Was 2012 the year of Barack Obama, Usain Bolt, PSY, or Kony 2012? This past year’s headlines were filled with both uplifting and tragic news, but there are other reasons to celebrate: never in the history of the world has there been less hunger, disease, poverty, or inequality. The developing world’s economies are growing, global life expectancy is rising, and AIDS and malaria are declining. Thanks to globalization and relative global peace, 2012 can literally be measured as the best year ever – and not just because Jersey Shore ended. Now let’s turn back the clock and check out the headlines. Continue reading
Activist trends come and go—time will tell if KONY 2012 can have any lasting impact—but anti-bullying sentiment seems to have stuck around. A whole slew of anti-bullying campaigns have exploded into the cultural eye in the last 15 years, including recent Western guest Dan Savage’s ultra-successful social media campaign, the It Gets Better Project. The power of social media campaigns like Savage’s can’t be denied, but it shouldn’t stop on the Internet. Until recently, anti-bullying seemed to be missing out on some vital mediums—namely documentary film.
Bully, following the daily struggle of five tormented high school students, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2011 to a rainstorm of attention. Since then, the documentary has been featured at Canada’s Hot Docs festival, the LA Film Festival, Italy’s Ischia Film Festival, and will be released to limited screens in the U.S. this Friday.
But Bully is currently facing a kind of bullying of its own. The playground thug? That feared buzz-killer called the MPAA. Continue reading
In case you’ve been in a coma for the past two weeks, LRA (a Ugandan rebel militia) leader Joseph Kony was trending on Twitter recently. #KONY2012 exploded into the online universe thanks to a thirty-minute documentary that has received over 73 million views so far (and counting). Made by the not-for-profit foundation Invisible Children, the documentary advocates for Kony’s capture, who has apparently been training child soldiers in Uganda. No sooner had internet users rallied together around this single cause than criticisms started to arise regarding the finances and goals of Invisible Children.
The tool that played such a crucial role in promoting Invisible Children’s cause was now being used to audit its legitimacy. Continue reading