Sunday, November 20, 2016

Miss Sharon Jones (2016)

This is a brutally candid documentary about the R&B singer, Sharon Jones, who died in November 2016 from pancreatic cancer.  It is an engaging and sad story that hints at the chaos of cancer and its management.  It is unclear to me how much the medical treatment helped her, although the initial Whipple surgery certainly bought her some time.

Official Trailer.

New York Times Obituary.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Cake (2014)

The story centers on chronic pain sufferer Claire (Aniston) as she struggles to come to terms, not only with the aftermath of the car accident that killed her son and left her partially disabled by chronic pain, but also with the suicide of a woman from her chronic pain support group, Nina (Kendrick). The film documents how Claire's pain and grief affect her behavior, her relationships with other people, and her ability to function from just after Nina's death until she reaches a breakthrough point in her own path.

This is a dark, depressing film about the world of some chronic pain sufferers.  It comments on opioids as well.  It is well done and worth seeing.


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."