New Documentaries

 

Killer whales are beloved majestic, friendly giants yet infamous for their capacity to kill viciously. The documentary BLACKFISH unravels the complexities of this dichotomy, employing the story of the notorious performing whale Tilikum, who unlike any orca in the wild has taken the lives of several people while in captivity. BLACKFISH expands on the discussion of keeping such intelligent creatures in captivity.

 

 

 

 

 

An Idiot Abroad demonstrates that it takes a unique mind to reduce the Seven Wonders of the World to a string of dirty, far-flung tourist traps, but if the mind in question is that of Karl Pilkington, the feat is less extraordinary than expected. The perpetually nonplussed foil for Office and Extras creators Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant on The Ricky Gervais Show--later seen in the United States in animated form--Pilkington has a baffling (and baffled) take on humanity, which has made him a sensation in his native United Kingdom, and An Idiot Abroad marks Gervais and Merchant's weekly televised attempt to broaden his horizons by dispatching him to the Seven Wonders of the Modern World. That's not entirely true--Gervais and Merchant have actually sent the poor fellow packing to laugh themselves silly at his utter bewilderment and discomfort in foreign places, and one's appreciation of An Idiot Abroad will hinge largely on whether you consider this practice exceptionally cruel or absolutely hilarious. Those who fall into the latter category will be slack-jawed in amazement at Pilkington's attempt to preserve his shuttered sense of well-being while faced with fried scorpions at the Great Wall of China, a berserk fireworks display in Mexico, naked yoga in India, and gales of garbage at the Pyramids in Egypt. At each stop, Gervais and Merchant fairly bust their sides while encouraging Pilkington to investigate his surroundings, which results in his near-breakdown in a Mexican bullring and various unfortunate gastronomic encounters. Viewed as either a perverse documentary look at a (thankfully) singular mind or 21st-century Theatre of Cruelty, An Idiot Abroad is guaranteed to produce astonished laughter, and is a worthy addition to Gervais and Merchant's ever-expanding canon of uncomfortable humor.

 

 

 This documentary by Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky details the murder trial of Delbert Ward. Delbert was a member of a family of four elderly brothers, working as semi-literate farmers and living together in isolation from the rest of society until William's death. A police investigation and Medical Examiner's autopsy suggested that Bill may not have died from natural causes and Delbert was arrested on charges of Second-Degree Murder. Under questioning by police, Delbert appears to have waived his rights and signed a confession, but this film suggests that he may not have been competent to do so. The film explores possible motives for the crime, from 'mercy-killing' (Bill was ill at the time) to progressively more bizarre hypotheses. It also shows how residents of the rural community of Munnsville, NY rallied to the support of one of their own residents (previously considered a social outcast), against what they felt were intrusive 'big-city' police and District Attorney tactics

 

 

Where have we gone wrong? Why has the death rate from heart disease and cancer exploded in recent times? Why are the ice caps melting, the oceans dying and the forests being cut down as we produce the food necessary to support our burgeoning populations? 

Against a backdrop of colorful and delicious food grown by organic farmers and prepared in the kitchens of world-famous chefs, PLANEAT for the first time brings together the ground-breaking studies of three prominent scientists who have made it their life s work to answer these questions.

 

 

 

 

This unscripted, strikingly unique documentary film, is a revealing portrait of the nearly extinct "Hillbilly" culture that focuses on Mountain Dancer Jesco White's uphill battle against abject poverty, drug abuse, petty crime and mental instability. In his struggle to live up to his father's legacy as the finest mountain dancer in Appalachia, he leans on Jesus, Elvis Presley, and his wife, Norma Jean.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Half our seafood is farmed.


The seas are running out of fish, and aquaculture has stepped in to meet rising global demand for seafood. But what exactly is farmed fish? Where does it come? How is it made? Is it good or bad for the environment?
Two friends, an ecologist and an engineer, take a scientific voyage along the sparkling coast of Turkey to pull back the cover on modern fish farming. They experience the tragedy of tuna ranching, a successful nursery for sea bass, trout ponds elegantly terraced into a hillside, and an enormous fish feed factory, before finding hope for the future at a traditional mountain carp pond.

 

The underground documentary that became a massive grassroots success, FRESH is the embodiment of the good food movement.

 FRESH outlines the vicious cycle of our current food production methods, while also celebrating the farmers, thinkers and business people across America who are reinventing our food system, from a basketball player and former-executive-turned-urban-farmer to a poetic prophet of the fields who tells us: We can raise everything we need without any of the industrial food system. Director Ana Joanes takes her camera coast to coast and explores the lives of amazing Americans who are redefining the way we eat and how we live. FRESH features urban farmer and activist, Will Allen, the recipient of MacArthur s 2008 Genius Award, sustainable farmer and entrepreneur, Joel Salatin, made famous by Michael Pollan s book, The Omnivore s Dilemma, and supermarket owner, David Ball, who continues to challenge our discount superstore-dominated economy. Both an enlightening documentary and a stirring call to action, FRESH transforms the way we look at food.

 

From styrofoam cups to artificial organs, plastics are perhaps the most ubiquitous and versatile material ever invented. No invention in the past 100 years has had more influence and presence than synthetics. But such progress has had a cost.

For better and for worse, no ecosystem or segment of human activity has escaped the shrink-wrapped grasp of plastic. Addicted To Plastic is a global journey to investigate what we really know about the material of a thousand uses and why there's so darn much of it. On the way we discover a toxic legacy, and the men and women dedicated to cleaning it up. The film details plastic's path over the last 100 years and provides a wealth of expert interviews on practical and cutting edge solutions to recycling, toxicity and biodegradability. These solutions - which include plastic made from plants - will provide viewers with a new perspective about our future with plastic.

 

Inspiring and rich, INGREDIENTS unearths the roots of the local food movement and digs into the stories of the chefs, farmers and activists transforming our broken food system. This upbeat, beautifully-photographed film introduces us to the verdant farms and pioneering restaurants where good food is produced and served. From innovative farm-to-table programs in Harlem to picturesque sheep farms in Oregon s Willamette Valley, INGREDIENTS shows the heart of an alternative food system healthy, sustainable and tasty.
Through interviews with world-class chefs such as Alice Waters and Greg Higgins and sustainability-minded farmers in Oregon, New York and Ohio, INGREDIENTS weaves an uplifting tale that is equal parts earthy rebellion and mouth-watering homage.  Narrated by Bebe Neuwirth and directed by Robert Bates, INGREDIENTS is a fun, open-minded film that will satiate both veteran slow-food fans and the uninitiated alike.
Bonus Features: Extended Interview with Alice Waters; Slow Food vs. Fast Food; 4 Seasonal Stories

 

 An Ecology of Mind is a portrait of Gregory Bateson, celebrated anthropologist, philosopher, author, naturalist, and systems theorist. His story is lovingly told by his youngest daughter, Nora, with footage from Gregory's own films shot in the 1930s with his wife Margaret Mead in Bali and New Guinea, along with photographs, filmed lectures, and interviews.

Gregory Bateson was a man who studied the interrelationships of the complex systems we live in with scientific rigor and enormous integrity. His theories, such as "the double bind" and "the pattern which connects", continue to impact the fields of anthropology, psychiatry, information science, cybernetics, urban planning, biology, and ecology, challenging people to think in new ways.

Through this film, Nora Bateson sets out to show that his ideas are not just fodder for academic theory, but can help instruct a way of life. She presents his thinking using a richly personal perspective, focusing on the stories Bateson used to present his ideas and how the beauty of life itself provided the framework of his life's pursuits.

 

America's Forgotten Children
Robert, Jr, Charlene and Margarita are Amerasians: the sons and daughters of Filipina sex workers and American servicemen stationed at the Subic Bay US Naval Base, once the largest outside mainland USA.
When the Base was closed in 1992, thousands of Amerasian children were left behind. Unlike Amerasian children from other countries, Filipino Amerasians were never recognized by the US government.
Now those children have grown up. Left by the Ship follows the lives of four Amerasians over the course of two years, as they struggle with discrimination, family problems and identity related issues, trying to overcome a past they are in no way responsible for.
A documentary by Emma Rossi-Landi and Alberto Vendemmiati.
Produced by VisitorQ, Raicinema, ITVS international and YLE

 

Adam Kelly, videographer and producer of The Wonders of Alaska, presents a musical story of Global Warming In Action.
The glacial calving events depicted in this powerful story happen to glaciers all across the earth, all of the time. The earth is changing, glaciers are disappearing and the future of mankind is unclear.
Is the earth's climate changing because of human behavior? Or is it simply a natural cycle? It is really up to you, the audience, to make your own conclusions. Are we at the tipping point? Or is it too late?Global Warming In Action uses the power of music and video to tell a story. Remember, a picture speaks louder than words.

 

 

As the world turns to sustainability, solar enriches our lives. SAVING SUNSHINE takes a look at today's developments in solar electricity and its increasing role as power provider. Combining the best features of off-grid, stand-alone solar installations with grid-tied systems that provide distributed generation, photovoltaic systems have evolved into AC-coupled systems. They provide back-up, stand-alone electricity while also using renewable solar energy for our everyday electrical needs. This combination of renewable energy and energy storage connects multiple inverters with maintenance-free batteries and opens the door to energy independence in a sustainable, low-carbon future. Electricians, system installers, architects, owners of grid-tied systems and solar advocates will find the clear explanations in SAVING SUNSHINE helpful in learning the specifics of an AC-coupled system and how it forms a local distribution system to deliver electricity in a more reliable and environmentally friendly manner

 

  FRONTLINE continues its investigation of nuclear safety with an unprecedented account of the crisis inside the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear complex after a devastating earthquake and tsunami struck Japan on March 11, 2011. The story is told with exclusive eye-witness testimony from key figures in the drama.