Posted inFilm

Cell Phone Images of the War of Terror

The NSA surveillance scandal has, in a short term, made a lot of people feel depressed and/or worried about the state of governance in America. This is both good and bad for Jeremy Scahill’s new documentary, Dirty Wars, which is directed by Richard Rowley and is also the title of a simultaneously released book by Scahill. Good because it casts all of the revelations in the movie in a now easily believable light. Bad because most people don’t want to spend their Friday nights falling even deeper into depression, and that’s what the film will do. Currently playing in select theaters across the country, Dirty Wars will wring you of whatever wide-eyed, wholehearted faith you may have had left in President Obama.

Posted inArt

Pussy Riot: The Documentary

CINCINNATI — The trending wardrobe of choice for aspiring female protest artists consists of Day-Glo leotards and matching ski masks. Credit the young punk rock performers known as Pussy Riot, feminist activists who led late 2011 civilian protests in Moscow following Vladimir Putin’s controversial reelection as Russia’s president.

Posted inArt

The Many Truths of Nonfiction

Film, like writing, is split categorically between “fiction” and “nonfiction.” This nomenclatural divide most likely stems from a perceived obligation to the audience on the part of nonfiction — the title conveys a promise of vérité. Stories We Tell, the new documentary from Sarah Polley (Away from Her , Take This Waltz ), successfully asserts that there is no objective truth to be found anywhere in “nonfiction.” Polley isn’t the first documentarian to upend audience expectations of reality, but Stories We Tell needs no novelty to succeed; it is a beautiful film.