//Documentary

‘A Sinner in Mecca’ seeks to unravel an entangled paradox

“A Sinner in Mecca” (2015, 2020 re-release). Cast: Parvez Sharma. Director: Parvez Sharma. Screenplay: Sajid Akbar, Alison Amron and Parvez Sharma. Web site. Trailer. When faced with a paradox, it’s easy to lose hope. Circumstances may seem so inextricably entangled that it appears there’s no way to sort matters out. Indeed, it’s the kind of situation where it seems like only divine intervention can help. And it’s that kind of help that’s being sought by a seriously conflicted individual whose hopes, dreams and aspirations are caught up in a conundrum ostensibly incapable of being unraveled, the subject of the recently re-released documentary, “A Sinner in Mecca.” After the completion of his controversial debut feature, filmmaker Parvez Sharma became a marked [...]

‘The New Bauhaus’ dissects the creative process

“The New Bauhaus” (2019 production, 2020 release). Cast: Interviews: Olafur Eliasson, Elizabeth Siegel, Joyce Tsai, Robin Schuldenfrei, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Hattula Moholy-Nagy, Barbara Kasten. Archive Material: László Moholy-Nagy, Sibyl Moholy-Nagy, Walter Gropius. Director: Alysa Nahmias. Screenplay: Alysa Nahmias and Miranda Yousef. Web site. Trailer. A Chinese fortune cookie I once cracked open imparted a simple but inspiring message, “There is no greater joy than creation.” Those words have stayed with me for years, and I’m always moved when I see comparable sentiments expressed through other means. And, in that vein, a recently released film echoes that notion through a portrait of an individual whose calling epitomizes that very idea, the central figure profiled in the engaging new documentary, “The New [...]

‘Far From the Tree’ explores the extension of our roots

“Far From the Tree” (2017 production, 2018 release). Cast: Andrew Solomon, Jason Kingsley, Emily Perl Kingsley, Jack Allnutt, Amy Allnutt, Bob Allnutt, Loini Vivao, Leah Smith, Joseph A. Stramondo, Howard Solomon, John Habich Solomon, Derek Reese, Lisa Reese, Tyler Reese, Rebecca Reese, Charles Kingsley (archive footage). Directors: Rachael Dretzin and Jamila Ephron. Book: Andrew Solomon, Far from the Tree. Web site. Trailer. When a couple settles down to start raising children, the parents-to-be generally assume that everything is going to turn out “normal,” that their hopes and wishes for the typical “mainstream” family are going to materialize free of challenges and difficulties. But what happens when things don’t pan out as expected? Significant differences in any number of areas, from physical [...]

2020-06-16T10:20:20+00:00 May 27th, 2020|Conscious Creation, Documentary, Movie Reviews|

‘The Hottest August’ showcases how to survey the bigger picture

“The Hottest August” (2019). Cast: Clare Coulter (narrator). Director: Brett Story. Web site. Trailer. What does the future hold? That’s a question many of us ask ourselves often, both individually and collectively. But how wide a view do we take when answering it, again, either individually or collectively? That’s a subject addressed in the experimental new documentary, “The Hottest August.” It probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise that, when we contemplate the future, we usually do so in terms of how it most directly affects us as individuals or in our peer groups. We think about our homes, our families, our communities, our professions and so forth, the aspects of our lives that have the most immediate impact. [...]

2020-03-26T07:15:44+00:00 February 25th, 2020|Conscious Creation, Documentary, Movie Reviews|

Tune in for Mission Unstoppable

Those who naively cling to the idea that government abuses of power, particularly when it comes to racial, social or ethnic profiling, can’t happen here need to rethink those notions. To find out more, tune in for a special edition of Mission Unstoppable on Tuesday October 15 at 1:40 pm ET, when host Frankie Picasso and yours truly will interview journalist and filmmaker Assia Boundaoui about her stunning new production, “The Feeling of Being Watched.” The film, which has been playing in limited theatrical engagements and in special screenings at film festivals and community centers, will air Monday October 14 on the PBS series POV and will thereafter be available for streaming on the POV web site. For more about [...]

‘Raise Hell’ profiles one writer’s pursuit for truth

“Raise Hell: The Life & Times of Molly Ivins” (2019). Cast: Molly Ivins. Interviews: Dan Rather, Rachel Maddow, Lou Dubose, Jim Hightower, Andy Ivins, Sara Ivins Maley, Carlton Carl, Dave “Moose” McNeely. Archives: George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush, Ann Richards, David Letterman, Morley Safer, John Henry Faulk. Director: Janice Engel. Screenplay: Janice Engel and Monique Zavistovski. Web site. Trailer. Getting the word out about what’s really going on can be quite a challenge, especially when those in the know may try to conceal the truth, soft-peddle its implications or spin it to their personal advantage. Overcoming that takes a writer-investigator who’s willing to dig deep and to keep from caving in to pressure to doctor the information to fulfill [...]

2019-11-17T20:41:34+00:00 September 25th, 2019|Conscious Creation, Documentary, Movie Reviews|