Oscarthon: Best Documentary Feature

Some years I see a million documentaries, this year I saw none at all. But that doesn't mean I can't watch the trailers of the five nominees and spitball it- let's do this thing!

1. Burma VJ

Buddhist monks lead a Burmese uprising in 2007, and with all media banned, a group of amatuer Video Journalists sets out to televise the revolution at great personal risk.

2. The Cove

Not the dolphins! An animal cruelty expose by way of Paul Greengrass is the likely favorite this year. It's already had a significant impact on the dolphin trade in Japan, although unmentioned in the trailer is the fact that Japan has a yearly dolphin hunting season and features dolphin meat on school lunch menus.

I'd also like to point out that notable "Hey It's That Guy!" Fisher Stevens (he was the friend on "Early Edition" and the bad guy in Hackers! Remember Hackers? What were we all thinking?) produced this film, and will be an Oscar winner if it takes the prize.

3. Food, Inc.

Remember when they adapted the bestselling non-fiction book Fast Food Nation into a poorly recieved ensemble drama by Richard Linklater and we all wondered "why not just make it into a documentary?" Food, Inc. is that documentary, a by-all-accounts harrowing depiction of the terrible, terrible things we eat and the people that it's making rich.

4. The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers

A study of the man who leaked the Pentagon Papers, a study of the Vietnam War, to the public to try and help end it. He faced up to 115 years in prison, but his defense was helped immeasurably by the Nixon administration doing several illegal things themselves to try and discredit him.

5. Which Way Home

Mexican children try to get to the United States on top of freight trains, travelling alone. This often ends badly.

Based on it's recent win from the editor's guild, this is The Cove's trophy to lose- not only is it innovatively paced and shot, it's affected actual change in a very short time. Food, Inc. looks like the clear runner up.

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