Watch Kings Ransom on the Gretzky Trade to LA (entire documentary)

If you were Canadian and alive on August 9, 1988, your life stopped at least for a little while, if not got changed entirely. I know my life got changed entirely. That was the day the Edmonton Oilers traded the greatest NHL player ever, to an American team, in the same division. It was the trade of the century, without a doubt.

Over 20 years later, ESPN produced a phenomenal documentary on that trade called Kings Ransom, as part of their fabulous 30 for 30 series of documentaries. It puts a lot of new perspective and filled in a lot of gaps to the story. Also, with time, we could follow all the story lines to their conclusions, some of which were quite surprising, from the destinies of Peter Pocklington and Bruce McNall, to Wayne himself, his marriage, and what he has done for hockey in the US, especially California area, as well as hockey in Canada and hockey as a business.

It was too bad this documentary hasn’t gotten more buzz in Canada.

Below is the documentary in 4 video clips posted by a YouTube user called HockeyWebCaster. Thanks for posting.

I hope you enjoy and recommend to others who may be interested.

I cried a lot that day when Wayne was traded. Watching this documentary, I did it again. I wonder what the guy next to me on the Air Canada flight to San Francisco thought. 🙂

Vượt Biên: Voyage of a Diaspora (my One Minute Film project)

Vượt Biên: Voyage of a Diaspora is my silent one minute film that metaphorically depicts the Vietnamese Boat People’s journey for freedom, using photos from the United Nations’ Photo Library, among other sources.

This past spring, I was fortunate enough to have been accepted into the One Minute Film (OMF) program with the Atlantic Filmmakers’ Cooperative (AFCOOP) in Halifax, Nova Scotia. This is a video rendition of my OMF project, not a digitization for reasons described in the Production Notes of the film press kit, so the poor quality. However, this will suffice to share with others who would otherwise literally need a film projector to be able to see it.

The film press kit also has much more detail on the topics covered, images, production notes and additional resources about the Vietnamese Boat People.

The One Minute Film experience was an incredible one for me, and I think I could say the same on behalf of my colleagues in the program. We were trained on everything from story development, which is challenging in a one minute film for all kinds of genres, to lighting, camera operations and techniques like animation, film properties and handling, editing, casting, among many other topics. We had a great diversity of styles and genres, and all the hard work paid off as all the films turned out fabulously! I am the first to post mine online, but as more of my colleagues do, I will add links.

You can search one minute film on YouTube to see a whole host of others as this is a genre and program which exists in many countries and has been done for many years.

The OMF project was my first experience with film, but the mentors, instructors and AFCOOP staff did a fabulous job with me and my colleagues to help us produce what we did. In the age of digital YouTube where people just snap and film everything digitally, impromptu, people pick up a lot of bad artistic habits from never having to think about preparing for shots and just take an infinite number of redos until they get something sort of OK. What I learned through the OMF program will be of value to me in many capacities, not just filming, for a long time to come. The skills are valuable for lots of forms of communication, from writing to film to photography, but the preparation habits will be priceless. The discipline from having to work hard for one take so you would prepare as much as possible to prevent things from going wrong is hard to teach, and harder to undo for the young casual digital shooters who never knew what it’s like to have 24 film shots in a camera with a price to develop each shot.

I would highly recommend the film experience if you have never tried it. Check with local film organizations in your local area to see if they have intro film programs, especially something like the One Minute Film program. In Nova Scotia, the entry forms to the program can be found on the AFCOOP site in January, with the deadlines for February 1 or there abouts. Don’t pass it up if you have ever had any inkling to try out making film, even if ultimately digital. The program is free! Your ideas and work are the only things required, with incredible gratification for what you put in.

Aside from big thanks to my OMF colleagues, AFCOOP staff, mentors and instructors, I would also like to thank my Parents and a certain lady at the United Nations photo library in New York, which is not a public archive. When I showed up at their doorstep and told her my story, she signed me in past security and gave me access to their entire digitized collection of Vietnamese refugee photos. That definitely made it easier for me to make this film with all the photos and not having to decide right on the spot which ones I would request. Serendipity has been with me again and again, in ways I could not believe, in the making of this film, and I am grateful to whomever I should be.

Food, Inc. (full documentary)

If you eat food and you have never seen this documentary, you should.

Even if you’re vegan, this film is of relevance to you for many reasons, including the Monsanto conspiracy to dominate the world soybean market.

The film may be about America’s food industry, but a lot of it isn’t different around the western world, and a lot of it goes around the entire world because the US food exports pretty substantial amounts of food each year. Besides, those that control America’s food system don’t stop at the borders. Greed and crime have no borders.

If the video is a bit slow to load, please pause for 2-5 minutes while you do something else, then come back and viewing should be fine unless something is wrong with the source site.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

In Food, Inc., filmmaker Robert Kenner lifts the veil on our nation’s food industry, exposing the highly mechanized underbelly that has been hidden from the American consumer with the consent of our government’s regulatory agencies, USDA and FDA. Our nation’s food supply is now controlled by a handful of corporations that often put profit ahead of consumer health, the livelihood of the American farmer, the safety of workers and our own environment. We have bigger-breasted chickens, the perfect pork chop, herbicide-resistant soybean seeds, even tomatoes that won’t go bad, but we also have new strains of E. coli—the harmful bacteria that causes illness for an estimated 73,000 Americans annually. We are riddled with widespread obesity, particularly among children, and an epidemic level of diabetes among adults.

Featuring interviews with such experts as Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation), Michael Pollan (The Omnivore’s Dilemma, In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto) along with forward thinking social entrepreneurs like Stonyfield’s Gary Hirshberg and Polyface Farms’ Joel Salatin, Food, Inc. reveals surprising—and often shocking truths—about what we eat, how it’s produced, who we have become as a nation and where we are going from here.

Aside from all the insights I’ve gained on the topics of the documentaries I have presented on this site in the past couple of weeks, I have to say I’ve also gained a lot of insight into how people manipulate others in an organizational way. I’ve heard about bribing, having friends in high places, and such, but seeing it in action is something else. The Monsanto manipulation is the perfect example in this film. It’s disgusting enough people do it on their own, but when they find and collaborate, it’s a whole new level of crime as far as I’m concerned, somewhat similar to manslaughter (accidental or in the moment) and murder (premeditated).

It’s really tragic our justice system doesn’t have any punishment that is suitable for the crimes these people are doing.

Visit the Food Inc. website to learn more about the documentary, topics discussed and other related topics.

Sharkwater, Dispelling Myths About the Shark (full documentary)

What do you think of when you think of the shark? A fearsome monster? A man eater from the ocean? Something that should be killed if seen from land?

If you’re like most people of the world, that’s generally what you would think of when you think of a shark. However, sharks are nothing like that. It’s all man-made myth!

Sharks are rather shy, intelligent and have incredible senses. They avoid people if they can, actually being afraid of people, and often know better than to eat people despite how people resemble the seals they actually eat. They eat the only way they know how, and most are not like the way they are portrayed in movies like Jaws. Furthermore, they have a huge environmental impact by being at the top of the food chain, controlling populations of other species below them so all the phytoplankton in the oceans which generate oxygen for us to breathe are allowed to do just that. We are destroying our future just by letting a bunch of fishermen slaughter all these sharks because some people in China believes eating their fins bestow good health and miracle cures, and are willing to pay a ton of money for them.

Sharks are absolutely remarkable creatures which have survived hundreds of millions of years, virtually unchanged, while the world around it has or has become extinct. They were here 150 million years before the dinosaurs! Come see how amazing they truly are, and how they are being hunted to extinction by greedy people who only take their fins and throw the rest of the animal away. Sharkwater will show you all of this, with remarkable cinematography in a captivating adventure that has won 31 major international film awards.

More of the world needs to see this film. I hope you will watch it if you have not, and/or tell other people about it!

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Vodpod videos no longer available.

This full-length online version is of good quality, though not the same as a DVD version, obviously. But if you can’t get access to the DVD, this will do. This also has English and Chinese (not sure which form) subtitles. If it gets stuck loading when you play it, please pause it for a few minutes while it loads and come back. You should be fine, then.


For filmmaker Rob Stewart, exploring sharks began as an underwater adventure. What it turned into was a beautiful and dangerous life journey into the balance of life on earth. Driven by passion fed from a lifelong fascination with sharks, Stewart debunks historical stereotypes and media depictions of sharks as bloodthirsty, man-eating monsters and reveals the reality of sharks as pillars in the evolution of the seas. Filmed in visually stunning, high definition video, Sharkwater takes you into the most shark rich waters of the world, exposing the exploitation and corruption surrounding the world’s shark populations in the marine reserves of Cocos Island, Costa Rica and the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador.

In an effort to protect sharks, Stewart teams up with renegade conservationist Paul Watson of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Their unbelievable adventure together starts with a battle between the Sea Shepherd and shark poachers in Guatemala, resulting in pirate boat rammings, gunboat chases, mafia espionage, corrupt court systems and attempted murder charges, forcing them to flee for their lives. Through it all, Stewart discovers these magnificent creatures have gone from predator to prey, and how despite surviving the earth’s history of mass extinctions, they could easily be wiped out within a few years due to human greed. Stewart’s remarkable journey of courage and determination changes from a mission to save the world’s sharks, into a fight for his life, and that of humankind.

Please click here for the Sharkwater website.

The Cove, Japan’s Dirty Dolphin Killing Secret (entire documentary)

Each September to February, a nasty dolphin hunt takes place off the coast of Japan in a little village called Taiji (tai-jee), where most of the 20,000 dolphins and porpoises killed off Japan are done annually. The Cove, winner of multiple international film festival awards including Oscar for Best Documentary in 2009, exposes what goes on in Taiji and how Japan manipulates little bankrupt countries to support its whaling cause and empire through the International Whaling Commission (IWC). Courageous to film undercover, inspiring and shocking to watch, this film is having some effect on public awareness of the issues, from brutal senseless killings to mercury poisoning in the food and fraud by selling worthless dolphin meat as expensive whale meat. You might also learn a thing about being coy and manipulative in empire building, as well as dedication and heart in pursuit of a cause through Ric O’Barry and others’ efforts to expose this annual massacre.

Despite all the public praise and awareness this film has been getting, the issues raised could always use a little more attention because they’re still killing dolphins in Taiji as I write in October. Well, this little site of mine gets some decent attention, so here is the movie in case you haven’t seen it. Thanks to whoever uploaded the entire thing on Tudou in high quality, and even added English and Japanese subtitles, where it needs to be known!

Academy Award® Winner for Best Documentary of 2009, THE COVE follows an elite team of activists, filmmakers and freedivers as they embark on a covert mission to penetrate a remote and hidden cove in Taiji, Japan, shining a light on a dark and deadly secret. Utilizing state-of-the-art techniques, including hidden microphones and cameras in fake rocks, the team uncovers how this small seaside village serves as a horrifying microcosm of massive ecological crimes happening worldwide. The result is a provocative mix of investigative journalism, eco-adventure and arresting imagery, adding up to an unforgettable story that has inspired audiences worldwide to action. THE COVE is directed by Louie Psihoyos and produced by Paula DuPré Pesmen and Fisher Stevens. The film is written by Mark Monroe. The executive producer is Jim Clark and the co-producer is Olivia Ahnemann.

Please come back later if you’re not catching news of this at a time when you have 90 minutes to spare and watch. You can spend 90 minutes doing a lot of worse things in life.

The Cove’s website for more information on the film and cause.

Take part in helping save the dolphins as promoted by The Cove.