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by Cynthia Fuchs

18 Apr 2012

“It started with the Army of Guardians patrolling the streets,” says Mitra Khalatbari, “constantly restricting, humiliating, and beating young people.” As she remembers the beginnings of resistance in her home country, the Iranian journalist is at once proud and sad. For as her memories bring her back to the elections of 2009 and the cruel oppressions that followed, Khalatbari, like other interviewees in The Green Wave, is stunned by the betrayal and brutality of her government, the government that not so many years ago was born of resistance to another inhumane regime. Ali Samadi Ahadi’s remarkable documentary underscores the horrific irony that the current Islamic Republic was born, in 1979, in response to the Shah’s abuses, and also makes clear the many contexts of the crisis, the history that made it possible and the lack of international that has allowed the crisis to persist. The first film of at the Human Rights Watch Film Festival in DC, The Green Wave screens on 18 April, followed by a Q&A with Faraz Sanei, of Human Rights Watch Middle East.

See PopMattersreview.

by Cynthia Fuchs

16 Apr 2012

“In 1997, I was fixing a plate of food in the kitchen,” says Master Sgt. Jerry Ensminger, “Getting ready for the evening news.” What he heard on the TV changed everything: a scientific report linked birth defects and childhood cancers to water contamination at Camp Lejeune, where he and his family had lived. “I dropped my plate, right there. I mean, it was like God was saying to me, ‘Here is a glimmer of hope, that you will find your answer.’” Ensminger’s question concerned the death of his nine-year-old daughter, Janey, some 14 years earlier. She’d had leukemia, and throughout her illness and after her passing, he wondered why.

by Cynthia Fuchs

2 Apr 2012

“It was important to us to have a very clear understanding of what the audience’s experience would be,” Grover Babcock tells Filmmaker Magazine. “We wanted to play with the energy that the audience would be investing in the story in terms of where the tension was, what their suppositions were, and where they thought they were headed.” Just so, the documentary he co-directed with Blue Hadeigh, Scenes of a Crime leads viewers through a complex and increasingly distressing investigation, less of an original crime—here, the death of an infant—and more of the many “crimes” that follow, as the child’s father Adrian Thomas is put through a barrage of interrogations that lead detectives to believe in his guilt.

by Cynthia Fuchs

27 Mar 2012

“The Maldives is just 1.5 meters above sea level. It’s not something in the future, it’s something we are facing right now.” As presented by Mohamed Nasheed, then the president of Maldives, that “it” would be the catastrophic effects of climate change. His island will soon be under water. Even beyond his tiny nation’s own fate, the former political prisoner sees this as a global issue, and has made it his mission to make it visible to the rest of the world. Jon Shenk’s The Island President is part of that effort.

by Cynthia Fuchs

19 Mar 2012

“Eminent domain,” you’re reminded at the start of Battle for Brooklyn, is “the right of the government to take private property.” Usually, this measure is taken with an eye toward a “public good,” however that may be defined. In the case presented in Michael Galinsky and Suki Hawley’s terrific documentary, the term appears to be especially vexed, as a private corporation makes a claim for public land. The film follows the controversy and legal ambiguities regarding the Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn, that is, that is, Bruce Ratner’s plan to build an arena for the (currently New Jersey) Nets and develop the surrounding property. While some residents of the neighborhood selected for the project object to the idea, others believe the promises made by Ratner, Brooklyn Borough president Marty Markowitz, Mayor Bloomberg, and Senator Chuck Schumer, namely, promises that the development will bring employment opportunities to Brooklyn and improve material and economic conditions going forward. (Senator Schumer’s misspeaking during a press conference may or may not be telling: “Basketball is great, but you know what enervates me about this? 10,000 jobs!”)

//Mixed media

Because Blood Is Drama: Considering Carnage in Video Games and Other Media

// Moving Pixels

"It's easy to dismiss blood and violence as salacious without considering why it is there, what its context is, and what it might communicate.

READ the article