Documentaries

DOCUMENTARY — This Is No Practice Run: A Year After Charlottesville And The Nazi Threat Across America Has Grown

    “Nazism was cruel because Nazis were cruel; and the Nazis were cruel because cruel people tended to become Nazis.” — Zygmunt Bauman By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (8/9/18) If you haven’t already seen it, set aside an hour to watch the PBS Frontline/ProPublica “Documenting Hate” documentary to get up to speed on just how deeply the Nazi movement has embedded itself into modern America. Under the ever fascist-friendly leadership of Donald Trump, the nation that defeated Nazism in Europe 70 years ago now has the virus of fascism running freely in it’s veins. And that virus is…

Read More

James Comey Believes Donald Trump Has An “Emptiness” Inside of Him

This past Thursday evening the New Yorker Radio Hour featured an interview with former FBI director James Comey by New Yorker editor David Remnick. Remnick did his homework and wasn’t afraid to challenge Comey on a number of things ranging from some of the cheap shots taken at Donald Trump’s appearance in his newly released book Higher Loyalty to decisions made regarding the Hillary Clinton email investigation and actions during the Bush years. Things get a little prickly at points. A damn good interview worth the time. Link to 74-Minute Audio


Kleptocracy Inc. — Checking Into Trump’s Washington DC Hotel

Kleptocracy, a heart-shaped diamond and a quarter-billion dollar yacht named ‘Equanimity’. Reveal / The Center For Investigative Reporting (4/7/18) In 2016, the Justice Department alleged that Malaysian officials stole billions of dollars from their people and funneled some of it through the United States. Reveal teamed up with Washington D.C.’s public radio station, WAMU, to dig into one of the largest investigations ever by the Justice Department’s Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative. It’s a tale that features cameos from Leonardo DiCaprio, Donald Trump, the world’s largest yacht, a Malaysian playboy known for his lavish spending in New York nightclubs, and –…



Sacrifice Zone: A Cursed Appalachian Mining Town

  Video by Ivete Lucas & Patrick Bresnan The Atlantic (3/13/18) In the late 1800s, traveling preacher Robert Sheffey cursed the town of Ivanhoe, Virginia, after witnessing what one female resident describes as “houses of ill repute, fighting, drunkenness, and a rejection of his ministry by the townspeople.” Legend has it that Sheffey condemned the sinful town to sink into the earth and be consumed by the pits of hell. “Whether you believe in it or not, after that happened, we lost everything,” says the same Ivanhoe resident in the short documentary The Curse and the Jubilee. “We lost the rock quarry; we…


VICE Special Report: A World In Disarray

New World Disorder. Vice Special Report (10/30/17) A World in Disarray, a VICE special report, is a feature-length documentary that explores the disorder in today’s international landscape and how it plays out in four regions of conflict and tension. Starting with an exclusive interview with Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations and author of “A World in Disarray,” the special observes America’s role in a post-Cold War world and the unfolding consequences of an “America First” policy, with perspectives from Condoleezza Rice, Tony Blair, Samantha Power, Ash Carter, and others. Several VICE correspondents and founder Suroosh Alvi…


BBC Radio Documentary Captures Daily Brutality Of War: Ukraine’s Frontline Bakery

  Our World/BBC (1/11/18) The war in eastern Ukraine between Russian-backed rebels and the Ukrainian army has killed more than 10,000 people over four years, and peace remains a distant prospect. Despite the violence and poverty though, civilians in the war zone try to live as normal a life as possible. In the frontline town of Marinka, a new bakery has opened which brings some comfort and sustenance to war-weary locals. From Marinka, Lucy Ash reports. Link to Story and 30-Minute Audio


VIDEO: A Day In The Life Of A Sniper In Syria

“My dreams are over. But I want a better life for generations to come. The things I have been through I wouldn’t wish on anyone.”   Video By Reber Dosky The Atlantic (12/4/17) “Did you kill any members of ISIS?” a hairdresser asks his client. The young man doesn’t answer. He simply stares at himself in the mirror—a soldier clad in camouflage with a rifle casually slung over his shoulder. Another try: “So, did you kill people or not?” Save for distant gunshots, silence hangs in the air. The reticent soldier in question is Haron, a Kurdish sniper who has…


“Worm Wood”: Errol Morris’s Latest Documentary Probes Deadly CIA Duplicity

Frank Olson may have been not just murdered but executed. (Editor’s Note: “Wormwood” is a fascinating Netflix documentary series on the 1953 suicide/murder/execution of government scientist Frank Olson, who grew up in Hurley, Wisconsin. The official story was that Olson’s death was an unfortunate outcome of a what was a whacky CIA LSD experimental program gone awry. Olson’s eldest son, Erik, never felt comfortable with the story; always felt there was more to it. He was right. This short series is a powerful, personal account of the abuse of unchecked government power and secrecy and perfectly timed as a warning…


“The Rape Of Recy Taylor”: How Rosa Parks Helped A Courageous Sharecropper Report Her Assault & Seek Justice

  Democracy Now! (12/20/17) A new film [The Rape Of Recy Taylor] looks at the 1944 gang rape of Recy Taylor, a 24-year-old black mother and sharecropper. Following the rape, she refused to be silenced and spoke up with help from the NAACP’s chief rape investigator Rosa Parks. When Parks went to interview Taylor, the local sheriff kept driving by the house and eventually burst in, threatening Parks with arrest if she didn’t leave town. Parks left and then launched the Alabama Committee for Equal Justice for Mrs. Recy Taylor, triggering a movement to seek justice 11 years before Parks…


New Documentary Reveals Major Coverup & Corruption In Las Vegas Police Department, Before And After The Mass Shooting

  By Liz Posner AlterNet (12/25/17) Unanswered questions still surround the mass shooting in Las Vegas on October 1 this year. Days after shooter Stephen Paddock killed 59 people and injured over 500, confusing details emerged. Journalists sparred with police at press conferences, grappling for missing details. The security guard who discovered Paddock in his hotel room with 24 guns and was shot by Paddock later disappeared, only to reemerge as a guest on the Ellen DeGeneres Show. To shed light on this confusion, a new film, “What Happened in Vegas,” explores the role of the Las Vegas Police Department after the mass…


‘The Post’ Puts Pentagon Papers Back On The Front Page

  On Point/WBUR (12/21/17) With guest host Tom Gjelten.  The new film “The Post,” with Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep, puts the Pentagon Papers back on the front page. The massive leak of government documents helped shed light on the Vietnam War, and the lies the government was telling about it. Among others, we’re talking to Leslie Gelb, a former Department of Defense official who will tell us exactly how leaker Daniel Ellsberg got away with the documents. We’re digging in and consider its impact on journalism, now. Clips From This Show: Key Pentagon Papers Figure Dispels ‘Baloney’ Myths — But…


Story Behind The Famous Pentagon Papers: The Story Of A Whistleblower & A Young Reporter

Secrets, Lies and Leaks. The Center For Investigative Reporting & PRX (5/21/17) In this episode of Reveal, we’re using the full hour to take a deep look at the leaking and publication of the Pentagon Papers. At the center of the episode are two guys who have a knack for being in the room when history gets made: Robert J. Rosenthal and Daniel Ellsberg. For Rosenthal, the Pentagon Papers came calling when he was at the beginning of his journalism career. When Ellsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers to the press in 1971, he was turning his back on a long career close…


VIDEO: America’s Mobster President—New Evidence In Dutch Documentary Of Trump’s International Money Laundering Circles

  By Steven Rosenfeld AlterNet (9/29/17) President Trump’s Manhattan properties and business partners, including former Soviet Union-connected oligarchs, were involved in a larger international money-laundering scheme involving upward of $1 billion, according to Dutch filmmakers whose third installment in an investigative series aired on public TV in Holland Wednesday. “We wanted to know in depth how money was transferred from Kazakhstan to the United States and how this could relate to Donald Trump, the Trump Organization and Trump’s real estate,” said Sander Rietveld, director of The Dubious Friends of Donald Trump, Part III: The Multibillion-Dollar Fraud, broadcast on Zembla, a program…


Can You Even Imagine The US Govt. Putting Out A Message Like This 1947 War Office Film Today?

“A nation of suckers.” By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (7/13/17) I stumbled across a poignant little film put out by the United States War Office in 1947 called Don’t Be A Sucker” that was a warning against domestic fascism. Fresh off the devastating tragedy of World War II there was a worry that the ever present currents of American fascism could replicate and metastasize into what had recently occurred in Europe. Don’t Be A Sucker does a quaint but excellent job of briefly explaining the dangers of fascism and how fascists had been able to drive wedges between the…


BBC Newsnight Video: Donald Trump’s Business Links To The Mob

“What Trump told me was not true.” Published on Mar 4, 2016 Donald Trump now looks like the front-runner to be the Republican candidate for the US presidency. One of his big appeals is his business success – and his claim that his wealth means he can’t be bought and sold. But there’s evidence which not only casts doubt on Trump’s wealth claims – but also reveals his history of business relationships with figures connected to organised crime. John Sweeney reports. Link to 10-Minute Video


Two Must-See Videos: Explosive Dutch Documentaries Say Trump Has Deep Ties To Russia’s Mafia Underworld

  By David Ferguson The Raw Story (5/11/17) A Dutch TV documentary alleges that President Donald Trump has extensive connections to Russia’s ruling oligarchs and a history of illegal racketeering. “Donald Trump’s business partners have included Russian oligarchs and convicted mobsters, which could make the president guilty of criminal racketeering charges,” wrote Steven Rosenfeld at AlterNet on Friday. He continued, “That’s only one of the eyebrow-raising takeaways from a 45-minute Dutch documentary that first aired last week, ‘The Dubious Friends of Donald Trump, Part 1: The Russians.’” The 45-minute documentary was produced by Zembla TV and examines Trump’s alleged relationship with…


Edward Bernays: Engineering The Consent & Blind Obedience Needed For Empire

  The Empire Files (6/4/16) With thousands of advertisements seen by Americans everyday, and a corporate media that reinforces the needs of Empire, propaganda in the U.S. is more pervasive and effective than ever before. The manipulation of public opinion through suggestion can be traced back to the father of modern propaganda, Edward Bernays, who discovered that preying on the subconscious mind was the best way to sell products people don’t need, and wars people don’t want. To get a deeper understanding of how propaganda functions in today’s society, Abby Martin interviews Dr. Mark Crispin Miller, professor of Media Studies…


Now More Than Ever: The Lessons Of George Orwell’s ‘1984’

  Empire Files (2/1/17) Their are very few literary masterpieces that can transcend generations. There are even fewer that serve as a blueprint for the future. One of those books is 1984, one of the most prolific novels of our time. The author was born Eric Arthur Blair, but was probably most know by his pen name, George Orwell. George Orwell was one of the greatest visionaries of the twentieth century who identified himself as a democratic socialist. Under the Soviet Union he was forced to flee under communism suppression of socialist dissidents. War is Peace Slavery is Freedom Ignorance…


Arm Yourself: Shock Doctrine On VIDEO

From Vj Ultra Vimeo In THE SHOCK DOCTRINE, Naomi Klein explodes the myth that the global free market triumphed democratically. Exposing the thinking, the money trail and the puppet strings behind the world-changing crises and wars of the last four decades, The Shock Doctrine is the gripping story of how America’s “free market” policies have come to dominate the world– through the exploitation of disaster-shocked people and countries. At the most chaotic juncture in Iraq’s civil war, a new law is unveiled that would allow Shell and BP to claim the country’s vast oil reserves…. Immediately following September 11, the…


10 Films To Keep You Inspired & Marching Forward After The Women’s March

By Breena Kerr Yes! Magazine (1/27/17) In the days since his inauguration, Donald Trump has given women around the country—and the world—new motivation to fight for equality. After the Women’s March ended, which was estimated to be the largest peaceful demonstration in U.S. history, many were left wondering: Now what? If you’re reading this, we’re confident there will be more marches, calls to senators, and civic engagement in your future. But in between those and the normal business of living, it’s important to stay inspired. So we’ve compiled a list of films to do just that—inspire you, make you mad, and…


Reminder Of What Is Important: A Soothing Collage Film Of Mother Earth For Troubled Times

By Carolyne Weldon NFB Blog (1/20/17) Regardless of what is happening out there in the world, it sometimes helps to remember that we always retain control of one thing: our minds. Whatever change might be hurtling our way, whatever uncertainties we may be forced to face, there remains this thing no one can take away from us or taint in any way: the tone and content of our inner thoughts. Instead of asking, how bad will this get? How will I be hurt by this? We can practice asking: what would I want this to look like? What small step can…


No Picture

The Life Of Muckraking Journalist George Seldes Is A Story Of Bold Resistance In Dark Times

By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (1/19/17) Trump’s inaugural extravaganza will no doubt contain enough bombast and darkness for a 1950’s Grade B monster movie. If you are looking for some inspiration of how a citizen can stand for right in difficult times check out the 1998 documentary “Tell The Truth And Run”,  a wonderful overview of the bold life of muckraker journalist George Seldes. As a witness to some of the greatest horrors and abuses of the 20th century, Seldes triggered the wrath of everyone from Gen. Pershing to Adolph Hitler, who tried to have him killed. Oh,…