Archive for the ‘Hot Docs’ Category

A scene from The Bully ProjectAt the film’s start, a children’s choir performs a haunting rendition of “Teenage Dirtbag.” Bullying has at some point affected everyone, whether you were a perpetrator, victim or bystander. It’s something so ingrained in our culture that most people don’t think there’s anything we can do to stop it. We’ve all heard the cliché responses to incidences of bullying: “Boys will be boys” or “They’re just being kids.” But the rise of suicides in the under-20 demographic illustrates this is no longer an acceptable response – not that it ever should have been tolerated. (more…)

A scene from Love Crimes of KabulThere have been various indications of late that the young people in the Middle East are modernizing – particularly the women. Female citizens marched for their rights and fought for democratic political processes in many nations. However, the rest of the population remains rigid in its beliefs and customs. As a result, in countries like Afghanistan, the female prison population is increasing as women attempt to reclaim some control of their lives. (more…)

Still from Hot CoffeeDuring the recession, Canada was shielded from much of the collapse experienced by other countries because of its stricter bank laws. After watching Hot Coffee, one can only hope the same vigilance will protect us from the corporate greed screwing American citizens at every turn. Everyone knows about the woman who sued McDonald’s because her coffee was too hot, but you couldn’t ever guess the truth of the whole story or the level of democratic corruption involved. Director Susan Saladoff, a 25-year trial lawyer and first-time filmmaker, divides the film into four sections, using a different case to demonstrate the issues in each one. (more…)

A scene from Our NewspaperIn most parts of Russia, people are too occupied by their struggle to survive to pay attention to politics or the news. Moreover, they are not interested in reading about frivolous fluff when they are facing serious issues. The Leninist is the regional state newspaper, but they are not writing about the people forced to go days without water or the villages snowed in for entire winters. Instead, they are more likely to report upon a pointless speech given by some local politician, in which most of its readership has no interest. (more…)

Family chronicled in After the ApocalypseAfter the Apocalypse addresses an incredibly contentious issue, asking several controversial questions to which there are no easy answers. However, director Antony Butts does not emerge on one side of the debate or the other; he simply shows both sides of the story so audiences can make their own decisions. (more…)

A hit man confesses in El Sicario, Room 164A “sicario” is a hit man. For him, death is simply a job, like being a mortician or taxidermist – he just operates in an earlier stage of the process. Inspired by the Harpers article written by award-winning journalist Charles Bowden titled “The sicario: a Juarez hit man speaks”, director Gianfranco Rosi sought out the article’s subject to record an on-camera confession. The documentary is recorded in a non-descript motel room along a drug highway linking Mexico and the United States. It’s the same room in which just one of the many kidnapping and torture jobs he executed over a 20-year career took place. (more…)

Director Jamie Kastner tries out homeless chic in Recessionize! For Fun and Profit!“Recession” became a word most people personally learned the meaning of in the last couple of years. There was a lot of belt tightening as the world’s economy collapsed under pressure; companies and countries requested bailouts; and thousands joined the unemployment line. (more…)