Friday, October 22, 2021

SearchResearch Challenge (10/22/21): Are these documentaries difficult to find?

 Documentary and older films are a
   quiet pleasure... 

... I love watching them, but sometimes find them a bit difficult to find.  Maybe you have this problem as well.  

Ideally, I'd like to watch them for free, but I'm totally happy to pay for the privilege of watching, if I can find a reasonable price.  

Usually, when I see a reference to a documentary I want to watch, I jot the name down on a slip of paper.  Then, a few days, weeks (or years!) later, I try to find them online.  

Sometimes I admit that my writing isn't as careful as it should be, so I end up having to search for films whose names might not be exactly right.  

But this is something we all face--finding something that's relatively obscure, and perhaps with a little error that crept in along the way.  

Can you find these films so I can watch them online?  

1. Garlic is as Good as Ten Mothers.  I know this is by Les Blank, it's about garlic, and maybe it's about motherhood, but that's all I know.  

2. Metropolis.  Not a documentary, but a super famous German expressionist film from 1927.  Can you find it online? 

3. The Disappearing Cape Breton Violinist.  My handwriting was shaky on this one, so the title might be a little off.  I'd still like to watch it, though.  Can you find a link to an online video of this? 

Note that I don't want to see the trailers for these movies, but the actual full-length production.  

As always, I'm interested in HOW you found these videos of these.  Tell us so we can all learn!  

Are there videos that you'd like to see that YOU find difficult to locate?  Bring them up here, perhaps the crack SRS team can help you out! 

Search on! 

P.S.  The math analysis of the shadow-date-time problem will be my next post early next week.  


  1. Hello Dr Russell and Everyone!

    To find 1&2 I used site there you can see in which places movies are and the price. First one has just one option. I'll look for other sources.

    For Q3, searched using your title. Google gave me the correct one. A sequel was planned (I haven't verified what happened.) And also still finding the whole piece. The first result is a part of it on YouTube

    1. I forgot to mention that Just watch is different for each country. Us is for Dr. Russell. MX gives results for México. And each country has different shows and availability.

      The only documentary I was looking for is one about Hershey's Chocolate. I saw it once many years ago and couldn't find it anymore. I searched with the brand and with chocolate without success. The only part that remember is that they used a special machine to take the nuts. It was really good

  2. I use two services to find and track the availability of films and shows I would like to watch, Reel Good and Just Watch. Here is my search path with one not found.

    A show I am looking for is Nothing Sacred.

  3. First confirmed accuracy of title on, then simply googled Stream (title). Found 1 & 2 rather easily (Criterion Channel and YouTube respectively). Correct title of third is: The Vanishing Cape Breton Fiddler. But no luck yet finding a source for full length.

  4. Metropolis is free on Amazon Prime.
    Correct title of third one is Vanishing Cape Breton Fiddler a CBC program that seems to be on YouTube.

  5. If you have a library card and your library subscribes to Kanopy or you are a student or faculty member a university that subscribes many full-length films are available to watch including Garlic is as Good as Ten Mothers and Metropolis

  6. I already knew where to find Metropolis as I've seen it - as one of those classics any film lover has to watch. So I went straight to YouTube - but I didn't realise it was so long as a film as I'm sure when I saw it it was under 3 hours. However the original 16fps version is over 3 hours - in this version. (People must have had much more patience than today to watch a 3 hour film - when complaints are made now for anything over 2 hours).

    The second one was also easy - Wikipedia's page (Garlic Is as Good as Ten Mothers) gave some suggestions e.g. (which requires a VPN if outside the US) or Les Blank's own site at or Vimeo at IMDB gives another link - on Amazon Prime video. Sadly I didn't find a free version - just rent or buy for a few US$

    The third film was the tough one. A quick non-quote search (disappearing cape breton violinist) gave "Vanishing Cape Breton Fiddler" and lots of information on this was easy e.g. gave lots on it and it's importance. However searches adding in 1972 or Ronald (or Ron) MacInnis to the title turned up nothing great. Nor did searches on the Canadian Broadcasting Corp archive pages - they gave a 404 although it also seems that there is now a follow-up - Return of the Vanishing Cape Breton Fiddler. I did find a YouTube video of the first 10 or so minutes at and another bit at

    I then tried various archives - not just but (Library & Archives Canada) and CBC's own archives - without finding anything. The closest I've found was an audio version of the documentary at the Beaton Institute archives. ( and - the last few minutes)

  7. As an long-ago elementary-school violinist and a fan of Texas & Lousiana fiddlers during my college days in that region, I thought I'd see what I could find regarding the third video (Cape Breton Violinist/Fiddler).

    My search results essentially mirrored what Arthur Weiss found. That "" article -- "The Myth of the Vanishing Cape Breton Fiddler: The Role of a CBC Film in the Cape Breton Fiddle Revival" by MARIE THOMPSON (Independent Scholar/CBC Television) -- was especially interesting, I thought. It said that while MacInnis' documentary "conveyed the message that traditional Scottish-style fiddle music in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, was in decline and would soon die out," many locals considered that view damaging and countered with the view that it was a myth/mistaken belief that the fiddling was dying out.

    But the reality seems to be that "more than three decades later, it is clear that the message of warning perceived in the documentary had a measurable (if unintended) impact: a fiddling association was formed, attempts were made to encourage young people to play and the fiddling tradition is now widely accepted as being on a firm footing. A core group of dedicated people, including older fiddlers, succeeded in giving the fiddle tradition a higher status than it had in the past. As this paper documents, the revival of Cape Breton fiddle music that began in the mid-1970s was, in large measure, a direct response to the CBC's "Vanishing Cape Breton Fiddler'."

    But back to finding a video. :-) The only clue I found that Arthur did not include in his excellent response was from a comment by Ron MacInnis himself to the YouTube Part1 video ( that included: "CBC owns the contract [for the documentary] but kindly gave rights to the Celtic Music Interpretive Center in Cape Breton.

    Here's a link to the CMIC archives:

    But while it has online a (partial) list of the books, magazines and publications that the archives contains (, there is apparently no similar list for its audio/video collections. And there certainly does not appear to be any free viewing of the MacInnis' documentary via the CMIC site.

    I hope this helps.

  8. Wow - thank you for your comments. And there's a great lesson here too. The comments made on YouTube videos can be really valuable information sources and so shouldn't be ignored when looking for stuff. They may take you further on the journey - although in this case, it's sad they didn't go further. At least the audio recordings I found seem a half-way house.