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Weekly New Release - Documentary

Weekly New Release - Documentary

56 UP

Director: Michael Apted

"Give me the child until he is seven and I will give you the man."

The UP Series has explored this Jesuit maxim for over half a century. The original concept was to interview children from diverse backgrounds from all over England about their lives and their future dreams. Every seven years, director Michael Apted has returned to talk to them about their progress. Now they are 56.

The UP Series is, according to critic Roger Ebert, "an inspired, almost noble use of the film medium. Apted penetrates to the central mystery of life."

  • "Cinema's longest-running and most fascinating experiment! " - The New York Times

  • "One of the supreme creations of documentary filmmaking. Riveting!" - Salon.com

  • "Moving and ambitious in scale like nothing else in cinema." - Village Voice

    DVD-R / 2012 / 139 minutes

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    Directed by Brad Lichstenstein

    As Goes Janesville delivers a powerful multi-faceted account of the struggles and hopes of union workers, business leaders, and elected officials to rebuild their lives and their town's economy following the 2008 closure of the oldest operating General Motors plant. Meanwhile, newly elected governor Scott Walker ignites a firestorm by introducing a bill to end collective bargaining, sparking a recall election.

    The film follows laid-off workers Cindy Deegan, a factory worker going back to school to train for a non-union job that pays a third of her former wage as well as African-Americans Gayle Listenbee and Angie Hodges who both leave family behind to follow their union jobs to GM plants in other states. Meanwhile, business leader, Mary Willmer-Sheedy, co-chair of a private economic development initiative supported by the governor, woos out-of-state businesses to bring economic development to town. The film also follows democrat State senator Tim Cullen as he tries to persuade GM to return to town and eventually, flees the state to stop governor Scott Walker's anti-union initiatives.

    Both a microcosm of America's economic crisis and an exploration of the country's tug-of-war over labor relations, As Goes Janesville is a powerful and balanced illustration of the power of community, and of individuals coming together despite diverging politics to protect the American Dream.

  • "An up-close view of one of the meanest and most dramatic chapters in recent American politics: the battle over collective-bargaining rights for Wisconsin state employees and the subsequent effort to recall the Republican governor, Scott Walker, from office.... a political thriller!"- The New York Times

  • "Movies often sacrifice the statistical evidence to a good story. As Goes Janesville does not." - Luigi Zingales, Library of Economics and Library

  • "This intimate verite-style documentary supplies refreshingly human insight into America's economic crisis." - Time Out Chicago

  • Winner, Best Documentary, Oregon Independent Film Festival
  • Winner, Special Jury Award- Feature, Milwaukee Film Festival
  • Winner, Best Documentary, Columbia Gorge Film Festival
  • Winner, Best Documentary, Independent Film Quarterly Festival

    DVD / 2012 / 88 minutes

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    Director: Shannah Laumeister

    Bert Stern's photography career began in the mailroom of Look Magazine- where he formed a close relationship with a young staffer named Stanley Kubrick- and quickly took off during the Golden Age of Advertising. Sought after by Madison Avenue, Hollywood, and the fashion world, Stern, like Irving Penn and Richard Avedon, became not just a photographer but a star in his own right. This is a story of self-creation- rise, fall, and reinvention- exploring creativity, celebrity, and desire through the eyes of a man who got everything he wanted. Almost.

    DVD-R / 2012 / 87 minutes

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    Directed by Sasha Reuther

    Narrated by Martin Sheen, Brothers on the Line explores the extraordinary journey and legacy of the Reuther brothers - prolific labor leaders and organizers whose crusade for social justice, at the helm of the United Auto Workers union, forever transformed the auto industry and labor in this country. The film follows the brothers as they rise from shop-floor organizers in 1930s Detroit to leaders in collective bargaining, civil rights activism, and international labor solidarity.

    In 1930s Detroit, a new industrial revolution came to life in the colossal factories of the Motor City. Taking a stand against oppressive working conditions, young autoworkers, Walter, Roy, and Victor Reuther, overcame intimidation and violence to help organize sit-down strikes; the most successful occurring at the General Motors facilities in Flint, Michigan. Their bold rhetoric challenged the mighty automakers, winning unprecedented quality-of-life gains, giving a voice to the rank-and-file, and establishing the United Auto Workers as one of the most influential unions in American history.

    As UAW President for nearly three decades, Walter was heralded as a visionary negotiator and leader, with his brothers as advisors on community, political, and international affairs. Together, they forged a potent coalition of Washington lawmakers, overseas dignitaries, and social activists. The union's innovative settlement details encouraged a flourishing middle-class, while its resources supported the burgeoning civil rights movement in a common fight for a fair shake. On the other side of this impassioned battle, stood a web of adversaries threatened by the Reuthers' and determined to silence them. While the FBI files overflowed with accusations of revolutionary subversion, conservatives and captains of industry team up to discredit the union. Dissent within the UAW bubbles to the surface as the Reuther brothers faced heart-wrenching consequences at the crossroads of their political loyalty and militant rank-and-file roots.

    Spanning over forty years, and featuring an impressive roster of interviewees including autoworkers and executives, historians, activists, professors and civil rights leaders, Brothers on the Line delivers an in- depth examination of the legacy of the visionary labor organizers. A timely tale of one family's quest to compel industrial America to live up to its promise of a fair day's wages for a fair day of work, this is a dramatic document of successful social action.

  • "Shows how the brothers built the U.A.W. and how that union helped raise living standards for not just one million autoworkers, but also for a large swath of America. The film shows the fierce struggles and sit-down strikes that led to the unionization of General Motors, Ford and Chrysler, and how the U.A.W. played a major role in underwriting the civil rights movement as well as that of Cesar Chavez and the farmworkers." - Steven Greenhouse, The New York Times

  • "A touching homage to three working-class men who played an underappreciated role in every major social movement during 40 years of American history."- Washington City Paper

  • "A wonderful, historical study...I encourage everyone to see this. It's a very important part of American history that was never told in school."- KCUR

  • Winner, Best Documentary Feature, Detroit Independent Film Festival/ Michigan Film Awards
  • Winner, Best Documentary Feature, Workers Unite Film Festival

    DVD / 2012 / 80 minutes

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    Directed by Jose Alvarez

    An engrossing ethnographic work, Canicula is a study of the rich cultural heritage and traditions of the Totonac people of Veracruz, Mexico, who have resided in this region for thousands of years. Beautifully photographed, this documentary features rare footage of the Totonac's "voladores" ritual ("the flying dance"), named an Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO.

    In Spanish, the term 'canicula' refers to the forty most torrid days of the year. For the Totonac people, this period, known as the 'days of the bleeding sun,' is marked with important rites and ceremonies.

    Employing an intimate, patient approach, director Jose Alvarez transports us to a small village in Zapotal, Santa Cruz, as preparations are underway for the annual rituals. We see young children learning a traditional dance; women kneading, molding and sculpting clay to produce the Totonac's gorgeous, signature pottery; and we observe young boys and men practicing the Voladores on the ground.

    When the time comes, four boys and one elder will climb to the top of a pole that rises above the forest. The eldest will take his place at the very top, where he will perform a traditional song and dance. Then the four boys will cast themselves backwards, letting themselves fall , heads to the ground, only their feet tied by a rope, as they spin around the pole making their descent. It is a breathtaking sight, a ceremony of symbolic sacrifice and rebirth that dates back 500 years when it was first performed to appease the gods and end a devastating drought.

    A striking anthropological documentary, Canicula emphasizes the importance of tradition in the preservation of culture and identity.

  • "A gorgeous and captivating overview of the crafts and rituals of the Totonac people in Veracruz's Zapotal Santa Cruz community. Among the year's loveliest nonfiction entries... This tapestry of sights and sounds allows audiences to take notice of a proud, long-ignored tribal group whose cultural roots remain firmly intact." - Variety

  • "By illuminating the way in which humble materials can be elevated to mystic stature, Canicula becomes a hushed and beautiful contemplation of timelessness and transformation." - LA Times

  • "Its beauty moved me deeply. It's exciting because it is true, beautiful and poetic." - Alejando Gonzalez Inarritu, director of Babel, 21 Grams and Amores Perros

    DVD / 2012 / 65 minutes

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    Directed by Andrea Nix Fine and Sean Fine

    A powerful, moving documentary from the filmmakers of the Academy Award nominated War/Dance , Inocente delivers a rare glimpse inside the inspirational life of a homeless, undocumented fifteen-year old girl, a burgeoning artist, and the extraordinary challenges she must contend with on a daily basis.

    In San Diego, a young teenage girl's eyes stare into a compact mirror. She paints a dramatic black swirl around her eye. She never knows what her day will bring, but she knows at least it will always begin with color. At 15, Inocente refuses to let her dream of becoming an artist be destroyed by her life as an undocumented immigrant forced to live homeless for the last nine years.

    Color is her personal revolution and its extraordinary sweep on her canvases creates a world that looks nothing like her own dark past - - a past punctuated by a father deported for domestic abuse, an alcoholic and defeated mother of four who once took her daughter by the hand to jump off a bridge together, an endless shuffle year after year through the city's overcrowded homeless shelters and the constant threat of deportation.

    Despite this history, Inocente's eyes envision a world transformed...where buildings drip in yellow and orange, where pink and turquoise planets twinkle with rescued dreams, and one-eyed childlike creatures play amongst loved babies and purple clouds. Inocente's family history is slowly revealed through her paintings.

    Told in her own words, we come to Inocente's story as she realizes her life is at a turning point, and for the first time, she decides to take control of her own destiny. Irreverent, flawed and funny, she's now channeling her irrepressible personality into a future she controls. Her talent has finally been noticed, and if she can create a body of work in time, she has an opportunity to put on her first art show. Meanwhile, her family life is at a tense impasse - - if she legally emancipates herself from her mother to strike out on her own, she'll risk placing her brothers in foster care, but to stay is unbearable.

    Inocente is a timeless story about the transformative power of art, the challenges facing undocumented immigrants in this country, and the new face of homeless in America: children. But it is also a coming of age story about a brave young girl's fierce determination to never surrender to the bleakness of her surroundings.

  • "This poignant film gives face to homeless children and should prompt discussions about immigration reform, homelessness, and arts education. Recommended for young adult readers...Teens will embrace Inocente and her story." - Candace Smith, Booklist

  • "Insanely inspiring" - Kate Kennedy, Glamour

  • Winner, Special Jury Prize, Arizona International Film Festival
  • Winner, Best Documentary Short, San Antonio Film Festival
  • Winner, UNICEF Special Award - EBS International Documentary Film Festival
  • Winner, Best Short Film, Flagstaff Mountain Film Festival
  • Winner, Spirit Award, Awareness Film Festival

    DVD / 2012 / 40 minutes

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    Directed by Ra'anan Alexandrowicz

    What is legal and what is just? Through candid, first-ever, interviews with Israeli judges, prosecutors and legal advisors, The Law In These Parts - is a gripping and revelatory investigation into the legal framework put in place by Israel to govern the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

    Since Israel conquered the territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the 1967 war, the military has imposed thousands of orders and laws, established military courts, sentenced hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, enabled half a million Israeli "settlers" to move to the Occupied Territories and developed a system of long-term jurisdiction by an occupying army that is unique in the entire world.

    The men entrusted with creating this new legal framework were the members of Israel's military legal corps. Responding to a constantly changing reality, these legal professionals have faced (and continue to face) complex judicial and moral dilemmas in order to develop and uphold a system of long-term military "rule by law" of an occupied population, all under the supervision of Israel's Supreme Court, and, according to Israel, in complete accordance with international law.

    The Law In These Parts explores this unprecedented and little-known story through testimonies of the military legal professionals who were the architects of the system and helped run it in its formative years. The film attempts to ask some crucial questions that are often skirted or avoided: Can such an occupation be achieved within a legal framework that includes genuine adherence to the principals of rule-of-law? Should it? Can a modern democracy impose a prolonged military occupation on another people while retaining its core democratic values?

  • "Brilliant." - Film Comment

  • "A gripping new documentary. The film draws its power not from interviews with Palestinians-that would be the predictable approach. Instead, director Ra'anan Alexandrowicz turns the camera on the military judges tasked with imposing order and meting out punishment in the West Bank and Gaza during more than 43 years of Israeli rule." - Newsweek

  • "A really fascinating, meticulous kind of dissection of how the law in the occupied territories came to be." - Kenneth Turan, NPR

  • Winner, Grand Jury Prize, Documentary World Cinema, Sundance Film Festival
  • Winner, Best Documentary, Jerusalem Film Festival
  • Winner, Special Jury Award, Full Frame Documentary Film Festival
  • Winner, Special Jury Prize, HotDocs Film Festival

    DVD / 2012 / 101 minutes

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    Director: Stephen Vittoria

    Before he was convicted of murdering a policeman in 1981 and sentenced to die, Mumia Abu-Jamal was a gifted journalist and brilliant writer. Now after more than 30 years in prison and despite attempts to silence him, Mumia is not only still alive but continuing to report, educate, provoke and inspire.

    Stephen Vittoria's new feature documentary is an inspiring portrait of a man whom many consider America's most famous political prisoner - a man whose existence tests our beliefs about freedom of expression. Through prison interviews, archival footage, and dramatic readings, and aided by a potent chorus of voices including Cornel West, Alice Walker, Dick Gregory, Angela Davis, Amy Goodman and others, this riveting film explores Mumia's life before, during and after Death Row - revealing, in the words of Angela Davis, "the most eloquent and most powerful opponent of the death penalty in the world...the 21st Century Frederick Douglass."

  • "Abu-Jamal's words flow like the sap of trees, pulsing with energy and capturing the essence of life." - Library Journal

  • "Uncompromising, disturbing...Abu-Jamal's voice has the clarity and candor of a man whose impending death emboldens him to say what is on his mind without fear of consequence." - The Boston Globe

    DVD-R / 2012 / 120 minutes

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    Directed by Kleber Mendonca Filho

    A palpable sense of unease hangs over a single city block in the coastal town of Recife, Brazil. Home to prosperous families and the servants who work for them, the area is ruled by an aging patriarch and his sons. When a private security firm is reluctantly brought in to protect the residents from a recent spate of petty crime, it unleashes the fears, anxieties and resentments of a divided society still haunted by its troubled past. Kleber Mendonca Filho's Neighboring Sounds is a thrilling debut by a major new voice in world cinema.

  • Critics' Pick !"A revelatory debut feature." - A.O. Scott, The New York Times

  • "Stunning." - Melissa Anderson, Village Voice

  • "A thrilling discovery... Neighboring Sounds is the work of someone with an acute eye and ear for the push and pull of modern life, and it makes for genuinely compulsive viewing. Kleber Mendonca Filho is on track to become a major filmmaker in the coming years." - Gavin Smith, Film Comment

    DVD / 2012 / 131 minutes

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    Director: Atsushi Funahashi

    This documentary sensitively but penetratingly chronicles the aftermath of the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant reactor meltdown following the devastating impact of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.

  • "Cuts to the heart of the matter...drive[s] home not only their hardship and fortitude, but the alarming implications of corporate/governmental indifference and ineptitude vis-a-vis Japan's nuclear policies." - Variety

    DVD-R (Japanese with English Subtitles) / 2012 / 96 minutes

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    Director: Josh Aronson

    One Polish violinist. 70 Jewish musicians. Together they fought the Nazis with the only weapon they had: Music.

    From Academy Award nominated director Josh Aronson, Orchestra of Exiles reveals the dramatic story of Bronislaw Huberman, the celebrated Polish violinist who rescued some of the world's greatest musicians from Nazi Germany and then created one of the world's greatest orchestras, the Palestine Philharmonic (which would become the Israeli Philharmonic).

    DVD-R / 2012 / 85 minutes

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    Directed by Paul Lacoste

    French chef Michel Bras, one of the most influential chefs in the world, has decided to hand over his renowned 3-Michelin-Star restaurant to his son Sebastien. Having worked with his father for 15 years, Sebastien is ready. But it's not easy to take over the family business when your father is a master in his field.

    Filmed in the gorgeous Aubrac region in the South of France, home to the Bras family for generations, Step Up To The Plate offers a rare glimpse into the Bras' culinary process while capturing one of the most closely watched transitions in the world of haute cuisine.

  • Critics' Pick " Foodies will marvel at the studied care given every choice of herb, every flick of a wrist, every design of a plate... Step Up to the Plate asserts how family, in multifarious ways, can be the most deeply affecting of ensembles." - The New York Times

  • "A smart and poignant portrait of France's finest family of chefs. For those foodies who can't make the pilgrimage (or dole out the cash) to visit Michel Bras' legendary hotel-restaurant in the remote plains of Laguiole, France, director Paul Lacoste's smart and mouthwatering documentary, Step Up to the Plate offers a captivating cinematic alternative" - Hollywood Reporter

  • "Captivating. A rare window into the mysterious creative process of a chef, as well as the passing of culinary traditions across generations." - Time Magazine

    DVD / 2012 / 87 minutes

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    Directed by Isaac Brown

    In 1983 TIME magazine bestowed its coveted person-of-the-year award to the computer. This invention revolutionized the way we work, play and communicate.

    Since then, technology has advanced at an amazing speed, and in order to keep up we are replacing our old machines at the same rate, creating a cyclical stream of waste. But this is not your grandmother's compost. Computers, cell phones, TVs, and other electronics are filled with heavy metals. A typical CRT computer monitor - the standard box we're all familiar with - contains roughly 7 pounds of lead. In addition to lead, they also contain other toxics: cadmium, mercury and brominated flame retardants. While perfectly harmless on our desktop, when thrown away these antiquated electronics are classified as hazardous waste.

    From the director of Gimme Green, which explored the environmental impact of one of our most recognizable national symbols - the residential lawn, Terra Blight is a fascinating, eye-opening documentary that examines America's consumption of technology and the global problem of e-waste. The documentary traces the life cycle of computers from creation to disposal, and uncovers how these products are disposed of and where exactly they wind up.

    The United States, for example, is the only industrialized country that does not prohibit the export of its e-waste. So while seventy percent of America's e-waste is buried in toxic landfills, the rest is sent to developing countries.

    Terra Blight brings us to one such landfill in Ghana, where young boys scavenge through mountains of broken computers, keyboards and laptops (including, ironically, computers that once belonged to the Environmental Protection Agency) searching for copper and other metals. The documentary also shows us a possible solution to the problem, taking us inside a new high-tech facility in the United States where e-waste is efficiently recycled.

    After watching this film, you won't be able to look at a computer the same way.

  • "Terra Blight is film of brutal contrasts and profoundly disturbing conclusions. Terra Blight forces viewers to wonder when conscientious Americans deliver obsolete electronics to "recyclers" on community waste collection days, where do those toxic wastes really end up? Why would any nation permit 21st century toxic waste to be managed by 19th century standards? Highly recommended and a must have for all programs dealing with environmental issues ." - Educational Media Reviews Online

  • " Suitable for college courses in cultural anthropology, anthropology of technology, development anthropology, anthropology of globalization, American studies, and African studies, as well as general audiences. - The Anthropology Review Database

  • "Great film!!! Gigantic story superbly told, urgent theme delivered with punch and finesse, brilliant filmmaking in every dimension. Deserves and needs to be seen everywhere." - Jonathan Demme

    DVD / 2012 / 55 minutes

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    Directed by Jeroen van Velzen

    A gorgeously filmed ethnographic portrait of an elderly Kenyan shark fisherman who has a primeval bond with the ocean and its creatures, Wavumba: They Who Smell of Fish delivers an enchanting depiction of Africa's storytelling tradition, where fantasy, dreams, belief and reality blend.

    Dutch, Kenyan-raised filmmaker re-immerses himself in the magical stories of his Kenyan childhood. He decides to follow Masoud - known for catching giant sharks with his bare hands-as the legendary fisherman embarks on his last quest. Together with Masoud and his apprentice, director Jeroen van Velzen embarks to sea, rowing for hours as Masoud tells his fish tales. Masoud becomes our guide to fishing techniques, to the flora and fauna of the bounding main, but also to an intangible spiritual world. The journey culminates with a breathtaking exploration of the holy islands, the resting place of the spirits, where knowing the language of the shamans is necessary to ask the spirits for a good catch.

    Together with ritual stories and tales of sea spirits told by villagers and shamans, and gorgeous photography, Wavumba is an intimate, gentle, and respectful account that brings centuries-old traditions to life.

  • "Evocative sound design and interludes of Kenyan storytellers intoning myths about sea-dwelling spirits and hidden worlds wrap the film in a fantastical, impressionistic gauze." - Jeremy Egner, The New York Times

  • "A high point this year [in the Tribeca Film Festival] is the Dutch film Wavumba, directed by Jeroen van Velzen. In it he returns to coastal Kenya, where he grew up, and meets Masoud, an aged shark fisherman who regales him with tales of his adventures. Although the old man's powers are failing, he has a primeval bond with the ocean and its creatures." - Stephen Holden, The New York Times

  • "Stunning lensing and a deep respect for the stories of coastal Kenyans leave auds pleasantly ruminating on a world touched by magic long after the final credits roll. Director Jeroen van Velzen succeeds beautifully." - Variety

  • Winner, Best New Documentary Director, Tribeca Film Festival

    DVD / 2012 / 80 minutes

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    Directed by Mai Iskander

    From the director of multi-award-winning documentary Garbage Dreams , Words of Witness follows a 22-year-old female reporter for the independent newspaper Egypt Independent , as she covers Egypt's transition to democracy, from the heyday of Tahir Square to Egypt's first free and fair presidential election. Defying cultural and gender norms as well as family expectations, Heba takes to the streets to report, using Facebook posts, tweets, and text messages, on an Egypt in turmoil.

    For thirty years, Egypt was ruled by the oppressive regime of President Hosnu Mubarak. When Mubarak resigned and transferred the power to the Army to lead the country in the transition to democracy, the Tahir Square demonstrators celebrate chanting "The Army and the people will complete the journey". However, as Heba and the nation quickly realize, the struggle for a new order has just begun.

    Despite repetitive arguments with her mother who is fearing for her daughter's life and cautious of respecting women's traditional roles, Heba covers a series of historical events. She interviews parents of missing demonstrators; takes an active part in a thrilling demonstration at the State Security headquarters resulting in the discovery of thousand of classified files on public figures and ordinary citizens kept by the police; gets caught in a tense religious event protesting against the State police who are preventing the rebuilding of a church; witnesses the army, once hailed as the people's liberators, using violence and later torture and taking down demonstrators camps in Tahir Square; and, finally, documents the election process.

    Words of Witness offers a fascinating account of Egypt post-revolution as the nation faces the challenges that lay ahead; as well as a moving portrait of an incredible, fearless young woman, who is now a contributor to The New York Times. Heba's story is an illustration of the critical role social media played in the Arab Spring, as nations are in the process of reinventing themselves and finding their voices.

  • "A crucial story of modern revolution... The ambitious, articulate Afify bucks native female tradition... as she confidently immerses herself into a series of precarious, post-Mubarak actions and protests" - The Los Angeles Times

  • "Raw and fascinating." - Wall Street Journal

  • "As a young truth-seeker, an idealist, and female, Heba is very much a heroine for the 21st century." - Slant

    DVD / 2012 / 70 minutes

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    Directed by Diane Paragas & Nelson George

    In this inspiring, dynamic and colorful documentary, filmmaker Nelson George explores a singular neighborhood in Brooklyn that gave rise to an African-American arts movement in the late 20th century as vibrant as the Harlem Renaissance.

    Through interviews with Spike Lee, Chris Rock, Branford Marsalis, Rosie Perez, Vernon Reid, Lisa Jones Chapman, Lorna Simpson, Toure, Saul Williams, Kevin Powell, Talib Kweli, Carl Hancock Rux, and many others, Brooklyn Boheme celebrates the rise of a new kind of African American artist and chronicles an important chapter in African-American history.

    In the late 1970s, young black artists of every stripe, attracted by the proximity of the Village and affordable housing begin to move to Fort Greene and Clinton Hill neighborhoods in Brooklyn. Despite being a haven for crime, drugs and prostitution, the first seeds of a new renaissance were planted.

    In 1986, the success of local resident Spike Lee's She's Gotta Have It transformed the neighborhood into a magnet for artists. Block and house parties created close-knitted personal and creative relationships, and facilitated collaboration. The Brooklyn Moon cafe, and Spike Lee's production company, 40 Acres and a Mule, became epicenters for a creative movement.

    In the late 1990s, as crime fell and the NYC real estate market boomed, the gentrification of the Fort Greene/Clinton Hill area intensified. Today, many artists have left, but a few stalwarts remain - hoping to revive a community that was once such a mecca for young black artists. Brooklyn Boheme is a celebration of that creativity as well as a powerful illustration of the central role community plays in the construction of one's social, creative, and personal identity.

  • "A celebration and elegy for a scene that faded away in the face of real estate pressures and gentrification." - The New York Times

  • "A revelation." - Slate

  • "An interesting slice of black Americana, this is recommended." - Video Librarian

    DVD / 2011 / 84 minutes

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    Directed by Lev Anderson and Chris Metzler

    From the shifting faultlines of Hollywood fantasies and the economic and racial tensions of Reagan's America, Fishbone rose to become one of the most original bands of the last 25 years. With a blistering combination of punk and funk they demolished the walls of genre and challenged the racial stereotypes and political order of the music industry and the nation. Telling it like it is, the iconic Laurence Fishburne narrates EVERYDAY SUNSHINE, a story about music, history, fear, courage and funking on the one.

    At the heart of the film's story is lead singer Angelo Moore and bassist Norwood Fisher who show how they keep the band rolling out of pride, desperation and love for their art. To overcome money woes, family strife, and the strain of being aging Punk rockers on the road, Norwood and Angelo are challenged to re-invent themselves in the face of dysfunction and ghosts from a painful past.

    Featuring interviews with Flea, Gwen Stefani, Ice-T, Perry Farrell, Branford Marsalis, George Clinton, Tim Robbins, Gogol Bordello, ?uestlove, and others, EVERYDAY SUNSHINE traces the band's history, influence, and struggle as individualistic, genre-blending artists up against an unforgiving music industry that threatens to pass them by.

  • "Fascinating ... The film is a parable about racial and musical politics in the record industry and a slice of social history that gazes back at a scene often overlooked in waves of '80s and '90s nostalgia ". - The New York Times

    "Many bands have a might-have-been story, but few have a story that reflects such rich and paradoxical ideas." - The New Yorker

  • "Recommended for fans of the genre and students of popular music's byways". - Library Journal

    DVD / 2011 / 107 minutes

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    Director: Nicolas Prividera

    This rigorously structured and visually engrossing essay film explores Argentina's fractious modern history through the words of writers - both founding fathers and oppositional voices - who lay buried in Buenos Aires's famed Recoleta Cemetery.

  • "Arresting...original...most effective. One of the real highlights of the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival." - Senses of Cinema

    DVD-R (Spanish with English Subtitles) / 2011 / 100 minutes

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    Directors: David Redmon & Ashley Sabin

    Despite a lack of obvious similarities between Siberia and Tokyo, a thriving model industry connects these distant regions. Girl Model follows two protagonists involved in this industry: Ashley, a deeply ambivalent model scout who scours the Siberian countryside looking for fresh faces to send to the Japanese market, and one of her discoveries, Nadya, a 13-year-old plucked from her rustic home in Russia and dropped into the center of bustling Tokyo with promises of a profitable career. After Ashley's initial discovery of Nadya, they rarely meet again, but their stories are inextricably bound. As Nadya's optimism about rescuing her family from financial hardship grows, her dreams contrast against Ashley's more jaded outlook about the industry's corrosive influence.

  • "A haunted glimpse into exploited youth." - Variety

  • "The film illuminates and personalizes some details to which even fashion insiders may not be privy." - The New York Times

    DVD-R (English, Japanese & Russian with English Subtitles) / 2011 / 77 minutes

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    Directed by Ali Samadi Ahadi

    The Green Wave uses actual blog entries, tweets and cell phone video, along with eyewitness accounts, expert interviews and animated sequences to tell the story behind Iran's youth-driven Green Revolution and the Government's violent response. The film captures the spirit of hope and possibility that united the protesters and that has since spread across the Middle East.

    In countries like Iran, filmmakers have long learned they need to rely on other means rather than government controlled media outlets. Director Ali Samadi Ahadi used thousands of entries in Iranian blogs and social media websites to create two fictional characters, students whose hopes, fears and experiences with terror at the hands of government security thugs filter through the movie. These deeply moving fictional 'storylines' have been animated and supplemented with interviews with prominent human rights campaigners and exiled Iranians to complete a picture of the tragedy of the Green Revolution.

    To watch powerful footage of Iran's 2009 Green Revolution and events leading to the elections of June 12th that year is to feel the hope and the explosive energy of the people ready for a change from the oppressive regime. This is the story of crushed hope, but it is also the story of youth, their energy, their thirst for change and their endless inventiveness in finding new tools of a revolution.

  • "The Green Wave tells its deeply moving story three ways, using animation, on-camera interviews and extensive documentary footage to show us a moment in history that reveals more about itself each time it is examined." - Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

  • "This is a highly recommended film and an essential source for understanding contemporary Iran and the systematic suppression of dissent that fomented the Arab Spring uprisings across the Middle East beginning in late 2010". - EMRO

  • "In both form and content, the filmmaker refuses the orthodox...That [ director] Ahadi and his team were able to safely compile, let alone edit together, this much ground-level footage is a feat in and of itself; that it comes together in such a compelling manner makes it almost vital". - Village Voice

    DVD / 2011 / 80 minutes

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    Director: Jon Shenk

    President Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives is confronting a problem greater than any other world leader has ever faced - the survival of his country and everyone in it. Nasheed, who brought democracy to the Maldives after decades of despotic rule, now faces an even greater challenge: as one of the most low-lying countries in the world, a rise of three feet in sea level would submerge the 1200 islands of the Maldives and make them uninhabitable. A classic David and Goliath tale, The Island President captures Nasheed's battle to stop global warming - and save his country.

  • "Wonderfully vivid! A riveting, visually dazzling film." - Ann Hornaday, Washington Post

  • "Extraordinary access, spectacular footage." - A. O. Scott, The New York Times

  • "Inspiring! A Mandela-like tale of political heroism." - John DeFore, The Hollywood Reporter

    DVD-R / 2011 / 101 minutes

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    Directors: Sandra Dickson & Churchill Roberts

    By age 14, Petr Ginz wrote five novels and penned a diary about the Nazi occupaton of Prague. By 16, he produced more than 170 drawings and paintings, edited an underground magazine, wrote numerous short stories, and walked to the gas chamber at Auschwitz. A story of tragedy but also celebration, this film combines live action to create a testament to how one boy's creativity represents the best of what makes us all human.

  • "Astonishing...an exhilirating, moving documentary." - Matthew Bernstein, Emory University

    DVD-R (English & Hebrew with English Subtitles) / 2011 / 67 minutes

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    Directed by Julia Meltzer and Laura Nix

    Shot on the eve of the Syrian uprising, The Light in Her Eyes is a portrait of a remarkable woman, Houda al-Habash, a conservative Muslim preacher who 30 years ago founded one of the first religious schools for girls in Syria. It provides unique insight into the women's mosque movement, a piety movement that calls for greater freedom for women and encourages them to claim space within the mosque, a space historically dominated by men, while considering the changing roles of girls, women, and Islam in the Middle East.

    Every summer, hundreds of girls and teenagers in Houda's mosque immerse themselves in a rigorous study of Islam, in addition to their secular schooling. They attend intensive Qur'an classes where they learn to memorize the holy book with perfect enunciation. At the end of the summer, the program ends with two joyful ceremonies: while the young girls who are old enough to wear the hijab, the Muslim headscarf, are veiled for the first time by Houda, the older students who have succeeded in memorizing the holy book in its entirety proudly graduate from the program.

    Through lectures and one-on-one dialogue, Houda teaches a complex mix of progressive and conservative values. Challenging tradition, Houda insists education for women is a form of worship that can challenge extremism. It is not Islam that has deprived women, rather "Muslims themselves have deprived women of everything". While she encourages her students to pursue higher education, jobs, and public lives, she remains strongly committed to an interpretation of Islam which prioritizes women's roles as wives and mothers.

    Houda represents the new face of women's leadership in Islam. Women like her are an indication that, if and when political freedom comes to places like Syria, the local definition of freedom will likely differ dramatically from its definition in the West.

  • "A remarkable documentary... The Light In Her Eyes provides an inside look into the Islamic revival from the women's perspective." - The Huffington Post

  • " A remarkable documentary... A rare, and much needed, glimpse at the world through the eyes of modern Muslim women". - Foreign Policy in Focus

  • "The Light in Her Eyes is unique in that it is a documentary that allows for an unprecedented look into the rarely seen and seldom independently defined world of Muslim women. A must-see documentary that can open up an array of conversations on gender, politics and religion , and is also a film that introduces the viewer to the stories of real people, outside of the lens of judgment." - Islamic Horizons

    DVD / 2011 / 87 minutes

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    Directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan

    Once Upon a Time in Anatolia is the new film from the celebrated director of Climates and Distant . In the dead of night, a group of men - among them, a police commissioner, a prosecutor, a doctor and a murder suspect - drive through the Anatolian countryside, the serpentine roads and rolling hills lit only by the headlights of their cars. They are searching for a corpse, the victim of a brutal murder. The suspect, who claims he was drunk, can't remember where he buried the body. As night wears on, details about the murder emerge and the investigators' own secrets come to light. In the Anatolian steppes nothing is what it seems; and when the body is found, the real questions begin.

  • Critics' Pick! "A plangent, visually stunning meditation on what it is to be human... A metaphysical road movie about life, death and the limits of knowledge, Once Upon a Time in Anatolia has arrived just in time to cure the adult filmgoer blues. Nuri Bilge Ceylan...has emerged as one of the consistently most exciting directors on the international scene." - Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

  • "Beautiful and haunting." - Amy Taubin, Artforum

  • "Once Upon a Time in Anatolia is a cop movie and a road movie -- but mostly it's gorgeous cinema." - Andrew O'Hehir, Salon

  • Winner of the Grand Prize at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival

    DVD / 2011 / 157 minutes

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    Directed by Justine Shapiro

    In her Oscar nominated documentary Promises, filmmaker Justine Shapiro took us into the lives of Palestinian and Israeli children in and around Jerusalem. Her new documentary, Our Summer in Tehran, transports us into the seldom seen realm of middle class family life in Iran, transcending overt politics for a perspective Western media has little interest in showing.

    Justine, a Jewish-American filmmaker and former host of the travel series Globe Trekker, takes her 6-year-old son Mateo with her to Tehran where they spend the summer with 3 families: a religious family with ties to the government; a modern, secular family; and a single mom who is an actress.

    Providing a deeper understanding of Iran at this critical time, Our Summer in Tehran is an intimate and nuanced portrait, not of a nation, but of its people.

  • "...These people who could not seem less like our enemy, might someday find themselves beneath our bombs. This is a film that Americans need to see sooner rather than later." - Journalist Evan Hill, Al Jazeera

  • "For American viewers, this film is an educational experience. In fact, it is being used a tool in classrooms across the country to show Iranian culture, its people and a glimpse into family life for the middle class. For members of the Iranian Diaspora, the film is a nostalgic experience". - National Iranian American Council

  • "An high-opening look at Iranian middle-class life, this is recommended ." - Video Librarian

    DVD / 2011 / 59 minutes

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    Directed by Grant Gee

    A richly textured essay film on landscape, art, history, life and loss, Patience (After Sebald) offers a unique exploration of the work and influence of internationally acclaimed writer W.G. Sebald (1944 - 2001).

    Born in Wertach im Allgau, Germany in 1944, W.G. Sebald studied German language and literature in Freiburg, Switzerland and Manchester, England. In 1966 he took up a position as an assistant lecturer at the University of Manchester, and settled permanently in England in 1970. It was at the University of East Anglia, where he was working as a Professor of European Literature, that Sebald at the age of 46 completed his first book, "Vertigo." It went on to receive generous praise and notice. But it wasn't until the publication of his second book, "The Emigrants" in 1992, a winner of numerous major prizes, that Sebald was propelled to the heights of international acclaim.

    Sebald followed up these works with the equally revered and awarded "The Rings of Saturn" and "Austerlitz." He died in an automobile accident in Norfolk, England, near his home in Norwich in East Anglia, England, on December 14, 2001. Today, he is widely regarded as one of the most important post-War European authors, and his work has proved decisively influential on many artists, writers and filmmakers.

    Directed by the Grierson Award winning director of Joy Division and the Radiohead documentary Meeting People is Easy, Patience is the first film on this important and vital writer. The film is structured around a walk through coastal East Anglia, the same path followed by Sebald in his ground-breaking book, "The Rings of Saturn," and includes contributions from major writers, artists and filmmakers, including Adam Philips, Robert Macfarlane, Rick Moody and Tacita Dean.

  • "A hauntingly original piece of literary criticism... A must-see for fans and a welcome introduction for the curious." - A.O. Scott, The New York Times

  • "A worthy tribute to an unclassifiable masterpiece, Patience (After Sebald) is an homage that avoids the traps of slavish imitation. It's less an adaptation of 'The Rings of Saturn' than an expansion of it - and not just that, less a feat of literary criticism than something more elusive, a film that uses the tools of cinema to evoke the experience and the pleasure of reading." - LA Times

  • "Patience is not in any simple sense "about" The Rings of Saturn . It is about the experience of reading The Rings of Saturn " . - Artforum

    DVD / 2011 / 89 minutes

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    Directed by Tellervo Kalleinen and Oliver Kochta - Kalleinen

    During a group therapy session, nine patients talk about their psychiatrists and their experiences in mental institutions, and role-play each other's experiences, taking the parts of both patient and doctor. This innovative documentary by Tellervo Kalleinen and Oliver Kochta, best known for their renowned film Complaints Choir, examines the relationship between mental health care professionals and their clients, making the doctors and their treatment methods the primary focus.

    Sincere, disturbing, poignant and funny observations from the patients offer a fresh look at doctor-patient relationship. As they discuss severe depression, mania, extreme obsessive-compulsive disorder, sexual abuse, self-mutilation, suicide, paranoia; patients express their feelings towards their illness, diagnosis, and doctors, dispelling many taboos along the way.

    Roles in the film are "played" by both actors and actual patients, as all of the interviewees were able to choose whether they want to be in the film themselves, or if they prefer an actor to represent them. All said in the film is a direct quotation from the original interviews the filmmakers made with people recovering from mental illness. The actors listened to the original interviews and were guided on the set by the actual people they were playing for a realistic representation.

    DVD / 2011 / 64 minutes

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    Director: Ross McElwee

    Filmmaker Ross McElwee (Sherman's March, Bright Leaves) finds himself in frequent conflict with his son, a young adult who seems addicted to and distracted by the virtual worlds of the internet. To understand his fractured love for his son, McElwee travels back to St. Quay-Portrieux in Brittany for the first time in decades to retrace his own journey into adulthood. A meditation on the passing of time, the praxis of photography and film, and the digital versus analog divide.

    DVD-R (English & French with English Subtitles) / 2011 / 87 minutes

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    Director: Chad Freidrichs

    The Pruitt-Igoe Myth tells the story of the transformation of the American city in the decades after World War II, through the lens of the infamous Pruitt-Igoe housing development and the St. Louis residents who called it home.

    It began as a housing marvel. Built in 1956, Pruitt-Igoe was heralded as the model public housing project of the future, "the poor man's penthouse." Two decades later, it ended in rubble - its razing an iconic event that the architectural theorist Charles Jencks famously called the death of modernism. The footage and images of its implosion have helped to perpetuate a myth of failure, a failure that has been used to critique Modernist architecture, attack public assistance programs, and stigmatize public housing residents.

    The Pruitt-Igoe Myth seeks to set the historical record straight. To examine the interests involved in Pruitt-Igoe's creation. To re-evaluate the rumors and the stigma. To implode the myth.

  • "Devastating...an engulfing real-life horror story as well as a testimony to the dominance of the image in American public discourse. Chad Freidrichs employs evocative archival footage and incisive firsthand reportage to brush away the cliched and often prejudiced conventional wisdom that puts the blame for the project's demise on its black residents. Lucid, tenacious. The photographs of the brand-new Pruitt-Igoe buildings sting with an electric poignancy." - Michael Sragow, The New Yorker

  • "Compelling, exceptional. It correctly finds value in preserving this disappearing American experience on film and should serve as a prototype for similar efforts of cultural preservation." - Dante A. Ciampaglia, Architectural Record

    DVD / 2011 / 83 minutes

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    Directed by Simon Bright

    Once hailed as a national hero, Robert Mugabe - Zimbabwe's first and only elected political leader - is today widely considered one of Africa's most brutal dictators. What happened? This documentary offers an in-depth examination of Mugabe's life, policies and staggering transformation.

    Through extensive archival footage, illuminating interviews with the country's preeminent political figures and analysts, as well as victims of Mugabe's despotism, director Simon Bright tracks Mugabe's political career while offering a thorough history of contemporary Zimbabwe from its struggle to gain independence to the present day.

    As he first comes to power in 1980, Mugabe appears as the national hero, leading the nation, healing the wounds of the war for independence. He's the president who puts an end to the white-majority rule. Mugabe makes significant social progress, providing free education and health care, and redistributing land. The people and the economy of Zimbabwe flourish.

    However, as early as 1982, the first signs of Mugabe's insatiable thirst for power become apparent. As the economic conditions worsen, Mugabe gradually neutralizes his political opponents, muzzles the press and crushes uprisings through terror and massacres perpetuated by an extremely violent special army known as the Fifth Brigade.

    By 2002, Mugabe uses widespread acts of violence, extensive propaganda and rampant corruption to secure another term in office. In 2008, he famously declares: "Democracy in Africa, it's a difficult proposition because always the opposition will want much more than what it deserves... the gun is mightier than the pen".

    Has Robert Mugabe, over the course of his rule, undergone a genuine transformation, from firm believer in social progress to brutal dictator; or, was his original ethos mere posturing? Robert Mugabe... What Happened? provides informative support for each argument, while presenting an analysis of how terror and propaganda are used to take and hold power.

  • "A powerful, informative, and cautionary tale. Suitable for college courses in cultural anthropology, anthropology of colonial independence, political anthropology, and African studies, as well as general audiences". - The Anthropology Review Database

  • "Given the press restrictions, propaganda and suppression, it seemed the full story could never be told. That is, until now. Using a combination of rare footage and interviews with key individuals, the documentary Robert Mugabe, What Happened? Gives real insight and context to one of the tragedies of modern Southern Africa. A must-see for anyone who cares about Africa". - The South African

    DVD / 2011 / 84 minutes

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    Directed by Richard Knox Robinson

    In October of 1935, the FSA photographer Arthur Rothstein came to the mountains of Virginia for his first assignment as a professional photographer. He was sent to Virginia to photograph residents before they would be moved to make way for Shenandoah National Park. Rothstein was at the beginning of one of the most storied careers in American Photography. At the FSA with Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans and others, he would produce the most important photographic record of the American Depression.

    Director Richard Robinson (The Beekeepers) retraces Rothstein's steps by interviewing descendants of the mountain people and beautifully weaving them together with a 1964 audio interview of Rothstein, archival newsreel footage, and clips from the specious documentary "Hollow Folk."

    During the course of his research, Robinson discovered evidence that Rothstein's images were not pure documentation. Instead, they were often staged for the camera. Digging beneath the official story, the film unearths an unsettling link between propaganda and documentary, and raises troubling questions about the photographer's complicity in the displacement of thousands of people for "progress."

    Robinson's most chilling discovery, though, is the forced institutionalization and sterilization of mountain residents as part of a eugenics program where over 8,000 individuals were sterilized. This fascinating film challenges the viewer to consider the complexity behind images that are viewed as historical truth.

    DVD / 2011 / 72 minutes

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    Directed by Elyes Baccar

    On December 17, 2010, 26-year-old Mohamed Bouazizi set fire to himself on the streets of Tunis sparking a popular uprising that toppled a dictator and developed into the Arab Spring. With remarkable never-before-seen footage, Tunisian filmmaker Elyes Baccar chronicles his country's revolution with searing, passionate images of demonstrations, celebrations and riots in the days leading to and immediately following the expulsion of President Ben Ali.

    To many on the outside (and even on the inside), Tunisia appeared a bastion of stability in the Arab world. But this image was only a mirage. For years, the Tunisian people have turned a blind eye to the corruption and systemic looting of their country's wealth and resources by the regime in power, led by President Ben Ali. In fact, before the uprising, Ali was preparing a campaign that would elect him 'President for Life.'

    Mohamed Bouazizi's self-immolation, which was seen around the world, changed all that.

    Rouge Parole provides an immediate, up-close look at the uprising. It's a powerful documentary record of a nation shaking off decades of oppressive rule and taking its first - chaotic, disorganized but inspiring - steps towards democracy. Beautifully photographed, this is an uncompromising film that manages to capture moments of upheaval and exultation, not just in the capital of Tunis but throughout the entire country; moments that are now part of history.

  • "Amid the expected barrage of docus on 2011's Arab Spring, Rouge Parole stands out... That's thanks to Elyes Baccar's accomplished eye, sympathetic and intelligent ear, and a wide-ranging scope that goes beyond instant headlines. By traveling to towns throughout Tunisia, he achieves one of the goals of the revolution, to counter regionalism and show the struggle as a nationwide revolt against dictatorship." - Variety

  • "Describes Tunisia as one - without divide - under their red flag. Together, the people feel pain; together, they feel the flutter of butterfly wings. Rouge Parole is integral film for those trying to understand the spontaneity and collective nature of the revolution ." - Al Jadid

    DVD / 2011 / 95 minutes

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    Directed by Lukas Stepanik and Bernadette Wegenstein

    Do people still want to hear stories about the Holocaust? This question plagues Leo Bretholz, a Holocaust survivor who has recounted his story to thousands of public school students. See You Soon Again is a singular film about the weight of history, about how hard it is to tell a story of unspeakable suffering, and how impossible it is not to.

    As a child, Leo Bretholz survived the Holocaust by escaping from the Nazis (and others) not once, but seven times. Between 1938 and 1945 he hid in attics, outran police, escaped from prisons, and joined the Compagnons De France under the false name of Max Henri Lefevre. On November 6, 1942 he did something unprecedented: he jumped from train no. 42 from the French prison camp Drancy to Auschwitz, where he would have been killed the very same day of his arrival together with all but five of the 1000 deportees on that train.

    Leo recounted this experience in his acclaimed book, "Leap Into Darkness" (Random House), and he continues to share it as part of a special program at countless public schools in the Baltimore area.

    But it's become increasingly difficult for Leo to tell his story. Each lecture, each question and answer session, means reliving the horrors and painful memories yet again. Leo is beginning to question how much longer he can continue doing this.

    And yet, each time we see him, he is back in a classroom, in front of a group of kids, patiently telling his story. For Leo, the far more important question, than any dealing with so-called Holocaust fatigue, is who will tell these stories once he and others are gone.

    A poignant and thought-provoking documentary, See You Again Soon is not a Holocaust film. It is a film about bearing witness to one of the darkest moments in human history. It is a portrait of remarkable individuals who ignore their well-being for ours.

  • "A fascinating examination of the strength it takes to recount personal horrors, and the inner struggle to decide if the importance of spreading the story is justification for such trauma... Two generations later, the horrific story of the Holocaust is just that-something that the current generation knows only through textbooks, museums, and movies. It's the dwindling community of survivors that keeps the history alive." - City Paper

  • " This program gives viewers a glimpse of the weight survivors carry. Recommended for larger collections, to supplement Holocaust studies and history classes. - Booklist

    DVD / 2011 / 64 minutes

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    Directed by Alex Rotaru

    Shakespeare High is an uplifting documentary that follows a diverse group of Californian high school students as they prepare for and compete in the 90th Drama Teachers Association of Southern California Shakespeare Festival. Through their passion and working together toward a common goal that reflects and transcends their ethnic and socioeconomic divides, the dedicated teens manage to overcome their own personal hurdles and history.

    The film focuses primarily on under-privileged teens and highlights the life-changing effects drama programs such this can have on young people. The film follows a compelling group of teens with moving and dramatic personal stories, including: Tosh, African-American, a sophomore; Luis, Latino, a sophomore; and Chris, Latino, a senior - all three former gang members from East LA's Pacoima Valley. Nicole comes from a struggling family living in Hesperia, an isolated, low-income desert community. Tommy was raised by his single mother in Hesperia after his parents - former skin-heads - separated. Galvin and Melvin are African-American twin brothers who witnessed a violent family act.

    The teen's stories are interspersed with commentary from alumni of the DTASC program including Kevin Spacey, Val Kilmer, and Richard Dreyfus discussing and teaching students hands-on the magic of drama and Shakespeare. Shakespeare High is a riveting celebration of performance education, creativity and youth.

  • "Inspiring. Performing Shakespeare can save children's lives. That is the persuasive argument of Shakespeare High." - Stephen Holden, The New York Times

  • "Engaging... enormously inspiring." - LA Times

  • "This film is a must-see for all English teachers as it shows how students can transform their lives when they become involved in programs like the one featured in Shakespeare High ". - National Council of Teachers of English

  • Top 5 Audience Award, Palm Spring Film Festival, 2011

    DVD / 2011 / 81 minutes

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    Director: Patrick McGrady

    English actor and raconteur Stephen Fry explores his passion for history's most controversial composer. Can he salvage Richard Wagner's music from its association with Hitler? Set against the backdrop of the annual Bayreuth Festival in Germany, this is a fantastic introduction to the life and legacy of one of music's most complicated geniuses.

  • "The questions he posed about art and politics, propaganda, power, myth and belonging and the sheer potency of expensive music were real and profound." - The Sunday Times

    DVD-R / 2011 / 89 minutes

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    Directed by Van Maximilian Carlson

    On December 2, 1984, forty tons of poisonous gas leaked from a Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal, India, killing over 20,000 people. Almost 30 years later, hundreds of thousands of survivor continue to suffer from chronic diseases and disabilities. Bhopali is an invaluable examination of the world's worst environmental disaster.

    During the Green Revolution, Union Carbide (now owned by DOW Chemical) decided to locate a pesticide manufacturing plant in the city of Bhopal. The film explains how the plant, experimenting with methyl isocyanate and unreliable technology near a densely-populated area, resulted in this immense industrial disaster.

    The residents of Bhopal, also known as the Lake City, rely heavily on the use of ground water which is now contaminated with toxic chemicals and heavy metals. With no access to clean water and no support from the government, the prospect for the future appears to be bleak, but Bhopal survivors and activists are determined to hold DOW Chemical accountable and are mounting a legal case to seek justice.

    This eye-opening, emotional film incorporates harrowing interviews with residents, experts, activists and local politicians, demonstrating the long term damage to the community as well as the successes of non-profits such as Chingari Trust. Bhopali shows that the only long-term solution for Bhopal is cleanup and containment paid for by the corporation responsible for the disaster, and that setting such a precedent is a crucial step in preventing similar disasters from happening around the globe.

  • "Carlson, a Los Angeles filmmaker, skillfully interweaves a cogent account of the disaster and the ongoing legal battles it spawned with intimate, often heart-wrenching stories of the disaster's living victims." - Variety

  • "Bhopali is highly recommended to those interested in the environment, South Asia, and corporate responsibility". - EMRO

  • Winner, Grand Jury Best Documentary Award, Slamdance Film Festival, 2011
  • Winner, Documentary Audience Award, Slamdance Film Festival, 2011
  • Winner, Best Documentary Award, New York Indian Film Festival, 2011
  • Winner, Best Documentary Award, Los Angeles International Film Festival, 2011
  • Winner, Best Documentary Special Jury Award, Beverly Hills Film Festival, 2011

    DVD / 2010 / 80 minutes

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