In this compelling docudrama by Michael Winterbottom and Mat Whitecross, the ‘Tipton Three’ narrate their own experiences in America’s controversial offshore detention camp The Road To Guantánamo opens with archive footage of George W Bush, flanked by a stern-faced Tony Blair, declaring his certain knowledge that all the detainees held in Guantánamo are “bad people”. Everything that follows is designed to turn these words inside out, as three young British Muslims tell the story of how they came to be in US custody at Guantánamo for over two years, and discuss the Kafkaesque horrors that awaited them there, until finally they were released without charge or apology.

The title may evoke the Bing Crosby and Bob Hope ‘Road’ movies of the 1940s, travel-themed musical comedies with a vaguely racist depiction of non-Americans, but the exotic journey embarked upon by the so-called ‘Tipton Three’ was to take them into areas that were politically incorrect in an altogether different way. It would be easy to criticise The Road to Guantánamo for being one-sided (it is), and for failing to contextualise the conduct of the US (there is not even a passing mention of 9/11), but such objections miss the point.

Many times Bush, Blair and other politicians have used their considerable public platforms to present a similarly partisan, at times even subsequently discredited justification for different aspects of their ‘War on Terror’, including the unlimited detention without trial of men like the Tipton Three. The trio, and the more than 800 prisoners who remain at America’s Cuban base, were not able to communicate their version of events to a lawyer or judge, let alone to the outside world. The Road To Guantánamo gives them their day in court, and the story these “bad people” tell is one that well deserves a hearing.

Video: http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docId=-8701457302498726859

“What Darwin Never Knew” — a NOVA documentary on the burgeoning science of evolutionary developmental biology — will air on December 29, 2009, on public broadcasting stations around the country. According to NOVA:

Earth teems with a staggering variety of animals, including 9,000 kinds of birds, 28,000 types of fish, and more than 350,000 species of beetles. What explains this explosion of living creatures — 1.4 million different species discovered so far, with perhaps another 50 million to go? The source of life’s endless forms was a profound mystery until Charles Darwin brought forth his revolutionary idea of natural selection. But Darwin’s radical insights raised as many questions as they answered. What actually drives evolution and turns one species into another? To what degree do different animals rely on the same genetic toolkit? And how did we evolve?

“What Darwin Never Knew” offers answers to riddles that Darwin couldn’t explain. Breakthroughs in a brand-new science — nicknamed “evo devo” — are linking the enigmas of evolution to another of nature’s great mysteries, the development of the embryo. NOVA takes viewers on a journey from the Galapagos Islands to the Arctic, and from the explosion of animal forms half a billion years ago to the research labs of today. Scientists are finally beginning to crack nature’s biggest secrets at the genetic level. The results are confirming the brilliance of Darwin’s insights while revealing clues to life’s breathtaking diversity in ways the great naturalist could scarcely have imagined.

Video (Playlist): http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=B38BEBDA02F70C35

Simon Schama tells the fascinating story of the African-American slaves who chose to fight for Britain – and their freedom – in the American Revolutionary War.

With gripping, powerfully vivid story-telling, Simon Schama follows the escaped blacks into the fires of the war, and into freezing, inhospitable Nova Scotia where many who had served the Crown were betrayed in their promises to receive land at the war’s end.

Their fate became entwined with British abolitionists: inspirational figures such as Granville Sharp, the flute-playing father-figure of slave freedom, and John Clarkson, the ‘Moses’ of this great exodus, who accompanied the blacks on their final rough crossing to Africa, where they hoped that freedom would finally greet them.

Rough Crossings is the astonishing story of the struggle to freedom by thousands of African-American slaves who fled the plantations to fight behind British lines in the American War of Independence.

Video (Playlist): http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=4D7A359791AE03BE

 

British Channel 4 engaged the Team Delta Cadre to recreate the Guantanamo Bay interrogation experience.  At the production company’s request, along with Team Delta’s normal approach to interrogation,  the cadre also reenacted several specific events reported to have occurred at Guantanamo.  In most cases these reenacted events were counter productive to the interrogation plan developed by Team Delta – a plan that had learned 80% of the requested intelligence within the first few hours of capture.

Total deprivation of sleep, food and water, exposure to extreme heat and cold, up to 20 minutes in stress positions, up to 2 hours listening to white noise… plus any other interrogation technique deemed acceptable by the interrogation team’ By any standards the waiver I signed for “Guantanamo Guidebook” was special, and two weeks later when I was lying naked, shaved, shackled in a ball on the floor, alone with a hood over my head, listening to white noise with a cold fan at my back, I realized just how superficial the term ‘informed consent’ can be. [Read more on this article.]

Video (Playlist): http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=90FAA7612FACC91C (Source #1)

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-1403370850111668271# (Source #2)

This History Channel documentary on the Biblical Book of Revelations is a decent introduction to this most puzzling and intriguing book of all the canonical writings. “The Apocalypse of John” has fascinated readers since ancient times and this short DVD highlights a number of topics that should prepare the interested viewer to dive in and do further research on this rather arcane subject.

The video begins by exploring the legendary site of the final battle between Good and Evil as fortold in the Bible, the ruins of Meggido, or as it is written in Hebrew, Armageddon. It then provides a cursory background to the reputed author of the Book of Revelations, St. John of Patmos and his place in history. It alludes to the large genre of ancient writings known as apocalyptic literature and how John’s book was only one of many such prophetic tomes. It shows that John’s book draws heavily on the much older biblical Book of Daniel and was the subject of much debate by early Christians who questioned whether it should be included in the Bible canon at all.

This video is a good introduction to the fascinating subject of Christian eschatology and would be good for anyone interested in Bible prophesy and the End Times.

Review by: Matthew S. Schweitzer of Amazon.com

Video (Playlist): http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=6F09C05E0F472202

By far the best documentary on UFOs available with the best UFO video footage is the astounding Sci-Fi Channel documentary Out of the Blue. In addition to the captivating UFO footage, this excellent documentary includes revealing interviews with astronauts, generals, admirals, professors, and other highly respected individuals, all of whom have had direct experience involving UFOs and the UFO cover-up. Reasons for the intense secrecy around this subject are discussed, as well as implications for our world.

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This documentary is thought provoking and compelling.

First of all, everything is up to date and there is excellent footage of UFO’s and modern computer simulations where video of sightings are not available. Forget the blurry blobs of the past. Feast you eyes on relatively sharp images and clear shapes in colour.

Secondly, it makes use of old footage of statements made by Government officials during the late forties and fifties to great effect. Each statement on it’s own seems insignificant but when many such statements are seen together it soon becomes clear that something “funny” is going on. By the end you’ll realise that the government position is a joke. How stupid do they think we are?

Thirdly, this documentary is suitable for skeptics and those who know little about the subject. You will be informed about the origins of the “flying saucer” phenomenon and where it’s at now. A case will be presented in which the evidence cannot be denied. Only a fool would persist in saying there is nothing to it. People who believe in the existance of extra-terrestrial life will get a lot out of it as well. You may feel like shouting “See – I told you so!”.

Another interesting point is that this documentary covers the religious aspect and interviews two theologians to great effect. What they have to say is fascinating.

This is easily the best UFO documentary I have seen and I commend its creators. They have presented the evidence in a professional and exhaustive manner. The DVD contains a 1 hour bonus entitled “UFO’s Fifty Years of Denial” which is also excellent. I cannot recommend this DVD highly enough!

Review by: Philip A. Carter of Amazon.com

Video (Playlist): http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=746AC94BE9148C65

With his first book, the #1 international bestseller Hitler’s Willing Executioners (Vintage, 1997) Daniel Jonah Goldhagen – then a professor of political science at Harvard University– forced the world to re-think some of its most deeply-held beliefs about the Holocaust. Hitler’s Willing Executioners inspired an unprecedented worldwide discussion and debate about the role ordinary Germans played in the annihilation of Europe’s Jews.

A decade later – and more than half a century after the end of World War II – Goldhagen is convinced that the overall phenomenon of genocide is as poorly understood as the Holocaust had once been. How and why do genocides start? Why do the perpetrators kill? Why has intervention rarely occurred in a timely manner? These and other thought-provoking questions are explored in a new documentary film, WORSE THAN WAR.

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7cZuhqSzzc

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