As a vegetarian, I thought Food, Inc. by filmmaker Robert Kenner, was an exceptional documentary that exposed the American food industry’s inhumane treatment towards animals. After watching the film I knew choosing to lead a meat-free lifestyle was the best decision I had ever made.

But after watching this documentary, Forks and Knives, I gained an entirely new perspective on the animal-based foods that I still do eat as a vegetarian. Filmmaker Lee Fulkerson does a phenomenal job at examining how many of the food-related diseases that Americans have today (eg. heart disease, diabetes) can be reversed simply by changing your diet from processed/animal-based foods to naturally grown whole foods. When I first viewed the trailer, I thought to myself, well I already knew that…so what exactly makes this documentary so different from other films like Food, Inc. or FoodMatters (both by the way are great documentaries that I think everyone should watch at least once in their lifetime)? The one thing that I liked about the Forks and Knives documentary is that it explains how eliminating dairy from our diets prevent certain types of cancer, heart conditions, arthritis, etc. But I do not want to give too much away!

Overall, this film has encouraged me to consider going Vegan…I would definitely recommend checking it out!

Just rented Beats Rhymes & Life: The Travels Of A Tribe Called Quest and I am so excited to watch it. I have heard that Michael Rapaport does an amazing job telling the story of one of the most powerful and influential groups in hip-hop history, ‘A Tribe Called Quest,’ and how their lyrics have changed the generations overtime.

A Tribe Called Quest

Last night I finally had the chance to watch Revenge of the Electric Car! And I am so happy I did. 
Has anyone heard of Who Killed the Electric Car?
                     Who Killed the Electric Car Poster
                       
Well, the same director, Chris Paine, has once again produced an eco-friendly movie of brilliance. During the 2011 Silverdocs Festival, I remember the line for this film was down the hallway and around the corner, which usually means the film is worth seeing. I even got the chance to meet Paine himself along with the main cast of the film:
  • Carlos Ghoson, CEO/President of Nissan and Renault
  • Elon Musk, CEO of Tulsa Motors
  • Bob Lutz, Former VP of GM
  • and the one and only Reverend Gadget Abbott (definitely check out this link to find out more on this gadget guru
                     Musk, Paine and Lutz
If you are at all curious about the the people behind the reinvention of the automobile; the people working to create cars run only on electricity; and the road blocks they face along the way now that their is a market for eco-friendly zoomers…  I suggest watching this.
In Paine’s previous film, Who Killed the Electric Car? Paine focused on lobbyist, activists -those trying to fight for the industry an businesses to bring back the electric car because…I know, almost toooooo crazy to say…it is a great environmental alternative to oil. But this documentary goes even farther, as Paine focuses on the men creating these electric running beauties and the constant barriers they face by the oil companies and car industries that would rather not place their investments in a vehicle that could potentially take down the oil-based auto industry they have built for as long as I can remember.
So instead of snuggling up by the warm fire, tonight to watch a romantic comedy or GLEE (which is very new tonight), check Revenge of the Electric Car out and trust me, you will walk away with a different perspective on the car industry and their motives behind pushing forward the development of cars that don’t guzzle gas!
Can it be done? Check check it out to see!

YES. Dragonslayer. The U.S. Version trailer. A must must see.

I must see this. Its out in theaters now!!

The Harvest/La Cosecha, directed by U. Roberto Romano had me near tears…and that was just from this trailer. While I have not seen it yet, I sensed from this 2:00 minute preview that that this film carries a similar, but crucial message that The Devil’s Miner (a GREAT documentary) did.

 It seems easy for us to think that thousands of children are working in crops in other countries from dusk to dawn, unprotected by any child labor laws. It is however extremely difficult to even fathom that this is happening right here in our own backyards, which seems to be a consistent American belief when it comes to labor laws and exploitation of minority workers.

This documentary highlights the importance of raising awareness in America, with over 400,000 children leaving their homes, schools and families everyday to harvest crops, picking the food we buy at our local grocery stores. Following 3 children, I cannot even begin to imagine a day in their lives but it seems like the director did an above-and-beyond job of exemplifying the dangerous and unruly working conditions they must endure to provide their families with an income.

From Texan onion fields to picking apples in Michigan orchards, the film emphasizes the need for our society to allow such practices to continue without any intervention. In the past 7 years my family has chosen to buy our fruits and vegetables at local farmers markets instead of the grocery stores to avoid encouraging such practices as The Harvest/La Cosecha displays. And if you have not chosen to follow this path yet, watch this trailer and then go see the film and hopefully that will change your mind.

Go to www.shineglobal.org to learn more about The Harvest/La Cosecha and the Shine Global organization that is dedicated to stopping child exploitation and abuse through awareness and campaigning.

                             The Harvest/La Cosecha Film Poster

It’s that time of year again…SHARK WEEK!

I am deathly terrified of sharks. Yet, I look forward to and avidly watch Shark Week every year, continuing to prolong my fear even further.

Starting TONIGHT at 9 pm on the Discovery Channel, Shark Week kicks off with the premiere program Great White Invasion, revealing the many great white sharks that are riding the same waves and treading the same waters as surfers and swimmers along the California, South Africa and Australian coasts. If, like myself, you are curious as to why these creatures are choosing to glide in the same shallow waters as us humans when they have more than half of the deep ocean available, tune in!

And, get ready for it…Shark Week will include live co-viewing for the first time! You cannot miss this jaw-breaking shark madness. I hope this year it lives up to its reputation.

2011 Shark Week TV Schedule:

TONIGHT: Great White Invasion (Premiere: 9 pm) and Jaws Come Home (Premiere: 10 pm)

August 1: Jaws of the Pacific (8 pm), Rogue Sharks (Premiere: 9 pm) and Summer of the Shark (Premiere: 10 pm)

August 2: Top Five Eaten Alive (8 pm) and Killer Sharks (Premiere: 9 pm)

August 3: Into the Shark Bite (8 pm) How Sharks Hunt (Premiere: 9 pm)

August 4: Air Jaws: Sharks of South Africa (8 pm) Shark City (Premiere: 9 pm)

August 5: 10 Deadliest Sharks (7 and 8 pm)


I would definitely say my interest in documentaries came from my dad. Growing up he was always watching them, but not the fun ones. He was more into the boring History Channel documentaries on the Underground Railroad or dead politicians. But when he would tune into a social, cultural or science genre, I was right there on the couch next to him glued to the television. Besides Law and Order: SVU (which, thank goodness, returns this Fall because I am going through Stabler and Benson withdrawals) and the World Cup (which is a mere 3 years away), documentaries seem to be the only thing we have in common when it comes to Netflix or OnDemand.

The other night I was lucky enough to walk in on him watching the Solitary Confinement on Netflix, and watching it the second time was just as startling as the first. This National Geographic program portrays the psychological effects of landing in solitary confinement in prisons all over America.

Solitary Confinement, directed by Peter Yost, allows viewers to witness the horrifying cycle of entering the prison system with psychiatric disorders like schizophrenia or depression. Often violent, suicidal or defiant, those who find themselves in solitary confinement are placed into tiny 8x10 cells for 24 hours a day.

I know they are put there for a reason, but it is so sad to see people who have had the unfortunate luck of inheriting poor living conditions or criminal surroundings while at the same time having psychological problems. Most of these prisoners never get out of the system and are shuffled from prison to prison, in confined corridors.

Ellie Goulding

But you let go ‘cause your hope is gone

With the debt ceiling doomsday creeping up, what better film to watch then one of my favorites, Life and Debt! Directed by Stephanie Black, I have seen this informative and reality jarring documentary on numerous occasions and each time my jaw still drops in awe that developing nations like Jamaica are practically forced into poverty by the IMF and the World Bank policies that are created with US economic incentives in mind.

Life and Debt begins by portraying the tropical paradise that tourists encounter when they land in Jamaica to vacation. The film goes on to expose the impoverished conditions that locals must deal with due to economic failure. This film opens up the question of whether developing countries are actually independent if they are constantly having to borrow money to abide by international trade laws further burying themselves in more debt.

If you haven’t had a chance to watch it, I definitely recommend you do! Even if you are not that interested in politics and economics or don’t understand it whatsoever (like myself), Black does an excellent job and laying out the facts in an understandable way.

                           Life and Debt Movie Poster


As you walk, you cut open and create that riverbed into which the stream of your descendants shall enter and flow
- Nikos Kazantzakis

As you walk, you cut open and create that riverbed into which the stream of your descendants shall enter and flow

- Nikos Kazantzakis