Reviewer Ed Farolan
Story of Burqa: Case of a Confused Afghan
70 mins., Canada, 2012, dir. Brishkay Ahmed
Date and Venue 10 May @ 1900h Granville Cinema 7
Ahmed does quite an extensive research on the origins of the burqa in Afghanistan and its controversial use, especially in Europe where it has already been banned by French President Sarkozy. She interviews experts in Kabul who give her all kinds of information on how the burqa originated from India and used by kings in their palace harems to its use by suicide bombers and spy agents. From her standpoint, Ahmed, being Canadian, obviously is against its forceful use. In Afghanistan, women start using it from the age of puberty (12-15) and in the documentary, she uses it and describes how it feels--uncomfortable and vision is limited. She goes into how the Afghans have resisted foreigners, especially the Russians, because they wanted to change Afghan society and make it "immoral" by doing away with the burqa. As her title suggests, it does have a confusing history, and the audience is left to decide what to believe.
19.55 mins., Canada, 2011, dirs. Leanne Allison and Jeremy Mendes
Dates and Venues 4 May @ 1900h St Andrews Wesley Church & 10-12 May Roundhouse
This is a new approach to filmmaking using the "interactive" mode. You google Bear 71 Interactive Project on your laptop and voila!--you're tracking down a grizzly bear tagged as Bear 71 through Banff National Park. Not only that, you can see yourself on a satellite map moving across the park. You point your mouse to an orange tag labelled "Human-You" and you see yourself trekking across the map. As high tech develops through the years, we'll see more and more innovations in filmmaking such as this one. It's something different, and it's worth going to the Roundhouse and finding out what this is all about. And it's FREE!
97 mins., UK, 2011, dir. Ross Ashcroft
Date and Venue 8 May @ 1300h | Pacific Cinematheque
I found this documentary a bit too long and repetitive. Ashcroft does have interesting views, however. He interviews experts like Chomsky and other economists on the debt and money situation of the richest countries of the world. He then shows how this creates bigger and bigger gaps between rich and poor. What we see again and again in these types of films are the basic flaw of humanity: greed. How the very few know how to manipulate the financial system and legalize what is illegal, such as how banks can create paper money that has no backing at all, the so-called "fiat" system. This documentary is meant for the youth who are left with the debts of the baby boom generation whose motto has been apres moi le deluge. It's up to the youth of today to do something about this decaying world we live in. This seems to be the message at the end.
Do You Really Want to Know?
72 mins., Canada, 2012, dir. John Zaritsky
Date and Venue 6 May @ 1830h |Vancity
This is a moving and excellently filmed documentary by multi-awarded documentarian Zaritsky. It's about three families with the Huntington disease, a disease which until now has no treatment or cure. Dr. John Roder, a research scientist, has been living with it for more than 10 years. Dr. Jeff Carroll, only in his early thirties, has been diagnosed with this, and is doing postdoctoral studies in Harvard and hoping to come up with a cure. Theresa Monahan has been saved, but her other siblings inherited the gene which is passed on to around 50% of the children. A must see documentary to raise awareness of this disease.
© 2012 Ed Farolan