Peter Jackson's The Hobbit isn't the only film the director has opening. West of Memphis, the documentary he and partner Fran Walsh produced, revisits the murder of three 8-year-olds in 1993, and the three teens who went to jail for the crime.
Last October when the documentary Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory premiered at the New York Film Festival, filmmakers Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky celebrated an unanticipated event: the release from prison of the West Memphis 3.
Documentaries tell us who we are, what our world is about, and give us the truth. But more and more these filmmakers find themselves, especially in the US, attacked by layer upon layer of lawsuits funded by corporations with deep pockets.
This latest action by Chevron is part of a worldwide, desperate litigation campaign by the oil giant to escape liability for what is thought to be the world's worst oil-related environmental catastrophe.
Documentary filmmakers' success as storytellers depends on access to those who are willing to talk on camera. If the subjects of hard-hitting films are fearful of the ramifications of telling the truth then the filmmaker has no story.
Films can change the world, and it starts by affecting one individual at a time, reminding us we are all parts of a whole, world citizens first and foremost. This fact was noticeable at the Cinema for Peace dinner.
For the past month, I've been traveling around the country presenting my new film Crude to theatrical audiences. The first question is invariably, "What can we do to help these people?" Here's how I answer.