‘Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain’ tells of the world’s deadliest industrial disaster

Dilip (Rajpal Yadav) lives in the city of Bhopal, India, which grew around a gigantic Union Carbide plant that was built to produce pesticides, especially methyl isocyanate (cyanide). By 1984, safety hazards are beginning to escalate—which are overlooked by management—and inspections by the authorities are minimal. When Dilip manages to get a job as a janitor at the plant, he is thrilled because he can provide for his nagging and worried wife.Motwani (Kal Penn), the editor of the local pap … [Read more...]

‘Journey to the Planet Earth: Extreme Realities’ premieres on PBS tonight Dec. 15, 2014

A new episode of "Journey to Planet Earth" narrated by Oscar-winner Matt Damon, premieres tonight on PBS and takes a cold, hard look at climate change, especially global warming: the "Extreme Realities" of climate change.But it’s not just the melting of the polar ice cap and the rising of ocean levels and temperatures that concerns scientists. In “Journey to Planet Earth: Extreme Realities” the filmmakers examine the potential – and real - geo-political security threat caused by climate chang … [Read more...]

‘The Decent One’: Documentary on Himmler a compelling contribution to Holocaust filmography

 Heinrich Himmler -- the Nazi Gestapo chief, head of the German police in the Third Reich, head of the Reich Main Security Office, and Reich Minister of the Interior -- was born to a Catholic family Oct. 7, 1900, in Munich. His father, Gebhard Himmler, was a tutor to Prince Heinrich of Bavaria, who in turn was young Heinrich's godfather.Heinrich was a good student but poor athlete, and his father used his influence with the royal family so that Heinrich could enter officer training … [Read more...]

‘Gabrielle’ a sweet story of a young woman struggling for acceptance

 Gabrielle (Gabrielle Marion-Rivard) is a 22-year old woman who lives in a group home for cognitively disabled adults in Montreal. She has Williams Syndrome, a genetic disorder whose symptoms include hyper-socialization, heightened musical skills,  and intellectual disability. Gabrielle is very close to her older sister, Sophie (Mélissa Désormeaux-Poulin) who has her own apartment and longs to go to India to be with her fiancé but feels responsible for Gabrielle. Their mother, (Isabelle … [Read more...]

“Korengal” Same valley, same soldiers, different story

 One of the loglines for Sebastian Junger’s latest documentary film “Korengal” is: “Same valley, same soldiers. Different journey” while another reads: “This is what war feels like.”In one way “Korengal” completes the 2010 Oscar-nominated documentary “Restrepo” that Junger made with cameraman, photojournalist Tim Hetherington who died in 2011 while covering the conflict in Libya. But as Junger expresses it, “’Restrepo’ was intended to be a way for civilians to experience what combat … [Read more...]

Earth Day Films from the Sundance Institute

  I got an email today from The Sundance Institute - it is offering people five films - handpicked -  to watch for Earth Day - today. Click here to access the films - though you may have to register first. As a disclaimer I haven't seen the films but knowing the quality of Sundance documentaries I'll let you be the judge. If all else fails, see Rio 2, a stunning fable for Earth Day.  … [Read more...]

Cesar Chavez – my on camera review

Here's my online video review of "Cesar Chavez" along with insights and excellent comments by the director Diego Luna and Cesar Chavez' son Paul Chavez. This goes along well with my written review from The Tidings last week. Click here for the print review    … [Read more...]


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