Author Topic: DOCember 2022  (Read 89 times)

Bondo

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DOCember 2022
« on: November 26, 2022, 08:15:26 PM »
Well, I have a few documentaries queued up, so Iím bringing this back.

Bondo
At The Ready
Born To Be
The Dissident
Fire of Love
For They Know Not What They Do
Found
The Janes
The Last Movie Stars
The Most Dangerous Year
Nationtime
On The Record
Varda By Agnes
When We Were Bullies
Writing With Fire
« Last Edit: December 10, 2022, 01:57:19 PM by Bondo »

Bondo

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Re: DOCember 2022
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2022, 10:06:04 PM »
When We Were Bullies

One thing this film called to mind was someone last year sending me a Facebook message apologizing for bullying me in HS, having become more thoughtful on the matter in light of having a son. I did not remember being bullied by him. This film acts a bit like the 12 steps phase where you apologize to the people you harmed, and like that, it's more about your self-serving benefit of advancing in the program pitting yourself for being an alcoholic and less about the needs of the people you harmed. I'd have forgiven this film that myopia if it was actually effectively structured. Instead it meanders without effectively establishing the actual facts of the incident in question or really diving into the harms.

Bondo

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Re: DOCember 2022
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2022, 10:15:40 PM »
At The Ready

I feel like this is an interesting topic for a documentary, a high school program near El Paso, TX that is kind of a vocational program for future police, correctional and border patrol officers, but I'm not sure this is a particularly interesting treatment of that topic. It opts for fairly observational most of the time, which makes some of the times when it seems to be stressing points play worse than if it was more didactic. One notable thing about the students in the focus here is that they are overwhelmingly Latinos. This creates a certain natural tension around the border patrol and immigration. The film also works in at least one particularly more liberal student who is a closeted lesbian and also feels a bit more alienated over concerns about police violence. Certainly I noticed the prominence of the Thin Blue Line flag in multiple classrooms here.

This program, as one example of what should be a broader array of vocational education opportunities, is a great opportunity for economic advancement as policing careers have very solid pay relative to the education required. And I think there is a ACAB problem where certain segments consider police officer a taboo identity (The NYT had a story recently about a woman ousted from her band for dating a (female) police officer). If you don't create space for people who broadly share your values or identities to become police officers, you guarantee that police officers will be exclusively drawn from the antithesis. I had a documentary a year or two ago in a film festival that tied into the findings that diversifying police forces actually does have positive effects.

Of course, the usual counterpoint to those kind of reformation hopes are from abolitionists who basically feel the whole institution of policing is so broken that it will taint anyone it touches. Watching the training offered to this group of non-white, fairly gender balanced students, one does get some fears of that. I'm not sure that the teachers who find themselves in these programs are necessarily there because they are really good at passing along best practices. Sometimes it feels like they are passing on views and values that are likely to create problems among this next generation of cops that have made police such a political issue. It's so tricky to break generational patterns when the training is structured to cascade down through the generations.

Bondo

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Re: DOCember 2022
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2022, 01:56:59 PM »
The Janes

This is an interesting documentary about a network to help connect women with abortions in Chicago in the pre-Roe days. In a typical film about a criminal network (usually one doing unambiguous harm), there's the boding feeling of when is the shoe going to drop, because we are trained to believe "wrongdoing" can't go unpunished. To the degree the shoe drops here, the notable thing is how lacking in commitment the enforcers of this wrong are. I don't doubt that there are people out there who do take abortion as a serious sin, but for many who might be comfortable voting to prohibit it, it isn't really personal. If the lack of real menace for those involved in The Janes ever makes you think there aren't stakes, the backdrop of the huge death toll from botched abortions keeps the import in focus.

Like a few other recent treatments (i.e. Happening), there are some stories about why women are seeking abortions (wouldn't be able to finish schooling) that leaves tacit that maybe we should be addressing why motherhood is incompatible with these other life choices. The missing pro-natalist portion of the rare in the Clinton pro-choice formulation.