Here is a grab-bag of lots of reviews from various films.

Reviews for each film are also on the post for that individual film.

Soldiers of Conscience

“Thursday Night’s Best: A” – Entertainment Weekly

“Has an eloquence and passion that will open hearts as well as eyes.”- Paula Nechak, The Seattle Post-Intelligencer

“It’s a modest, unpretentious film, and more affecting for it. Conveying not just the grimly harrowing circumstances of modern combat but also a real sense of the bright, mature, and morally serious minds that terrible crucible has forged.” – San Francisco Magazine

“Weimberg and Ryan have created one of the rare breed of documentaries that have a point of view, but don’t try to manipulate viewers into sharing it.” – Martin Stillion, Christianity Today

“A thoughtful, challenging, and remarkably wide-ranging examination of the nature of war and its alternatives.” – John Hartl, The Seattle Times

“Wonderful…deeply personal…reminds us that the burdens soldiers and Marines carry in the desert heat are far more complex and long lasting than we can possibly know.” – Bob Kerr, The Providence Journal

“The movie takes its own calm, even-handed approach… Directors Gary Weimberg and Catherine Ryan don’t pull any punches … a film that stirs things up.” – Robert Horton, The Everett Herald (WA)

“Never presumes to tell you what to think. It simply makes it impossible for you not to.” – John Brummett, The Morning News (AR)

“The film is a thought-provoking look at the central purpose of war that invites viewers to reflect not only on their own perspective but also on the other side of the coin.” – Army Times

“Tears at the heart.” – Beth Ashley, Marin Independent Journal

“Thoughtful.” – Jan Stuart, Newsday

“Thoughtful…fascinating…tight and balanced storytelling.” – Moira Macdonald, The Seattle Times

“Gripping and real…through the eyes of soldiers.” – Bryan Fung, NW Asian Weekly

“This chilling documentary explores how we condition our children to bypass their morals.” – Lindy West, The Stranger (Seattle)

“Doesn’t just preach to the choir…voices from across the ideological spectrum.” – Frank Paiva, Seattle Weekly

“Although most Americans would prefer not to think about Iraq, Soldiers of Conscience is required viewing for anyone living with this war… Serving in the military is an honorable profession, and Soldiers of Conscience explores the difficult area where honor, duty, morality and choice intersect and then collide.” – Wyatt Montaner,

“This film is an important new tool in efforts to promote peace and understanding between Muslims and non-Muslims and Arabs and non-Arabs in the United States and abroad.” – Fatema Haji-Taki, Islamic

“Illuminating…[one of] my five movies to look for during the Atlanta film festival.”- Felicia Feaster, Creative Loafing (the weekly entertainment newspaper of Seattle)

“Must-see.” – Bob Longino, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution


Interview on NPR, Gary Weimberg speaks about SOLDIERS OF CONSCIENCE

LT COL Peter Kilner writes about SOLDIERS OF CONSCIENCE

The Story of Mothers and Daughters

“a miraculous, perfect little film … you owe it to yourself to see it … bold, even audacious … finds a universal core at the center of all the unique stories told by all its distinctive women”
NY Daily News

… forthcoming and honest … far from being sappy, the womens anecdotes illustrate just how much kids take in and how the mother-daughter bond — for better or for worse — affects the subsequent generations. From childbirth to death, each story is touching.”

– Carole Horst, Variety Magazine 
complete review

“You will likely see no documentary anytime soon that will touch you as will “The Story of Mothers and Daughters.”  Structurally, it couldn’t be simpler: A diverse group of women talk about their relationships with their mothers and daughters through each stage of development. But as they speak of that profound bond, what emerges is the rhythmic breathing of life itself.
Believe me, I know how sappy that last sentence sounds. But “The Story of Mothers and Daughters” weaves a repeating pattern of comings together and drawings apart: the union of pregnancy, followed by the separation of birth; the sweet closeness of childhood, then the stormy estrangements of adolescence; the reconciliation of adulthood before the loss to death. And finally, the daughter becoming a mother, beginning the whole cycle anew.
But it’s not all roses and greeting cards. A family can be a bruising thing, and the damage is sometimes lasting. One grown woman says of her mother, with a chillingly calm bitterness, ‘She was not my friend, and … she’s not someone that I would want to know, want to keep in my life.’
Mostly, however, these women have come to treasure their mothers and daughters, and their tenderness — often salted with an amused exasperation — speaks to the soul. If you can keep a dry eye as several describe their emotions after the deaths of their mothers, you’d better check yourself for a heartbeat.
Woman or girl, man or boy, you won’t walk away unchanged by this hour.”  – South Coast Today, complete review

The Story of Fathers and Sons

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“Television doesn’t get a whole lot more visceral, or more genuinely moving, than does this supremely poignant hour… What these boys and men reveal, in waxing eloquent about the job of dad and son, is almost staggering in its candor. It seems as if producer-directors Gary Weimberg, Catherine Ryan, and Judith Leonard have slipped these storytellers some sort of sensitivity serum. Rarely do males allow themselves to be captured in so raw and sincere a state.”

“Grade: A

Click icon to read

“Remarkable … packs more of an emotional wallop than a month of Oprah… Even their most succinct comments speak volumes

because the experiences they contemplate are so visceral… We hear from sons who have
been wounded or abandoned by their fathers. The diversity of feelings is precisely what makes
Fathers & Sons so affecting. It radiates deep love and deep pain.”

David Hiltbrand, TV Guide

Ballets Russes

“Rare non-fiction feature that manages to sustain two hours without losing focus or repeating itself, enormously absorbing pic” – Scott Fondas, VARIETY Magazine
complete review in Variety, 2-17-2005

“A captivating film that truley elevates, the spirit… emotionally satisfying.” – Kenneth Turan, LA Times

“A documentary of absolutely breathtaking sweep andjoyous energy. It’s all amazing, every bit of it.” – Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal

“This movie is a miracle of narrative exposition …
It’s like a graduate course in documentary film editing.”
– Jon Carroll, San Francisco Chronicle, 12/14/2005

The Double Life of Ernesto Gomez Gomez

“… a moving depiction of a family torn apart by political belief and then stitched back together, in a fashion, by loyalty and love.” – Jean Lee, Associated Press,  Complete review

“On July 27, 1999, The Double Life of Ernesto Gomez Gomez premiered on POV.  Let it never be said that TV accomplishes nothing.  Less than two months later, ERnesto’s mother, Duylica Pagan, received executive clemency from President Clinton and she walked out of the U.S. federal prions, a free woman, after having been incarcerated for 19 years …”   – POV blog update, 9 years after broadcast, click to continue,

“What happens to the parents, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters of those willing to sacrifice everything for their beliefs? Breaking ground stylistically, this film uniquely blends forms to tell the singular story of a son of Puerto Rican revolutionaries — his mother in prison, his father in exile — sent as a baby to Mexico to be raised in safety and anonymity. As a teenager Ernesto/Guillermo learns of his past and collaborates with filmmakers Catherine Ryan and Gary Weimberg to magically chronicle his turbulent journey of self-discovery, offering a striking account of the costs of fiercely held convictions and the binding force of a son’s love…”  – POV announces broadcast premier in 199, click to read on.

“For me, making television about human beings with human problems is very much about redemption,” the 42-year-old San Francisco resident said last week. “As a teenager, I wanted to be a rabbi — to spend all my days caring about people and trying to make the world a better place. “Making documentary films lets me do all the things I wanted to do as a rabbi, except now I can reach millions of people.”
Weimberg’s latest film, made with Catherine Ryan, his partner in life and work for the past 20 years, will be aired Friday, July 30 on KQED-TV Channel 9. “The Double Life of Ernesto Gomez Gomez” already has won Best Documentary at the San Antonio Cinefestival, the Athens Film Festival and the Big Muddy Film Festival.
This true story of a Puerto Rican boy, born Guillermo Morales but raised in Mexico under another name, raises issues of identity, immigration and cultural conflict as well as concerns about the justice system.

–  “S.F. Couple’s Documentary Uncovers a Gripping Story of social injustice” Jewish Bulletin,  click to read on.

” On September 10, 1999 Dylcia Pagan walked out of her prison cell in the Federal Correctional Institute in Dublin, California. Her incarceration as a political prisoner in the United States was over. She had served 19 years of her 55 year sentence. She had been set free by an act of Executive Clemency from then President Bill Clinton.     The documentary The Double Life of Ernesto Gomez Gomez that we had made about her, her son Ernesto, her years as a political prisoner, and her political struggle for the independence of Puerto Rico, had aired on the PBS series P.O.V just 8 weeks before… ” –  Case Study: Changing the World, One Documentary at a Time, Center for Social Media, click to read on

Link to Filmakers Library,
educational distributor of the film.

Link to UNA Film Festival, description of the film.

Link to bilingual review
in El Tecolote, english first, then spanish.

Link to LA Times review
“Teen’s Hesitant Search for His True Identity”

Link to DGA nomination announcement
“Nominees for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentaries”

Loyalty and Betrayal: The Story of the American Mob

“… the snappiest of the genre … the gamey history is punchily put together…”

 New York Times review

Emmy Award Winner

Outstanding Individual Achievement
Gary Weimberg, Director / Editor / co-writer


Fox Television Special, 1994

coverage of MEMORIAL,
Oscar nominated documentary, edited by Gary Weimberg

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