On Netflix Now: Democrats

netflix democrats

“To be called a sellout in Zimbabwe is to be condemned to death.”

This simple, matter of fact observation in the political documentary Democrats makes crystal clear the brute forces that govern politics in the troubled southern African country.

The 2014 film, which was directed by Camilla Nielsson, chronicles the drafting of a new Zimbabwean Constitution in 2008 and all the menace and corruption that governed the process. Read More…

On Netflix Now: Love and Engineering

It seems an obvious notion that human beings are not machines, though we are able to design and construct sophisticated mechanical apparatus, the intricacies of human consciousness are somewhat less well-ordered.

But for the lovelorn Finnish engineers of Love and Engineering (2014), who understand machines better than people, this is not immediately apparent. Their attitude is, “What is the algorithm for love and how can we calculate it?”

Read the rest On Netflix Now.

On Netflix Now: Samsara

Samsara, like its predecessor Baraka (1992) is one of the greatest film epics ever produced. It is a rare gem indeed and unlike any other film in terms of the vast scale and scope of its subject matter: a documentary exploration of the eternal cycle of life and death.

This may sound like a somewhat grandiose description of a film that could not possibly live up to such superlative praise, but I believe Samsara is fully deserving of it.

Its visual splendour will lack novelty if you have seen the very similar Baraka, which, unfortunately, is not currently available on Netflix US (here’s to hoping), but, nevertheless, it is an excellent follow up to that phenomenal piece of cinema…

Read the rest On Netflix Now

On Netflix Now: The Immortalists

the immortalists netflix

A few months ago I witnessed a sight poetic in its incongruity: the gym I had just joined was next to an overgrown cemetery. It was a tragi-comic juxtaposition. How desperately we strive to defeat the forces of entropy, which, despite, all our best efforts, will defeat us in the end.

For anti-ageing biologists, Aubrey De Grey and Bill Andrews, however, that is simply a pessimistic attitude, and the two scientists have thus far dedicated most of their healthy, living years to beating death…

Read the rest On Netflix Now.

On Netflix Now: This Is The Way The Word Ends

melancholia

Two films about love, death, and the apocalypse.

Melancholia (2011)

This is a truly exquisite film, though it lives up to its mournful title. Directed by acclaimed Danish auteur Lars von Trier, Melancholia stars Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg as two sisters, Justine and Claire, facing down the apocalypse together, as a planet named “Melancholia” is set on a collision course with Earth. Each deals with it in a very different way.

Claire despairs at their fate and rages with hysterics against the dying of the light; her deeply depressed sister, by stark contrast, simply resigns herself to the coming catastrophe…

Read the rest On Netflix Now.