Enter the universe of three mujra dancers in Pakistan as they dodge state censors and violence to vie for stardom.
Intimate verite, phone calls, social media streams and home videos provide a never-before-seen look into the underbelly of the Punjabi theater business and the women who fight to play by their own rules.
The Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011 triggered a tsunami, nuclear meltdown and mass evacuations in Fukushima Prefecture. Today, as part of a Government push to encourage resettlement, local hunters have been enlisted to dispose of radiated Wild Boars that now roam the abandoned streets and buildings.
This short film follows a lone hunter into an isolated and changed landscape. Along the way, other citizens who still live near the reactor share their perspectives on the aftermath. "The Toxic Pigs of Fukushima" was inspired by the photographs of co-producers Toru Hanai and Yuki Iwanami. The original score was written and performed by renowned ambient artist Midori Takada.
There's a treasure trove of information to be found in the poisonous e-waste in Ghana. It's a relatively simple matter to open up hard drives and gain access to photos and the personal details of their former owners. Equipped with a name and address, almost anybody can be found online.
The film follows Ama, a young mother, who tries to become an internet con artist. A more seasoned scammer tries to teach her the craft, but she doesn't appear to have much of a knack for it. One Dollar is a master at his craft and knows how to use his fake account to drive men crazy: they fall for the photo of a buxom woman—and for his high-pitched voice. But how much compassion can you expect from someone who is buying €250 worth of fish for his boss every week, while he is only earning €12 a month himself?
Sakawa shows these fraudulent activities from the perspective of Belgian-Ghanaian director Ben Asamoah, who portrays the characters from his own African perspective.
In many countries democracies are eroding from within. In some countries they are dying. It is a death by a thousand cuts. In the Philippines, journalist Maria Ressa and her team from the news platform Rappler fight against a violent president who executes tens of thousands of people with death squads and turns the country into a dictatorship. Maria is the last woman standing in an unjust war and was recognized for holding the line against the downfall of democracy by TIME magazine who named her as Person of the Year in 2018.
Facts, first class journalism and kindness are her defense. She becomes a target of a legal smear campaign by the government and is arrested twice. Duterte weaponizes social media and the law to control the country. Facebook trolls hunt her online and in real life to silence her.
This documentary gives rare behind the scenes access to Maria and her staff and accompanies them over a year during threats to their work and life. Victims of the war, critical politicians in hiding and members of the death squads give insight into the real “war on drugs“ of president Duterte.
The story of how Dr. Mutulu Shakur, stepfather of Tupac Shakur, along with the Black Panthers and the Young Lords, combined community health with radical politics to create the first acupuncture detoxification program in America in 1973 — a visionary project eventually deemed too dangerous to exist in America.
The producers of Dope is Death would like to acknowledge an error in the documentary: Gloria Fontanez has been misidentified as Iris Morales, both were members of the Central Committee of the Young Lords. We apologize for this error and we would like to honour both women for their work.
At 14, Jalall was taken from a prison in Afghanistan and brought to the UK. Now, on the cusp of turning 18 and severely traumatised by his past, he has trouble in school and is on the verge of being put out of foster care. Trapped between his childhood’s religious indoctrination and his new life, the only way to process his dark past is by breaking from traditions and paint something that is forbidden in the culture he comes from.
Another Kind of Paradise tells the story of a boy becoming a man in a life he didn’t expect to live.
As a young man, Rael was visited by aliens who proclaimed him to be 'the last prophet'. That was in the 1970s. Today, the charismatic Frenchman is the leader of the world's largest UFO religion.
The filmmaker Yoav Shamir has been given access to the cult, its leader and his faithful disciples. All the cards are laid on the table from the outset, there are no hidden cameras or dirty tricks. Instead, we are presented with a colourful, curious and alternately thought-provoking and funny look at a kitschy world, whose ability to fascinate us may not be so different to that of other religions. Among its members are both academics and businessmen, who have all seen the light of the spaceship.
As one of Rael's many followers says, religion is also about the human need to have something to believe in and be a part of. In the end, it's just your own responsibility to choose which way you want to go. In the meantime, the white-clad Rael is working on expanding his influence to the rest of the universe.
Mayor is a real-life political saga following Musa Hadid, the Christian mayor of Ramallah, during his second term in office. His immediate goals: repave the sidewalks, attract more tourism, and plan the city’s Christmas celebrations. His ultimate mission: to end the occupation of Palestine.
Rich with detailed observation and humor, Mayor offers a portrait of dignity amidst the madness and absurdity of endless occupation while posing a question: how do you run a city when you don’t have a country?
The Donut King, Ted's story is one of fate, love, survival, hard knocks, and redemption. It's the rags to riches story of a refugee escaping Cambodia, arriving in America in 1975 and building an unlikely multi-million dollar empire baking America’s favorite pastry, the donut.
Ted sponsored hundreds of visas for incoming refugees and helped them get on their feet teaching them the ways of the donut business. By 1979 he was living the American Dream. But, in life, great rise can come with great falls.
Hanif is a Muslim man who lived a life with hardships and overcame many obstacles. Growing up in Newark, he found himself pulled down the wrong path, but determined to never be defined by it. After he was released from prison for the last time, he made a commitment to turn his life around. That’s when he met Rashad- a casket maker at a local shop. Rashad taught him how to build caskets and also taught him about the janazah, the Islamic funeral process of washing the bodies and preparing them for burial. In Islam, it is taught that each time you perform a washing, you are forgiven for one of your sins. Deeply moved by the burial rituals the mortician performed, Hanif saw in them the possibility for his own redemption.
Now, what Rashad once did for Hanif, Hanif does for 12-year-old Furquan and 17-year-old Naz, teaching them to craft caskets and to master the practice of janazah: washing the dead and praying for their passage into the next life. Modeling the crucial role of faith and customs in cementing human connection, Hanif teaches compassion and empathy to young men at risk of slipping between society’s cracks into violence. Through Hanif’s mentorship and struggles we learn that the fight to find purpose and meaning in moments both small and profound is what finding faith is all about.
Jonatan spent his early teenage days kicking around Stockholm, shuffling lyrics and melodies in his head, while dreaming of sharing them with the world. When he found a rabid fanbase online, international rap superstar Yung Lean was born. But as his star burned brighter, darkness began to settle in, eventually blurring the line between reality and his own vivid imagination.
The Short List with Suroosh Alvi is a collection of some of the world’s best documentaries, curated by VICE founder Suroosh Alvi. Each episode features a full documentary accompanied by Alvi in conversation with the filmmakers and the films’ subjects.
In his conversations with the filmmakers Suroosh explores the themes of the films, unpacks the journey the filmmakers embarked on when creating their projects, and delves into the documentaries’ impact on audiences.
This series aims to take conversations usually only privy to the film festival crowd and go deeper, sharing them with millions of VICE viewers around the world. These documentaries go beyond parachute journalism — they are immersive insights into global issues and subcultures, characteristic of VICE.
Suroosh Alvi is the Founder of VICE Media, a critically acclaimed journalist, and producer.
Founded as a punk magazine in Montreal, Quebec in 1994, VICE is currently headquartered in Brooklyn, NY. VICE has over 3,000 employees and operates in more than 35 territories across the globe. VICE is a news, content and culture hub, and a leading producer of award-winning video, reaching young people on all screens across an unrivaled global network. As a journalist, Alvi has reported from all over the world including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Rwanda, and the Gaza Strip. He was a regular host of the Emmy award winning VICE on HBO show, is a contributor to VICE News, and is an executive producer on the popular VICE TV series Fuck That's Delicious. In 2017, Alvi also produced and hosted Terror, a five-part series examining terrorism in radical Islamic groups throughout the world today. For the series, Alvi reported on the ground from Iraq, Somalia, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Yemen, and won the Canadian Screen Award for Best News or Information Program in 2018. Alvi is currently the host of The Short List with Suroosh Alvi, in which he is curating a collection of the world’s best documentaries.
Alvi's film credits include the documentary Heavy Metal in Baghdad, which he co- directed and executive produced. The film, which followed an Iraqi metal band for the years after Saddam Hussein's fall from power in 2003, was an official selection at the Toronto and Berlin Film Festivals and was named Best Documentary at the Warsaw Film Festival. Alvi went on to produce the feature- length documentary Reincarnated featuring Snoop Lion, which was also featured at the Toronto Film Festival and premiered at the 2013 SXSW Festival. Alvi was also an executive producer on the feature film Mogul Mowgli, directed by Bassam Tariq and starring Riz Ahmed. The film premiered in the Panorama strand at the 2020 Berlin International Film Festival and won the FIPRESCI Prize.
In addition, during his uninterrupted tenure with the company throughout its growth, Alvi added a music label to the company in 2002, breaking diverse and groundbreaking acts like Action Bronson, Black Lips, Chromeo, Bloc Party, The Streets and Death From Above 1979.
Prior to founding VICE, Alvi attended college at McGill University in Montreal, where he studied Philosophy, then went on to drop out of grad school. He currently resides in New York City with his wife and two children.