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Beyond Books - The Documentary

What is a documentary film?  According to Wikipedia it is "a broad category of nonfictional motion pictures intended to document some aspect of reality."  Many of us have a difficult time reading books of non-fiction, even if the subject matter is of interest to us.  This is the beauty of the documentary.  It is interesting and informative as well as being visually appealing and can be "digested" in one sitting.  For many of us, the lack of time has become a real issue.  With a documentary movie,  we can continue to learn and grow and be knowledgeable on topics we would never have the patience to sit and read an entire book on.

This film genre has become increasingly popular over the last few years.  If you want a better understanding of our present global financial crisis, view the film "The Inside Job".  Explore the changing airline industry and how it is being stretched to capacity in the PBS-aired documentary "Flying Cheap".  Want to wax nostalgic about the "good old days"? Then view our documentaries "Coney Island," "The Boys of 2nd Street Park" (Brighton Beach, Brooklyn), and "A View From the Stoop: A Bronx Retrospective (1940-1970).

For the next few months I will be highlighting this important genre in our collection in a special display in the Audiovisual area.  Next time you are visiting the AV department browse through our documentaries.  You will be amazed at the variety of subjects available.

In the movies:  This month I have seen "The Help," "The Debt," and "Contagion".  I thought they were all very good - especially "The Help" and "The Debt."  It is rare when a movie can adequately cover all the nuances of the book.  I thought "The Help" did a very good job of capturing the poignancy of this book.

See you next month.

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