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Documentary & Films - Weekly New Relases

Documentary & Films - Weekly New Relases


Director: Alan Edelstein, Molly Bernstein

Ricky Jay is a world-renowned magician, author, historian and actor (often a mischievous presence in the films of David Mamet and Paul Thomas Anderson) -- and a performer who regularly provokes astonishment from even the most jaded audiences. DECEPTIVE PRACTICE traces Jay's achievements and influences, from his apprenticeship at age 4 with his grandfather, to such now-forgotten legends as Al Flosso, Slydini, Cardini and his primary mentors, Dai Vernon and Charlie Miller. Featuring rare footage from his 1970s TV appearances (doing 3-card Monte with Steve Martin on The Dinah Shore Show) and told in Jay's inimitable voice, this is a remarkable journey inside the secretive world of magic and the small circle of eccentrics who are its perpetual devotees.

  • "Wonderfully engaging!" - New York Magazine

  • "Full of happy surprises. Card tricks that leave his audience speechless." - David Edelstein, New York Magazine

  • "He puts on a smashing show, whether on or off the stage... Mr. Jay proves a hugely entertaining guide..." - Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

    DVD (Color) / 2013 / 88 minutes

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    By Therese Shechter

    Female virginity. The US government has spent 1.5 billion dollars promoting it. It has fetched $750,000 at auction. There is no official medical definition for it. And 50 years after the sexual revolution, it continues to define young women's morality and self-worth.

    This hilarious, eye-opening, occasionally alarming documentary uses the filmmaker's own path out of virginity to explore its continuing value in our otherwise hypersexualized society. Layering verite interviews and vintage sex-ed films with candid self-reflection and wry narration, Shechter reveals myths, dogmas and misconceptions behind this "precious gift." Sex educators, porn producers, abstinence advocates, and outspoken teens share their own stories of having - or not having - sex.

    In a culture where "Be sexy, but don't have sex" is the overwhelming message to young women, the film goes through the looking glass to understand a milestone almost everyone thinks about but no one actually understands.

  • "Virginity is a powerful and malleable concept, as evidenced by the teenagers in Therese Shechter's smart, funny and provoking documentary." - Soraya Chemaly, The Huffington Post

  • "Shechter gets us talking about our V-cards (whether we've cashed them in or whether we're holding on tight) and creates an important documentary in the process." - Bust Magazine

    DVD (Color) / 2013 / 66 minutes

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    By Jesse Shapins and Olga Touloumi

    Using the Boston region as a laboratory for exploring different modes of urban representation across both history and media, A Media Archaeology of Boston exhibits a carefully-selected excavation of the city's spaces through a montage of short films, photographs, postcards, and soundscapes of the larger metropolitan area. Far from a comprehensive survey, A Media Archaeology of Boston aims to provoke new experiences of the city and, simultaneously, to challenge everyday perceptions of it.

    Unlike Los Angeles or New York, whose image has been meticulously produced and systematically canonized through mass and independent media, Boston is a place where media practice has taken place on the margins of central venues of production and distribution. From industrial films by the Ford Motor Company to discharged advertising reels of local businesses to state-sponsored documentaries by experimental filmmakers investigating the harbor's environmental health, Media Archaeology of Boston provides insight into a city that expands beyond its celebrated historical landscape to encompass a multiplicity of perspectives toward diverse parts of the metropolitan area.

    Integrating content, form, time, place, and medium in our curatorial process, we aim to construct a more complex, subjective matrix of multiple perspectives on Boston, without any claims of objectivity or comprehensiveness. The DVD opens up this collection of documentations to the audience and invites participation in the construction of new stories, of new narratives. A Media Archaeology of Boston, above all, remains an open and incomplete collection that presents a map of possibilities.

    DVD (Black and White, Color) / 2013 / 120 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 Sharon Linezo Hong,Julie Mallozzi,Monique Michelle Verdin

    Every few years a new documentary comes along that so powerfully resonates both emotionally and intellectually that it can truly be deemed unforgettable. My Louisiana Love is such a film. This profoundly poignant exploration of environmental injustice and loss focuses a revelatory light on an otherwise invisible American tragedy.

    My Louisiana Love follows a young Native American woman, Monique Verdin, as she returns to Southeast Louisiana to reunite with her Houma Indian family. Soon, however, she recognizes that her people's traditional way of life - fishing, trapping, and hunting the fragile Mississippi Delta wetlands - is threatened by an unceasing cycle of man-made environmental crises.

    As Louisiana is devastated by hurricanes Katrina and Rita and then the massive BP oil leak, Monique finds herself increasingly turning to environmental activism. She documents her family's struggle to stay close to the land despite the cycle of disasters and the rapidly disappearing coastline. Accompanying Monique, the film examines the complex and unequal relationship between the oil industry and the Delta's indigenous Native American community, revealing in the process how the political and economic policies dictated by the oil industry are wreaking havoc to the Delta environment and the survival of the local indigenous culture.

    But My Louisiana Love does not derive its power just from the social issues it so clearly examines. Echoing the larger social picture around her, Monique herself must overcome tremendous loss: the destruction of her family home, the death of her father, and the suicide of her partner. By following her calling as a storyteller, Monique draws strength from deep relationships and traditions and redefines the meaning of home. She perseveres and becomes a resilient voice for her unrecognized people.

    My Louisiana Love is at once a riveting social documentary and an intimate portrait of a complex and memorable individual. Although it is suffused with an almost elegiac poignancy and sense of loss, the film is ultimately an inspiring profile in courage, community, and commitment. This tension is what gives the film its overwhelming impact.

    My Louisiana Love will motivate student thought and discussion and be an indispensable teaching tool in a wide array of classes in Native American studies, American studies, sociology and social issues, the environment, cultural anthropology, and women's studies.

    DVD (Color) / 2013 / 66 minutes

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    By Gayle Ferraro

    This thought-provoking and powerful documentary follows Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus as he brings his revolutionary microfinance program to the United States, establishing Grameen America. The first stop: Queens, New York, 2008, just as the financial crisis explodes and the American economy plummets.

    The groundbreaking Grameen Bank in Bangladesh was built on the radical notion that if it loaned poor women money within the context of peer support, not only would they repay their loans and sustain the bank, but they would also elevate their communities in the process. But will the principles of solidarity that work so well in the Third-World translate to an ethnically diverse group of inner-city women in this country? Can nonprofit financiers really succeed in importing revolutionary Third-World social-justice enterprise to the very bastion of First-World capitalism?

    With an intimate camera eye and a deft editing hand, the film relates the compelling stories of the first women borrowers, capturing moments of both triumph and despair. It incisively explores the challenges the women face and the successes they achieve as they learn sustainable methods to rise from poverty by starting and growing their own businesses with the education, support, and collateral-free microloans they receive.

    At the same time, the film also examines the experiences of the young Grameen America workers, showing how their hope and idealism are deeply tested by the realities of their jobs in organizing and motivating the micro-entrepreneurs in a collapsing economic environment.

    To Catch a Dollar is alternately intense, humorous, heartbreaking, and exhilarating. It provides an unflinching, honest, but ultimately hopeful portrait of the initial audacious work of Grameen America. It will certainly capture and hold student attention and inspire thought, discussion, and analysis in a wide variety of courses in American studies, economics and development issues, sociology and social problems, women's studies, social psychology, and intercultural communication, among many others.

    DVD (Color) / 2013 / 58 minutes

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    By Noemi Weis

    In 1985, the Academy Award nominated film LAS MADRES: THE MOTHERS OF PLAZA DE MAYO profiled the Argentinian mothers' movement to demand to know the fate of 30,000 "disappeared" sons and daughters. Now three decades later, Argentina's courageous Grandmothers, or "Abuelas", have been searching for their grandchildren: the children of their sons and daughters who disappeared during Argentina's "dirty war." The women in ABUELAS are seeking answers about their children that nobody else will give- answers about a generation that survived, but were kidnapped and relocated to families linked with the regime that murdered their parents.

    Argentine filmmaker Noemi Weis beautifully documents the grandmothers' painstaking work and its results - dramatic, inspiring and sometimes controversial - as the women make contact with grandchildren who have grown up living lies created by their adoptive parents. Their tireless work continues today: the justice they are seeking for their children's murder, their drive to find their grandchildren, and their international status speaking out for family reunification.

  • 'Noemi Weis' films deal with really raw, emotional and powerful subjects. She gives a voice to the voiceless." - Catherine Hubbard, The Argentinean Independent

  • "The 'Abuelas' are an impressive group. Weis' film is a tribute and reminds people of a chapter of Argentine history most want to forget but can't until those who have disappeared have been brought home." - Latina Lista

  • "An impressive testimony of dictatorships' impact on families and on the strength of women's hope through decades." - Sandrine Crisostomo, FEMCINE

  • Winner, Jury Award, International Film Festival of Cine Politico, Buenos Aires.
  • Best Documentary, Art and Politics at the Yorkton Film Festival, Canada

    DVD (Portugese, Color) / 2012 / 28 minutes

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    By Annie Eastman

    In Salvador, Bahia, next to one of Brazil's wealthiest cities, generations of impoverished families have lived in a community of palafitas , shacks built on stilts over the ocean bay. Under a government program to reclaim and restore the bay, hundreds of families face forced relocation.

    The stories of Geni, Jesus, and Dona Maria, three single mothers and their families shape this film's narrative as they confront uncertainty and insecurity. Each woman offers a perspective of hope and self-determination, often graced by humor, in facing frequently dire circumstances. As their community is almost completely torn down and paved over, each begins to fight anew for the future. Filmed over six years, this extraordinary documentary offers fresh insights into environmental justice and notions of home for citizens bypassed by Brazil's economic boom. With the World Cup coming in 2014 and the Olympics two years later, this is an essential film for understanding a country that will soon be in the world spotlight.

    DVD (Portugese, Color) / 2012 / 74 minutes

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    Director: Jan Schmidt-Garre

    Modern yoga, that is, the form practiced daily by tens of millions of people around the world, goes back directly to the god Shiva according to Indian tradition. At the same time, however, modern yoga originated in the early 20th century - a creation of Indian savant T. Krishnamacharya (1888-1989). That story is far less known.

    Krishnamacharya's life and teachings are seen through the eyes of the director Jan Schmidt-Garre on his search for authentic yoga. His journey leads him from the legendary students and relatives of Krishnamacharya's to the source of modern yoga, at the palace of the Maharaja of Mysore. From Pattabhi Jois Jan learns the Sun salutation, from Iyengar the King of Asanas, the headstand, and finally Sribhashyam reveals to him his father's secret Life Saving Yoga Session.

    DVD (Color) / 2012 / 105 minutes

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    By Sam Pack

    This "superb, thought-provoking" ethnographic documentary explores the vitality and controversies surrounding a remarkable syncretic religious ceremony held in neighboring remote villages in rural Honduras during the Easter Holy Week. The ritual drama enacted in this ceremony resonates with persistent indigenous beliefs although expressed within a familiar Catholic framework.

    During the week leading up to Semana Santa, the two villages are literally overrun by characters called "Judios" (Spanish for "Jews"), masked individuals who carry wooden swords, speak in a strange guttural manner, and generally cause mayhem by staging riotous mock sword fights. Not surprisingly, members of the local Catholic Church - most notably the parish priest - consider these indigenous celebrations to be sacrilegious and want them ended.

    Tensions between Church members and the celebration participants are high, and the conflict is further exacerbated because the opposing sides are not comfortable speaking directly to one another about the issues involved. However, by including the divergent perspectives of members of the various constituencies, one of the principal goals of the film itself is to facilitate a channel of communication between the opposing parties that will enable dialogue to take place between them.

    With that goal in mind, the filmmaker returned to Honduras to screen a preliminary version of the film in order to make this invaluable cultural heritage available to the very community to which it belongs. Community members with opposing views were asked for their reactions, which were then incorporated into a final version of Celebrating Semana Santa, thereby adding a unique reflexive component to the film.

    Celebrating Semana Santa powerfully illustrates how symbols from the past may be re-interpreted in modern contexts and not simply survive but thrive in those radically changed situations. In so doing the film illuminates the varied ways that people craft their understanding of the present with reference to the past and their hopes for the future.

    The film will engage students and inspire thought and discussion in a wide variety of courses in Latin American studies, cultural anthropology and ethnography, and religious studies.

    DVD (Color, Spanish with English Subtitles) / 2012 / 43 minutes

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    Directed by Peter Biella

    As recently as forty years ago, most sections of the Maasai were semi-nomadic and relatively independent of the nation-state. However, political, social and economic changes in East Africa have forced many herders to adopt a sedentary lifestyle. The Chairman and the Lions introduces Frank Kaipai Ikoyo, a charismatic Ilparakuyo Maasai who, at thirty-three, is the leader of a Tanzanian village called Lesoit. Ikoyo was elected to his post at the age of twenty-six in part because he had completed primary school. That someone so young would be accorded such authority would have been without precedent not long ago. Yet this ethnography of Ikoyo's duties as village chairman shows how literacy and insight into the workings of the nation-state are essential for Maasai to combat the many lions, both real and figurative, that beset them: land grabbers, "bush" lawyers, unemployment, out-migration and poverty.

    Like leaders of many indigenous groups, Ikoyo understands education to be a double-edged sword. He advocates schooling as a key to village self-determination, while still seeking to preserve the foundations of pastoralist identity. For as one Maasai woman argues, schooling may well transform their children into "educated criminals." The film depicts Ikoyo contending with the invasion of village land by a non-Maasai farmer, interrogating spies in a lawsuit, persuading mothers to send their daughters to school, navigating the legalese of an exploitative contract, and eliciting help from a renowned elder to train young warriors in the art of lion hunting. The Chairman and the Lions interweaves its observational vignettes of Ikoyo's activities with narrative accounts by the chairman himself.

  • Special Jury Award, Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF), Tanzania, 2013
  • First Prize, ETNOFilm Festival for Ethnographic and Anthropological Film, Croatia, 2013

    DVD (Color, Maa and Swahili with English Subtitles) / 2012 / 46 minutes

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    By Sandrine Loncke

    This widely acclaimed and visually stunning ethnographic documentary explores, from the point of view of its participants, the complex cultural significance of one of Africa's most spectacular but frequently misunderstood and sensationalized ritual celebrations.

    In the heart of the Nigerien Sahel (Azawak region), far from any urban center, thousands of Fulbe Wodaabe nomads come together every year to celebrate their cultural identity in a vast ceremonial gathering named the Daddo. For seven days and seven nights, opposing ancestral lineages take part in a complex ritual courtship competition called the Geerewol.

    Under the strict control of their elders, elaborately ornamented young men made up with traditional face paint form lines to dance and sing. At the end of each dance, the young women of the opposing lineage come forward to designate the "most beautiful" male of the group. The ceremony is a ritualization of conflict, which probably replaces ancestral feuds and wars over women from opposing clans, and enables the Wodaabe to break the ceremony in peace after mutually recognizing their cultural uniformity.

    Each year, organizing the massive gathering becomes more and more difficult, due to the ongoing Sahel ecological crisis and droughts. But according to the Wodaabes, this traditional ceremony is the only opportunity for the nomadic lineages to gather and forge links despite their geographic dispersion. If the ceremony were to be stopped, it would signal to them the end of their society as a unique cultural entity.

    Fearing that the tradition may die out, Ouba Hassane, 40, and his wife Kedi, 39, chose to appear on screen and relate their experiences and understanding of the ritual. The film follows as Ouba teaches his son about Wodaabe traditions, myths, and religious beliefs. The couple's commentary, along with that of the ceremony participants (dancers, young women, those in charge of the youth, societal elders) provide viewers with deep insight into the full occasion, extending beyond the dance.

    The Geerewol ritual has been the subject of several films and "studies" in the West since the 1950s. These have largely fueled a fantasy image of a ceremony in which "effeminate" men allow women the privilege of choosing male lovers for a night during a male beauty contest. Filmmaker and ethnomusicologist Sandrine Loncke, who spent ten years among the Wodaabe researching and filming, offers a compelling and powerful reframing of the events. She enables the Wodaabe themselves to decipher for us the subtext of the ritual, examining the full spectrum of gender, social, political, educational, and religious beliefs that underscore Wodaabe cultural identity and help ensure their survival.

    Keenly observed, beautifully filmed, and engagingly edited, the film will richly reward viewing and inspire discussion in a wide range of courses in cultural anthropology, African studies, gender studies, and ethnomusicology.

    DVD (Color, With English Subtitles) / 2012 / 90 minutes

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    By Roberto Gonzalez,Laura Nader

    This profound ethnographic documentary explores the myriad of ways in which centuries-old indigenous knowledge is rapidly vanishing throughout the world. The film focuses on the southern Mexican village of Talea, Oaxaca. For half a century, the Zapotec people of this region have experienced rapid modernization: The creation of a road linking the village to cities, the arrival of electricity, and the introduction of computers and Internet have all transformed the texture of daily life.

    However, the people of Talea have often experienced "progress" as a double-edged sword. Farmers are now able to export coffee and other cash crops, but many of their children have migrated to the United States and today, fertile fields lay abandoned. Governance was once a village affair, but state and national government has disrupted and sometimes displaced local political autonomy. Most new buildings in Talea are constructed with imported concrete, not with regional materials. And traditional healing practices are rapidly being displaced by Western biomedicine.

    By exploring the transformation of agriculture, governance, architecture, and medical practices in the village, filmmaker/anthropologists Laura Nader and Roberto Gonzalez pose a series of provocative questions: Is it possible that 50 years of "development" has done more to unravel local culture than 500 years of conquest? What are the long-term implications of the knowledge that has been lost? Is there any possibility these processes might be reversed?

    The film also examines how disappearing indigenous knowledge isn't just a Zapotec problem. It is a global problem, for throughout the world, local knowledge developed over centuries -- a priceless intellectual treasure trove -- is withering away at an alarming rate.

    Losing Knowledge is both insightful and poignant. It will engage students and engender thought and discussion in a wide range of classes in cultural anthropology, Latin American studies, development issues and economics, and third-World studies.

    DVD (Color) / 2012 / 41 minutes

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    By H. James Gilmore,Carolyn Kraus

    In Detroit, the most segregated American city, vast stretches of boarded-up storefronts and weed-choked lots evidence decades of white and middle-class flight from the black central city. In the last 60 years, Detroit has lost more than half its residents, falling from a zenith of two million in the '50s during its heyday as an automotive mecca to a population of 700,000. After decades of factory layoffs and amid aftershocks of the current economic crisis, more than a third of Detroit's remaining population and nearly half of its children live below the poverty line. Twenty-nine Detroit schools closed recently, and nearly half of the city's adults are functionally illiterate.

    Particularly hard hit are Detroit's men, with an unofficial unemployment rate hovering near 50% and a third incarcerated or on parole. Not surprisingly, Detroit, which recently came in first on Forbes magazine's "Miserable Cities Index," is viewed as the national reference point for all that has gone wrong in the urban landscapes of America.

    But abandonment and decay are not the only stories in the poorest, most dramatically shrinking major American city. Detroit is also a tale of ingenuity and reinvention born of necessity. This thought-provoking and richly discussable documentary profiles a number of the original and creative individuals who are finding ways to survive in a time of turmoil.

    This is the story of how, in an economic climate apparently designed to ensure their failure, some resilient men find work on their own terms, get food and shelter, and raise their children -- often making up the means to do so as they go along.

    Men at Work focuses on eight essentially well-meaning men and explores their efforts to improvise a reality that succeeds for them. Although their survival strategies are largely "off the books," most have been willing, even anxious, to tell their stories. In one example, a handyman gives a new slant to the concept of "living off the grid," as he explains the dangerous process by which many residents jury-rig utility meters to pirate electricity and gas. Like many others he knows, he is a squatter in a bank-foreclosed home and says of himself: "I'm not in the system. I don't exist."

    There are stories, too, of recycling and reassembly, but not in the sense that the mainstream uses these terms. A craftsperson pulls down the cornice moldings and copper wiring from an abandoned house and fashions them into tables and sculptures, selling the leftovers on the junk market. This is what day-to-day life looks like in many Detroit neighborhoods- the reassembly of a city, being piloted solo and without a map or navigation system. Men at Work provides viewers an opportunity to hear these stories told in the voices of those who live them and listen, for once, to the full explanation.

    Men at Work will open students' eyes and hearts to stories ignored by the mainstream media and hidden from the national consciousness. It will inspire thought and discussion in a wide variety of classes in sociology and social issues, ethnic studies, urban studies, psychology, social work, and gender studies.

    DVD (Color) / 2012 / 57 minutes

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    By Mirjam von Arx

    Evangelical Christians are calling out for a second sexual revolution: chastity! As a counter-movement to the attitudes and practices of contemporary culture, one in eight girls in the U.S. today has vowed to remain "unsoiled" until marriage. But the seven children of Randy and Lisa Wilson, the Colorado Springs founders of the Purity Ball, take the concept one step further. They save even the first kiss for the altar.

    Following the Wilsons for two years, this impressive documentary observes the family's life up close as some of their children prepare for their fairytale vision of romance and marriage, and seek out their own prince and princess spouses. As VIRGIN TALES takes in home routines, church services, social gatherings, conventions and purity balls, a broader theme emerges: how the religious right is grooming a young generation of virgins to embody an Evangelically-grounded Utopia in America.

  • "There's something indescribably creepy about watching teenage girls at father-daughter purity balls pledge to marry men just like Daddy, which is why Mirjam von Arx's scrupulously respectful stance in VIRGIN TALES is the wisest position she could take." - Variety

  • "The film provides an important glimpse into fundamentalisms' modus operandi and their preferred battleground: Women's bodies. VIRGIN TALES successfully captures the inner workings of masculinist supremacy, its coding as religion awakening, and its dressing in gowns and tuxedos." - Claudia Brazzale, Ph.D., Global Scholar, Institute for Research on Women, Rutgers

  • "An intriguing glimpse into the touchy-feely faith and lifestyle of a modern American Evangelical family..." - Screen Daily

    DVD (Color) / 2012 / 87 minutes

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    By Sam Pack

    This insightful and original ethnographic documentary explores the complex interplay between the rise and development of the international tourism industry and the production of culture in the performance of Vietnamese water puppetry. The film, in the words of Prof. Lauren Meeker, of SUNY New Paltz, "addresses important issues in cultural heritage, tourism, reflexivity, and collaborative filmmaking. It sets up a contrast between the extractive process of 'collecting' heritage on film in which the finished product is not shared with the film subjects, and a collaborative filmmaking process in which the subjects are given the chance to comment upon academic films that have been made about them and then to represent their own culture by making their own short films."

    The objective of the Water Puppetry filmmaking team was to return a series of government-made films about the ancient tradition of water puppetry to the village of Bao Ha in the Red River Delta in order to make this invaluable cultural heritage available to the very community recorded in the films. A community screening of these original films was organized and villagers were encouraged to express their opinions about them. Five villagers were subsequently selected and trained to make films of their own about water puppetry.

    The filmmaking team then organized a second community screening, but this time, the featured films were made by community members themselves. In a powerfully symbolic way, this second set of films represents the process of digital repatriation traveling full circle. The hope was that this collaboration would serve as a model for ethnographic filmmaking, as more and more historically marginalized peoples gain the skills, technology, and need for a fuller understanding of their own past as well as a means to articulate their present and future.

    Water Puppetry in Vietnam is a rich, complex, and thought-provoking work that will captivate students and generate discussion in a wide variety of courses in cultural anthropology and ethnography, Asian studies, and development and tourism studies.

    DVD (Color) / 2012 / 31 minutes

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    By Fedor Ikelaar

    The road, to most of us, is simply a highway leading to a destination. But to many truck drivers, the road itself is their destination, their goal, and their home. To them the road can be a cold-hearted mistress that dominates their lives. This trenchant documentary follows three such truck drivers on that road as they passionately explain what drew them to truck driving and what is so compelling about their jobs.

    Keenly observed and engagingly edited, the film provides riveting portraits of the three drivers as they speak openly and thoughtfully within the intimacy of their cabs and relate the thoughts, hopes, dreams, and aspirations that keep them going and help them integrate this demanding job into their lives. There is both humor and sorrow in their stories, and the film exposes surprising dimension and depth to the seemingly tough and straightforward men.

    Filmed in The Netherlands and in Canada, What Keeps Them Going is a unique exploration of one of the largest occupational groups among men in most Western countries. It is both insightful and poignant and it will richly reward viewing and inspire discussion in a wide range of courses in cultural anthropology and sociology, especially those that deal with contemporary occupational issues, men and masculinity, and European anthropology.

  • "Beautifully captures the moods and motivations of long-distance truck drivers as they criss-cross the flat Dutch landscape and as they enrich it with sharply perceptive observations, sardonic and sentimental by turns. As they simultaneously scan the endless roads ahead and the lives now receding behind them, they turn their cramped cabs into hospitable windows on a surprisingly engaging world." - Michael Herzfeld, Professor of Anthropology, Harvard University

    DVD (Color, Dutch and English with English Subtitles) / 2012 / 29 minutes

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    Director: Victress Hitchcock

    'When the iron bird flies and horses run on wheels, the Tibetan people will be scattered like ants across the face of the earth." - Guru Padmasambhava of Tibet, 8th Century

    In 1959, the Chinese invasion of Tibet threw open the doors to the mysterious realm of Tibetan Buddhism and suddenly this rich, ancient tradition was propelled into the modern world. Half a century later, Padmasambhava's prophecy has come true and the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism are found in every corner of the earth.

    WHEN THE IRON BIRD FLIES takes us on an up-close and personal journey following the astounding path of one of the world's great spiritual traditions from the caves of Tibet to the mainstream of Western culture. Along the way, the film tackles the provocative exchanges between Buddhist practitioners and scholars and Western scientists, psychologists, and educators now at the heart of the emergence of a genuine Western tradition of Buddhism.

    And the film investigates the question: In these increasingly challenging times, can these profound teachings help us find genuine happiness and create a saner, more compassionate 21st century world?

    Through candid interviews with contemporary teachers and practitioners, rare archival footage, and striking images of modern life that illuminate and make accessible the Buddha's core teachings, the film creates a vivid and entertaining portrait of the world of Tibetan Buddhism, as it is manifesting in America and the West.

    DVD (Color, Black and White) / 2012 / 96 minutes

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    Jigme Lhundrup is the "Yangsi", the reincarnation of a greatly revered Tibetan Buddhist spiritual master. He must train to uphold this legacy from the age of four. Even with the loving support of his teachers and family the way forward is not always clear. Questions begin to arise about the place of his tradition in the modern world, and his own abilities. In this documentary film, director Mark Elliott ("The Lion's Roar", "Bodhisattva") follows a journey spanning fourteen years, culminating in the Yangsi's introduction to the world as a young man, when he must fully assume the mantle of his predecessor. With unprecedented access, "Yangsi" explores everyday life within a mystical tradition and reveals the unusual spirit of the boy at its center. Shot on location in Bhutan, Nepal, India, France, and the United States.

  • "An astonishing documentary" - Spirituality and Practice

  • "A brilliant character sketch" - BlouinArtInfo

    DVD (Color) / 2012 / 82 minutes

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    Director: Alain Resnais

    Based on two works by the playwright Jean Anouilh,You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet opens with a who's-who of French acting royalty (including Mathieu Amalric, Michel Piccoli and frequent Resnais muse Sabine Azema) being summoned to the reading of a late playwright's last will and testament. There, the playwright (Denis Podalydes) appears on a TV screen from beyond the grave and asks his erstwhile collaborators to evaluate a recording of an experimental theater company performing his Eurydice--a play they themselves all appeared in over the years. But as the video unspools, instead of watching passively, these seasoned thespians begin acting out the text alongside their youthful avatars, looking back into the past rather like mythic Orpheus himself. Gorgeously shot by cinematographer Eric Gautier on stylized sets that recall the French poetic realism of the 1930s, You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet is an alternately wry and wistful valentine to actors and the art of performance from a director long fascinated by the intersection of life, theater and cinema.

  • "An elegant, moving and mischievous meditation on the passage of time and the tenacity of art." - A.O. Scott, The New York Times

  • "A film of bristling intelligence that will delight lovers of cerebral upmarket cinema." - Jonathan Romney, Screen International

    DVD (Color, French with English Subtitles) / 2012 / 115 minutes

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    By Naomi Levari and Saar Yogev

    Ameer Abu Ria is about to enlist in the army. As opposed to the majority of eighteen-year-old boys in Israel, for whom army service is mandatory, Ameer is exempt from military service under the assumption that his enlistment may endanger Israel's security. That is because Ameer, an Israeli citizen, is a Muslim Arab. And yet, Ameer has decided to volunteer. He believes that his induction is the way to equality, he believes this is the way to belong to the state he lives in, the state he wants to love.

    He is considered an enemy, a fifth column in the eyes of Israeli Jews, and a traitor of the worst kind in the eyes of Arab citizens; the kind who turns against his brothers.

    All alone, Ameer sets out on a journey to civic and self-definition, while carefully navigating the thin line between Jewish and Arab societies. Ameer, an eternal optimist, wishes to be both a proud Arab and an enthusiastic Israeli, while his only enemy is reality.

  • "The film refrains from grand gestures or political slogans; it does not offer any simplistic solutions. Striking in its modesty and clarity, it allows the different voices to be heard, letting questions rise and moving the viewer to think further. Ameer Got His Gun is a sensitive and intelligent film portraying an individual as he navigates the surreal terrain of his life." - Midnight East

  • "Never has a film summed up so neatly the dilemma of Israel's largest ethnic minority without resorting to didacticism or political dogmatism." - Jewish Daily Forward

  • Grand Prize, Festival International de Programmes Audiovisuels (FIPA), France, 2012
  • Special Mention Jerusalem International Film Festival 2011
  • Best International Documentary Chagrin Film Festival, USA, 2011

    DVD (Color) / 2011 / 58 minutes

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    Director: Andrei Ujica

    DVD (Region 1, Romanian, With English Subtitles) / 2011 / 180 minutes

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    By Jenifer McShane

    Women are the fastest-growing U.S. prison population today. Eighty percent are mothers of school-age children. Jenifer McShane's absorbing documentary gives human dimensions to these rarely reported statistics, taking us inside Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, a maximum security prison north of New York City. Shot over four years, MOTHERS OF BEDFORD follows five women - of diverse backgrounds and incarcerated for different reasons- in dual struggles to be engaged in their children's lives and become their better selves. It shows how long-term sentences affect mother-child relationships and how Bedford's innovative Children's Center helps women maintain and improve bonds with children and adult relatives awaiting their return. Whether it be parenting's normal frustrations to celebrating a special day, from both inside and out of the prison walls, this moving film provides unprecedented access to a little known, rarely shown, community of women.

  • "A compelling documentary that follows five extraordinary women. . . .A deeply moving story about these women, their journey and what it means to be a mother." - Hot Docs International Film Festival

  • "Confronts crucial issues facing the American criminal justice system. . . . Also demonstrates . . . The courageous steps toward redemption taken by the MOTHERS OF BEDFORD." - John H. Biaggi, Human Rights Watch Film Festival

  • "The film encourages children and parents involved in the system to take hold of their own narrative and not deny it or demonize it." - Jenny Crawford, LMSW, Columbia University School of Social Work

  • Hot Docs Canadian International Film Festival, Best Documentary

    DVD (Color) / 2011 / 96 minutes

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    By Franco Sacchi, Charles K. Mann, Mary M. Jirmanus

    This film provides insights into the challenges and opportunities faced by families in three contrasting communities in Costa Rica. Developed for an innovative teaching collaboration between Southern New Hampshire University and EARTH University, the film looks at key community economic development issues as seen by the region's residents, by EARTH University students working in the communities, and by experienced University faculty

    DVD (Color) / 2010 / 90 minutes

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