REVIEW: Joe’s Violin [2016]

“How long can you live with memories?” You never know when a potential story will come your way. For Kahane Cooperman it was on her drive to work around New York City while listening to WQXR. The station was calling for used instruments to be donated for children and schools in need, a story about […]

REVIEW: Hooligan Sparrow [2016]

“Hey Principal: get a room with me and leave the kids alone!” First-time director Nanfu Wang‘s documentary Hooligan Sparrow proves how a single piece of paper explaining a child’s rights can cause a ripple within a sea of oppression and catalyze justice. That document came from the hand of Wang Yu, a lawyer who followed […]

REVIEW: 悲兮魔兽 [Bei xi mo shou] [Behemoth] [2016]

“A land of deathly silence” There’s just one thing missing from Liang Zhao‘s visually masterful documentary 悲兮魔兽 [Bei xi mo shou] [Behemoth] and it’s a before image of what this wasteland of coal and rock used to be before God’s beast was unleashed. This creature—as represented by the industrial machine—devours the mountains of Mongolia, exploding […]

REVIEW: Saving Banksy [2017]

“The people who run our cities don’t understand graffiti because they think nothing has the right to exist—unless it makes a profit” I love Banksy‘s work most because of how it comments on the commodification of art. Here’s a world-renowned master who refuses to authenticate anything he’s done on the street—his canvas of choice. He […]

REVIEW: Dr. Feelgood: Dealer or Healer? [2016]

“Choose the best face that describes how you feel” I’ve been lucky to have never used painkillers whether as a result of high pain tolerance or simply not having experienced enough to deem it necessary. I know people who have, though, and it is a Godsend at times whether opium-based or not. So I couldn’t […]

REVIEW: 13th [2016]

“… blacks get hurt worse than whites.”– Lee Atwater While 13th—Ava DuVernay‘s documentary about the criminal justice system and mass incarceration being used to extend slavery via a loophole in the Thirteenth Amendment—is far from perfect, it is crucial to commence a conversation and relevant in a way John Oliver simply cannot equal thanks to […]

REVIEW: O.J.: Made in America [2016]

“I’m not black. I’m O.J.” I was enjoying the summer between 6th and 7th grade when O.J. Simpson and A.C. Cowlings infamously drove a white Ford Bronco down a California interstate. Despite being only a year removed from the Buffalo Bills’ four straight Super Bowl loses, my lack of local football knowledge here in the […]

REVIEW: Before the Flood [2016]

“It kind of looks like Mordor” You have to give Leonardo DiCaprio credit because he’s taken his title of UN Messenger of Peace with focus on climate change to heart. He spent three years traveling the world (when not shooting The Revenant in a contextually relevant location experiencing a warm enough winter to necessitate a […]

REVIEW: Cameraperson [2016]

“You’re making me cry even though I don’t understand the language” The camera doesn’t lie. It captures private moments, immortalizes public, and adds ten pounds (so maybe it does). It shows a world we can never see: at once untouched perfection and fabricated by the operator’s gaze. And as those among us age and forget, […]

REVIEW: I Am Not Your Negro [2017]

“My countrymen were my enemy” Author James Baldwin‘s powerful rhetoric can be perfectly summed up by his statement on “The Dick Cavett Show” concerning Patrick Henry’s 1775 quotation, “Give me liberty, or give me death!” He explains how a world oppressed can utter that line with conviction and be applauded whether they’re American, Irish, Jewish, […]

REVIEW: The Lure [2016]

“There’s something magic about a hidden treasure” You can’t take it with you. It’s a saying we’ve all heard that leads some to donate charitably, others to invest in real estate, and more to siphon offshore for tax-free inheritances. For Forrest Fenn—an eccentric Air Force veteran and history buff that amassed his fortune selling artifacts […]