Whether you've decided to vote for a specific candidate or not, are following party lines or crossing them, or are still weighing the promises made by those seeking election, your vote will be a more accurate expression of your opinion and will if you are very familiar with the political, social, economic and environmental issues we are now facing. Documentaries offer accurate, in depth and mind-changing information about everything from health care and global warming to insider trading and homeland security. Here's a list of documentaries you should watch before voting in any election:
Throroughly researched by filmmakers Ricki Stern and Anne Sundberg, The End Of America sets forth the ten step blueprint that Hitler and other dictators used to subvert democratic process and put an end to personal freedoms, and then compares, step by step, events leading up to establishment of the Third Reich with what has happened in the United States for the past eight years. Very convincing. Very scary. The film asks the question: Is the American Constitution At Risk? And then goes on to show clearly and irrefutably that it is. This documentary should be required viewing for anyone old enough to vote or join the army.
Although this film is about China and Ai Weiwei, the acclaimed Chinese artist who has been internationally recognized for his art installations and for his fight for freedom of expression in his homeland, it is a very provocative reminder that we must not take our right to freedom of expression for granted. It is guaranteed only as long as we are vigilant to prevent legislation that limits it -- especially during times of international tensions that challenge our consitutional way of life.
8: The Mormon Proposition in an insider look at the extraordinary political intrigue behind the Mormon's initiatives to reverse legislation allowing same sex marriages in California. Directors Reed Cowan and Steven Greenstreet reveal the church leaders' machinations and manipulations, as they show the devastating emotional effects that the Mormons-lead anti-gay campaign has had on LGBT couples, their parents and extended families -- many of whom are or were Mormon. And, the film raises questions about whether the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints (LDS) has violated the 'apolitical' requirements of its nonprofit tax exempt status. A true political grinder!
Chasing Madoff documents the efforts of an investments investigator named Harry Makopolos to call attention to the nefarious doings of ponzi master Bernie Madoff, long before his scheme collapsed, leaving thousands of his clients -- private investors and organizated investment funds -- in a state of bankruptcy. Makopolos' whistle blows were ignored by authorities, who gave Madoff free reign to continue his scams. The fascinating film, filled with drama, gives us another insightful view about what has caused America's economic woes, and what precautions should be taken to prevent anything like this from happening again.
The film documents the lecture series in which former Vice President Al Gore discusses the dangers of global warming in clear, concise and easy to understand terms, raising awareness about the impending environmenal crisis that threatens life on Earth as we know it. Any candidate who is running for public office had better take a strong stand on protecting the environment, and this film is a good indicator of what specific points need to be addressed.
Although filmmaker Jeremy Seifert documentary about how to live by rescuing food from garbage dumps will undoubtedly provide the indigent with survival tactics and enlist those who can afford to buy food in the cause of alleviating our nation's wasteful tactics, the film also points out that America is seriously mismanaging its resources. Automated processing, packaging and distribution of food creates huge and wasteful surplus supplies that wind up being dumped, which millions of people -- not only in the U.S., but around the world -- go hungry. Is there a way that elected officials and public policy could have an ameliorating effect?
Public concerns about birthing challenge voters to look not only at women's right to choose issues, but also at the way children are brought into the world, how mothers and infants get medical care and who oversees the delivery industry. Director Abby Epstein and producer Ricki Lake (who also appears in the film as its protagonist, delivering her baby on camera) weigh the advantages of midwivery and homebirthing as opposed to the scheduled C-section and hospitalization. It's a fascinating and very personal film that calls attention to very specific issues that should be addressed by those seeking election to public office.