Archive | Documentaries RSS feed for this section

Solve Your Entertainment Cravings!

6 Jul

Don’t choose something bland for your “TV Dinner,” instead spice things up with a variety of great movies, documentaries, TV shows, and ebooks!

A Taste of Hunger
A foodie couple is willing to do anything to earn their popular Copenhagen restaurant a Michelin star in A Taste of Hunger.  The movie dramatically jumps back and forth in time; the different segments are defined by symbolic techniques or tastes that when combined make a dish successful such as sweet, salt, and heat, but that may not lead to a successful home life.  Their marriage and family suffer as the restaurants reputation grows. 

Looking for something a little lighter?  Check out No Reservations which stars Catherine Zeta-Jones in the remake of the popular German Comedy, Bella Martha, where an elite chef learns when she becomes her niece’s guardian that there is more to life than work in the kitchen.

Her Name is Chef
Her Name is Chef is a documentary focusing on 6 talented female chefs and the obstacles they overcame to find success in the kitchen.  Her Name is Chef is hosted by NJ chef, Leia Gaccione, who appeared on this season of Top Chef.  Particularly moving is the story-line following Fatima Ali another Top Chef favorite from an earlier season whose battle with cancer is chronicled and adds a bit of bitter with the sweet of her success. 

If you are looking for a second helping of documentaries, Hoopla offers the Japanese documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi about an 85 year old whose restaurant in a subway station was the first of its kind to win three Michelin stars.

Mexico: One Plate at a Time with Rick Bayless
Successful Mexican Chef, Rick Bayless travels around Mexico and learns more about the people, traditions and of course the cuisine.  He then puts his own spin on authentic dishes.  I enjoyed watching Oaxaca’s Most Magical Holiday (season 9, episode 1) which focused on the Day of the Dead (Dia de Los Muertos).  He shows the different types of traditional bone shaped breads that are prepared and goes step by step through his own version.  

Looking for more Mexican recipes you can prepare?  Check out Craftsy’s Mexican Street Food: Tacos & Salsas series which explains everything you need to make delicious tacos including making your own tortillas in bite sized videos!

The Romance Recipe
by Ruby Barrett
Sophie, a former reality show competitor, has just gotten out of a relationship with a man who asked her to hide her bisexuality, now for the first time she finds herself truly falling for a woman, Amy, the owner of the restaurant where she is head chef. Amy also feels attracted to Sophie, but besides navigating the complexities of their relationship there is also the failing restaurant to contend with. I appreciated the positive and fully developed depictions of bisexual and lesbian characters in this sweet romance, and enjoyed the juicy behind the scenes drama of reality shows that the novel depicts. I fell in love with the advance copy I was provided by eGalley and the publisher.

The Romance Recipe debuts next week, till then the perfect appetizer is book one in the series, Hot Copy, that feature’s Amy’s brother and his workplace romance with Corrine. You can also check out my previous blog post about two other lesbian/bisexual focused foodie competition romances.

Still hungry for more; check out a previous foodie blog about Chef centered TV shows and one on foodie memoirs!

Written by:
Aimee Harris
Information and Digital Services Manager

Commemorating Women’s History Month with Documentaries featuring a New Jerseyan Nobel Laureate, Maria Ressa 

2 Mar

Hello everyone! My name is Bernadette, and I’m the new Information and Digital Services Librarian at the Hoboken Public Library. Before I came to HPL, I had internships at New York Public Library, Pratt Institute Libraries, and the independent news program Democracy Now!. In the Philippines, I worked at the National Film Archives of the Philippines and the Cinematheque Center Manila, where I developed a love for cinema that engages communities and inspires social justice and societal transformation.

March marks Women’s History Month, which celebrates women’s contributions to history, culture, and society. The National Women’s History Alliance designated the 2022 theme as “Women Providing Healing, Promoting Hope.” Immediately, this theme made me think of the remarkable Filipino journalist Maria Ressa, who was awarded the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize for her courageous fight for freedom of expression in the Philippines and around the world. Not only is she a Nobel Laureate, she is a Princeton alum and proud resident of New Jersey. 

As a journalist and CEO of the news outlet Rappler, she has defended human rights by shedding a critical light on Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte’s controversial “war on drugs,” which has killed tens of thousands of Filipinos in the last five years. Because she exposed his administration’s track record of corruption, state-sanctioned violence, disinformation campaigns, and repression of the people, Rappler—and Ressa herself—was targeted by the Philippine government. 

Ressa’s struggle for truth, democracy, and freedom of the press in the Philippines is chronicled in two thrilling political documentaries available with a Hoboken Public Library card.

Directed by Ramona S. Diaz, the documentary A Thousand Cuts depicts the war between the press and the government, between truth and disinformation. Ressa and her team combat falsities spun by government officials seeking to lie their way to power. The Philippines’ democracy hangs in the balance—and so does Ressa’s own life and freedom. 

It is available to borrow on DVD from the Hoboken Public Library – BCCLS Libraries.

Another documentary We Hold the Line follows Ressa and her team. It gives the audience rare behind the scenes access as her team continues their brave journalism amidst threats to their work and lives. The documentary weaves together narratives from various perspectives—victims of the drug war, critical politicians in hiding, and even members of death squads commiting summary executions—to give insight into the real “war on drugs” of president Duterte.

We Hold The Line is available for streaming on Kanopy with a Hoboken Public Library Card.

The Duterte government’s systematic crackdown on press freedom has led to 114 documented cases of attacks against media practitioners and journalists in the Philippines, including 19 killings. These attacks come at a critical time and weakens democracies globally, polluting the atmosphere of information dissemination. What can the community do when the people and the truth itself are under attack?

Ressa shared her wisdom and calls to action in her Nobel Peace Prize lecture delivered last December. “We’re at a sliding door moment, where we can continue down the path we’re on and descend further into fascism, or we can each choose to fight for a better world. … The destruction has happened. Now it’s time to build – to create the world we want.”

Written by:
Bernadette Patino
Information and Digital Services Librarian

%d bloggers like this: