REVIEW: Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom [2015]

“I came here to defend my future, the future of my children, compatriots and country” After the success of The Square, there really wasn’t a better place than Netflix for Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom to flourish. A TIFF People’s Choice Award and Oscar nomination later and we see that to be true. […]

REVIEW: Cartel Land [2015]

“As long as He allows it, we will make drugs” With the success of “Breaking Bad” on TV, Sicario in theaters, and wannabe politicians like Donald Trump on the campaign trial, now’s the perfect time for Matthew Heineman‘s documentary Cartel Land. But while it begins as a glimpse at the vigilante militias forming on both […]

REVIEW: The Oath [2010]

“One month is like a year here” Documentarian Laura Poitras‘ The Oath is an intriguing film with a lot going on in—sometimes to its detriment. It wants to be an exposé on America’s false imprisonment of suspected terrorists in Guantanamo Bay, a heartfelt look at the guilt of a man responsible for another’s involvement in […]

REVIEW: My Country, My Country [2006]

“The outcome of democracy!” It’s amazing how much we take democracy for granted having been born and raised within it for centuries. Only when we look at a nation struggling to adopt the practice can we understand how difficult and ultimately dangerous it can be. We laugh at reports saying candidates buy votes and roll […]

REVIEW: What Happened, Miss Simone? [2015]

“I’ll tell you what freedom is to me: no fear” As someone who heard “Feeling Good” on a Muse album in the early 2000s thinking it was their song until the promotional advertisements for season four of “Six Feet Under” got me researching the female vocalist singing its “new” rendition, a documentary on Nina Simone […]

REVIEW: How to Change the World [2015]

“Ecology is flow” Using the unplanned creation of Greenpeace by a group of hippie ecologists in the 1970s trying to stop nuclear bomb testing in Alaska as its backdrop, Jerry Rothwell‘s documentary How to Change the World shows us the trials, tribulations, fame, ego, and success of doing exactly that. It’s a savvy mix of […]

REVIEW: Last Day of Freedom [2015]

“And then one day it came knocking on my door” Directors Dee Hibbert-Jones and Nomi Talisman have quite the story on their hands thanks to the bravery of Bill Babbitt to allow his catharsis to be captured in a public forum such as film. A religious and loving man who watched his younger brother Manny […]

REVIEW: Chau, Beyond the Lines [2015]

“I’m starting to get the confidence” Agent Orange still affects the Vietnamese population four decades after its dispersal because it’s taken that long to find a mode with which to begin destroying its remnants. South Vietnam with American help sprayed the herbicide (US Air Force’s own initiative Operation Ranch Hand later continued) looking to take […]

REVIEW: A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness [2015]

“Because they had sworn on the Quran, I had no fear in my heart” When you read that Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy‘s documentary short A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness concerns a Pakistani girl shot and left for dead who survived to become a beacon of strength and bravery, do not simply dismiss it […]

REVIEW: Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah [2015]

“Claude used to be a friend of mine—he no longer is.” Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah is a document of a documentarian: a time capsule of the twelve-year gestation of what’s possibly the greatest non-fiction works in cinematic history. Shoah‘s a ten-hour look at the Holocaust’s devastation via survivors and perpetrators in varying modes […]

REVIEW: Body Team 12 [2015]

“My life is a sacrifice for the country to succeed” For Americans the Ebola scare was a handful of cases and nurses who weren’t as careful as they should have been. To the world it was thousands upon thousands of dead bodies—loved ones that family members can’t normally mourn because every second the deceased’s blood […]