--"The House I Live In," Eugene Jarecki's jeremiad against the "War on Drugs" and how it is "costing countless lives, destroying families, and inflicting untold damage on future generations of Americans." TV producer David Simon rants, "The drug war is a Holocaust in slow motion."
--"The Invisible War," a film about an "epidemic" of rapes in the military by (previously Oscar-nominated) Kirby Dick. This could be a grave problem, but it sounds hyperbolic. Dick claims half a million women have been raped in America's armed forces. Yes, five-zero-zero-zero-zero-zero. (The hero of the trailer is ultraliberal Rep. Henry Waxman.)
--"5 Broke Cameras" and "The Gatekeepers" are both about the Israelis' history of inhumanity toward the Palestinians.
--"Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God" is another HBO-backed film by (previous Oscar winner) Alex Gibney, whose other films have ripped Enron and the War on Terror. This is another expose of Catholic Church inaction with sexually abusive priests, including Fr. Lawrence Murphy, who ran a Wisconsin school for the deaf.
Exposes on the Catholic sex abuse scandal are a staple in this documentary branch of the Oscars. David France of "How to Survive a Plague" wrote a book called "Our Fathers" that later became a TV docudrama. Kirby Dick earned an Oscar nomination in 2004 for "Twist of Faith." Amy Berg was awarded an Oscar nomination for "Deliver Us From Evil" in 2006.
This is the first year that the Best Documentary Feature award has new rules -- promoted by Michael Moore. Instead of films being screened by small groups (of about five) and then recommended to the whole membership, all the films are now supposed to be screened by all 173 members. That simply does not happen. That means some of the 100-plus documentaries in the field are inevitably cast aside if they offend the liberal sensibilities of the judges. So, bye-bye, "2016."
Nominees are supposed to have run for a week in theaters in New York and Los Angeles at least. Two of these films -- "Mea Maxima Culpa" and "Ethel" -- have yet to jump that minimalist hurdle. "Ethel" aired on HBO in October. None of it matters. There are no rules. Up with liberalism. Conservatism? Censored.
L. Brent Bozell III is the president of the Media Research Center. To find out more about Brent Bozell III, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
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