This wonderful documentary shows the perpetual disjunctions between official history and lived experiences.
“I can’t say that I wanted to be like everyone else,” says Lyubov Meyerson, drawing on her cigarette. “That’s not quite how it was. I simply was like everyone else.” Meyerson’s is one of five Russian classmates’ stories in Robin Hessman’s terrific documentary, My Perestroika. Each recalls what it was like to be born into Soviet-era Communism, and now contemplates middle age in Russia’s new market economy. Through thoughtful and absorbing interviews, the film shows the perpetual disjunctions between official history and lived experiences.
My Perestroika opens in New York 23 March and Los Angeles 15 April. Many other cities will follow.
Assisted suicide raises profound questions concerning both risks and benefits, the potential for abuses versus respect for individual rights, needs, and desires.
Craig Ewert is dying. And as he explains in John Zaritzky’s documentary, originally made in 2007 and re-airing on Frontline 22 March at 9pm, as well as online, he wants to feel some measure of control over the process. Thus he and his wife Mary have come to Dignitas, “one of a handful of Swiss groups devoted to helping people end their lives legally.” As Craig puts it, “ “I’m tired of the disease, but I’m not tired of living. And I still enjoy it enough that I’d like to continue. But the thing is, that I really can’t.” He must be the one, legally, to commit the act: he must drink the liquid that will end his life, and agree to be taped doing so. The film tapes the taping, as well as the couple’s loving farewell. Craig’s final moments are rendered in a series of close-ups and dissolves, under the Beethoven movement he has asked to hear. While assisted suicide raises profound questions concerning both risks and benefits, the potential for abuses versus respect for individual rights, needs, and desires, The Suicide Tourist doesn’t engage in these debates. Instead, it observes the Ewerts as they go through this complicated journey.
Frontline's investigation of digital culture re-airs on PBS 8 February.
New means of transmitting “news”, of making resistance and protest visible via Twitter, email, and cell phone footage—have been highlighted during the ongoing crisis in Egypt. And yet, if boundaries of identity and community are not in fact national or even state-secured or supported, then no one seems quite accountable for or even very careful about transgressing. Frontline: Digital Nation shows how advancing technologies not only bring faster and changed ways of processing, communicating, and conjuring ideas, but also produce gaps in experience and expectations.
“This is what I love about Republicans. I honestly secretly really admire them because, man they have guts. They come in with both guns blazing. They take no prisoners. What I suggested to you here that played on last night’s show, about how there’s 420 bills that the House has already passed, that the Senate could pass right now because we have enough votes to do that, yet they won’t do it—I know they won’t do it—even simple bills like the child nutrition bill, they won’t do it. But I’ll tell you what, if the shoe was on the other foot, if this was the Republicans in a lame duck session, dammit, they’d be passing as much of that as they could. Because that’s how they are. Because they believe in something. And that’s what Americans love about republicans. Because they just believe in something.”—Michael Moore
“When your opponent states clearly that ‘our #1 job in the next two years is to make sure you don’t have a second term—our #1 job is to defeat you and to embarrass you,’ you don’t respond with Kumbaya….”—Michael Moore