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Discussion in 'Testing' started by MichaelPe, Dec 29, 2004.
**30 Years of Academy Award Winning Documentaries, DVD Availability Chart**
Bowling for Columbine (Winner 2002)
Michael Moore's superb documentary (following in the footsteps of Roger & Me and The Big One) tackles a meaty subject: gun control. Moore skillfully lays out arguments surrounding the issue and short-circuits them all, leaving one impossible question: why do Americans kill each other more often than people in any other democratic nation? Moore focuses his quest around the shootings at Columbine High School and the shooting of one 6-year-old by another near his own hometown of Flint, Michigan. By approaching the headquarters of K-Mart (where the Columbine shooters bought their ammo) and going to Charlton Heston's own home, Moore demands accountability from the forces that support unrestricted gun sales in the U.S. His arguments are conducted with the humor and empathy that have made Moore more than just a gadfly; he's become a genuine voice of reason in a world driven by fear and greed.
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Murder on a Sunday Morning (Un coupable idéal) (Winner 2001)
The Academy Award-winning documentary Murder on a Sunday Afternoon, which originally aired on HBO as part of its America Undercover series, is a troubling look at modern police investigation that unfolds in a story as compelling and suspenseful as any fictional drama. French director Jean-Xavier De Lestrade's intimate camerawork pulls viewers into the jury box to help decide the fate of 15-year-old Brenton Butler, a black resident of Jacksonville, Florida, who becomes the prime suspect in the shooting death of an elderly white woman simply because he was seen in the vicinity of the crime. Butler's attorney, a magnetic public defender named Patrick McGuinness, must pit his legal skills against a mountain of shoddy investigative work and corruption to save his client from life in prison. Similar in intent to HBO's Paradise Lost, Murder's white-knuckled pacing and a wealth of courtroom fireworks should leave true-crime and documentary fans breathless--and angry.
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Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport (Winner 2000)
This Academy Award®-winning documentary (produced with the cooperation of the United States Holocaust Museum) chronicles one of the lesser-known stories of the Holocaust: that of the kindertransport, which saved the lives of 10,000 Jewish children. In the late 1930s, England agreed to accept these children seeking refuge from Nazi oppression. They were placed in foster homes and hostels. Narrated by Dame Judi Dench and directed by Mark Jonathan Harris (who received an Oscar® for his 1997 Holocaust documentary The Long Way Home), this devastating and deeply moving film bears witness to the kindness of these "simply wonderful people" and to the resilience of the kinder, now elderly, who recall in haunting stories the unimaginable grief of being suddenly torn from their parents, the trauma of not knowing whether they would ever see them again, and the difficulties some faced in their new homes. Recalls one, "None of the foster parents with whom I stayed could stand me for very long. But all of them had the grace to take in a Jewish child." But despite having their youth uprooted, many possess an indomitable spirit. One woman speaks of devoting her adult life to human rights and social justice causes. "I can't pay back or thank some of the people who helped me," she states, "But I can do something for other people."
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One Day in September (Winner 1999)
On September 5, 1972, eight Palestinian terrorists killed two Israeli athletes and took nine others hostage at the Munich Olympic Village. The event stopped the games, gripped the world, and perhaps for the first time fully illustrated the volatile state of affairs in the Mideast to the world. Kevin Macdonald's 1999 Academy Award(r)-winning documentary painstakingly reconstructs the events, shedding light on what the world saw on television with the exasperating revelation of behind-the-scenes blunders.
This visceral, tense film uses riveting news footage to great effect, weaving in affecting interviews. Macdonald mourns the deaths of the innocent Olympic hostages and dutifully gives a voice to the Palestinian cause through interviews with Jamal al-Gashey, the only survivor of the eight terrorists, who briefly came out of hiding for the film. He earnestly but half-heartedly sketches a picture of the social and political situation that fueled the act, reserving his anger for the grossly unprepared German police force. The tragedy that erupted at the Fürstenfeldbruck air base becomes all the more upsetting in light of the incompetence and unforgivable mistakes: botched rescues, poor planning, bad intelligence, and lack of contingency plans. Even the irresponsibility of the media circus gets off lightly. It's a sobering, angering, often frustrating piece of non-fiction cinema, a thorough piece of historical research brought to life with an angry immediacy. Macdonald simply doesn't know what lessons to draw from it all.
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The Last Days (Winner 1998)
In the last year of World War II, German defeat was inevitable. Yet rather than reinforcing his troops and focusing his efforts on battle, Hitler chose to renew his campaign to eliminate the Jews of Europe. Hungary, which had remained mostly untouched during the war, found her Jews being rounded up and shipped off to concentration camps where they were systematically and brutally killed during these last days. This documentary, directed by James Moll and produced through the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation, whose goal is to document the memories of those who lived through the Holocaust, records the stories of five Hungarian Jews who managed to survive.
While the stories are tragic and watching this documentary is a tearful experience, the final message is one of hope, as the five people return to Hungary and the camps with their families to confront their pasts and say their prayers. While the occasionally graphic footage will disturb, this Oscar-winning film is one that should be shared with family as a way of educating and reminding us, "Never again."
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1997: The Long Way Home- Both Amazon and IMDB show a DVD release from Vanguard Films, no one shows new copies in stock, so I assume it's OOP.When We Were Kings (Winner 1996) OOP
Decades ago, documentary filmmaker Leon Gast attempted to complete a feature about the 1974 "Rumble in the Jungle" championship bout between boxers Muhammad Ali and George Foreman in Kinshasa, Zaire. Sundry complications, though, held up the project until its release in 1996. It was well worth the delay. From Gast's perspective of modern history, the six weeks Ali and Foreman were forced to spend waiting in Africa for their fight to take place now looks like an important moment in America's cultural understanding of African American roots. In a nutshell, Ali had been stripped of his heavyweight champion title because his opposition to the Vietnam War-era draft had landed him in prison. Reigning champ Foreman agreed to a Don King-promoted match in Kinshasa, but after all parties got there the fight was put off. Gast captures the charismatic Ali, in the ensuing days and weeks, going out among the people and getting to know them while the more reclusive Foreman keeps to his own company. Meanwhile, King brings over black American artists such as James Brown and the Spinners to mix it up with African musicians. The sense of excitement and connection is thrilling, as is the boxing footage of Foreman and Ali finally taking swings at one another in a titanic duel. Writers George Plimpton and Norman Mailer, each of whom was covering the fight as journalists, are on hand to recollect the details. Whether you're a fight fan or not, this is a unique experience and a fascinating insight into America's sense of identity.
DVD appears to be out of print, but available from some retailers.
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1995: Anne Frank RememberedMaya Lin - A Strong Clear Vision (Winner 1994)
It was for good reason this film won the 1995 Academy Award for Best Documentary, as it displays, in abundance, the emotional human responses Maya Lin elicits with her architectural designs and sculpture. There was much controversy surrounding her Vietnam War Memorial, not the least of which focused on her Chinese-American origins. Writer/director Freida Lee Mock uses conventional methods (interviews, archival footage) to follow Lin's career in chronological order. It examines her work since winning the contest in which her student model was chosen for the infamous Washington war memorial. The stark emotion evoked by Lin's sensuous and kinetic creations promises to bring tears to your eyes. Unfortunately, we learn more about her work than about the artist, whose personality is oddly absent from this film. Mock only somewhat reveals the intense focus and powerful vision that drives Lin.
Release date 5/27/2003.
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1993: Am a Promise: The Children of Stanton Elementary School1992: The Panama Deception1991: In the Shadow of the Stars1990: American Dream 1989: Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt1988: Hotel Terminus1987: The Ten-Year Lunch1986: Down and Out in America1985: Broken Rainbow1984: The Times of Harvey Milk1983: He Makes Me Feel Like Dancin'1982: Just Another Missing Kid1981: GenocideFrom Mao to Mozart: Isaac Stern in China (Winner 1980)
Murray Lerner's Oscar-winning film From Mao to Mozart: Isaac Stern in China chronicles with affection and intelligence the great violinist's 1979 visit to China. Stern had accepted the government's invitation to attend a rehearsal and give one recital but instead wound up playing a formal concert, touring two cities, and teaching many master classes due to his overwhelming love for music and even more so for the musicians he met, some as young as 10. Communicating his instructions less through the translator than his energetically gleeful gestures and plosive vocalizations, Stern offers a wealth of technical tips, bowing techniques, and motivational nuggets that all boil down to one theme: don't play the music, live it.
Not every moment is joyous; filmed shortly after the final dismantling of the Cultural Revolution, From Mao to Mozart offers a brief but harrowing portrait of Tan Shuzhen, a violinmaker imprisoned for over a year for the crime of crafting Western instruments. But after this remembrance of the past, the movie ends as it should, eyes and ears on the future, as adolescent cellist Wang Jian serenades the appreciative audience. A fascinating postscript, Musical Encounters, follows Stern's return to Beijing two decades later and catches up with Wang, now a successful recording artist, as well as others from the original film. Especially heartening is conductor Li Delun, wheeled onto the stage but still magisterial as he reteams with Stern to once again perform Mozart's Concerto in G; and through the music, two men raised a world apart who have met only twice in their lives are again made the best of friends.
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1979: Best Boy1978: Scared Straight1977: Who Are the DeBolts? And Where Did they Get Nineteen Kids?1976: Harlan County, U.S.A.1975: The Man Who Skied Down EverestHearts and Minds (Criterion Collection #156)(Winner 1974)
A courageous and startling film, Peter Davis' landmark documentary Hearts and Minds unflinchingly confronts the United States' involvement in Vietnam. Using a wealth of sources-from interviews to newsreels to documentary footage of the conflict at home and abroad-Davis constructs a powerfully affecting portrait of the disastrous effects of war. Explosive, persuasive, and shocking, Hearts and Minds is an overwhelming emotional experience and the controversial winner of the 1974 Academy Award® for Best Documentary.
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1973: The Great American Cowboy1972: Marjoe1971: The Hellstrom ChronicleWoodstock (Winner 1970)
The three-day Woodstock music festival in 1969 was the pivotal event of the 1960s peace movement, and this landmark concert film is the definitive record of that milestone of rock & roll history. It's more than a chronicle of the hippie movement, however; this is a film of genuine historical and social importance, capturing the spirit of America in transition, when the Vietnam War was at its peak and antiwar protest was fully expressed through the liberating music of the time. With a brilliant crew at his disposal (including a young editor named Martin Scorsese), director Michael Wadleigh worked with over 300 hours of footage to create his original 225-minute director's cut, which was cut by 40 minutes for the film's release in 1970. Eight previously edited segments were restored in 1994, and the original director's cut of Woodstock is now the version most commonly available on videotape and DVD.
The film deservedly won the Academy Award for Best Documentary, and it's still a stunning achievement. Abundant footage taken among the massive crowd ("half a million strong") expresses the human heart of the event, from skinny-dipping hippies to accidental overdoses, to unpredictable weather, midconcert childbirth, and the thoughtful (or just plain rambling) reflections of the festive participants. Then, of course, there is the music--a nonstop parade of rock & roll from the greatest performers of the period, including Crosby, Stills, and Nash, Canned Heat, The Who, Richie Havens, Joan Baez, Ten Years After, Sly & The Family Stone, Santana, and many more. Watching this ambitious film, as the saying goes, is the next best thing to being there--it's a time-travel journey to that once-in-a-lifetime event.
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So, let's see: out of the past 30 years we've got 8 of the winners, and not a single one released in the 1980s (and we wouldn't have any from the 1970's either is Criterion didn't release Hearts and Minds).
So, only about 25% of the Academy Award winning documentaries since 1970 are on DVD.
**10 Years of Academy Award Nominated Documentaries, DVD Availability Chart**
2002-2003Daughter From Danang: Separated at the end of the Vietnam war, an "Americanized" woman living in Pulaski, Tenn and her Vietnamese mother are reunited after 22 years. But what seems like the cue for a happy ending is anything but- the family finds themselves caught in a confusing clash of cultures and at the mercy of conflicting emotions.
NOT YET ON DVD. Official Site
Le Peuple migrateur: Documentary on the migratory patterns of birds, shot over the course of three years on all seven continents.
NOT YET ON DVD, Theatrical Openings Scheduled Summer 2003. Official SitePrisoner of Paradise: Portrait of a jewish film director, Kurt Gerron, who made a morally ambiguous choice to direct a Nazi propaganda film 'The Fuhrer Gives a City to the Jews' (1944) about the concentration camp of Theresienstadt, of which Gerron was an inmate.
NOT YET ON DVD. Official SiteSpellbound: Spellbound follows eight teenagers on their quest to win the 1999 National Spelling Bee. Within these stories, we discover not just the idiosyncratic personalities, their obsessional study habits, their sometimes heart-breaking, sometimes inspiring family dynamics, but the story of America itself.
NOT YET ON DVD, Coming 2004. Official Site2001-2002Children Underground: This astonishingly intimate documentary follows five homeless children in Romania, where the collapse of communism has led to a life on the street for 20,000 children.
DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon, DDDLaLee's Kin: The Legacy of Cotton: This documentary follows a Mississippi Delta school district and a single Delta family as they struggle against the crippling effects of poverty in the wake of more than one hundred years of slavery and sharecropping in the Delta.
NOT YET ON DVD. Official SitePromises: 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.
NOT YET ON DVD. Official Site
War Photographer: Documentary about war photographer James Nachtwey, considered by many the greatest war photographer ever.
ON DVD, ONLY REGION FREE PAL, No US release. Official Site2000-2001
Legacy: Documenting five years of the Collins family. The politically charged term “welfare family” takes on a human face in Legacy, a remarkable new documentary on the struggle of three generations of African American women to free themselves from welfare and poverty.
NOT YET ON DVD Official Site
Long Night's Journey Into Day: This documentary tells four stories of Apartheid in South Africa, as seen through the eyes of the Truth and Reconciliation commission. White soldiers who have killed ANC activists, black activists who have killed whites in political attacks: can there be forgiveness when the full truth comes out?
NOT YET ON DVD Official Site
Scottsboro: An American Tragedy: A penetrating documentary of America's racist and politically-charged climate, circa 1931-1950, focused on Scottsboro Alabama.
NOT YET ON DVDSound and Fury: SOUND AND FURY deals with the questions raised by the development of cochlear implants which can restore hearing for those with congenital deafness. Very few (if any) people in the hearing world would think this to be a bad thing, but within the deaf community some see this as encroaching technology which will eventually obliterate deaf culture and sign language.
DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon, DDD, Lasersedge, Official Site, PBS site 1999-2000Buena Vista Social Club: 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.
DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon, DDD, Lasersedge, Official Site, Artisan site Genghis Blues: The extraordinary odyssey of a U.S. musician of Cape Verdean ancestry to Tannu Tuva, in central Asia, where nomadic people throat sing more than one note simultaneously, using vocal harmonics. A bluesman, Paul Pena, blind and recently widowed, taught himself throat singing and was by chance invited to the 1995 throat-singing symposium in Kyzyl.
DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon, Lasersedge, Official SiteOn the Ropes: The story of three young boxers and their coach who is determined to guide them in a positive direction in and out of the ring.
DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon, DDD, LasersedgeSpeaking in Strings: Speaking in Strings by director Paola di Florio explores the posh and cloistered world of classical music by presenting us with the "bad girl" of the classical music scene. In this film, Florio reveals the hypocrisy of classical music by revealing to us one of its most profound players, Nadja Solerno-Sonnenberg and all that the violinist endured in order to play the music she loves with total honesty.
DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon, Lasersedge1998-1999Dancemaker: This Oscar-nominated documentary takes viewers inside the dance company of renowned choreographer Paul Taylor. Not only does director Matthew Diamond's camera catch the intimate moments as dance director and dancer develop new steps, he manages to get inside the minds of his subjects to a surprising degree.
DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon, DDD, LasersedgeThe Farm: Angola, USA: Documentary depicting day to day life in Angola Prison mostly from an inmate's perspective. Interviews are with several inmates including one with a life sentence who is about to die.
NOT YET ON DVD.Lenny Bruce: Swear to Tell the Truth: In 1948, Lenny Bruce was just another comic who couldn't get arrested. By 1961, all that would change. Lenny Bruce: Dare to Tell the Truth" fleshes out the icon and presents Lenny as a human being. Following the chronology of Lenny's life from WWII till his premature death in 1965, the film is enhanced by interviews with Lenny's mother, ex-wife, daughter and associates. The film revisits Lenny Bruce's greatest triumphs and the depths of his tragedy.
NOT YET ON DVD.Regret to Inform: 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.
DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon, Lasersedge, Official Site1997-19984 Little Girls: 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.
DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon, DDD, LasersedgeAyn Rand: A Sense of Life: A substantive documentary on arguably the greatest philosopher since Aristotle. That this bio took so long in coming, attests to the slow recognition of her genius and supreme contribution to 20th century culure. It took a pioneer, a maverick, and a true hero to overcome the obstacles placed in her path. Thanks to her determination she succeeded, and we are the recipients.
DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon, DDD, Lasersedge, Official SiteColors Straight Up: The non-profit organization, Colors United, teaches drama to a group of inner city kids. The culmination of the theater education is a musical called "Watts Side Story."
NOT YET ON DVD.Waco: The Rules of Engagement: A 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. Using footage from the 51 day siege, from the congressional hearings afterwards and from experts- the movie suggests that the Branch Davidians were not a cult, but a valid religious group practicing under First Amendment freedoms who fell victim to the FBI and ATF.
NOT YET ON DVD. Official Site1996-1997The Line King: Al Hirschfeld: The childhood, adolescence, and incredible adult years of Al Hirshfeld, celebrated creator of thousands of line drawings of famous people - many in the entertainment industry - over a span of more than sixty years. His interesting domestic life, political, and cultural views are highlights. Brief interviews with, and reminiscences of many friends and associates.
NOT YET ON DVD.Mandela: A vibrantly presented and emotionally charged portrait of the dynamic African leader that captures Mandela's remarkable spirit. It follows him from his early days and tribal education through his work with the African National Congress to his election as Africa's first black president. Produced by Jonathan Demme, this wisely includes poetry of Africa, as much a part of Mandela's story as his own inner strength.
DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon, LasersedgeSuzanne Farrell: Elusive Muse: Romantic triangles. Unconsummated passion. Jealousy. Revenge. Just another day offstage at the New York City Ballet for ballerina Suzanne Farrell and her mentor, legendary choreographer George Balanchine. Elusive Muse traces the development of Farrell into an extraordinary performer while trying to define her passionate professional and personal relationship with "Mr. B."
DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon, LasersedgeTell the Truth and Run: George Seldes and the American Press: George Seldes was a journalist and leftist gadfly from the 1920s through the 1950s. He started his career working for the conservative Chicago Tribune and founded a newsletter called In Fact that reported the news the mainstream media ignored. Tell the Truth and Run is not only the story of Seldes struggle to inform, it's also the story of American journalism and its unholy marriage with corporate America.
NOT YET ON DVD. Official Site1995-1996The Battle Over Citizen Kane: Chronicles the struggles between filmmaker Orson Welles and newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst over the making and release of Citizen Kane, whose protagonist (Charles Foster Kane) was allegedly a barely fictionalized Hearst. Interviews with contemporaries of Hearst and Welles reveal the intense campaign to suppress the film and ultimately ruin the career of its director. Included on the 2 disc version of Citizen Kane and also available seperately.
DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon, DDD, LasersedgeHank Aaron: Chasing the Dream: Documentary on Hank Aaron, produced by WTBS television. Emphasis not only on the man and his game, but the social and racial backdrop of the field on which he played.
NOT YET ON DVD.Small Wonders: A dedicated music teacher in East Harlem instructs a gaggle of underprivileged children in the art of the violin. In the climax, they play Carnegie Hall with some of the world's foremost fiddlers.
NOT YET ON DVD.Troublesome Creek: A Midwestern: The Jordan family has farmed in Iowa for generations. But the farm crisis of the 1980s and 1990s catches up with them, and they are in danger of losing the farm. One of the daughters, a documentary filmmaker, comes back home to document the extraordinary efforts the family makes to keep their farm.
NOT YET ON DVD. Official Site, PBS Site1994-1995Complaints of a Dutiful Daughter: This is a beautifully well made documentary that manages to portray the relationship between a daughter and her mother as it is affected by the progress of the mother's Alzheimers. It is a moving portrait that captures not only the difficulties but also the humor and reality of the process. Dutiful Daughter asks us to consider what's left of what we think of as our "self" after personal memories fade. It also explores the emotional impact of living with a mother who no longer knows who you are.
NOT YET ON DVD.D-Day Remembered: An award-winning documentary of the invasion of Normandy in World War II, using rare archival films and pictures from British, American, and German archives. The narrator provides the overall continuity, but the voices of over 50 participants who were involved in the staging of the invasion in Britain or were on the beaches of France bring the images to life.
NOT YET ON DVD.Freedom on My Mind: Powerful documentary about the efforts to register disenfranchised blacks in early 1960s Mississippi, which led to the formation of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party and its challenge to the state's official--and all-white--representatives at the 1964 Democratic convention.
NOT YET ON DVD.A Great Day in Harlem: Art Kane, now deceased, coordinated a group photograph of all the top jazz musicians in NYC in the year 1958, for a piece in Esquire magazine. Just about every jazz musician at the time showed up for the photo shoot which took place in front of a brownstone near the 125th street station. The documentary compiles interviews of many of the musicians in the photograph to talk about the day of the photograph, and it shows film footage taken that day by Milt Hinton and his wife.
DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon, Lasersedge, Official Site 1993-1994The Broadcast Tapes of Dr. Peter: Every Wednesday night, from 1990 to 1992, hundreds of thousands of people tuned in to watch installments of the video diaries of a young physician with AIDS, known as Dr. Peter. Dr. Peter captured the hearts of viewers, and his sensitive accounts of life with AIDS moved and enlightened all of us. Explore the legacy of a man who helped change the face of AIDS.
NOT YET ON DVD.Children of Fate: Life and Death in a Sicilian Family: In 1961, Robert Young and Michael Roemer shot a gritty documentary in Palermo's Cortile Cascino, a slum reserved for rag pickers and scavengers. Thirty years later, Young's son and daughter-in-law go back to Sicily to pick up the story of Angela Capra, her now ex-husband, and their children. Black and white footage from 1961 is intercut with color footage from the 90's. Much has changed: Angela's leaving her husband gives her a sense of rebirth. And much is the same: unemployment, petty crimes, and early death. Throughout, family members credit the power of "destina" (fate) to determine their lives.
NOT YET ON DVD.For Better or for Worse: ????
NOT YET ON DVD.The War Room: A behind-the-scenes documentary about the Clinton for President campaign, focusing on the adventures of spin doctors James Carville and George Stephanopoulos. Bill Clinton himself is almost never seen.
DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon, DDD, Lasersedge1992-1993Changing Our Minds: The Story of Dr. Evelyn Hooker: Documentary about the nature and the modern western history of homosexuality. The narrative guides us from the establishment of institutionalised homophobic oppression in the early 20th century (with archival footage of electroconvulsive therapy and blackmail threats to college students) to the early 1990's when we started to achieve widespread recognition. This film shows that a key figure in that progression, Dr Evelyn Hooker.
NOT YET ON DVD.Fires of Kuwait: After Saddam Hussein had the Kuwait Oil wells lit up, teams from all over the world fought those fires for months. They had to save the oil resources, as well as reduce air pollution. The different teams developed different techniques of extinguishing the fires. From TNT-shockwaves blowing out the flames to Tank-mounted twin MIG-jet-engines (from Hungary) blasting away the flames (and nearly lifting the tank into the air), man's emergency creativity can be seen at it's best.
DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon, DDD, Lasersedge, Official SiteLiberators: Fighting on Two Fronts in World War II: An account of Black American soldiers in World War II who combated racism in the segregated military and on the home front. In April 1945, some Black American soldiers were among the first 'liberators' to enter Nazi death camps, encountering the survivors described by one GI as "walking skeletons."
NOT YET ON DVD. Official SiteMusic for the Movies: Documentary exploration into the genius that was Bernard Herrmann. What can you say about the man whose first score is Citizen Kane and his last Taxi Driver? Provides a good overview of his turbulent personality as well as providing brief examples of his music. A must see for people interested in film music and a good foundation for establishing Bernard Herrmann as one of this centuries greatest composers.
NOT YET ON DVD.1991-1992Death on the Job: A poignant look at the wrecked lives of workers and their families in the aftermath of senseless, preventable industrial injuries. Three major sections feature, commercial fishing fleets, construction workers and oil & chemical workers. Academy Award Nomination 1991, Best Documentary Feature. Produced and directed by Vince DiPersio and William Guttentag.
NOT YET ON DVD.Doing Time: Life Inside the Big House: This film is a hard-edged look at life inside the walls of Lewisburg maximum security federal penitentiary where rehabilitation and parole have all but been abandoned. 1991 Academy Award nominated Feature Documentary, EMMY Award.
NOT YET ON DVD.The Restless Conscience: Resistance to Hitler Within Germany 1933-1945: Film recounts resistance to Hitler from 1933 until the July 1944 attempt on Hitler's life, when all unraveled. Interviews with widows of some of the conspirators & with people the conspirators helped out of Germany.
NOT YET ON DVD.Wild by Law: The story behind the 1964 Wilderness Act is the subject of this engrossing documentary. It profiles three men who fought together and separately were at the heart of a historic struggle to preserve America's natural landscape. By the middle of the 20th century, much of America's natural beauty had been overtaken by urban sprawl and development. Wild by Law is the follow-up to the earlier film The Wilderness Idea. In this engaging documentary, as in the previous film, the role of dedicated individuals is shown as integral to the idea, and reality, of preservation.
NOT YET ON DVD.1990-1991Berkeley in the '60s: The 1960's alumni of the Berkeley campus tell their stories about how the quiet school became the site of massive political activism on the part of students fighting for their right of political expression on campus and then against the Vietnam War.
DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon, DDDBuilding Bombs: The inhabitants of a small town are faced with disturbing choices when a nuclear weapons plant is built in their backyard. A tragic documentary narrated by Jane Alexander.
NOT YET ON DVD.Forever Activists: Stories from the Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade: Judith Montell ’s documentary explores the lifelong activism of the American men and women who fought in the Spanish Civil War. Through personal stories spanning over half a century, these veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade reveal their abiding commitment to issues of freedom and social justice.
NOT YET ON DVD.Waldo Salt: A Screenwriter's Journey: Story of Waldo Salt, known for writing MIDNIGHT COWBOY, but was also blacklisted from Hollywood for 15 years. In April of 1951 Salt was called to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee -- Senator Joseph McCarthy's brainchild for the investigation of Communist infiltration of America. Though never held in contempt of Congress, like a number of other colleagues, Salt was clearly identified as a card-carrying Communist and blacklisted for many years.
NOT YET ON DVD.Pre 1990 Nominated Films Available on DVD
(A list of only 1970-1990 nominees that have been released and are available on DVD)For All Mankind (1989): 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. Reinart uses the astronaunts' own words from interviews and from the mission footage. The score by Brian Eno underscores the strangeness, wonder, and and beauty of the astronauts' experiences--experiences which they were privileged to have for a first time "for all mankind."
DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon, DDD, LasersedgeThe Statue of Liberty (1985): Documentary showing the history of the world-famous Statue of Liberty in New York harbor.
DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon, DDD, LasersedgeThe Day After Trinity (1980): Scientists and witnesses involved in the creation and testing of the first ever atomic bomb reflect on the Manhattan project and its fascinating leader, J. Robert Oppenheimer, who upon completion of his wonderful and horrible invention became a powerful spokesperson against the nuclear arms race.
DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon, DDD, LasersedgePeople of the Wind (1976): There are two hundred miles of raging rivers and dangerous mountains to cross. There are no towns, no roads, no bridges. There is no turning back. The Bakhtiari migration is one of the most hazardous tests of human endurance known to mankind. Every year, 500,000 men, women and children - along with one million animals - struggle for eight grueling weeks to scale the massive Zagros Mountains in Iran - a range which is as high as the Alps and as broad as Switzerland - to reach their summer pastures. The film's astonishing widescreen photography and brilliantly recorded soundtrack take the viewer out onto the dangerous precipices of the Zardeh Kuh mountain and into the icy waters of the Cholbar River.
DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon, DDD, LasersedgeAntonia - A Portrait of the Woman (1974): Hour-long documentary about the first woman to ever conduct a symphony orchestra, Dr. Antonia Brico. Brico describes her unhappy childhood with a spiritualist mother and her early career in classical music. A legitimately feminist saga, back when the feminist struggle actually meant something.
DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon, DDD, LasersedgeThe Sorrow and the Pity (Le grin et la pitié) (1972): Often hailed as one of the greatest documentaries of all time, telling the story of France under Nazi occupation by weaving together a number of interviews as well as newsreel clips and propaganda films shot by the Nazis. The Sorrow and the Pity lives up to its reputation as being a magnificent documentary.
DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon, DDD, LasersedgeOn Any Sunday (1971): A documentary following the lives of motorcycle racers and racing enthusiasts, including actor Steve McQueen. First asking the question "Why do they do it?" this film looks at the people who devote (and sometimes risk) their lives to racing on tracks and off-road courses around the world.
DVD AVAILABLE: Amazon, DDD, LasersedgeChariots of the Gods Erinnerungen an die Zukunft(1970): Documentry based on the book by Erich Von Daniken concerning the ancient mysteries of the world, such as the pyramids of Egypt and Mexico, ancient cave drawings, the monuments of Easter Island, etc. and the fact that these things and modern civalization could have been influenced by extra terrestrial visitations hundreds(or perhaps thousands) of years ago.
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