Self-Defeating War on Drugs, Military Rape, Oppression in the Occupied Territories: Sundance 2012 Winners

The Law in These Parts documentary Palestinian Occupied Territories
Ra’anan Alexandrovicz’s The Law in These Parts

Benh Zeitlin’s Beasts of the Southern Wild, the story of a young girl growing up in Louisiana (to be released by Fox Searchlight) was the top U.S. narrative feature at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. Eugene Jarecki’s The House I Live In, a documentary about the United States’ inane, costly, deadly, and corruptive war on drugs (good for cops and prison profiteers; bad for everybody else, especially the poor and the disenfranchised), was the winner in the U.S. documentary category. [Full list of Sundance 2012 Winners.]

Considering the recent changes made to the voting rules of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Documentary Branch, expect The House I Live In to be shortlisted for Oscar 2013. By the way, Jarecki’s 2005 documentary Why We Fight, about the reasons for the United States getting into one war after another, also received top honors at Sundance.

The 2012 World Cinema grand jury prize for a narrative film went to Andres Wood’s biopic of Chilean singer Violeta Parra, Violeta Went to Heaven, starring Francisca Gavilán. Ra’anan Alexandrovicz’s The Law in These Parts, about Israel’s oppressive and corrupt military legal system in the occupied Palestinian territories, was the World Cinema documentary winner.

Kirby Dick’s The Invisible War, which explores the little-discussed issue of systematic and widespread sexual assault in the U.S. military, was the Audience winner for best U.S. documentary. The story of man-in-the-iron-lung poet and journalist Mark O’Brien’s attempts at losing his virginity, Ben Lewin’s The Surrogate was the Audience winner for best U.S. narrative feature. John Hawkes (Winter’s Bone, Martha Marcy May Marlene) plays O’Brien; Helen Hunt is the sex "surrogate" (and married soccer mom); and William H. Macy is O’Brien’s priest.

Musa Syeed’s Kashmir-set drama Valley of Saints was the World Cinema: Dramatic Audience winner, while Malik Bendjelloul’s Searching for Sugar Man, about two South Africans trying to discover the fate of ’70s rocker Rodriguez, won for best documentary.

The Law in These Parts photo: Sundance Film Festival.

Continue Reading: Michel Hazanavicius/THE ARTIST, James Marsh/PROJECT NIM: DGA Award Winners

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1 Comment to Self-Defeating War on Drugs, Military Rape, Oppression in the Occupied Territories: Sundance 2012 Winners

  1. Malcolm Kyle

    Some simple facts:

    * A rather large majority of people will always feel the need to use drugs such as heroin, opium, nicotine, amphetamines, alcohol, sugar, or caffeine.

    * The massive majority of adults who use drugs do so recreationally - getting high at the weekend then up for work on a Monday morning.

    * A small minority of adults (5%) will always experience drug use as problematic. - approx. 3% are dependent on alcohol, and 1.5% dependent on other drugs.

    * Just as it was impossible to prevent alcohol from being produced and used in the U.S. in the 1920s, so too, it is equally impossible to prevent any of the aforementioned drugs from being produced, distributed and widely used by those who desire to do so.

    * Prohibition kills more people and ruins more lives than the drugs it prohibits.

    * Due to Prohibition (historically proven to be an utter failure at every level), the availability of most of these mood-altering drugs has become so universal and unfettered that in any city of the civilized world, any one of us would be able to procure practically any drug we wish within an hour.

    * Throughout history, the prohibition of any mind-altering substance has always exploded usage rates, overcrowded jails, fueled organized crime, created rampant corruption of law-enforcement - even whole governments, while inducing an incalculable amount of suffering and death.

    * The involvement of the CIA in running Heroin from Vietnam, Southeast Asia and Afghanistan and Cocaine from Central America has been well documented by the 1989 Kerry Committee report, academic researchers Alfred McCoy and Peter Dale Scott, and the late journalist Gary Webb.

    * It’s not even possible to keep drugs out of prisons, but prohibitionists wish to waste hundreds of billions of our money in an utterly futile attempt to keep them off our streets.

    * The United States jails a larger percentage of it’s own citizens than any other country in the world, including those run by the worst totalitarian regimes, yet it has far higher use/addiction rates than most other countries.

    * Prohibition is the “Goose that laid the golden egg” and the lifeblood of terrorists as well as drug cartels. Both the Taliban and the terrorists of al Qaeda derive their main income from the prohibition-inflated value of the opium poppy. An estimated 44 % of the heroin produced in Afghanistan, with an estimated annual destination value of US $ 27 Billion, transits through Pakistan. Prohibition has essentially destroyed Pakistan’s legal economy and social fabric. - We may be about to witness the planet’s first civil war in a nation with nuclear capabilities. - Kindly Google: ‘A GLOBAL OVERVIEW OF NARCOTICS-FUNDED TERRORIST GROUPS’ Only those opposed, or willing to ignore these facts, want things the way they are.

    * The urge to save humanity is almost always a false-face for the urge to rule it. - H. L. Mencken (1880-1956) American editor, essayist and philologist.

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