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Hand of God

A truly great documentary
I saw this film last night at the Kansas International Film Festival, and I have to say it's one of the best documentaries I've ever seen. It lays out the facts of priest child abuse and the Catholic church's cover-up in a clear, compassionate manner while it develops characters in an entertaining, interesting way. Unusual for a documentary, the cinematography is artistic and really excellent, as is the editing. If the topic weren't so volatile, I'd predict an Academy Award nomination for this one. The director was in attendance at the festival and said a deal was in the works for public TV distribution. There are no DVDs available yet but they are being developed. If you're a documentary film buff, the DVD will be well worth whatever the purchase price is just to see the structure of the film in detail. If you have a chance to see "Hand of God" at a festival near your city, by all means do so.

An Inconvenient Truth

An Excellent Documentary
I have to rate this a 10. It's one of the best documentaries I've seen--not only in terms of content but as a masterfully done film. It takes a dry, scientific subject and nails you to your seat for 100 minutes. When it was over, there was silence for a few beats and then the audience burst into applause. Even the teenage boy sitting next to me was spellbound for the entire film. And, it makes you heartbroken for how the environmental movement was abandoned in 1980. If we had had a responsive governmental effort for the past 25 years, we might have made a huge difference. Now, it's going to take a monumental shift in public awareness to do anything before it's too late.

Death in Gaza

Incredible doc about the futility of war
This is a classic documentary that should be seen by all film students. Unfortunately the director was killed needlessly by Israeli troops before he got to film the second half of his story and follow three Israeli kids.

If we in the U.S.A. had not had Martin Luther King when we did, we might very well be in the same position today as the Israelis and the Palestinians. The conflict will go on forever as long as radicals on both sides keep doing what they are doing. In a speech here about 3 years ago, Michael Moore had advice to the Palestinians: Lay down your arms and do what the civil rights protesters in the U.S. did--sit down in the streets, don't go to work, don't ride the buses, simply stop and do nothing and the economy will come to a halt. Many of you will be killed, he said, just as civil rights protesters in this country were killed, but peaceful protest is the only solution.

The endless cycle of hatred and violence by both sides is a horrid tragedy, and this film takes you right into the heart of it. It's difficult to watch but impossible to stop watching. One of the best documentaries I've ever seen.

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