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Popcorn & Prejudice: A Movie Blog

Seattle Times writer Moira Macdonald muses on moviegoing. Email Moira: mmacdonald@seattletimes.com.

February 3, 2010 at 10:25 AM

And what about those Oscar docs?

Well, I’m disappointed — none of my favorite documentaries of the year (“La Danse,” “The Beaches of Agnes,” “Anvil! The Story of Anvil,” “Valentino: The Last Emperor,” “The September Issue,” “Every Little Step,” “Pray the Devil Back to Hell”) made it to Oscar’s short list, but what are you going to do? Not all of the five nominees were familiar to me, and perhap not to you too, so here’s a bit of info on what they were and where you might see them:
Burma VJ,” directed by Anders Ostergaard and Lise Lense-Moller, is a look at the repressive military regime of Burma through the eyes of local journalists. It screened at SIFF last spring, and will have a free screening at Seattle University Sunday at 11 a.m., sponsored by a number of local groups and featuring a post-screening panel discussion led by Buddhist refugee monk advocate U Pyinya Zawta. For more information on the screening, see this website (and arrive early; the screening will almost certainly be full).
The Cove,” directed by Louis Psihoyos, is an expose of Japan’s controversial dolphin trade. It screened at the Seattle International Film Festival last spring (where it won the Golden Space Needle for best documentary), had a brief theatrical release in the summer, and is now available on DVD.
Food, Inc.,” directed by Robert Kenner, examines the American food industry and its impact on the environment and on health. Like “The Cove,” it screened at SIFF, had a brief theatrical run, and is now on DVD.
The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers,” directed by Judith Erlich and Rick Goldsmith, examines the case of ex-Marine and Pentagon official Daniel Ellsberg, who in 1971 leaked 7,000 pages of secret documents to the New York Times. The film will open at the Varsity and at Tacoma’s Grand Cinemas March 12.
Which Way Home,” directed by Rebecca Cammisa, follows two young boys from Central America as they attempt to immigrate to the U.S. in search of a better life. It is part of HBO’s documentary series and has not screened theatrically in the Seattle area.

“The Cove” (photo courtesy Roadside Attractions)

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