Monday, May 30, 2016

Forks Over Knives (2011)

Forks Over Knives (2011) is an American activist film that advocates a low-fat, whole-food, plant-based diet as a way to avoid or reverse several chronic diseases. The film recommends a vegan diet but calls it "whole foods plant-based" to stress that processed food should be avoided as well as food of animal origin.

This is an inspirational film; but it is clear that it promotes a vegan diet.  I was not totally convinced that the protagonists were not just drinking the Kool-Aid.  Still, well-worth watching.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Inside Out (2015)

The film is set in the mind of a young girl named Riley Andersen, where five personified emotions - Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger, and Disgust try to lead her through life as her parents move from Minnesota to San Francisco and she has to adjust to her new life.

Inside Out is a psychedelic journey through the emotions and how they control our lives.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Switching Teans

Lesley Stahl of 60 Minutes profiles Harvard swimmer Schuyler Bailar, who may be the first openly transgender male athlete to compete in a NCAA Division I men's sport.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Assisted Suicide in Belgium

A Williams student, Ananya Mayukha, alerted us to an Economist video, 24 and Ready to Die, that focuses on Assisted Suicide Belgique. At 22 minutes, it is well-worth watching.

24 yo subject of Economist film
 This is a moving film that raises n=many questions and does not try to provide facile answers.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Growing Up Trans (2015)

This Frontline documentary is powerful, moving and memorable. (1 hour 24 minutes)

"Just a generation ago, it was adults, not kids, who changed genders. But today, many children are transitioning, too -- with new medical options, and at younger and younger ages. In Growing Up Trans, FRONTLINE takes viewers on an intimate and eye-opening journey inside the struggles and choices facing transgender kids and their families."

Sunday, December 27, 2015

TransFatty Lives (2015)

    At 30, Patrick O’Brien was TransFatty, a New York City DJ, internet personality, and filmmaker. He spent his days as a beer-drinking creative force, making art films about perverts, vulnerable souls, and Howard Johnson’s restaurants...
    Then his legs started shaking.

    Defying sentimentality, TRANSFATTY LIVES takes you on an emotional rollercoaster from Patrick’s wild, fun-loving days into the dark heart of ALS (a.k.a. Lou Gehrig’s disease).

    Given 2 to 5 years to live, Patrick first loses his ability to walk, then move his arms, then to swallow, and even to breathe.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Concussion (2015)

The sickening crunch of football players crashing against each other, helmet to helmet, echoes through “Concussion” like an alarm. There’s another appalling sound here, too, created by the collision of corporate avarice — in the blurred form of the National Football League — and a doctor fighting a righteous fight.

NY Times Review (12/25/2015, Manohla Dargis)

A good review of CTE on Wikipedia.

Dr. Bennet Omalu
12/25/15: I just saw Concussion.  A truly amazing film.  The hero is Dr. Bennet Omalu, a Nigerian neuro- and forensic pathologist, who had the courage to follow up on his unpopular findings.  Will Smith and Alec Baldwin are powerful and amazing in their roles.  This film is a great introduction to chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and it won’t be just football.  Concussion addresses an unfortunate truth.  It’s great to see a film where a pathologist, especially a forensic pathologist is the hero.  DJE

Reference: Chronic traumatic encephalopathy in a National Football League player. Omalu BI, DeKosky ST, Minster RL, Kamboh MI, Hamilton RL, Wecht CH. Neurosurgery. 2005 Jul;57(1):128-34; discussion 128-34. Abstract.  (This is where it all began!)