At The Sundance Film Festival: Movies Not To Miss

“Hollywood’s a place where they’ll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss and fifty cents for your soul” ~ Marilyn Monroe.

“Storytellers broaden our minds: engage, provoke, inspire, and ultimately, connect us.” ~ Robert Redford, President and Founder

Are you sick and tired of Hollywood releasing big budget movies that just aren’t any good? Tired of remakes, reboots, sequels, prequels, movie trailers and whatever-gimmicks-they -throw at the consumers, senseless violence, brain-candy and generally crappy movies? Well, I am. I’ve stopped watching Hollywood movies a couple of years ago. I’m not a huge fan of movies, but I’m still curious about independent films and experimental filmmaking. Still, you have to really search to find great independent films.

Sundance Film Festival (January 20-30, 2011) is where many of the most powerful documentaries premiere, films about genuine grass-roots struggles, covering the sweep of social justice history and the burning issues of today. They educate and inspire a growing audience about the true nature, and cost, of direct democracy.

The Sundance Film Festival was founded by Redford to counterbalance the market power of the Hollywood studios.

Here’s my short list of movies that are worth watching :
(1) “Hot Coffee”
(2) “Life in a Day”
(3) “Living For 32”
(4) Sing Your Song
(5) The Black Power Mixtape

Stella Liebeck made national headlines in 1992 when she sued McDonald’s after spilling a scalding cup of hot coffee on her lap. The lawsuit had the whole country talking. But what most people do not know is that Liebeck suffered third-degree burns over 16 percent of her body and never fully recovered. And most people do not know that corporations have spent millions of dollars distorting her story to promote tort reform. Liebeck’s case is featured in the documentary Hot Coffee, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on Monday.

Sundance Film Festival
BOOK: Blocking the Courthouse Door: How the Republican Party and Its Corporate Allies Are Taking Away Your Right to Sue by Stephanie Mencime

Here are examples that show how popular culture depicts the legal system

The case: Liebeck v. McDonald’s Restaurants

Watch The Story Behind the Infamous McDonald’s Coffee Case & How Corporations Used it to Push Tort

Read the full story at Democracy Now

Hot Coffee, a new documentary that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, looks at the stories of four people whose lives were devastated when they were denied access to the courtroom after being injured. The film documents how corporations have spent millions to promote the case for tort reform.

Read Transcript from “Democracy Now” website

And also,
–> “Hot Coffee” Documents Chamber of Commerce Campaign to Unseat Judges Opposed to “Tort Reform”
–> “Hot Coffee” Exposes How Hard Caps on Malpractice Awards Shift Burden to Taxpayers

(2) “Life in a Day” Film is Video Diary of All of Us
What Were You Doing on July 24, 2010? Filmmakers Asked People to Send in Video “What Was Most Important to Them”

The two filmmakers asked people to do was film what was most important to them in their lives that went on that day.


(3) Living for 32 is a new documentary that just premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Thirty-two people died in the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting, and 34 people are killed by a bullet every day in the United States. Colin Goddard, a survivor of the Virginia Tech shooting massacre who, after recovering and finishing his degree, decided to work with the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, the nation’s largest gun control organization. His story is told in this new documentary “Living For 32”

(4) Sing Your Song : A film about the life of the legendary singer, actor, humanitarian, activist, Harry Belafonte, that was co-produced by his daughter, Gina Belafonte, premiered and opened the Sundance Film Festival this year.

(5) The Black Power Mixtape : the film features rare archival footage shot between 1967 and 1975 by two Swedish journalists and was discovered in the basement of Swedish public television 30 years later. A documentary featuring rare archival footage of Angela Davis, Huey P. Newton, Stokely Carmichael, Bobby Seale, Eldridge Cleaver. The renowned actor and activist Danny Glover co-produced The Black Power Mixtape.

Watch Danny Glover talking about the film.

These 5 films caught my attention, I’m sure that there are others worth mentioning. So, I turn to you, the readers, and ask, “What movie(s) should I add to my list?”

Read also :
(1) Tort Law
(2) The “real” Stella’s Case
(3) Stella Award
(4) Life in a Day (film)
(5) Independent film

About benvitalis

math grad - Interest: Number theory
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