The Best Part of Everything

34mins2005DocumentaryNR
Weaved together by an assemblage of aesthetically and emotionally rich interviews, an extraordinary array of archival material and vérité footage, The Best Part of Everything explores an American family facing their hopes, dreams, ambitions, and regrets as the 20-something children face the real world and the parents prepare for an empty nest and retirement.

Jes Therkelsen's highly personal and poignant documentary weaves an inventive story through celebrations and struggles from childhood to adulthood, from innocence to experience yet delicately balances happiness with regret, sacrifice with optimism, and obligation with hope. The story is a universal yet intimate portrait of the American family, not scripted, not rehearsed, not immune to the conflicts and contradictions underlying family life and its rituals. The subjects of this poignant and graceful study of family history and memory become alive with the conflicts and affections that bind a family together.

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2007 | 90mins
R
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A powerful, emotional and relevant reminder of the heartbreaking toll war takes on the innocent, this award-winning documentary tells the story of the Japanese invasion of Nanking, China, in the early days of World War II. As part of a campaign to conquer all of China, the Japanese subjected Nanking?which was then China's capital?to months of aerial bombardment, and when the city fell, the Japanese army unleashed murder and rape on a horrifying scale. In the midst of the rampage, a small group of Westerners banded together to establish a Safety Zone where over 200,000 Chinese found refuge. Unarmed, these missionaries, university professors, doctors and businessmen?including a Nazi named John Rabe?bore witness to the events, while risking their own lives to protect civilians from slaughter. The story is told through deeply moving interviews with Chinese survivors, chilling archival footage and photos, testimonies of former Japanese soldiers?and a staged reading of the Westerners' letters and diaries by Woody Harrelson, Mariel Hemingway, Jurgen Prochnow and others. NANKING is a testament to the courage and conviction of individuals who were determined to act in the face of evil and a powerful tribute to the resilience of the Chinese people?a gripping account of light in the darkest of times. This version of the film features descriptive narration for the blind and visually impaired, created by the Narrative Television Network.
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Nanking - Narrated