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Weekly New Releases - Documentary & Films

Weekly New Releases - Documentary & Films


Director: Laura Archibald

Featuring poignant interviews with Pete Seeger, Kris Kristofferson, Don McLean, Peter Yarrow, Arlo Guthrie, Lucy and Carly Simon, Tom Chapin and Judy Collins, among dozens of other music luminaries, GREENWICH VILLAGE: MUSIC THAT DEFINED A GENERATION combines talking heads with rare archival footage and new live performances to tell a story about a community that created a generation-defining music. Greenwich Village was the birthplace of the singer/songwriter and songs of love and relationships. Between 1961-1973, many musicians in The Village banded together to sing about the radical social upheaval of the time. As these new singers emerged, Greenwich blossomed as a place that promoted a better future. Their music challenged the status quo by singing about taboo subjects - fighting for civil liberties, protesting the Vietnam War, and holding governments accountable for their actions. Their views, which were controversial at the time, weren't always greeted with open arms. On Sunday April 9, 1961, over 500 young musicians gathered in Greenwich Village's Washington Square to sing folk songs to promote peace and harmony. This act of passive protest resulted in riot squads attacking singers and civilians alike with billy clubs, leading to several arrests. The incident became known around the world as the Washington Square Folk Riot and was cited as the first 'freedom of speech' revolt. It also made Greenwich Village a beacon of hope for an entire generation. And this is just one of the important stories which make up the vibrant history of The Village music scene. GREENWICH VILLAGE: MUSIC THAT DEFINED A GENERATION is the amazing untold story about the very people whose music helped change the world.

DVD (Color) / 2013 / 92 minutes

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By Stephen Olsson

Over two million Americans served in the Vietnam War. Forty years later, tens of thousands of veterans still suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). But a groundbreaking approach provides hope for these psychologically wounded former warriors, as well as for veterans of more recent wars.

Healing A Soldier's Heart follows the courageous journeys of four Vietnam veterans, all suffering from severe PTSD, who return to Vietnam to face the demons that continue to haunt them and hopefully heal their PTSD. Under the guidance of pioneering psychotherapist Dr. Edward Tick, the vets visit their actual trauma sites - the places where they fought and killed their former enemies, or saw their friends and comrades die.

The film provides an unforgettable, transformative journey through what Dr. Tick calls "their second, this time, willful descent into hell." It carries viewers into the hearts and minds of the four veterans and their families, as they experience forgiveness and compassion from their former enemies. Through first-time contact with Vietnamese culture, the four vets are led to a new state of awareness and spiritual peace.

Healing A Soldier's Heart traces the veterans' gradual shift from terrorized nightmares, drug abuse and attempted suicides, to healed warriors - with profound lessons for PTSD-suffering younger veterans from the more recent wars in Iraq & Afghanistan. The film is a powerful story about the long-term, psychological effects of war, and of the reconnection of the human soul through Dr. Tick's innovative therapy.

  • "Ed Tick reminds us we must be willing to walk through hell beside our veterans with our hearts wide open; he has given us one opportunity for a first step through this film. The healing has begun and our veterans will take their rightful place in our society." - John Schluep, Vietnam era vet, Senior Pastor of First Congregational Church, Tallmadge, Ohio; Founder of The Warrior's Journey Home

  • "What a beautiful creation! It moved me to tears and inspired me to do more. So many beautiful principles that traditional therapy misses." - Glenn R. Schiraldi, Ph.D., University of Maryland School of Public Health

    DVD (Closed Captioned) / 2013 / (Grades 9-Adult) / 73 minutes

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    Director: Markus Imhoof

    Oscar-nominated director Markus Imhoof (THE BOAT IS FULL) tackles the vexing issue of why bees, worldwide, are facing extinction. With the tenacity of a man out to solve a world-class mystery, he investigates this global phenomenon, from California to Switzerland, China and Australia. Exquisite macro-photography of the bees (reminiscent of MICROCOSMOS) in flight and in their hives reveals a fascinating, complex world in crisis.

    Writes Eric Kohn in Indiewire: "Imhoof captures the breeding of queen bees in minute detail, ventures to a laboratory to witness a bee brainscan, and discovers the dangerous prospects of a hive facing the infection of mites. In this latter case, the camera's magnifying power renders the infection in sci-fi terms, as if we've stumbled into a discarded scene from David Cronenberg's THE FLY." This is a strange and strangely moving film that raises questions of species survival in cosmic as well as apiary terms.

    DVD (Color, English and German with English subtitles) / 2013 / 91 minutes

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    By Jacob Siegel-Boettner

    Can a simple, 19th century technology change the world? For most North Americans, a bicycle ride or commute is a lifestyle choice. For countless others across the globe, each pedal stroke is progress out of poverty, toward an education, and over the mountains of social and cultural discrimination.

    With My Own Two Wheels links together the stories of five individuals around the globe in a film about the power of the bicycle to improve lives.

    For Fred, a health worker in Zambia, the bicycle is a means of reaching twice as many patients in a week. For Bharati, a teenage girl in India, it provides access to education she otherwise wouldn't have. For Mirriam, a disabled Ghanaian woman, working on bicycles is an escape from the stigma attached to her disability. For Carlos, a farmer in Guatemala, pedal power is a way to help neighbors reduce their impact on the environment. For Sharkey, a young Latino man in California, the bicycle is an escape from the gangs that consume so many of his peers.

    With My Own Two Wheels profiles the lives of these five people, and portrays the powerful difference a bicycle has made for each of them and their communities. The film can be used to better understand their life circumstances, the power of an "appropriate" human-scale technology in an increasingly hi-tech world, and to inspire discussion on how we can each contribute to improving the lives of people around the world, even in simple ways.

  • "A rewarding documentary that deals with people around the world trying to better themselves and their communities. The production stays on point, delivering its message of hope again and again. This is the kind of film that triggers discussions and, ideally, new projects. Well-edited, beautifully shot and a winning musical score." - Nuvo.net

  • "Beautifully made by director Jacob Seigel-Boettner, this film is a hopeful portrait of a world where bikes rule." - MountainFilm Telluride Festival

  • Winner, Best Short Documentary, Port Townsend Film Festival
  • Winner, Best Documentary Featurette, Red Rock Film Festival
  • Winner, Stronach Baccalaureate Prize, UC Berkeley
  • Winner, Dan Eldon Activist Award, My Hero Film Festival

    DVD (Closed Captioned) / 2013 / (Grades 6-Adult) / 43 minutes

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    16 ACRES

    Director: Richard Hankin

    The rebuilding of ground zero is one of the most architecturally, politically, and emotionally complex urban renewal projects in history. The struggle has encompassed eleven years, nineteen government agencies, a dozen projects and over $20 billion. Aside from the engineering challenges, several constituencies - politicians, developers, architects, insurance companies, local residents, and relatives of 9/11 victims - profess a claim to the site and are often in conflict with one another. According to The New York Times, "Where some saw lucrative real estate, others saw a graveyard. Where some saw Rockefeller Center or Lincoln Center or Grand Central Terminal, others saw Gettysburg."

    Today, three thousand workers are building four of the tallest skyscrapers in America, a train station, a performing arts center and a sacred memorial and museum. What will emerge in downtown Manhattan will redefine the city and country for generations.

    16 Acres is the story of how and why this historic project got built. At the heart of the story is the dramatic tension between noblest intentions, the desire of everyone involved to "get it right," and the politics, hubris, ego, and ideology. As with all great urban projects, from the Pyramids to Rome's Colleseum to Rockefeller Center, a small group of powerful people will dictate the outcome. With inside access to the project and these key players, 16 Acres tells the story behind the headlines.

    Featuring Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Governor George Pataki, Chris Ward (Executive Director of the Port Authority), developer Larry Silverstein, architects Daniel Libeskind, David Childs, and Michael Arad, and relatives and advocates of the 9/11 victims. The also introduces a supporting cast of Pritzker-prize winning international architects and engineers; influential journalists who have covered the rebuilding; construction workers, as well as neighbors, critics and observers who are very much part of the fabric of New York.

  • "Riveting and emotional!" - New York Post

  • "A unique look at civic strife and a city's spirit." - New York Daily News

  • "Uncommonly engrossing and articulate." - Variety

    DVD / 2012 / 95 minutes

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    Directed by Harry Wiland and Dale Bell

    Hosted by author and national health expert Dr. Richard Jackson, MD, MPH

    The first episode investigates the connection between our nation's obesity and Type 2 Diabetes epidemic and suburban sprawl, fueled by dependency on the automobile. Communities profiled are seeking to combat the causes of diabetes by redesigning our car centric society.

    Boulder, CO, redesigns the city to make bicycles a safe alternative form of transportation. Two Denver suburbs transform dead malls into mixed use and public transit-centered communities. An abandoned mall in Georgia gains new life as a K-8 charter school. And two former grad students from Georgia Tech create visionary projects that are forever changing the face of Atlanta.

  • "Highlights changes being made in forward-thinking communities - changes that foster better physical and mental health by redesigning the built environment." - Jane Brody, New York Times

  • "A thoughtful series and book that illustrates how and why building healthy communities is the right prescription for America." - George C. Benjamin, MD, Executive Director, American Public Health Association

  • "Jackson inhabits the frontier between public health and urban planning, and offers us hopeful examples of innovative transformations." - Will Rogers, President/CEO, Trust for Public Land

    DVD (Closed Captioned) / 2012 / (Grades 10-Adult) / 56 minutes

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    Directed by Harry Wiland and Dale Bell

    Hosted by author and national health expert Dr. Richard Jackson, MD, MPH

    Many cities are struggling to resuscitate their dying downtowns and overcome a history of industrial pollution. Episode 2 looks at how families and young people seek to repair main street America by rebuilding places of the heart.

    When U.S. industry and manufacturing collapsed or went elsewhere, cities like Elgin, IL, and Syracuse, NY, were left with the task of redefining themselves for a new paradigm. Leading the way to a greener, more sustainable Elgin is a group of high school students. Despite many innovative programs to get Syracuse back on its feet, the city struggles with the larger problem of Lake Onondaga, the most polluted lake in our nation. Local Native American Onondaga tribal leader Oren Lyons serves as conscience in the movement to cleanup the industrially polluted lake. And in Riverside, CA, 16-year old science prodigy Otana Jakpor has a personal reason for her war against air pollution and takes her battle all the way to the White House.

  • "Highlights changes being made in forward-thinking communities - changes that foster better physical and mental health by redesigning the built environment." - Jane Brody, New York Times

  • "A thoughtful series and book that illustrates how and why building healthy communities is the right prescription for America." - George C. Benjamin, MD, Executive Director, American Public Health Association

  • "Jackson inhabits the frontier between public health and urban planning, and offers us hopeful examples of innovative transformations." - Will Rogers, President/CEO, Trust for Public Land

    DVD (Closed Captioned) / 2012 / (Grades 10-Adult) / 56 minutes

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    Directed by Harry Wiland and Dale Bell

    Hosted by author and national health expert Dr. Richard Jackson, MD, MPH

    Where you live is one predictor of how long you will live. This episode explores the deadly consequences of economically challenged neighborhoods located near highly polluted areas, and urban pioneers who seek to improve the health of their challenged communities.

    It should be every citizen's right to live in a clean, healthy, non-polluted environment. But that is not the case for many low-income neighborhoods in struggling industrial cities like Oakland, CA, and Detroit, MI. In Oakland, a morbidly obese grandmother struggles to raise seven grandchildren, all of whom have asthma. The city of Detroit resembles an abandoned war zone. Yet, hope blossoms in both cities. Health officials, community activists and a new breed of young Urban Pioneers are working to fix their cities by transforming urban wilderness and food deserts into inspirational new models for other troubled communities.

  • "Designing Healthy Communities directly addresses the 'soft underbelly' of our country's future, if one excuses this intentionally harsh pun; how we are building our communities is a major contributor to the obesity, diabetic and asthma epidemics, which may be the foremost threat to future of our country, its economy and quality of life." - Christopher Leinberger, ?President, LOCUS: Responsible Real Estate Developers and Investors

  • "Designing Healthy Communities is changing the way we think about the impacts of the built environment on public health. It is only a matter of time before Dr. Jackson teaches and inspires more people like myself to work towards improved public health through creative design for a better future for all." - George Maier, University of Georgia Master Program in Geography

    DVD (Closed Captioned) / 2012 / (Grades 10-Adult) / 56 minutes

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    Directed by Harry Wiland and Dale Bell

    Hosted by author and national health expert Dr. Richard Jackson, MD, MPH

    In the final episode, Dr. Jackson searches past and present America for model communities large and small that embody the intricate balance of health promoting design and human needs. Does the perfect community exist?

    The journey takes him to Roseto, PA, Prairie Crossing, IL, New York City, Charleston, SC, and the forgotten 1960s urban renewal project of Lafayette Park in Detroit, MI, the brainchild of 4 men, including visionary architect, Mies van der Rohe. Also featured are walkability expert Dan Burden, and the 1960s, humorous but insightful, candid camera-style studies of people in public spaces by William Holly White.

  • "Designing Healthy Communities is changing the way we think about the impacts of the built environment on public health. It is only a matter of time before Dr. Jackson teaches and inspires more people like myself to work towards improved public health through creative design for a better future for all." - George Maier, University of Georgia Master Program in Geography

  • "Given its action orientation and its provision of a blueprint for civic engagement and action, Designing Healthy Communities should be of particular interest to community psychologists and applied social psychologists interested in developing approaches to prevention and empowerment with historically disenfranchised persons and others experiencing health disparities." - Michael B. Blank, PhD, Psychiatry Department, University of Pennsylvania

    DVD (Closed Captioned) / 2012 / (Grades 10-Adult) / 56 minutes

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    By Ike Bertels

    As a student in the 1960s, Dutch filmmaker Ike Bertels became captivated by an image she saw in a documentary about Mozambique's war for independence: three young members of the Women's Detachment of the Mozambique Liberation Front (FRELIMO) sitting on the grass and cleaning their rifles.

    Almost two decades later, in 1984, she tracked down the three women: Monica, Amelia, and Maria, who were now living through the civil war that followed Mozambique's independence. Monica now served as a member of a Central Committee of the ruling FRELIMO party. Maria was in school and taking care of her five children, and Amelia worked as a seamstress. Ten years later, Bertels returned to Mozambique to document these women once again, as they navigated the new society that emerged after the conclusion of the civil war in 1992.

    GUERILLA GRANNIES depicts Bertels' third encounter with these remarkable women, all three now grandmothers in their 60s, and narrates the filmmaker's long friendship with them. Today Mozambique has a growing industrial economy and stable political system. It also ranks among the top 25 countries in the world for women, according to a 2012 World Economic Forum report, thanks largely to the efforts of pioneers like Monica, Amelia, and Maria. Their success in helping transform the county has sapped none of their ambition, and the film reveals their tireless efforts to create a better life for their children and grandchildren.

    Ruminating on her decades-long relationship with these three women, Bertels catalogues everything she has learned from them, realizing that they taught her "how to live in this world." The filmmaker's loving portrait of these women shows us the powerful cross-cultural relationships that can develop between a filmmaker and subject over decades of dedicated documentation, and an unsensational side of African life to which the cinema rarely grants us access.

    DVD (Color) / 2012 / 80 minutes

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    Director: Angad Singh Bhalla

    Herman Wallace may be the longest-serving prisoner in solitary confinement in the United States-he's spent more than 40 years in a 6-by-9-foot cell in Louisiana. Imprisoned in 1967 for a robbery he admits, he was subsequently sentenced to life for a killing he vehemently denies.

    Herman's House is a moving account of the remarkable expression his struggle found in an unusual project proposed by artist Jackie Sumell. Imagining Wallace's "dream home" began as a game and became an interrogation of justice and punishment in America. The film takes us inside the duo's unlikely 12-year friendship, revealing the transformative power of art.

  • "Powerful...Poignant." - The New York Times

  • "A unique and moving story...inventive, poetic and original." - Art Threat

  • "Wallace's disembodied persona is movingly revitalized...against the prospect of unhappy endings, the human spirit still strives." - The Village Voice

    DVD / 2012 / 81 minutes

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    Director: Xavier Dolan

    Focusing on the relationship between Hubert Minel (Xavier Dolan), a 16-year-old Quebecois living in suburban Montreal, and his single mother Chantale (Anne Dorval), I KILLED MY MOTHER beautifully captures the anxieties of a mother-son relationship. While he gauges her with contempt, only seeing her out-of-date sweater and kitschy decor, the ingrained mechanisms (i.e. manipulation and guilt) of their relationship beautifully (and tragically) unravel on the big screen.

    DVD (Color, Black & White, French with English subtitles) / 2012 / 96 minutes

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    By Dana Nachman and Don Hardy

    Music by U2 and Radiohead

    Love Hate Love weaves together the stories of three families whose lives were torn apart by some of the most notorious terrorist attacks of the 21st century, yet refused to succumb to despair or hate.

    Liz Alderman's son Peter was murdered in the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center. Esther Hyman's only sister and a gifted artist was killed in the 2005 bus bombings in London. Australian business owner Ben Tullipan lost both his legs when a one-ton car bomb exploded outside a Bali night club in 2002.

    Love Hate Love follows these individuals and their families across five continents, as they struggle to overcome their deep anguish and build positive, world-changing legacies for their lost loved ones.

    Liz Alderman and her husband dedicate their lives to opening mental health clinics that help victims of war and terrorism return to productive lives in Cambodia, Rwanda, Uganda and Haiti.

    Esther and the rest of Miriam's family are devoted to bringing the gift of good vision to thousands of children in India, inspired by how Miriam's artistic talent went unrealized until her vision was corrected.

    Ben learned to walk again with two prosthetic legs and has become a championship golfer. His mission now is to give back by counseling other amputees to help them find the courage to live fully and walk again.

    Love Hate Love is a moving story about the resilience of the human spirit, and the power of hope and love to transform lives and help fight hate in the world.

  • "At once wrenching and uplifting, "Love Hate Love" is a powerful statement about the transformative power of love in the world. These stories go beyond the inspirational and reach the level of the miraculous. You can't watch this film and not come away with the urge to take action yourself - no matter how small." - Marshall Fine, Star Magazine Film Critic

  • "Each narrative honors the human ability to turn tragedy into a force for good." - J. Weekly, Jewish Weekly Newspaper of Northern California

  • "An inspiring documentary that opens our eyes to the many blessings we have, and shows that no matter who we are and what we've been through, there's always a reason to survive and, more importantly, that there is always room to help this universe become a better place." - Doha Film Institute

  • Winner, Artivist Spirit Award, Artivist Film Festival
  • Winner, Best Feature Film & Best Directing, DocUtah

    DVD / 2012 / (Grades 10-Adult) / 83 minutes

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    This one-hour special introduces the audience to a team of dedicated scientists who brought Curiosity to life. Brand new science and technology that had never been attempted made this mission a reality. This includes her custom-built heat shield designed to withstand intense 1,600 C degree heat and speeds up to 21,735 km/hr, and her state-of-the-art supersonic parachute. A revolutionary sky crane touchdown system was developed specifi cally for this mission, its job: get Curiosity to the surface of Mars. For the fi rst time ever, a rover will be able to supply NASA and the rest of the world with stunning HD images from 17 different cameras. She will be able to zap rocks with a laser that's as powerful as a million light bulbs focused on the head of a pin. She will drive for hundreds of kilometers and use her massive robotic arm to drill into Gale Crater to help answer questions of life. Curiosity is set to break all records.

    DVD / 2012 / (Grades 9-12) / 46 mintues

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    By Kathy Douglas

    Nurses play a critical role in our health care system and have touched the lives of just about everyone, sometimes in the most intimate, difficult or joyful moments of the human experience. But most of us know little about what nurses do, or the realities of nursing.

    Nurses - If Florence Could See Us Now offers a unique look into the complex and challenging world of being a nurse, exploring the many different roles that nurses play and their areas of practice, from the bedside to the board room, and the many ways that nurses impact the lives of others.

    Filmed on location in 10 states across the country, more then 70 nurses are featured from hospitals, clinics, business, nursing schools and nursing associations, including bedside nurses, nurse practitioners, public health nurses, nurse educators and nurse leaders, among them the Corporate CNO of Kaiser Permanente and the CEO and President of the American Nurses Association.

    The film would be useful in a wide range of health care, medical, nursing, career development, psychology and sociology classes.

  • "As a Nurse Educator, I know that this film reveals the true value and message of what nursing is. It provides insight into the real world of nursing. Everyone who is a nurse and anyone who wants to be a nurse needs to see this film. " - Donna M. Nickitas, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, CNE, FAAN, Professor, Hunter College, CUNY; Deputy Executive Officer, PhD in Nursing Program, Editor, Nursing Economics

  • "The most incredible depiction of nursing that I've ever seen." - Paula Dycus, DNP, RN, Tennessee

  • "A heart-felt, beautiful representation of nursing." - Barbara Brewer, PhD, RN, Arizona

    DVD (Closed Captioned) / 2012 / (Grades 10-Adult) / 145 minutes

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    Director: Jessica Wolfson, Paul Lovelace

    Legendary radio personality Bob Fass revolutionized the FM airwaves in the 1960s and '70s with his free-form program Radio Unnameable, a cultural hub for music, politics, and audience engagement.

    For nearly 50 years, he has been heard at midnight on New York City listener-sponsored station WBAI, utilizing the airwaves for mobilization long before today's innovations in social media. Drawing from Fass's extraordinary personal archive of audio recordings, including interviews with Allen Ginsberg and Abbie Hoffman, and performances by Bob Dylan, Arlo Guthrie, and Carly Simon, Radio Unnameable celebrates the profoundly influential career of one of radio's unsung heroes.

    DVD (Color) / 2012 / 87 minutes

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    Director: Scott Thurman

    In Austin, Texas, fifteen people influence what is taught to the next generation of American children. Once every decade, the highly politicized Texas State Board of Education rewrites the teaching and textbook standards for its nearly 5 million schoolchildren. And when it comes to textbooks, what happens in Texas affects the nation as a whole.

    Don McLeroy, a dentist, Sunday school teacher, and avowed young-earth creationist, leads the Religious Right charge. After briefly serving on his local school board, McLeroy was elected to the Texas State Board of Education and later appointed chairman. During his time on the board, McLeroy has overseen the adoption of new science and history curriculum standards, drawing national attention and placing Texas on the front line of the so-called "culture wars."

    In his last term, McLeroy, aided by Cynthia Dunbar, an attorney from Houston and professor of Law at Jerry Falwell's Liberty University, finds himself not only fighting to change what Americans are taught, but also fighting to retain his seat on the board. Challenged by Kathy Miller, president of the Texas Freedom Network, and Ron Wetherington, an anthropology professor from Southern Methodist University in Texas, McLeroy faces his toughest term yet.

    THE REVISIONARIES follows the rise and fall of some of the most controversial figures in American education through some of their most tumultuous intellectual battles.

    DVD (Color) / 2012 / 83 minutes

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    By Bob Gliner

    Schools that Change Communities profiles a diverse group of public schools that are successfully creating higher achieving students in a different way -- by turning the communities where they live into their classrooms.

    The film re-imagines what education can be, visiting K-12 public schools in five states across America that are engaging students in learning by solving real-world problems in a variety of communities, from economically and environmentally challenged rural areas to poverty-stricken urban neighborhoods.

    High school students in Howard, SD, build an interdisciplinary curriculum around a plan to save the town's struggling economy. In a Boston neighborhood with a high level of crime and poverty, students learn to connect the dots between what their community seems to the outside world and what it might become. In a small Appalachian town, elementary school students help clean up an adjacent stream polluted by acid mine drainage from former coal mines. In Watsonville, CA, high school students studying Roosevelt's New Deal try to come up with a New Deal for their farming community. In Cottage Grove, OR, students help create a sustainable environment, while learning valuable science, engineering and math lessons.

    In the film, administrators, teachers, students and local residents discuss their projects and the value they find in place- and community-based education -- an interdisciplinary approach which emphasizes hands-on, curiosity-based investigation using surrounding neighborhoods as "living" classrooms. By confronting and solving real-world issues in their hometowns, students become more engaged in the learning process and develop a stronger sense of civic responsibility and pride. Plus, the local communities benefit, as well.

  • "Schools That Change Communities is about schools as they should be. In this pedagogical age of 'time on task,' 'direct instruction' and a short-sighted emphasis on 'Drill, Baby, Drill,' the film shows that school improvement can be healthy, engaging and lead to significant community involvement and improvement." - David Sobel, Professor of Education, Antioch University New England, Co-Author, Place and Community-based Education in Schools

  • "We have been searching for a very long time for a film like this one that can help teachers, parents, and young people re-imagine what schools can and should be. We have used the film as a powerful professional development tool for teachers. As a teaching tool the film is perfect. It is not only inspirational but provides a range of powerful examples with enough nuance and detail to serve as guides for action." - Ethan Lowenstein, Professor, Teacher Education, Eastern Michigan University

  • "Beautifully illustrates the power of the partnership between communities and schools; clearly demonstrating the "win-win" aspect of project based, experiential learning for students from kindergarten through high school while enriching the quality of life in the students' community. When every student has the opportunity to learn through service to his/her community, drop out rates will plummet and test scores will rise!" - Susan Meyers, Former Dean, College of Education, San Jose State University

    DVD (Closed Captioned) / 2012 / (Grades 11-Adult) / 58 minutes

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    Director: Doug Gritzmacher & Michael Dechant Jr.

    Soldiers of Paint follows a dramatic battle involving 5,000 people who re-stage the Invasion of Normandy, or D-Day, in Oklahoma. Instead of bullets they use paint and it's any man's game, which means the Germans could win! And these guys are serious. They spend all year preparing their battle strategies (including finding ways to spy on each other) and on game day they come ready to fight with full-size tanks, airplanes, and bazookas.

    The battle takes place each year on a 700-acre piece of land owned by Dewayne Convirs, who takes on this endeavor as a tribute to his grandfather and, ultimately, in support of our veterans. It's a character-driven story with a plenty of action, drama, and humor that is sure to appeal to cineastes, paintball enthusiasts, and military buffs alike.

  • "What is most impressive is how it manages to turn a paintball event into a suspenseful war film. It's an entertaining and intense experience. Since we don't know how it is going to end, score watching is as exciting as at any sporting event. Overall, Soldiers of Paint was a fun documentary to experience. I didn't know that D-Day could be respectfully transformed into a paintball event in Oklahoma, but it can." - Film Threat

    DVD / 2012 / 97 minutes

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    Director: Rithy Pan

    From Rithy Pahn, director of S21: The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine, comes his searing followup. Between 1975 and 1979, the Khmer Rouge was responsible for the deaths of nearly 2 million people - a quarter of the Cambodia population. Kaing Guek Eav, known as Duch, directed both the M13 and S21 centers where tens of thousands of people were tortured and executed. He is the first Khmer Rouge leader to be brought before an international criminal justice court, where he was found guilty and sentenced to 35 years in prison. Panh films an incredible, horrifying in-depth interview with Duch, who candidly talks about his ascension in the Khmer Rouge party, and his involvement in the mass murder of his fellow Cambodians. As The Hollywood Reporter said, Panh's film is "likely one of the most elaborate discussions with someone responsible for mass genocide."

  • "Duch recounts the murderous methodology with chilling clarity and the ideological principles by which it was justified." - The New Yorker

  • "Powerful...riveting...masterfully disturbing. A Cambodian 'Fog of War.'" - Variety

    DVD (Khmer and French with English subtitles) / 2011 / 103 minutes

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    By Namir Abel Messeeh

    A non-believer born in Egypt and raised in France by his Copt parents, filmmaker Namir Abdel Messeeh has a complicated relationship with his ethnoreligious heritage. THE VIRGIN, THE COPTS AND ME is playful and warm personal account of his attempt to better understand his roots while making his first feature film.

    After watching a video said to depict an appearance of the Virgin Mary in the region of his birthplace, Abdel Messeeh decides to head to Egypt to explore the claims of Marian apparitions that have proliferated in the country since the famous apparitions in Zeitoun in the late 1960s. He secures a producer, as well as his mother Siham's blessing-under the condition that he not record her family.

    Arriving in Cairo without a plan, Abdel Messeeh finds that his investigation will be more difficult than anticipated. Clerics refuse to speak with him in detail unless authorized by church authorities, and the tension between Muslims and Copts, which lies at the heart of the filmmaker's project, is so acute that most people would rather not speak about it. Unafraid to depict his missteps, Abdel Messeeh appears in these sections as a comedically inept first-time filmmaker even as the polished onscreen result belies that conclusion.

    Stymied, Abdel Messeeh voyages to Asyut, in Upper Egypt, which is home to his mother's family as well as the largest concentration of Copts in the country. Reconnecting with his extended family, he finds a new, more personal emphasis for the film, but angers his producer, who drops the project, and his mother, who doesn't want to see her rural, impoverished relatives on screen. Nevertheless she agrees to join her son in Egypt and take over producing duties.

    With the no-nonsense Siham steering the production, things quickly come together. Rather than drily examine Egypt's relationship to the Virgin Mary, Abdel Messeeh gathers relatives and neighbors-Copts and Muslims alike-to collaborate on a film and stage their own apparition. Documenting both the process and the results, THE VIRGIN, THE COPTS AND ME turns Abdel Messeeh's personal journey into an intimate, revealing look at a marginalized Middle Eastern community.

  • "Groundbreaking...While I sat watching Messeeh's film...surrounded by an audience which palpably welcomed its themes, humor and charmingly personal POV, I could not stop thinking I was witnessing history in the making." - E. Nina Rothe, The Huffington Post

  • "A disarmingly honest, thoroughly winning personal portrait of family and heritage." - Variety

  • "Somewhere between a documentary and a comedic fable...a moving cinematic experience." - America: The National Catholic Review

  • Best Arab Documentary, 2011 Doha Film Festival
  • Audience Award, 2012 Visions du Reel

    DVD (Color) / 2011 / 85 minutes

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    This five-part series travels across North America and Europe to investigate how intercultural conflict can become either a basis for violence, or the source of profound creativity. Hosted by Professor Roger Parent of the Campus Saint-Jean, University of Alberta, this series uses historical footage and current events to illustrate key concepts and techniques with respect to cultural analysis and intercultural communication.

    DVD / 2004 / (Grades 9-12) / 230 minutes

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    ***Price on web-site may not be current and is subject to modification by quotation***

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    Websites :
    http://www.learningemall.com [ English ]
    http://www.learningemall.com.hk [ Chinese ]