SHUT UP AND SING Barbara Kopple (2006) 93 min
This documentary captures the female country-&-western group the Dixie Chicks in performance around the U.S. and London between the years 2003 and 2006. While performing in 2003, singer Natalie Maines ignited a maelstrom of controversy and red-state outrage when she declared -- from a London stage on the eve of the Iraqi conflict -- that she was ashamed that President George W. Bush was from her home state of Texas. When a rabidly right-wing group picked up on it, the band found themselves in the center of controversy regarding the nature of patriotism, freedom of speech, feminism, and the split between pro- and anti-war Americans. Filmmaker Barbara Kopple brings us the fly-on-the-wall view of the next three years, capturing Haines and sisters Emily Robison and Martie Maguire in dressing rooms, on stage, and in recording studios, bonding with each other, their families, producer Rick Rubin, and their supportive manager, Simon Renshaw. Through the crises, they keep their sense of humor and sisterhood, not backing down from their liberal stance, and turning the backlash into a triumph. They also make some great music, and the film includes plenty of riveting, intense footage of the band in performance onstage and in the studio. Among the faces appearing in archival footage are President Bush, Bill Maher, and right-wing country star Toby Keith.Using witness testimony, expert analysis, news footage, and corroborating evidence this explosive and important film tells us that the official story of 9/11 is false. Starring George W. Bush, Condoleeza Rice, Dick Cheney, Philip Zelikow, Dan Rather, the late Peter Jennings, contributors from Fox News, ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, firefighters, first responders and 9/11 victims, the film exposes the inconsistencies and lies put forward by our government about 9/11, the crime of the century. This movie is sure to spark tough questions from its viewers. Regardless of your political stance, this movie is sure to keep you awake for weeks. You will probably never look at your government and media the same way again.
FRI NOV 6 7:00 pm Progressive Film Forum Documentary and Independent Films Free.
HOME OF THE BRAVE Nancy Dickenson (2004) 75 min
A documentary that explores a little-remembered event in the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, HOME OF THE BRAVE tells the story of Viola Liuzzo, the only white woman murdered during the struggle. Liuzzo traveled from her home in Detroit to Montgomery, Alabama in 1965 to take part in a march, and was shot dead for her efforts. The case made headlines around the country, and President Lyndon Johnson told the FBI to make finding her killers one of its top priorities. However, the trial of a group of Ku Klux Klan members for her murder ended without a conviction. This documentary takes another look at the case and its evidence, including some disturbing information about the FBI's investigation, and focuses attention on Liuzzo's children many years afterwards, who are all linked by a massive distrust of the government and its institutions. HOME OF THE BRAVE explores both a forgotten event of the Civil Rights movement as well as examining how the government often fails to protect its citizens.did something terribly wrong, but it's to Zenovich's credit that she doesn't dwell on this point. Instead she forms a harsh critique of a justice system that allows people like Rittenband to operate freely. The only missing part of the puzzle is the judge himself, who died in '93. But the body of evidence against his actions is skillfully dissected in this impressive feature.
FRI NOV 13 7:00 pm Progressive Film Forum Documentary and Independent Films Free.
THE INNER TOUR Ra'anan Alexandrowicz (2002) 98 min
A deeply affecting documentary that addresses the Middle Eastern conflict with a penetrating eye. The film follows a group of Palestinians as they embark on a three-day bus tour through Israel in 2000, just months before the historical Arab-Israeli war recommenced. What at first appears to be a diverse group of men, women, and children, with a wide range of experiences and backgrounds, quickly gels into a tight unit of countrymen who are living under the shadow of the wealthy, more powerful Israel. Every one of these visitors' lives has been in some way affected by Israel, yet it isn't until a trip to a museum - in which Arabs are presented as cold-blooded murderers - that their anger begins to show. As the journey unfolds, the tourists are forced to confront emotions they didn't know they had in them. The burdensome weight of these feelings turns the trip into more than just a relaxing vacation; it becomes an emotionally draining experience that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. Alexandrowicz uses this rare opportunity to his advantage by showing just how hopelessly convoluted the Middle Eastern conflict actually is.
FRI NOV 20 7:00 pm Progressive Film Forum Documentary and Independent Films Free.
THIN Lauren Greenfield (2006) 105 min
Eating disorders have reached epidemic levels in America–yet only recently have they been recognized as serious mental illnesses. One in seven people with anorexia nervosa will die, making it the deadliest of all psychiatric diagnoses. With Thin, Lauren Greenfield, a photographer acclaimed for illuminating women's and society's attitudes toward the female body, gains unprecedented access to a Florida residential treatment center to observe four anorexic women, aged 15 to 30, struggling to recover over a six-month period. Her intimate, unflinching, yet unobtrusive, camera ventures into private and painful rituals like early morning weigh-ins, one-on-one and group therapy sessions, confrontations with staff, and tormenting mealtimes. As individual dramas surface and convoluted group dynamics erupt, the frightening tenacity and complexity of this affliction emerge. While each woman's fight is unique, abusing the body as a means of asserting control and measuring self-worth seems common to all. One patient shockingly admits that being thin is her greatest ambition: "If it takes dying to get there, so be it." The film's flawless vérité approach engenders closeness and emotional investment in the characters and allows us to draw our own conclusions about the treatment protocol and an insurance system unwilling to accommodate patients' wishes. Thin offers haunting, groundbreaking insight into the tangle of personal, familial, and cultural factors–beyond mere self-esteem or body-image issues–that produce the immeasurable, confounding suffering of so many.
FRI NOV 27 7:00 pm Progressive Film Forum Documentary and Independent Films Free.
HOLES IN HEAVEN New Science Ideas (2005) 60 min
tmosphere. Ostensibly for ionospheric research, HAARP can also be used to locate hidden oil reserves and missile silos around the world. However, critics of HAARP say it could blow a massive hole in the upper atmosphere as well as disrupt the subtle magnetic energies of all life on Earth. This fascinating film narrated by Martin Sheen employs a journalistically balanced style to investigate a subject that could have a dramatic effect on us all.