‘The Machine Which Makes Everything Disappear’ and ‘Call Me Kuchu’ Top This Week’s Nonfics Home Picks

‘The Machine Which Makes Everything Disappear’ and ‘Call Me Kuchu’ Top This Week’s Nonfics Home Picks


Most people don’t get to see documentaries until they arrive on a home video platform of some kind, whether it’s DVD, Blu-ray, VOD, iTunes, TV, Netflix streaming, etc. So, this may be the most important post of the week for fans of nonfics. Join us every Tuesday for a look at what documentaries and reality programming is recommended by myself and other contributors to the site. As always, if you know of something we missed or should be aware of, drop us an email or a note down below.

Here are our ordered picks for September 24, 2013:

1. The Machine Which Makes Everything Disappear [New to DVD and VOD] — One of the most magical films about a place and its people I’ve seen in a while, this documentary by Tinatin Gurchiani is mostly filled with people talking to the camera. Sometimes that’s all you need to get a glimpse of a culture, of humanity even. The people have responded to a casting call to be in a movie, so this is sort of their audition. Of course the kids are the cutest. I just rewatched the trailer for the first time since seeing the film at Hot Docs and got an emotional chill. Hopefully this finds more attention in home video release.

2. Call Me Kuchu [New to DVD and VOD] — This one crushed me at a certain point thanks to my ignorance of the subject, which is LGBTI rights activists in Uganda and specifically the heroic openly gay movement leader David Kato. He was kind of Uganda’s Harvey Milk. And I’ve previously stated that it’s like that nation’s own Word is Out, Before Stonewall and After Stonewall all wrapped up in one. It’s an important film, of course, but it’s also very well made. I’ll say it’s probably the human rights watch breakout of the year. And if you listen to the Realness podcast, you’ll know that Daniel included it among his top 5 docs of the first half of the year.

3. Room 237 [New to DVD, Blu-ray and VOD] — This doc showcasing conspiracy theories and critical analyses of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining was also among Daniel’s picks in that podcast, and it’s a film we discussed in great depth in another episode. I think it’s fascinating, even “fun,” which is not a word I use to describe movies unless they really work your brain and require active engagement. I don’t necessarily love it as a film, but it is a hoot for a while and I think it’s a great jab at academia. You should buy the DVD or Blu-ray simply for the packaging alone, however. The text covering the case is from a Twitter discussion of the film from May spawned by director Rian Johnson.

4. Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey [New to Netflix Instant] — One of the many fairy tale music documentaries coming around lately, which goes to show what today’s industry is like. This one is mostly appealing because of its central character, Arnel Pineda, a cover band frontman plucked from out of Indonesia to be the singer for Journey. There’s also a lot of interesting ideas about the globalization that the Internet has brought about. It’s less cinematic than the more popular Searching for Sugar Man, but its story is so much more enthralling. And true. [Review]

5. Crime After Crime [New to Netflix Instant] — I recall seeing this doc just as the verdict in the Casey Anthony case was about to be announced and being really mad that the world pays attention to a trial like that but can’t be bothered with most of the legal issue docs out there. This is another I’d call “important,” a film about a woman in prison for lethally defending herself against domestic violence. It does have many faults, as it’s more worthwhile for the cause and for celebrating the lawyers it follows (one of whom is director Yoav Potash’s best friend) than for good storytelling. It’s still a cause that needs to be recognized.

Must-See Nonfiction TV:

American Teacher [9/30 on Pivot, 9am ET]

Chimpanzee [9/25 on Starz Edge, 9:15am ET]

The Fog of War [9/26 on Sony Movie Channel, 8pm ET]

The Imposter [9/27 on A&E, 6pm ET]

Kings Point [9/29 on HBO Signature, 7:50am ET]

Last Call at the Oasis [9/25 on Pivot, 8pm ET]

Last Days Here [9/26 on Showtime, 2:15pm ET]

Madonna: Truth or Dare [9/26 on Palladium, 7:30pm ET]

Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present [9/27 on HBO Signature, 2:20am ET]

The Other F Word [9/27 on Showtime 2, 5:40pm ET]

Richard Pryor: Omit the Logic [9/24 on Showtime, 9:35pm ET]

Space Tourists [9/27 on Pivot, 11am ET]

Standard Operating Procedure [9/26 on Sony Movie Channel, 10pm ET]

The Thin Blue Line [9/26 on FLIX, 9:15am ET]

Waltz With Bashir [9/27 on Sony Movie Channel, 2:07am ET]

The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia [9/30 on Showtime 2, 2:05am ET]

Also New to DVD and/or Blu-ray:

1/2 Revolution

Dark Girls

Fall to Grace

Neil Young: Heart of Gold

One Track Heart: The Story of Krishna Das

Red Reign: The Bloody Harvest of China’s Prisoners

What the Bleep Do We Know!? Special Edition

Also New to Netflix Watch Instantly:

65 RedRoses

Hating Breitbart

Also New to POV Streaming:

Best Kept Secret

My Reincarnation

Also New to VOD:

The Brotherhood of the Traveling Rants

Dark Girls

Fall to Grace


The Muslims Are Coming!

One Track Heart: The Story of Krishna Das

Red Reign: The Bloody Harvest of China’s Prisoners

(Editor in Chief)

Christopher Campbell is the founding editor of Nonfics.