I picked out a couple of documentary films which have recently been released and which I personally will put on my “To Watch List”. Anti-Homosexual bills, adictive dreams and the downsides of wind energy amongst other stories.
WINDFALL looks at the downside of alternative energy – or better of one of them: wind energy. For the affected community in the US which is portrayed in this documentary, the idea of putting up windmills in their area sounded like a good idea. Eventually, however, the had to realize that it’s not all as wonderful as it sounds. “With wind development in the United States growing annually at 39 percent, WINDFALL is an eye-opener that should be required viewing for anyone concerned about the environment and the future of renewable energy.”
Innocence abandoned is the story of street kids in Haiti. Filmmaker Young Man Kan takes us on a 10 year “journey into a landscape filled with violence, death, and constant peril. Their shocking story is heart-wrenching, full or moral dilemmas and has explosive revelations that will stun the world, even in the midst of th recent historical earthquake.” But there is also hope in the documentary, hope for a better future.
Call me Kuchu is the story of the struggle against the anti-homosexuality law in Uganda. A law which proposes death penalty for HIV-positive gay men and prison for people who do not report any homosexual person in their environment. It is the story of David, Uganda’s first openly gay man. He “is one of the few who dare to publicly protest state-sanctioned homophobia. Working with an idiosyncratic clan of fellow activists, David fights Uganda’s government and tabloids in the courts, on television, and at the United Nations. Because, he insists, “if we keep on hiding, they will say we’re not here.”
My Thai Bride looks at the “industry” of Thai women marrying foreign men through the story of Ted, a 46-year old salesman from Wales who falls in love with Tip, a bar girl in Bangkok and they start a new life together in her village. But Ted’s money dissapears quickly and “when Ted asks Tip if she loves him, she replies: ‘I can’t eat or drink your love.'”
Flesh on Fire, Addicted to a Dream is the story of Donnie Faught from Arkansas who has only one dream in life: to become a famous actor in Los Angeles. In order to get there, he is willing to sacrifice everything including people around him. “All for the ultimate dream of making it on the big screen. Faught’s unwavering determination to succeed in a industry that swallows people whole and spits them out broken.”
BULLY is part of the Bully Project which looks at the 13 million American kids bullied every year. “Sundance and Emmy-award winning filmmaker, Lee Hirsch, brings human scale to this startling statistic, offering an intimate, unflinching look at how bullying has touched five kids and their families.” The film is trying to promote upstander instead of bystander behaviour and wants to show that bullying is a real problem.
High Tech, Low Life takes us to China where we go on a journey with two of China’s first citizen journalists. “Armed with laptops, cell phones, and digital cameras they develop skills as independent one-man news stations while learning to navigate China’s evolving censorship regulations and avoiding the risk of political persecution.”
Did you come across any other good documentaries this year?