Meth is making a comeback

Meth is making a comeback

Source:  VICE

While the war on opioids rages on in America, meth is making a comeback.

Legislation around the war on drugs has shifted dramatically in the decade since Congress first went after methamphetamine, with states like California passing laws that let people in the possession of the drug back out on the street with just a ticket.

Since the Patriot Act was passed, it’s become harder for meth manufacturers in the U.S. to get their hands on the chemicals to make the product, and with such huge demand, the manufacturing has moved to Mexico where production has exploded.

Mexican cartels have begun mass-producing and exporting the deadly drug, and meth has never been purer, cheaper, or more lethal as a result.

VICE’s “Meth Country” starts in Culiacán, Mexico in the meth labs of the cartels, before following the drug to Fresno, California—America’s meth capital.

There, VICE talks to ex-Sinaloa mules, spends time with street-level dealers and addicts, and embeds with law enforcement as they raid local stash houses.

Watch “Meth Country” above and read the story at VICE.


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An inmate’s secretly recorded film shows the gruesome reality of life in a Florida prison

An inmate’s secretly recorded film shows the gruesome reality of life in a Florida prison

Source:  The Washington Post

With a camera hidden in a hollowed-out Bible, peeking through the “o” of the word “Holy,” and a pair of rigged reading glasses, Scott Whitney secretly filmed life behind bars inside one of Florida’s notoriously dangerous prisons.

For four years, the 34-year-old convicted drug trafficker captured daily life on contraband cameras at the Martin Correctional Institution in Indiantown, Florida.  Whitney smuggled footage dating back to 2017 out of the prison and titled the documentary “Behind Tha Barb Wire.”

The video — given to the Miami Herald — allows the public to see with their own eyes the violence, rampant drug use, and appalling conditions inside the prison.

As the Miami Herald previously reported, Florida prisons have gone to great lengths to withhold video footage and other documents from news outlets, as well as family members of inmates who have died in custody.

Watch “Behind Tha Barb Wire” at the Miami Herald.

Read the story at The Washington Post.


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Netflix’s harrowing new docuseries “Living Undocumented” follows eight undocumented families trying to avoid deportation

Netflix’s harrowing new docuseries “Living Undocumented” follows eight undocumented families trying to avoid deportation

Source:  VICE

The first trailer for Netflix’s new docuseries “Living Undocumented” was released on Tuesday, and it could provide one of the most gripping, personal looks at the American immigration system yet when it premieres October 2.

Executive produced by Selena Gomez, the series follows eight undocumented families as they try to avoid deportation and find a pathway to American citizenship amid changing laws and obstacles in the Trump era.

“Rather than discussing this issue with only statistics and policy debates, we wanted viewers to hear directly from the immigrants themselves, in their own words, with all the power and emotion that these stories reflect,” producer Aaron Saidman told Deadline.

Read the story at VICE.


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Augmented reality doc “These Sleepless Nights” examines the homeless crisis in the U.S.

Augmented reality doc “These Sleepless Nights” examines the homeless crisis in the U.S.

Source:  Next Reality

Augmented reality can be more than simply a way to enhance navigation or superimpose virtual sunglasses onto your face.  The technology can also be a platform for shining a light on important social issues.

Directed by Gabo Arora, “These Sleepless Nights,” which premiered at this year’s Venice Film Festival, is an augmented reality documentary that highlights eviction issues and the growing homeless crisis in the U.S.

The documentary was inspired by Matthew Desmond’s Pulitzer Prize winning book “Evicted.”

The film will eventually become available in virtual reality and on mobile devices, but for now, the Magic Leap-powered exhibit is housed in a giant cube.

A viewer puts on the Magic Leap headset and walks around the cube, with each face of the cube telling a different part of the homelessness story.  By placing your hands on the cube and sliding them across its surface, characters emerge and objects begin to materialize from the walls as an audio-based story is told.

Read the story at Next Reality.

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“What You Gonna Do When the World’s on Fire?” examines African American anger

“What You Gonna Do When the World’s on Fire?” examines African American anger

Source:  Los Angeles Times

In a country where white supremacists march the streets with impunity while black athletes are demonized for kneeling in protest during the national anthem, Italian filmmaker Roberto Minervini’s multi-narrative documentary “What You Gonna Do When the World’s on Fire?” appears as an on-the-ground indictment of systematic racism in the U.S. and a testament to the grassroots culture of resistance actively fighting it.

Solemn in tone and indispensable in significance, the latest from an artist with a track record for surveying marginalized Americans is structured like a collage of incendiary and heart-wrenching moments that toe dip into social justice issues without staying long with any one idea.

That lack of focus presents itself as a natural virtue of Minervini’s method, which favors real interactions among its subjects — as truncated or extensive as these may be — over rehearsed answers to direct questions from behind the camera.

Visit the KimStim website for cities and showtimes.

Read the story at the Los Angeles Times.


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The Extremely Inefficient—And Only—Way to Trace Guns in the U.S.

The Extremely Inefficient—And Only—Way to Trace Guns in the U.S.

Source:  The Atlantic

On television, when a perpetrator leaves a gun at the scene, a quick computer search can point law enforcement to the weapon’s owner.  In reality—at least in the United States—no such database of firearms exists.

To have one would be illegal, according to legislation that passed in Congress in 1986, lobbied for by the National Rifle Association.

Instead, we have the National Tracing Center, in Martinsburg, West Virginia. There, a nonsearchable index of paperwork related to gun purchases is housed in hundreds of shipping containers and file boxes.

The small federal agency operates with technology so antiquated that it precludes the use of an Excel spreadsheet.  It’s the only facility in the country that tracks firearms from a manufacturer to a purchaser.

Watch David Freid’s “Guns Found Here” above and read the story at The Atlantic.

 

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