Tag Archives: 2012

The Act of Killing (2012)

29 Oct

Review of the documentary The Act of Killing

In general I do not seek out movies which have shocking footage in them. I do not enjoy watching such footage even if it’s just make belief. So you will not make me happy with movies like Saw or similar ones. With a title like The Act of Killing you have an idea about what to expect. I decided to watch this since this isn’t fiction, it is a documentary about people who killed communists in Indonesia during the sixties. Within a year more than a million people lost their lives because of it. It was something I had not heard about and I thought it would be important to learn more. What makes this documentary unique though is that the executioners themselves talk about their acts openly. Continue reading


Burn (2012)

28 Oct

Review of the documentary Burn

Detroit. A city which once was the heart of the American economy, providing a lot of jobs in the car industry, has seemed to have lost its former glory. The media attention the city receives is usually negative, focussing on crime and people leaving the city resulting in empty buildings. Those empty buildings are a big problem Detroit faces as they are prone to be lit for various reasons. With over 30 fires a day (compared to only 11 in Los Angeles for example) it means that the fire department is one of the busiest in the United States. Burn follows the crew of Engine Company 50 closely and looks at the problems they are facing, which aren’t only fires. Continue reading

Searching for Sugar Man (2012)

20 Feb

Review of the documentary Searching for Sugar Man

Some stories are almost too strange to be real, but this documentary tells one that will have you captivated. This movie is about Rodriguez, a musician I had never heard of before. He’s an American artist who never made it there, but who played a big part in the history of South Africa. He had a big following there and any serious South African record collector has to have his records besides those of greats like the Beatles. Unlike the Beatles though no one seemed to know anything about him. Not where he lived or even if he was still alive. There were crazy stories about how he had died, but nothing could be confirmed. Until two people decided to find the truth about him. Continue reading

West of Memphis (2012)

19 Feb

Review of the documentary West of Memphis

Last year I watched and reviewed the Paradise Lost trilogy, three documentaries about the Memphis Three. These boys (16,17 and 18) were the suspects in a the murder case of three 8-year-old boys. They went to trial and were convicted. The movies were hard to watch because of the subject matter, but were very important, because they made a case that the three convicted boys might be innocent. The case got international attention and through the years the documentary makers kept coming back to the case with new insights, which eventually set them all free. West of Memphis also looks at the case and the question is whether it brings anything new to the table after watching the 400 minutes of Paradise Lost documentaries. Continue reading

The Imposter (2012)

12 Feb

Review of the documentary The Imposter

When you are a parent, one of the most frigtening experiences is when you can’t find your child. With three kids in the house it’s one we haved experienced twice, with one of the kids not being home at the time we agreed upon. You wait a bit longer, but when they don’t show up a sense of panic starts to develop and you go out of the house to try and locate them. When you can’t you really start to freak out and even if you try to stay positive you can’t help thinking of the worst. The family of Nicholas Barclay has experienced that situation and weren’t able to find him anymore. To their surprise the got a call a couple of years later out of Spain where they heard that Nicholas was found. They must have been overjoyed by it and went to pick him up, but as the title of this documentary already suggests, they didn’t meet the person who they thought they were meeting. Continue reading

The Queen of Versailles (2012)

11 Feb

The financial crisis has had a big impact on the world during the last couple of years with people losing their jobs and homes, banks disappearing and a real estate market which isn’t as healthy anymore as it once was. As this documentary shows though, it has also hit the rich and powerful. David Siegel has been very succesful in building his Westgate Resorts empire by timesharing luxury apartments. He has earned millions which he would use in constructing new buildings resulting in one of the big towers in Las vegas, which cost him 400 million dollars. He claims he’s so powerful that he is responsible for president Bush getting re-elected, which he admits doing in a way which probably is illegal.

He lives in a huge house together with his wife and 8 children and together they decided they wanted a new house. They wrote down what they wanted in their new house and inspired by a trip to France they want it to resemble Versailles. They had so many wishes for the house that once building started it turned out that it would become the biggest house in America. When you look at the numbers, 90,000 square-foot or 8360-square-metre it’s hard to imagine how big that is. They payed for it in cash and immediately put a mortgage on the unfinished building to invest in the company. They were on their way of realising a huge dream, until the financial crisis happened and everything was halted. Continue reading