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Documentary that you found facinating/interesting?

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Showing 501-525 of 1000 posts in this discussion
Posted on Feb 14, 2012 8:20:26 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 14, 2012 8:56:04 AM PST
Mike B. says:
Fans of Old Hollywood may enjoy "Marlene", the 1984 Dietrich documentary directed by actor Maximilian Schell. At the time she was living as a recluse in her Paris apartment, and agreed to be interviewed but not filmed. Dietrich is heard in voiceover while Schell makes creative use of footage from her movies. Despite this limitation, the result is surprisingly effective and revealing.

Makes a good companion to her daughter Maria Riva's biography "Marlene Dietrich", which was so fascinating I read it 3 times - and had to finally give away before I read it again!

Posted on Mar 7, 2012 5:59:49 AM PST
bella7 says:
Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead

Excellent documentary about a 41 year old Australian man who had put on weight, was dealing with a rare skin disease and overall felt like junk. He was on several different medicines for several different ailments. He visits the USA and starts a vegetable juice fast to try and lose weight and regain his health. He travels across the country interviewing people about food and what they eat. He gets many straightforward, honest answers. I found this docu to be honest and un-sensationalized. It inspired me to consider what I eat and to take responsibility for my health. A few times during the film, I was literally applauding. I found this a true underdog story with a happy ending.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 7, 2012 8:24:37 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 7, 2012 8:25:40 AM PST
Bad Grandpa says:
I saw this documentary also. Within a month I bought a juicer and we have been consuming produce like crazy ever since. I even built three above ground gardens and planted eight kinds of vegetables. Now my whole family has followed my lead, even my sons girlfriend who never ate a vegetable in her life is starting to eat healthier. That guy should win some kind of award or something.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 7, 2012 8:27:13 AM PST
bella7 says:

That's cool. I'm looking into getting a juicer, myself. Do you mind if I ask what kind you have and if you like it?

We really do have so much control over our health through healthy eating and exercise.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 7, 2012 9:20:58 AM PST
Bad Grandpa says:
Sure, after watching a lot of video reviews on youtube and reading reviews on Amazon I ended up buying an Omega VRT350. We've been using it almost every morning since Nov. 2011 with no problems at all. It is a slow speed masticating juicer which I decided would be better than a high speed centrifugal juicer because it is so quiet. Some of the centrifugal juicers do a good job too, but they are very loud which will wake up the whole house if you try and use them early in the morning. The best advice I can give you is to go on youtube and watch them in action before you buy one.
Best of luck to you!

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 7, 2012 9:36:05 AM PST
bella7 says:

Thanks for the info! I've read very good things about the Omega masticating juicers...mainly that they juice more of the food and they do not get as hot as other juicers, which can destroy the enzymes in food. The noise level, as you mentioned, is an excellent point that I hadn't thought about.

Posted on Mar 7, 2012 9:58:32 AM PST
ROcK~N~Rolla says:
We have a juicer here at home that has been sitting unused for over a decade now. It was fun to use the first year or so that we had it, but quickly became tedious and an annoyance to use later on. I really should try to start it up again just to see if it still works? Naw.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 7, 2012 10:03:20 AM PST
Bad Grandpa says:
The noise is a HUGE factor, also I forgot to mention the Omega's 10 year guarantee. If you do get one here is a tip, cut up all your celery, parsley and anything else that is stringy, before you juice it. That will greatly reduce clogging the screen and also lower the pulp level.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 7, 2012 10:16:01 AM PST
bella7 says:

I think the main benefits of juicing are that one can take in a lot more fruit/vegetables and it's easier for the body to digest. Plus, honestly, I like the sensation of chewing food for most of my meals.

My mom had given me a cheap juicer that she bought at a garage sale. The thing was such a bear to clean that I got rid of if after one use.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 7, 2012 10:20:30 AM PST
bella7 says:

Thanks for the tip.

Posted on Mar 16, 2012 9:07:27 PM PDT
Daughter From Danang

A truly depressing movie. It was difficult for me to watch on many levels. I was cyring within the first minute, gentle tears, and by minute five I had the full on ugly cry happening. Mother and daughter relationships are emotional for me, and the loss of a daughter affects me deeply.

This story involves a young Amerasian woman whose mother gave her up for adoption towards the end of the Vietnam War, fearing for her daughter's life if she stayed in Vietnam. The girl, originally named Hiep, becomes Heidi, and is adopted by an aloof woman who never should have been a parent at all. Oh, and Heidi is raised in a town in Tennessee where the KKK was founded. She is told by her mother to deny any Asian blood, to claim that she was born in South Carolina, and indeed, as an adult, you would never know this woman was half Asian.

Heidi decides as an adult (she is married with two children of her own) to return to Vietnam to meet her birth mother. The reunion...does not go well. Cultures collide, and Heidi speaks not a word of Vietnamese. She comes across as the worst kind of American tourist, very unappreciative of the love and kindness extended to her by her Vietnamese family. One of Heidi's Vietnamese brothers asks Heidi to help support her mother financially and Heidi is so angry and distraught at his request she breaks down in tears and leaves. She has no understanding that in the Vietnamese culture, it would be considered normal for the wealthiest person in the family to help those less fortunate.

What bothered me, besides Heidi's complete ignorance of the Vietnamese culture, is that she made this trip looking for family and kinship, and when it is extended--granted, on Vietnamese terms (such as asking for financial assistance)--she rejects the entire family out of hand. I doubt they were asking for Heidi to bankrupt herself for them; although amounts are never discussed, even sending $20 a month would have demonstrated respect and honor for the horrific decision her mother had to make over 20 years earlier.

The pain in her mother's face when she realizes Heidi has chosen to abandon her is heartbreaking. Heidi is portrayed in this film as having no understanding of why her mother made the excrutiating choice she did, and as a mother herself, I found this lack of imagination bordering on the unbelievable.

I like documentaries because I like learning about things outside of my day-to-day life and experiences. But I cannot say I "enjoyed" this film at all.

You've been warned: this movie is very depressing and very emotionally difficult to watch. The sadness etched on her mother's face will stay with me for a long, long time.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 17, 2012 7:19:34 AM PDT
bella7 says:
Hi MG,

That movie sounds like a heartbreaker. I found it on Netflix and plan to watch it, although I can tell by your review that this movie is going to upset me.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 17, 2012 8:07:53 AM PDT
I'll be interested to hear what you think of it. Pls post a review whenever you do watch it.

I Netflix'd this documentary myself and am glad it will not have a permanent home in my DVD library. One viewing is enough.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 17, 2012 8:39:34 AM PDT
bella7 says:
Will do.

I think one viewing will be enough for me as well. That's how I felt after watching "Dancer in the Dark". I was devastated by the end of that movie and sobbed uncontrollably. That movie depressed me for several days after. (And that was not even a true story!)

Another good, but sad, docu about Vietnam is Hearts and Minds (The Criterion Collection).

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 17, 2012 9:45:14 AM PDT
TO: Mischief Girl

RE: "What bothered me, besides Heidi's complete ignorance of the Vietnamese culture, is that she made this trip looking for family and kinship, and when it is extended--granted, on Vietnamese terms (such as asking for financial assistance)--she rejects the entire family out of hand."

One assumes that Heidi's adoptive mother would have been proud of her. From the adoptive mother's point of view, Hiedi had truly become an American!

Posted on Mar 24, 2012 4:59:14 PM PDT
Born Into Brothels

I know it's been discussed on this thread before, but I only just got around to watching it today. "Born Into Brothels" is the story of one woman's efforts to teach eight children in one of Calcutta's red light districts the art of photography, and in the effort, she manages to show them a life outside of where they live. She is able to help a few out of their sad situation, but not all of them.

It's powerful and emotional. I didn't find it hopeful, as several of the children did not have a happy ending to their story. One girl in particular is probably a prostitute in Calcutta's red light district right now. (Please-- no jokes about this little girl providing happy endings instead of receiving one herself--this situation is not a joking matter). I was horrified by how some of the women who live in the red light district speak to these children. One child, about age 10, was called a "worthless c-nt" by a neighbor. And it broke my heart to hear one very gifted boy say something like there was no hope in his future. Granted, his mother had recently been murdered by her pimp, and he was still reeling from that shock and loss.

I read a few reviews for the movie. I can only say "get over it" to those detractors who moan and say "another white woman rescuing brown children". No-one else is doing anything for these children. If helping these children is this woman's passion, then more power to her.

This is a powerful movie. It transplants you to Calcutta for an hour and a half, but I was glad to get back to my world when the DVD ended.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 27, 2012 6:31:37 AM PDT
bella7 says:
Hi MG,

I was also disturbed by the living conditions and verbal/physical abuse that these children were subjected to, often by their own mothers. Very sad. It horrifed me that some mothers were "grooming" their young daughters to be prostitutes. I imagine the photography gave some children a possibly better future, but overall, the outlook appeared bleak for most. : (

Kudos to the photographer who has taken an interest in these childrens' lives and for trying to make a positive difference, no matter how small.

Posted on Mar 30, 2012 7:58:53 PM PDT

Another documentary I was turned onto by this thread. A man is severely beaten by 5 men outside a bar, is in a coma, regains consciousness, and has to learn everything in life all over again. By everything, I mean...everything. He needs to learn how to talk, eat, walk, use his hands, etc. He has no memories from before his attack. He reports that his memories come to him as photographs, but without context attached to them. Watching him watch his wedding video, knowing he doesn't recall any of it, is touching.

As therapist who has worked for several years with people recovering (or not recovering, as the case may be) from brain injury, this documentary was very interesting to me from that perspective. The man builds a miniature town, sets scenes, and photographs them. He has a full narrative and history for the town and all the "people" in it. Clearly this man is providing his own therapy and working through the trauma of his assault via his town and its story.

The film makers do a good job of slowly revealing this man, what interests him in life, what he wishes for, and each of these reveals is unexpected. His yearning for a real life relationship is heartbreaking, as is his realization that he would need to learn how to make love again, as he has no memory of being intimate with a woman from before.

Brain injury can isolate a person. This man is clearly caught between wanting to be in the real world and yet enjoying being safe in his made-up world of Marwencol. The photographs he staged and set at the end of the movie made me tremendously sad for him. He is a broken man, doing his absolute best to survive, and that fact there are so few resources to help heal him is depressing, but, sadly, is a reality of today's healthcare world.

Marwencol is a fascinating documentary on many levels. Highly recommended.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 31, 2012 5:06:33 AM PDT
bella7 says:
Hi MG,

I agree, Marwencol was a fascinating docu. I could not belief the details in his little villages.

Posted on Mar 31, 2012 10:18:45 AM PDT
Steelers fan says:
There was a film shown to us in school 'round about ninth grade which consisted of interviews with actual kids who had got into drugs. I remember one rather-unpleasant young man going on about "purple microdot". Can't recall the title; I've searched the Internet in vain.

I also remember the original "Scared Straight", complete with graphic language. Adult hard-core cons pulling no punches in telling young juvenile offenders to get their lives together before it was too late. One angry inmate had one eye. That one is probably more widely available.

Posted on Apr 3, 2012 12:06:44 PM PDT
bella7 says:
Dr. Bronner's Magic Soapbox

Documentary about the man behind Dr. Bronner's soap. I found this a fascinating story about the very colorful man who created a line of organic soaps upon which he spread his beliefs via the labels. Beliefs such as uniting all mankind and "A Life Dedicated To God, Mankind & Spaceship Earth". We see his difficult upbringing as a taunted Jewish child to a stint in a mental institution outside Chicago. Dr. Bronner was a big hit among the hippies in the 70's and did many public speakings. We also see how his children and grandchildren have carried on the business in an eco-center, employee centered way. I personally love Dr. Bronner's soap and found this docu really cool.

Posted on Apr 3, 2012 1:32:30 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 3, 2012 1:36:33 PM PDT
AKN says:
Does anyone remember seeing a documentary about blimps?

I saw it many years ago on TV and never forgot it for the multitude of very wierd blimps and airships shown.

They had a gigantic blimp they tried using to lift huge trees out of the
Pacific Northwest, held up by about six helicopters. They showed the
resulting major disaster.
I would give anything to see this again.

Posted on Apr 22, 2012 8:40:44 AM PDT
bella7 says:
Wretches & Jabberers

Two men with autism from Vermont, Larry and Tracy, travel to Sri Lanka, Japan and Finland to meet others with autism and to raise autism awareness. I loved this documentary, which showed mostly non-verbal people with autism communicating via keyboards. I found their writing insightful and extremely poetic. Via the keyboard they want others to know that they are intelligent people. My eyes welled up several times. The movie highlighted the isolation people with autism can feel, due to lack of communication/social exclusion. Major themes: understanding/appreciating differences, friendship, the need to communicate/connect with others.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 22, 2012 9:23:12 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 22, 2012 11:09:03 AM PDT
Hikari says:
Thanks, Bella--I want to see this one. Along with the other one you posted about the man who paints his village.

I think we have increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders in this country, but I wonder about the others you mentioned. It is very difficult to be either physically or intellectually disabled in Japan. There is no systematic accomodation made in public facilities for disabled individuals, and there is a pervasive sense of shame among families that have disabled members. They are tucked away at home and usually do not receive education or much socializing opportunity. This is a bit of a black eye to a society that is otherwise so educated and has the means to make life better for its handicapped citizens . . but these atttitudes are deeply ingrained in the culture. To be different in any way is not tolerated well, and it goes to the Buddhist belief as well that any imperfections must be attributable to sin or poor moral character. Hence the shame that parents feel to have a handicapped child--it is viewed as a judgement on them for some reason. Sri Lanka would have similar background. Wonder if Finland is more progressive? They also have a unique culture that is quite isolational, different from the other Scandinavian countries.

Will definitely be putting this in my Queue.

P.S. I see that it's Mischief Girl who posted about Marwencol. Sorry!

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 22, 2012 10:58:20 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 22, 2012 11:00:35 AM PDT
bella7 says:
Hi Hikari,

FYI, I watched this movie free on Hulu. (You just have to put up with a short commercial every so often.)

In line with your experiences in Japan, the teenage boy in this documentary was excluded from the Japanese schools. His mother home schooled him. The boy is very bright and has authored many books, but was socially excluded. Speaking of Buddhist beliefs, in the movie Blindsight, the blind Tibetan youth were also outcast due to people thought they must have done something bad in a past life to "deserve" being blind. In Emmanuel's Gift, about a boy missing a leg in Ghana, many of the people believed that was caused by evil spirits and they steered clear of him. How terrible to be born with a disability and THEN, in addition, be a social outcast due to religious beliefs/social stigmas.

As you predicted, Finland did seem to be more progressive in their programs for people with disabilities.

I'd love to hear your thoughts/read your review on "Wretches & Jabberers" after you watch it.

P.S. This movie had me both laughing and crying.
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