Jason C. Stanley

ponderings of a dad walking humbly & seeking justice

Tag: documentary (page 1 of 2)

CNN Finds Jesus

unnamedThis Sunday, March 1, CNN premieres a new six-week documentary series, “Finding Jesus.” This new series blends science and archaeology as it attempts to discern what is fact, what is faith, and what is forgery. Part documentary, interviewing academics and theologians, part drama, the series explores the value and authenticity of six objects which could bear light on the historical Jesus.

For the last 2,000 years, humanity has been fascinated by the figure of Jesus – the historical man and the divine Christ. Images of Jesus have appeared on icons, stained glass windows, painting, sculptures, television, and film. Jesus has influenced music, politics, education, and philosophy.

But, what is fact and what is forgery? And, what is just simply faith?

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Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory (2011)

becd03f302a96b99c2b0f5c06f66fd9aAs the title suggests, Paradise Lost 3 is the third in a trilogy of films by Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky for HBO. They have been telling the story of the West Memphis 3, three young men who were arrested for the brutal murders of three boys in 1993 in West Memphis, Arkansas. The original documentary raised some questions about the investigation and prosecution of Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, and Jessie Misskelley, Jr.

This third film, which aired in January 2012 on HBO, captures somewhat of a miracle in the American justice system. After seventeen years in prison, we see them released in 2011. Echols was on death row. The conviction was based, as the film shows us, on flawed circumstantial evidence and a confession from Jessie Misskelley, who had an IQ of seventy-two. Using DNA testing which was not available in 1993, the three young men were found to be innocent of the crimes.

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Roadmap Genesis (2015)

Roadmap Genesis PosterNolan Lebovitz is a filmmaker and a Rabbi. At one point in his life he made suspense thrillers. But, once becoming a father, he began to question his vocation. After deciding that he would rather do his part to make the world a better place, especially for his children, he entered seminary and became a Rabbi.

But that did not put an end to Lebovitz’ questions.

In a time in our country when products are being made overseas, jobs are rare, the economy is rocky, and politicians “debate” more than they govern, Lebovitz wonders if the answers to all of our problems can be found in the book of Genesis. Is it possible that an ancient manuscript could hold for us a roadmap to life? A roadmap to faith?

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Project Nim (2011)

In her early work with chimpanzees, Jane Goodall concluded that chimps represented all that is good about humanity. But as she continued her work, she witnessed an unbelievable amount of chimp-on-chimp violence. And she realized that chimps represented the bad aspects of humanity as well. They are, Goodall has stated many times, a lot more like us than we realize.

And that’s possibly why chimpanzees, and apes in general, fascinate us so much. Whether it’s the Planet of the Apes franchise, National Geographic-like TV specials, or even an episode of NBC’s Harry’s Law, we are fascinated with these animals and their human-like nature… as was behavioral psychologist Herbert Terrace of Columbia University in the 1970s.

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Undaunted: The Early Life of Josh McDowell (2011)

UndauntedJosh McDowell is a well known Christan author and speaker. His credentials are endless, but he is mostly known for his bestseller More Than a Carpenter. In this new project, the film Undaunted, McDowell takes viewers on a very personal journey back to Union City, Michigan.  It is here in his hometown, on his family’s farm, that we begin to see the beginnings of a life that many would say is extraordinary. Yet, McDowell’s beginnings are not as humble as one might imagine. An overweight mother who came to Josh’s football games and stayed in the car, unable to sit in the bleachers.  An alcoholic father who, when drunk, would beat his mother, leaving her on the ground unable to get herself up. A farm aid who sexually abused McDowell. A troubled childhood, to say the least.

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