Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Happy Valley (2014)

Director: Amir Bar-Lev
Run Time: 99 min.
Call Number: HV6570.3.S73 H37 2014

"Mr. Bar-Lev includes searching, painful interviews with Paterno’s widow and two of his sons, and with Matt Sandusky, Jerry Sandusky’s adopted son, who offers a harrowing glimpse into the household of a serial pedophile. There are conversations with critics and partisans of Penn State and its football team, including a student who thinks the punishment of the university went much too far and a lawyer who believes it did not go far enough. . . . 'Happy Valley' also records some ugly and disturbing moments, including the campus riot the night after Paterno’s firing, when students knocked down lampposts and upended cars."
—A.O. Scott, New York Times

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Sun Kissed (2012)

Directors: Maya Stark & Adi Lavy
Run Time: 85 min.
Call Number: RL247 .S86 2012

"When a Navajo couple discovers that their children have a disorder that makes exposure to sunlight fatal, they learn that their reservation is a hotbed for this rare genetic disease. Why? Sun Kissed follows Dorey and Yolanda Nez as they confront cultural taboos, tribal history and their own unconventional choices to learn the shocking truth: The consequences of the Navajos’ 'Long Walk' — their forced relocation by the U.S. military in 1864 — are far from over."

Film's website 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Evergreen: The Road to Legalization in Washington (2014)

Director: Riley Morton
Run Time: 86 min.
Call Number: KF3891.M2 E94 2014

"A taut, thorough chronicle of the 2012 campaign to pass Initiative 502 — which proposed legalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana for recreational use — 'Evergreen' is an energetic study of a hard-fought battle. . . . Morton is fair to all parties, and the first thing that strikes a viewer is the array of local leaders and influential voices who participated in the fight. Among the proponents of I-502 were Alison Holcomb, an American Civil Liberties Union lawyer and I-502’s director, and beloved travel guru Rick Steves, a longtime critic of failed war-on-drugs policies. . . . The brusque opposition is largely represented by medical-marijuana provider Steve Sarich and defense lawyer Douglas Hiatt."
—Tom Keogh, Seattle Times

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Last of the Unjust (2014)

Director: Claude Lanzmann
Run Time: 220 min.
Call Number: DS135.C97 L378 2014

"Claude Lanzmann's monumental Holocaust documentary Shoah (1985) generated enough excess footage for four more stand-alone documentaries; the latest considers Benjamin Murmelstein, a Viennese rabbi who worked with Adolf Eichmann in facilitating the deportation of Austria's Jews and served as the last administrator of the Theresienstadt camp in Czechoslovakia. 'I am guilty, but I cannot be judged,' Murmelstein says during one of his conversations with Lanzmann (shot over ten days in 1975), and the entire movie seems to grow out of this paradox. . . ."
—Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

American Winter (2014)

Director: Harry Gantz, Joe Gantz
Run Time: 90 min.
Call Number: HC110.P6 A44 2013

"Years after the recession began, millions of families are struggling to meet their basic needs, and many formerly middle class families are finding themselves in financial crisis, and needing assistance for the first time in their lives. Meanwhile, the social safety net that was created to help people in difficult times has been weakened by massive budget cuts, creating a perfect storm of greater need and fewer resources to help families in trouble. . . . Filmed over the course of one winter in Portland, Oregon, American Winter presents an intimate and emotionally evocative snapshot of the state of our economy as it is playing out in many American families."
—Film distributor's website