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World of Politics

World of Politics


An illustrated lecture with Gar Alperovitz

While there's been no shortage of commentary about the structural crisis plaguing the American economic and political system, from wage stagnation and chronic unemployment to unchecked corporate and state power and growing inequality, analyses that offer practical, politically viable solutions to these problems have been few and far between. This illustrated presentation from distinguished historian and political economist Gar Alperovitz is a rare and stunning exception. Pointing to efforts already under way in thousands of communities across the U.S., from co-ops and community land trusts to municipal, state, and federal initiatives that promote entrepreneurship and sustainability, Alperovitz marshals years of research to show how bottom-up strategies can work to check monopolistic corporate power, democratize wealth, and empower communities. The result is a highly accessible look at the current economy and a common-sense roadmap for building a system more in sync with American values.

DVD (With English Subtitles) / 2013 / 47 minutes

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In the 80s, Central America was in crisis. Wracked by brutal civil wars, death squads and militia backed by the warring Superpowers of the Cold War. Yet one man at the center of this conflict decided to take action against the chaos. 'The Price of Kings: Oscar Arias' explores the legacy of this man: the former President of Costa Rica and lone leader without an army who had the courage to forge peace with his neighbors against the will of US President, at risk to his own life and the impoverishment of his people. Arias' diplomacy and leadership brought an end to the bloodshed, for which he received the Nobel Peace Prize and the adoration of his people. Now his contraversial policy choices leave his reputation destroyed. Arias' pursuit of peace and prosperity for his people came at a significant personal cost, and his story reveals that even the best intentions can be held against you.

DVD / 2013 / (Senior High - College) / 62 minutes

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On Friday May 14th 1948 Shimon Peres was with the first Prime Minister of Israel, David Ben Gurion, as he declared Israeli independence. Watching the celebrations afterwards he turned to the young Shimon Peres, future Prime Minister and current President of Israel and predicted the Middle East conflict that followed. Shimon Peres has quite literally spent a lifetime at the seat of power since that very day and with a seven-decade-long career in politics at the heart of the Middle East conflict. The second in the series of documentary films reveals the price he paid for being a leader, helping us answer the question "What is Leadership?" As a nation builder it's hard to overestimate the achievements of Shimon Peres, but in the words of the President, "What we call experience the younger generation call a chain of mistakes". Despite winning the Nobel Peace Prize for his attempts to negotiate peace between Israel, the nation he helped to build, and it's neighbors; Israel remains at war.

DVD / 2013 / (Senior High - College) / 62 minutes

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Yasser Arafat's political legacy is one marred by controversy. To some, he was a heroic revolutionary who fought for the freedom of Palestine and the rights of his people; to others he was a terrorist and leader of a corrupt state. Yet regardless of the dichotomy, Yasser Arafat's position at the heart of the Middle East conflict for over forty years makes him a character of incredible significance. With groundbreaking access to the people who knew Yasser Arafat best; his wife, Suha Arafat, his political allies and his adversaries, the film delves into Yasser Arafat's history, the personal struggles he faced and sacrifices he made seeking to establish peace with Israel, whilst at the same time trying to build a Palestinian nation for his people.

DVD / 2013 / (Senior High - College) / 62 minutes

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Before and after the popular uprising that led to the fall of Hosni Mubarak, a new generation of Egyptian filmmakers started using their weapon of choice-their cameras- as a tool for revealing the truth to the world. More than ever a crucial weapon of resistance, filming breaks the law of silence and makes sense out of confusion that now rules Egypt. Weapon of Choice shows how filmmakers, through fiction, documentary or citizen journalism, take action in the long and difficult process of transformation that is Revolution. With Ibrahim El Batout, Ayten Amin, Wael Omar, Khalid Abdalla, Amr Salama, Mohamed Diab and Karim El Shenawy.

DVD / 2013 / (Senior High - College) / 43 minutes

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By Dennis Trainor, Jr.

Imagine that a single voice carries as much weight as the CEO of Goldman Sachs.

In this gripping first-hand account of the Occupy Wall Street movement, filmmaker and former high school teacher Dennis Trainor Jr. takes an inside look at how a New York-based protest against corporate greed and economic inequality in the autumn of 2011 sparked a full-scale street revolution that continues to send shock waves through the American political system.

Trainor weaves commentary from organizers, activists, and leading progressive thinkers with riveting street-level dispatches from New York's Zuccotti Park, Washington DC, and beyond. The result is a passionate and clear-eyed look at a movement founded on the core belief that the American political and economic system should "place human need above corporate greed" and do something about growing inequality.

Narrated by Trainor, the documentary features filmmaker Michael Moore, Dr. Cornel West (Princeton University), comic/author/activist Lee Camp, journalists Nathan Schneider (Harper's, The Nation), Naomi Klein (The Nation) and more.

  • "This is not amateur hour. This is a movie as well made as any Hollywood blockbuster." - MichaelMoore.com

  • "(American Autumn) is calm and smart, offsetting its stridency with discussion, music, even humor, while issuing a call to arms." - New York Times

  • "American Autumn impresses most where many docs disappoint, expanding its scope without short-changing the wider subjects it covers." - Variety

    DVD (With English Subtitles) / 2012 / 58 minutes

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    Sook-ja is one of tens of thousands of North Koreans who have risked death to flee the abusive conditions of Kim Jong-un's regime, but her new life across the border is far from ideal. As an undocumented migrant, she may be exploited for labor or sold as a sex slave. If caught out as a defector she'll be sent back south and likely face imprisonment or even execution. Korean-Canadian filmmaker Ann Shin came to China to document the plight of North Korean defectors like Sook-ja, and learned that many pay human traffickers to smuggle them to safer locations in Asia. This program follows along as Shin, Sook-ja, and a trafficker named Dragon undertake a dangerous journey to Thailand, where Sook-ja can apply for asylum.

    DVD (Portions with English subtitles) / 2012 / 71 minutes

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    London. New York. Oklahoma City. Each was the site of a horrific and violent attack on the public, as were Madrid, Oslo, and many other urban areas. In the wake of every such tragedy has come a dramatic increase in security: not only more closed-circuit cameras, biometric scanning, and specially designed architecture, but also new laws that allow intense surveillance of individuals, organizations, and their activities. Clearly, the public needs protecting-but what are the consequences? Are basic personal freedoms at stake? This program explores 21st-century responses to the threat of terrorism and how they have changed urban life. Focusing on security measures deployed in London as it prepared for the 2012 Olympic Games, the film looks ahead to changes that are bound to come to cities large and small across the globe. An effective departure point for discussing the fragile balance between our need for safety and the civil liberties we hold dear.

    DVD / 2012 / 52 minutes

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    By Luisa Riley

    On February 14th, 1974, 19-year-old Deni Prieto Stock was killed by the Mexican army in the town of Nepantla, along with four of her comrades in the Fuerzas de Liberacion Nacional (National Liberation Forces), a forerunner to the Zapatistas.

    FLOWER IN OTOMI depicts Prieto Stock's short, but very full life and the trajectory that brought her to Nepantla and the FLN.

    Her sister and other family members recount a cozy childhood spent between New York and Mexico City with parents who raised them to support leftist causes. A cousin shares letters that detail her radicalization, and former lovers describe her growing conviction, particularly following the killing of student protestors in the Tlatelolco massacre, that armed revolution was the only path to economic and social justice in Mexico.

    In October 1973, Prieto Stock stood up at the family dinner table and said she was going out for a little while. Instead, she left for Nepantla, where should would be killed just four months later. Elisa, an FLN comrade, tells of her close friendship with "Maria Luisa" (Prieto Stock's nom de guerre), and describes life in the FLN safe house, and the group's activities. The film also reconstructs the Mexican Army and secret police's joint siege on the house during which Prieto Stock was killed, using state documents and accounts from area residents.

    A moving tribute to a young woman who died for her convictions and a window into the Mexican social movements of the late 60s and early 70s, FLOWER IN OTOMI is an essential historical supplement.

  • "With political clarity and simplicity of means ... decrypts the excitement and experience of Deni/Maria Luisa." - La Jornada

  • "FLOWER IN OTOMI is a necessary documentary, needed to save the national "memory." The achievement of the documentary is also in the sense that it focuses our view on the women who participated in these subversive movements, often ignored in the movements' own histories." -CINE3

  • "An unforgettable film." - Excelsior

    DVD (Color) / 2012 / 78 minutes

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    By Ike Bertels

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

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

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

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

    DVD (Color) / 2012 / 80 minutes

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    For decades, the Muslim Brotherhood was an outlawed organization, marginalized and persecuted. Today, along with the Salafists and other Muslim groups, they are the principal winners of the Arab revolutions. They believe in a "Turkish model" of Islamic rule, and their speech is well-crafted to avoid scaring away the West. But what kind of policies do they want to introduce? Should political Islam be feared? Abdel Hakim Belhadj, leader of the Islamic al-Watan Party in Libya, has long been on the CIA's radar. In Morocco, radical preacher Sheikh Mohamad Fizazi is enjoying a comeback. And in Syria, insurgents are fighting to introduce Sharia law. From Libya to Morocco to Syria, this program investigates the new parties jostling for power.

    Note: Only available in the US, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia, Japan and South Africa.

    DVD / 2012 / 51 minutes

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    By Remi Laine and Jean Reynaud

    An unusual hybrid court established by the United Nations and the government of Cambodia, the ECCC is tasked with investigating and bringing to trial surviving Khmer Rouge officials charged with human rights abuses.

    Working within the framework of international human rights law, but against the backdrop of a complex political arrangement with the government of Cambodia, the prosecution not only must prove the guilt of former high-ranking officials, but show that their crimes meet the judicial standards for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and even genocide.

    The film follows Co-Investigating Judges Marcel Lemonde, from France, and You Bunleng, from Cambodia, as they investigate the first case, that of "Comrade Duch" (Kang Kek Iew), who oversaw the notorious Tuol Sleng (S-21) prison, where thousands of Cambodians were tortured and killed.

    Working partly from information provided by Duch, the judges move to indict the four less cooperative, higher-ranking officials tried by the ECCC: Nuon Chea, "Brother Number Two" to Pol Pot; Khieu Samphan, President of the State Presidium; Ieng Sary, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister; and Ieng Thirith, Minister of Social Affairs.

    We see the court's dogged efforts to prove these former officials' culpability in the brutality that characterized the regime. The filmmakers also show us the sometimes tense dynamic between the Cambodian and European judges as they discuss the question of bringing charges for genocide: You expresses the Cambodian people's desire for the officials to be charged with that crime in particular, and Lemonde suggests that their actions may not meet the judicial standards for doing so.

    In showing the work of the ECCC, KHMER ROUGE: A SIMPLE MATTER OF JUSTICE sheds light on the still shadowy inner workings of the Khmer Rouge while illustrating the complex process of international human rights law.

  • "Thanks to exceptional access, Remi Laine and Jean Raynaud managed to dive into the heart of the investigation implementing this historic trial and they allow us to understand all its political and judicial twists and turns." - Toute la culture

    DVD (Color) / 2012 / 79 minutes

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    By Phillip Montgomery

    Ryan Gosling narrates this engrossing film about social activism, the forces that galvanized the Occupy movement, and how a new generation of young people is coming to terms with a rapidly changing world. The film skillfully weaves commentary from some of the country's leading political and social analysts with personal observations from a collective of young musicians, a tight-knit group of suburban high-school students, and a young conservative family, providing a nuanced look at the myriad challenges facing the next generation of Americans. The result is as personal as it is political, as much a portrait of the contemporary political scene as of a generation of young people finding their way in uncertain times.

    Features Noam Chomsky, the late Howard Zinn, Adbusters' Kalle Lasn, Andrew Bacevich, Amy Goodman, Talib Kweli, Sut Jhally, and music from STS9.

  • "A well-rounded documentary. Deconstruct[s] the way that people, and especially teens, absorb information from the media." - Common Sense Media

  • "A timely documentary that takes an in-depth look at the reasons behind the Occupy movement, and the current state of social activism in the US." - Indiewire

    DVD (With English Subtitles) / 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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    In the summer of 2009, shortly after Barack Obama and a Democratic Congress swept to power promising a new era of hope and change, a citizens protest movement emerged out of nowhere threatening to derail their agenda. Some said this uprising was the epitome of grassroots democracy. Others said it was a classic example of 'astroturfing' -- an elaborate corporate public relations effort designed to create the impression of a spontaneous uprising. Curious to find out for himself, Australian filmmaker Taki Oldham goes undercover and straight into the heart of the movement. He visits raucous health care town hall meetings where irate voters parrot insurance industry PR; learns that home-grown "citizen groups" challenging the science behind climate change are funded by big oil companies; and infiltrates a tea party movement whose anti-government rage turns out to be less the product of populist rage than of corporate strategy. In the end, The Billionaires' Tea Party offers a terrifying look at how corporate elites are exploiting the anxieties of ordinary Americans -- capitalizing on anger, resentment, and paranoia to advance a narrow, often anti-democratic, agenda.

  • "Taki Oldham's documentary is journalism at its best. I wish every American could see it before the election. I just watched it and am even more concerned about the future of our democracy than ever before." - Wendell Potter | Author of Deadly Spin: An Insurance Industry Insider Speaks Out on How Corporate PR is Killing Health Care and Deceiving Americans

  • "Brilliant." - George Monbiot | The Guardian

  • "Essential viewing." - David Suzuki | Author & Environmentalist

    DVD (With English Subtitles) / 2011 / 54 minutes

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    Director: Ruaridh Arrow

    Gene Sharp hardly seems like one of the world's most dangerous men. White-haired and soft-spoken, the 83-year-old professor mostly keeps to himself, spending much of his time in his small Boston home reading, writing, and tending to his orchid garden. But to the world's most brutal dictators, Professor Sharp's ideas have proven catastrophic. In this fascinating new film, first-time director Ruaridh Arrow details how an obscure list of nonviolent actions authored by Sharp in 1973 has served as a blueprint for anti-authoritarian revolts everywhere from Eastern Europe and the Balkans to the Arab Spring uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia. Giving as much attention to the substance of Sharp's "198 Methods of Nonviolent Action" as it does to the democratic rebels who have courageously made these methods their own, How to Start a Revolution bears witness not only to the power of nonviolent struggle, but to how one person of conscience can quietly influence the lives of millions of people. Features commentary from Sharp's close ally Retired U.S. Army Colonel Robert Helvey, Sharp himself, and many of the revolutionary leaders his work has inspired.

    DVD contains two versions: a full length version (82 minutes) and an abridged version (52 minutes).

  • "A world conquering British documentary" - The Daily Telegraph

  • "A vital conversation starter and educational tool for a world awash with violence." - The Huffington Post

  • "Inspirational" - The Globe & Mail

  • Best Documentary - Fort Lauderdale Film Festival
  • Best Documentary - Boston Film Festival
  • Best Documentary - Raindance Film Festival, London
  • Special Jury Prize - One World Film Festival - Ottawa

    DVD (With English Subtitles) / 2011 / 134 minutes

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    Director: Cyril Tuschi
    Starring: Lena Khodorkovskaya (Herself), Marina Khodorkovskaya (Herself), Mikhail Khodorkovsky (Himself), Pavel Khodorkovsky (Himself)

    In October 2003, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, former head of the Russian oil company Yukos, was arrested on charges of tax evasion and fraud. This documentary uncovers the story behind Khodorkovsky's arrest and subsequent conviction -- the story of a man who has transformed from the wealthiest man in Russia into a martyr for the cause of political freedom and rule of law. Tracking his growth from his days at university to his founding of Bank Menatep and eventual acquisition of Yukos, filmmaker Cyril Tuschi paints a portrait of Khodorkovsky as an enigmatic, larger-than-life character. With footage from a meeting between Khodorkovsky and then-Russian President Vladimir Putin, as well as newsreel interviews with Putin himself, Tuschi sets the stage for a gripping, suspense-laden showdown between Khodorkovsky and the Russian powers that be. A brilliantly constructed piece of investigative filmmaking, Khodorkovsky sweeps the viewer along as Tuschi embarks on a personal journey to track his man down.

    DVD (German, English & Russian, Color, With English Subtitles) / 2011 / 111 minutes

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    Director: Lise Birk Pedersen
    Starring: Masha Drokova (Herself), Oleg Kashin (Himself)

    Putin's Kiss portrays contemporary life in Russia through the coming-of-age story of Masha, a middle-class Russian girl and a member of Nashi, a nominally "anti-fascist" movement whose members are expected to pledge their unswerving support to Vladimir Putin and all his policies. Extremely ambitious, the young Masha quickly rises to the top of Nashi, and is rewarded for her loyalty with an apartment, a car and frequent television appearances as a Nashi spokesperson, while attending Moscow State University. She begins to question her involvement with Nashi when she learns that a radical faction within the organization is supposedly responsible for attacks against political dissidents, and she finds herself faced with a very real dilemma when she befriends a group of journalists critical of Putin's government, one of whom is Oleg Kashin. When Oleg becomes the victim of a violent attack and barely makes it out of the hospital alive, Masha realizes that she must take a stand.

    DVD (Russian, Color, With English Subtitles) / 2011 / 85 minutes

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    By Meghan Shea and Michael K. Rogers

    Shooting for Democracy brings together voices of students in the world's smallest emerging democracy with those in one of the largest, most established democracies. The film is a vibrant portrayal of the United States and Bhutan during their national elections.

    Inspired by the first democratic elections ever to take place in Bhutan coinciding with the 2008 US presidential elections, Shooting for Democracy views the election process through the eyes of high school students in both countries as they participate in a video education program. The result is a unique mix of familiar similarities and stark contrasts on the perspectives and understanding of democracy.

    Combining professionally produced footage with excerpts from the students' work, the film follows personal experiences of the students while also exploring the social and political contexts of these distinct nations, now linked by their use of a democratic system.

    DVD (Color) / 2011 / 60 minutes

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    By Maple Razsa and Pacho Velez

    Three Croatian activists struggle to change the world. As children, they lived through the violent collapse of Yugoslavia. But now, amid the aftershocks of socialism's failure, they fight in their own way for a new leftism. In the middle of the struggle, a skeptical American is won over by their cause and even goes to jail with them. The activists, whether clashing with police or squatting in an old factory, risk everything to live their politics. But as the setbacks mount, will they give up the fight?

    The film, shot during years of fieldwork with a Croatian anarchist collective, applies EnMasseFilm's unique blend of observation, direct participation and critical reflection to this misunderstood political movement. Its portrayal of activism is both empathetic and unflinching - an engaged, elegant meditation on the struggle to re-imagine leftist politics and the power of a country's youth.

  • "Dramatic proof that the struggle for liberty is irrepressible." - Howard Zinn, author of A People's History of the United States

  • "Bastards of Utopia is an inspiring story of militant creativity and invention. What can you do when the global cycle of struggles is in decline? How can you confront the fact that strategies of action and models of organization developed elsewhere just don't work here? Experiment, these activists tell us, experiment relentlessly until you discover through the brambles a path forward.." - Michael Hardt, author of Empire, Multitude and Commonwealth

  • "In the midst of the dark times we are now enduring, Bastards of Utopia sheds light on the anti-authoritarian activism that now flourishes in 'post-Communist' Croatia. For those seeking evidence of twenty-first century experiments in both constructive rebellion and 'concrete utopia,' Razsa and Velez's documentary will prove a seminal film." - Richard Porton, Cineaste Magazine

  • Honorary Jury Mention, Liburnia Film Festival, 2010

    DVD (Color) / 2010 / 55 minutes

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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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    By Laura Cohen & Joe Winston

    Based on Thomas Frank's best-seller, What's the Matter with Kansas? shows how Kansas transformed from an outpost of radicalism to a bastion of hard-core conservatism. Unforgettable characters and their stories shed new light on our nation's political divide.

  • "Other documentarians have approached the denizens of the heartland as if on safari. The filmmakers spend enough time with those profiled to get a sense of what led them to where they are." - Variety

  • "Winston presents us with a broad view of Kansas and Kansans. He's chosen to interview people in depth and let them speak at length. That's the mark of a good documentary." - Time Out Chicago

  • "Carefully cultivating a nonjudgmental tone that's largely free of condescension - no small achievement - the filmmaker's approach pays off in the final reel, when everyone's dilemmas touch us." - Village Voice

    DVD (Color) / 2010 / 90 minutes

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    Director: Mads Brugger Starring: Jacob Nossell, Mads Brugger, Simon Jul Jorgensen

    Combining the muckraking spirit of Michael Moore with the confrontational comedy of Borat, THE RED CHAPEL is a one-of-a-kind documentary that reveals the injustices of North Korea with a hilariously dark wit. In this Sundance Grand Jury Prize-winning film, a trio of Danish comedians, who call themselves "The Red Chapel", pretend to be regime sympathizers and mount an absurd variety show in Pyongyang. The result is an unconventional, hilarious and damning peek into a totalitarian regime.

  • "... The filmmaker deserves points for sheer chutzpah in making this unusual documentary. A strong optional purchase." - Video Librarian

    DVD (English, Danish, Korean, Color) / 2009 / 88 minutes

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    Director: Erik Gandini
    Starring: Fabio Calvi, Ricky Canevali, Silvio Berlusconi

    How can you explain what's happened to Italy in the age of its current prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi? Videocracy is director Erik Gandini's critically-acclaimed inquiry into the mercenary underbelly of the high-glitz, low-politics, skin-baring media culture promulgated by Berlusconi's ownership of the majority of the country's television stations - a powerful tool in shaping public opinion to his financial and political benefit. Approaching the material as both insider and outsider, Gandini (Gitmo: The New Rule of War) gains remarkable access to the opulent world of Berlusconi's associates and the armies of willing wannabes that swarm around them, examining the key players (and their conflicted interests) and unveiling a modern Italy as both comedy and tragedy.

    DVD (Italian, Color, With English Subtitles) / 2009 / 85 minutes

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    Directed by Weijun Chen

    An experiment in democracy is taking place in Wuhan, the most populous city in central China. For the first time ever, the students in grade three at Evergreen Primary School have been asked to elect a class monitor. Traditionally appointed by the teacher, the class monitor holds a powerful position, helping to control the students, keeping them on task and doling out punishment to those who disobey. The teacher has chosen three candidates: Luo Lei (a boy), the current class monitor; Cheng Cheng (a boy); and Xu Xiaofei (a girl). Each candidate is asked to choose two assistants to help with his or her campaign.

    To prove their worthiness, the candidates must perform in three events. First is a talent show, where each candidate plays an instrument or sings a song. Second is a debate, in which the candidates bring up the shortcomings of their opponents as well as their own personal qualifications. And finally, each candidate must deliver a speech, an opportunity to appeal directly to classmates and ask for their votes.

    At home, each of the children is coached by his or her parents and pushed to practice and memorize for each stage of the campaign. Although their parents are supportive, the candidates feel the pressure. Tears and the occasional angry outburst reveal the emotional impact. At school, the candidates talk to classmates one-on-one, making promises, planning tactics (including negative ones) and at times expressing doubts about their own candidacies.

    For all three children, the campaign takes its toll, especially for the losing candidates and their assistants. Viewers are left to decide if the experiment in democracy has been "successful" and what it might mean for democracy in China. Please Vote for Me challenges those committed to China's democratization to consider the feasibility of, and processes involved in, its implementation.

  • "This film should lead to much class discussion regarding ethics, campaigning and what it means to ask the question ¡¥What is Democracy?' Recommended." - Educational Media Reviews Online

  • Nominated, Best International Feature Documentary, Cinema Eye Awards, 2008

  • Winner, Sterling Feature Award, Silverdocs Film Festival, 2007
  • Working Films Award, Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, 2008
  • Best Educational documentary, DOCNZ, 2007
  • Special Jury Prize, Taiwan International Children's Film Festival, 2008
  • Best Documentary Award, Ashland Independent Film Fest, 2008
  • Best Documentary, Jackson Hole Film Festival, 2008

    DVD / 2007 / 52 minutes

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    Director: Rakesh Sharma

    Aftershocks is about the transformation of the Welfare State into an ally of the Corporation. It examines the acquisition/ displacement of two quake-affected villages for lignite mining and power generation. It probes the microcosm in the nature of a study "from below" of globalisation of Economy and corporatisation of Democracy.

  • Robert Flaherty prize, Pennsylvania film festival (USA;2002)
  • Le Prix de la Presse politique (Best documentary film), 16th Fribourg International film festival (Switzerland; 2002)
  • John Michaels memorial award and Bronze for best documentary feature, Big Muddy film fest (USA; 2002)
  • Best Documentary ( feature-length), Big miniDV film festival (USA; 2002),
  • Earthvision Award, Earthvision filmfest 2003 (Japan)
  • Special Jury award, Ecocinema 2002 ( Greece)
  • Jury citation/mention at Black International Cinema fest (2002; Germany) and at Earthvision 2002 (USA)
  • Certificato di Merito Bronze, 12th Prix Leonardo (2003; Italy)
  • Best Documentary, Jeevika (India; 2004)

    DVD (Gujarati/Kutchi/Hindi with English subtitles) / / 64 minutes

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    Director: Rakesh Sharma

    Final Solution is a study of the politics of hate. Set in Gujarat during the period Feb/March 2002 - July 2003, the film graphically documents the changing face of right-wing politics in India through a study of the 2002 genocide of Moslems in Gujarat. It specifically examines political tendencies reminiscient of the Nazi Germany of early/mid-1930s. Final Solution is anti-hate/ violence as "those who forget history are condemned to relive it".

  • Wolfgang Staudte award & Special Jury Award (Netpac), Berlin International film festival (2004)
  • Humanitarian Award for Outstanding Documentary, HongKong International film festival (2004)
  • Montgolfiere d'Or (Best Documentary) & Le Prix Fip/Pil' du Public (Audience award), Festival des 3 Continents at
  • Nantes (France; 2004)
  • Best Film, Freedom of Expression awards by Index on Censorship (UK; 2005)
  • Silver Dhow, Zanzibar International film festival (2004)
  • Best documentary, Big MiniDV (USA; 2004)
  • Special Jury Award, Karafest (Karachi; 2004)
  • Special Jury Award, Film South Asia (Kathmandu; 2005)
  • Human Rights Award, Docupolis (Barcelona; 2005)
  • Special Jury Mention, Munich Dokfest (2004)
  • Special Jury Mention, Bangkok International filmfest (2005)
  • Best Documentary/Short Film, Apsara Awards(India;2006)
  • Special Award by NRIs for a Secular and Harmonious India (NRI-SAHI), NY-NJ, USA (2004)
  • Special Award by AFMI, USA-Canada (2004)
  • Special Jury Award, Worldfest 2005 (Houston)
  • Special Jury Award, Mar Del Plata Independent film festival (2005; Argentina)

    DVD (With English Subtitles) / 149 minutes

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