Monday, January 08, 2007

Two Documentaries

I just went back to work today after a two week holiday break, one of the perks of being a teacher. I could turn this into another "why I hate my job" post. At the end of the day, we were told that the director of the school believed we were all doing a terrible job. But I won't get into that now. Instead, I have a couple of movie recommendations.

Over the break, I was able to catch up with my Netflix movie-watching. One of them was The Ground Truth: After the Killing Ends. It's a documentary that follows soldiers who have served in the current fiasco in Iraq, and the physical, psychological and spiritual damage it's done to them, and their attempts to cope with it. Thanks to Vikki over at Bells On for the recommendation. I actually ordered and bought this one before I was finished watching it-- I knew I would want to lend it to people.

Another documentary I recommend: Sugihara: Conspiracy of Kindness. It told the story of a World War II-era Japanese diplomat who was stationed in Lithuania. He had left a diplomatic post in Manchuria in the 1930's protesting Japanese atrocities there. Since he spoke Russian fluently, this was overlooked, and he was sent to a posting in Lithuania. Lithuania was annexed by the Soviet Union, and then invaded by Germany. Jews from all over Europe had joined Lithuania's native Jewish population. Sugihara got involved in a complicated-- and ultimately successful-- scheme to issue visas to thousands of Jewish people that allowed some of them to escape to Japan and ultimately Shanghai, China. His actions, for which he was ultimately to pay a high price for, saved hundreds of lives.

7 comments:

Erik Donald France said...

Johnny, these sound excellent -- I'll order them for the library. Lots of good docus out lately, which makes a lot of sense these days.

Cheers from the Moto' City!

JR's Thumbprints said...

I've heard about that first documentary and have been meaning to get it. Thanks for the heads up! Good luck teaching the outcasts.

Chris said...

Johnny- Thanks. I'm a HUGE documentary fan and am always looking for more. I haven't seen either of these and will add them to my queue right now.

Coaster Punchman said...

The documentary collection is the main reason to join Netflix.

vikkitikkitavi said...

Thanks for the shout, JY.

BTW, Who Killed the Electric Car? just came out on DVD as well.

Dale said...

They both sound pretty stirring and heartbreaking Johnny.

Danny Tagalog said...

There's been a recent resurgance of respect for Sugihara over here. Haven't seen it yet, but will do, Cheers.

Oh, I went back today too. Similar vibes from the upper echelon....