‘Population Boom’ Examines Consequences of Planet Overpopulation

Michael Verdirame

In his latest documentary, “Population Boom,” filmmaker Werner Boote examines the topic of the overpopulation of the planet in an attempt to discover if in fact the exponential growth of the total number of human beings on Earth over the last several hundred years is something to be concerned about, or if it is just a cover for a different, more pressing problem.  Throughout the film, Boote travels to diverse locations all over the world, from Africa to Asia to North America, interviewing many local citizens about their opinions on the world population.

New Film Celebrates the Life of Altina, the Woman Behind the Harlequin Glasses

Sandra Bertrand

Altina, a film by Peter Sanders, is a documentary valentine to his artist grandmother.  It may not solve the riddle about the woman behind the cat’s eye frames she invented, but it’s a lively enough pastiche of the turbulent 20th century she inhabited.  Through newsreels, archival home videos and close-up glimpses from some of the people whose lives she touched, we can enjoy the journey.  

Is Internet Addiction Ruining Our Lives? New Documentary Makes a Strong Case

Gabriella Tutino

InRealLife is both a cautionary tale and a disturbing peek behind-the-curtain into the affected lives of Internet users. While it is a little bit hyped up on the negatives of the network, it’s also good to remember that the situations presented in the film can be extreme, and that there are those who can disconnect and use the Web in moderation. InRealLife is provocative and brings up good points about the perils of Internet addiction.

New Documentary Highlights the Spiritual Journey of the Camino de Santiago

Gabriella Tutino

A 500-mile journey through Spain, the Camino de Santiago is an ancient and world renowned pilgrimage path. The destination is the city of Santiago de Compostela, where the bones of St. James are supposedly buried. Hundreds of thousands of people make the trip each year in search of something. Walking the Camino is a short documentary that follows six particular travelers—all from different countries and all with different intentions—as they cross the Camino.

Documentary Offers In-Depth Look at Lemurs in Madagascar

Kate Voss

“Before I was a scientist, I was a social worker in Brooklyn,” said Patricia Wright, an anthropologist and conservationist who has spent nearly 30 years studying Lemurs in the rain-forests of Madagascar. She says that in Madagascar, both humans and lemurs struggle with the scarcity of resources. Man-made fires have ravaged much of the lemurs’ natural habitat. Wright is a central focus of the recently released documentary, Island of Lemurs: Madagascar, which strives to educate the general public about the plight of lemurs.

The Curse of the Gothic Symphony Lingers On

Angelo Franco

A terrific portrayal of passion and perseverance, this film depicts a rather obsessive group of musicians – and an exasperated filmmaker – as they attempt to orchestrate the “Everest” of classical music. Reputed to be the largest, longest, and most complex composition ever written, Havergal Brian’s Symphony No. 1 “The Gothic” is a colossal piece of classical music requiring a number of musicians so vast that it has only been performed four times since its completion in 1927.

Making Sense of a Chaotic Universe in ‘Particle Fever’

William Eley

Appropriately, and in accordance with the universe-sized endeavor of which Particle Fever documents, the film’s style is of a predictable, cinema verite formulation: enmeshing moments of planet-rattling scientific discovery with footage of its purveyors training for marathons along Swiss country roads, engaging in impromptu ping-pong matches under cruel, institutional lighting and, of course, confessing their concerns about the potential “end of Physics” via Skype. 

Documentary ‘Stories We Tell’ Is a Wonderful Meditation on Family and Memories

Sam Chapin

Stories We Tell, a new documentary by filmmaker Sarah Atwood, opens with this quote offered by her father, Michael, whose writings serve as the film’s narration. What follows is a methodical investigation into the life of one woman, her mother, from the perspectives of an entire family. Through their observations and experiences, we are presented with a fractured image of a dynamic personality, loved by all but known by few: Diane.

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