Film it seems is the perfect medium for exploring complex issues such as race and politics. Two documentaries on DVD that explore these themes in detail are the highly compelling 10 Conditions of Love and the brilliant The Thin Blue Line. 10 Conditions of Love premiered at the 2009 Melbourne International Film Festival and sparked a diplomatic row between China and Australia marking it as “the most controversial film of 2009” Film Ink. The Thin Blue Line directed by the Academy Award Winning Errol Morris and released on DVD by Umbrella in 2007 is a true crime story artfully combined with liberal doses of film noir flourishes. Both of these seminal titles are available through the Umbrella website.
The 10 Conditions of Love is the amazing story of Rebiya Kadeer the exiled leader of the Uyghur people China’s oppressed Muslim minority. This documentary explores Rebiya’s tireless campaigning for the rights of her people and the extraordinary lengths she goes to, to have these rights heard. Audiences will be inspired by Rebiya’s willingness to sacrifice her own freedom (spending six years in jail) and that of her sons (both are in solitary confinement) for her beliefs and in doing so challenging the very foundations of the Chinese government. In addition to being a fearless campaigner Rebiya is a self made entrepreneur and has twice been nominated for the Noble Peace prize. Interested in Rebiya Kadeer? Did you know she has recently called for an international investigation into an incident that happened in October 2013 where a car ploughed into pedestrians in Beijing, after Chinese authorities arrested five suspected Uighurs over the attack? Featuring extensive special features and compelling cinematography this documentary is a must see on DVD!
Whilst 10 Conditions of Love explores notions of race and religion, The Thin Blue Line provides a thrilling and detailed examination of the politics which influenced a real life murder case. The Thin Blue Line like Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood, examines a Texan murder case by going beyond cursory reporting. Errol Morris’ investigation of a policeman’s murder and subsequent conviction of drifter Randall Adams uses detailed and stylized re-enactments and candid interviews culminating in a chilling finale, a finale that challenges the conventions of “objective” fact-finding and eventuates in the freeing Randall Adams for wrongful conviction. If you are intrigued by Errol Morris and want to know more, make sure you check out his latest film The Unknown, Unknown which again examines the influence of political power this time through Donald Rumsfeld. Already like Errol Morris or seen any of his other films? Let us know by leaving a comment below.