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.

For more on . . .

-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).

For more on . . .

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

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.

For more on . . .

-N- Stuff  :  Documentaries : WWI : Peter Jackson

Young@Heart : A documentary

YOUNG@HEART chronicles seven weeks in the lives of the members of the chorus as they prepare for a one-night-only concert in their hometown of Northampton, Massachusetts. The group is made up of two dozen spirited seniors — former schoolteachers, executives, doctors, and food service workers — who specialize in reinterpreting rock, punk, and R&B classics from a unique perspective. What ultimately emerges in the film is a funny and unexpectedly moving testament to friendship, creative inspiration, and expectations defied (via).

And it's one of my favorite documentaries. 

Not because its highly entertaining or expounds upon some new or fascinating idea, but because its devoid of it. 

It's simple, yet extremely personal and human, and it just about brings down the house. Like this scene with Fred Knittle who is supposed to be singing this as a duet, but when his partner falls ill, he has to push through and perform it alone. 

He nails it.


Or here, as they perform live at Hampshire County Jail.


For more on . . .

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

I Will Go Back Tonight : A Documentary by Kara Frame

When was the last time I was in Vietnam? 

It was last night. It was this morning. It was five minutes ago.

And I will probably go back tonight.

A Veteran's Story, as told by a veteran's daughter, Kara Frame:

I first knew my dad, Tom Frame, was different when I was young, but I didn't know exactly how. Every year when he marched in our Memorial Day Parade in Doylestown, Pa., I stood on the side of the road waving my tiny American flag with so much pride.

He was my dad, my veteran.

As a teenager, I began to learn about his time in Vietnam during the late 1960s. I heard about fallen men, fierce battles and something called post-traumatic stress disorder. I still didn't fully grasp at that time what my father was living with, and it wasn't until my late 20s that I was ready to dive into a project about my dad's PTSD.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that 30 percent of all Vietnam veterans have suffered from PTSD, and the effects can last many years.

When I began this project in 2014, I knew it would give me insight into my dad and his experiences in his early 20s, when he was fighting in Vietnam. I never anticipated the depth of understanding it would offer me into my mother and her life — standing by a veteran with deep-rooted trauma — and the role PTSD has played in their marriage.

The documentary project follows the lives of my father and several other Vietnam veterans from his Army unit, the 1st Battalion, 5th (Mechanized) Infantry, 25th Infantry Division, who served together.

The veterans recount a terrible ambush at a rubber plantation in Ben Cui on Aug. 21, 1968. And their wives open up on how PTSD has affected their marriages in the decades since (via).

You know what I think PTSB is, at root? I think it's a spiritual wound, and I don't think it can be treated with medications necessarily. I think it requires some spiritual healing with people. Some meaning making again. Some reconnecting with your values and your morals and your ethics. 

Now that you've sort of seen the other side of life.

I love that, "spiritual healing with people." Not alone, not in prayer, and not alone in prayer, but with people.

And I love that. 


For more on . . .

-N- Stuff  :  WWII Vets, "Former enemies now friends" Oldest Living Vet



Awaken : A Celebration of the Spirit of Life

"AWAKEN is a feature documentary film from director Tom Lowe exploring humanity's relationship with technology and the natural world. AWAKEN is a celebration of the spirit of life, an exploration of the Earth, and an ode to the Cosmos."

Shot over a 5-year period in more than 30 countries, the film pioneers new time-lapse, time-dilation, underwater, and aerial cinematography techniques to give audiences new eyes with which to see our world. Executive produced by Terrence Malick (Voyage of Time) and Godfrey Reggio (Koyaanisqatsi, etc.).


For more on . . .

-N- Stuff  :  Short Films  :  Movies


Check it - a documentary from Louis C.K.

Check It is a truly powerful documentary about the singular gang of gay black teens who warded off their vulnerability by becoming a protective family of their own while living on the streets of Washington, D.C. The film was directed by Toby Oppenheimer and Dana Flor with Steve Buscemi serving as executive producer. While wrapping up the excellent online series Horace and Pete, Buscemi invited co-star Louis a screening of the film. The comedian was so impressed that he’s made the film available for purchase on his site (via).

The film knocked me right over. It was an amazing emotional ride. It was funny and moving, I learned a lot and it gave me a lot to think about after. …It’s not an easy film. It takes on life right where the rubber hits the road. What made me love it was just the kids themselves. They are like any kids, like anyone’s children. They are trying to cope against terrible odds, they are funny and full of hope and life. Their lives are difficult and complex.

The LBGTQ is, for sure, not my enemy, but they are unknown. Admittedly, I don't have many friends from this community, but I do have a few, and what I've discovered isn't all that surprising: we're more alike than we are different. 

However, and sadly, many would consider the LBGTQ community enemies, and because so, this sort of film would stir emotions of anger and frustration and possibly even an affirmation of some already held prejudices. To that, all I can say is the LBGTQ is not a single story, and they deserve, like anybody else, to be known. Even if they're not agreed with.

For a detailed history on "one of American history's darker moments," the Stonewall Riots, where the gay rights movement was galvanized in the United States, check out this episode on Stuff You Should Know.


For more on . . .

-N- Stuff  :  Humanity  :  Listening to the Stories of others  :  How the Rainbow Flag Became a Symbol of LGBTQ Pride



Walking to Listen : 4,000 Miles Across America, One Story at a Time

Andrew Forsthoefel is an author, speaker, and peace activist living in the Pioneer Valley of western Massachusetts. After graduating from college, he spent eleven months trekking across the United States with a sign on his pack that read “Walking to Listen,” recording interviews with the people he met along the way. He co-produced a radio documentary about this project that was featured on and This American Life.

His book, Walking to Listen tells the tale of the journey.

"Every one of us has an extraordinary story worth hearing, and I’m walking the country to listen. There’s no such thing as the Average Joe, no such thing as a boring, uninteresting, unexceptional life (for more on this, see this poem by Yevgeny Yevtushenko). This walk is to honor that. Life is fast, and I’ve found it’s easy to confuse the miraculous for the mundane, so I’m slowing down, way down, in order to give my full presence to the extraordinary that infuses each moment and resides in every one of us. We’re a country of great diversities and divisions; sharing stories, I think, is one way to find resonance" (via)

The Moth recently shared one of the many stories from Andrew's journey, one where Andrew "meets a man who tests the limits of his compassion and makes him see his project in a new light". You can listen to it here.


For more on . . .

Stories  :  Humanity  :  Power of Stories