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Camp Victory, Afghanistan (2010)

Camp Victory, Afghanistan (2010)


This documentary is engaging in that it is a departure from the typical documentary. It’s about United States National Guard soldiers trying to train an indigenous Afghan army from mid- to late 2000s in Heart, Afghanistan. It centers on the 207th Corps of the nascent …

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Innocent Voices (2004)

Innocent Voices (2004)

What this film does is shed light on is the effects of war, especially on children. Chava, who is 11-years-old, is much like any boy his age anywhere in the world. However, he lives with the constant threat of violence as the civil war in El …

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Palestine Blues (2006)

Palestine Blues (2006)


To say this documentary puts the Israelis in a bad light is a great understatement.
It is hard, watching this film, to not want to ally oneself with the Palestinians portrayed in it.
The documentary is about the erection of the wall Israel was building in …

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The World without US (2008)

The World without US (2008)


Now that the U.S. has been poised to strike Syria militarily, it is helpful to consider the United States’ role in the world.
The premise of this documentary is intriguing: what if the United States removed all of its troops and military hardware from the …

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The Whistleblower (2010)

The Whistleblower (2010)

Sex trafficking.
It happens all over the world but is largely invisible to most.
What The Whistleblower (a drama, not a documentary) does is expose it as it occurred in Bosnia in 1999, four years after the Dayton Accord was reached.
Rachel Weisz plays Kathryn Bolkovac, a …

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Putin’s Kiss (2012)

Putin’s Kiss (2012)

This documentary focuses on the pitfalls of groupthink in modern Russia.
It shows a young woman, Masha Drokova, who skyrocketed to the top of a pro-Putin group called Nashi, a political youth organization. She was the group’s spokesperson and was a firm believer in Putin’s rule. That …

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The Island President (2011)

The Island President (2011)


While whether climate change is real is being debated around the world, there is one country that is experiencing its effects firsthand: the Maldives.
This documentary follows then-President Mohamed Nasheed as he attempts to get the rest of the world on board with reducing carbon …

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Inside the Vatican (2001)

Inside the Vatican (2001)


It is said the Vatican thinks in centuries, not years, and, after watching this documentary, the viewer can see why.
Despite it being a bit dated, this documentary sheds light on the inner workings of the smallest nation in the world.
Narrated by Martin Sheen, it …

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For Greater Glory (2012)

For Greater Glory (2012)


“Viva Cristo Rey!”
That rallying cry (which translates as “Long live Christ the King!”) was made by the Cristeros (soldiers of Christ) during the conflict in Mexico in the late 1920s. That war started a few years after the Mexican government outlawed religion in the 1917 …

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We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks (2013)

We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks (2013)


While Julian Assange is the person with the rock star persona, Bradley Manning is the true center of this documentary.
It was Manning who leaked information to WikiLeaks and who now faces trial for doing so.
Army Pfc. Manning is portrayed in the film as a …

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They Call It Myanmar: Lifting the Curtain (2012)

They Call It Myanmar: Lifting the Curtain (2012)


“Asia’s rice bowl.”
That was the name of Burma (now called Myanmar) some time ago.
Now isolated and under stern military rule, Burma has lagged behind other Asian nations.
What this documentary shows is the rich history of Burma, its strong Buddhist traditions, and its struggle against …

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Shadow of Afghanistan (2012)

Shadow of Afghanistan (2012)


This documentary is all over the place.
It is in part a history of modern Afghanistan and also a film about independent journalists – some of whom were killed – trying to report on the situation on the ground.
Afghanistan is called “The Graveyard of Empires” …

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Prisoner of the Mountains (1996)

Prisoner of the Mountains (1996)


The conflict between Russia and the territory of Chechnya is the backdrop for this film.
In it two Russian soldiers are taken away to a Chechen village after their group is ambushed. The reason they are captured is so that a villager can use them …

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Three Films about Margaret Thatcher

Three Films about Margaret Thatcher

There have been many movies made about Margaret Thatcher in recent years. Now that she has passed, here is a review of three of them. 
We start with “The Iron Lady” (2011), which stars Meryl Streep. Streep does a fantastic job of playing the former prime …

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Camp 14: Total Control Zone (2012)

Camp 14: Total Control Zone (2012)


What could be worse than living in a North Korean labor camp? Apparently, not much.
This documentary centers mainly on Shin Dong-Huyk, an inmate who escaped Camp 14 and who now lives in South Korea.
The tale he tells is horrific: beatings, torture, hard labor and …

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About the Author

Sean Patrick Murphy
Sean Patrick Murphy

Sean Patrick Murphy is a graduate of Bennington College, where he majored in politics and Latin American literature. He has worked for Current History magazine, Physicians for Human Rights, and Citizens for Global Solutions (formerly the World Federalist Association). He lives outside Philadelphia.

Areas of Focus:
Cinematography; Independent Films; Documentary;

Contact

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