Two Controversial Documentaries You’re Certain To Love Or Hate

For those of you seeking to take a break from action or fantasy flicks, there are two documentaries now in theaters.  Surely to be controversial, these two flicks are certain to be either loved or hated — depending upon your political lenses through which you view them.

South Of The Border

Fans of Fox News probably won’t make it more than 15 minutes through this latest work by Oliver Stone which glorifies Hugo Chavez along with a small array of other South American leftist strongmen.  Stone unapologetically worships Hugo Chavez, and this film at points feels like a long Chavez campaign commercial.  Predictably, the villains in the movie are the United States and the “international financial community” — the foes against which Chavez is purportedly fighting.  Stone is given unprecedented access to Chavez and flies around with him on the Venezuelan Presidential Jet as Chavez gives Stone a grand tour of his supposed worker’s paradise.

Stone goes full-out in his defense of dictatorship and openly criticizes any non-government supported press in Venezuela.  The movie makes no mention of Chavez rescinding constitutional limits on his power nor any other of the myriad abuses on behalf of the Chavez regime.  Stone then travels with Chavez to meetings with fellow South American leftists including Bolivia’s Evo Morales, and Oliver is all too happy to throw barbs at his home country as he cavorts with his socialist comrades.

Those on the left of the political spectrum will surely eat much of this up with the same vigor Michael Moore scarfs down a cheeseburger.  Those on the right might want to attend if only to have a good laugh — surely Stone didn’t produce this to be a comedy, but at points his incoherent conspiracy-addled mind can prove to be quite humorous.

Restrepo

Restrepo is a gritty documentary filmed during 2007 in the uber-violent Eastern Afghani Korengal Valley.  Film makers Sebastian Junge and Tim Hetherington got themselves embedded in Battle Company’s Second Platoon — known within the military as the “tip of the spear”.  The two shot the sequences contained in this movie themselves, and the action is intense and unedited.  The film is named after the platoon’s medic — Restrepo.  From the minute it starts through the final credits it can only be characterized as a harrowing nightmare.  The reality of the situation makes this flick exponentially more scary and suspenseful when compared to your typical slasher/horror move.

The film also explores the surrounding within which the unit fights.  The local Korengali elders are entangled within the West’s war on terror, and the people of the region live much as they did 400 years ago.  Restrepo gives viewers rare insights not seen on the nightly news, and allows you to immerse yourself temporarily in the life of our armed forces in one of the most dangerous places on the face of the earth.

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