"Something is happening to the complex system that sustains life on earth," observe the narrators of the new film "The Great Warming." "And the fingerprints are ours."
The first images we see are of intent-looking Arab men, their mission in the making. The first words we hear are those in whispered Arabic, prayers to Allah. The first two places we encounter: Newark International, where San Francisco-bound United Flight 93 is boarding all passengers, and the National Air Traffic Control Center (NATCC), home to the most sophisticated aircraft tracking system on the planet.
What do you get when you cross two high-powered progressive-minded citizen activists with the information superhighway? The answer: a new book called "Crashing The Gate: Netroots, Grassroots, and the Rise of People-Powered Politics."
This month - March - marks the third anniversary of the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq. 2,500 U.S. soldiers have been killed in the line of duty, while countless Iraqis, many of them women and children, have lost their lives. It seems fitting to stop and reflect on the meaning of U.S. wars with those who have served in them, and a new film called "After The Fog," co-produced by Jay Craven, does just this. Stitching together the personal testimony of 11 U.S. war veterans, "After The Fog" is an intimate and human look at the consequences of war, told by those who fought.
Documentary director Eugene Jarecki, director of the "The Trials of Henry Kissinger," has hit a triple with his new film "Why We Fight." There are many compelling reasons why the Sundance Film Festival may have decided to bestow the Jury Prize on "Why We Fight" last year. Jarecki is a talented filmmaker, with a keen aesthetic sense (his celluloid mojo - lighting, camera work, sound, artistic delivery - makes a film like Robert Greenwalt's recent "Wal-Mart" adventure look downright sloppy by comparison). He also is not afraid to serve up controversy.
Director Stephen Gaghan's gripping new film "Syriana" explores the roots of 21st century civilization's biggest dilemma: Peak Oil. Inexpensive fossil fuels - oil and natural gas - have floated both the corporate-controlled global economy and U.S. imperial planetary hegemony for the past several decades. Now, the party is over, as "elephant" fields like Kuwait's Burgan are peaking, oil companies are maintaining sagging portfolios by buying up other companies' reserves (real and fictitious). The world is beginning to grasp the significance of living without immediate and inexpensive access to one of the 20th century's most vital resources.