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Opinion Northwest

Join the informed writers of The Times' editorial board in lively discussions at our blog, Opinion Northwest.

Topic: Documentary

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October 15, 2013 at 6:50 AM

Shame on the NFL for ignoring its workforce

I watched the Frontline documentary, “League of Denial: The NFL’s Concussion Crisis,” with mixed emotions. Certainly the behavior of the National Football League toward its players – its employees – was arrogant, despicable, even vulgar. The league, and the owners and teams it represents, spent years and years denying the occupational health hazards suffered by players….


Comments | Topics: concussions, Documentary, frontline

August 13, 2013 at 11:45 AM

‘The Campaign’ shows how Prop. 8 ignited marriage-equality revolution

This Seattle Times news account of state Sen. Ed Murray’s marriage last Saturday to his long-time partner Michael Shiosaki warmed a lot of hearts, including mine. Murray, a Seattle Democrat, fought well over a decade to convince a majority of his fellow lawmakers to support legalizing same-sex marriage. Patience pays off. The two wed exactly 22 years from the day they met during a hike to Mount Rainier.

The political wedding of the season happened just a few days before the highly anticipated documentary film “The Campaign” is scheduled to screen Thursday at SIFF Uptown in Seattle at 7:30 p.m. KCTS 9 will broadcast the film next Sunday at 11pm. Here’s a preview:

Aw, that’s right. Four years before Washington state voters made history by becoming one of the first electorates in the union to affirm marriage equality, there was the 2008 campaign in California for and against Proposition 8, a measure by same-sex marriage opponents to define marriage in that state’s constitution as a union between one man and one woman. Two lower courts ruled the amendment was unconstitutional before the case reached the Supreme Court of the United States. Last June, the justices ruled they had no authority to decide on the case, thereby allowing California to resume same-sex marriages. (Read the Wikipedia explanation of this rather complex legal battle at this link.)

The stunning outcome of that election raised our collective consciousness and ignited a revolution (and lots of fundraising) in states outside California, including right here Washington. It forced a mainstream discussion about gay marriage not just as a social or political wedge problem but as an issue of human rights and personal freedom.


Comments | Topics: Documentary, ed murray, prop 8

April 30, 2013 at 6:30 AM

PBS documentary forces unflinching look at migrant deaths in the Arizona desert

Calls for comprehensive immigration reform center around the people who left other countries and made it here. But what of those who set out to come here but never made it?

Since 1998, more than 2,000 dead bodies have been found in Arizona’s Sonora Desert. They are the remains of migrants braving the desert’s hellish temperatures to cross into the U.S.  Last night, PBS aired   The Undocumented, a powerful documentary film that follows Marcos Hernandez as he searches for his father,Francisco, who vanished while walking through the Sonora.

The documentary’s power lies in gritty interviews, haunting music and spare narration. The dead lie unidentified in morgues but filmmaker Marco Williams makes sure they do not go unremarked upon.

In the U.S. the immigration debate takes on academic tones thick with numbers and legal statuses.


Comments | Topics: congress, Documentary, immigration reform