Dispatch from Sundance: And the (Oscar) Winners Are…

Sunday night, during the closing ceremonies in Park City, Utah, the 2007 Sundance Film Festival winners were announced. I wasn’t there, four days at Sundance was plenty for me, but the onslaught of emails from the press office were evidence enough. But I wonder, does anyone really care about which film won the Special Jury Prize or the World Cinema Audience Award? It seems all anyone is talking about is how “Little Miss Sunshine,” “Iraq in Fragments” (read Mother Jones‘ review of the film here) and “An Inconvenient Truth” raked in the Oscar nominations last week.

Sundance tends to be repetitious in its subject matter. This year, “No End In Sight” will surely give you your Iraq fill, “Everything’s Cool” contains a deluge of information on Global Warming and “Blame It On Fidel,” much like “Little Miss Sunshine” tells the story of a young girl shaped by her society. But really, would the festival be complete without a film on Iraq or Global Warming?

“No End In Sight” is the product of over 75 interviews with the war’s key players (read my blog post on a panel discussion I attended for the film and stay tuned for a Mother Jones review coming soon). With appearances by General Jay Garner, New Yorker columnist, George Packer and State Department veteran, Barbara Bodine, this politically heavy doc weaves the story, through images and first-hand accounts, of the blatant incompetence on the part of our administration. I think this film will act as a historical archive of the war for decades to come. “Everything’s Cool,” as the title indicates, documents the administration’s denial that climate change exists and their dirty tactics to make sure that scientists weren’t able to prove it did. In this very funny film, Daniel Gold and Judith Helfand follow global warming prophets, journalist, Ross Gelbspan, Mother Jones writer, Bill McKibben and the “Bad Boys of Environmentalism” throughout their mission to turn back the clock on the widening gap between the reality of climate change and the public’s perception. “No End In Sight” and “Everything’s Cool” were definitely the two most prescient films of the year, but make sure to look for the releases of “Manda Bala,” a tale of the harsh realities of life in Sao Paulo and “Enemies of Happiness,” which follows the campaign of Malalai Joya, a female member of Afghanistan’s parliament.

For what it’s worth, “Manda Bala” won the Grand Jury Prize and “Enemies of Happiness,” the World Cinema Jury Prize. Maybe an Oscar is in these film’s futures too.


The more we thought about how MoJo's journalism can have the most impact heading into the 2020 election, the more we realized that so many of today's stories come down to corruption: democracy and the rule of law being undermined by the wealthy and powerful for their own gain.

So we're launching a new Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption. We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We'll publish what we find as a major series in the summer of 2020, including a special issue of our magazine, a dedicated online portal, and video and podcast series so it doesn't get lost in the daily deluge of breaking news.

It's unlike anything we've done before and we've got seed funding to get started, but we're asking readers to help crowdfund this new beat with an additional $500,000 so we can go even bigger. You can read why we're taking this approach and what we want to accomplish in "Corruption Isn't Just Another Scandal. It's the Rot Beneath All of Them," and if you like how it sounds, please help fund it with a tax-deductible donation today.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.