Most ‘90s kids grew up with the adorable animated movie Balto, which featured an outcast wolf-dog turned hero who courageously helped save the town of Nome, Alaska from a diphtheria outbreak. But as adults, we now know that kiddie movies often whitewash the real facts, and Balto is no different. In The Making Of Balto, the truth is laid bare: Balto was no wolf hybrid, but merely an Alaskan Husky who led his team along a dangerous route and was given a statue in New York City’s Central Park for his efforts. Simon Wells, who directed the movie, even admits in the documentary that he first stumbled upon Balto’s story after seeing the statue in the park.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Wednesday, February 25th, 2015||No Comments »|
Although most people write it off as “just a headache,” migraines are a serious neurological condition. Short documentary Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind blows the lid off the common misconceptions behind migraines.
In the video, director Jasmine John interviewed migraineurs who described what it felt like to suffer an attack. One woman claimed it felt as if her head was like a balloon while another victim wearily described the pain radiating from her head right down into her jawbone. John also interviewed Dr. Alexander Mauskop of the New York Headache Center, who put a stop to such outdated “headache” nonsense by saying that while migraines can cause headaches, it’s actually caused by a chemical change in the brain that can give way to a whole host of other irritating neurological conditions such as aura or vertigo.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Monday, February 23rd, 2015||No Comments »|
While everyone is talking about the adorable beagle Miss P’s big win at the 2015 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, there are others of her kind who are in desperate need of homes. The documentary RESCUED: The Beagle Freedom Project explores the mistreatment of beagles in scientific research community. Because the sweet-natured hounds are docile and are the perfect crate size, they are often the breed of choice by scientists who pump the dogs full of toxic chemicals. These cute pups won’t even bite the lab techs who are performing such horrific experiments.
Thankfully, Snoopy’s kin has a champion in Shannon Keith, founder of The Beagle Freedom Project. She started the organization in 2010 after seeing an advertisement about a laboratory that was going out of business and needed to get rid of the dogs or they would’ve been killed. She notified her friends via social media and was able to save them from being put to sleep.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Thursday, February 19th, 2015||No Comments »|
China’s one-child policy was passed in 1979 as an effort to control the population. Since then, a new generation of only-children have grown up to change the culture of China. The One is a look at that generation and the affects the policy has had on them. The short documentary interviews several people who share their experiences growing up as the only child. Most of them admit that being the only child was lonely and made them more selfish as adults, while others say the policy has had no affect on their lives and was better for them. The film doesn’t really try to force a specific agenda on the debate. Instead, the film simply operates as a vehicle for those who want their voices to be heard, whatever side they’re on.
|Recommended by The Absolute Staff||Wednesday, February 11th, 2015||No Comments »|
This past year has seen a significant amount of attention paid toward unlawful police behavior, whether it’s gunning down unarmed black men or rough handling peaceful protesters. However, these brutish police tactics are nothing new, and for most naive law abiding citizens it might come as a shock how indoctrinated the NYPD’s practices are. In this short video taken a year ago during an Occupy Wall Street protest in New York City, filmmaker Paul Sullivan carefully shows how police intentionally target specific looking people when trying to disperse peaceful protests. The video shows how officers arrest people if they fit a particular profile (usually a protester who’s wearing dark clothing or has a beard) and construct a narrative that conflicts with what actually happened. The video ends with arrest #10 being the filmmaker himself who gets roughed up by a cop who threatens to break his jaw. A pretty fitting conclusion if you ask me.
|Recommended by Tiffany White||Wednesday, January 28th, 2015||No Comments »|
The heartfelt documentary To the Border Bred by Shadowcat Films explores the deep bond between man’s best friend and the weathered shepherds that employ them as working animals.
The documentary revolves around a breed of dog known as Border Collie and their shepherds who work in Northumberland, Scotland. In the film, they discuss the different aspects of these hardy canines, from raising them as puppies, to how tirelessly they herd sheep, and finally, to the deep bonds of love they have for their owners.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Thursday, January 22nd, 2015||No Comments »|
Nintendo’s 1989 Power Glove, a game controller that let you control games via a nifty glove, was a commercial failure. Most people don’t even remember the Power Glove or that it even existed–except for Robot Chicken animator Dillon Markey. Markey has admired the Power Glove since he was a child, and when he realized he could modify his most precious childhood heirloom into something he could use today, he jumped on the chance. With the help of an engineer and a few friends, he modified the original Power Glove into a tool used for stop motion animation. “People have all but forgotten about [the Power Glove].” he says. “Half the time people see me wearing it and they’re like, ‘What is that?’ It’s just one of those things that’s completely in the ether. It barely exists anymore.”
|Recommended by The Absolute Staff||Tuesday, January 20th, 2015||No Comments »|