when parker was dakotas age –
a tad over 2
i took him to the palisades mall to get a crew cut
nick was the barber
old world italy
with a beautiful accent
that matched his warm wonderful soul
for 17 years he cut my sons hair
he died this summer
his daughter told me via twitter
– modern day obits
parker hasn’t had a hair cut since
not knowing where to go
he let it grow
sunday i took my 4 teens
to the mall
it was time for a trim
all eyes in the place watched us
as we walked in
there in nicks station was a new guy
with an empty chair
as joni says
“get a good grip on your grief”
holding back tears
we were nicks
he was ours
parker shook the new barbers hand
man to man
a 3 year old boy
with a blonde crew cut
walked up to nicks replacement
and said excuse me
he handed the barber his tip
his dad watched proudly
near the cashier
– as i had so many times
i took a photo
because i had to
parker trapped under the plastic gown
protested in vain
it was irresistible
my adult man child
sitting in the red leather chair
– rockwell poster perfection
there r moments of pure grace
when all u need
inside ur world
of all esther hicks says
we do create r reality
the law of attraction
joni mitchell called me tonight
and we spoke
12th and Delaware: The abortion battle continues to rage in unexpected ways on one corner in an American city. 12th & Delaware is a documentary film set in a crisis pregnancy center and a abortion clinic across the street from it in Fort Pierce, Florida. Watch on HBO.
50 Children: The Rescue Mission of Mr. and Mrs. Kraus: In the spring of 1939, a Jewish lawyer and his wife left their comfortable home and two children in Philadelphia and embarked on a bold and improbable plan to rescue fifty children from Nazi-controlled Vienna. Despite the oncoming horrors of the Holocaust, Gil and Eleanor Kraus bravely traveled into the heart of the Nazi empire in an effort to save innocent lives. Their unlikely mission would turn an ordinary American couple into extraordinary heroes. Their incredible story has never been told … until now. Watch on HBO or on YouTube.
51 Birch Street: Several months after documentarian Doug Block’s mother dies, his father announces that he plans to sell the family’s Long Island, N.Y., home and move to Florida with his former secretary, Carol “Kitty” Duffy. Though Doug always believed his parents had a happy marriage, his father’s sudden decision makes him wonder if their relationship was more complicated than he realized. In the weeks before his father moves, Doug interviews family and friends to learn more about his parents. Watch for FREE here.
Advanced Style: Advanced Style examines the lives of seven unique New Yorkers whose eclectic personal style and vital spirit have guided their approach to aging. Based on Ari Seth Cohen’s famed blog of the same name, this film paints intimate and colorful portraits of independent, stylish women aged 62 to 95 who are challenging conventional ideas about beauty, aging, and Western’s culture’s increasing obsession with youth. Watch on Amazon Instant Video.
A Family is a Family is a Family: A Rosie O’Donnell Celebration: What is a family? Sometimes it’s a mom and dad and their kids. Or it might be kids with just a mom or dad. Or it could be kids who have more than one mom or dad. While the answer varies, all families share one vital ingredient: love. This documentary is a moving portrait of the remarkable diversity of families today that challenges stereotypes, highlighting same-sex parents, mixed-heritage families, single parents and stories of adoption. Children speak from the heart about parents, siblings, marriage and love in the exclusive documentary. Watch on HBO.
A Heartfelt Standup: Rosie O’Donnell takes the stage to share hilarious insights about her life as a newly remarried wife and a mother of five children, and to offer a deeply personal recounting of the heart attack she survived over two years ago. Debuts February 14th, 2015. Watch on HBO.
Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry: Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry is the inside story of a dissident for the digital age who inspires global audiences and blurs the boundaries of art and politics. First-time director Alison Klayman gained unprecedented access to Ai while working as a journalist in China. Her detailed portrait provides a nuanced exploration of contemporary China and one of its most compelling public figures. Watch on Netflix.
Alive Day Memories: Home From Iraq: Both tragic and profoundly uplifting, Alive Day Memories: Home From Iraq is a series of interviews with ten Iraq war veterans who have lost limbs, been blinded, been brain-damaged, or suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. This documentary is only an hour long, but in that hour it unveils a range of emotion that a four-hour fictional movie could only begin to explore. The interviews, conducted by James Gandolfini (The Sopranos), capture these soldiers’ resolve, their humor, their regrets, their passion for life, and much, much more. Watch on HBO or on Amazon Instant Video.
Alive Inside: This stirring documentary follows social worker Dan Cohen, founder of the nonprofit organization Music & Memory, as he fights against a broken healthcare system to demonstrate music’s ability to combat memory loss and restore a deep sense of self to those suffering from it. Watch on Amazon Instant Video.
All Aboard: Rosie’s Family Cruise: A documentary on the maiden cruise of R Family Vacations, the travel company founded by Rosie and Kelli O’Donnell, which specializes in gay family vacations. Setting sail on July 11, 2004, the trip took 500 families from New York to the Bahamas. Purchase on Amazon or Rent on Netflix.
All About Ann: Governor Richards of the Lone Star State: All About Ann: Governor Richards of the Lone Star State chronicles Richards’ remarkable life, tracing her origins as a young girl growing up poor in rural Texas, to her life as a sociable suburban housewife and mother, to her rise from schoolteacher to politician. Richards was a County Commissioner before being elected to State Treasurer, which eventually led her to the governorship – the first woman to be elected to that office in the state of Texas. Watch on HBO.
Alzheimer’s Project, The: Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible brain disorder that destroys a person’s memory and thinking skills. It is a disease that affects millions of Americans. This four-part documentary series focuses on the causes, symptoms, treatment and possible cures of the progressive brain disorder, and takes a close look at the effects the fatal disease has on both the patients and their loved ones. The series is part of a larger project, which includes 15 supplemental short films, a website and a national outreach campaign, to bring forth a new understanding of the disease. Watch on HBO.
American Winter: American Winter is a documentary feature film that follows the personal stories of families struggling in the aftermath of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Years after the recession began, millions of families are struggling to meet their basic needs, and many formerly middle class families are finding themselves in financial crisis, and needing assistance for the first time in their lives. Meanwhile, the social safety net that was created to help people in difficult times has been weakened by massive budget cuts, creating a perfect storm of greater need and fewer resources to help families in trouble. Watch on iTunes.
A Mother’s Courage: Talking Back to Autism: Unwilling to accept a gloomy prognosis for her autistic son, Keli, Margrét begins a journey from Iceland to the United States for proper treatment. Seeking answers about the cause of his complex and mysterious condition, Margrét comes into contact with foreign cultures and challenging new information about her son. In a documentary that’s rich with beautiful visuals from Margrét’s journey, director Fridrik Thor Fridriksson tells a powerful story of love and discovery. Watch on HBO or visit the website.
An Apology to Elephants: An Apology to Elephants explores the abuse of these ancient and intelligent animals and shows how some people are reversing the trend. Narrated and executive produced by Lily Tomlin and directed by Emmy® winner Amy Schatz, with narration written by Jane Wagner. Watch on HBO or Watch HERE.
An Unreal Dream: The Michael Morton Story: In 1986 Michael Morton’s young wife Christine was brutally murdered in front of their only child, and he was accused and convicted of the crime, spending a quarter of a century in Texas prisons. Michael’s son Eric, only three at the time of his mother’s death, was raised by family members and eventually cut off all contact with the father he believed had killed his mother. This is Michael’s story. See on Netflix and on iTunes.
Artist is Present, The: Marina Abamovi: The Artist Is Present is a mesmerizing and intimate portrait of a woman who draws no distinction between life and art. The “godmother of performance art,” Marina Abramovi has been using her own body as a vehicle for over 40 years. Watch on Amazon Instant Video.
A Shot in the Dark: In 1999, before becoming a star on HBO’s ‘Entourage,’ actor Adrian Grenier decided to make a documentary about the father he had never known. The result is this poignant, often-amusing road trip that culminates in a meeting with his biological dad. Watch on Amazon Instant Video.
A Small Act: A testament to the rippling effect of a single act of kindness, A Small Act follows a rural Kenyan student-turned-Harvard-grad as he tracks down the woman whose sponsorship changed his life. Watch on Amazon Instant Video.
Autism: The Musical: Originating in Los Angeles, “Autism: The Musical” is a 2007 documentary that follows the lives of five autistic children who write and perform their own musical. The film also follows the parents of the five, and reveals the intense personal struggles and challenges of raising children with autism. The parents in the film include well known figures like Rosanne Katon-Walden, a former Playboy model, and musician Steven Stills of the band Crosby, Stills and Nash. Watch on HBO or on YouTube.
Baghdad Hospital: Inside the Red Zone: Dr. Omer Salih Mahdi put himself and his colleagues at risk to film inside Al-Yarmouk hospital, whose emergency room is too dangerous for an American crew. In this documentary, Dr. Mahdi reveals his identity to the world for the first time. Until now, he has remained anonymous to protect himself and his family. Dr. Mahdi’s face is not revealed in the film and an actor has recorded his words. Watch on HBO.
Becoming Chaz: Becoming Chaz invites us along on Chaz’s remarkable journey of transformation. As hormone shots give way to top surgery, down-to-earth, unflappable Chaz beams with a sense of liberation and goes public with his story to put a face on a misunderstood issue. Meanwhile, his gregarious girlfriend grapples with the realities of suddenly living with a man, and its clear sex change isn’t solely a physical transition. Watch on Amazon Instant Video.
Big Men: The film’s central story follows a small group of American explorers at Dallas-based oil company Kosmos Energy. Between 2007 and 2011, with unprecedented, independent access, Big Men’s two-person crew filmed inside the oil company as Kosmos and its partners discovered and developed the first commercial oil field in Ghana’s history. Simultaneously the crew filmed in the swamps of Nigeria’s Niger Delta, following the exploits of a militant gang to reveal another side of the economy of oil: people trying to profit in any way possible, because they’ve given up on waiting for the money to trickle down. So what happens when a group of hungry people discover a massive and exquisitely rare pot of gold in one of the poorest places on earth? Watch on Amazon Instant Video.
Bill Cunningham New York: Bill Cunningham, one of the mainstays of the New York Times, has been a contributor to the renowned newspaper for many decades. He’s also an incurable and eccentric chronicler of fashion, tirelessly snapping photos of and writing about interestingly attired celebrities and ordinary New Yorkers he spots on the street. This exhaustive profile of Cunningham and his work includes interviews with friends — and often subjects — Tom Wolfe, David Rockefeller and Vogue magazine’s Anna Wintour. Watch on HULU.
Blackfish: Killer whales are beloved, majestic, friendly giants, yet infamous for their capacity to kill viciously. Blackfish unravels the complexities of this dichotomy, employing the story of the notorious performing whale Tilikum, who — unlike any orca in the wild — has taken the lives of several people while in captivity. Watch on Amazon Instant Video.
Blindsight: Set against the breathtaking backdrop of the Himalayas, Blindsight follows the gripping adventure of six Tibetan teenagers who set out to climb the 23,000 foot Lhakpa Ri on the north side of Mount Everest. A dangerous journey made all the more remarkable by the fact that the teenagers are blind. A blind educator and adventurer who established the first school for the blind in Lhasa and his students invite the famous blind mountain climber Erik Weihenmayer to visit their school after learning about his conquest of Everest. Erik inspires the students to let him lead them higher than they have ever been before resulting in a 3-week journey is beyond anything any of them could have predicted. Watch on Amazon Instant Video.
Blood Brother: Rocky Braat, a young man from a fractured family and a troubled past, went traveling through India without a plan. Then he met a group of HIV positive children living in an orphanage — a meeting that changed everything for him. Rocky left his life, friends, and career in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to live with the kids. Steve Hoover, his best friend and filmmaker, was unsettled and intrigued by this drastic action. In an effort to find out what compelled Rocky to give up every source of stability in his life, Hoover decided to trace Rocky’s story, following him to India. Watch on iTunes.
Born Into Brothels: Documentary photographer Zana Briski journeyed into Calcutta’s underworld to photograph the city’s prostitutes. In return, she offered to teach the prostitutes’ children the basics of photography so that the kids could document their own lives on the streets of one of the world’s poorest cities. The resulting photographs, often astonishing, were exhibited around the world; many of them are seen in this film, which won the Academy Award for best documentary feature in 2005. Purchase on Amazon.
Bowling for Columbine: Political documentary filmmaker Michael Moore explores the circumstances that lead to the 1999 Columbine High School massacre and, more broadly, the proliferation of guns and the high homicide rate in America. In his trademark provocative fashion, Moore accosts Kmart corporate employees and pleads with them to stop selling bullets, investigates why Canada doesn’t have the same excessive rate of gun violence and questions actor Charlton Heston on his support of the National Rifle Association. Watch on Amazon Instant Video.
Boy Interrupted: Evan Scott Perry received a diagnosis of bipolar disorder when he was a preteen, and in 2005, committed suicide at the age of 15. There was a family history of mental illness; his Uncle Scott had killed himself at 22 in 1971.Evan had first exhibited suicidal tendencies when he was only 5. Directed by his mother, filmmaker Dana Heinz Perry, the film traces Evan’s growing mental illness, including videotapes made throughout his short life and interviews with his friends and doctors. Watch on HBO.
Bridegroom: Bridegroom tells the emotional journey of Shane and Tom, two young men in a loving and committed relationship — a relationship that was cut tragically short by a misstep off the side of a roof. The story of what happened after this accidental death– of how people without the legal protections of marriage can find themselves completely shut out and ostracized– is poignant, enraging and opens a window onto the issue of marriage equality like no speech or lecture ever will. Watch on Amazon Instant Video.
Brother’s Keeper: Filmmakers Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky directed this documentary about a death in upstate New York in 1990. The eldest of a family of four brothers, William Ward, was found dead in his home, and his brother Delbert was accused of suffocating him. The ensuing trial leads to tensions within the small rural community in which the brothers live, due to media coverage that presents the quiet, hardworking family as illiterate bumpkins, and to growing real estate speculation in the area. Watch on Sundance Now.
Business of Being Born, The: This documentary, directed by Abby Epstein, examines the ways that the American health care system approaches childbirth. The traditional form of U.S. birth involves hospitals, drugs and obstetricians, while births in many other countries utilize midwives. Interviews with parents and medical experts explain the realities of maternity care. When Epstein discovers that she is pregnant herself, the discussion becomes less theoretical, as she must decide which form of birthing she will employ. Watch on Amazon Instant Video.
Captivated: The Trials of Pamela Smart: When the curtain rose on the murder trial of Pamela Smart murder case 23 years ago, the stage was set for the birth of reality TV. Accused of plotting the 1990 murder of her husband Gregory, the 22-year-old Smart was subsequently convicted in the first fully televised, gavel-to-gavel court case, which has inspired TV shows, books, plays and feature films. Watch on HBO.
Catching Hell: This documentary uses the case of Steve Bartman, the fan who interfered with an in-play ball and was vilified for costing the Chicago Cubs a crucial 2003 playoff game. In 2011, ESPN produced this film exploring the widespread phenomenon of scapegoating in the sports world as part of its 30 for 30 series. Titled Catching Hell, the film draws similarities between Bill Buckner’s fielding error late in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series and the Bartman incident. Rent on Netflix.
Catfish: When Nev Shulman, a New York photographer, receives a Facebook request from a child named Abby, he cannot guess the unusual odyssey on which he will soon embark. Abby sends Nev an unusuallyskilled painting based on one of his photos. Intrigued, he begins online relationships with the rest of Abby’s family, including her older sister, Megan. Though troubling inconsistencies soon emerge, Nev continues his online flirtation with Megan, resulting in a road trip to meet her in person. Watch on Amazon Instant Video.
Case Against 8, The: The riveting documentary THE CASE AGAINST 8 takes an in-depth look at the historic federal lawsuit filed in an effort to overturn Prop 8, California’s discriminatory ban on same-sex marriage. Shooting over five years, with exclusive behind-the-scenes footage of the powerhouse legal team of David Boies and Ted Olson and the four plaintiffs in the suit, directors and producers Ben Cotner and Ryan White (“Good Ol’ Freda,” “Pelada”) have created a powerful emotional account of the journey that took the fight for marriage equality all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Watch on HBO or on YouTube.
Central Park 5, The: The Central Park Five tells the story of the five black and Latino teenagers from Harlem who were wrongly convicted of raping a white woman in New York City’s Central Park in 1989. The film chronicles The Central Park Jogger case, for the first time from the perspective of these five teenagers whose lives were upended by this miscarriage of justice. Watch on Amazon Instant Video.
Chely Wright: Wish Me Away: After a lifetime of hiding, Chely Wright becomes the first commercial country music singer to come out as gay, shattering cultural stereotypes within Nashville, her conservative heartland family and, most importantly, within herself. With unprecedented access over a two-year period, including her private video diaries, the film layers Chely’s rise to fame while hiding in the late 90’s with the execution of her coming out plan, culminating in the exciting moment when she steps into the media glare to reveal she is gay. Purchase on iTunes.
Child of Rage: Beth was a victim of childhood sexual abuse until she was approximately 19 months old. Her mother died when she was one year old and she and her infant brother Jonathan were left at the mercy of their sadistic father. Beth describes her father’s abuse in matter-of-fact tones and displays a crayon picture of herself lying in bed weeping as he fondles her genitalia. Her voice is as eerily calm and flat when speaking about her own abuse as it is when talking about the abuse she inflicted. Watch for FREE on YouTube.
China’s Stolen Children: Ten years after the policy-changing and award-winning film, The Dying Rooms, the same team returns to a very different China where the infamous One Child Policy has had the horrific side effect of a boom in stolen children. With extraordinary access to devastated parents desperately searching for their stolen son; a man who brokers the deals and has sold his own offspring; and prospective parents grappling with giving up their soon-to-be-born daughter through lack of options, we are brought face to face with the crisis that such a stringent government policy has created among China’s poorest people. Watch on HBO.
Citizenfour: After Laura Poitras received encrypted emails from someone with information on the government’s massive covert-surveillance programs, she and reporter Glenn Greenwald flew to Hong Kong to meet the sender, who turned out to be Edward Snowden. Released October, 2014. Learn more here.
Citizen Koch: A searing exposé on the state of American democracy and the fracturing of the Republican Party, Citizen Koch investigates the money behind the Tea Party and traces the impact of unlimited election spending by corporations and billionaires.Watch on Amazon Instant Video.
Closure: A Documentary About Adoption: Angela, an African-American, was raised by a Caucasian couple in a large, multiracial family in Washington State. She was adopted at the age of one from foster care in the state of Tennessee, under the terms of a closed adoption. As Angela grew older it became apparent that the unanswered questions about her birth story would continue to haunt her if she did not attempt to find some answers. This documentary follows Angela for two years during the search for her birth family. Watch on Netflix.
Conscience of Nhem En, The: The Conscience of Nhem En is a 26-minute documentary directed by Steven Okazaki, telling the stories of three survivors of the Tuol Sleng Prison. Also known as S-21, Tuol Sleng was where 17,000 Cambodians were imprisoned and killed in the late 1970s. The film follows a young soldier responsible for taking the ID photos of thousands of people before they were tortured and murdered by the Khmer Rouge. The documentary was nominated for an Academy Award. Watch on HBO.
Cove, The: In Taiji, Japan, local fishermen hide a gruesome secret: the capture and slaughter of dolphins. Activist Ric O’Barry, who trained dolphins for the “Flipper” TV series, joins forces with filmmaker Louis Psihoyos and the Ocean Preservation Society to expose the brutal practice, risking life and limb in the process. Watch on Amazon Instant Video.
Crash Reel, The: The dramatic story of one unforgettable athlete, Kevin Pearce; one eye-popping sport, snowboarding; and one explosive issue, Traumatic Brain Injury. A comeback story with a difference. Directed by twice Oscar®-nominated filmmaker Lucy Walker (Devil’s Playground, Blindsight, Countdown to Zero, Waste Land, The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom). Purchase on Amazon Instant Video.
Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1: The timely documentary Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1 spotlights the traumas endured by America’s veterans, as seen through the work of the hotline’s trained responders, who provide immediate intervention and support in hopes of saving the lives of service members. Watch on HBO or Amazon Instant Video.
Cutie and the Boxer: For years, Ushio Shinohara has been one of the leading, and most underappreciated, alternative artists in Japan and New York City with an wildly esoteric style. For many of those years, his wife, Noriko, has been his faithful companion but grew want to be more. This film covers the relationship of this special couple as Ushio struggles for commercial success on his own terms. Meanwhile, we also follow Noriko pursuing her own artistic vision with her semi-autobiographical line art project that reveals much about her own soul as eloquently as her husband’s work. Watch on Amazon Instant Video.
Dad’s in Heaven with Nixon: A mother’s love and a boy’s journey from the darkness of brain damage and autism to the light that is his life today-as an acclaimed artist. An intensely moving story that is ultimately about the triumph and strength of the human spirit. Watch on Amazon Instant Video.
Dead Mothers Club: The Dead Mothers Club tells the story of three women whose paths never cross, yet are bound by the shared experience of losing their mothers during adolescence, exploring each one’s sometimes-complex relationship with her mother. Directed by first-time filmmakers Carlye Rubin and Katie Green, who are themselves members of “the club,” it also includes insights from Rosie O’Donnell (one of the executive producers), Molly Shannon and Jane Fonda, who share their own experiences with losing a mother. Watch on HBO.
Dear Zachary: In 2001, 28-year-old Dr. Andrew Bagby is found dead in a park in Pennsylvania. He had been shot by his ex-girlfriend, who then fled to Canada, where she was able to walk free on bail, pregnant with Andrew’s child. Andrew’s enraged parents campaign to gain custody of the child and convict their son’s killer. Filmmaker Kurt Kuenne pairs this story with home movies and interviews with those who knew Andrew, hoping to give his best friend’s son an opportunity to discover who his dad was. Watch on Amazon Instant Video.
Death in Gaza: In 2003, documentarian James Miller began filming Palestinian children but was killed by an Israeli soldier before he could finish the project. Assembled from footage shot before his death, this film follows three children in the Gaza Strip city of Rafah. Twelve-year-old friends Ahmed and Mohammed, many of whose friends have been killed by Israeli forces, dream about martyrdom, while 16-year-old Najla has also lost many of her relatives. All three talk about their lives and hatred of Israel. Watch on YouTube.
Deliver Us From Evil: Moving from one parish to another in Northern California during the 1970s, Father Oliver O’Grady quickly won each congregation’s trust and respect. Unbeknownst to them, O’Grady was a dangerously active pedophile that Church hierarchy. Watch on Amazon Instant Video.
Devotion Project, The: The Devotion Project is a six-part series of short documentary portraits celebrating the commitment and love of LGBTQ couples and families. Each film is under 10 minutes and is available for free online. The series has also been subtitled in Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and Russian.Watch for free on YouTube.
Diagnosis Bipolar: Shot over nine months, Diagnosis Bipolar follows five families, three of whom have multiple children diagnosed with the illness, as dramas unfold on a daily basis — from failing at school to complete psychotic breakdown. In addition to intimate interviews, the documentary includes stark home video footage and interviews with experts. Watch on HBO.
Don’t Divorce Me: Don’t Divorce Me: Kids’ Rules for Parents on Divorce addresses this important subject, allowing kids to offer dos and don’ts parents should follow and providing a valuable tool for families struggling to find their way. From executive producer Rosie O’Donnell and Emmy-winning director Amy Schatz. Watch on HBO.
Dope Sick Love: When you’re a junkie, the money comes and goes – and so does the high. Do relationships stand a chance among addicts? Meet Matt & Tracy and Sebastian & Michelle – two NYC couples looking for love, and fixes, in all the wrong places. A startlingly candid verité documentary, Dope Sick Love follows two drug-addicted couples as they eke out a bare-bones existence on the streets of NYC, desperately trying to score cash to pay for their next fix. Watch on YouTube.
Dying To Tell the Story: Follow narrator Amy Eldon on a personal journey to find meaning in the death of her older brother, 22-year-old Reuters photographer Dan Eldon. Dan was among a group of five journalists attacked by a mob during the Somali famine in 1993; he and three others were stoned to death. As she interviews other journalists and the sole surviving witness to Dan’s death, we see her attain the peace she sought. Watch for free on YouTube.
Edie & Thea: A Very Long Engagement: After 42 years, feisty and delightful lesbian couple Edie and Thea are finally getting married. From the early ’60s to the present day, the tireless community activists persevere through many battles, both personal and political. It is a love story of two remarkable women whose commitment to each other is an inspiration to us all. Purchase on Amazon.
Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me: Now in her late 80s, Broadway legend Elaine Stritch remains as ferociously funny as ever. In this bold, hilarious and poignant portrait, the uncompromising Tony and Emmy Award-winner is revealed both on and off stage. Candid reflections about her life are punctuated with words from friends and archival footage that showcases some of the great moments from her career. Whether dominating the stage, tormenting Alec Baldwin on the set of 30 Rock, or sharing her struggles with aging, diabetes and alcoholism, Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me reaches beyond the icon’s brassy exterior and reveals an inspiring portrait of a complex woman and artist. Watch on Amazon Instant Video.
Elephant in the Living Room, The: Praised by critics as “One of the Best Films of the Year”, The Elephant in the Living Room takes viewers on a journey deep inside the controversial American subculture of raising the most dangerous animals in the world, as common household pets. Set against the backdrop of a heated national debate, director Michael Webber chronicles the extraordinary story of two men at the heart of the issue – Tim Harrison, an Ohio police officer whose friend was killed by an exotic pet; and Terry Brumfield, a big-hearted man who struggles to raise two African lions that he loves like his own family. Buy the DVD.
Every F*cking Day of My Life: Married at 16 years – with 18 years of violence following – left Wendy terrified. She summoned the courage to deal with her husband the only way she knew possible. A harrowing portrait of domestic abuse, the project draws heavily on video shot by the dead abuser, as his wife, Wendy Maldonado, spends her final days of freedom before going to jail for his murder. The net result is every bit as chilling and depressing as one might expect. Includes captions for the hearing impaired. Watch for FREE on YouTube.
Exit Through the Gift Shop: This is the inside story of Street Art – a brutal and revealing account of what happens when fame, money and vandalism collide. Exit Through the Gift Shop follows an eccentric shop-keeper turned amateur film-maker as he attempts to capture many of the world’s most infamous vandals on camera, only to have a British stencil artist named Banksy turn the camcorder back on its owner
with wildly unexpected results. Watch on Amazon Instant Video.
Falling Up: Falling Up is a powerful story of the transformation that occurs for Johnny Popp, a Vietnam Veteran from Michigan who is a crack addict on the streets of “Skid Row” in downtown Los Angeles. After his wife was killed in a car accident, Johnny turned to alcohol and marijuana to soothe his pain and was later introduced to crack/cocaine. Johnny survives day to day off the kindness of others until he is beaten up and left for dead, though that one incident turns his life around for the better. Watch on Amazon Instant Video.
Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead: 100 pounds overweight, loaded up on steroids and suffering from a debilitating autoimmune disease, Joe Cross is at the end of his rope and the end of his hope. In the mirror he saw a 310lb man whose gut was bigger than a beach ball and a path laid out before him that wouldn’t end well— with one foot already in the grave, the other wasn’t far behind. Joe endeavors to drink only fruit and vegetable juice for 60 days in an effort to lose weight and reclaim his health. Watch on Amazon Instant Video.
Fightville: Fightville is a mixed martial arts documentary film released in 2011. As Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier and other Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) hopefuls fight their way up from the hardscrabble backlands of the American South for a shot at the bright lights of Las Vegas, they learn what it takes to be a champion. The film features interviews with a group of Lafayette, Louisiana fighters and coaches which includes Dustin Poirier, Tim Credeur, and Albert Stainback. Other fighters featured were Derrick Krantz and Ronny Lis. Watch on Amazon Instant Video.
Finding Vivian Maier: The mystery of what it is to be human lies at the quirky heart of Finding Vivian Maier, an American documentary about a street photographer who was unknown in her lifetime (she died in 2009, aged 83) but is now acclaimed and has had her work shown in galleries around the world, including the Melbourne Festival. It is a film about the life and work of career nanny Vivian Maier and her amazing collection of 100,000 photographs.
Food, Inc.: Documentary filmmaker Robert Kenner examines how mammoth corporations have taken over all aspects of the food chain in the United States, from the farms where our food is grown to the chain restaurants and supermarkets where it’s sold. Narrated by author and activist Eric Schlosser, the film features interviews with average Americans about their dietary habits, commentary from food experts like Michael Pollan and unsettling footage shot inside large-scale animal processing plants. Watch on Amazon Instant Video.
Forks Over Knives: Forks Over Knives examines the profound claim that most; if not all; of the so-called “diseases of affluence” that afflict us can be controlled; or even reversed; by rejecting our present menu of animal-based and processed foods. The major storyline in the film traces the personal journeys of a pair of pioneering yet under-appreciated researchers, Dr. T. Colin Campbell and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn. Watch on Amazon Instant Video.
Freeheld: The documentary film Freeheld chronicles Laurel’s struggle to transfer her earned pension to her domestic partner, Stacie Andree. With less than six months to live, Laurel refuses to back down when her elected officials – the Ocean County Freeholders -deny her request to leave her pension to Stacie, an automatic option for heterosexual married couples. The film is structured chronologically, following both the escalation of Laurel’s battle with the Freeholders and the decline of her health as cancer spreads to her brain. Purchase HERE.
Gasland: When Josh Fox receives a $100,000 offer from a natural gas company interested in exploring in his land in Pennsylvania’s Delaware River Basin, he decides to do his own research on drilling and the process known as fracking. Josh sets out to interview those who live near drilling sites, and his findings are frightening — their wells contaminated, residents can actually set their tap water on fire. Watch on Amazon Instant Video.
Ghosts of Abu Ghraib: The familiar and disturbing pictures of torture at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison raise many troubling questions: How did torture become an accepted practice at Abu Ghraib? Did U.S. government policies make it possible? How much damage has the aftermath of Abu Ghraib had on America’s credibility as a defender of freedom and human rights around the world? Acclaimed filmmaker Rory Kennedy looks beyond the headlines to investigate the psychological and political context in which torture occurred in the powerful documentary Ghosts of Abu Ghraib. Watch for FREE on YouTube.
Good Son: The Life of Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini: Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini wasn’t merely the lightweight champ. He fought for his father and for those in small towns across America. The Good Son is an intimate history, a saga of fathers and fighters, loss and redemption and finally, forgiveness. Watch on Netflix and Amazon Instant Video.
Green Chimneys: This heart-rending documentary follows the lives of three troubled boys for an entire year as they undergo the Green Chimneys program. When the film begins, there are over 100 children, mostly boys between the ages of 6 and 21, none of whom were able to cope within the foster home system. Filmed as cinema verite, the story follows three boys through therapy, school, and their daily chores. It also chronicles family visits which comprise some of the film’s most wrenching scenes. Watch on Amazon Instant Video.
Grey Gardens: Meet Big and Little Edie Beale–high-society dropouts, mother and daughter, reclusive cousins of Jackie O.–thriving together amid the decay and disorder of their ramshackle East Hampton mansion. An intimate portrait and an eerie echo of the Kennedy Camelot, Albert and David Maysles’s 1976 Grey Gardens quickly became a cult classic and established Little Edie as a fashion icon and philosopher queen. Watch on Amazon Instant Video.
Happy: Does money make you HAPPY? Kids and family? Your work? Do you live in a world that values and promotes happiness and well-being? Are we in the midst of a happiness revolution? Roko Belic, director of the Academy Award nominated “Genghis Blues” now brings us HAPPY, a film that sets out to answer these questions and more. Taking us from the bayous of Louisiana to the deserts of Namibia, from the beaches of Brazil to the villages of Okinawa, Happy explores the secrets behind our most valued emotion. Watch Instantly HERE.
Hell and Back Again: From his embed with US Marines Echo Company in Afghanistan, photojournalist and filmmaker Danfung Dennis reveals the devastating impact a Taliban machine-gun bullet has on the life of 25-year-old Sergeant Nathan Harris. The film seamlessly transitions from stunning war reportage to an intimate, visceral portrait of one man’s personal struggle at home in North Carolina, where Harris confronts the physical and emotional difficulties of re-adjusting to civilian life with the love and support of his wife, Ashley. Masterfully contrasting the intensity of the frontline with the unsettling normalcy of home, Hell and Back Again lays bare the true cost of war. Watch on Amazon Instant Video.
Homeless: The Motel Kids of Orange County: Homeless: The Motel Kids of Orange County explores the world of children who reside in discounted motels within walking distance of Disneyland, living in limbo as their families struggle to survive in one of the wealthiest regions of America. The parents of motel kids are often hard workers who don’t earn enough to own or rent homes. As a result, they continue to live week-to-week in motels, hoping against hope for an opportunity that might allow them to move up in the O.C. Watch on HBO.
Horse Boy, The: The Horse Boy follows one Texas couple and their autistic son as they trek on horseback through Outer Mongolia in an attempt to find healing for him. When two-year-old Rowan was diagnosed with autism, Rupert Isaacson, a writer and former horse trainer, and his wife Kristin Neff, a psychology professor, sought the best possible medical care, but traditional therapies had little effect. Then they discovered that Rowan has a profound affinity for animals particularly horses and the family set off on a quest that would change their lives forever. Watch on Amazon Instant Video.
Hot Coffee: First-time filmmaker and former public interest lawyer Susan Saladoff uses the infamous legal battle that began with a spilled cup of coffee to investigate what’s behind America’s zeal for tort reform – which threatens to restrict the legal rights of everyday citizens and undermine the entire civil justice system – in the thought-provoking documentary Hot Coffee. Watch on Amazon Instant Video.
How to Die in Oregon: Winner of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival U.S. Documentary Grand Jury Award, How to Die in Oregon explores the state’s historic and controversial Death with Dignity Act, which legalizes physician aid-in- dying for some terminally ill patients. Watch on Amazon Instant Video.
How to Survive a Plague: How to Survive a Plague is the story of two coalitions—ACT UP and TAG (Treatment Action Group)—whose activism and innovation turned AIDS from a death sentence into a manageable condition. Despite having no scientific training, these self-made activists infiltrated the pharmaceutical industry and helped identify promising new drugs, moving them from experimental trials to patients in record time. With unfettered access to a treasure trove of never-before-seen archival footage from the 1980s and ’90s, filmmaker David France puts the viewer smack in the middle of the controversial actions, the heated meetings, the heartbreaking failures, and the exultant breakthroughs of heroes in the making. Watch on Amazon Instant Video.
I Am: Director Tom Shadyac travels the world to speak with intellectual and spiritual leaders about what’s wrong with our world and how we can improve both it and the way we live in it. I AM is an utterly engaging and entertaining non-fiction film that poses two practical and provocative questions: what’s wrong with our world, and what can we do to make it better? Watch on Amazon Instant Video.
I Am an Animal: The Story of Ingrid Newkirk and PETA: Get a glimpse inside the daily life of PETA President Ingrid Newkirk—from the moment she wakes up, well before dawn, until the end of a long day spent fighting for the rights of animals. I Am an Animal will give you a taste of why PETA is the most successful animal rights organization in the world and offer an inside look at one woman’s lifelong quest to make the world a better place for all animals. Watch on HBO or for FREE on YouTube.
I Am Comic: Laugh, chuckle, giggle, snicker, hoot, snort. Through unprecedented interviews, exclusive backstage access, and wonderful cheesy animation, you will Thrill to their side-splitting observations, be Awestruck at their insight, and take the Harrowing journey with Ritch Shydner as he seeks to recapture the magic. Watch on YouTube.
I’ll be Me: Glen Campbell Documentary: Musician Glen Campbell starts a farewell tour after he is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, and he and his family navigate the unpredictable nature of the disease through love, laughter and music. Release date: October 24, 2014. Watch the trailer here.
In a Dream: Isaiah Zagar, a Philadelphia artist whose vibrant mosaic murals cover the city, is losing his family and his mind. While Isaiah’s marriage to his wife Julia has always been complicated by their vastly different personalities, it finally shatters after the admission of an affair. Directed by Jeremiah Zagar, the subject’s son, the film chronicles Isaiah’s journey as an artist, husband and father, and the nervous breakdown that results from him losing his lifelong muse, Julia. Watch on Amazon Instant Video.
Into the Abyss: The film profiles Michael Perry, a man on death row convicted of murdering Sandra Stotler, a fifty-year-old nurse of German descent. He was suspected, but never charged, in two other murders which occurred in Conroe, Texas. Perry was convicted eight years earlier of the October 2001 murder, apparently committed in order to steal a car for a joyride. Perry denies that he was responsible for the killings. Watch on Amazon Instant Video.
Invisible War, The: The Invisible War is a groundbreaking investigative documentary about one of America’s most shameful and best kept secrets: the epidemic of rape within the U.S. military. The film paints a startling picture of the extent of the problem—today, a female soldier in combat zones is more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire. The Invisible War is a call for our civilian and military leadership to listen. And to act. Watch on Amazon Instant Video.
I Remember Me: I Remember Me is the first full-length documentary to explore the controversial and mysterious history of chronic fatigue syndrome, an illness that, according to the CDC, is now forty times greater in prevalence than previously estimated. Once dismissed as Yuppie Flu, this mysterious syndrome, for which there is not yet a universally acknowledged cause or cure, has prompted fierce debate within the medical community. Watch on Amazon Instant Video.
Jens Pulver: Driven: Filmed January through April 2010, Jens Pulver, Driven takes you behind the scenes for an emotional roller coaster ride that proves equally heartbreaking and inspirational as we follow legendary mixed martial arts champion, Jens Pulver, on his ‘last march’ toward a do or die comeback after suffering four losses in the cage. Watch on Hulu Plus.
Jesus Camp: Filmmakers Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady visit an evangelical Christian summer camp called Kids on Fire, where children take part in programs designed to strengthen and intensify their beliefs. The camp’s founder, Becky Fischer, discusses her mission to indoctrinate youths in the word of God, while young campers play certain combat video games and talk about their love for Jesus. Watch on Amazon Instant Video.
Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work: This revealing documentary follows the life and career of Joan Rivers, a veteran comedienne arguably more known for her extensive plastic surgery than for her talent. The film explores her early years in the comedy industry and touches on her longtime professional relationship with Johnny Carson, who is one of many celebrities featured, along with George Carlin, Phyllis Diller, Kathy Griffin and Rivers’ own daughter and frequent screen partner, Melissa Rivers. Watch on Amazon Instant Video.
Journey to Dyslexia: According to a 2010 Roper Poll, 80 percent of Americans associate dyslexia with mental retardation. But what are the realities of this most common of learning disabilities? Oscar®-winning filmmakers Alan and Susan Raymond examine the complexities of the dyslexic brain, showing how it is structured differently, and debunk myths and misperceptions about dyslexia. Watch on HBO.
Last Days in Vietnam: During the chaotic final weeks of the Vietnam War, the North Vietnamese Army closes in on Saigon as the panicked South Vietnamese people desperately attempt to escape. On the ground, American soldiers and diplomats confront the same moral quandary: whether to obey White House orders to evacuate U.S. citizens only–or to risk treason and save the lives of as many South Vietnamese citizens as they can. Watch on Amazon Instant Video or for FREE HERE.
Life Itself: The Only Thing Roger Loved More than Movies: Based on his bestselling memoir of the same name,Life Itself, explores the impact and legacy of Roger Ebert’s life, from his Pulitzer Prize-winning film criticism at the Chicago Sun-Times to becoming one of the most influential cultural voices in America. Watch on iTunes.
Louder Than a Bomb: Louder Than a Bomb is a film about passion, competition, teamwork, and trust. It’s about the joy of being young, and the pain of growing up. It’s about speaking out, making noise, and finding your voice. It also just happens to be about poetry. It chronicles the stereotype-confounding stories of four teams as they prepare for and compete in a 2008 Poetry Slam event. Watch on Amazon Instant Video.
Man on a Wire: Using actual footage from the event seamlessly mingled with new re-enactments, filmmaker James Marsh masterfully recreates high-wire daredevil Philippe Petit’s 1974 stunt: performing acrobatics on a thin wire strung between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. Plotting his feat like a master cat burglar, Petit enlists the help of a motley group of friends as he calculates every detail, from acquiring building access to stringing up the wire, and manages to pull off an astounding crime. Watch on Amazon Instant Video.
Marathon Boy: Marathon Boy follows four-year-old Budhia, rescued from poverty by a larger-than-life judo coach and operator of an orphanage for slum children in the eastern Indian state of Orissa. When Budhia displays an uncommon talent for long-distance running, Biranchi nurtures his gift, heralding him as a folk hero for the impoverished masses, and maybe even for India itself. But after golden child Budhia breaks down during a world-record 65 kilometer run at the age of four. Nothing is what it seems in Budhia and Biranchi’s story, and Atwal continually shifts viewer identification to tell both a shocking story of opportunism and exploitation, but also a touching portrait of an authentic bond between a parent and child. Watch on HBO.
May I Be Frank: Frank Ferrante is a 54 year old Sicilian from Brooklyn living in San Francisco. A lover of life, great food and a good laugh, Frank is also a drug addict, morbidly obese, pre-diabetic, and fighting Hepatitis C. He’s estranged from his daughter, single, and struggling with depression. Frank knows that life can be better than this, and is looking for a way out. May I Be Frank documents the transformation of Frank Ferrante’s life after he stumbles into a local raw, organic, vegan café. Watch on Amazon Instant Video.
Me at the Zoo: Me at the Zoo takes a look at the young video blogger from a small town in Tennessee. The documentary delves into the life of Chris Crocker who was made famous on the internet through numerous public videos, notably his video “Leave Britney Alone”, which garnered mainstream media attention. The film also explores how video sharing and social media have shaped the way people share their stories and go about their lives. Watch on Amazon Instant Video.
Menstrual Man: Menstrual Man is a 2013 documentary film by Amit Virmani. The film tells the story of Arunachalam Muruganantham, an Indian social entrepreneur and inventor whose machines enable rural women to manufacture low-cost sanitary pads for their communities. It premiered at the 2013 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, and was voted a Top Ten Audience Favourite at both Hot Docs and IDFA the same year. Purchase HERE.
Mistaken for Strangers: Mistaken for Strangers is a truly hilarious, unusual, and moving film about two brothers, Matt and Tom Berninger. Matt, the lead singer of the critically acclaimed rock band The National, finally finds himself flush with success. His younger brother, Tom, is a loveable slacker – a filmmaker and metal-head still living with his parents in Cincinnati. On the eve of The National’s biggest tour to date, Matt invites Tom to work for the band as a roadie, unaware of Tom’s plan to film the entire adventure. What starts as a rock documentary soon becomes a surprisingly honest portrait of a charged relationship between two brothers, and the frustration of unfulfilled creative ambitions. Watch on iTunes or Amazon Instant Video.
Monica & David: Winner of the Best Documentary Feature award at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival, Monica & David is full of humor, romance and everyday drama. Blending fly-on-the-wall footage and personal interviews, first-time director Alexandra Codina (who is Monica’s cousin) explores the complex lives of the newlyweds and the devoted families who support them. Watch on Amazon Instant Video.
Music by Prudence: Music by Prudence is a 2010 short documentary film directed by Roger Ross Williams. It tells the uplifting story of the now 24-year-old Zimbabwean singer-songwriter Prudence Mabhena, and follows her remarkable transcendence from a world of hatred and superstition into one of music, love, and possibilities. Music by Prudence won the 2010 Academy Award for Best Documentary (Short Subject). Purchase HERE.
My Name Was Bette: The Life and Death of an Alcoholic: A documentary about women’s alcoholism chronicles the progression of the disease in Bette VandenAkker-a nurse, wife, and mother-who died in the fall of 2007. Filmmakers Sherri VandenAkker-Bette’s daughter-and Josh WE Hays employ interviews, family photographs, medical records, and court documents to provide a personal and detailed look at the physical, emotional, and mental toll of alcoholism. The film examines women’s risk factors for developing alcoholism and relapsing from sobriety; depicts the physiological damage women suffer from drinking, due in part to their hormones; and explores the stigma, guilt and shame the prevent women from seeking timely treatment. Watch on Amazon Instant Video.
New Year Baby: New Year Baby is a 2006 documentary film that tells the story of a family that survived the Cambodian genocide, and started a new life in the United States. The film was directed by Socheata Poeuv and produced by Charles Vogl. It won the 2007 IDFA “Movies That Matter” Award, an initiative of Amnesty International, as well as eight other international awards. It was aired on National PBS in 2008. Watch on Amazon Instant Video.
No One Dies in Lily Dale: No One Dies in Lily Dale visits this idyllic community, described by visitors and residents alike as a place with a concentration of energy, where every year more than 25,000 people come to find closure after the loss of a loved one. Along with the inevitable tears, the town and its inhabitants usually evoke smiles and bring a profound, surprising sense of connection with the world beyond to its visitors. Whatever their story, each one leaves with a different view of Lily Dale. Watch on HBO.
Other City, The: Not far from the White House, the Capitol, and the National Mall lies a part of Washington, DC that the tourists never see and the mainstream media virtually ignores. At least three percent of DC is HIV positive, a staggering rate higher than parts of Africa. Behind all the stories of heartbreak, loss, and struggle there are also the incredible, encouraging stories of the people behind grassroots movements to extend education, combat stigmas, and spread hope. Watch on Showtime.
Paradise Lost: Three teenagers are accused of this horrific crime of killing three children, supposedly as a result of involvement in Satanism. As in their previous documentary, things turn out to be more complex than initial appearances and this film presents the real-life courtroom drama to the viewer, as it unfolds. Watch for FREE on YouTube.
Park Avenue: In America, the rich are getting richer. Isn’t that great? Doesn’t that mean there’s lots more wealth to go round? Or is it good news for the rich but very bad news for the poor? 740 Park Avenue, Manhattan, is one of the most exclusive addresses in the world, home to some of the richest Americans, the 1% of the 1%. Ten minutes to the north, across the Harlem River, is the other Park Avenue, in the South Bronx. Here, unemployment runs at 19% and half the population need food stamps. Watch on YouTube.
Particle Fever: Imagine being able to watch as Edison turned on the first light bulb, or as Franklin received his first jolt of electricity. For the first time, a film gives audiences a front row seat to a significant and inspiring scientific breakthrough as it happens. Particle Fever follows six brilliant scientists during the launch of the Large Hadron Collider, marking the start-up of the biggest and most expensive experiment in the history of the planet, pushing the edge of human innovation. Watch on Amazon Instant Video.
Prisoner of her Past: Prisoner of Her Past is a 2010 documentary film that follows the journey of Chicago Tribune music critic Howard Reich as he travels to Europe to discover why his elderly mother, Sonia Reich, believes people are trying to kill her. Inspired by conversations with young trauma survivors in post-Katrina New Orleans, Howard Reich begins to discover a secret that his mother, Sonia, had kept hidden for over 60 years. For most of her adult life, Sonia Reich was a well adjusted and self-sufficient woman, but now in her eighties, Sonia is suffering from late-onset Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Purchase here.
Private Violence: Private Violence emphasizes the stigma domestic violence still carries for its victims, telling the stories of two women: Deanna, a victim turned survivor, and Kit Gruelle, a survivor who advocates for justice on behalf of Deanna and other battered women. Highlighting the complex, frustrating realities of the abuse women suffer every day at the hands of intimate partners, as well as the difficulties of prosecuting domestic violence cases. Watch on HBO.
Prodigal Sons: Returning home to a small town in Montana for her high school reunion, filmmaker Kimberly Reed hopes for reconciliation with her long-estranged adopted brother, Marc. But along the way she uncovers stunning revelations, including a surprise relationship to Orson Welles and Rita Hayworth, intense sibling rivalries and unforeseeable twists of plot and gender that force them to face challenges no one could imagine. Prodigal Sons is a raw and provocative examination of one family’s struggle to come to terms with its past and present. Watch on Amazon Instant Video.
Project Nim: From the Oscar-winning team behind MAN ON WIRE comes the story of Nim, the chimpanzee who became the focus of a landmark 1970s experiment to show that an ape could learn to communicate with language if raised and nurtured like a human child. But as Nim’s natural instincts take over and the humans around him fail to protect him. Purchase on Amazon.
Queen of Versailles, The: The Queen of Versailles is a character-driven documentary about a billionaire family and their financial challenges in the wake of the economic crisis. The film follows two unique characters, whose rags-to-riches success stories reveal the innate virtues and flaws of the American Dream. The film begins with the family triumphantly constructing the largest privately-owned house in America. Over the next two years, their sprawling empire, fueled by the real estate bubble and cheap money, falters due to the economic crisis. Watch on YouTube.
Rape in a Small Town: On Easter Eve, 1991, 75-year-old Florence Holway was brutally attacked, beaten and raped in her small rural New England home. Barely surviving the attack, she vowed that she would do everything in her power to see that her 25 year old attacker, John LaForest, who had a past criminal record no less, could never do the same thing again to another innocent woman. Watch for FREE on YouTube.
Regarding Susan Sontag: Regarding Susan Sontag is an intimate and nuanced investigation into the life of one of the most influential and provocative thinkers of the 20th century. Passionate and gracefully outspoken throughout her career, Susan Sontag became one of the most important literary, political and feminist icons of her generation. The documentary explores Sontag’s life through evocative experimental images, archival materials, accounts from friends, family, colleagues, and lovers, as well as her own words, read by actress Patricia Clarkson. Watch for FREE on YouTube.
Rehab: Camp Recovery, located in the coastal town of Santa Cruz, Cal., features a mix of new and long-term addicts, most of whom stay for 30 days (the maximum allowed by most insurance companies). Rehab chronicles their experiences in the center and follows them out into the less-supervised, far more dangerous, “real” world, riding the emotional tidal waves that accompany incremental progress and devastating relapses. The film offers a rare insider’s look at the ups and downs of each addict’s journey to stay clean. Watch the Trailer HERE.
Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired: Roman Polanski, Wanted and Desired, is a 2008 documentary film directed by Marina Zenovich. It concerns film director Roman Polanski and his sexual abuse case. It examines the events that led to Polanski fleeing the United States after being embroiled in a controversial trial, and his unstable reunion with his adopted country. Watch on HBO.
Rough Aunties: Fearless, feisty and resolute, the “Rough Aunties” are a remarkable group of women unwavering in their stand to protect and care for the abused, neglected and forgotten children of Durban, South Africa. This documentary follows the outspoken, multiracial cadre of Thuli, Mildred, Sdudla, Eureka and Jackie, as they wage a daily battle against systemic apathy, corruption and greed to help the most vulnerable and disenfranchised of their communities. Neither politics, nor social or racial divisions stand a chance against the united force of the women. Watch on HBO.
Saving Face: Every year hundreds of people — mostly women — are attacked with acid in Pakistan. Saving Face follows several of these survivors, their fight for justice, and a Pakistani plastic surgeon who has returned to his homeland to help them restore their faces and their lives. The film follows London-based Pakistani plastic surgeon Dr. Mohammad Jawadas he journeys to Pakistan to perform reconstructive surgery on survivors of acid violence. The Acid Survivors Foundation of Pakistan, which is featured in the film, had documented over 100 acid attacks a year in Pakistan, but estimates far more due to lack of reporting. Purchase on Amazon Instant Video.
Searching for Sugar Man: Searching for Sugar Man is a 2012 Swedish–British documentary film which details the efforts of two Cape Town fans in the late 1990s, Stephen “Sugar” Segerman and Craig Bartholomew-Strydom, to find out whether the rumored death of American musician Sixto Rodriguez was true and, if not, to discover what had become of him. Rodriguez’s music, which had never been achieved success in the United States, had become very popular in South Africa although little was known about him in that country. Watch on Amazon Instant Video.
Section 60: At Arlington National Cemetery, the nation’s preeminent military cemetery, Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are buried in Section 60. This documentary film follows some of the families that come to visit their graves. Over the course of four months in 2007, they filmed on a daily basis, earning the trust of families who shared some of their most personal moments. Watch on PBS online.
Shenandoah: An epic feature documentary about a coal mining town with a fiery immigrant heritage, once pivotal in fueling America’s industrial revolution and today in decline and struggling to survive and retain its identity, soul and values – all of which were dramatically challenged when four of the town’s white, star football players were charged in the beating death of an undocumented Mexican immigrant named Luis Ramirez. Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer David Turnley’s most personal work, Shenandoah creates a deeply felt portrait of a working class community, and the American Dream on trial. Watch on Vimeo.
Sicko: Filmmaker Michael Moore examines America’s health-care crisis and why millions of citizens are without coverage. Moore spotlights the cases of several ordinary citizens whose lives have been shattered by bureaucratic red tape, refusal of payment, and other health-care catastrophes. He explains how the system has become so problematic, and he visits countries where citizens receive free health care, as in Canada, France and the U.K.. Watch online for FREE.
Smash His Camera: Smash His Camera is a 2010 documentary film directed by filmmaker Leon Gast about the life and career of paparazzi photographer Ron Galella. The film won the “Directing Award Documentary” at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival and began a limited U.S. theatrical release on 30 July 2010 through Magnolia Pictures, and will be shown on HBO. Watch on Amazon Instant Video.
Smile Pinki: Pinki Sonkar is a five-year-old girl who is living with a severe cleft lip in one of the poorest areas of India. Not allowed to attend school at her native village, Rampur Dahaba village in Mirzapur, near Varanasi, and ostracized because of her deformity, Pinki lives a life of quiet desperation as she waits and wonders if she will ever receive the cleft surgery. Her parents are unable to afford the surgery that she desperately needs. By chance, Pinki’s parents meet a social worker one day who is traveling village to village, gathering patients for a hospital that provides free cleft lip surgery to thousands of poor children each year through The Smile Train program. Watch on Vimeo.
SOMM: Four sommeliers attempt to pass the prestigious Master Sommelier exam, a test with one of the lowest pass rates in the world. The film follows four young men who have put aside their lives to study for the test. They memorize arcane facts about wine regions and winemaking, jot notes on index cards and quiz one another, rarely seeing their wives or girlfriends. Purchase on Amazon Instant Video.
Sons of Perdition: In the desert of Utah hides Colorado City, the oldest polygamist compound in the United States. Here men have plural wives and raise their children by the strict code of the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saint religion (FLDS). After his rise to power, the prophet Warren Jeffs began a systematic effort to cleanse his flock. He banned schooling, books, recreations, and excommunicated prominent men, marrying their women to other men. Hundreds of teenage boys were exiled to the streets, giving up their families and salvation. The film follows three boys after they leave Colorado City. With limited educations and rarely a stable address, the obstacles are enormous. Watch on Amazon Instant Video.
Stevie Nicks: In Your Dreams: A documentary that follows Stevie Nicks as she begins writing and recording her first solo album in nearly a decade. In 2010 Stevie Nicks embarked on the recording of a new solo album, In Your Dreams, produced by former Eurythmics mastermind Dave Stewart. With cameras in tow, the two set up shop in her home studio to reveal their collaborative creative process. Watch on Amazon Instant Video.
Stories We Tell: In this inspired, genre-twisting new film, Oscar (R)-nominated writer/director Sarah Polley discovers that the truth depends on who’s telling it. Polley is both filmmaker and detective as she investigates the secrets kept by a family of storytellers. She playfully interviews and interrogates a cast of characters of varying reliability, eliciting refreshingly candid, yet mostly contradictory, answers to the same questions. Stories We Tell explores the elusive nature of truth and memory, but at its core is a deeply personal film about how our narratives shape and define us as individuals and families, all interconnecting to paint a profound, funny and poignant picture of the larger human story. Watch on Amazon Instant Video.
Story of Stuff, The: The Story of Stuff, originally released in December 2007, is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world. It’ll teach you something, it’ll make you laugh, and it just may change the way you look at all the Stuff in your life forever. Watch for FREE on Storyofstuff.org.
Super Size Me: Director Morgan Spurlock’s social experiment in fast-food gastronomy sees him attempting to subsist uniquely on food from the McDonald’s menu for an entire month. In the process his weight balloons, his energy level plummets and he experiences all sorts of unexpected — and terrifying — side effects. He also examines the corporate giant’s growing role in the lives of American consumers and explores its methods of indoctrinating young people and its contribution to America’s obesity epidemic. Watch on Amazon Instant Video.
Talhotblond: This is the true story of a love triangle that takes place entirely online. Lies lead to murder in real life, as a teenage vixen (screen name ‘talhotblond’) lures men into her web. It is the true story of the internet chat room murder involving Thomas Montgomery and tall hot blonde Mary Shieler. The two became involved in an online love affair that lasted for two years. Revealing a shocking true crime story that shows the Internet’s power to unleash our most dangerous fantasies. Watch on Amazon Instant Video.
Tattooed Under Fire: Tattooed Under Fire is a unique, intimate, character-driven portrait of Iraq-bound and returning US soldiers as they go under the tattoo needle: openly professing their pride, sharing their secrets and confessing their fears. The tattoos cross lines of gender, class, and political affinity revealing the inner lives of young men and women as they live through the horrors of the Iraq war. The film’s narrative moves from the early expectations and excitement of 18 and 20 year-olds through cynicism and anger to a sense of a psychological aftermath that will never be erased. Each soldier’s story is an evocative, poignant, and highly personal look at the human and cultural cost of war. Watch on Amazon Instant Video.
Taxi to the Dark Side: This documentary explores the American military’s use of torture by focusing on the unsolved murder of an Afhgani taxi driver who, in 2002, was taken for questioning at Bagram Force Air Base. Five days later, the man was dead. The medical examiner claimed the driver died from excessive physical abuse. Taking this case as a jumping-off point, the film examines wider claims of torture that occurred at bases like Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay during the Bush administration. Watch for FREE HERE.
Teenage Paparazzo: Teenage Paparazzo chronicles the relationship of a 14-year-old paparazzo Austin Visschedyk and actor Adrian Grenier. Grenier encountered Visschedyk one night and decided to follow him while searching for celebrities. Grenier had set himself a mission in getting to understand the world of the paparazzi. Austin has to be tutored and stays up late at night taking pictures and surfing the internet. Watch on Amazon Instant Video.
Terror at the Mall: On Sept. 21, 2013, Al-Shabaab, an Al Qaeda-linked terrorist group from Somalia, attacked Westgate Mall in neighboring Kenya. The siege lasted 49 hours, leaving 71 dead and hundreds wounded. Told from the vantage point of more than 100 security cameras revealing hours of previously unseen mall surveillance video, and drawing on extensive photos taken during the attack and testimony from survivors and rescuers depicted in the footage and photos, Terror at the Mall recalls the horror of the attack, as well as the courage and resilience of ordinary citizens in the face of mass murder. Watch on HBO.
There is Something Wrong with Aunt Diane: On Sunday, July 26, 2009, Diane Schuler left the campgrounds in upstate New York where she was vacationing with her family and set off towards home on Long Island, a drive she had made numerous times before. With her were five young children: her son, her daughter and three nieces. Four hours later, she drove the wrong way on the Taconic State Parkway for nearly two miles – eventually crashing into an oncoming SUV, killing herself and seven others. One of the worst motor-vehicle accidents in New York State history, the tragedy quickly became national news and her actions on that day, and in the past, were thrust under a microscope in a desperate search for answers. Watch for FREE on YouTube.
They Killed Sister Dorothy: On February 12th, 2005, Sister Dorothy Stang, a Catholic nun from Dayton, Ohio, was shot six times and left to die on a muddy road in the Brazilian Amazon. Who was this woman? Why was she killed? And what will be done about it? The answers may hold the fate of the rainforest itself. They Killed Sister Dorothy is a ground-breaking documentary feature and a true courtroom drama that follows the trial of Dorothy’s killers and examines her life’s work in the rainforest of Brazil. Watch on Amazon Instant Video.
Thin: This documentary, directed by Lauren Greenfield, follows four young women dealing with anorexia and bulimia at a strict treatment facility in Florida where they temporarily live. As the camera follows them, Shelly, Polly, Brittany and Alisa, ranging in age from 15 to 30 years old, have group therapy sessions, weigh-ins and meals. The women discuss the emotional and psychological issues tied to their body-image problems, as each struggles to fight the urge to lose more weight. Watch for FREE on YouTube.
Tillman Story, The: The family of professional football player turned soldier Pat Tillman sets out to explore and uncover the real story behind their son’s death in April 2004 when he was serving in Afghanistan. Tillman, killed not by the Taliban as had first been reported, but instead by friendly fire, left a million-dollar career to serve the United States. But, while searching for the truth, his family uncovers more than the real story — they expose a shocking propagandistic military cover-up. Watch on Amazon Instant Video.
To Die In Jerusalem: To Die in Jerusalem is a 2007 HBO documentary film about the effects of a March 29, 2002, Jerusalem suicide bombing on the families of the 17 year-old Israeli victim Rachel Levy and the 18 year-old Palestinian female suicide bomber, Ayat al-Akhras. Al-Akhras blew herself up at the entrance of Kiryat HaYovel’s main supermarket, killing two people and injuring 28. Watch for FREE here.
Touching the Void: In 1985, two young climbers, Joe Simpson (Brendan Mackey) and Simon Yates (Nicholas Aaron), set out to be the first to reach the summit of the Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes. They succeed, and the two embark on the treacherous descent down the mountain — only to meet with disaster when Simpson breaks his leg in a fall, leaving Yates to lower him the rest of the way with ropes. When a storm threatens both their lives, Yates must decide whether to cut the rope and risk Simpson’s likely death. Watch on YouTube for FREE.
Trials of Ted Haggard, The: Intrepid filmmaker Alexandra Pelosi takes a behind-the-scenes look at the recent life and hard times of Ted Haggard, the founder and pastor of the New Life Church and President of the National Association of Evangelicals, who lost his job and his reputation after a sordid sex/drug scandal. Watch on Vimeo.
Waiting for Superman: This film by director Davis Guggenheim investigates the public school system in the United States, and uncovers the many ways in which education in America has declined. Rather than relying largely on statistics and expert opinions, Guggenheim focuses on five students — Anthony, Bianca, Daisy, Emily and Francisco — portraying their own individual struggles and triumphs within problem-plagued academic settings where there are no easy solutions to the myriad issues that affect them. Watch on Amazon Instant Video.
Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price: The controversial retail giant Walmart faces the scrutiny of filmmaker Robert Greenwald in this documentary showcasing the adverse effects the behemoth inflicts on communities and individuals. Conducting interviews with former and current Walmart employees, Greenwald gets an insider’s look into some of the corporation’s alleged nefarious and exploitative labor practices. The film also explores the economic impact of Walmart on small businesses and communities. Watch on Amazon Instant Video.
Wartorn 1861-2010: With suicide rates among active military servicemen and veterans currently on the rise, the HBO special Wartorn 1861-2010 brings urgent attention to the invisible wounds of war. Drawing on personal stories of American soldiers whose lives and psyches were torn asunder by the horrors of battle and PTSD, the documentary chronicles the lingering effects of combat stress and post-traumatic stress on military personnel and their families throughout American history, from the Civil War through today’s conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Watch on Amazon Instant Video.
Watershed, The: Faced with extraordinary trauma of losing both parents to alcoholism and divorce, seven siblings form a unique family structure. “The Watershed” is a moving documentary of survival and forgiveness that shows how tragedy can have transforming effects on individual identity. Still lulled by Camelot fantasies, the Trunk family represented both the accomplishment and downfall of the American Dream. For more than four years the Trunk children were left to fend for themselves, often living without a phone, electricity, heat and very little food. Just when life seemed unbearable, all seven children were rescued and taken in by relatives who already had three children and limited resources of their own. It was there that they had a second chance at becoming a family again. Watch on Amazon Instant Video.
Weight of the Nation, The: Explore the damage of obesity on children in the U.S. in this documentary that follows the families of four kids as they seek help and try to make positive lifestyle changes. The first film in The Weight of the Nation series examines the scope of the obesity epidemic and the serious health consequences of being overweight or obese. Watch on Amazon Instant Video.
We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks: Filmed with the startling immediacy of unfolding history, Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney’s We Steal Secrets details the creation of Julian Assange’s controversial website, which facilitated the largest security breach in U.S. history. Hailed by some as a free-speech hero and by others as a traitor and terrorist, the enigmatic Assange’s rise and fall are paralleled with that of Pfc. Bradley Manning, the brilliant, troubled young soldier who downloaded hundreds of thousands of documents from classified U.S. military and diplomatic servers, revealing the behind-the-scenes workings of the government’s international diplomacy and military strategy. Watch on Amazon Instant Video.
We Were Here: We Were Here is the first documentary to take a deep and reflective look back at the arrival and impact of AIDS in San Francisco. It explores how the City’s inhabitants were affected by, and how they responded to, that calamitous epidemic. Though a San Francisco-based story, We Were Here extends beyond San Francisco and beyond AIDS itself. It speaks to our capacity as individuals to rise to the occasion, and to the incredible power of a community coming together with love, compassion, and determination. Watch on Amazon Instant Video.
What On Earth: Inside the Crop Circle Mystery: Join filmmaker Suzanne Taylor as she explores the mysterious crop circle phenomenon and engages with a visionary community of scientists, philosophers, mathematicians and educators from all over the world. The beauty and wonder of the award-winning “What On Earth?” will forever change the way you see the world around you. Watch on Amazon Instant Video.
Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill, The: A homeless musician’s life is transformed after he discovers a flock of wild South American parrots living in San Francisco. How they got there is a mystery, but Mark Bittner forms a bond with the exotic birds through his music and his patient, attentive care. Over time he comes to appreciate their individual identities and makes a case for humans to reevaluate their relationship to animals. When he is forced to leave them, he despairs over the birds’ fate. Watch on Amazon Instant Video.
Without a Home: Growing up in Los Angeles, a city whose homeless population exceeds 90,000, filmmaker Rachel Fleischer always felt a deep connection to the homeless. Her desire to understand that connection takes twenty-three year old Fleischer on an extraordinary four-year journey into the lives of six homeless individuals and families as they struggle to find homes, get clean, and survive. Intertwined with each tale is the story of Fleischer herself, as she attempts to walk the fine line between telling the stories of her subjects and helping those in need. Watch on Amazon Instant Video.
Woman Who Wasn’t There, The: A look inside the mind of Tania Head, history’s most infamous 9/11 survivor. Her jaw-dropping tale of escape from the south tower was most astounding and she later rose to national prominence amongst 9/11 survivors…until it all turned out to be a lie. Watch on Amazon Instant Video.
Woodmans, The: The Woodmans are a family of well-known artists bonded in their belief of art-making as the highest form of expression. But for their daughter Francesca — one of the late 20th century’s most recognized and influential photographers — fame came only after a tragedy that would forever scar the family. With unrestricted access to all of Francesca’s photographs, private diaries and experimental videos, The Woodmans traces the story of a family broken and then healed by their art. Watch on PBS.
You’ve Been Trumped: You’ve Been Trumped is a 2011 documentary by British filmmaker Anthony Baxter. The film documents the construction of a luxury golf course on a beach in Balmedie, Aberdeenshire, Scotland by developer Donald Trump, and the subsequent struggles between the locals and Donald Trump and Scottish legal and governmental authorities. Watch on Amazon Instant Video.