Movie reviews of popular politically-driven films that portray the good, bad and ugly of government happenings.
Classic Documentary Review: 'The Wobblies' Reflects on the History of American Labor
On April 28th, 2022, the AFL-CIO will celebrate Workers Memorial Day, a day dedicated to those who lost their lives in the battle for better working conditions, better pay, and generally better treatment of the American working class. International Workers Day follows soon after on May 1st and again, labor unions will be heralded for the remarkable strides made from the early days of the labor movement, days remembered for remarkably brave men and women who defied the ruling class and fought on behalf of the working class.
The Voyage Of Russian Sailors To Unknown Fates
The film "Kursk" by Danish director Thomas Winterberg is considered one of the "human catastrophes" films that nature disavows, because those who caused them or those behind them are human beings like us, but they are not necessarily normal and their hearts do not beat in front of a painful human catastrophe that led to the death of 118 Russian sailors without A hair is shaking for Russian President Vladimir Putin, or for his narrow circle of advisers and senior officials who do not dare to transcend greatness and false pride and arrogance.
Documentary Review: 'I Am Here'
In 2019, a group of white nationalists in South Africa started engaging in Holocaust denial. One woman, a longtime resident of South Africa, responded not by meeting their hate and ignorance with more hate but by bravely asking these young men to meet with her and talk with her and hear her story. That woman’s name is Ella Blumenthal, she’s 98 years old and she survived stints in three different German extermination camps during World War 2.
Review of 'Munich: The Edge of War'
I guess this was a perfect night to watch Munich: The Edge of War on Netflix. Russia is on the verge of invading Ukraine. The Trumpists -- including Trump himself -- have still not been brought to justice for their insurrection and attack on our Capitol last January 6. And the movie is based on the novel Munich by Robert Harris, author of the alternate-history masterpiece Fatherland, in which Germany won the Second World War. Not as much of a masterpiece as Philip K. Dick's The Man in the High Castle (made into an incandescent series on Amazon), for sure, but I'd watch a movie based on a Harris novel any time.
Documentary Review: 'American Gadfly' Pays Lovely Tribute to Progressive Icon Mike Gravel
American Gadfly is one of the most exciting and fun documentaries I have seen in some time. Most political documentaries are so dry that they make great kindling. That’s certainly not the case with American Gadfly which is colorful and engaging while also being intelligent, thoughtful and enlightening. If you don’t know who former United States Senator Mike Gravel was or you think he was just some crackpot who ran for President a couple of times, this documentary sets the record straight about a hero of Progressive Democratic politics and the generation he so unexpectedly enlivened.
Documentary Review: 'Punch 9 for Harold Washington'
Punch 9 for Harold Washington documents the rise to Chicago Mayor of former Congressman Harold Washington, a brilliant, charismatic, and dedicated reformer. After years of patronage determining the fate of Chicago under the Mayor Daley regime, Washington’s rise to the highest office in the third largest city in the country felt like a breath of fresh air. The optimism and heart of Washington’s leadership felt like a new dawn and made his far too early death all the more tragic, especially as Chicago sank back to the depths of Daley era duplicitousness.
Anthony's Film Review - 'The Supporters' (2021)
The Supporters is a documentary-style political comedy film done in the spirit of Sacha Baron Cohen, the same Sacha Baron Cohen who played the Kazakh journalist Borat Sagdiyev in two films, both involving interacting with and pranking real people to put together a funny fictional story. If you enjoyed those Borat movies, and perhaps the movie Bruno and the TV series Who Is America?, you should be able to enjoy The Supporters. I will say right now, though, that it's nowhere near as funny as Cohen's work. But don't take that as a huge criticism. The Supporters is still a delightful comedy overall.
A Critical Review of Dim Sum Funeral
Back in May 2010, I decided to watch a film called Dim Sum Funeral. I had been interested in Asian culture since the end of my sophomore year in high school. Maybe even a little before then. In the spring of 2010, I was just starting to learn a little bit of Mandarin Chinese. So, this film around a supposed-deceased matriarch of a Chinese American family caught my interest. My family still had digital cable and also had a free one year subscription to HBO that ran out by the end of the month. It was also Asian Heritage Month, which I wasn't completely aware of until May 2010. Dim Sum Funeral revolves around a dysfunctional ABC (American Born Chinese) family called the Xiaos. In the film, these group of five siblings who can't stand each other spend a week together planning their mother's funeral and trying to "resolve their differences" with each other. Their children also spend time together as well.
Movie Review - "The Art of Letting Go: The Erica Jones Story"
The fabric of building wealth and generational greatness in Black America’s communities has historically been woven together by two key elements: Black-owned business enterprises and the strong families that incorporate them.
The Swamp’ Review: An HBO Documentary About Three ‘Drain the Swamp!’ Republicans Who Can’t See Their Own Swamp
If you want to meet a Republican politician who’s the ultimate poster boy for shameless apple-polishing — the kind of eager conservative loyalist who would crawl across broken glass to shine Donald Trump’s shoes — you should watch “The Swamp,” the new HBO documentary, and get a load of Matt Gaetz, a congressman from Florida who got swept into the U.S. House of Representatives by the Trump tidal wave.
Contextualizing Terror: Why 102 Minutes That Changed America's Footage is Morally Acceptable
This is an essay that I wrote for a film class in high school last year about the History documentary 102 Minutes that Changed America. The essay as a whole summarizes my opinions on the importance of archival footage, documentary filmmaking, historical preservation and education, and filmmaking as a medium. Unfortunately, 102 Minutes is a rare documentary and its DVD is currently out of print. There are still DVDs available on Amazon if you're curious about the documentary, but I hope that someday the documentary will be accessible for a wide audience again.
Snowden(2016) Movie Review
In the event that Edward Snowden didn't exist, Oliver Stone may have concocted him. One can envision a Stone film about a previous worker of the U.S. government who gets baffled with his country when he learns the profundity of its misleading. Truth be told, that last sentence could depict a couple of Stone movies, thus "Snowden" has been generally foreseen as a re-visitation of structure for the head of show-stoppers like "Unit," "JFK" and "Brought into the world on the Fourth of July." It's his first film in quite a while and his first with a genuine story behind it in just about 10 years ("W.").