Review of Shenandoah

Review of Shenandoah directed by David Turnley Rating ***** This is one documentary that should go on everyone’s must watch list. Released in 2012, the themes of race, immigration, poverty, and injustice resonate in today’s political climate. I grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania very much like the one highlighted in this film. […]

The latest from Chibi Moku

As someone who spends a great deal of time staring down at the earth from 30,000 feet and up, I am always curious about life below me. I wrote about those feelings in the post life and death at 37,000 feet. When you get away from the big cities, this country is mostly vast expanses […]

My Oscar pick for best documentary of 2015

Once again I had an opportunity to view all five nominated films. All of them were deserving; though, I’m sure I would have voted on Making a Murderer had that documentary series been nominated. First a brief introduction to each film: Amy – Directed by Asif Kapadia. This film tells the tragic story of Amy Winehouse. […]

Divorce Corp and Kids for Cash

The goal of this site has always been to draw attention to deserving nonfiction books, films, and documentaries. A lot of what I recommend and write about deals with our broken justice system. Most of the time this involves stories of wrongful convictions, false confessions, unfair sentencing, and unequal rights for those without means. But […]

Nancy Grace proves Steven Avery is innocent

I am not a fan of Nancy Grace. So when I heard that she was devoting an entire show to the Steven Avery case with the teaser that she was going to show the evidence the documentary left out, I thought I would watch with an open mind. Maybe there is important evidence that might help […]

Review of Finding Vivian Maier

Review of Finding Vivian Maier Directed by John Maloof and Charlie Siskel Rating ***** This film tells a fascinating story in a compelling style. The director of the film, John Maloof, attends an auction in search of old photographs that he can use for a history project. He purchases a box of negatives from an unknown photographer. While […]

Review of Maidentrip

Review of Maidentrip by Laura Dekker, directed by Jillian Schlesinger Rating ***** This documentary tells the true story of Laura Dekker’s attempt to become the youngest person to sail solo around the world. She set out on her trip in January 2010 and completed the journey a little more than a year later at the age […]

Spent and the power of film

As an author I believe in the power of the written word. The written word, however, is rarely as powerful as film. For anyone with a story to tell, it is a constant battle for people’s attention. There are only so many hours in a day. If given the choice between learning about a subject […]

My Oscar pick for best documentary

For the first time ever I’ve had a chance to view all five best documentary films before the Oscars. Netflix has four of the five. The one film they didn’t have — Twenty Feet From Stardom — is available on Amazon Prime as a rental. First a quick look at the five nominated films: The […]

West of Memphis an Examination of Incompetence

West of Memphis directed by Amy Berg written by Amy Berg and Billy McMillin Rating ***** This documentary covers the same ground covered by the three Paradise Lost films concerning the wrongful convictions of Jason Baldwin, Damien Wayne Echols, and Jessie Misskelley. As good as those other films were, this film stands on its own […]

Review of Hot Coffee

Review of Hot Coffee directed by Susan Saladoff Rating **** Lady spills hot coffee on herself and then sues McDonalds for millions and wins. Remember that story? I certainly do. I thought it was a ridiculous claim and a perfect example of a frivolous lawsuit. So just based on that limited amount of knowledge I […]

Our broken justice system: The Central Park Five

Review of The Central Park Five written by Ken Burns, Sarah Burns, and David McMahon Rating ***** This film should be required viewing for anyone who works in the justice system. This story is a textbook example of how wrongful convictions occur. There are common elements with every wrongful conviction. They most often involve males […]

Review of The House I Live In

Review of The House I Live In Written & directed by Eugene Jarecki Rating **** 1/2 It used to be that I would hear about a film or documentary and try in vain to find a venue where I could see or rent that particular film. This is changing with on demand video streaming. I […]

Review of Farmageddon

Review of Farmageddon written and directed by Kristin Canty Rating **** This film tells the story of how the USDA is using its power and resources to harm small farmers. This is a topic I have written about before. Mostly I have written about the harmful effects of the industrialization of food. It’s a topic covered […]

Review of Five Broken Cameras

Review of Five Broken Cameras written and directed by Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi Rating ***** I’ve seen a lot of documentaries from the slickly produced films like The Imposter to homemade movies like Catfish. And the best ones all have one thing in common – they tell compelling stories. This film is one of the five […]