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Weekly New Releases - Social Studies

Weekly New Releases - Social Studies


By Lori Joyce and Candice Orlando

Narrated by Daryl Hannah

On every continent, women are taking the lead to protect and restore the natural environment, and are empowering others to respect the earth. Arise presents the stories of a diverse group of 13 women in five countries who have initiated solution-oriented environmental projects in their communities, towns and villages.

These women are engaged in a variety of innovative efforts profiled in the film: replanting trees in Kenya, conserving biodiversity in India, preserving sacred Native lands, protecting the rainforest in Ecuador, building more sustainable local communities, transforming food through urban agriculture, creating safe outdoor places to play, training women to build and install solar lights, and organizing to combat climate change, among others.

Arise gives voice to these powerful women, and weaves together their inspiring stories with stunning images, poetry and music by well-known writers and musicians, including Alice Walker and Michael Franti.

Through these hopeful examples and new models, the women in the film challenge our current way of thinking about the environment, and encourage a shift in values to find a different, healthier way to view our relationship to the earth.

  • Judy Nyguthi Kimamo, Green Belt Movement, Women for Change Initiative, Nyeri, Kenya
  • Maggie Fox, President and CEO, Climate Protection Action Fund, Colorado
  • Majora Carter, President, MCG Consulting, South Bronx, NY
  • Monica Chuji, Amazonian Quechua Human Rights Activist, Ecuador
  • Winona LaDuke, Executive Director, Honor the Earth and White Earth Land Recovery Project, White Earth Reservation, MN
  • Theo Colborn, Founder and President, The Endocrine Disruption Exchange (TEDX), Colorado
  • Dr. Bhatt, Co-Director, Navdanya, Dehradun, India
  • Dana Miller, Founder, Grow Local Colorado, Denver, CO
  • Vandana Shiva, Director, Navdanya and Author, Dehradun, India
  • Jessica Posner, Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer, Shining Hope for Communities, Kenya
  • Bata Bhurji, Administrator, Barefoot College, Rajasthan, India
  • Aida Shibli, Palestinian Bedouin Peace Activist, Israel

  • "Thoughtful, beautiful ARISE inspired me to consider how I might contribute to the Earth's health." - Josephine Jones, Colorado Humanities

  • "Exquisite cinematography and music are enhanced by Daryl Hannah's evocative narration." - Martine Joseph, MovieSpirit

  • Winner, Spirit of Activism Award, Colorado Environmental Film Festival
  • Winner, Shift Award, FilmShift Festival

    DVD (Closed Captioned) / 2013 / (Grades 10-Adult) / 79 minutes

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    By Laura Brooks

    Bat City USA is a compelling documentary about how a city overcame its fear of one of the world's most misunderstood creatures and now heartily embraces them, largely thanks to the efforts of one man.

    A giant colony of Mexican Free-tailed bats moved into an Austin, Texas bridge in the 1980's after a reconstruction project created an ideal roosting habitat. The "bat invasion" launched a media hoopla and alarm among residents worried about bat attacks and rabies. When the city threatened to exterminate the bats, a zealous conservationist named Merlin Tuttle stepped in and fought to save them. Tuttle, a bat researcher at a Milwaukee museum, moved to Austin, which he called the epicenter of "worldwide bad bat publicity", and founded Bat Conservation International to promote a positive image of bats.

    To overcome local opposition, he worked tirelessly to change public perception of the bats-from scary disease carriers to desirable creatures who help keep moths and mosquitos in check, among other environmental benefits. As a pioneering bat photographer whose images were published in National Geographic, Tuttle used his striking photos as one important weapon in his battle for the bats.

    Thanks to Tutttle's efforts, Austin now loves its bats. Thousands of tourists annually are drawn to the downtown setting for a fascinating, close-up glimpse of the world's largest urban bat colony íV nearly one million bats.

  • "Laura Brooks has created a compelling, richly informative film íV every bit as rare and wondrous as the flying mammals that fill its frames." - Doug Kreutz, Environmental Reporter, Tucson, AZ

  • "Bat City, USA is the story of a gifted and passionate scientist who overcame ridicule and rejection to single-handedly save a city's huge bat colony. In doing so, he transformed the city's perception of the bat from a menace to a beloved icon." - John Kerr, Writer, Austin, TX

    DVD (Closed Captioned) / 2013 / (Grades 7-Adult) / 37 minutes

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    By Jordan Thierry

    In The Black Fatherhood Project, filmmaker Jordan Thierry leads viewers through an honest and essential exploration of fatherhood in Black America, providing historical context and conversation for an issue at the core of the Black experience today.

    Nationwide, 67 percent of Black children live in single-parent families, predominantly with their mother, a ratio that has tripled since the 1960's.

    In the first half of the film, Thierry begins by telling his own family story, then with the help of historians and others, traces the roots of the fatherless Black home, revealing a history much more complex and profound than is commonly known. The film digs deep to explore how Black families functioned in Africa before slavery, and how slavery, racism, and other recent challenges such as mass incarceration affect Black fatherhood. It looks beyond major historical events and discusses their psychological impacts, and calls into question traditional family roles and cultural adaptation.

    In the second half of the film, Thierry puts that history into contemporary perspective in a candid dialogue among a diverse group of Black fathers. These dads talk openly about their experiences and the value systems they employ to raise their own families. Their stories serve as positive role models for inspiring other dads to help break the cycle of fatherless families. Thierry closes the film by sharing insights and solutions to ensure the power of a father's love is not lost on America's Black children.

  • Dr. Wade Nobles, Professor Emeritus, Department of Africana Studies, San Francisco State University
  • Dr. Charles Lewis, President of Congressional Research Institute, Social Work and Policy and Adjunct Professor, Howard University School of Social Work
  • Dr. Donald Roe, Associate Professor of History, Howard University
  • Dr. Ronald B. Mincy, Maurice V. Russell Professor of Social Policy and Social Work Practice, Columbia University School of Social Work

  • "The Black Fatherhood Project is an amazing film. I'm especially impressed by the way it conceptualizes history and offers personal narrative. The information is timely, relevant, and is critical for addressing fatherhood in the African-American community." - Prof. Akil Houston, PhD, Department of African American Studies, Ohio University

  • "This film is an important contribution to the true image of Black fathers in America . . . The film captures eloquently the challenges, struggles, triumphs, hopes and dreams of African American men." - Dr. Joseph White, Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Psychiatry, University of California, Irvine; pioneer of the field of Black Psychology

  • "Exceptionally well done... Addresses the impact of the history of Africa, slavery and institutional racism upon the African-American family today." - Kenneth Yarnell, Principal, Aloha High School, Oregon

    DVD (Closed Captioned) / 2013 / (Grades 9-Adult) / 127 minutes

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    Walk a mile in their shoes and witness first hand the struggles people with a disability face on a daily basis. Nick George, a young man with Asperger's syndrome, shares his experiences. Tony Bartoli lives with cerebral palsy. Bullied as a youth and constantly pushed down emotionally and physically, he found strength in the people who stood up for him and faced the bullies. Now as an adult, Tony tours internationally giving motivational speeches and showing how he found optimism while battling an ever worsening condition. Featured experts examine the warning signs for the parents that suspect their child might be bullied. Abuse does not always come from classmates or other students. To his horror, Stuart discovered that his son Akian, an elementary school student with autism, was repeatedly bullied by a teacher and aide. Conny Dahn, a special needs teacher, describes her experience turning around the culture of bullying in her daughter's school.

    DVD / 2013 / (Junior High - College) / 22 minutes

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    By Rudy Poe

    Here.Us.Now. chronicles one family's determined fight to transform the medical research system in order to speed drug discoveries for treating chronic and debilitating rare diseases, which are more commonplace than is widely known.

    Directed by Emmy award-winning filmmaker Rudy Poe, the film follows the story of Hugh and Chris Hempel, whose twin eight-year old daughters are dying from a rare progressive neurological disease called Niemann Pick Type C, with no known cure. Despite their lack of medical background, the Hempels use their entrepreneurial skills to seek a breakthrough drug treatment. As the devastating effects of the disease begin to take hold, the Hempels enter a complex and challenging world of medical literature, clinical trials and regulatory mazes, where new drug discoveries and approval are slow and often ineffective.

    The Hempel family's journey also reveals the grim truth that "rare diseases" are actually widespread -- affecting 30 million Americans, nearly 1 in 10, and 350 million people worldwide. Yet, only 200 of the estimated 7,000 known rare diseases have FDA-approved drug treatments.

    Here.Us.Now. advocates for a new model that accelerates the search for medical breakthroughs. The film encourages creative entrepreneurs to connect with patients, parents, advocacy networks, reform-minded physicians, and scientists to develop a better approach.

    Industry leaders featured in the film include: Chris Austin, MD, director of the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) at the National Institutes of Health; Debi Brooks, co-founder, The Michael J. Fox Foundation; Susan Love, MD, president, Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation; and Scott Johnson, President, CEO and Founder, Myelin Repair Foundation.

  • "Beautiful, eloquent, and thoughtful.. The current way we do research.. is too slow and outdated. This film will hopefully inspire thoughtful discussion." - Rare Disease Report

  • "With little drug development happening in the rare disease arena, it's going to take more entrepreneurial focused parents like the Hempels to step in and get directly involved in advancing drug treatments to save their loved ones." - Nicole Boice, President, Global Genes, R.A.R.E

    DVD (Closed Captioned) / 2013 / (Grades 10-Adult) / 67 minutes

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    The atomic bomb and meltdowns like Fukushima have made nuclear power synonymous with global disaster. But what if we've got nuclear power wrong? PANDORA'S PROMISE asks whether the one technology we fear most could save our planet from a climate catastrophe, while providing the energy needed to lift billions of people in the developing world out of poverty. In his controversial new film, Stone tells the intensely personal stories of environmentalists and energy experts who have undergone a radical conversion from being fiercely anti to strongly pro-nuclear energy, riskingtheir careers and reputations in the process. Stone exposes this controversy within the environmental movement head-on with stories of defection by heavy weights including Stewart Brand, Richard Rhodes, Gwyneth Cravens, Mark Lynas and Michael Shellenberger. Undaunted and fearlessly independent, PANDORA'S PROMISE is a landmark work that is forever changing the conversation about the myths and science behind this deeply emotional and polarizing issue.

    DVD (Color) / 2013 / 80 minutes

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    Director: Bill Siegel No conventional sports documentary, THE TRIALS OF MUHAMMAD ALI investigates its extraordinary and often complex subject's life outside the boxing ring. From joining the controversial Nation of Islam and changing his name from Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali, to his refusal to serve in the Vietnam War in the name of protesting racial inequality, to his global humanitarian work, Muhammad Ali remains an inspiring and controversial figure. Outspoken and passionate in his beliefs, Ali found himself in the center of America's controversies over race, religion, and war.

    DVD (Color) / 2013 / 94 minutes

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    Director: Greg Williams

    THE ANONYMOUS PEOPLE is a feature documentary film about the 23.5 million Americans living in long-term recovery from alcohol and other drug addiction. Deeply entrenched social stigma and mass participation in widely successful anonymous 12-step groups have kept recovery voices silent and faces hidden for decades. The vacuum created by this silence has been filled by sensational mass media depictions of addiction that continue to perpetuate a lurid public fascination with the dysfunctional side of what is a preventable and treatable health condition. Just like women with breast cancer, or people with HIV/AIDS, courageous addiction recovery advocates are starting to come out of the shadows to tell their true stories. The moving story of The Anonymous People will be told through the faces and voices of the leaders, volunteers, corporate executives, and celebrities who are laying it all on the line to save the lives of others just like them. This passionate new public recovery movement is fueling a changing conversation that aims to transform public opinion, and finally shift problematic policy toward lasting recovery solutions.

    DVD (Color) / 2012 / 82 minutes

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    Close Ties provides an intimate look at a rites of passage ceremony that connects teenage boys with male role models. It examines the impact of this new tradition and shows us how tying a necktie-an act associated with men who embody professionalism and prestige can inspire low performing black American high school boys to commit to a life of achievement and success.

    DVD / 2012 / (Senior High - College) / 27 minutes

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    Anthony McLean is showing six teens what it means to black. The catch-he's not sure what it means himself. McLean is a motivational speaker and is sick of stereotypes that surround the black community. He's tired of documentaries that profile "at-risk" youth. He's sick of persisting rhetoric on the "black struggle." He wants things to change. So, for five months, Anthony is taking these youth on a journey to discover what it really means to be black.

    The backdrop to this group's introspection is Fletcher's Meadow High School, which has a 70% black student population. The teens asks themselves tough questions. Why do middle-class suburban black teens dress, talk and walk like they live in the 'hood?' Why is getting a good education seen as 'selling out?' And, after black communities' struggle for education, equality and freedom, why are more black youth dropping out and behind bars? Anthony is left with serious questions of his own, such as: Why do I behave differently with my black friends than with my white family? Why am I trying to conceal my 'whiteness'?

    Today, Anthony is a husband and father of two children. He's confident, charming and talented. Audiences love him and kids admire him. By most accounts, Anthony McLean is successful and sure of himself. But inside, he knows differently. As he walks through life, the voices of his childhood haunt him. Born to a white mother and black father in the sleepy town of Sharon, Ontario, Anthony and his brother were the only two people of color for miles around. Now 30, he's finally ready to take a hard look at his own identity.

    DVD / 2012 / (Senior High - College) / 76 minutes

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    Defusing Human Bombs is the incredible story of the Sabaoon School in Pakistan. Through psychology, religious study, vocational training and education, and most importantly through trust, it aims to undo years of Taliban indoctrination in the hearts and minds of young boys. Some of the high risk students here had picked up arms voluntarily. Others were forced into compliance and were preparing for a suicide terrorist attack. Filmed over a period of 18 months, the film exposes the incredible hardship and violence the boys experienced during their time with the Taliban, including abduction, brainwashing, and aborted suicide missions. Run by Hum Pakistani, a local NGO with security provided by the Army, the Sabaoon School has been a ray of light for families living in the Swat area of Pakistan. However, its mission of rehabilitation is not without problems or danger; only a fraction of the boys have made a successful transition back into society, and one of the school's teachers was assassinated. The film illustrates the challenging task of attempting to help the young and vulnerable escape the power of the Taliban in Pakistan.

    DVD / 2012 / (Senior High - College) / 57 minutes

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    Directos: Kathy Brew & Roberto Guerra

    Italian-born Lella and Massimo Vignelli are among the world's most influential designers. Their contributions to the fields of industrial, graphic, and production design have resulted in iconic achievements in the development of corporate identity programs, home furnishing and interior design, architectural graphics, and publishing. Garnering international awards and recognition for over forty years, the Vingelli's have led the vanguard of innovative designers through their interdisciplinary mentorship. Throughout their career, their ambitious motto has been, "If you can't find it, design it."

    In 1965 Massimo brought the Helvetica typeface to the United States. Igniting an interest in the Vinelli's work, this design development lead to a series of notable projects: New York's subway signage and maps; the interior of Saint Peter's Church at Citicorp Center; Venini lamps; Heller dinnerware; furniture for Poltrona Frau; and branding initiatives for Knoll International, Bloomingdales, Saks Fifth Avenue, Ford, and American Airlines.

    Their work has covered such broad spectrum of industries and produced so many recognizable images that one could say the Vignellis have a distinct global identity, even though many do not recognize their names. Experts from the world of design including architects Richard Meier and Peter Eisenman, as well as graphic designers Milton Glaser, Michael Bierut, and Jessica Helfand, offer their anecdotes and memories of the Vignellis' work in Design is One. The film captures the Vingelli's intelligence and creativity, offering the audience intimate access into their everyday life and continuing work and a glimpse of their humanity, warmth and humor.

  • "A love letter about modern design and the Vignelli couple's 50-year marriage." - The Atlantic

  • "To leave an indelible impact on a whole nation of people is an accomplishment perhaps no other husband and wife team can claim.. the film capture(s) the often humorous and always insightful wisdom of design's first couple." - Dwell

    DVD / 2012 / 79 minutes

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    By Gabriel Mascaro

    Housemaids are an integral part of the household in Brazil, and participate in the day-to-day life of the family. The employment of housemaids is almost obligatory among the middle and upper classes of the country. The vast majority of these housemaids are black women, who face high levels of inequality based on their gender, race and social class. Their role in the household raises important questions about public and private space, endurance and choice, and labor and family life.

    For HOUSEMAIDS, director Gabriel Mascaro asked seven adolescents to film their family's housemaids for one week, and hand the footage over to him. Their images uncover the complex relationship that exists between housemaids and their employers, a relationship that confuses intimacy and power in the workplace and provides us with an insight into the echoes of a colonial past that linger in contemporary Brazil.

    HOUSEMAIDS exposes and explores a hidden daily reality of Brazilian life.

  • "No other film has ever managed to portray as deeply what is ingrained in the Brazilian unconsciousness." - Luiz Carlos Merten, Estadao

  • "HOUSEMAIDS is humorous and sensitive, whilst also managing to be a profound work of denunciation..This is a rare example of recent Brazilian cinema that is capable of unsettling the very core of anyone who sees it .. an historic documentary." - Pedro Butcher, Folha de Sao Paulo

  • "Highlights the historical weight that underpins each casual gesture, each behavioral standard we so distractedly repeat as we go about our quotidian choreography." - Fabio Andrade, Cinetica Magazine

  • Best Film, 2012 Panorama Internacional Coisa de Cinema
  • Special Mention, 2012 Hollywood Brazilian Film Festival

    DVD (Color) / 2012 / 76 minutes

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    Directorr: James Cullingham

    Known as the father of American Primitive Guitar, many consider John Fahey to be a foundational figure in American folk music. As both musician and musicologist, Fahey made a fundamental contribution to our understanding and appreciation of such music genres as Delta blues, Appalachian bluegrass and New Orleans jazz. In Search of Blind Joe Death combines interviews, performances and archival footage with animation in a kinetic, musically charged tribute to a tremendously influential composer, guitarist, author and provocateur. Interviewees include Pete Townshend, Joey Burns of Calexico, Chris Funk of The Decemberists and renowned radio personality Dr. Demento, aka Barry Hansen.

  • "In Search of Blind Joe Death is an excellent introduction to one of the key musicians of his time. Newcomers and fans alike will find a lot to treasure here." - Film Journal

    DVD / 2012 / 57 minutes

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    Directorr: Sean O Cualain

    New York City, 1932. The country is in the throes of the Great Depression, the previous decade's boom of Italian, Irish, and Jewish immigrants has led to unprecedented urban expansion, and in the midst of an unseasonably warm autumn, steelworkers risk life and limb building skyscrapers high above the streets of Manhattan.

    In Men at Lunch, director Sean O Cualain tells the story of "Lunch atop a Skyscraper", the iconic photograph taken during the construction of the GE Building that depicts eleven workmen taking their lunch break while casually perched along a steel girder - boots dangling 850 feet above the sidewalk of 41st Street .This documentary takes the audience into the archival halls of Rockefeller Center and the Corbis collection to reveal never-before-seen artifacts from the news outlets of the Great Depression.

    Part homage, part historical investigation, Men at Lunch is the revealing tale of an American icon, an unprecedented race to the sky and the immigrant workers that built New York. For 80 years, the identity of the eleven men íV and the photographer that immortalized them íV remained a mystery: their stories, lost in time, subsumed by the fame of the image itself.

  • "'Men at Lunch' is infectiously and unabashedly uplifting as it celebrates the American immigrant experience.. placing those laborers and the products of their labor in a vividly evoked historical context." - Variety

  • "The documentary invites the viewer to meditate on that moment. 'Men at Lunch' solves some of the puzzle created during a New York autumn when Babe Ruth's Yankees were winning the World Series and Franklin Delano Roosevelt was winning the presidency." - The New York Times

    DVD / 2012 / 67 minutes

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    Directed by Jean-Philippe Tremblay

    Uses shocking examples of cover-ups and censorship by the US media to show how a few mega corporations exercise control over the content of our news.

    SHADOWS OF LIBERTY examines how the US media are controlled by a handful of corporations exercising extraordinary political, social, and economic power. Having always allowed broadcasting to be controlled by commercial interests, the loosening of media ownership regulations, that began under Reagan and continued under Clinton, has led to the current situation where five mega corporations control the vast majority of the media in the United States. These companies not only don't prioritize investigative journalism, but can and do clamp down on it when their interests are threatened.

    The film begins with three journalists whose careers were destroyed because of the stories they broke: Roberta Baskin, whose scoop about Nike sweatshops didn't sit well with CBS when Nike became a co-sponsor of the Olympics; Kristina Borjesson, another CBS reporter, whose job lasted precisely one week after the network spiked her investigation into the TWA Flight 800 disaster in 1996; and Gary Webb, whose story linking US support for Nicaraguan Contras and the epidemic in crack cocaine was trashed by The New York Times and the Washington Post. (His story was true, but Webb lost his job and eventually killed himself.)

    With the help of interviewees including Daniel Ellsburg, Dan Rather, Julian Assange, Chris Hedges, Dick Gregory, Robert McChesney, John Nichols and Amy Goodman, the film explores in depth the monopolies and vested interests that filter the dissemination of information thus damaging the democratic process. One notorious example, featured in the film, of the anti-democratic nexus between the military-industrial complex and the news media was the latter's unquestioning acceptance of the former's trumped up justification for the Iraq War.

    With profits taking priority over the truth and the powerful being taken at their word rather than taken to task, the film asks whether the Internet can withstand corporate pressure and remain free, or will it too fall into the hands of monopolistic corporations.

    Ultimately has our commercial world caused us to lose one of the most precious commodities of all--unbiased information?

  • "A brilliant, riveting and deeply disturbing insight into corporate control of American media and American public opinion." Geoffrey R. Stone, Professor of Law, University of Chicago

  • "The timing couldn't be better for a theatrical documentary about a corporate media monopoly in American journalism." - Etan Vlessing, Hollywood Reporter

  • "Deals with one of the most critical issues of today..A masterpiece of craftsmanship." - Jakub Patocka, Denik Referebdum

    DVD / 2012 / (Grades 10-12, College, Adults) / 93 minutes

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    Director: Elise Swerhone

    TuTu MUCH follows nine young ballet dancers as they plie, pirouette and compete for highly-coveted spots in an intensive four-week professional ballet summer program at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School. Leaving behind their families and friends, often for the first time, each girl confronts the painstaking and sometimes rewarding realities of pursuing her dream of becoming a professional ballet dancer.

    The daily classes are grueling tests of their physical stamina and emotional grit. "You've even got to love the pain," says twelve-year-old Sidnie, one of the prospective ballerinas. As the girls learn during the course of the auditions, talent and passion alone do not guarantee success: the success of a dancer often comes down to the shape of a foot or the length of the neck. In the last few days of the program the girls find out which of them will take the next step toward the dream of becoming a professional ballerina, and which ones won't.

  • "A real and often shocking look into the life of young dancers trying to make it into the professional world of classical dance. It's full of excitement and disappointment, tears and laughter and hard decisions regarding years of sacrifice and pain and the limitations of one's anatomy. And it's all from the mouths of children." - See Magazine

    DVD / 2012 / 83 minutes

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    By Paik Yeonah

    There remains a strong social taboo against single parenthood in South Korea, where single mothers are still referred to as "unwed". BITTERSWEET JOKE is the first Korean film in which single mothers appear with their faces unobscured, and speak frankly about problems they face in a society that treats them as a problem.

    Hyunjin, 27, was abandoned by her boyfriend when she became pregnant and decided to keep her baby. Her daughter's father refuses to pay child support, and she struggles to navigate a legal system that is not designed to accommodate the needs of single parents.

    Hyungsook, 40, is more outspoken. She avoided marrying the father of her son, Junseo, who is now 6. She works as an activist fighting for women's rights, and the rights of single mothers in particular, speaking at conferences, and volunteering at Seoul's "Human Library", where people are invited to talk with representatives of groups against whom they harbor prejudice.

    But while Hyungsook is not ashamed of the choices she has made, she still faces social pressure. When she decided to raise her son alone, her family stopped speaking to her, and when a television program on which she appeared showed the exterior of her beauty parlor, business dropped 50%, forcing her to close the shop.

    Ntertwined with these individual stories are conversational segments in which groups of single mothers speak together, discussing their lives, and both the difficulties and joys of raising a child alone in South Korea.

    BITTERSWEET JOKE sheds light on the experiences of single mothers who live in a society that treats their lives as shameful.

  • Best International Projects Showcase, 2011 Sunny Side of the Doc

    DVD (Color) / 2011 / 52 minutes

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    Directed by Rachel Seifert

    Documents the devastating effects of the war on drugs and suggests realistic alternatives.

    COCAINE UNWRAPPED tells the story of cocaine: coca farmers in Colombia, drug mules in Ecuadorian prisons, cocaine factories in the Bolivian jungle, dealers on the streets of Mexico, law enforcement officials on the streets of Baltimore -- and the everyday consumers around the dinner tables of the West. It's a story of politics, death, economic and environmental devastation and human suffering, and explores realistic alternatives to the war on drugs.

    The film features front line reportage, exclusive access to the political leaders of Latin America, such as Evo Morales of Bolivia and Rafael Correa of Ecuador, as well as revealing interviews with drug czars. Watch this film and you will never think the same way again about the "War on Drugs".

  • "A terrific introduction to the insanity known as the War on Drugs." Jeffrey Miron, Department of Economics, Harvard University, Senior Fellow, The Cato Institute

  • "A terrific and original film. It shows well why a real development model is needed to combat the cocaine market and to respect people's rights. Not to be missed!" - Constantino Casasbuenas Morales, Policy Adviser, Economic Justice team, Oxfam

  • "This film is about the human tragedies behind the war on drugs. You won't forget those images." - Baroness Meacher, House of Lords, London

    DVD / 2011 / (Grades 10-12, College, Adult) / 83 minutes

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    By Hans Mulchi

    Toward the end of the 19th century, 25 people from four different Chilean indigenous groups were kidnapped from Tierra del Fuego and Patagonia by a German businessman and taken to Europe to be exhibited as attractions in cities throughout the continent. THE HUMAN ZOO uncovers the history of this colonial spectacle, and follows the fallout into the present.

    With Chilean historian Christian Baez, director Hans Mulchi contacts these native people's descendents, and traces their voyage from South America across Europe, paying particular attention to the fate of Calafate, a Selk'nam boy who was taken when he just 9 years old, and survived to return to his native land.

    Others were not so lucky. The filmmakers discover a collection of skeletons of five Kawesqar people in the archives of the Anthropology Department at the University of Zurich, and with help from the Swiss researchers, begin the process of repatriation to Chile.

    Their efforts-and those of the Kawesqar descendents-reveal not only the persisting legacy of colonial oppression, but also the fissures that still separate indigenous Chilean communities from their national government.

  • Santiagillo Prize, 2012 Festival de Cine Recobrado (Chile)

    DVD (Color) / 2011 / 93 minutes

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    (The voices in this film emerge despite state censorship and repression. Exceptional in a country living in fear, they tell the chronicle of a forbidden Iran.)

    While winds of freedom blow through the Arab world, the Iranian youth waits. They were the first to rise up against their leaders in 2009. The first to tweet, Facebook and post YouTube updates, filming the fallout of their failed revolution on camera phones. Now, Iran has closed itself off to the Western press, making it difficult to get the inside story from the outside.

    For the past two years, Manin Loiseau has been following a group of Iranians inside Iran. Many lost loved ones or were tortured themselves in the aftermath of the elections. Piecing together interviews, footage from hidden cameras, YouTube clips and more, she paints a vivid portrait of the aftermath of the Green Revolution.

    DVD / 2011 / (Senior High - College) / 78 minutes

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    The author of this slogan was young French artist Tomi Ungerer. He not only designed this Village Voice campaign and many others, he also published a dozen children's books, created political posters and wrote social satire. It was during a time of Cultural Revolution: the anti-segregation movement, political riots and anti-Vietnam war protests, but also Peace and Love, the Rock revolution and the miniskirt. At the Center of it all, New York, where you could expect the unexpected.

    This film takes you on a journey to the America and New York of the 1960s with a very unique guide-Tomi Ungerer. He brings us back to the heart of what would be called the golden age of American culture. But it's not a nostalgic trip. Instead, it's an explanation of the forces that shaped today's America and predicts how the US will develop in the future.

    DVD / 2010 / (College) / 57 minues

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    In September 2008, five teenagers, a Qatari, an Iraqi, a Syrian-Armenian, a Pakistani, and an Iranian, journeyed from the Middle East to Washington, DC to join teens from around the world in an intensely competitive annual ritual: the World School Debating Championships. Well aware that their region is associated, in Western minds, with oil, money, and jihad, they are determined to show that they are not closed-minded extremists. Coached by some of the most successful debaters in the world, they are also determined to win. They are charismatic, intelligent, worldly teens with strong views, immense curiosity, and boundless ambition, which, for ten intense weeks, they direct toward mastering the arcane strategies of British parliamentary debate. Follow TEAM QATAR on this unusual journey. Quirky and endearing, entertaining and informative, this story offers a rare glimpse into the rapidly growing global culture of the Arab world and its relation to the West.

    DVD / 2010 / (Senior High - College) / 60 minutes

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    Directed by Suzanne Chisholm, Michael Parfit

    The story of Luna, a young wild killer whale, who challenged the established order of things when he tried to make friends with people.

    One summer in a fjord called Nootka Sound on the remote west coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, a young killer whale whom people call Luna gets separated from his pod. Like us humans, orcas are highly social and depend on their families, but Luna finds himself desperately alone. So he tries to make contact with people. He begs for attention at boats and docks. He looks soulfully into your eyes. He wants to have his tongue rubbed. When you whistle at him, he squeaks and whistles back. He follows you around like a puppy.

    People fall in love with him -- a cook on an old freighter, a gruff fisheries officer, an elder and a young man from a First Nations band. But the government decides that being friendly with Luna is bad for him, and tries to keep him and people apart.

    This effort becomes hilarious and baffling, because Luna refuses to give up his search for a social life. Policemen arrest people for rubbing Luna's nose. Fines are levied. But humans are social, too. When the government tells people they can't even look at Luna, people still go out to meet him, like smugglers carrying friendship through the dark.

    But friendship is complicated, even among humans themselves, and does it work between species? People who love Luna don't agree on how to help him. The fisheries officer wants Luna captured and trucked away to try to force him to connect with his family. The young First Nations man thinks that's disrespectful because his band says Luna is the spirit of a chief. The elder believes Luna is supernatural, the sea's source of wisdom and justice. The ship's cook doesn't know what to do except marvel when she looks in his eyes.

    Then conflict comes to Nootka Sound. The government builds a huge net. The First Nations' members bring out their canoes. Then, suddenly, as the two sides start to fight over Luna on the wind-swept water, the young whale has all the friends he wants. As the officer tries to lead Luna into the net, the First Nations elder sings and paddles and tries to lead him away, and Luna plays among the boats like a kid out of school. To Luna this must be great, but in this human conflict above him, someone has to win and someone has to lose, and where will his friends be then?

    Nothing goes as planned on Nootka Sound. Finally even the filmmakers get swept up in events that catch everyone by surprise and challenge the very nature of that special and mysterious bond we humans call friendship.

    In the end, THE WHALE explores one of the greatest of mysteries: Who are these lives who share the planet with us humans, and what are the connections between us that we do not yet know?

  • "Haunting, thought-provoking. There is much rich conceptual terrain here for discussion." - Carl Safina, President, Blue Ocean Institute

  • "Emphasizing the rough, chilly beauty of the west coast of Vancouver Island, [Chisholm and Parfit] created a gorgeous and provocative film that consistently rises above its Flipper-ish genre." - John Hartl, Seattle Times

  • "Thoughtful and moving..An engaging contribution to our evolving understanding of other species' emotional lives." - Sheri Linden, Los Angeles Times

    DVD / 2010 / (Grades 3-12, College, Adults) / 85 minutes

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    By Ernesto Perez Zambrano

    The members of the Cuban National women's baseball team discuss their passion for their sport and the trials and tribulations of participating in Cuba's "national past-time" in a society that is filled with machismo, prejudice and daily hardships. The older generation of women who participated in the League in the 1940's talk about the sexism they dealt with and how generation after generation women still face the same attitudes from men about their participation in the sport.

    DVD (Color) / 2008 / 27 minutes

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    AL QAEDA 2.0

    Covering the period from 9/11 to the start of Gulf War II, this program tracks al Qaeda and its allies from London, where their Internet traffic is monitored, to recent operational areas, including Pakistan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, and Bangladesh. Footage of jihadist training, U.S. search-and-destroy missions, terror attacks, and the capture of Islamist militants puts viewers on the scene.

    DVD / 46 minutes

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    The program follows the lives of four families as they tell their stories of the September 11th disaster. Some will die. Some will become heroes. But it is also the story of tantalizing clues and missed warning signs, and it raises questions about whether our government could have protected us. Through the eyes and voices of these four families, viewers try to put the pieces of this difficult puzzle together.

  • Recommended - Educational Media Reviews Online

    DVD (Closed Captioned, With Teacher's Resource Book) / (Grades 7-College) / 74 minutes

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