Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Spike back in Crescent City & other documentaries

If God Is Willing and Da Creek Don't Rise is Spike Lee's film following up on the residents of New Orleans and Louisiana he first featured in award winning When The Levees Broke. Covering the continued half hearted government response to the disaster and the added injury of the BP spill this is just as distressing as the first film and got me wondering whether Dubya's slow initial response was a deliberate experiment in profit-lead, social engineering in the same vein as their little Iraqi jaunt. It certainly seems that the ideas and wishes of the remaining populace count for f-all in the rebuilding, or not, of New Orleans. You could maybe cut half an hours worth or so of moody landscapes out of the lengthy runtime and it a little scattershot at times but it's a powerful, emotive documentary nonetheless.

Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story is a must-see for anyone interested in American politics Atwater is the campaign "genius" behind Reagan, both Bushes and still had the time to mentor Karl Rove in the dark arts of electioneering. His particularly offensive brand of dirty, dirty politics has become the norm for the Republican party ever since, despite his death bed repudiations. The film is marred by some pop-psychology about his motivations however - as a semi decent blues musician and a lover of black music his infamous Willie Horton race baiting campaign indicated he was deeply complicated, troubled man but is given little time in the film. Still it's excellent film and is certainly one of my favourite political documentaries. And here's a little list of some of the others...

The Trials of Henry Kissinger - Jarecki's film about Kissinger's war crimes.

King: A Filmed Record - Lumet's emotive tribute to Dr King is a classic.

The War Room - A thrilling look at Clinton's '92 election win.

The Leader, His Driver and the Driver's Wife - Broomfield's amusing film about Terree Blanche

Taxi To The Dark Side - Gibney's harrowing examination of American human rights abuses.

The War on Democracy - a film by John Pilger on US meddling in Southern America.

Why We Fight - a brilliant history of the rise of the Military/Industrial complex again by Jarecki.

Capitalism: A Love Story - probably Moore's best and most uncompromising film.

OutFoxed - a thorough look at politically motivated media manipulation by Greenwald.

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