Movie Review: CitizenFour, Snowden for Lovers and Haters

By: Tuesday October 28, 2014 8:39 am

Two kinds of people are interested in Laura Pointras’ new documentary, CitizenFour, about Edward Snowden’s early contacts with journalists Glenn Greenwald, Ewen MacAskill and herself. Let’s have a review of the film for each group, the Haters and Everyone Else. But First, a Quick Recap Snowden worked deep inside America’s national security state. His last [...]

Satire: PBS’ Ken Burns Just Throwing Stuff Together Anymore

By: Friday October 3, 2014 10:10 am

Award-winning PBS documentary filmmaker and American icon Ken Burns, whose previous work on the Civil War, Jazz and Baseball has furthered the art of historical storytelling, admits now he just throws together whatever old black and white clips he turns up and calls it a day. “Yeah, so what?” demanded the angry director. “What the [...]

Film Review: ‘These Birds Walk’ Immerses Viewers in Life of Runaway Boys in Pakistan

By: Sunday January 19, 2014 10:15 am

The feature documentary centers on The Edhi Home and Ambulance Foundation in Pakistan, a highly respected philanthropic organization in Pakistan and part of a social welfare system pioneered by Abdul Sattar Edhi, sometimes called “Father Teresa of Pakistan.” Edhi has spent decades helping unwanted or runaway children. The film opens with eighty-six year-old Edhi washing [...]

Film Review: ‘Act of Killing’ & What Happens to Society Unwilling to Confront History of War Crimes

By: Sunday August 4, 2013 10:03 am

This documentary is one of the most surreal yet unflinching attempts to understand how mass murderers are able to walk freely without facing justice or accountability for their actions, even decades after the atrocities they have committed. It also explores how this impunity can affect the history which children learn and pervert the future of [...]

Interview with Jeremy Scahill on ‘Dirty Wars’ Production, War on the Press & Bradley Manning’s Trial

By: Sunday June 2, 2013 3:03 am

On Thursday, there was a screening in Washington, DC, for press and friends for journalist Jeremy Scahill’s new film, Dirty Wars. Scahill did a Q&A and also setup interviews with some media organizations the following day. I arranged an interview with Scahill, who graciously gave me some of his time and sat down to talk about [...]

‘We Steal Secrets’ Documentary Focuses on Personalities of Assange, Manning Over Significance of WikiLeaks

By: Thursday May 23, 2013 12:22 pm

Academy Award-winning director Alex Gibney held a special screening for his new documentary, We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks, in Washington, DC, on May 21. Gibney also participated in a question and answer session after the film that was moderated by POLITICO‘s Josh Gerstein. First, the title reinforces widespread perceptions created by the United States government [...]

The Dissenter’s Picks for the 2013 Oscars

By: Sunday February 24, 2013 12:53 pm

Last year, I made picks here at The Dissenter. I greatly enjoy cinema and make a list of top films that I post every year. Here are some reflections on the films nominated this year. * The front-runners for Best Picture all have facets that lead me to be not particularly excited about the fact [...]

MSNBC’s ‘Hubris’ Documentary: Overlooking the Role of Media in Selling the Iraq War

By: Tuesday February 19, 2013 2:24 pm

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy A documentary, “Hubris: Selling the Iraq War,” aired on MSNBC to mark the tenth-anniversary of the selling of the Iraq War by President George W. Bush’s administration. For someone unaware of the extent to which President Bush and neoconservatives in his administration went [...]

Oscar-Nominated Filmmaker’s New Ambitious Feature Documentary on War on Whistleblowers

By: Sunday February 17, 2013 7:02 pm

The trailer for the documentary in production opens with a quote from writer George Orwell: If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear. It is an appropriate setup for a film that Oscar-nominated filmmaker James Spione has set out to produce to show [...]

‘Dirty Wars’ Film Brings Global War on Terrorism Out of the Shadows

By: Tuesday January 22, 2013 12:23 pm

“The world is a battlefield,” is the tagline for Dirty Wars, a documentary that premiered days ago at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. The film produced by Nation national security correspondent Jeremy Scahill and Big Noise Films director Rick Rowley attempts to bring the US global war on terrorism out of the shadows by spotlighting [...]

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