Sydney Film Festival – film#7: Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief

Scientology is a tabloid curiosity for many people because of the celebrities they actively recruit into their pseudo-church, and I’m no different. Like those many people, I wonder HTF uber-successful people like Tom Cruise can be suckered into a bunch of self-help rahrah codswallop. This documentary reminds us that Dinaetics (the bible of Scientology) was…

Sydney Film Festival – film#5: Sherpa – death in real-time!

“Can’t their owners control them?” says one cashed-up American climber whose attempt to scale Everest is thwarted by striking Sheraps. The audience gasped, hurling insults at the screen. As an American, I was embarrassed for my people, even more so when he referred to the sherpas as terrorists. Here was a prime example of somebody…

Sydney Film Festival – film #4: Tehran Taxi – you’re bleeding all over my cab!

Filmmaker Jafar Panahi has made another underground film despite being banned by Iranian authorities from making any in Iran. In this reality-film, he sticks a swivel camera on his dashboard and starts out to film a day in the life of a cab driver in Tehran. I’m never quite sure what is scripted and what…

Sydney Film Festival – film #3: On The Rim of the Sky – big showdown in a little part of China

I love documentaries that give you a peek inside a part of the world you’ve never heard of or have always wanted to know more about. This story falls in the former category. This story is about a village isolated by its geographic inaccessibility, a plateau on the side of a cliff, a thousand above…