Per the Hill, “‘It’s a more nuanced and much more personal [project], getting to know somebody as a person as much as their political life,’ Sundance director John Cooper told THR of the film. ‘I was a Hillary supporter, but I don’t know if I ever loved her as much as I did watching this film. Her strength and intelligence.'” The film will premier at the Sundance Film Festival and Hillary is expected to be there.
There is nothing that city-dwelling yuppies abhor more than than gentrification. They feel it in their bones, the loss of the gritty realness of urban squalor, the film noir feel of walking past a dilapidated storefront on a dirty side-street. And yet, who is doing the gentrifying? This short film nails the irony…and hypocrisy.
George Bailey, the good-guy banker in Frank Capra’s classic Christmas film It’s a Wonderful Life, was inspired by a real-life good-guy: A.P. Giannini, the man who invented banking for the ordinary person.
Giannini’s life story is one of entrepreneurial legend. In the late 1800s, when banks lent only to the rich, he saw an opportunity to extend banking services to the broader market. Of course, at the time most people had little equity on which to base a loan. So Giannini based his loans not on wealth but on character. His little bank for the ordinary guy revolutionized the banking industry, not only in the US but globally, and grew into…Bank of America.
In 1906, this policy was put to the ultimate test. The San Francisco earthquake wiped out a large part of the city, and left thousands homeless and destitute. Giannini did the unthinkable: when all other banks were closed and his own bank building destroyed, he reopened his bank in the street, operating from a plank of wood across two barrels, making loans to strangers with no credit and no identification. “Giannini made loans on a handshake to those interested in rebuilding. Years later, he would recount that every single loan was repaid.”
In this clip from It’s a Wonderful Life, George Bailey argues for extending credit to ordinary working people, just as A.P. Giannini once tried (unsuccessfully) to convince the savings & loan bank he originally worked at to do just that. When the bank declined, he started Bank of Italy, later renamed Bank of America.
This post tracks developments in “A Hidden Life,” a new film about Austrian peasant farmer Franz Jägerstätter, who refused to fight for the National Socialists in World War II despite every manner of pressure, torture, and abuse.
Links: Wikipedia | IMDB |
11-28-19 | Film Release For US Theaters: December 13, 2019
Per the Rotten Tomatoes, the film will have a “limited release” in the US beginning on December 13th. Other sources have been saying January 20th, 2020…maybe that’s the date for a wider release.
5-21-19 | London Evening Standard Gives Film Five Stars
Per the London Evening Standard, “A Hidden Life is a work of genius.”
11-13-19 | Film Threat Gives It Highest Rating: 10/10
Per Film Threat, “Franz is torn by a moral quandary. Should he serve his nation, spurred by the blessings of local priests, or listen to that “still small voice” in his soul? …Malick’s masterpiece makes a great argument that it’s the little-known heroes, as opposed to the ones we trumpet as such, that truly form the ethical foundation upon which our society still creakily rests.”
Labour Party PM candidate Jeremy Corbyn has been promising the public a lot of socialist freebies if elected: free broadband, free prescriptions, free childcare, and more! Of course, the little matter of how it will be paid for is oblique. What his vote buying really needed was some proper advertising, and happily that has been provided below.
A pity Margaret Thatcher isn’t around to remind everyone of this fundamental truth…
This post tracks developments in “Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words,” a new documentary about the Supreme Court Justice and the toxic confirmation he was forced to endure.
Links: Homepage | IMDB |
11-28-19 | Thomas compares ‘modern-day liberal’ to Klansman in new film
Per the New York Post, “‘I felt as though in my life I had been looking at the wrong people as the people who would be problematic toward me,’ Thomas says in the film Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words, according to ABC News. ‘We were told that, ‘Oh, it’s gonna be the bigot in the pickup truck; it’s gonna be the Klansman; it’s gonna be the rural sheriff.’ But it turned out that through all of that, ultimately the biggest impediment was the modern-day liberal.’”
11-16-19 | Townhall: “Stunning Documentary” Releases May 2020 on PBS
Per Townhall, “Filmmaker Michael Pack conducted hundreds of hours of interviews with Thomas and his wife Virginia to create this stunning documentary, which will see a wide release in May 2020 on PBS.”
11-13-19 | Cato: “Justice Thomas, Unscripted”
Per Cato, “Drawing on a rich array of historical archive material, period and original music, personal photos, and evocative recreations, Justice Thomas, unscripted, takes the viewer through his complex and often painful life, dealing with race, faith, power, jurisprudence, and personal resilience.”
10-23-19 | Double Standard for Black Conservatives vs. Black Liberals
Per The Washington Examiner, “‘There’s different sets of rules for different people,’ Justice Thomas said in the film’s trailer. ‘If you criticize a black person who’s more liberal, you’re a racist. Whereas you can do whatever to me, or to now [HUD Secretary] Ben Carson, and that’s fine, because you’re not really black because you’re not doing what we expect black people to do.'”
This post tracks developments in “One Child Nation” a new documentary about China’s “one child policy” — and the price paid for it by those whose children were taken away and killed.
Links: Homepage | IMDB | Facebook | Twitter
11-29-19 | Film Recalls 1970’s Zero Population Growth Sci-Fi
The 1972 film Zero Population Growth predicted China’s policy and the means by which it would be enforced. It begins with this announcement: “Childbearing is herewith forbidden. The conception of a child shall be the gravest of crimes, punishable by death. Women now pregnant will report to local hospitals for registration.”
11-20-19 | Film is “Tour de Force” Cautionary Tale
Per Victory Girls, “If you have Amazon Prime, you must see its documentary One Child Nation, which tells how China’s One-Child Policy affected its people…a gruesome and horrifying tour de force. It’s also a cautionary tale for a nation which supposedly cherishes its freedom.”
11-13-19 | China’s Holocaust of Children
Per National Review, “Using the aggressively bland term ‘one-child policy’ is a bit like saying that 1942 Germany had restrictions on Jews. You may never have thought much about how a huge nation enforces a limit of one baby per family, but the horrifying details of China’s Holocaust of children emerge in a powerful documentary told by a woman whose family was one of the countless millions who suffered.”
11-8-19 | China’s Holocaust of Children
Per Reason, “Anyone drawn to the now-resurgent notion that collectivism is kind of cool would benefit from a viewing of One Child Nation, a documentary that demonstrates what can happen when state bureaucrats are allowed to fundamentally re-order their country’s most intimate cultural customs…By the end I felt that my heart was ready to burst from my chest and leap to its death down on the floor.”
11-1-19 | Rotten Tomatoes: High Scores All Around
Per Rotten Tomatoes, the film currently has a critic’s score of 98% and an audience score of 85%, a rare agreement that suggests a solid winner.
8-22-19 | “Sobering Dissection of the Human Toll of Government Rule”
Per Detroit News, “They were following orders.That’s the explanation heard time and again in the harrowing documentary One Child Nation, which takes a difficult look at China’s one-child-per-couple policy, enacted in 1979 as a means of population control.”
Need some quick gift ideas for that special libertarian friend? Here are twelve films currently for sale on DVD for less than $10 at Amazon.
When a 16-year-old boy discovers that the “perfect” managed society in which he lives is simply a drugged potemkin village, he must decide whether its superficially happy character is worth the price in terms of foregone human experience and lost liberty. [Dir: Phillip Noyce/ 94 min/ SciFi-Drama/ Individualism, Government enforced morality, Equality & Envy]
“There are unmistakable messages in The Giver about the dangers of surrendering freedom, of believing that government exists to perfect us, of thinking that life can be lived fully without risk and pain and suffering. The gift of The Giver is something good and true and beautiful about what is good and true and beautiful in humanity.”
WINNER: TOP 25 LIBERTARIAN FILMS
When a rural farmer builds a new home as a kindness to his ailing wife, a government bureaucrat threatens to tear it down for building code violations. Based on a true story. [Dir: Michael McGowan/ James Cromwell, Ronan Rees, Geneviève Bujold/ 102 min/ Drama/ Anti-regulation, Individualism]
“This film is notable as well for telling the love story of an elderly couple; in this age of hard-bodied youthful Hollywood stars, you don’t see that very often. And the story works, frankly far better and with more honesty than many cinematic teenage romps, thanks the excellent casting of James Cromwell in the lead and Geneviève Bujold as his memory-impaired wife. There is something a bit “made-for-TV” about the film in terms of production values, but you forget all that in the context–the picture of two people facing the fading light of age with dignity, resolve, and a kind of poignant understated heroism. Tears were shed at the end, both on screen…and off.”
Currently on Amazon for $6.59 | Great DVD pick for a date night!
WINNER: TOP 25 LIBERTARIAN FILMS
Inspired by Christian teachings against slavery, William Wilberforce leads an arduous but ultimately victorious life-long battle to abolish the slave trade. Amazing Grace credits: [Dir: Michael Apted/ Ioan Gruffudd, Benedict Cumberbatch, Albert Finney/ 111 min/ Drama, Biography/ Anti-slavery, Law & the Individual]
“This is one of the greatest stories in history. And now it is the subject of an impressive new movie…the story reminds us that humanity has made great progress toward freedom, that each battle for freedom can be long and seemingly futile, but that the goal is worth time and money and effort.”
A young man’s romantic delusion renews his psychiatrist’s passion for life. [Dir: Jeremy Leven/ Johnny Depp, Marlon Brando, Faye Dunaway/ 92 min/ Romance, Comedy/ Psychiatry & Force, Individualism]
“A romantic film in every sense of the word: it’s about love, about making an adventure of life, and about the liberating effect that such an imaginative attitude has on people.”
Currently on Amazon for $5.97 | Great DVD pick for a date night!
WINNER: TOP 25 LIBERTARIAN FILMS
An old woman’s refusal to pay for a dog license sets in motion a chain of events that humbles her local government. Storm in a Teacup credits: [Dir: Victor Saville, Ian Dalrymple/ Vivien Leigh, Rex Harrison, Cecil Parker/ 87 min/ Comedy/ Britain/ Free Press as Hero, Abuse of Power]
“The script, based on a stage play, is tremendously witty, the acting talent (including a young Vivien Leigh) is some of the finest of its time, and the direction makes the most of both. For fans of British humor in particular, this is a real gem.”
A plane crash in Siberia lands a Soviet defector in the hands of the KGB. Only with the help of an American defector will he escape. [Dir: Taylor Hackford/ Mikhail Baryshnikov, Gregory Hines, Isabella Rossellini, Helen Mirren, Geraldine Page/ 135 min/ Thriller, Musical-Dance/ Escape from Socialism, Anti-War]
“This is one of my favorite escape-from-socialism films. Part song and dance, part thriller, it succeeds as both and serves as well to dramatize the oppressive nature of authoritarian government.”
Two citizens of a twenty-third century automated welfare state reveal the lie on which their static society is based, and so destroy it. [Dir: Michael Anderson/ Michael York, Jenny Agutter, Richard Jordan, Peter Ustinov/ 120 min/ SciFi-Fantasy, Action-Adventure/ Democide]
“An imaginative and sometimes exciting story, marked by memorable performances by Michael York and Peter Ustinov.”
Currently on Amazon for $5.99 | Great DVD pick for classic sci-fi fans!
A married interracial couple’s determination to reside in their home state of Virginia, in violation of Virginia laws against interracial marriage, leads to the legal overturning of all such laws in sixteen states. Based on a true story. Loving credits: [Dir: Jeff Nichols/ Ruth Negga, Joel Edgerton, Will Dalton/ 123 min/ Drama, Romance/ Government as Bigot, Sexual Liberty, Social Tolerance]
“Loving captures at once the tension of man’s morally principled stand against the state, love’s intimacy and the immeasurable toll government control exacts upon the best people…It’s a hard, moving and elegiac movie and it ranks with ‘Black or White’ and ‘Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner’ high among Hollywood’s greatest interracial-themed films.”
WINNER: TOP 25 LIBERTARIAN FILMS
A heroic and ingenious father organizes an escape for his family from East Germany to the West via a homemade hot air balloon. Based on a true story. [Dir: Delbert Mann/ John Hurt, Jane Alexander, Beau Bridges/ 107 min/ Family, Action-Adventure/ Escape from Socialism, Creator as Hero]
“This entertaining and upbeat Disney film has a lot going for it. The story is inspiring. Music and timing of events are used effectively to build suspense. And John Hurt is particularly good in the leading role, as Mr. Strelzyk. A great family film.”
Currently on Amazon for $9.99 | Great DVD pick for a family movie night!
A group of young men–Sam Adams, John Adams, Paul Revere, John Hancock and Dr. Joseph Warren–secretly join together to oppose British domination, and end up sparking the American Revolution. [Dir: Kari Skogland/ Ben Barnes, Marton Csokas, Ryan Eggold/ 87 min/ Drama, History/ American Revolution, Resistance to Tyranny]
“Sons of Liberty is really the first good cinematic update in nearly 60 years to the story of America’s founding. And that’s what makes this History Channel production so important—it breathes new life into the story of the Revolution, by dramatizing it in terms not just accessible but engaging, even one might say sexy.”
WINNER: TOP 25 LIBERTARIAN FILMS
In the name of saving the children from obscene language, the parents of the South Park kids go to all extremes—including censorship, mind-controlling implants, executions, and finally war on Canada. [Dir: Trey Parker/ (voices of) Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Mary Kay Bergman/ 80 min/ Comedy, Animated, Musical-Dance/ Freedom of Speech, Individualism]
“While censorship is the filmmakers’ main target, Parker and Stone also poo-poo Hollywood elitism, jingoism, racism, homophobia, Winona Ryder, Bill Gates and Conan O’Brien. Their favorite monster is the Motion Picture Association of America, self-appointed guardians of the nation’s chastity. It’s all in good dirty fun and in service of their pro-tolerance theme.”
British mathematician Alan Turing breaks the Nazi Enigma code and saves his country, only to be driven to suicide following a criminal conviction for homosexuality. Based on a true story. [Dir: Morton Tyldum/ Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode/ 114 min/ Drama, Biography/ Creator-as-hero, Sexual liberty]
“Perhaps like no other single person, Alan Turing helped win the second World War…Benedict Cumberbatch plays ‘odd fish’ Turing, so convincingly that you forget that you’re looking at Sherlock Holmes or Star Trek’s Khan. What comes across is a socially inept, unlikely hero with a brilliant mind and a tortured soul—and one who was gay in a time when homosexuality in Britain was illegal.”
Journalist John Stossel explains how Thanksgiving would have been (and nearly was) “Starvation Day,” but for a change in policy from communal planting to…private property. [4 min/ Anti-socialism, Econ 101]
Reason tells the the true story of how the introduction of property rights by Governor Bradford saved the Pilgrims. [3 min/ Anti-socialism, Econ 101]
The original account of Governor Bradford, 1647
“All this while no supply was heard of, neither knew they when they might expect any. So they began to think how they might raise as much corn as they cold, and obtain a better crop than they had done, that they might not still languish in misery. At length, after much debate of things, the Governor (with the advice of the chiefest among them) gave way that they should set corn every man for his own particular, and in that regard trust to themselves; in all other things to go on in the general way as before. And so assigned to every family a parcel of land, according to the proportion of their number, for that end, only for present use (but made no division for inheritance) and ranged all boys and youth under some family. This had very good success, for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been by any means the Governor or any other could use, and saved him a great deal of trouble, and gave far better content. The women now went willingly into the field, and took their little ones with them to set corn; which before would allege weakness and inability; whom to have compelled would have thought great tyranny and oppression.”
“The experience that was had in this common course and condition, tried sundry years and that amongst godly and sober men, may well evince the vanity of that conceit of Plato’s and other ancients applauded by some of later times; that the taking away or property and bringing into community into a commonwealth would make them happy and flourishing; as if they were wiser than God. For this community (so far as it was) was found to breed much confusion and discontent and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort. For the young men, that were most able and fit for labour and service, did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men’s wives and children without any recompense. The strong, or man of parts, had no more division of victuals and clothes than he that was weak and not able to do a quarter the other could; this was thought injustice. The aged and graver men to be ranked and equalized in labors and victuals, clothes, etc. with the meaner and younger sort, thought it was some indignity and disrespect unto them. And for mens’s wives to be commanded to do service for other men, as dressing their meat, washing their clothes, etc., they deemed it a kind of slavery, neither could many husbands well brook it.”
Of Plymouth Plantation, 1620-1647, William Bradford
Links about Thanksgiving and property rights
This Thanksgiving, Be Grateful for Property Rights. The Pilgrims Nearly Starved Without Them, John Stossel, Reason
Giving Thanks for Property Rights, Caroline Baum, Economics21
How A Failed Commune Gave Us What Is Now Thanksgiving, Jerry Bowyer, Forbes
Thanksgiving: Pilgrims, property rights and prosperity, Hugh Whelchel, The Washington Post
How Private Property Saved the Pilgrims, Ilya Somin, The Volokh Conspiracy
The First Thanksgiving: How property rights transformed Plymouth Colony, Frank Miniter, National Review
JOHN STOSSEL: The Lost Lesson of Thanksgiving, John Stossel, Fox News
The Great Thanksgiving Hoax, Richard J. Maybury, Mises Institute
Our First Thanksgiving, Sartell Prentice Jr., The Foundation for Economic Education
This post tracks developments in “Mr. Jones,” a new film about Gareth Jones, the journalist-hero who first tried to warn the world about communist atrocities — and died for it..
11-24-19 | Trailer Released, Film Distribution Expected in 2020
Per BBC America, “The first trailer for Mr. Jones, a biographical movie about intrepid Welsh journalist Gareth Jones, has been released – and it’s definitely powerful stuff…Mr. Jones is due out in 2020, though exact release dates have yet to be confirmed. On the evidence of the trailer, though, let’s hope it’s sooner rather than later.”
8-22-19 | Samuel Goldwyn Films to Distribute in North America
Per Screen Daily, “Agnieszka Holland’s Mr Jones, her drama starring James Norton and Vanessa Kirby, has had its North American rights bought by Samuel Goldwyn Films.” No word yet on when it will hit theaters.
3-21-19 | Rotten Tomatoes Critics Score: 80%
There are now 15 reviews of the film on Rotten Tomatoes, with 80% positive.
2-11-19 | Film Review by The Guardian
Per The Guardian, “‘Holland’s movie really lets rip in the final act, the ordeal in the wasteland of Ukraine. She has a real story to tell – a story that isn’t told enough – and a single, compelling and likable character with which to tell it. It’s a picture with sinew and strength.”
2-11-19 | Film Review by BBC
Per BBC, “‘So there’s no hope then,’ George Orwell concludes sadly in the film, when he accepts Jones’s story as true. Yet as long as there are the Gareth Joneses of this world out there, pedalling on his bicycle to bring the truth to the world, there must be.”
2-10-19 | Film Review by Variety
Per Variety, “The story of Gareth Jones is such a fascinating one, built on such intrepid, one-man-against-the-system ideals, that it’s a wonder it hasn’t been filmed into oblivion over the past 80 years. A young Welsh journalist who blew the first public whistle on the Holodomor — the man-made famine of 1932-33 in Soviet Ukraine — only to be broadly discredited by his professional peers and murdered before his 30th birthday, he was the quintessential man who knew too much.”
2-10-19 | Film Review by Hollywood Reporter
Per Hollywood Reporter, “James Norton plays the Welsh reporter who at great personal risk broke the story of the early 1930s Soviet Ukrainian Famine in Agnieszka Holland’s latest deep dive into historical memory.”
1-11-19 | Premiere at Berlin Film Festival
Per UKRInform.net, “The historical thriller Mr. Jones, directed by Agnieszka Holland, a joint production of Poland, Ukraine and the UK, will participate in the competition of the 69th Berlin International Film Festival.”
Related Film: Bitter Harvest
Related Film: Harvest of Despair: The Unknown Holocaust
Related Film: The Soviet Story
More Films About: Democide
More Films About: Free Press as Hero
Book: Gareth Jones: Eyewitness to the Holodomor