Category: Crime Documentaries

Peace Officer

Peace Officer explores the ‘militarization’ of police forces in the U.S. The documentary takes you through a few cases where S.W.A.T. were used in situations that didn’t require them, with outcomes that involved death or near-death.
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The Bolivian Case

The Bolivian Case takes us through the story of how a group of Norwegian teenagers attempted to smuggle drugs from Bolivia back to Norway. It starts with three young women who are busted at the airport when trying to fly back to Norway. Yes, drugs found in their luggage. As the documentary goes along you learn of the larger group who put the entire plan together.
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Love Me

Love Me takes us into the world of, essentially, the online version of mail order brides. A cross section of American (and one Aussie) men are featured – each considering the online-overseas method to find a wife – and happiness.

From the get go I figured this documentary would be nothing other than showing American men being scammed out of thousands of dollars and end up empty handed. Turns out I was only partially correct on that. There were some success stories – and some that screamed ‘scam’.
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The Internet’s Own Boy

Opening Hot Docs 2014 was The Internet’s Own Boy, a documentary about the life of internet pioneer Aaron Swartz. It takes you through the life of Aaron (as an incredibly smart kid, the creation of RSS, the creation and sale of Reddit, etc.) and, in that, Aaron’s development as a person dedicated to making information available to everyone — i.e. allow everyone to gain knowledge free online.

It was during this process to make information available to everyone, that he was caught downloading information from JSTOR (an online holding of academic journals and such) via MIT’s connection, however the end intention of that information wasn’t actually known. Some surmised that he was going to study the data and find a corruption link between study donors and the journal findings.
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Cocaine Cowboys

Cocaine Cowboys is an older documentary, but one that shouldn’t be overlooked. It takes you through the transition from what was once “Innocent Miami” to one where it became a huge drug import destination.

Where once marijuana was the import of choice, it was then replaced by cocaine courtesy of Columbian connections.
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How To Make Money Selling Drugs

Last night I took in the documentary “How To Make Money Selling Drugs” as part of the Toronto International Film Festival. The topic of drug dealing is definitely presented in an entertaining manner.

It’s also very smart how the documentary unfolds: Start with flash of the “How”, interviewing many-a-past-drug-dealer (characters indeed) and then, near the end, hit them with the real message — Things would be better if we legalized drugs — even hard drugs. The intriguing title and production gets people listening — then sell them the serious message further on in the doc. I don’t think anyone can say the “War On Drugs” is working (hello Mexico?), so is this alternative worth trying? One briefly cited example is Portugal (where personal possession was decriminalized).
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