Bad Boys for Life
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This movie follows a group of American soldiers through different European battlefields in World War II: Italy, France, Belgium, Germany. It is composed of several short stories that share the same theme and characters, divided by sequences of actual newsreels from the war. This creates a very strong contrast between the stories served to the movie theater audiences at home in which the soldiers were portrayed as optimistic heroes and the dark reality: brutal conditions, exhaustion, depression, futility, sexual exploitation, the black market, war profiteers...
It was made at the time when Second World War movies were still big-budget epics, with an atmosphere of heroism and optimism very similar to the wartime newsreels, and most of the action was limited to battle-scenes. In this film, the focus is on daily life, moreover there are no combat scenes, and short stories complement each other to create an atmosphere of pervasive emptiness and quiet desperation. A few weeks after its release the movie was briefly withdrawn to be modified, abridged and virtually censored. As far as I know, the original uncut version of the movie is still not available.
This two-part documentary analyzes the occupation of France in World War II through the example of a city with a population of approximately 100,000 people. The spirit of the time is quite well conveyed with the use of archive materials, as well as interviews with members of the resistance movement, collaborators with the occupying forces, and German soldiers who participated in the occupation. Everyone is given the space to express their views and explain the logic that guided them during the war. A side of French history, today mostly hidden, is presented: dark and shameful collaboration, but also the heroic resistance to the occupation - all this in the context of a true civilizational tragedy. The film has been banned in France for more than ten years (it wasn't aired on TV until 1981), supposedly because it was too one-sided, but in fact because it showed the extent of the collaboration and the burden of historical responsibility for the committed crimes - a history that was rushed to be forgotten, in order not to disturb the post-war social consensus and the re-established status quo.
Three young friends, a Pole, a German, and a Jew, decide to join forces and open a textile factory. Due to lack of money, they have to cope in various ways, at any cost, using all the means and without regard to social or moral norms, as well as the fate of other people, including those closest to them. The plot takes place in the last years of the XIX century, in the Polish industrial city of Lodz. The realism with which Wajda shows dirty, smoky city, dangerous factories, the brutal capitalist logic and wretched working class in poverty, on the verge of life and death, is worthy of Charles Dickens, Emile Zola or Maxim Gorky.
Michael is 12 years old, growing up in a poor housing project, selling drugs on the streets of New York before and after school. He periodically plays chess with his father, who is a chess master and an alcoholic living in a trailer. Through chess and conversations about chess, Michael realizes that many chess concepts are applicable in everyday life. He understands the importance of strategy and begins to lead his own personal micro-politics …
British director David Bond decides to disappear, to "go underground", and hires top private investigators to find him within 30 days. On the first day of the pursuit he leaves the country and takes the opportunity to do interviews with various experts on surveillance and privacy. Meanwhile, the detectives, who at the beginning only had his name and photograph, by the end of the pursuit, collected a lot of publicly available information about him and his family. When, after 30 days, he goes into their office and sees what they know about him, he is shocked. This chilling documentary raises awareness about the degree of control and the accumulation of personal information in the hands of the government and corporations, and warns of the dangers of abuse of this information.