The Hidden Crisis in Rural America

The Hidden Crisis in Rural America

Source:  The Atlantic

It’s prohibitively difficult to access mental-health services in rural America.  That’s because, relative to urban areas, rural counties have so few mental-health professionals.

The majority of non-metropolitan counties in the U.S. don’t have a psychiatrist, and almost half lack a psychologist.

The paucity has resulted in a public-health crisis—rural Americans suffering from a psychiatric condition are more likely to encounter a police officer than receive treatment.

In the short documentary “Out of Sight, Out of Mind,” directed by James Burns for PBS’ Independent Lens, residents of Cochise County, Arizona speak to the alarming implications of the area’s lack of psychiatric resources.

Read the story at The Atlantic.


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How an ICE immigration raid tore apart a small midwest town

How an ICE immigration raid tore apart a small midwest town

Source:  The Daily Beast

In his prior feature-length and short documentaries, director Rodrigo Reyes has investigated the North American immigrant experience via both intimate character studies (“Lupe Under the Sun”) and expansive expressionistic portraitures (“Purgatorio: A Journey Into the Heart of the Border”).

Reyes’ latest film is a combination of those two approaches,

“After the Raid” is a poignant 25-minute short film that investigates the aftermath of an immigration raid through the lens of a wife and new mother left to fend for herself, a long-time resident trying her best to help in whatever way she can, and a priest tasked with bringing some measure of comfort—and solace—to his fractured community.

“After the Raid” is available now on Netflix.

Read the story at The Daily Beast.

Amazon Pets

“After Parkland” explores the aftermath of a mass shooting

“After Parkland” explores the aftermath of a mass shooting

Source:  Los Angeles Times

As its title implies, “After Parkland” was filmed by directors Emily Taguchi and Jake Lefferman in the days, weeks, and months following the horrific mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida in February 2018.

It’s a title that suggests a process of grief, which the documentary explores as it circles — with their subjects’ generous permission — a handful of students who somehow survived that wretched day, and a few of the parents who suffered the most unimaginable of losses.

But what’s also hinted at in the title is the question of what we’re all supposed to do about what never should have happened, but which keeps happening with grim frequency.  Is there such a thing as a meaningful “after” this movie asks?

After Parkland there were tears, but there was also awakening and activism, and it’s in that observed swirl of self-care and social/political engagement that Taguchi and Lefferman find a sensitive, stirring approach to what has become an all-too-common documentary genre in our violent times: the aftermath film.

“After Parkland” is now playing in New York and Los Angeles with a nationwide rollout planned early next year to coincide with the two-year anniversary of the February 2018 shooting.

Read the story at the Los Angeles Times.


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Welcome to the Hunger Capital of America: Memphis, Tennessee

Welcome to the Hunger Capital of America: Memphis, Tennessee

Source: The Guardian

In the “food deserts” of Memphis, Tennessee, dominated by fast food restaurants and convenience stores, locals lack what seems like a basic human right in the richer half of the city: a supermarket.

With a big gap in life expectancy, are these Americans doomed to die younger than their neighbors – or can they fight for their right to nutrition?

Watch “Divided Cities: Memphis” above and read the story at The Guardian.

 

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Netflix’s “Bikram: Yogi, Guru, Predator” shines a spotlight on yoga’s most infamous scandal

Netflix’s “Bikram: Yogi, Guru, Predator” shines a spotlight on yoga’s most infamous scandal

Source:  Fast Company

Eva Orner didn’t set out to make a #MeToo movie.  But by the time she finished shooting “Bikram: Yogi, Guru, Predator,” that’s what it had become.

The documentary provides a harrowing look at the man who introduced the eponymous, wildly popular style of yoga to the U.S.

Contrary to the appearance of the bendy discipline as a soothing balm of self-care, the film depicts how founder Bikram Choudhury created a hostile environment in his studios, rife with sexual abuse, and how he fostered a cult-like community around it to help keep his dark secrets.

“I already thought it was a very timely, interesting, relevant story that people would want to watch,” the Oscar- and Emmy-winning director said over the phone.  “And then after #MeToo broke, right in the middle of production, it was like, ‘Whoa, this has now become a different beast.’  It was the same story, and I didn’t change the way we told it.  But to me, it’s now a cautionary tale of how men got away with it.”

“Bikram: Yogi, Guru, Predator” is available now on Netflix.

Read the story at Fast Company.


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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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