DocuGeek

I’ve always heard the word furries and furry fandom thrown around, but I never really knew what either was about.  So when I had the opportunity to watch “Furries: An Inside Look” I was hoping to get a good, balanced idea about what it means to be a furry.

A short documentary comprised entirely of interviews at Anthrocon (the largest furry convention to date), I think the goal of this documentary was to show the ‘normal’ side of furries. And overall, I think the documentary did a good job of putting a ‘human’ face to the fandom—one outside of the sexualized fur-clad persona it’s been given in popular culture.

The only thing that frustrated me about this documentary was that, even after all the interviews, I still didn’t have a clear idea about what it means to be a furry. While the interviewees definitely threw around the words “creativity” and “alter-ego” to describe the fandom and why they were draw to it, they never fully defined, in my opinion at least, what it means to be a furry and why.

The Bottom Line: Overall, this was an interesting documentary to pique your curiosity about the subculture of furries. While it might not be a great watch for those who don’t know much about the fandom, it would probably be a great watch for those who already know a little about the fandom and the misconceptions surrounding it.

You can watch the documentary here, or you can check out the embedded version of it below.

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

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I was really surprised when I came across the documentary “Afghan Heroin: The Lost War,” as it was the first time I had heard anything about heroin coming out of Afghanistan. Since  I’ve always been impressed with National Geographic’s drug documentaries in the past, and I knew so little about the topic, I watched it without hesitation.

I was honestly stunned after the first 30 minutes, as it turns out that Afghanistan is quickly becoming the world supplier of heroin. It is responsible for more than 90% of the heroin on the streets of Britain, with an increasing amount turning up on the streets of the US. While Afghanistan used to be known for its export of melons, the war raging in the country for the past decade has left the population impoverished, and growing a drug crop is a cheap way to keep themselves and their families fed.

While the government in Afghanistan is doing what it can to destroy the drug crops, there is a great deal of corruption at all levels of drug enforcement, which leads to less than 10% of the drug crop being found and destroyed each year.

The documentary did a great job setting the stage of this reality, interviewing both farmers and experts on why the heroin trade is continuing to grow in Afghanistan, and how it is impacting heroin use across the globe, specifically in Europe and the UK. Unfortunately, in trying to prove how Afghan heroin is impacting drug users in different parts of the world, the documentary makes a very noticeable detour.

Instead of continuing to discuss Afghan heroin specifically, the second half of the documentary deals with heroin addiction, and how it ruins lives. This portion of the documentary is still very well done, but it seemed to deviate from the topic of Afghan heroin, which is what the documentary was supposed to be about.

While the documentary did emphasize that Afghan heroin is of purer quality (enabling users to get high more quickly) and cheaper than many other forms of heroin, and therefore is responsible for increased drug use, it didn’t seem like a strong enough link to the original topic.

But again, the documentary as a whole was very well done, even if the second half doesn’t really match the first. It is definitely worth a watch, especially if you like documentaries that cover substance abuse, and you don’t know much about the heroin trade in Afghanistan.

You can watch the documentary here, or you can watch the embedded version below.

N.C. Wyeth: "I am Sir Launcelot du Lake." Illustration for The Boy's King ArthurI absolutely adore Arthurian legend, so I couldn’t pass up the chance to learn more about King Arthur and the fabled kingdom of Camelot when I stumbled across the History Channel’s “The Knights of Camelot” documentary.

Part of the “History’s Mysteries” series by the History Channel, “The Knights of Camelot” sought to discuss the possibility of a real King Arthur, along with the many myths surrounding him. Some of the myths covered were Merlin, Guinevere, Lancelot, the Holy Grail, Camelot, and a few other topics that make up the grand legend of Arthur we have today.

While I think that this documentary was on the right track, I feel that the producers were given too little time (under an hour) for such an imposing topic. There is so much to cover when it comes to the myth of King Arthur and his knights, and I think that trying to squeeze such a grandiose topic into an 45-minute segment was overly ambitious.

And, as far as proving whether or not a real Arthur existed, this documentary was only able to go skin deep.

For those of you who are literature geeks however, I do want to point out that you will probably enjoy this documentary, particularly the end. One of the things that I greatly appreciated about this documentary was how it traced the shaping of the Arthurian legend through literature, and how each version of the tale represented the culture in which it was written.

Bottom Line: If you are looking for a short documentary to whet your whistle when it comes to King Arthur and his knights, I’d definitely encourage you to check this out. But if you’re looking for a documentary about King Arthur that’s more in-depth, I would still encourage you to watch this documentary, but to keep in mind that you’ll need to look elsewhere for something more comprehensive.

I watched the documentary here, but I’ve also embedded it below for your convenience.

Seen this documentary? Know of any good documentaries about King Arthur? I’d love to hear about it in the comments. 🙂

With all the talk of the world ending that’s been going on recently, I decided to check out a documentary about the Bible Code. I thought it would be a good way to refresh my memory, since the last time I actively read or watched anything about the Bible Code was nearly ten years ago, shortly after 9/11.

Part of the “Decoding the Past” series produced by the History Channel, the documentary “The Bible Code – Predicting Armageddon” was, to put it nicely, a little disappointing.

I feel as if it focused a lot of its energy on the “shock” value of the Bible Code, but didn’t really discuss how the Bible Code supposedly works, other than saying that you put certain words and phrases into different matrices and get all sorts of predictions that have been right time and time again. (They cite 9/11, Napoleon, and countless other examples as reasons why the Bible Code works.)

While I did appreciate the fact that the filmmakers featured some naysayers who didn’t quite buy the Bible Code (even going to so far as to feature one professor who supposedly plugged different values into Moby Dick and came up with results similar to that of the Bible Code), I didn’t feel as if the documentary was as well rounded as it could have been. I was looking for a better understanding of how the Bible Code supposedly works, but I feel as if I got an hour of two sides trying to out-argue one another.

If you’re interested in finding out what the Bible Code has supposedly predicted, this is the documentary for you. If you, like me, were looking for a more scientific view of the Bible Code, I would suggest that you look elsewhere.

I watched the documentary here, but have also embedded it below for your convenience.

Know any great documentaries about the Bible Code? If so, I’d love to hear about them in the comments!

This is a review I wrote for the Hesed Books and Gifts blog a while back, but I couldn’t help but share it here too as I really loved the documentary. Enjoy!

While I would never have gone so far as to call myself a Sherlock Holmes expert, I felt pretty comfortable in my knowledge of everyone’s favorite detective as well as the lore surrounding Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and the writing of the Holmes stories.

That’s why I was pleasantly surprised when I stumbled across the documentary Sherlock Holmes: The True Story, which outlines the life and times of Dr. Joseph Bell—the real-life individual who inspired the character of Holmes.  Previous to watching this documentary, I thought the idea of Holmes being based on a real-life counterpart was a myth.

Less than an hour in length, I would say that this documentary is a must-watch for any Holmes fan. While there have been some comments that it’s a very Americanized look at Holmes, I still think it’s worth viewing. I know that I learned a lot, both about Bell, and about Doyle, who I think may have based the character of Watson partly on himself, since Doyle was an assistant to Dr. Bell for a year before he completed medical school.

You can watch the documentary for free on the site TopDocumentaryFilms.com, or you can watch the embedded version below. Either way, enjoy, and be sure to tell me what you think of it!

Seen any other great documentaries on Holmes or Sir Arthur Conan Doyle? If so, I’d love to hear about them! 🙂

I have a bad habit of skipping around in documentaries that have multiple episodes/sections to them, and The History Channel’s America:The Story of Us was no exception.

Covering many of the major turning points of American history, I decided to start with episode 10—which focused on WWII—to see how the series would cover the impact of WWII on America as a nation.

While it was definitely an enjoyable watch with good cinematography, it was more of an overview of the war as a whole,with roughly half the documentary spent discussing how the war impacted those left on the home front. Some of those topics included women in the workforce, how it was America’s economic output that won the war (in that Japan and Germany were unable to keep up), and the role of African-American soldiers in the army.

While I learned a few new things and appreciated the quick pace that was kept, I wouldn’t recommend this documentary to those of you who are looking for a heavy or detailed look at WWII. I would, however, recommend this episode for the classroom, as it looks a little bit beyond the war and how it ushered America into being the superpower it became.

You can watch the entire series on Netflix, or you can watch the WWII episode here.

Have you seen this episode or watched America: The Story of Us? If so, what did you think of it? Discussion is always appreciated!

Since the Starz documentary I watched yesterday was so good, I figured that I would try my luck at another.

Alas, it was not to be, as my stomach was a bit too weak for this one.

Called In the Gutter, this documentary was looking at which gross-out films/comedies pushed the envelope, and featured interviews and movie clips from films that really made a ‘splash’ (eww) in the gross-out genre, with their penchant for vomit and other bodily fluids winding up all over the place. (Again – ewww…)

I got about 10 minutes in before having to call it quits. But for those of you brave souls who like these kinds of movies or would like to see how long you or your friends can manage to watch this documentary without running to the nearest toilet, here’s a more detailed summary of it from Netflix:

Movie critic Richard Roeper hosts this hilarious look at the best boundary-pushing gross-out comedies in film history, including Superbad, The Meaning of Life, Animal House, American Pie, Blazing Saddles, Porky’s and many more. Along with classic (and outrageous) film clips, this special includes interviews with John Waters, Jason Biggs, Stephen Furst, Peter Riegert, Lin Shaye and a slew of other actors, writers, directors and film critics.

I’m off to try and find another documentary… maybe one with bunnies, to try and cleanse myself from seeing the hot dog scene from Van Wilder. *shudders*

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