Doc Blog

Filtered by Topic: Politics

Continuing our links to Real to Reel docs, Body of War has an impressive web site that includes a trailer and lots of background information. Here's an excerpt from the director's statemet by co-director Ellen Spiro (pictured here filming on location). Spiro writes:

It's June 2005. George Bush is on the radio. He's saying "My greatest responsibility as President is to protect the American people." I think, "Why do I feel more unsafe than ever?" The phone rings. It's Phil Donahue.

"Phil WHO?" I say. "Phil Donahue, I'm calling about...


In October of last year, I brought my dear wife and filmmaking partner, Lindalee Tracey to hospital. She was suffering through the last, painful stages of cancer. During each of Lindalee’s final days in palliative care, Ariel Dorfman sent me a poem which I read to her. Poems by the Persian poet, Rumi and by Ariel himself. So Lindalee slipped away with Ariel’s and Rumi’s lovely words swimming in her mind.

Ariel was traveling to Chile just a few weeks after Lindalee’s passing....


When GUNNER PALACE premiered at TIFF in 2004 we asked two soldiers from the unit featured in the film to come up to Toronto for a casual Q&A. One of them, Captain Jon Powers, later became involved with the publicity for the release of the film and spent six weeks on the road doing press, meeting audiences and attending events. Through that exposure, Jon decided to start an NGO to help Iraqi children and actually returned to Baghdad in 2005.

Last week I was in Chicago for the second annual Yearly Kos...


As I talked to reporters yesterday about the Real to Reel line-up, I heard a recurring sense of surprise that the co-director of BODY OF WAR was the same Phil Donahue well-known as the venerable talk show host. Indeed it is. He teamed up with veteran doc maker Ellen Spiro to tell the story of Tomas Young, an Iraq war veteran who became a vocal opponent of the Bush administration. In the film, Donahue stays strictly behind the camera. But here he's pictured with Young, Spiro...


Everyone has heard of the 1979 Iranian Revolution, but few Westerners have seen much of the Iranian cinema and its impact on the country over the past sixty years. Director Nader Takmil Homayoun (right) decided to breathe life into the rich history of his native land's film industry with Iran: Une Révolution cinématographique, which made its premiere tonight to a sold out crowd at the Al Green theatre.

Iranian cinema has largely been off the North American radar, perpetuating an image in the West that Iranians are people of prayer and...


Forget CNN, Just Watch Ohio

It may not be Florida in 2000, but the state of Ohio has so much influence in American politics, many analysts, politicians and citizens alike believe that "as Ohio goes the nation." Making its worldwide premiere tonight, ...So Goes the Nation presents an intimate and candid look at this phenomenon, focusing on the northern state in the '04 US presidential election. The film gives us a first hand glimpse into the lives and views of the entire political spectrum in Ohio. Everyone from the average citizen to Democratic and Republican political strategists...


A full house gathered at the ROM today for the premiere screening of My Life as a Terrorist: The Story of Hans-Joachim Klein. The film follows the life of Klein, a German man who went from being a left-wing radical to being linked to the murders of OPEC officials in 1975. Klein describes this transition and reveals how he feels the terrorist organization used and manipulated him.

Stock footage and photographs are used along with recent footage of Klein on a trip back to his...


Friday's premiere screening of The Prisoner: Or How I Planned to Kill Tony Blair and Sari’s Mother, presented together, shocked the audience both on screen and on stage during the Q&A. The Prisoner follows the story of Yunis, an Iraqi journalist who was wrongfully detained by the American military in an Iraqi compound for 9 months.

After the film, Prisoner Director Michael Tucker read an email he received from an American soldier who had befriended Yunis at Camp Ganci where he was detained. Tucker then called former US soldier Benjamin Thompson on stage...


In today's Toronto Star, writer Peter Howell looks at the TIFF films likely to stir the most controversy, including several documentary titles.

[Right: Tony Kaye's abortion documentary  Lake of Fire]

Howell quotes the Festival Co-Director and CEO Piers Handling:

"Filmmakers want to engage with the world by taking on tough subjects," Handling said in an interview yesterday. "That's for sure a theme this year. For whatever reason, there's a feeling by filmmakers that certain battles that had been fought in the past — like abortion, for example — need to be...


We just received word that one of the "stars" of our political documentary, a tireless grass roots campaigner for the Democrats by the name of Miles Gerety, will be attending the world premiere of our film, ".So Goes the Nation."  Miles actually drove all night from Connecticut to Ohio for those final crazy days of the campaign to try and tip the scales for the Democrats. We couldn't be happier to hear that Miles, as well his Republican counterpart Leslie Ghiz, will both be present at the World Premiere on Sept....


Michael Moore back at TIFF!
Today the press was buzzing with reports that Michael Moore (left) will be coming to TIFF for a special event in our Mavericks section. Moore will be showing glimpses from not just one, but two works-in-progress. He'll be showing a teaser from his eagerly awaited doc Sicko about the US health care system, due as a major release from The Weinstein Company in 2007.

But kept more secret until yesterday's announcement, Moore has been editing another piece titled The Great 04 Slacker Uprising. It's a scrappy road trip movie...


Check the Archives for older postings.