I’m finally getting around to watching some of the documentaries that have been on my list for months. I thought I’d take a few minutes to share a few thoughts here.
How to Survive a Plague
I’ve seen a few documentaries about the AIDS crisis in the late 80s / early 90s and ACT UP. It’s an incredibly interesting moment in history - so many things came together at once: science, bureaucracy, religion, politics, activism, in-fighting. It was at once a public health crisis, complicated by moral policing, and a social movement, complicated by the high doses of drama and passion that tend to strike gay people. And somehow, David France was able to find a slice of the story that weaved together all these different elements while remaining concise and compelling. And the film itself also maintains a sort of balancing act, serving as a historical record, a blueprint for activism, and a story of the desperation and fear - and hope - in the place between life and death.
Eugene Jarecki takes on a even bigger topic in this film, but I’m not quite sure he rises to the challenge the way France did. In many ways, the violations in the War On Drugs are like low-hanging fruit - so obvious and so egregious - allowing Jarecki tackles the story full force. In some moments, this is insanely captivating, like his interview with a dedicated and diligent prison guard who shares some of the film’s most thoughtful soundbites. But other times, the story is unwieldy, with characters drifting in and out of the narrative. Ultimately, the ease with which Jarecki can rile the viewer’s compassion and humanity lends itself to a heavy-handedness that rubbed me the wrong way from the get-go. He goes really far with his drug-war-as-the-Holocaust theory. It’s not entirely without merit, but I would expect such an experienced filmmaker to make the argument with a more delicate, sophisticated touch.
Up next, After Tiller and Medora…
I was a staff writer on The Onion’s “SportsDome” show on Comedy Central which aired in 2011. We had a story, pitched and scripted by David Iscoe (twitter.com/realhumanbeing), about an athlete overcoming rape that I was reminded of today when I read about CNN’s coverage of the Steubenville rape verdict. Our story sounds like it might have been produced by the folks at CNN responsible for the Steubenville coverage.
like, my only political stance is, “glad to have teen angels in the White House.”
Look at her mom sense tingling.
OK…ok…i know theres a lot of love for obama today…..BUT THIS IS INCREDIBLE……THIS FAMILY IS OUR FIRST FAMILY…..LOOK AT HOW FUCKING ADORABLE THIS IS……IM LOSING MY FucKING MIND OVER HERE
compare this to the bush family…..YOU CANT EVEN PUT THEM IN THE SAME UNIVERSE!
HELP ME JESUS! I CANT TAKE THIS.
Jennifer Lawrence photographed by Patrick Demarchelier in 2011