Mark Twain said:
What gets us into trouble, is not what we don’t know.
Its what we know for sure that just ain’t so.
Directed by – Davis Guggenheim
One of the most famous documentaries of all times. The entire film is based on a detailed presentation that Al Gore, the former vice president of United states has been giving all over the world for many years now, to generate as much awareness as possible on Global Warming.
It starts humorously where he introduces himself as “I’m Al Gore, I used to be the next president of the United States of America”. And then it takes sporadic turns and twists with awing facts and figures and comparisons of ‘how it used to be’ and ‘how is looks like now’ images of the earth. The film again intercuts with his own personal life – where the fear of his 6 year old son’s death, made him realise what it meant to lose something that you take for granted. Since then, he never looked back.
As he asks us to take nature’s warnings seriously and to stop being mad – before its too late, he demonstrates the sentiment of scientists all over the world by putting tons of gold (economy) on one side of the weighing scale and the complete earth (nature) on the other – maintaining a balance, he says.
It was almost embarrassing and I could not help but wonder, that why – aren’t we serious yet? Do we need a dramatic tragic consequence to shake ourselves from our daily lives and actually think what we are leaving behind for our future generations? He also provided facts of how the most developed nation in the world, The USA – is responsible for almost all the carbon emissions that creates Global warming.
To the skeptical minds, he gives them this:
“Out of 928 peer reviewed articles, 0% had a doubt in the study. While out of 636 articles in popular press, 53% had a doubt. So no wonder, people are confused.”
Apart from the content, the film was undoubtedly very powerful. You could almost feel the hopelessness of the man in his crusade against killing mother earth and the constant motivation to not stop. That is quite something, isn’t it?
Nearly four times as many films received an NC-17 for sex as apposed to violence.
Directed by – Kirby Dick
One of the most interesting investigative documentaries made on the Motion Picture Association of America’s rating system, where it questions the entire basis of such a rating system in USA- the farce and fraud founded by Jack Valenti in 1966. It exposes ‘secrecy’ of such an organisation which branches to many political agenda and lobbyists worth multi million dollars. And the so called guidance that they provide for parents, neither with logic nor explanation, in deciding what is appropriate and inappropriate in films.
Many famous directors and victims of NC -17 rating (No children under 17 admitted) came on board to talk about their experiences, where director Kirby Dick hired a private investigator to find out who these secret members of the MPAA rating department were. Sexual content, nudity, sexual preference, violence in films, even copyright acts by Valenti are discussed extensively throughout, by filmmakers, producers and actors.
Its extremely gripping and very surprising for a member of the third world nation like me who considers USA to be one of the most transparent nations in the world. The truth behind it was just a thrilling eye opener.
A must watch.
“Its like I gave up a lot of myself. And don’t know most days who I am.”
Directed by – Henry Joost & Ariel Schulman
Nev Schulman is a photographer who becomes friends with an 8 year old girl on the internet who used to paint the copies of his photographs. From developing an innocent friendship, Nev becomes close to her other family members and eventually ends up being in a relationship with girl’s cousin.
The film is a documented curiosity of the filmmakers trying to show online friendship but what comes out to be the end, is something that is going to be quite surprising. Its not just the story, its the characters and the understanding of people in disparate situations is what makes this film so special.
Kickass torrent link to download – Click here
Directed by – Susan Muska, Gréta Olafsdóttir
I have made a rule to note down how a documentary film starts because if its a good film, at the end of it I always forget how it started. I am glad I remember how Edie and Thea began for me.
It did not feel like a film about a gay couple trying to find recognition in the US. It was a story of love and a life lived with “joy” about Edie and Thea who got married after 40 years of courtship. A story worth knowing about – a very honest, sweet tale of passion, adoration and togetherness. Even you are not a sucker for romance like me, I think you would quite love it.
Here is an interview with the directors that I stumbled upon. Click.
Kickass torrent link to download – click here
Directed by – James Marsh
A film made on a chimp who was raised as a human child and then passed on to teachers after teachers under the care of Herbert Terrace, all of of who became integral in studying the behaviour and understanding the capabilities of the closest to human species. Five years down the line, as the fund locker emptied, he was sent to Institute for Primate studies in Oklahoma. That’s where most chimps lived. But as if that wasn’t enough for an animal who has never seen another one of his species to adapt, Nim Chimpsky was then bought by Laboratory for Experimental Medicine and Surgery in Primates (LEMSIP).
It is story of friendship, betrayal, suffering and perhaps, forgiveness. There is a lot to learn and derive from this utterly heartwarming documentary.
Kickass torrent link to download – click here
Directed by – Banksy
What is good art? Is it an idea that has never been seen before? Or an idea that has never been seen the same way before?
Exit through the gift shop is a film by a famous UK based graffiti artist cum political activist, under the pseudonym of Banksy. He was followed by a man with a camera on his underground stencil missions in 2000’s claiming to make a documentary on street art. This documentary is about that man.
Thierry Guetta did know how to shoot absolutely anything and create a legacy as he did with this film. But he could not become a filmmaker as he had set out to. What he did become – will blow your mind by the end of Exit through the gift shop.
Kickass torrent link to download – click here
Directed by – Deepti Kakkar, Fahad Mustafa
Now, this came as a surprise. One, I did not expect I would love it so much. Two, it was not even a feature film! I know that sounds a little stupid. But you have to watch it to believe me. Powerless is not really a docudrama but gives you a feel of it and strikes the right chords with its effective story telling.
Powerless / Katiyabaaz is an objective take on the issue of habitual power cuts in Kanpur that goes up to 15 hours a day. While Loha, one of the many (but one the best too) katiyabaaz (an electrician who steals electricity), plays Robin-hood figure by charging the rich to provide free power connections in poor neighbourhoods. On the other hand is the first female chief of KESCO (Kanpur electricity supply company), Ritu who has vowed to clean up all illegal electricity connections, a first step forward to eliminate powerlessness.
The story of both sides comes as a sensible, informative, hilarious and gripping tale of the city’s predicament, from the people deprived of it to the officials responsible for it and of course, the politics that makes it all the more interesting.
Directed by – Joshua Oppenheimer
The first film that I watched at MIFF and there couldn’t be a better start. The Act of Killing is a documentary wherein the title speaks of itself . It has been made in such a way that from the very beginning the filmmaker catches you by your ear. You have to listen to him and go with him on his journey into understanding the 1965-66 killings that took lives of more than 1 million communists. He has chosen an extraordinary subject to talk about this issue – One of the members of the death squads, Anwar Congo and his fellow-mate Adi Zulkadry.
The filmmaker challenged them to make a film of any genre to recreate the realities of the killings that they speak of so proudly and made a documentary on it called The act of killing. As you watch them relive their days as murderers, you’ll cringe and grasp your seat with disgust but you won’t take your eyes off the reality captured on screen – honest, seamless and justice made to the exceptional idea. Must watch for all documentary lovers
Directed by – Ari Folman
Though its placed in the feature option but the film has been made entirely out of personal experiences of the director, Ari Folman who interviews his fellow veterans of 1982 during the invasion of Lebanon to restore the memories of his past.
And its all documentary – all animation watch. Not the quirky sita sings the blues type. Its real and its not. And to justify the style – what a theme to chose right? Memories of the past. Its one of its kinds.