, the DVD magazine named after a hybrid whale/dolphin species, is the latest McSweeney's enterprise. Its Believer
magazine-like DVD and booklet contain an eccentric, McSweeney's-ish menagerie of short films by both famous and unknown directors, and, in this issue, a politically charged bonus film that has thus far failed to find release in the United States. Edited by Brent Hoff and Emily Doe, Wholphin II
was guest-curated by Lawrence Weschler, who has done a tremendous job of not only digging up intriguing material, but also has managed to publish one of the most stirring anti-war documentaries America will see. Watching the main disc, highlights include Jessica Wu's "Sour Death Balls" (also search out her amazing Henry Darger documentary, In The Realms of the Unreal
), "Okusama Wa Maju," a Japanese rip-off of "Bewitched," and an unreleased Errol Morris short, "The Movie Movie," featuring Donald Trump explicating his love of Citizen Kane
. Ultimately, however, "The Power of Nightmares," by British director Adam Curtis, eclipses the short films with its severe, timely message. In it, Curtis intelligently follows and links together the dangerous history of Radical Islam and American Neo-Conservatism, decade by decade. More convincing than anything showing in American theaters or on public television on the topic of Iraq, "The Power of Nightmares," and Wholphin's
decision to release it, is an inspirational challenge to others in American media to reveal truths, in order to let the public make educated choices about the war. --Trinie Dalton
Includes the animated short "More" (1998) by Mark Osborne; the Academy Award-nominated "The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello" (2005); "American Storage" (2006), starring Steve Carell; Bob Odenkirk's "The Pity Card" (2006); the first part of the provocative political documentary "The Power of Nightmares: The Rise of the Politics of Fear" (2004); and 10 others. 3 1/2 hrs. total on two discs. Soundtrack: English.