If you are looking for a good movie to watch, Angela Wiley, one of the library’s fabulous student workers, suggests the following DVDs from the library’s collection:
Well-Founded Fear (2000)
I know, you really want to grab Zoolander, or some Johnny Depp movie to calm your mind…after all, films are about escaping, right? Consider Well-Founded Fear, a documentary about people seeking political asylum in the United States. Their flight from ‘home’ finds them across the desk from a number of immigrant officials who have the power to grant or deny entry. You’ve gathered by this point that the escape of a political refugee is much different than the temporary peace one can find in a dark movie theater. While watching this film, I became fascinated with the role chance can play in such a high stakes meeting – your immigration official may be jaded, or an empathetic rookie. And what in the world constitutes “well-founded fear”? I still don’t know, but certainly stayed up at night thinking about it after watching this film.
If this film were a person, it would put both hands on your shoulders, shake you, and shout “HOW CAN YOU LET THIS HAPPEN?!” The exploration of hydraulic fracturing in Gasland finds landowner Josh Fox up to his elbows in water samples, polluted landscapes, and powerful personalities. People affected by “fracking” tell the story here, because they live with it every day. After several decades in practice, the rules and ingredients of this extractive process remain contested in growing public debate. Receiving wide popularity in the Marcellus Shale region among activists, Gasland has also been recognized with an Oscar nod and special jury prize at Sundance. Do not leave Pittsburgh or Chatham without watching this!
Blade Runner (2000)
Before Lady Gaga, there was Daryl Hannah in a post-apocalyptic junk room with one haunting black stripe smeared across her eyes. Blade Runner presents breath-taking lighting, spectacular cinematography and just enough action to make you crave a little more. The story settles on pertinent destruction of replicants, a danger to society…it seems simple enough, but can be read from a political, gendered, or even biblical perspective. Alternatively, you can be wowed by the beautifully crafted film and dig no further for signs and symbols.
~All reviews written by Angela Wiley.