Every cause needs its activists, its films and its books; and all these need journalists shining a light on their work and amplifying their message. This compendium comprises my reviews of independent documentary films and books that focus on social justice, with a few mainstream ones thrown in. I aim to support the filmmaker’s theme with additional research and links to orgs confronting the issue, to inform and inspire people.
My formal study of film is limited to a single political science class focused on the history of the movie industry, from the perspective of immigrant labor and urban culture. I did gain an appreciation for the technical art of presentation while working as the General Manager of the Cleveland Theatre Company one season (1996).
All-Time Darwin Award: The Nuclear Industry
18 Oct 2012 Gar Smith’s Nuclear Roulette: The Truth about the Most Dangerous Energy Source on Earth is a 14-point condemnation of President Eisenhower’s “peaceful atom,” an exposé of official and corporate lies, and a multi-pronged platform of alternatives.
Comprehensive Survival Food Storage Guide
17 Oct 2012 Survival food storage practice doesn’t require Mormon membership, but the tradition, wrought from their first Utah winter, is worth emulating should disaster strike or technology fail, two survival books by Mat Stein.
Survival tips for the urbanite: Part 1 – Nuclear Radiation
30 July 2012 Instead of a lone-wolf, Mad Max world which plays well on film, Mat Stein (When Technology Fails and When Disaster Strikes) reasonably argues that individual survival relies on a community of like-minded folks, so plan accordingly.
9/11 Foreknowledge Caught on Computers that Measure Global Mind
27Feb2012 Fascinating research into a “global mind” picked up startling data in the days and hours before the 9/11 attacks, indicating widespread foreknowledge, backed up by Michael Ruppert’s Crossing the Rubicon.
PIPA vote stalled while US censorship still grows
21Jan2011 Online censorship stalls after massive online blackout protest. Books by Project Censored and Global Research break the wall of silence on important news.
Stocking stuffers for foodies (5-book review)
15Dec2011 Need a last minute gift for your beloved locavore? Here’s my review of five books that would make excellent holiday gifts.
WWF beds with Monsanto to steal public lands, promote GM crops
Sept. 14, 2011 The Silence of the Pandas exposes the World Wildlife Fund’s connection to Monsanto.
Beyond Protest: Saving our planet with ‘Deep Green Resistance’
Sept. 12, 2011 From what makes an effective resister to effective resistance strategies, Deep Green Resistance lays out the reasons for and methods of bringing down industrial civilization. The goal is saving the biosphere, and with it, Homo sapiens.
The Crime of the Patriot Act, 9/11 and a Whistleblower’s Truth
Aug. 30, 2011 Susan Lindauer’s piece of the 9/11 puzzle adds more evidence to support the charge of criminal negligence at the command level and exposes the utter depravity of the Patriot Act. Review of Extreme Prejudice.
Permaculture ends meat-vegan debate, promotes anarchy
August 6, 2011 Animals are a necessary part of any truly sustainable farming system, as these two books show, and humans will never stop eating – or needing – them. Review of Simon Fairlee’s Meat: A Benign Extravagance, and Sepp Holzer’s Permaculture: A Practical Guide to Small-Scale Integrative Farming and Gardening.
Kevorkian’s call to defeat the cacocracy
June 8, 2011 Dr. Jack Kevorkian passed away on June 3, at the age of 83. His compassionate and common sense approach to ending human suffering is but one facet of his decades-long advocacy of the Ninth Amendment.
More problems with glyphosate: Rice growers sound alarm
May 16, 2011 Aerial drift of Monsanto’s Roundup is destroying the natural rice industry, while recent videos provide more reasons to condemn GM foods, including Bertram Verhaag’s Science Under Attack.
Bob’s Heart: Courage Grows Strong at the Wound
May 6, 2011 This book takes us on Koehler’s emotional process through grief, after losing his wife, revealing life for a single dad in Chicago raising a teenage girl. Koehler weaves this process within the broader frame of humanity’s “Journey of Death”– from war, exploitation, threat of nuclear annihilation, and more. But he leaves us hopeful and attuned to our greater selves.
Industry’s war on nature: ‘What are the bees telling us?’
April 10, 2011 A new film, Queen of the Sun, and a new UN report detail the collapse of the bees, which threatens not only humans, but the entire Age of Mammals.
A Perfect Storm of GMOs, Chemicals and Cancer
March 10, 2011 Several books, including Seeds of Destruction and Corrupt to the Core, along with the film, The Idiot Cycle, lay out the framework for and evidence of a concerted effort to sicken and then treat humanity, while earning obscene profits.
‘Global Economic Crisis’ exposes plans for a global military dictatorship
Feb. 26, 2011 While global uprisings now threaten global governance under a single currency, scheming rulers have long anticipated this reaction. In The Global Economic Crisis, we learn exactly how a planet-wide military dictatorship plans to enforce its feudal vision.
Broadway’s touring ‘West Side Story’ tweaks theme, boosts Q love
Feb. 20, 2011 By making subtle changes, Broadway Across America’s WSS softens the criticism of US racism and salutes same-sex love.
John Pilger’s ‘The War You Don’t See’ an indictment on journalists
Dec. 19, 2010 The public needs to see ‘The War You Don’t See,’ but the film’s target audience is professional journalists, whose complicity in spreading misinformation is most responsible for ongoing wars. Without media complicity, peace would break out.
WikiRebels: Swedish docufilm on WikiLeaks chronicles a new form of global resistance
Dec. 11, 2010 “What we have here is a new breed of rebels, IT guerrillas without a national base.”
Is talk of secession sedition? Arundhati Roy responds to charges
Oct. 27. 2010 While India may prosecute Roy for talking about secession, Bill Kaufman describes the modern secessionists in Bye Bye, Miss American Empire.
Behind the French veil ban: The Doha Debate
Oct. 25, 2010 What France has done is deem a statistically remote threat (terrorists dressing in veils) superior to freedom of expression, freedom of religion, freedom of dissent, etc.
Criminalizing Nature’s Most Perfect Food: FDA’s war on private food contracts
Oct. 18, 2010 David Gumpert’s ‘Raw Milk Revolution’ exposes the FDA’s war on food freedom, starting with milk.
The Case Against Fluoride: Toxifying the Tap
Oct. 15, 2010
Over 2,000 scientists agree that fluoridating the water supply is “unethical, unnecessary, ineffective and dangerous,” a new book (The Case Against Fluoride) and film (Professional Perspectives on Water Fluoridation) reveal.
Deceptions a brilliant clarion to save the Internet
Sept 30, 2010
Chris Pratt looks deeply at world government and its plans to shut down the last venue of free speech that remains: the Internet.
‘Troubled Waters’ overcomes censor troubles; more must-see Ag films
September 25, 2010
Larkin McPhee explores agrochemical runoff and growing dead zones in the Gulf of Mexico.
World television premier of Milk War Sunday 9/26 on ichannel
September 22, 2010
Amid a resurgence in local food systems emerges Milk War, a documentary highlighting raw milk skirmishes that pit corporate-owned regulatory agencies against food freedom.
Alien Forest, Alien Ocean, Alien Sky
September 7, 2010 What is the endgame for chemically altered skies and waters, and genetically altered plants and animals?
Psywar: Scott Noble’s new film
August 27, 2010
In the new film, Psywar (2010, 99 mins), Scott Noble explores US propaganda and psychological operations, presenting an “elitist theory of democracy.” This is a decent presentation of the history and effectiveness of psyops juxtaposed with the idea that without economic equality there can never be political equality.
Countdown to Zero: Propaganda for War on Iran
August 4, 2010
Seductive, fascinating and frightening, Countdown to Zero motivates the public to support complete nuclear disarmament and to fear Iran, which is conveniently the next country the US wants to invade.
Atmospheric Geoengineering: Weather Manipulation, Contrails and Chemtrails (Revised)
July 27, 2010
A review of CASE ORANGE: Contrail Science, Its Impact on Climate and Weather Manipulation Programs Conducted by the United States and Its Allies, presented May 2010 in Ghent, Belgium.
JC vs Capitalism: Foreclosures, Unemployment & Wall Street Bailouts
October 4, 2009
In Capitalism: A Love Story, Michael Moore looks at the Wall Street bailouts – which the vast majority of citizens rejected (and Congress passed anyway) – and concludes that capitalism is a sin.
Spycraft, Guts and Talent Expose The Cove
August 2, 2009
From a high-tech, deep cover investigation emerges The Cove, a stunning documentary exposing the horrors of dolphin slaughter – for human consumption, despite extreme levels of mercury contamination.
Fresh: How We’re Supposed to Eat
July 4, 2009
Delightful, humorous and charming, ana Sofia joanes’ Freshshows us how a sustainable food system operates, focusing on personal and community stories of change.
Our Daily Bread a Radically Silent View of Factory Farming
July 4, 2009
Our Daily Bread takes a bizarre, potent, and artistically silent view of how the vast bulk of our food is produced.
Home: A beautiful and urgent case for cooperativism
June 21, 2009
Take a slo-mo aerial tour of Earth. The message in Home is potent: We can and must redirect our use of energy, of farming, of transportation.
FOOD, Inc. Exposes Horrors of the U.S. Centralized Food System
June 14, 2009
What we eat has changed more in the last 50 years than in the last 10,000. So asserts Robert Kenner’s new film, FOOD, Inc. The choice is between healthy food and profit.
Yes We Can: Mink Shows How
April 26, 2009
Outside the mainstream, edgy, ahead of her time, a champion for democratic principles, a Buddhist, Japanese American, populist, female politician is honored in Patsy Mink: Ahead of the Majority. This 2008 film by Kimberlee Bassford is a must-see for anyone needing hope that some politicians uphold their campaign promises.
Slumdog Millionaire: Danny Boyle captures the zeitgeist
April 5, 2009
Slumdog Millionaire carefully crafts a flickering time sequence to tell the story of one boy’s pursuit of his destiny. The film is shocking – horrifying – in its graphic presentation of torture, genocide, child exploitation, and rampant corruption. Levity comes as the protagonist enters a game show to win a million dollars.
Seed Wars: Vandana Shiva vs Monsanto
April 1, 2009
Physicist, ecologist and world-renowned author Vandana Shiva closed the inaugural Organicology Conference with her speech: The Future of Food and Seed: Justice, Sustainability and Peace in the 21st Century. This hour-long video lecture gives a brief history of the seed wars that have been ongoing since the late 1980s.
Seeds of Domination film short focuses on Monsanto
March 16, 2009
This 17-minute video, produced by Organization for Competitive Markets, provides a ‘news-feel’ introduction to the bullying tactics by Monsanto. It exposes that both Clinton and Bush have allowed Monsanto’s explosive, monopolistic growth since 1996.
Tanks in My Memory a Good Start
January 22, 2009
This video doesn’t go far enough in its condemnation. We still have unconstitutional laws, and the Minimum Wage frozen at below poverty, while Congress continues to give itself raises… But it’s a good start.
Perversion of Justice: Gulag America
December 27, 2008
In 1925, the US jailed 1 in 100,000 women. In 2006, it jailed 1 in 746. Perversion of Justice highlights the experiences of one family victimized by draconian drug laws.
The Big One: Stealing America Vote by Vote
October 21, 2008
Stealing America peers into the darkness of U.S. elections with stunning clarity, supported by deep research and significant interviews of several key investigators. More than a film, the entire project encompasses a grassroots call to immediate action.
Zeitgeist Addendum: Steps toward a sustainable future
October 12, 2008
Part 2 dives deeply into our debt-based monetary system. It also comments on the media, corporations, energy use, consumerism, government, and religion. More importantly, it offers solutions.
Murder, Spies & Voting Lies: The Clint Curtis Story
September 29, 2008
WARNING: Violent images included. Released on DVD and now airing on Link TV, Murder, Spies & Voting Lies: The Clint Curtis Story is the most explosive documentary produced in recent memory, involving murder, espionage, cover-up, electoral cyber fraud and a United States Member of Congress with ties to the Bush Administration.
Michael’s Brilliant Denial: A review of Slacker Uprising
September 24, 2008
This free release chronicles Michael Moore’s 62-city tour in 2004. It is his best effort, his slickest, most exciting, most inspirational film to date. It’s a rousing musical-speech-video tour aimed at getting out the vote, that’s pathologically silent on electoral cyber theft. But who else on the Left is reaching our nation’s youth?
Iron Jawed Angels
June 1, 2008
Iron Jawed Angels recreates the tenor and passion of the decade before the 19th Amendment was passed, focusing on the charismatic and radical leader, Alice Paul (Hillary Swank).
Recount: The Mighty vs. the Many
May 26, 2008
How a film about the mighty defeating the many can leave you feeling good and energized can only be ascribed to brilliant writing and direction, coupled with a perfect cast that included Kevin Spacey (Ron Klain) and Laura Dern (Katherine Harris). With humor and grit, we see the many ways votes are bounced. Only one omission: the scientific study proving Gore won Florida.
Occupied Elections: Review of My Country My Country
June 26, 2007
Filmmaker Laura Poitras follows the life of Iraqi activist, Dr. Riyadh in war torn Baghdad for eight months, culminating in the military operation of the January 30, 2005 election. Thru her lens, we watch the indomitable human spirit resist occupation.
The Pride of Victory: Review of Freeheld
June 17, 2007
Freeheld tells the story of one lesbian couple, and the community that rallied behind them, to secure equal rights for domestic partners.
Spirit of Conscious Rap: Review of Letter to the President
June 17, 2007
Snoop Dogg narrates this talking-heads rap with America’s black youth. Rap and Hip Hop stars take turns discussing the history of the genre, the current state of US inner cities, the suppression of black votes in the 2004 election, and the need for a return to “conscious rap.”
A Rising Reign of Resistance: Review of Mangal Pandey
June 12, 2007
The man who inspired Gandhi, 90 years before India’s independence, is Mangal Pandey. This is the story of the first rebellion, the one that destroyed the East India Trading Company. Exquisite costumes, music and choreography carry the film, able to inspire indigenous people from any nation under corporate siege.
Is Grassroots Activism Relevant? Review of Understanding America’s Terrorist Crisis
June 5, 2007
Gore Vidal and several experts discuss stolen elections, the un-Patriot Act, theft in office, war without end, and media collusion in this panel discussion hosted by The Independent Institute. Grassroots activists can be effective when enough of us withdraw our compliance.
Silver City film review
March 2, 2007
In Silver City, director John Sayles uses mining, arguably one of the most environmentally toxic processes of industrialized society, as a backdrop to expose the multiple and often hidden layers of profit-driven power. Instead of a movie about election fraud, it’s about the fraud of elections.
Secret Ballot film review
January 11, 2007
Winner of several awards, including Best Director (Venice Film Festival), this 2001 film presents a delightful view into voting. With charm and comedy, director Babak Payami challenges our conceptions of the meaning and import of elections.
The Critical Issue: Stealing America Vote by Vote
October 4, 2006
In less than an hour, no doubt remains that 04 was stolen, without being bludgeoned with the mountain of evidence available. Producer Dorothy Fadiman draws the connection that across the country, electronic voting machines fail to accurately report vote totals, and coupled with that, vote suppression of minorities and liberal Democrats is being orchestrated.