Sights and Sounds

Auschwitz: Inside the Nazi State

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This six part documentary produced by the BBC looks not only at the horrors that took place in Auschwitz; but at the developments, both political and technological that resulted in what many consider the worst of all the Nazi internment camps -- Auschwitz, along with its immediate aftereffects. I can't say that this documentary was a pleasure to watch but it was educational, important, and horrific. Read more »

Whip It

No, this post is not an ode to Devo (though I do love that song), but rather a look at the world of roller derby. I attended my first bout the other night and had the opportunity to see Bloomington's Bleeding Heartland Roller Girls win. Afterwards, I was inspired to pick up the feature film Whip It, a look at one teen's coming of age through the roller derby.

Mind over money.

Imagine that you had a group of people in a room; let's say twenty people. Then let's say that you held up a twenty dollar bill and that you were going to auction it off to the lowest bidder. Finally, you allow the participants to begin bidding. What would you expect to happen? Of course some people would bid one dollar for a twenty dollar bill. Other bids would come in as high as ten or nineteen dollars. Even at nineteen you still stand to gain a dollar if you win the bidding war. What would you say if participants bided as high as twenty-seven dollars for a twenty dollar bill? That is exactly what this documentary explores. We are used to a theory of economics that says that we all pursue our rational self-interest, but then how to do we explain the obvious irrational behavior in the experiment above? If you want to find out answer to this question then you'll want to see a new PBS documentary called, Mind Over Money.

Bigger, faster, stronger.

When it comes to focusing on body image and self esteem the media often discusses how this impacts women in negative ways. There's not a whole lot out there that focuses on men and their self image. Bigger, stronger, faster is a documentary that tries to do exactly that. By talking to various body builders, weight lifters and athletes we find that there exists this childhood yearning in some grown men to become the superheroes that they read about and admired when they were children. But what if those superheroes became number one by injecting themselves with anabolic steroids? If you found out that your favorite athlete was taking anabolic steroids would that change your opinion of him or her? Would you think of them as cheaters? These are some of the questions that this documentary tries to answer along with why people feel the need to alter their bodies to feel good about themselves. Check out the trailer below and if you like it, our library has two copies on dvd.

The Apostle


ImageThe Apostle is one of the first of a small genre of films that I sometimes call "Christian Films for non-Christians." I define this genre as films that are well written, well acted and well produced. They are willing to accept a PG-13, or even an R rating, but have at their base a message of faith while showing both the best and worst in people they feature. Read more »

The Fall

This visuaImagelly stunning film isn't just a pretty picture, it has an excellent story (actually there are two storylines) to go with it. Set in a Los Angeles area hospital in the 1920s The Fall stars Lee Pace (of the wonderful Pushing Daisies) as Roy, an injured stuntman who befriends Alexandria, a young girl with a broken arm. Depressed over the loss of his lover Read more »