In the past few weeks, my classes have been assigning documentaries to supplement our lectures and our readings. I don’t have any complains considering documentaries can be both entertaining and informative. Here are some of the recent documentaries I’ve watched for class (side note: blame my liberal education for these documentary topics!).
The Business of Being Born (2008)
Growing up watching television shows like ‘A Baby Story,’ I always thought that when I had children in the very far-off future it’d be scary and possibly dangerous.
In The Business of Being Born, actress Ricki Lake and director Abby Epstein focus on how childbirth is treated like a medical emergency. Their main argument is that doctors find pathology in the birthing process, leading to many medically-induced interventions (including epidurals and pitocin) which stress both the mother and the baby. The filmmakers cite the increase in the number C-sections, the lack of midwives taking part in hospital births, and the fact that the U.S. maternal and infant mortality rates are some of the highest for industrialized nations.
The most interesting aspect of the film to me is how Abby Epstein, the director-turned-subject in the film, did not end up having her baby at home and instead had to go to the hospital because her case was a medical emergency. It wrapped the film up tightly: hospital births are necessary for complications but in normal situations, women should look into other options when it comes to childbirth, including home birth and water birth.
12th and Delaware (2010)
12th and Delaware focuses on a crossway in Fort Pierce, Florida, where an abortion clinic sits in front of a pregnancy crisis center. The first half of the film shows us the thought process of the executive director of the pregnancy crisis center, including what techniques are used to guide women to not choose abortion. Halfway through the film we begin to see the practice of those who work in the abortion clinic across the street. The depiction of these two services might be the best insight into the abortion debate as it is discussed today.
I was extremely immersed watching the documentary and as a result, I highly recommend it. It was my favorite out of all the ones I’m mentioning today.
Good Copy, Bad Copy (2007)
While Good Copy, Bad Copy is a little dated, it provided me with some information that is still relevant today. It mainly argues that the current copyright laws are detrimental to culture and creativity.
In high school I was into Girl Talk, one of the central musicians focused on in the film. It was interesting to see how his creativity has been affected by copyright laws. The other interesting aspect of the film is definitely The Pirate Bay’s ideas on file-sharing and their total bluntness in their interviews.
Most of all, the film brings esteemed professionals not to lean on either side, but to agree that copyright law is broken and that there must be a better way to both protect creators all the while allowing for innovation using ideas from past works.
The Internet Must Go (2013)
In this “documentary” short, comedian Brian Shortall plays John Wolley, a market researcher trying to find the best way for ISPs (Internet Service Providers) to pitch a “cleaner, faster internet” to consumers. In the same way that Stephen Colbert plays the opposite character to his probable personal beliefs, Brian Shortall’s character is funny and satirical. The main point of this “leaked” video is to educate as many people as possible about the net neutrality issue.
Although I agreed with the premise of the argument before the short, I thought it summarized the main ideas concerning the issue. This video is something I could show to someone less-versed on the internet to help them understand the issue better.