Dear Zachary is a powerful documentary by Kurt Kuenne, whose sole intent for creating the film was to memorialize his murdered best friend. But as the story unfolds, the film evolves into so much more. At its premise, Dear Zachary is about how one man’s life was needlessly and viciously taken away from his loved ones, an act that we later on learn was entirely preventable, had the system been more stringent. There are moments of joy, moments of anger and moments that will leave you in tears. Word of advice: have a box of tissues handy. It’ll also make you wonder why. Why did the system fail, and so tremendously so, causing innocent lives to be lost?
Posts Tagged ‘documentary’
The Bridge (2006)
The Bridge is a controversial film that documents the “suicide phenomenon” at The Golden Gate Bridge. In the span of January through December 2004, filmmaker Eric Steel continously filmed this bridge, known to be a mecca of sorts for those who want to end their lives, and was able to capture 23 of 24 suicides on film. It features real footage from these real suicides and suicide attempts, along with interviews with grieving family members, friends and witnesses to those suicides. The keyword here is “real”. It’s unlike comfortably watching a Hollywood movie with its professional stunts as a detached viewer, knowing it is all “just for show”. At first glance, it sounds kind of morbid and in many ways, it is. We are, after all, witnessing the final moments of someone’s life and this is all presented as a form of entertainment. But there seems to be some morbid curiosity innate in all of us, a curiosity about death, and this film really addresses that curiosity.
Shut Up and Sing (2006)
You might remember, back in 2003, the huge uproar caused by one Dixie Chick’s dissenting words against George W. Bush. Words from one single person said in jest in a London concert made its way overseas and back home resulting in huge controversy. Treason, they called it. Un-American! Traitors! Every single adjective and noun related to unpatriotism was slung against the group. This was in the days before the anticipated invasion of Iraq. It was a time when approval ratings for “Dubya” was high and patriotism was in full swing.
The Boys of Baraka (2005)
The Boys of Baraka is an inspiring documentary that follows the lives of four 12 to 13 year old boys from the, quite literally, “urban ghettos” of Baltimore, Maryland. It’s an area inundated with crime and poverty but even amidst such hardships and with all the odds stacked up against them, these four boys have hopes and dreams that transpire above it all. Aspiring for more than what Baltimore and its educational system can offer them, they are offered an opportunity of a lifetime.
An opportunity to study abroad at the Baraka School in Kenya, East Africa for two years.
The documentary, Wordplay, examines the world of crossword puzzle aficionados. It’s a world confined to a 15×15 grid of black and white spaces that need to be filled in, and once filled in, there’s a self-satisfying feeling of euphoria and revelling in one’s “nerdiness”. At least that’s how I feel when I finish or nearly finish a crossword puzzle. The film has a handful of cameos from notable celebrities and puzzle fans, including former U.S. president Bill Clinton, The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart, Indigo Girls, New York Yankees pitcher Mike Mussina, filmmaker Ken Burns, former Sen. Bob Dole and Will Shortz, the crossword editor for The New York Times. However, the film’s main focus is on the top-ranking competitors vying for the top spot (and bragging rights) in the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament in Stamford, Conn.
Jesus Camp (2005)
If you’re a Christian Evangelical (or zealot, even), you’ll probably be unfazed by this movie and walk away thinking what a great camp for children. If you’re not, then this movie is eye-opening and perhaps a bit unsettling. It’s full of poignant moments that will leave you thinking and talking.