Films on Government

See Also:  FILMS ON GOVERNMENT DEMAGOGUES

War on Whistleblowers:
Free Press and the National Security State

Documentary 2013 NR 1hr 6m. This documentary highlights four cases in which whistleblowers exposed government wrongdoing to the media and faced serious repercussions. Eye-opening, frank, and disturbing, this film is a must watch. This is a very good documentary and is a fraction of what is really going on in our government. The people of this country need to stand up and say NO MORE and start fighting for your rights before they are gone. See Full Review

United States of Secrets

Documentary Frontline 2014 TV-PG 2 Episodes. “Frontline” investigates the secret history of the unprecedented surveillance program that began in the wake of the 9/11 attacks and continues today. Right after we were attacked by terrorists in 2001, these men in the government stole our civil liberties. The film’s focus is on the National Security Agency (NSA), and its surveillance programs that came to light with the Snowden Leaks. See Full Review

We Steal Secrets:
The Story of WikiLeaks

Documentary 2013 R 2hr 9m. This documentary reveals how Julian Assange fired a global debate on secrecy when his web site, Wikileaks, published thousands of confidential documents. Taking no sides, Oscar winner Alex Gibney examines every aspect of the controversial event.

TWA: Flight 800

Documentary 2013 PG-13 1hr 31m. This provocative documentary examines the fate of TWA Flight 800 to Paris, France, which exploded in 1996 just minutes after takeoff from New York, and includes interviews with official investigators who claim that the catastrophe was no accident.

The Best Government Money Can Buy?

Documentary 2009 NR 76 minutes. Just how influential are lobbyists? Francis Megahy writes and directs this absorbing documentary about lobbyists’ role in American politics, the far-reaching implications of their spending on elections and their threat to democracy. In addition to exploring case studies from several industries such as health care and energy, the film features insights from Capitol Hill insiders, former White House officials and more. See Full Review

Were Not Broke

Documentary 2012 NR 1hr 20m. In this searing exposé, filmmakers explore the discontent of activists fed up with a government that allows U.S. corporations to skip out on paying their fair share of taxes. Many make billions in profits but pay $0 in taxes, leaving consumers to shoulder the brunt of a great recession. See Full Review

Park Avenue:
Money, Power and the American Dream

Documentary 2012 NR 1hr 10m. Documentarian Alex Gibney focuses on the gap between rich and poor by examining New York’s Park Avenue, home to America’s highest concentration of billionaires. Meanwhile, down the street, South Bronx is the poorest congressional district in the U.S.

House of Cards  (20013 Netflix Series)

Drama Netflix Series 2013 TV-MA 4 discs / 13 episodes. Ruthless Congressman Francis Underwood and his ambitious wife Claire will stop at nothing to conquer Washington D.C. in this dark political drama, winner of three Emmy Awards, including Best Director, and a Golden Globe for Best Actress.  See also:  House of Cards Trilogy (1990-1995 BBC)

Ralph Nader
An Unreasonable Man

Documentary 2006 NR 2hr 2m. Thought-provoking and revealing, this biographical documentary profiles the personal and professional life of Ralph Nader, one of America’s most controversial consumer advocates and political activists. Interviews and archival footage help illuminate the career of an influential public figure whose willingness to take on big industry, beginning with General Motors, earned him a reputation as both a hero of the working class, and eventually as a public pariah after the 2000 presidential election. See Full Review

Bush Family Fortunes
The Best Democracy Money Can Buy

Documentary 2004 NR 61 minutes. This is a documentary by Greg Palast, a reporter and filmmaker who tailed the political clan, especially George W. Bush, from the highly contested 2000 presidential election win in Florida to the purported influence they exerted on behalf of the bin Ladens. Palast also treads on the same ground that the iconic Michael Moore covered, connecting the dots between the Bushes and the House of Saud.

Casino Jack and the United States of Money

Documentary 2010 R 118 minutes. Documentarian Alex Gibney (Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room) turns his acute focus on convicted Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff, reproaching him and other legislators for their negative impact on U.S. politics. Gibney’s film plays less like a dry treatise and more like a high-stakes political thriller, fearlessly examining the ways American policies and political processes are undermined by an endless quest for power.

The Big Buy: How Tom DeLay Stole Congress

Documentary 2006 NR 75 minutes. This compelling documentary, co-directed by Mark Birnbaum and Jim Schermbeck, sounds a wake-up call to every citizen in America to remain diligent and keep a watchful eye on our government. An in-depth examination of how one man’s agenda to “completely redesign government” can involve drastic measures and corporate power grabs, this hard-hitting film probes Texas congressman Tom DeLay’s unscrupulous efforts to bend democracy to his will.

Inside Job

Documentary 2010 PG-13 108 minutes. Director Charles Ferguson clearly maps out the origins of the global economic meltdown of 2008, how it could have been prevented, how it could have been lessened. From filmmaker Charles Ferguson comes this sobering, Oscar-winning documentary that presents in comprehensive yet cogent detail the pervasive and deep-rooted corruption that led to the economic crisis of 2008. Through unflinching interviews with key financial insiders, politicos, journalists and academics, Ferguson paints a galling portrait of an unfettered financial system run amok — without accountability. Actor Matt Damon narrates. We need to be socially responsible for the community and the nation we live in, not just look after our very own interest. The analysis is piercing and relentlessly thorough. It lays out the problems with the financial industry, how it effects the entire world, addresses what should be done, and the difficulty getting anything done. Best documentary I have seen! Impeccably done! I am recommending this to everyone I know. Everyone on the planet should watch this film. See Full Review

The Warning

Documentary Frontline 2009 NR 54m. A detailed look at the roots of America’s worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, this “Frontline” documentary exposes why government officials refused to regulate emerging derivatives markets that later ruined global financial systems. Director Michael Kirk focuses special attention on the intriguing story of Brooksley Born, the head of a little-known regulatory agency who fought in vain for the increased oversight of derivatives sales.

Manufacturing Consent
Noam Chomsky and the Media

Documentary 1992 NR 167 minutes. Funny and provocative, this 1992 documentary explores the political life and ideas of Noam Chomsky, a world-renowned linguist, intellectual and political activist. Chomsky illustrates how the media tacitly manipulates public opinion to further the agendas of the powerful. A compelling examination of the suppression of news about the U.S.-supported Indonesian invasion and subjugation of East Timor brings home the point.See Full Review

Ethos

Documentary 2011 NR 68 minutes. Woody Harrelson hosts this exploration of the systemic ways in which modern society is self-destructing, from the disproportionate power of corporations, media and the military to the failure of government and democratic ideals.

War Made Easy

Documentary 2007 NR 73 minutes. Based on Norman Solomon’s revealing book and narrated by actor Sean Penn, this documentary exposes the government’s and the media’s purported history of deceiving the American people and leading the nation into war after war. Using archival footage of past presidents and media correspondents — including the revered Walter Cronkite — the film sheds light on propaganda and draws parallels between the Vietnam and Iraq wars. See Full Review

Wikisecrets

Documentary Frontline 2011 NR. Intelligence analyst Bradley Manning set off a firestorm of controversy when he released millions of classified documents to the WikiLeaks Web site in 2010. “Frontline” investigates this enigmatic figure’s motives and the fallout of his actions. It’s the biggest intelligence breach in U.S. history-the leaking of more than half-a-million classified documents on the Wikileaks website in the spring of 2010. Behind it all, stand two very different men: Julian Assange, the Internet activist and hacker who published the documents, and an Army intelligence analyst named Bradley E. Manning, who’s currently charged with handing them over. Private Manning allegedly leaked the secret cables — along with a controversial video — in the hope of inciting “worldwide discussion, debates and reforms.” Assange’s stated mission has been to force the U.S. and other governments into maximum transparency through his whistle-blowing website. Through in-depth interviews with Manning’s father, Assange, and others close to the case, veteran Frontline correspondent Martin Smith tells the full story behind the leaks. He also reports on the U.S. government’s struggle to protect national security information in a post 9/11 world.

Julian Assange: A Modern Day Hero?
Inside the World of WikiLeaks

Documentary 2011 NR 1hr 30m. Radical and unapologetic, Australian publisher and journalist Julian Assange created massive controversy in 2010 by making public a flood of secret correspondence among U.S. government agencies via the WikiLeaks website. As this comprehensive and unbiased examination of Assange’s career illustrates, he was already engaged in distributing “secret” information in the public interest before the revelations that made him world famous. The repeated heading used in the film is “Courage is Contageous.â€?

Fair Game

Docudrama 2010 PG-13 108 minutes. After her husband, Ambassador Joseph Wilson (Sean Penn), writes op-ed columns accusing the Bush administration of misleading the public to justify invading Iraq, Valerie Plame Wilson’s (Naomi Watts) status as a covert CIA agent is leaked by administration officials. Based on events described in Plame Wilson’s memoir, this drama explores the political scandal that led to the conviction of Lewis “Scooter” Libby.

The Last Mountain

Documentary 2011 PG 1hr 35m. This is a gripping documentary that follows ordinary citizens in West Virginia’s Coal River Valley as they wage a campaign to prevent the infamous Massey Energy Company from expanding ruinous mountaintop removal mining operations. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and the people of Coal River for show us that corporations have to be held accountable for their greed and belief that profits trump life. See Full Review

Inside Job

Documentary 2010 PG-13 108 minutes. Director Charles Ferguson clearly maps out the origins of the global economic meltdown of 2008, how it could have been prevented, how it could have been lessened. This sobering, Oscar-winning documentary presents in comprehensive yet cogent detail the pervasive and deep-rooted corruption that led to the economic crisis of 2008. Through unflinching interviews with key financial insiders, politicos, journalists and academics, Ferguson paints a galling portrait of an unfettered financial system run amok — without accountability. Actor Matt Damon narrates. The analysis is piercing and relentlessly thorough. It lays out the problems with the financial industry, how it effects the entire world, addresses what should be done, and the difficulty getting anything done. “Best documentary I have seen! Impeccably done! I am recommending this to everyone I know. Everyone on the planet should watch this film.â€? See Full Review

The Warning

Documentary Frontline 2009 NR 54m. A detailed look at the roots of America’s worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, this “Frontline” documentary exposes why government officials refused to regulate emerging derivatives markets that later ruined global financial systems. Director Michael Kirk focuses special attention on the intriguing story of Brooksley Born, the head of a little-known regulatory agency who fought in vain for the increased oversight of derivatives sales.

The Flaw: Financial Collapse 2008

Documentary 2010 NR 1hr 21m. The Flaw is a look at the recession and financial collapse of 2008. This documentary investigates the causes of ruin and includes interviews with noted economists, financial reporters, Wall Street bankers and homeowners on the brink of foreclosure. The film has some pretty good insights, with lucid analytical perspectives of top academics in economics. The economists and hedge fund manager are top rate. The film also interviews an appropriate selection of affected individuals to capture the human dimensions of the crisis. There are some interesting interviews with borrowers who have problems paying their mortgages after the crash, and most don’t portray themselves as victims, but guilty of poor judgment or excessive optimism. See Full Review

House of Cards  (2009 CNBC)

Documentary CNBC Originals 2009 TV-PG 1hr 30m. This documentary on the housing and economic crisis explains in great detail exactly what caused the US economic crash of 2008, the most crushing economic crisis since the Depression. CNBC investigates the defining story of our time with inside accounts from key players, tracing the origins of the calamity from Main Street to Wall Street to Washington. The financial industry has so many layers and so many players that it makes it difficult for the average person / homeowner to truly understand how we got into this mess. This lays it out step by step.

Inside the Meltdown

Documentary Frontline 2009 NR 56m. Shining a light on the economic meltdown that changed the mood of the 2008 presidential election, this edition of “Frontline” offers an inside look at what caused the crisis and who — if anyone — could have stopped it. Segments focus on the failures of Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers and AIG; the U.S. government bailout costing taxpayers $700 billion; and the roles of the U.S. Treasury and the Federal Reserve in repairing the damage.

I.O.U.S.A.
(IOUSA)

Documentary 2008 PG 85 minutes. With the country’s debt growing out of control, Americans by and large are unaware of the looming financial crisis. This documentary examines several of the ways America can get its economy back on the right track. In addition to looking at the federal deficit and trade deficit, the film also closely explores the challenges of funding national entitlement programs such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

A Snowmobile for George

Documentary 2008 NR 1hr 34m. When former president Bush eased regulations that put a high-polluting snowmobile back on the road, filmmaker Todd Darling wanted to find out why. He and his family embarked on a cross-country journey that uncovered some surprising answers. This eye-opening documentary shines light on the often misunderstood subject of deregulation. Fortunately the doc is not entirely about snowmobiles. You will learn about the largest mass killing of salmon in what was once among the most healthy salmon populations; how a loophole in Wyoming’s land laws allow natural gas drilling without permission by land owners (smog in Wyoming is now worse than LA and water is undrinkable); little-known facts about the EPA’s deception following 9/11; and how George W. Bush’s political machine helped all this happen in the interest of votes and corporate profits. The Bush Administration really did deregulate all of the major industries that cause most of our planets pollution, which was done all in the name of profit & politics. It’s a sobering look at the collusion of industry, government and its regulatory bodies. Very instructive and well-made film on the immense perils of deregulation–the greatest of all the enormous sins of the Bush and the Obama administrations. For 13 years the mega-corporations have had it entirely their way, and there will be no way of stopping them until their advocates are voted out of Congress and the worst oligarchy-lovers on the Supreme Court are finally impeached. Despite the somber stories told by some of the subjects, the director avoids polarizing or preaching to his audience. The narrative is lighthearted and doesn’t attempt to rewire your political leanings in 90 minutes. Worth a watch. I really enjoyed watching this documentary. You will enjoy this movie, and you will want to share its stories with friends and family.

The Spy Factory

Documentary Nova 2009 NR 53 minutes. This eye-opening “Nova” special sheds light on the clandestine practices of the U.S. government’s top secret National Security Agency, the world’s largest intelligence outfit, which is responsible for spying within and beyond America’s borders. Based on James Bamford’s best-selling book The Shadow Factory, the program also examines how the threat of terrorism is affecting the agency’s day-to-day operations. The title is a bit misleading. This is a documentary about the failure of intelligence agencies to share information leading up to 9/11. Interesting view on what the NSA intercepted before 9/11 on the hijackers and how that information wasn’t used. Also noted is how the 9/11 Commission focused on other agencies, such as CIA and FBI, while glossing over NSA weaknesses.

Secrecy

Documentary 2008 NR 1hr 20m. With homeland security and the war on terror becoming increasingly important issues, the U.S. government has grown more and more secretive, allegedly to protect the country and save lives. But is this culture of secrets at odds with democracy? This documentary examines both the pros and cons of government concealment by focusing on classified secrets and the arguments the government makes in the name of national security. See Full Review

Big Brother, Big Business

Documentary CNBC Originals 2006 TV-PG 89 minutes. Award-winning correspondent David Faber examines big business and rapid advance of technology that allows companies to monitor our every move and record our most private personal information.

The Dark Side

Documentary Frontline 2006 NR 90 minutes. This gripping “Frontline” report dissects Vice President Dick Cheney’s actions as chief architect of the war on terror, and his battles with CIA director George Tenet over control of America’s intelligence community. Interviews with more than 40 key participants shed light on the political infighting, from the moments after Sept. 11 to the administration’s feverish run-up to the Iraq War and the indictment of Cheney adviser Lewis “Scooter” Libby.

Ralph Nader
An Unreasonable Man

Documentary 2006 NR 2hr 2m. Thought-provoking and revealing, this biographical documentary profiles the personal and professional life of Ralph Nader, one of America’s most controversial consumer advocates and political activists. Interviews and archival footage help illuminate the career of an influential public figure whose willingness to take on big industry, beginning with General Motors, earned him a reputation as both a hero of the working class, and eventually as a public pariah after the 2000 presidential election. See Full Review

The American Ruling Class

Documentary 2005 NR 89 minutes. This inventive, mildly fictionalized documentary follows noted editor Lewis Lapham as he introduces two Ivy League graduates to America’s elite in an effort to examine the role of class and moneyed privilege in American democracy. With stops at the Pentagon, posh Manhattan parties and more, Lapham encounters luminaries — including James Baker III and Walter Cronkite — who each share their perspectives on America’s ruling class.

Loose Change 9/11
An American Coup

Documentary 2009 NR 99 minutes. Informed by footage from Sept. 11, interviews with experts and new evidence, filmmaker Dylan Avery argues that the world hasn’t heard the full truth behind the terrorist attacks and urges citizens to demand accountability from the U.S. government. Gripping, frightening, must see. A very well done documentary that left me scratching my head wondering why so many questions are left unanswered regarding 911. It is not unpatriotic to question our government and demand accountability. I have never been one to be a “conspiracy nut” of any kind. I have always been very conservative, pro-military, pro-war on terror, and up till recently, pro-Bush. I have, over the couse of it’s development, now seen all 3 Loose Change documentary versions, and I have to say, if I’m not a complete convert, I’ve very darn close. So much just does not add up about the events that took place before, on and around 9-11, that it boggles the mind. I would strongly recommend everyone watch this film (and the second version, too) and see what it has to say. I guarantee you, it will change the way you look at the events of 9-11. You don’t have to wait for it to be available here, you can google it and watch both versions online for free.

Unconstitutional
The War on Our Civil Liberties

Documentary 2004 NR 66 minutes. Following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, Congress passed a series of legislations known as The Patriot Act, which is designed to assist law enforcement in preventing future terrorist attacks. Take an inside look at this controversial bill through the eyes of legal analysts and constitutional experts as they examine the possible dangers The Patriot Act poses to our civil liberties and individual freedoms. See Full Review

Howard Zinn
You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train

Documentary 2004 NR 78 minutes. Matt Damon narrates this documentary chronicling Howard Zinn’s commitment to social change through archival materials, commentary from Zinn and interviews with contemporaries Noam Chomsky, Daniel Ellsberg, Tom Hayden and Alice Walker, among others. See Full Review

Taking Liberties

Documentary 2007 The film follows the erosion of civil liberties since Tony Blair came to power. After high-profile incidents such as 9/11 and 7/7 the public has often called for action. Various powers and prohibitions have been smuggled through under the guise of anti-terror legislation, or to reduce public order offences, but what starts out at emergency legislation often remains for years and gives the police and the state massive power to interfere with and curtail our civil liberties.

The Ghost Writer

Drama 2010 PG-13 128 minutes. After his predecessor perishes under mysterious circumstances, a ghostwriter agrees to help a former British prime minister finish his memoirs, but the author but finds himself in danger when he uncovers a web of secrets and corruption.

Fahrenheit 9/11

Documentary 2004 R 122 minutes. Michael Moore’s hard-hitting documentary addresses the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, outlining the reasons the United States (and, in turn, thousands of innocent Americans) became a target for hatred and terrorism. The film not only criticizes President George W. Bush’s response to the attacks but also reinforces Moore’s theory that the Bush Administration used the tragic event to push its own political agenda.See Full Review

The Trials of Henry Kissinger

Documentary 2002 NR 1hr 19m. This riveting documentary depicts former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger as a warmonger responsible for military cover-ups in Vietnam, Cambodia and East Timor, as well as the assassination of a Chilean leader in 1970. Based on a book by journalist Christopher Hitchens, the film includes interviews with historians, political analysts and such journalists as New York Times writer William Safire, a former Nixon speechwriter.See Full Review

House of Cards Trilogy (BBC 1990-1995)

Drama BBC 1990-1995 NR 3 Parts. After he’s passed up for a promotion, British politician Francis Urquhart vows to exact revenge on the system that’s holding him back. Through charm and persuasion, Urquhart gains the trust of his colleagues while simultaneously undermining them.  See also:  House of Cards (20013 Netflix Series)

Manufacturing Consent
Noam Chomsky and the Media

Documentary 1992 NR 167 minutes. Funny and provocative, this 1992 documentary explores the political life and ideas of Noam Chomsky, a world-renowned linguist, intellectual and political activist. Chomsky illustrates how the media tacitly manipulates public opinion to further the agendas of the powerful. A compelling examination of the suppression of news about the U.S.-supported Indonesian invasion and subjugation of East Timor brings home the point.

—–

MR. SMITH

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

Drama 1939 NR 129 minutes. When idealistic junior senator Jefferson Smith (James Stewart) arrives in Washington, D.C., he’s full of plans and dazzled by his surroundings — qualities he retains despite widespread corruption among his cynical colleagues. Jean Arthur puts in a sharp performance as Smith’s streetwise secretary, who helps him navigate his way through Congress, in this Academy Award-winning classic from director Frank Capra.

Billy Jack Goes to Washington

Drama 1977 NR. A loose remake of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, this fourth film starring Tom Laughlin as Billy Jack begins when the governor pardons Jack for the trumped-up charges that landed him in jail in The Trial of Billy Jack. On his release, Jack is appointed to a U.S. Senate seat to help garner the youth and minority vote for the governor. When he discovers corruption in the Senate, Jack becomes determined to stir things up on the floor.

Can Mr. Smith Get to Washington Anymore?

Documentary 2006 NR 82 minutes. Frank Popper’s engaging documentary follows the 2004 campaign of Jeff Smith, a young political science instructor at Washington University who runs for the seat vacated by retiring congressman Dick Gephardt. Pitted against state Rep. Russ Carnahan, the scion of a powerful political family, Smith proves that an unknown with no money can make a difference, forging a campaign that ultimately poses a serious challenge to Carnahan.

Mr. Schneider Goes to Washington

Documentary 2007 75 minutes. In a recent CNN poll 67% of American’s said they believe the American government is corrupt. Even more alarming, it seems 99.9% of the population does nothing to change it. Frustrated by Washington and his apathy towards it, Mr. Schneider Goes to Washington to find out if things are as bad as he thinks they are. Sadly, he is not disappointed. Because of their dependence on big business and special interests to finance their political campaigns, almost every decision the President, Vice-President and Members of Congress make is corrupted. After all, there is no bigger issue facing our elected political leaders than getting re-elected. More frightening though, no one seems to care. The average American is more concerned about the next American Idol than the next American President. This isn’t lost on the media, whose news coverage reflects its audience’s preoccupation. The result: a population of uniformed, disengaged and disenfranchised non-voters hold the world’s only super power in check. Are America and the world destined for disaster? Not if Mr. Schneider has anything to say about it. “Throughout the film I kept asking myself, ‘Where is our democracy heading?’ Everyone needs to see this film.” — Lee Iacocca “Not all political documentaries are dull and staid, this one has porn stars. Perhaps it’s what you’d expect from a reality producer, but the result is a virtual makeover of the genre to make it fresh and fun.” — Cucalorus Film Festival “Amazingly Mr. Schneider has made a film about corruption and apathy that is informative, entertaining and enraging.” — New Orleans Film Festival

—–

Seven Days in May

Thriller 1964 NR 118 minutes. Military aide Martin Casey (Kirk Douglas) stumbles across a plot by his boss (Burt Lancaster) to overthrow the U.S. president (Fredric March), who has just negotiated a controversial nuclear disarmament treaty with Russia. Casey’s dilemma: Follow orders and remain silent, or betray his boss. The story is said to have been influenced by the right-wing anti-Communist political activities of General Edwin A. Walker after he resigned from the military. An additional inspiration was provided by the 1961 interview that author of the political thriller novel Fletcher Knebel conducted with the newly-appointed Air Force Chief of Staff, Curtis LeMay, an advocate of preventive first-strike nuclear option. President John F. Kennedy had read the novel and believed the scenario as described could actually occur in the United States. Lancaster gives an effective performance in an unsympathetic role.

Atlas Shrugged

Drama 2011 PG-13 97 minutes. Ayn Rand’s controversial bestseller is the basis for this potent drama about Dagny Taggart, a fiercely independent railroad tycoon determined to use innovative technology and enterprising partners to revive her business, no matter the personal cost. A soap opera set in the world of politics and big business. Taking place in the very near future, this film is very political in nature, reflecting the author’s capitalist views. The acting was good in portraying the various players and their personalities: power greedy politicians and union bosses, clueless public, self centered self serving technocrats and self proclaimed authorities, conservative driver types, fearless independent thinkers. Anyone who is smart, hard-working, and trying to get ahead will understand the frustrations of interference whether it is sourced in the government or the naysayers. Ayn Rand wrote a brilliant novel that used a simple idea, what if the power brokers, intellects, and industrialists of the nation went on strike and stopped their work. This movie has the basic failing of any film which attempts to adapt a complex story, as depicted in a novel, to the limited time-frame of a theatrical release: it can never truly do the story justice.

La Ley de Herodes
(Herod’s Law)

Drama 1999. This Spanish-language black comedy takes aim at the crime and corruption found south of the border. In La Ley de Herodes (Herod’s Law), a meek janitor (Damián Alcázar) is appointed mayor of a small town, but he’s soon seduced by politics and corruption. It takes us into the 1940’s to a fictitious desert hilltown of San Pedro Los Saguaros with 100 inhabitants who mostly do not speak Spanish but an Amerindian language. Juan Vargas is an incompetent and ignorant party member assigned as a mayor, who starts with honesty but quickly turns to profiting at the expense of the people, becoming an arrogant, abusive and corrupted official. This movie shows also the influence of clergy, its relationship with government, as well as bribery and gradual loss of scruples by Mexican civil servants.  It is funny at times, but it’s so close to the truth it is also infuriating. This is one of those movies that stays with you long after watching it. It is smart but cynical; caustic but hopeless; entertaining and educational.

Is This Any Way to Run a Government?

Documentary Frontline 1994. As the Clinton administration claims significant progress in its commitment to streamline the federal government, Frontline investigates the one agency that is arguably the most resistant to reform–the Department of Agriculture. Focusing on the excesses, abuse, and mismanagement in the USDA’s massive crop subsidy programs, Frontline examines how Congressional power has stymied a generation of agriculture secretaries, Republicans and Democrats alike, who have tired to reform the agency’s bloated and outdated bureaucracy.

High Crimes and Misdemeanors

Documentary Frontline 1990. Four years after the Iran-contra scandal broke, correspondent Bill Moyers examines-for the first time on television-the full record of this story, documenting the scale of White House deceit and analyzing the failures of our other democratic institutions: the Congress, the press, and the law.

The Politics of Greed

Documentary Frontline 1987. As corruption scandals rock New York City, the careers of dozens of high officials are being destroyed. Frontline takes an inside look at the seamy side of urban politics and asks whether this is any way to run a government.

The Disillusionment of David Stockman

Documentary Frontline 1986. Former budget director David Stockman gives an exclusive interview to correspondent William Greider on what has been called ‘the greatest free lunch fiscal policy’ in modern times.

You Are in the Computer

Documentary Frontline 1985. Investigates computerized information systems and the issues of privacy they raise. You go to rent an apartment and are turned down without any obvious reason. Then you find out your name is in a computer file of undesirable tenants and every other landlord in the city has access to the information.

Pentagon, Inc.

Documentary Frontline 1983. Frontline investigates the power of the Pentagon as a business and economic force in the domestic economy. Politicians find themselves chasing Pentagon dollars for the jobs those dollars create in their districts; scientists and universities find themselves dependent on the military if they want to do research in many high-tech areas.

See Also:  FILMS ON GOVERNMENT DEMAGOGUES

<color:#ffffff;color:#000000″>

Custom Search

</color:#ffffff;color:#000000″>

Must-See Movies—For What You Need to Know

TELL YOUR FRIENDS!