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Sci Tech    H4'ed 3/29/09

Film, Music, Books & Art: Comments on Culture

Message Rady Ananda
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All my reviews, in one place. 

Every cause needs its activists, its films and its books; and all these need journalists shining a light on their work and amplifying their message. This compendium will expand as new reviews are written.  The bulk of it comprises my reviews of independent documentary films that focus on social justice. 

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My formal study of film is limited to a single political science class focused on the history of the movie industry, from the perspective of immigrant labor and urban culture.  I also gained an appreciation for the technical art of presentation while working as the General Manager of the Cleveland Theatre Company one season (1996).  My reviews mostly focus on those films, discussions or books that address social justice issues. I aim to support the artist's theme with additional research and links to orgs confronting the issue, to inform and inspire potential activists. 

Yes We Can: Mink Shows HowApril 26, 2009. Outside the mainstream, edgy, ahead of her time, a champion for democratic principles, a Buddhist, Japanese American, populist, female politician is honored in the film, Patsy Mink: Ahead of the Majority. This 2008 film by Kimberlee Bassford will premier on PBS on April 30th. It is a must-see for anyone needing hope that some politicians stay true to their campaign promises. http://snipurl.com/gsn1w.

Slumdog Millionaire: Danny Boyle captures the zeitgeistApril 5, 2009. Released in the US in January, Slumdog Millionaire carefully crafts a flickering time sequence to tell the story of one boy's pursuit of his destiny.  The film is shocking, horrifying, in its graphic presentation of torture, genocide, child exploitation, and rampant corruption.  Levity comes as the protagonist enters a game show to win a million dollars. http://snipurl.com/f9u5k 

Vandana Shiva, Organicology & the Seed Wars. April 1, 2009. Physicist, ecologist and world-renowned author Vandana Shiva closed the inaugural Organicology Conference in Portland, Oregon on February 28th with her speech: The Future of Food and Seed: Justice, Sustainability and Peace in the 21st Century.  This hour-long video  gives a brief history of the seed wars that have been ongoing since the late 1980s and argues for seed freedom and protection from unregulated biotechnology. http://tinyurl.com/cuoeb6

Seeds of Domination video focuses on Monsanto.  March 16, 2009
This 17-minute video, produced by Organization for Competitive Markets, provides a 'news-feel' introduction to the bullying tactics by Monsanto. It exposes that both Clinton (D) and Bush (R) have allowed Monsanto's explosive, monopolistic growth since 1996. http://snipurl.com/ekfxb

Vagina Warriors Stand against Femicide.  March 8, 2009
Eve Ensler monologues 'Marta' at the Atlanta tourstop of Turning Pain to Power with Dr. Denis Mukwege, the ob-gyn who serves in the war-torn Congo. International groups like V-Day continue to publicize the sexual terrorism spreading from the Heart of Darkness, where minerals are more valued than lives. http://snipurl.com/dexub

'Tanks in My Memory' a Good Start. January 22, 2009
This brief video doesn't go far enough in its condemnation. We still have the Patriot Act, the Bailouts, the immunity for telecoms for spying on American citizens, computerized elections, the Military Commissions Act, the Healthy Forests Act, the Clear Skies Act, the Minimum Wage frozen at below poverty, while Congress continues to give itself raises. All "bi-partisanly" passed. Still, this is a good start. http://snipurl.com/ekr58

A Carthaginian Peace for Gaza. January 16, 2009
In this three-part video interview, conservative author Eric Margolis (American Raj) analyzes Western actions in the Muslim world, focusing on the current Israel-Gaza conflict. http://snipurl.com/ekfp3

Perversion of Justice: Gulag America.  December 27, 2008. 

In 1925, the US jailed 1 in 100,000 women.  In 2006, it jailed 1 in 746.  The 1984 Sentencing Reform Act and mandatory minimum sentence laws need to be repealed for the protection of families, communities and society as a whole. Perversion of Justice, highlights the experiences of one family victimized by these laws. http://snipurl.com/byftc.


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Milk and the White Night Riots. 
November 16, 2008
Gay rights icon Harvey Milk is covered in numerous books and movies, including the Academy Award–winning 1984 documentary, "The Times of Harvey Milk." His life is also the basis of a 2008 major motion picture, "Milk," starring Academy Award winner Sean Penn and directed by Academy Award nominee Gus Van Sant. This collection of videos, photos and personal accounts provides background for the Nov. 26th release of "Milk."  http://snipurl.com/ekfke

The Big One: Stealing America Vote by Vote  (Final version)  October 21, 2008  Stealing America peers into the darkness of U.S. elections with stunning clarity, supported by deep research and significant interviews of several key investigators. More than a film, the entire project encompasses a Grassroots call to immediate action. Both the film and its website inform the public and demand that citizens step into their role as overseers of public elections. The stakes couldn't be higher. http://snipurl.com/ekf68

Zeitgeist Addendum: Steps toward a sustainable future.  October 12, 2008  While Zeitgeist challenged our perspectives on religion, the attacks of September 11th, and the formation and function of the Federal Reserve Bank, Zeitgeist Addendum dives deeply into our debt-based monetary system.  It also comments on the media, corporations, energy use, consumerism, government, as well as religion. http://snipurl.com/ekf3c

Sheri Myers Strikes Again: Turdblossom Part 1.  September 30, 2008  Introducing Sheri Myers' video, "Turdblossom's Insider's Guide to Swinging Elections" and her new Voter Guide... all part of a campaign to get more and more citizens involved in overseeing US elections. But the historical research behind this campaign is also worth the read. http://snipurl.com/ekf1s

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Murder, Spies & Voting Lies: The Clint Curtis Story.  September 29, 2008 Released on DVD and now airing on Link TV, "Murder, Spies & Voting Lies: The Clint Curtis Story" is the most explosive documentary produced in recent memory, involving murder, espionage, cover-up, electoral cyber fraud and a United States Member of Congress with ties to the Bush Administration. http://snipurl.com/ekety

Michael's Brilliant Denial: A review of Slacker Uprising. September 24, 2008. This free release chronicles Michael Moore's 62-city tour in 2004.  It is his best effort, his slickest, most exciting, most inspirational film to date.  It is not bent on educating us about dark truths.  Instead, it's a rousing musical-speech-video tour aimed at Getting Out The Vote, that's pathologically silent on electoral cyber theft and Democrat wimplicity. http://snipurl.com/ekes8

Iron Jawed Angels.  June 1, 2008  With a potent title like that, this film had to be worth the watch. As I settled in, to my delight I realized it was about the latter day suffragists (1914-1920). Iron Jawed Angels recreates the tenor and passion of the decade before the 19th Amendment was passed, focusing on the charismatic and radical leader, Alice Paul (Swank). http://snipurl.com/ekepu

Recount: The Mighty vs. the Many.  May 26, 2008  How a film about the mighty defeating the many can leave you feeling good and energized can only be ascribed to brilliant writing and direction, coupled with a perfect cast that included Kevin Spacey (Ron Klain) and Laura Dern (Katherine Harris). The film presents in rapid-fire the many ways voters are disenfranchised, and does so with humor and grit. Only one omission: the scientific study proving Gore won Florida. http://snipurl.com/ekeoc

Sins of Our Fathers: Rebuilding with Ruthless Honesty.  July 16, 2007. Ruthless honesty requires us to admit that the founders of this nation, while mouthing egalitarian principles, practiced anything but. If movement leaders hope to rally the masses behind the banner of democracy, they are better advised to quote those who practice what they preach. The spread of corporatism and Ted Nace's fascinating Gangs of America provide the backdrop to this discussion. http://snipurl.com/ekei6

Occupied Elections: Review of My Country My Country. June 25, 2007  Filmmaker Laura Poitras follows the life of Iraqi activist, Dr. Riyadh, in war torn Baghdad for eight months, culminating in the military operation of the January 30, 2005 election. She films this against the backdrop of a town without water or electricity, of children being imprisoned at Abu Ghraib, of political kidnappings and ever-increasing violence.  Thru her lens, we watch the indomitable human spirit resist occupation. http://snipurl.com/ekefh

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The Pride of Victory: Review of Freeheld.  June 17, 2007  June is the traditional month calling for equal rights for all citizens, especially the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered communities. "Freeheld" tells the story of one lesbian couple, and the community that rallied behind them, to secure equal rights for domestic partners.  As the GLBT community takes to the streets again this year, it can step a little lighter knowing that at least one battle for equality was won. http://snipurl.com/ekea0

Spirit of Conscious Rap: Review of Letter to the President.  June 17, 2007 Snoop Dogg narrates this talking-heads rap with America's black youth. Rap and Hip Hop stars take turns discussing the history of the genre, the current state of US inner cities, the suppression of black votes in the 2004 election, and the need for a return to "conscious rap." http://snipurl.com/eke70

The Rising Reign of Resistance: Review of Mangal Pandey.  June 12, 2007  The man who inspired Gandhi, 90 years before India's independence, is Mangal Pandey. This is the story of the first rebellion, the one that destroyed the East India Trading Company.  Exquisite costumes, music and choreography carry the film, able to inspire indigenous people from any nation under corporate siege. This film is pure India in character, celebrating the dances, songs and customs of the Hindu people. http://snipurl.com/eke2q

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Is Grassroots Activism Relevant? Review of Understanding America's Terrorist Crisis. June 5, 2007  Gore Vidal and several experts discuss stolen elections, the un-Patriot Act, theft in office, war without end, and media collusion in this panel discussion hosted by The Independent Institute.  Grassroots activists can be effective when enough of us withdraw our compliance.  The issues raised in this 2002 panel are more relevant today, given Bush's recent dictator directive. http://snipurl.com/ekdyd

Music: Review: 9-11 Stand Up. May 8, 2007 Bootleg Culture:  9-11 Truth CD "We hold these truths to be self-evident: No. 1. George Bush is not president. No. 2. America is not a true democracy, and No. 3. The media is not fooling me." http://snipurl.com/ekdwo

Silver City film review. March 2, 2007  In "Silver City" director John Sayles uses mining, arguably one of the most environmentally toxic processes of industrialized society, as a backdrop to expose the multiple and often hidden layers of profit-driven power.  Instead of a movie about election fraud, it's about the fraud of elections. http://snipurl.com/ekdsq

Secret Ballot.  January 10, 2007  Winner of several awards, including Best Director (Venice Film Festival), this 2001 film presents a delightful view into voting. With charm and comedy, director Babak Payami challenges our conceptions of the meaning and import of elections. http://snipurl.com/ekdoc

The Critical Issue: Stealing America vote by vote.  October 4, 2006  In less than an hour, no doubt remains that the 2004 election was stolen, without being bludgeoned with the mountain of evidence available.  Producer Dorothy Fadiman draws the connection that across the country, electronic voting machines fail to accurately report vote totals, and coupled with that, vote suppression of Blacks, Latinos and liberal Democrats is being orchestrated.   http://snipurl.com/ekezu

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In 2004, Rady Ananda joined the growing community of citizen journalists. Initially focused on elections, she investigated the 2004 Ohio election, organizing, training and leading several forays into counties to photograph the 2004 ballots. She officially served at three recounts, including the 2004 recount. She also organized and led the team that audited Franklin County Ohio's 2006 election, proving the number of voter signatures did not match official results. Her work appears in three books.

Her blogs also address religious, gender, sexual and racial equality, as well as environmental issues; and are sprinkled with book and film reviews on various topics. She spent most of her working life as a researcher or investigator for private lawyers, and five years as an editor.

She graduated from The Ohio State University's School of Agriculture in December 2003 with a B.S. in Natural Resources.

All material offered here is the property of Rady Ananda, copyright 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009. Permission is granted to repost, with proper attribution including the original link.

"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." Tell the truth anyway.

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