A deconstruction of the Church of Scientology's claims through a combination of presenting a condensed history of Scientology and its founder, L. Ron Hubbard, how celebrities interact with the church, the stories of a number of ex-members, and the abuse and exploitation the ex-members described seeing and experiencing". The Church responded vehemently to the film, complaining to film critics about their reviews and denouncing the filmmakers and their interviewees. Directed by Alex Gibney, it is based on Lawrence Wright's book Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief (2013). Produced by HBO, the film premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival
Merchants of Doubt takes audiences on a satirically comedic, yet illuminating ride into the heart of conjuring American spin. Filmmaker Robert Kenner lifts the curtain on a secretive group of highly charismatic, silver-tongued pundits-for-hire who present themselves in the media as scientific authorities - yet have the contrary aim of spreading maximum confusion about well-studied public threats ranging from toxic chemicals to pharmaceuticals to climate change. Inspired by the acclaimed book by Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway
Many movies lend themselves to dramatic interpretations, but none are as rich and far ranging as Stanley Kubrick's The Shining. In LA filmmaker Rodney Ascher's ROOM 237, we hear from people who have developed far-reaching theories and believe they have decoded the hidden symbols and messages buried in the late director's film. Carefully examining The Shining inside out, and forwards and backwards, and backwards and forwards, ROOM 237 as captivating, provocative as it is pure pleasure". It gives voice to the fans and scholars who espouse these theories, reworking the film to match their ideas and intercutting it with layers of dreamlike imagery to illustrate their streams of consciousness. Sometimes outrageous, always engaging, the words of those who were interviewed are given full force by Ascher's compelling vision. Also featured at the 2012 Sundance, Cannes and Toronto film festivals.
The documentary 'The Knowledge of Healing' is an illuminating examination of Tibetan medicine, a practice which has developed over two millennia into a modern day successful method of healing that rivals western medical practices. Unlike Western medicine, based on biochemistry, Tibetan medical thinking (which is strongly rooted in Buddhist principles) views the human body as governed by an elaborately organized system of energies flowing through a network of channels. In the 12th century, the Gyüshi (Knowledge of Healing) was created, a text codifying this intricate system. The medications used comprise herbs, roots, minerals, etc. After flourishing for centuries, most Tibetan medical schools were destroyed by the Chinese in the 1950's and 1960's, and many physicians were executed. Speaking from exile, the Dalai Lama argues for the value of Tibetan medicine, while his personal physician Dr. Tenzin Choedrak describes the principles behind it. We follow physicians in India and Siberia treating patients for a variety of ailments from paralysis to heart disease, and meet researchers in Israel and Switzerland to see how western clinical studies are testing the effectiveness of Tibetan medicine.
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