Documentaries

Cambodia : A home uprooted, a land displaced

photo by goprojectfilms.com

photo by goprojectfilms.com

“Never before have I witnessed the uprooting and displacement of land itself,” Mam said. She wanted to understand where all this sand was going, and how a country—considered one of the most affluent in the world—could destroy someone else's home to build its own. “It is already enough to be removed from one’s land,” Mam said. “It is another thing entirely to have one’s land removed as well” (via).

Decades following the dissolution of the regime, thousands of Cambodian families are experiencing a new wave of displacement. By talking with locals on the island of Koh Sralau, Mam found out that since 2007, the government of Cambodia has granted several private companies concessions to mine the country’s coastal mangrove forests. Each year, millions of metric tons of Cambodian sand are shipped to Singapore to expand that island nation’s landmass; Singapore has imported more than 80 million tons of sand so far. According to Mam, “The people and all the living creatures that depend on these forests for their livelihood are forced to cope with this massive loss.” In addition to displacing those who live and work on that land, Cambodia is also destroying its only natural barrier against erosion, rising sea levels, tsunamis, and hurricanes.

You can read the entire interview here.

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-N- Stuff  :  Humanity :  Documentaries  :

Neighborhood Golf, a film by Nicolas Heller

For the past 10 years, street photographer Patrick Barr aka Tiger Hood has become a local legend known for bringing golf to the streets of NYC.

It’s a game that requires only three items: a golf club, a newspaper-stuffed milk carton, and a crate. What was initially just a way for Barr to pass time has gained traction from major news outlets and celebrities on a global scale. However, street golf seems to overshadow his true passion… photography. Barr’s archive consists of thousands of mind blowing film photographs of NYC from the 1990’s to 2000’s.

His goal was to preserve a time and place that he predicted would dissolve in the coming years. With his archive as evidence, he predicted correctly (via).

In a time that likes to embrace a, “Be content with what you have,” or, “make the best of what you’ve been given,” Tiger Hood is an example to us all.

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-N- Stuff  :  Inspiring films about Humans  :  Documentaries  : The Tables, a short film by Jon Bunning

Loved By All: The Story of Apa Sherpa

The true beauty of Nepal isn’t the mountains, but the people who live in their shadows.

Every spring, Mount Everest draws in people from around the world to conquer its peak. Despite the riches surrounding the highest point on Earth, the Sherpa people who live in its shadow remain poor with few educational opportunities. One man hoping to change this reality is Apa Sherpa, a child of the Khumbu and world-record holder for summiting Everest. Like many before him, Apa Sherpa was pulled from home at the age of 12 to work on the mountain as a high-altitude porter. Now, the Apa Sherpa Foundation is working to create a different future for the children of Nepal. As Apa says, "without education we have no choice” (via).

There’s something truly great about this story. A man who has accomplished (21 times!) what others spend years training for, dreaming of, and then risking their live’s to conquer, looks at his life and believes there’s something bigger and better. That his days on top the world are not enough.

He then chooses to spend his life serving and caring for others, and is satisfied. Because The true beauty of Nepal isn’t the mountains, but the people who live in their shadows.

You can watch more “short documentary films from around the world selected by the National Geographic video team” (via).

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-N- Stuff  :  Inspiring films about Humans  :  Inspiring Art  :  Documentaries 

The Why: A film by Billy Yang

“Here I was, surrounded by almost 700 like-minded people from my tribe intentionally about to march forward into the mountains since dark morning, seeking something through the discomfort, the unknown.”

I stumbled across this documentary after listening to David Goggins, and now, I’m in full “get off the couch and GET SHIT DONE!” mode. In life, at work, and everything and anything else. I’ve even started running.

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-N- Stuff  :  Documentaries : Inspiration 

Peter Jackson's remake of WWI brings back humanity

I’m pretty stoked about this:

Many documentaries on the war are informative but, frankly, quite dull. In striving for objectivity, they lose sight of humanity. Rather than adopt the voice of god and newsreel look that characterizes the usual fare, Jackson has taken an active role in shaping the narrative for us with cutting-edge blockbuster cinematic techniques. He gives us characters to care about in showing the horror of trench warfare, the confusion and camaraderie of war. Though he uses original footage, it is digitally enhanced and colorized, screened in 3D, with recordings of remembrances from the soldiers themselves dramatically overlaid to create the sense that the figures we see onscreen are speaking to us (via).

"To memorialize these soldiers a hundred years later," he says, "is to try to bring some of their humanity back into the world again, to stop them being a black and white cliché.” In creating this moving memorial, Jackson goes far beyond the mandate of an educational film. He has used all the techniques at his disposal to make good on the promise in Robert Laurence Binyon’s 1914 poem “For the Fallen,” from which the documentary takes its title

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

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-N- Stuff  :  Documentaries : WWI : Peter Jackson

TIME's 100 most influential images

time-100-influential-photos-social.jpg

In this unprecedented exploration of 100 photographs that shaped the human experience, TIME goes behind each spectacular image to reveal how and why it changed the course of history (via).

There is no formula that makes a picture influential. Some images are on our list because they were the first of their kind, others because they shaped the way we think. And some made the cut because they directly changed the way we live. What all 100 share is that they are turning points in our human experience (via).

Here are a few of my favorites so far:

You can explore the stories behind the top 100 photographs, or you can watch short documentaries of the top 20 OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL PHOTOS OF ALL TIME.

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-N- Stuff  :  Documentaries  :  Short Films

The Tables, a short film by Jon Bunning

A look at the powerful connection between a pair of outdoor ping pong tables in the heart of New York City and the unlikely group of people they’ve brought together, from homeless people to investment bankers to gangbangers (via).

Love this documentary. The cinematography for sure is fantastic, but also it's message.  It reminds me a bit of the kids in Detroit who are waging paintball wars as a way to battle against gang violence. Give people something to do, a purpose, and a way to find community, and they will (I believe) stop destroying neighborhoods, their neighbors, and themselves. 

Also, Sergio is my favorite. 

 

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-N- Stuff  :  Documentaries  :  Short Films

The Fallen of WWII : A Short Documentary of War and Peace

This video, at various points, made me sick. The graphs, of each figure equaling 1000 people who died, and that red line of Russian casualties . . . goodness. I thought it would never end. 

Yet, when it came to the midway point, when Halloran said, "More people died in WWII than in any other world in history. For comparison, here are twenty or so of the very worst wars we have on record," I couldn't help but think of a quote from a book I recently read, Born a Crime.

Trevor Noah, an American comedian born in Apartheid South Africa writes

The thing Africans don't have that the Jewish people do have is documentation. The Nazis kept meticulous records, took pictures, made films. And that's really what it comes down to. Holocaust victims count because Hitler counted them. Six million people killed. We can all look at that number and rightly be horrified.

If you look at that infographic closely (minute 13:13), only two African countries are mentioned, "The Congo" listed at 8 million and Mideast Slave Trade at 19 million. And these are just the millions that "count". And they mights simply be guesses. 

. . . When you read through the history of atrocities against Africans, there are no numbers, only guesses. It's harder to be horrified by a guess. When Portugal and Belgium were plundering Angola and the Congo, they weren't counting the black people they slaughtered. How many black people died harvesting rubber in the Congo? In the gold and diamond mines of the Transvaal?

As the film spans out and the graph of millions dead shrinks, the title, "Worst Atrocities on Record" appears. 

How many more have died who haven't been recorded? How many more are still dying today, during the "Long/New Peace"? Because even though we are better than we were, can we honestly call this a time of peace, just because the major powers (dare I say important powers) aren't fighting each other? 

If people are still dying, needlessly, at the hands and minds of others, and if people are still fearing for their lives and losing their homes, can we really call this a time of peace?

What about the refugees that are spread all across this world? The wars and genocides that have plagued Africa and the Middle East, what about the thousands of deaths that are growing daily in shit-hole countries? . . . oh. Right. Now I get it.

That's why we're allowed to be content. Because we're only counting the countries that count. 

 

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-N- Stuff  :  Documentaries  :  Infographics that say more than what they say  :  WWII