Whether or not you go to school, summer has a special way of turning off brains or at least setting them to “float in the pool” mode. Fight the summer brain drain with a documentary on nearly any topic you can imagine. Grab one that interests you, or pick up one in a totally unknown topic to expand your knowledge.
We’ll have a display near the DVD section until the end of June, so browse through it and find something entertaining and educational to add to your stack. If nothing on the cart jumps out at you, anything on the back wall of the DVD section is non-fiction, so you can find an even larger selection there.
Starting in January, I went through and discarded a huge amount of non-fiction DVDs that hadn’t checked out in forever and were taking up space that could be used for some things that would be useful. Since then, I’ve been building up a collection of award-winning and though-provoking documentaries and other educational DVDs. Here’s this week’s order:
- After the End – A documentary about the effect of loss in each of our lives.
- America Revealed – Take to the skies for a bird’s-eye view of how this vast and complex country actually works.
- The Amish – Explores the insular religious community, whose intense faith and adherence to 400-year-old traditions have by turns captivated and baffled Americans for more than a century.
- Big Cats – Explore the hidden lives of three of the most dangerous predators on the planet with NATURE’s Big Cats.
- The Botany of Desire – Shows how human desires are an essential, intricate part of natural history.
- Bridegroom – On May 7, 2011, a young man, tragically lost the love of his life, to an accident. Because they were not legally married or prepared for the unexpected, his partner, lost all legal claims to him after he died.
- Call Me Kuchu – In Uganda, a new bill threatens to make homosexuality punishable by death. David Kato, Uganda’s first openly gay man, and retired Anglican Bishop Christopher Senyonjo work against the clock to defeat state-sanctioned homophobia.
- Collapse – Meet Michael Ruppert, a different kind of American. A former Los Angeles police officer turned independent reporter, he predicted the current financial crisis in his self-published newsletter, From the Wilderness, at a time when most Wall Street and Washington analysts were still in denial.
- Dark Girls – Go underneath the surface to explore the prejudices that dark-skinned women face throughout the world.
- Digital Nation – Over a single generation, the web and digital media have remade nearly every aspect of modern culture, transforming the way we work, learn, and connect in ways that we’re only beginning to understand. Frontline reports from the front lines of digital culture.
- Dogs Decoded – Dogs have been domesticated for longer than any other animal on the planet, and humans have developed a unique relationship with these furry friends.
- The Fabric of the Cosmos – Based on the book by physicist and author Brian Greene, this film takes us to the frontiers of physics to see how scientists are piecing together the most complete picture yet of space, time, and the universe.
- Gasland Part 2 – In this explosive follow-up to his Oscar-nominated film Gasland, filmmaker Josh Fox uses his trademark dark humor to take a deeper, broader look at the dangers of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, the controversial method of extracting natural gas and oil, now occurring on a global level (in 32 countries worldwide).
- George Harrison – Living in the Material World – Inter-cut with archive material, friends, family and associates of the musician tell the story of his life and how spirituality became such a major part of it. Directed by Martin Scorsese.
- Gonzo – The Life and Work of Hunter S. Thompson – Traces Dr. Thompson’s life, from his travels with the Hell’s Angels through his various Wild Turkey and drug-infested episodes in politics and righting the wrongs of society.
- Greedy Lying Bastards – An investigation of the climate change misinformation campaign waged by the oil industry and its funded think-tanks. Exposes how a small number of well paid spokespeople have worked to confuse the public and lawmakers on the issue.
- Greenwich Village – Music that Defined a Generation – Between 1961-1973, musicians in the Village banded together to sing about the radical social upheaval of the time, sparking everlasting political, social, and cultural changes.
- Hava Nagila – Hava Nagila is instantly recognizable and musical shorthand for anything Jewish. But as audiences will discover in the film, the song is much more than a tale of Jewish kitsch and bad bar mitzvah fashions.
- Hawking – The film features exclusive access to Hawking’s life story, told largely in his own words.
- Inside the Actor’s Studio – Leading Men – Features Robert De Niro (recorded Jan. 1999), Al Pacino (recorded Oct. 2006), Sean Penn (recorded Feb. 1999), and Russel Crowe (recorded Jan. 2004).
- Inside the Actor’s Studio – Robin Williams
- JFK - This film explores Kennedy’s childhood years as the privileged but sickly son of one of the wealthiest men in America, his early political career as a lackluster congressman, his successful run for the U.S. Senate, and the game-changing presidential campaign that made him the youngest elected president in U.S. history.
- Lady Gaga – The Monster Ball Tour – The 130 minute concert video, ‘Lady Gaga Presents The Monster Ball Tour at Madison Square Garden’.
- Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky – This film explores the political life and ideas of Noam Chomsky, world-renowned linguist, intellectual and political activist.
- My Amityville Horror – For the first time, child eyewitness Daniel Lutz recounts his version of the infamous Amityville haunting that terrified his family in 1975.
- No Place on Earth – In October 1942, Esther Stermer, the matriarch of a Jewish family in Ukraine, leads her family underground to hide from the pursuing Nazis and stays nearly a year and a half.
- Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism – This documentary reveals the secrets of former Fox news producers, reporters, bookers, and writers who expose what it’s like to work for Fox News.
- The Persuaders – Examine the persuasion industries: advertising and public relations.
- The Poisoner’s Handbook – In the early twentieth century, the average American medicine cabinet was a would-be poisoner’s treasure chest.
- Red Obsession – A film about power, passion and the fine wine game.
- Somm – Takes the viewer on a humorous, emotional and illuminating look into the mysterious world of the Court of Master Sommeliers and their massively intimidating master sommelier exam.
- Tutu Much – A story of what it takes to become a dancer, through the eyes of nine young girls from around the world.
- The Waiting Room – A character-driven documentary film that goes behind the doors of an American public hospital struggling to care for a community of largely uninsured patients.
- West of Memphis – True story centering on the new investigation surrounding the 1993 murders of three 8-year-old boys in the town of West Memphis, Ark.
As always, check the catalog in the next few weeks as we catalog these items. Some movies may still be in theaters and may not be released for weeks or months, so please be patient and keep checking the catalog for availability.