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Reviews for March 14th, 2014

Documentary Round-Up

      Now playing at the Quad Cinema via Alive Mind Cinema is The Anonymous People which argues that substance abusers would be better off without the stigma that comes along with their addiction, and with more money as well as attention spent on recovery/rehabilitation. The mass media's focus on a celebrity's downfall rather than their recovery can be detrimental to the substance abuser. With proper rehabilitation instead of treating the abusers like criminals by sending them to prison, recidivism decreases. Moreover the costs of sending them to prison, including legal fees and opportunity costs, are quite expensive for the government. Greg D. Williams does a decent job of making those arguments sound reasonable via testimonies from former substance abusers (including actress Kristen Johnston) and interviews with those who founded 12-step programs. You also learn a little about the history of rehabilitation programs and how substance abusers ended up with the stigma surrounding their addiction, i.e. by requiring anonymity thereby making them feel ashamed of their addiction. Comparisons to the AIDS epidemic and how its victims overcame their stigma is quite apt and provocative. Much of the doc does feel quite moving, but what's missing here is a more thorough, nuanced and well-rounded examination of the issues at hand because, after all, nothing is truly black-and-white. At least Williams didn't opt for bombarding you with many facts, figures and talking heads which would have made this a very dry documentary.

Need For Speed

Directed by Scott Waugh


*****Full review coming soon*****

Number of times I checked my watch: 4
Released by Walt Disney Pictures.
Opens nationwide.
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