twice annually in search of food. Read more at IMDB or support this site by buying it at Amazon.
This movie documents the Apollo missions perhaps the most definitively of any movie under two hours. Al Reinert watched all the footage shot during the missions–over 6,000,000 feet of it, and picked out the best. Instead of being a newsy, fact-filled documentary. Reinart focuses on the human aspects of the space flights. The only voices heard in the film are the voices of the astronauts and mission control.
A group of legendary Cuban musicians, some as old as their nineties, were brought together by Ry Cooder to record a CD. In this film, we see and hear some of the songs being recorded in Havana. There is also footage from concerts in Amsterdam and New York City’s Carnegie Hall. In addition, many of the individual musicians talk about their lives in Cuba and about how they got started in music. Read more at IMDB or support this site by buying it at Amazon.
San Francisco bluesman and composer, Paul Peña makes a musical pilgrimage to the land of Tuva. Read more at IMDB or support this site by buying it at Amazon.
Enron dives from the seventh largest US company to bankruptcy in less than a year in this tale told chronologically. The emphasis is on human drama, from suicide to 20,000 people sacked: the personalities of Ken Lay (with Falwellesque rectitude), Jeff Skilling (he of big ideas), Lou Pai (gone with $250 M), and Andy Fastow (the dark prince) dominate. Along the way, we watch Enron game California’s deregulated electricity market, get a free pass from Arthur Andersen (which okays the dubious mark-to-market accounting), use greed to manipulate banks and brokerages (Merrill Lynch fires the analyst who questions Enron’s rise), and hear from both Presidents Bush what great guys these are. Read more at IMDB or support this site by buying it at Amazon.
A year with one platoon in the deadliest valley in Afghanistan. Read more at IMDB or support this site by buying it at Amazon.
Chronological look at the fiasco in Iraq, especially decisions made in the spring of 2003 – and the backgrounds of those making decisions – immediately following the overthrow of Saddam no occupation plan, an inadequate team to run the country, insufficient troops to keep order, and three edicts from the White House announced by Bremmer when he took over no provisional Iraqi government, de-Ba’athification, and disbanding the Iraqi armed services. The film has chapters (from History to Consequences), and the talking heads are reporters, academics, soldiers, military brass, and former Bush-administration officials, including several who were in Baghdad in 2003. Read more at IMDB or support this site by buying it at Amazon.
A unique documentary about troops’ experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan, based on writings by soldiers. Read more at IMDB or support this site by buying it at Amazon.
Documentary about war photographer James Nachtwey, considered by many the greatest war photographer ever. Read more at IMDB or support this site by buying it at Amazon.
In this film made over ten years, filmmaker Barbara Sonneborn goes on a pilgrimage to the Vietnamese countryside where her husband was killed. She and translator (and fellow war widow) Xuan Ngoc Nguyen explore the meaning of war and loss on a human level. The film weaves interviews with Vietnamese and American widows into a vivid testament to the legacy of war. Read more at IMDB or support this site by buying it at Amazon.
In the 80’s, in the upper-middleclass district of Great Neck, the awarded Professor Arnold Friedman is arrested for possession of some magazines of child pornography. A further investigation of the police discloses that apparently Arnold and his eighteen years old son Jesse molested his young students during their private computer class. Their Jewish family tears apart with the situation and the sentences of Arnold and Jesse. Read more at IMDB or support this site by buying it at Amazon.
‘Legacy’ tracks (over five years) three generations of a Chicago family condemned to ghetto life until a traumatic event — the murder of one of them — begins to slowly effect positive change in all of them. Read more at IMDB or support this site by buying it at Amazon.
Documentary look at health care in the United States as provided by profit-oriented health maintenance organizations (HMOs) compared to free, universal care in Canada, the U.K., and France. Moore contrasts U.S. media reports on Canadian care with the experiences of Canadians in hospitals and clinics there. He interviews patients and doctors in the U.K. about cost, quality, and salaries. He examines why Nixon promoted HMOs in 1971, and why the Clintons’ reform effort failed in the 1990s. He talks to U.S. ex-pats in Paris about French services, and he takes three 9/11 clean-up volunteers, who developed respiratory problems, to Cuba for care.
Separated at the end of the Vietnam war, an “Americanized” woman and her Vietnamese mother are reunited after 22 years. Read more at IMDB or support this site by buying it at Amazon.
This documentary follows 8 teens and pre-teens as they work their way toward the finals of the Scripps Howard national spelling bee championship in Washington D.C. All work quite hard and practice daily, first having to win their regional championship before they can move on. Interviews include the parents and teachers who are working with them. The competitors not only work hard to get to the finals but face tremendous pressure as the original group of over 250 competitors is whittled down and the words they must spell get ever more difficult.
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Several Jewish and Palestinian children are followed for three years and put in touch with each other, in this alternative look at the Jewish-Palestinian conflict. The three filmmakers followed a group of seven local children between 1995 and 1998. They all have a totally different background. These seven children tell their own story about growing up in Jerusalem. Through this portrait of their generation, we see how deep rooted and almost insoluble the problems of the Middle East have become.
Which Way Home is a feature documentary film that follows unaccompanied child migrants, on their journey through Mexico, as they try to reach the United States. Read more at IMDB or support this site by buying it at Amazon.
Using smuggled footage, this documentary tells the story of the 2007 protests in Burma by thousands of monks. Read more at IMDB or support this site by buying it at Amazon.
The story of Cuban refugees who risked their lives in homemade rafts to reach the United States, and what life is like for those who succeed. Read more at IMDB or support this site by buying it at Amazon.
Children Underground shows how the Romanian government has yet to find a way to deal with these children, who are difficult to rehabilitate. The film follows the kids everywhere, and is a silent witness of all the violence and abuse they have to deal with on a daily basis. Read more at IMDB or support this site by buying it at Amazon.
A look at the infamous “Scottsboro Boys” case that occurred in Alabama in 1931, in which nine young black men were arrested, tried and quickly convicted in the rape of two white women, despite overwhelming evidence that showed their accusers had falsely accused them and the fact that one of the women later admitted that no rape had in fact occurred. Read more at IMDB or support this site by buying it at Amazon.
This film recounts the people and events leading up to the one of the most despicable hate-crimes during the height of the civil-rights movement, the bombing of the 16th Street Church in Birmingham, Alabama. In that attack, four little African-American girls lost their lives and a nation was simultaneously revolted, angered and galvanized to push the fight for equality and justice on. Read more at IMDB or support this site by buying it at Amazon.
Berlinger and Sinofsky’s documentary of a gruesome triple murder in West Memphis, Arkansas and the subsequent trials of three suspects, takes a hard look at both the occult and the American justice system in ‘small-town’ America. Three teenagers are accused of this horrific crime of killing three children, supposedly as a result of involvement in Satanism. As in their previous documentary, things turn out to be more complex than initial appearances and this film presents the real-life courtroom drama to the viewer, as it unfolds. Read more at IMDB or support this site by buying it at Amazon.
Portrays the lives of nine desperate teenagers. Thrown too young into a seedy grown up world, these runaways and castaways survive, but just barely. Rat, the dumpster diver. Tiny, the teen prostitute. Shellie, the baby-faced blonde.
From the ashes of the L.A. riots arose a lush, 14-acre community garden, the largest of its kind in the United States. Now bulldozers threaten its future. Read more at IMDB or support this site by buying it at Amazon.
The current method of raw food production is largely a response to the growth of the fast food industry since the 1950s. The production of food overall has more drastically changed since that time than the several thousand years prior. Read more at IMDB or support this site by buying it at Amazon.
Werner Herzog takes his camera to Antarctica where we meet the odd men and women who have dedicated their lives to furthering the cause of science in treacherous conditions. Read more at IMDB or support this site by buying it at Amazon.
Three children living in a displacement camp in northern Uganda compete in their country’s national music and dance festival. Read more at IMDB or support this site by buying it at Amazon.
In the 1960’s and 1970’s a group of radical Americans calling themselves The Weather Underground attempted to team up with the Black Panthers to violently confront the US government that started with street riots and escalating to bombing government targets. Thorough archival footage and interviews of the veterans of both sides of this conflict, this film covers the resistance movement’s campaign of selective violence through this period until changing times and disillusionment brought it to an end while the FBI used unethical and illegal methods to hasten it. Read more at IMDB or support this site by buying it at Amazon.
The larger scope of the story explores the gun trade to Africa that takes place under the covers — Russian pilots fly guns into Africa, then fly fish back out to Europe. The hazards and consequences of this trade are explored, including the pan-African violence propagated by constant flow of weapons into the continent. If it is a “survival of the fittest” world, as Darwin concluded, then the capitalist interests that fund the gun runners are climbing the evolutionary ladder on the backs of the Africans in this stark Darwinian example. Much like the foreseeable extinction of the Lake Victoria perch, and death of Lake Victoria itself, the Africans are in grave jeopardy, even as they survive in the only ways they know how. Read more at IMDB or support this site by buying it at Amazon.