Monday, June 22, 2015

Cowspiracy (2014)

Director: Kip Andersen & Keegan Kuhn
Run Time: 91 min.
Call Number: S589.75 .C69 2014 

"Animal agriculture is the leading cause of deforestation, water consumption and pollution, is responsible for more greenhouse gases than the transportation industry, and is a primary driver of rainforest destruction, species extinction, habitat loss, topsoil erosion, ocean 'dead zones,' and virtually every other environmental ill. Yet it goes on, almost entirely unchallenged. As Andersen approaches leaders in the environmental movement, he increasingly uncovers what appears to be an intentional refusal to discuss the issue of animal agriculture, while industry whistleblowers and watchdogs warn him of the risks to his freedom and even his life if he dares to persist." 
From film's website

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Burn: One Year on the Front Lines of the Battle to Save Detroit (2014)

Director: Tom Putnam & Brenna Sanchez 
Run Time: 86 min. 
Call Number: HD8039.F52 U524 2014

"As the city’s population declined to about 700,000 today from 1.85 million in 1950, abandoned houses, some of which have been taken over by squatters, serve as targets for arsonists who, according to one talking head, set fires for three reasons: 'profit, revenge and kicks.' The city has 80,000 vacant structures, of which only 3,000 are torn down each year. The city’s average of 30 fires a day is one of the highest rates in the nation. The movie includes several scenes of infernos being battled inside buildings on the verge of collapse and filmed by cameras attached to the firefighters’ helmets." 
—Stephen Holden, New York Times

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Nuclear Nation (2014)

Director: Atushi Funahashi 
Run Time: 96 min. 
Call Number:TK1365.J3 N835 2014 

"Though mentioned only once, Hiroshima and Nagasaki loom large over Nuclear Nation, an assured and sobering documentary that charts the situation in Futaba, Japan, shortly after the 2011 meltdown at the nearby Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. . . . Employing straightforward, music-free aesthetics that express the grim realities of his story, director Funahashi captures both grief and outrage in equal measure, all of it tinged with the displaced and desolate citizens' regret over having predicated their fates on the very energy-source technology that cost them so much during WWII." 
                                                                     —Nick Schager, Village Voice

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Is the Man Who is Tall Happy? An Animated Conversation with Noam Chomsky

Director: Michel Gondry 
Run Time: 89 min. 
Call Number: P85.C47 I8 2014

"On paper, Chomsky and Gondry seem like an eternal mismatch, but these two very smart people share an odd but genuine chemistry, as the director quizzes the philosopher-cognitive scientist on almost every topic under the sun, with the notable exception of politics (odd, perhaps, considering Chomsky's well-documented criticism of the U.S. government). . . . One of the best scenes is when Gondry asks Chomsky, out of the blue, what makes him happy. The linguist appears to be caught off guard and is briefly (very briefly) at a loss for words - a moment that humanizes this intellectual giant." 
David Lewis, San Francisco Chronicle

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Food Chain$

Director: Sanjay Rawal
Run time: 83 min.
Call number: HD1525 .F66 2014

"...Required to pick a minimum of 480 pounds of fruit per hour (hands moving so quickly that you would swear the film has been sped up), the workers average around $42 for a nine-hour shift. . . . “We live like animals in cramped housing,” one man says, as Mr. Rawal shows us jam-packed trailers and ragtag encampments. The ability to improve these conditions lies not with the farmers, we are told, but with the fast-food industry, restaurants and supermarkets whose contracts with buyers set the economics of the supply chain. But when a coalition of tomato pickers in Immokalee, Fla., began agitating for companies to pay a penny more per pound for their tomatoes, the state’s largest supermarket chain, Publix, refused to blink."

—Jeannette Catsoulis, N.Y. Times