Saturday, January 05, 2008

DocWatch --Documentaries to supplement Religous Education Programs

For teacher trainings - academic background for teachers - clips for supplementing curricula with children/youth - documentaries for Adult Education - our own knowledge -- there are lot of uses for documentaries in our work, but who has the time to look through all the listings for what is on when? Well, I'm just mad for documentaries and I scour the cable tv listings anyway, so I may as well take a few more minutes to post them here for other religious educators to reference.

I am going to post here a listing of documentaries that will be on television during the next week. My intention is to post every weekend-ish what's coming up the following week.

I will focus on overtly religious, social, and political documentaries, but sometimes science docs will leap out at me. Producing a listing of good and useful documentaries is, of course, completely subjective, but my subjectivity is grounded in an expectation of historical accuracy, in the context of Unitarian Universalist Religious Education, and progressive/radical social/politics. So, dear reader, if you aren't progressive or radical, or aren't a Unitarian Universalist, or have no interest in the light that archeology sheds on Biblical myths and stories, what are you doing on this blog?

I assume that DRE's will be able to assess for themselves how to use these docs in an age-appropriate manner and with which particular UU curricula, but I will occasionally annotate if I'm already familiar with the material. Sometimes I'll include links to further info on the docs, but if I don't google will get you there quickly.

I am of course, not suggesting that you videotape them off the television, although a case can be made for copying for educational purposes, I am simply suggesting that you preview them for future purchase.

All times are EST
Monday Jan 7

9:30 Black Starz UNSTOPPABLE:
a Conversation with Melvin Van Peebles, Gordon Parks and Ossie Davis - brief article/clip
10 Sund Heaven Came Down Appalachian Rattlesnake Handlers - I know you all know not to show this as an example of typical pentecostal belief and ritual
11:15 Starz E Iraq for Sale The War Profiteers.
12noon Logo Farm Family: In search of Gay Life in Rural America
9 pm Sund The Short Life of Jose Antonio Guiterrez José Antonio Gutiérrez was born in Guatemala and lost both his parents during his country's long, bloody civil war — a war that was covertly funded by the United States government. But it was as the first American military casualty of the Iraq War in 2003 that Gutiérrez is remembered. Documentary filmmaker Heidi Specogna traces Gutiérrez's short, eventful life and reveals a troubling story of illegal immigration, foster homes, and how the American military entices Latinos to enlist by promising them a fast track to citizenship.
10:30 pm Sund I Want To Be a Pilot
12:45 Sund 5 Days The 5 day removal of Israeli settlers from sections of the Gaza Strip. a clip is avail at the website

Tuesday Jan 8
3 am Sund
The Short Life of Jose Antonio Guiterrez

7:10 TMC Genesis - a really cool look at the life cycle, follow-up films to Microcosmos and Winged Migration. Link to the trailer. You might recognize the narrator as Sotigui Kouyate, who played the lead (and won lots of awards,) in the film Little Senegal.
9 p Sundance
Blue Vinyl
A darkly funny doc about the uses and hazards of vinyl (polyvinyl chloride can kill ya)

Wednesday Jan 9
2:45 am Sund
Blue Vinyl
6-6:30 HBO Fam Educating Peter

Thurs Jan 10
5:15 am TMAX Protocols of Zion antisemitism in aftermath of 9/11) also available on demand online here.
11:05 SHO Flock of Dodos (Evolution vs. "Intelligent Design") Really funny and good.
PBS Check local listings Today's Man: Adventures of a young man with Asperger's

Friday 1/11

5 am DiscTimes - Mysteries of Asia - Lost Temples of India
6 DiscT - Surviving Sudan
12:10 SHO - After Innocence men released from prison by DNA evidence
4 Hist Cults: Dangerous Devotion (Although I have not yet seen this, it purports to be about dangerous/destructive groups, not new religious movements) -- includes
Charles Manson -J im Jones and Jonestown, Warren Jeffs and the Yearning for Zion Ranch --Shoko Asahara and Aum Shinrikyo --David Koresh and the Branch Davidians

Saturday 1/12
6 a HBO Friends of God A Road Trip with Alexandra Pelosi. excellent. It was filmed just before Rev. Ted Haggard was outed as a user of male prostitutes and crystal meth.
7: 30 am HBO sig. White Light/Black Rain: The Destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (There is a study guide for educators at the website)
10:15 Sund Guerilla Girl
12:30 HBO2 Sand and Sorrow
6:30 pm HBO Fam Educating Peter


The Nunchuku of Courteous Debate said...

I've seen "White Light/Black Rain: The Destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki." It's an incredibly powerful documentary about the destruction of these two Japanese cities, about the experiences of survivors, how they were treated by other Japanese, and some little inkling of what their lives have been like. I recommend it highly. You should be prepared for the experience, however. It's not something easy to watch - IMHO, really good documentaries rarely are. I think the idea of posting a list of upcoming documentaries, rather than reviews of documentaries that have already been shown, is wonderful. I've also seen the "Protocols of Zion," a real eyeopener in terms of the upsurge in antisemitism in the world today, financed in part by the Saudi government.

Happy or Cranky Cindy said...

Thanks for the review! If people review, then I won't have space for so many highly opinionated opinions!

Numchuku of Courteous Debate said...

I forgot I've also seen "Friends of God," a documentary made by Nancy Pelosi's daughter Alexandra. She did what I thought was a very even-handed job of letting the subjects, who are members of the congregation in Colorado City then led by Rev. Ted Haggard, speak for themselves. Alexandra also interviewed Ted Haggard, before the rest of his recent activities came to light. I think this documentary has far more to offer than sensationalism about Rev. Haggard. I learned a lot about the mindset of people who are part of this faith community.