Lost in Previews: Upcoming Documentaries

There seem to be a ton of documentaries coming out soon ranging from political to social to biographical in subject matter. I rarely go and see a documentary in the theatres, but they are definitely on my Netflix queue when I hear about them or see the trailer. You can learn alot from a documentary depending on the subject matter and they can move people into action for a cause. An Inconvenient Truth anyone?  That was a phenomenon that brought global warming statistics to the masses.  Hopefully, you will watch each of these trailers regardless of the subject matter.  Some of them are worth the few minutes it takes. (As I am putting this post together, I realize some of these are just fun and interesting, not necessarily meaningful.)

8: The Mormon Proposition follows the what happened with Proposition 8 in California.  In summary, on June 17, 2008, homosexuals were allowed to marry in California.  Proposition 8 took that right away.  It was not until after Proposition 8 was passed that it came to light that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (the mainstream Mormon faith) contributed lots and lots of money to making sure that 8 passed.  If you don’t know much about the Mormon faith, I am sure that the documentary will give some background on what there beliefs are.  I am not going to say much about my personal opinion on the subject, but I do have several friends that are gay.  This is an important documentary.  The film is already out in theatre,s and it is coming to DVD in July 2010.

The Human Experience is a documentary that I came across a few months ago when searching for trailers.  The trailer itself has two parts.  You can see the despair and pain in the world, then it shifts to these brothers that go on an adventure.  The overall theme or purpose of this movie is not that clear, but it looks good.  This may be a Christian-based documentary, but that’s not clear either.  All I know is that it looks interesting.  The trailer was added to Youtube in 2007 and seems to have won some awards at film festivals in 2009.  There is no release date information on IMDB for the theatres or DVD.  It is currently in my saved section of my Netflix queue with no date attached.  Take a look at the trailer and tell me what you think.

Dancing Across Borders follows Sokvannara “Sy” Sar, a young Cambodian man who was brought to the US after a New York socialite saw him dance in Cambodia at age 16.  I am not a big fan of ballet, but this is an interesting documentary.  I especially like how Sy goes back to Cambodia to inspire others.  There is no release dates on IMDB, but a quick look at the film’s webpage shows that it is having small runs at cities across the US.  It will be in Kansas City on September 7, 2010 at the Plaza branch of the Kansas City Public Library.  There are not any screening dates for Dallas, but it was in Fort Worth in April.

An Inconvenient Tax deals with the United States tax code and tax reform.  Americans don’t like to pay taxes, but we tend to lose sight of what the taxes pay for.  Politician cannot agree on any kind of tax reform.  I have no clue about taxes, but the documentary aims to educate us on the tax dilemma.  I was all for Obama’s tax reform.  If you make more money, then you should pay more money in taxes.  Sounds great to me, especially since I am way on lower end of tax brackets.  An Inconvient Tax is already in theatres and no release date is listed for the DVD.

The Oath tells the story of two relatives who used to work for Osama bin Laden, one as a bodyguard and one as his driver.  One of them ended up at Guantanamo Bay and the other is driving a taxi in Yemen.  The documentary also examines the court system of the United States’ war on terror.  This looks to be a complicated documentary. The Oath has already played at film festivals and is in a limited release right now.

The Nature of Existence is a tongue and cheek documentary examining the questions “Why do we exist?” “What is our purpose?” “Does God exist?”  These questions are posed to many different individuals from different countries.  Director Roger Nygard also did Trekkies, so maybe that will give you a little insight on what to expect from the film.  The Nature of Existence is in theatres June 18, 2010.

Racing Dreams is a documentary about the World Karting Association’s National Pavement Series and three kids who race in it.  I never knew this sport existed and going 70 mph in those little carts seems a tad too dangerous for kids especially since their heads stick out of the vehicle.  This sport is apparently a precursor to those that have NASCAR dreams.  The film has played at film festivals in 2009 and is in theatres now.  FYI Dwayne Johnson is an executive producer.

Casino Jack and the United States of Money is a documentary about lobbyist Jack Abramoff.  He was the number one lobbyist in Washington, D.C. and had a lot of influence (bribes) with certain politicians.  This film also deals with how much greed there is in the political scene of D.C.   Angolan war lords, Indian casinos, this movie shows what exactly this guy did for his career.   Abramoff is currently in prison serving a four year sentence.  Casino Jack is currently in theatres.

Restrepo follows a platoon of soldiers in a remote outpost in Afghanistan for one year.  The film features war footage, downtime with the soldiers, soldiers interacting with the Afghani people, and one on one interviews with the soldiers after they get back from their tour.  The opening scene of the trailer shows an interview with a soldier who cannot sleep because of what he has experienced.  This is an all too familiar story.  Restrepo won the Grand Jury Prize for a documentary at the Sundance Film Festival and is in theatres July 2, 2010.

Living in an Emergency: Stories of Doctors Without Borders is about just what the title says.  The film follows four volunteer doctors in Doctors Without Borders who help at clinics in the war zones of Congo and Liberia.  The doctors have to deal with working in dangerous and remote areas and working without the supplies and technology many doctors are used to.  Living in an Emergency is in limited release on June 4, 2010.

Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work is a documentary on, of course, Joan Rivers.  She has been a stand-up comedienne for a long time and the film takes a look at her career and where it is today.  I laughed out loud a few times during this trailer.  This is a definite must-see for me.  A Piece of Work starts a very limited release on June 11, 2010.

Last but certainly not least is Waiting For Superman from the same director who did An Inconvenient Truth. This film takes a look at how utterly deplorable the education system in the US has gotten.  Some children have the chance to go to reformed/private schools for free but only if their number is called.  The film also shows what is being done by some to improve the education system.  You can pledge to see this movie at www.WaitingForSuperman.com.  The doc will be theatres this fall.

by Sarah Ksiazek

About Sarah Ksiazek

Sarah is a Zookeeper extraordinaire who writes, edits, and is the resident trailer addict for Lost in Reviews. Do not underestimate her snobbery when it comes to trailers. She also owns/runs The Host Movie News which is a fan site for The Host movie adaptation.

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