I’m a bit of a documentary-buff. If I have a couple of hours alone, or on the occasions I can convince my husband to watch with me, I like to turn on a random documentary I can find in Netflix. I don’t necessarily have a running list of things I hope to watch, but I love to discover something new. I’ve been on a big documentary kick lately. Here are a few I have enjoyed lately.
The Pruitt-Igoe Myth (2011)
From IMBD: Destroyed in a dramatic and highly-publicized implosion, the Pruitt-Igoe public housing complex has become a widespread symbol of failure amongst architects, politicians and policy makers. The Pruitt-Igoe Myth explores the social, economic and legislative issues that led to the decline of conventional public housing in America, and the city centers in which they resided, while tracing the personal and poignant narratives of several of the project’s residents.
My thoughts: Pruitt-Igoe fascinates me. It is such an interesting microcosm to study when thinking about the 1949 Housing Act, modern city development, racism, and the urban poor. I especially like this documentary because it focused on the residents. Sure, it mixed in the social and political background, but it really concentrated on the stories of people who lived and grew-up in the development.
Great quote: “In some ways, Pruitt-Igoe failed because housing alone couldn’t deal with the most basic issues that were troubling the American city. There was just no way to build your way out of that tragedy.”
Another great quote: “History has patterns, but it doesn’t repeat . . . . The next time the city changes, remember Pruitt-Igoe.”
Jiro Dreams of Sushi (2011)
From IMBD: A documentary on 85-year-old sushi master Jiro Ono, his business in the Ginza Tokio Subway station, and his relationship with his son and eventual heir, Yoshikazu.
My thoughts: Who knew watching someone make sushi could be so mesmerizing? This was fun to watch and I liked seeing a world-class chef without all of the pomp and circumstance that accompanies television chefts. And the music – amazing!
From IMDB: A film profiling the unusual cross-demographic fandom of the ostensibly girl oriented television series, My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.
My thoughts: Fun! This was a very well-made documentary about an easily –ridiculed subject. I really enjoyed all of these guys (and ladies!) sharing their enjoyment of the show and what they learned from it.
Great quote: “Bronycon means to me, a place where people can go and be tolerated and accepted, it doesn’t matter who you are, you can find a place in this fandom and you can be accepted and I think that’s really cool, because a lot of other fandoms are restrictive.”
From IMDB: At the annual Vent Haven Convention in Ft. Mitchell, Kentucky, ventriloquism capital of the world, director Mark Goffman discovers five extraordinary characters straight out of a Christopher Guest mockumentary. But in this delightful, it’s-all-true documentary, the characters are real, and so are the emotional attachments that they have with their “dummies.”
My thoughts: Another fun one and fairly sweet. I loved following all of these different people on their very different paths through ventriloquism.