Home Truth

The Jessica Gonzales Story. In the wake of her daughters’ murders, a mother takes a historic lawsuit about police non-enforcement of restraining orders to the Supreme Court.
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A Thousand Girls Like Me

The story of a young Afghan woman’s brave fight for justice after experiencing years of abuse at the hands of her father.
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93Queen

93QUEEN chronicles the creation of the first all-female Hasidic ambulance corps in New York City.
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Primas

Two teenage cousins in Argentina come of age together, overcoming the heinous acts of violence that interrupted their childhoods.
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Lovesick

A hopeful look at one doctor’s struggle to help HIV+ patients in India find love and meet societal expectations by playing marriage matchmaker.
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Nothing Without Us: The Women Who Will End AIDS

NOTHING WITHOUT US tells the inspiring story of the vital role that women have played - and continue to play - in the global fight against HIV/AIDS.
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Siberian Love

In rural Siberia, romantic expectations are traditional and practical. The man is the head of the household. The woman takes care of the housekeeping and the children. But filmmaker Olga Delane doesn’t agree. While she was born in this small Siberian village, as a teenager she migrated to Berlin with her family, and 20 years of living in Germany has changed her expectations. SIBERIAN LOVE follows Delane home to her community of birth, where she interviews family and neighbors about their lives and relationships. Amusing and moving, this elegant film paints a picture of a world completely outside of technology, a hard-farming community where life is hard and marriage is sometimes unhappy—but where there are also unexpected paths to joy and family togetherness. Through clashing ideals of modern and traditional womanhood, SIBERIAN LOVE is a fascinating study of a country little known in the US and of a rural community that raises questions about domesticity, gender expectations, domestic abuse, childcare, and romance. Excellent for anthropology, women's studies, sociology, Russian and Eastern European Studies.
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People Are the Sky

Director Dai Sil Kim-Gibson (MOTHERLAND CUBA KOREA USA) is the first Korean American filmmaker to be given official permission by the North Korean government to film inside its borders. In PEOPLE ARE THE SKY, Kim-Gibson’s eighth and most personal film, the filmmaker makes a pilgrimage to her place of birth in North Korea for the first time in nearly 70 years, to explore if it is still home. Kim-Gibson seamlessly weaves her own personal story as a native born North Korean, with the fractious history of the North/South division and pinpoints the roots of North Korean’s hatred of the United States, giving Americans a much better understanding of the conflict. A mix of interviews epic images and graceful musings, PEOPLE ARE THE SKY offers some of the best political and social history of the relations between North and South Korea, and also a contemplative exploration of the meaning of home. The result is unprecedented, at times startling, for hers is an up close look of the hurts and desires, beauty and contradiction, pride and aspirations of the long held demonized nation.
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Wilhemina's War

In much of America, progress in HIV/AIDS treatment suggests the worst is behind us, but every year 50,000 Americans are still diagnosed with the virus that causes AIDS. Astonishingly, it’s one of the leading causes of death of African American women. And nearly half of the Americans with HIV live in the South, where the AIDS epidemic has taken root in rural communities. WILHEMINA’S WAR is an intimate, personal narrative that tells the story of one family’s struggle with HIV over the course of five years. Despite facing institutional and personal obstacles every step of the way, 62-year-old Wilhemina Dixon works tirelessly to combat the stigma and care for her daughter and granddaughter, both HIV-positive. Emmy award winning journalist and Professor June Cross finds Wilhemina, a one woman army fighting against a systemic dehumanization that’s the result of centuries of racism, and lack of access to drugs and treatment. Her story touches upon many of the structural issues that contribute to the alarming rising trend of HIV-positive women in the South: lack of education, lack of access to quality healthcare, lack of transportation, and silence and stigma in the local church congregations. This urgent documentary lays bare the intersection of poverty, race and politics with women’s health and security in the rural south, while showing determination in the face of adversity, and the triumph of the human spirit. Essential viewing for African-American Studies and Public Health courses.
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Virgin Tales

Evangelical Christians are calling out for a second sexual revolution: chastity! As a counter-movement to the attitudes and practices of contemporary culture, one in eight girls in the U.S. today has vowed to remain "unsoiled" until marriage. But the seven children of Randy and Lisa Wilson, the Colorado Springs founders of the Purity Ball, take the concept one step further. They save even the first kiss for the altar. Following the Wilsons for two years, this impressive documentary observes the family’s life up close as some of their children prepare for their fairytale vision of romance and marriage, and seek out their own prince and princess spouses. As VIRGIN TALES takes in home routines, church services, social gatherings, conventions and purity balls, a broader theme emerges: how the religious right is grooming a young generation of virgins to embody an Evangelically-grounded Utopia in America.
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Mothers of Bedford

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

Ulrike Ottinger’s provocative mélange of ethnography, stunning tableaux and baroque vignettes was inspired by what she calls the “well-stocked miracle” of Korean wedding chests, assembled according to time-honored customs. This exploration of love and marriage in South Korea looks closely at ancient and present-day rituals, revealing what is old in the new and new in the old. Her inquiry leads us from shamans, temples and priests, to the enchanted maze of 21st-century Seoul, where vendors of medicinal herbs co-exist with high-tech beauty salons for wedding couples and secular marriage palaces. Using film much like a canvas, Ottinger creates a modern fairytale flush with mythological heroes, traditional rites, ancestral symbolism, dreams of eternal love, and a whole lot of Western kitsch. One of her most acclaimed documentaries, it captures the amazing phenomenon of new mega-cities and their contradictory societies caught in a balancing act.
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The Mosuo Sisters

A tale of two sisters living in the shadow of two Chinas, this documentary by award-winning filmmaker Marlo Poras (Mai’s America; Run Granny Run) follows Juma and Latso, young women from one of the world’s last remaining matriarchal societies. Thrust into the worldwide economic downturn after losing jobs in Beijing and left with few options, they return to their remote Himalayan village. But growing exposure to modernity has irreparably altered traditions of the Mosuo, their tiny ethnic miniority, and home is not the same. Determined to keep their family out of poverty, one sister sacrifices her educational dreams and stays home to farm, while the other leaves, trying her luck in the city. The changes test them in unexpected ways. This visually stunning film highlights today’s realities of women’s lives and China’s vast cultural and economic divides while offering rare views of a surviving matriarchy.
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Red Wedding: Women Under the Khmer Rouge

The Killing Fields in Cambodia became known to the world but little is known about the struggles of the women left behind. From 1975-79, Pol Pot’s campaign to increase the population forced at least 250,000 young Cambodian women to marry Khmer Rouge soldiers they had never met before. Sochan Pen was one of them. At 16, she was beaten and raped by her husband before managing to escape, though deeply scarred by her experience. After 30 years of silence, Sochan is ready to file a complaint with the international tribunal that will try former Khmer leaders. With quiet dignity, she starts demanding answers from those who carried out the regime’s orders. To tell a story little known outside Cambodia, Cambodian Lida Chan and French-Cambodian Guillaume Suon include Khmer Rouge era footage underscoring war’s traumatic legacy for Sochan’s generation of women. Awarded two prizes at Amsterdam’s prestigious International Documentary Film Festival, RED WEDDING demonstrates the liberating power of speech and memory in the quest for justice.
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Camera/Woman

Working as a videographer at weddings in Casablanca, Khadija Harrad is part of the new generation of young, divorced Moroccan women seeking to realize their desires for freedom and independence while honoring their families' wishes. Mother of an 11-year-old son and primary breadwinner for her parents and siblings as well, she navigates daily between the elaborate fantasy world of the parties she films and harassment from her traditionally conservative family, which disapproves of her occupation and wants her only to remarry. CAMERA/WOMAN, shot in vérité style, follows Khadija on the job, at home, and with supportive women friends who are divorced and share similar experiences. As it unveils the issues that confront working-class Muslim women in societies now undergoing profound change, this arresting film reveals that for Khadija, unbowed in the face of overwhelming odds, the camera becomes a liberating force.
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Salma

When Salma, a young Muslim girl in a south Indian village, was 13 years old, her family locked her up for 25 years, forbidding her to study and forcing her into marriage. During that time, words were Salma’s salvation. She began covertly composing poems on scraps of paper and, through an intricate system, was able to sneak them out of the house, eventually getting them into the hands of a publisher. Against the odds, Salma became the most famous Tamil poet: the first step to discovering her own freedom and challenging the traditions and code of conduct in her village. As with her other work (PINK SARIS, ROUGH AUNTIES, SISTERS IN LAW), master documentarian Kim Longinotto trains her camera on an iconoclastic woman. Salma’s extraordinary story is one of courage and resilience. Salma has hopes for a different life for the next generation of girls, but as she witnesses, familial ties run deep, and change happens very slowly. SALMA helps us understand why the goal of global education of girls is one the most critical areas of empowerment and development of women worldwide.
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Skydancer

Renowned for their balance and skill, six generations of Mohawk men have been leaving their families behind on the reservation to travel to New York City, to work on some of the biggest construction jobs in the world. Jerry McDonald Thundercloud and his colleague Sky shuttle between the hard drinking Brooklyn lodging houses they call home during the week and their rural reservation, a gruelling drive six hours north, where a family weekend awaits. Their wives are only too familiar with the sacrifices that their jobs have upon family life. While the men are away working, the women often struggle to keep their children away from the illegal temptations of this economically deprived area. Through archival documents and interviews, Academy Award®-nominated director Katja Esson (FERRY TALES, LATCHING ON) explores the colorful and at times tragic history of the Mohawk skywalkers, bringing us a nuanced portrait of modern Native American life and a visually stunning story of double lives.
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Quest for Honor

QUEST FOR HONOR, which premiered at Sundance and was shortlisted for an Academy® Award, investigates the still prevalent practice of honor killing in the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq.
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Sir: Just a Normal Guy

Screened to acclaim at Gay & Lesbian Film Festivals worldwide and LBGT events across the nation, this candid and courageous portrait of more than 15-months in the female-to-male (FTM) transition of Jay Snider explores both the emotional and physical changes of this profound experience--beginning prior to hormones and concluding after top surgery. Footage shot before and after the surgery captures dramatic physical transitions, while intimate interviews with Jay, his ex-husband, his best friend and his lesbian-identified partner aptly capture the emotional and psychological shifts that occur during the process. With support from those closest to him, Jay’s experience is remarkably positive, though not without conflict. During the course of the film, he renews long-distant ties with his brother, but also faces permanent estrangement from his parents. SIR is an in-depth and humanizing exploration of the challenges, discrimination, and alienation faced by transsexuals. Jay’s conflicted feelings around queer identification are portrayed along with his significant other’s continued identification as lesbian. A much-needed look at FTM transition, the film demonstrates both the fluidity of sexual identification and that love and human resilience can triumph over deep-rooted differences.
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The Learning

One hundred years ago, American teachers established the English-speaking public school system of the Philippines. Now, in a striking turnabout, American schools are recruiting Filipino teachers. THE LEARNING, from award-winning filmmaker Ramona S. Diaz (IMELDA), is the story of four Filipina women who reluctantly leave their families and schools to teach in Baltimore. With their increased salaries, they hope to transform their families' lives back in their impoverished country. This absorbing, beautifully crafted film follows these teachers as they take their place on the frontline of the No Child Left Behind Act. Across the school year's changing seasons, the film chronicles the sacrifices they make as they try to maintain a long-distance relationship with their children and families, and begin a new one with the mostly African-American students whose schooling is now entrusted to them. Their story is intensely personal, as each woman deals with the implications of her decision to come to the US, and fundamentally public, as they become part of the machinery of American education reform policy.
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In the Name of the Family

Schoolgirl Aqsa Parvez, sisters Amina and Sarah Said, and college student Fauzia Muhammad were all North American teenagers—and victims of premeditated, murderous attacks by male family members. Only Muhammad survived. Emmy® winner Shelley Saywell examines each case in depth in this riveting investigation of "honor killings" of girls in Muslim immigrant families. Not sanctioned by Islam, the brutalization and violence against young women for defying male authority derives from ancient tribal notions of honor and family shame. As friends and relatives trace escalating tensions leading to the crimes, IN THE NAME OF THE FAMILY explores community reactions to the tragic events. The film also delves into the dual, precarious existence of other young Muslim women struggling to bridge two worlds, along with Muslim women’s efforts to help girls at special risk. With consummate documentary skills and a passion for human rights, Saywell puts a much needed human face on a subject that is all too often silenced or sensationalized in post-9/11 North America.
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Made in India: A Film about Surrogacy

In San Antonio, Lisa and Brian Switzer risk their savings with a Medical Tourism company promising them an affordable solution after seven years of infertility. Halfway around the world in Mumbai, 27-year-old Aasia Khan, mother of three, contracts with a fertility clinic to be implanted with the Texas couple’s embryos. MADE IN INDIA, about real people involved in international surrogacy, follows the Switzers and Aasia through every stage of the process. With its dual focus, this emotionally charged, thoroughly absorbing film charts obstacles faced by the Switzers and presents intimate insights into Aasia’s circumstances and motivation. As their stories become increasingly intertwined, the bigger picture behind offshore outsourcing of pregnancies—a booming, unregulated reproductive industry valued at $450 million in India alone—begins to emerge. So do revealing questions about international surrogacy’s legal and ethical implications, global corporate practices, human and reproductive rights, and commodification of the body.
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She Wants to Talk to You

In October 1999 filmmaker Anita Chang befriended three 13-year-old girls – Monika Rasali, Sushma Sada and Vinita Shrestha – while living in Kathmandu, Nepal. Honestly presenting themselves in front of the camera, these girls share with the filmmaker their ideas on marriage, friendship and spirituality. Their recordings provide a complex and poignant framework for three Nepali women living in the U.S. to reflect on their own struggle, exile and quest for liberation. Through verite documentary, the film offers rare insight into the lives of girls and women from a society steeped in patriarchy, tradition and caste. SHE WANTS TO TALK TO YOU speaks closely to young girls and women, as well as provokes universal introspection about the nature of happiness and oppression, and human relations and intimacy.
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El General

Past and present collide in this extraordinarily well crafted documentary when filmmaker Natalia Almada (ALL WATER HAS A PERFECT MEMORY), winner of the Sundance Film Festival’s US Directing Award for documentary, brings to life audio recordings she inherited from her grandmother. These recordings feature Alicia Calles’ reminiscences about her own father—Natalia’s great-grandfather—General Plutarco Elías Calles, a revolutionary general who became president of Mexico in 1924. In his time, Calles was called “El Bolshevique” and “El Jefe Máximo”, or “the foremost chief”. Today, he remains one of Mexico’s most controversial figures, illustrating both the idealism and injustices of the country’s history. Through Alicia’s voice, this visually stunning, stylistically innovative film moves between the conflicting memories of a daughter grappling with her remembrances of her father and his violent public legacy. It draws exceptional strength from meticulously edited audio, haunting photographs, archival newsreels, and old Hollywood films, combined with an original evocative soundtrack, sweeping footage of modern-day Mexico City, and interviews with today’s working poor. EL GENERAL is a poetic and cinematic exploration of historical judgment, and a complex, arresting portrait of a family and country living under the shadows of the past.
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Sin by Silence

From behind prison walls, a group of extraordinary women are shattering misconceptions of domestic violence. An important film that profiles Convicted Women Against Abuse (CWAA), the US prison system’s first inmate initiated group and led by women, SIN BY SILENCE is an essential resource featuring more than two hours of bonus materials, including interviews with experts on abusive relationships, law enforcement leaders and leaders in faith-based communities about domestic violence, and more. Created by Brenda Clubine in 1989, CWAA has changed laws for battered women, raised awareness for those on the outside, and educated a system that does not fully comprehend the complexities of domestic abuse. Like many CWAA members, Brenda’s years of inflicted abuse were never fully revealed. But because of CWAA’s work and advocacy, new laws were enacted that now allow incarcerated survivors to challenge their original conviction. With unprecedented access inside the California Institution for Women, this emotionally packed documentary tells the stories of courageous women who have learned from their past, are changing their future, and teaching us how domestic violence affects each and every person.
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My Israel – Revisiting the Trilogy

Few filmmakers have probed issues of Israeli nationalism and Israeli-Palestinian relations more completely or intimately than Tel Aviv-born Yulie Cohen. In My Israel, Cohen revisits her acclaimed trilogy My Terrorist (2002), My Land Zion (2004), and My Brother (2007) with new footage, fresh perspective, and her trademark fearlessness. For Cohen, Israel is the land of her ancestors, the land her parents fought for during the 1948 war and the land she herself served as an Air Force Officer during the Entebbe crisis. In 1978, working as an El Al stewardess, she survived a terrorist attack in London that killed a colleague and left her with shrapnel in her arm. Embarking on a difficult and emotional journey, she attempts to free the surviving terrorist who attacked her, to question the myths of the state that she grew up in, and to reconcile with her ultra-orthodox brother after 25 years of estrangement. My Israel is an account of remarkable courage and understanding set against the last turbulent decade of Israeli history, successfully combining Cohen’s 10-year oeuvre in an incisive and refreshing new way.
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Salata Baladi (An Egyptian Salad)

Award-winning Egyptian filmmaker Nadia Kamel’s heritage is a complex blend of religions and cultures. Her mother is a half-Jewish, half-Italian Christian who converted to Islam when she married Nadia’s half-Turkish, half-Ukrainian father. Prompted by the realization that her 10-year-old nephew Nabeel is growing up in an Egyptian society where talk of culture clashes is all too common, she urges her feminist, pacifist, activist mother, Mary Rosenthal, to share their diverse family history. But, as she and Mary weave their way through the family’s multiethnic fairytales, they bump unexpectedly into the silence around old prejudices concerning the estranged Egyptian-Jewish branch of their family living in Israel since 1948. Bravely inspired to further challenge the boundaries between cultures, religions, and nationalities that are used to divide people, Kamel embarks on an amazing personal journey with her mother and nephew to Israel and Italy, confronting with an open heart, fears and prejudices along the way.
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Searching 4 Sandeep

Single, frustrated, and lonely in the middle of Sydney’s thriving gay community, director Poppy Stockell decides to “research” a light-hearted look at the lesbian Internet-dating scene. To her surprise and delight, she forges a deep online connection with an English woman, Sandeep Virdi. When their innocent flirtation turns into true attachment, Poppy sends Sandeep a camcorder and viewers watch as Poppy and Sandeep’s virtual relationship blooms into a poignant love complicated by the reality that Sandeep is Sikh, lives at home with her conservative family, and has kept her sexuality a secret. Humorous and thoughtful, Searching 4 Sandeep explores the collision of love and ethnic, religious, and sexual identity. Filmmaker Stockell raises serious questions about a new kind of global romance at odds with the cultural, social, and geographical distances between people. Will Sandeep’s family overcome their homophobia? Will the star-crossed lovers surmount the obstacles separating them? Through raw, incredibly frank footage, Searching 4 Sandeep follows the couple’s tumultuous relationship across two years, and three continents, in a touching examination of sexuality, religion, globalization, and culture seen through the lens of this uniquely modern love story.
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In Sickness and In Health

A deeply affecting film by newcomer Pilar Prassas and edited by Peter Heacock, In Sickness and In Health cuts through abstract ideologies, politics, and legalities to the human heart of the same-sex marriage debate in this amazing story of love, hope, and courage. In 2002, filmmaker Pilar Prassas began following seven couples in their effort to legalize same-sex marriage in the state of New Jersey. Two years into filming, however, plaintiff Marilyn Maneely, mother of five, was diagnosed with the incurable, terminal disease Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. On the day Marilyn passed away, her life partner of 14 years, Diane Marini, was not even allowed to sign her death certificate. In traditional marriage vows, “‘til death do us part” is the phrase that follows “in sickness and in health,” but to many gay and lesbian Americans, saying these words and enjoying their subsequent rights is not an option. With a tender touch, Prassas delicately balances tragedy and triumph in this film about the civil rights issue of our time—the fight to marry, and care for, the ones we love, in sickness and in health.
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The Education of Shelby Knox

Winner of the Sundance Best Cinematography Award and the SXSW Audience Award, WMM is pleased to be finally releasing this fascinating and powerful documentary. Lubbock, Texas has an abstinence-only sex education policy in its schools and some of the highest teen pregnancy and STD infection rates in the nation. Shelby Knox is a devout Baptist teenager who has pledged abstinence until marriage. When her interest in politics leads her to get involved in a campaign for comprehensive sex education in her town's public schools, and then to a fight for a gay-straight alliance, she must make a choice: Stand by and let others be hurt, or go against her parents, her pastor, and her peers to do what she knows is right. THE EDUCATION OF SHELBY KNOX is an exceptionally timely and intimate look at the cultural wars from the perspective of a young woman’s life. The support her conservative family provides is an example of how a healthy democracy could look given the time and will to listen.
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Motherland

How do we decide where is home? Feeling increasingly isolated in her adopted homeland, accomplished documentarian Dai Sil Kim-Gibson (SILENCE BROKEN: KOREAN COMFORT WOMEN) travels to Cuba to unearth stories from a relatively unknown group in the Asian diaspora. On the island, she meets Martha, a woman of Korean descent who identifies herself as Cuban. Like many of her contemporary countrymen and women, Martha possesses family ties that span multiple nations, cultures and politics. Her story inspires Kim-Gibson to travel to Miami to meet Martha's émigré sister and the rest of their mulitcultural family, in a journey that reveals how very different worldviews can co-exist in one family separated by place and ideology. Asking probing questions about identity and economic and social justice, Kim-Gibson explores the ways in which we determine our ethnic, national, and cultural loyalties. The compelling stories in Motherland Cuba Korea USA weave a complex web and illuminate the search for an understanding of "motherland" in a globalized society.
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Four Wives – One Man

From Nahid Persson, the filmmaker of the award-winning Prostitution Behind the Veil, comes an intimate portrait of a polygamist family in a rural Iranian village. Persson reveals the intricacies of the relationships between the four wives, their husband, their astoundingly free-spoken mother-in-law and their numerous children. Sometimes humorous and often heartbreaking, this film follows the daily lives of the wives whose situation has turned them into both bitter rivals and co-conspirators against their abusive husband. Persson’s camera unobtrusively and beautifully captures the range of the family’s interactions – from peaceful, pastoral scenes of a family picnic, to the temporary chaos caused by a broken faucet in the kitchen, to a furtive, whispered conversation between two wives about the latest beating. The women’s work – making bread, weaving carpets, milking and herding the sheep – provide the background to their frank conversations. Avoiding sensationalism and sentimentality, this film provides unique insights into the practice of polygamy and its effect on the women involved.
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My Daughter the Terrorist

This fascinating documentary is an exceedingly rare, inside look at an organization that most of the world has blacklisted as a terrorist group. Made by the first foreign film crew to be given access to the Tamil Tigers (LTTE) of Sri Lanka, the film offers important insights into the recently re-ignited conflict in Sri Lanka. Twenty-four-year-olds Dharsika and Puhalchudar have been living and fighting side-by-side for seven years as part of LTTE’s elite force, the Black Tigers. Their story is told through cinema verité footage, newsreel footage, and interviews with the women and Dharsika’s mother. The women describe heartbreaking traumas they both experienced at the hands of the Sri Lankan army, which led them to join the guerrilla forces. As they discuss their readiness to become suicide bombers and their abiding loyalty to the unnamed “Leader” – who they are sure would never harm civilians – grisly images of past LTTE suicide bombings provide somber counterpoints. Their curiously flat affects raise the possibility that they have been brainwashed. This even-handed documentary sheds light on the reasons that the Tamil Tigers continue their bloody struggle for independence while questioning their tactics.
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Hold Me Tight, Let Me Go

Harrowing at one moment and heartwarming the next, HOLD ME TIGHT, LET ME GO is set at England’s Mulberry Bush School, founded by Barbara Dockar-Drysdale who developed unique methods for working with children suffering through severe emotional trauma. “Longinotto, director of award-winning SISTERS IN LAW, spent a year filming these children, who are prone to sudden, violent outbursts, and their teachers, who display enormous restraint and sensitivity. The children’s problems are real, deep and stubborn — but the long arc of recovery is clear, with hope for these troubled children just over the horizon. Over the course of 30 years, Longinotto has established herself as one of the most prolific and perceptive practitioners of cinema verité. Here, she and her steady, unobtrusive camera capture an intimate and unforgettable tale of the human capacity to hurt and to heal.” – Jason Silverman, True/False Film Festival
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My Home - Your War

MY HOME – YOUR WAR offers an extraordinary look at the effect of the Iraq war through the eyes of an ordinary Iraqi woman. Shot in Baghdad over three years that span the time before, during and after the invasion of Iraq, this profoundly moving film brings a perspective that – until now – has rarely been available to U.S. audiences. This film combines insightful interviews with Layla Hassan and her family, vibrant scenes of Baghdad and intimate footage shot by Layla herself to paint a compelling picture of how the war has affected average Iraqis. As Islamic fundamentalism takes hold in the chaos of Baghdad, her shy teenage son turns to militancy, her once-progressive sister dons the veil, and whatever freedom Layla once had under Saddam Hussein’s secular rule is steadily being eroded. While facts about the Iraq war garner much U.S. media attention, My Home – Your War is a deeply compelling account of something seldom discussed: how the Iraq war has created a situation where the rise of fundamentalism is putting women’s rights increasingly at risk.
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3 Times Divorced

How does a Palestinian woman in Israel survive an abusive husband? When Gaza-born Khitam’s abusive Arab Israeli husband divorces her and gains custody of her six children, she suddenly finds herself fighting two heart-breaking battles: against the Sharia Muslim court to get her children back, and against the state of Israel, which considers her an illegal resident and denies her protection in a shelter for battered women. 3 TIMES DIVORCED is a fascinating and disturbing look at a civil and religious legal system that denies women the right to get a divorce independent of their husbands. It highlights the bind that abused women find themselves in when their immigration status is contingent upon marriage. With remarkable access and an unflinching lens that never sensationalizes, award-winning filmmaker Ibtisam Salh Mara'ana captures Khitam’s astonishing courage as she faces an impossible situation with no country or court to protect her.
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Girl Inside

Following 26-year-old Madison during a crucial three years of her transition from male to female, GIRL INSIDE is a beautiful film that tracks her emotional, intellectual and spiritual journey of self-discovery that is as important as – if not more than – the physical journey of hormones and surgery. Sharing the spotlight is Vivien, Madison’s glamorous 80-year-old grandmother, who has taken on the job of advising her on all things feminine. While Vivien's attempts to school Madison in old-fashioned codes of fashion and behavior are often hilarious, the juxtaposition of two vastly different experiences of womanhood, from very different generations, raises profound issues about the nature of gender, femininity and sexuality. Sometimes funny, sometimes painful, this heartwarming coming of age story is both an intimate portrait and a thoughtful exploration of what it means to be a woman. Recommended for courses in transgender and queer studies, gender studies, women’s studies and sociology.
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In My Father's Church

Charissa is a lesbian who wants a church wedding, but it doesn’t seem to help that her dad is the pastor of the town’s United Methodist Church. While he has been quietly supportive of his daughter’s lesbian relationship, Charissa’s father knows he would put his career at risk if he chose to officiate at her marriage ceremony. In 1999, the Methodist church took a firm stand by suspending a pastor for officiating a same sex union—and the clashes between clergy and gay couples have been making headlines ever since. Compelling and honest, IN MY FATHER'S CHURCH is a poignant exploration of the intersection of homosexuality and religion, from the perspective of someone who has much at stake. Though disappointed by her father’s resistance to marry her, Charissa and her bride-to-be Kelly continue to make their wedding plans—finding support in surprising places, and eventually are married by Charissa’s uncle. This emotionally charged story of one woman’s attempt to reconcile her love, faith and family brings to life the deep conflicts that gay marriage has caused in many churches—and for many individuals trying to maintain their faith while preserving their own identities.
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Troop 1500

Their mothers may be convicted thieves, murderers and drug dealers, but the girls of Troop 1500 want to be doctors, social workers and marine biologists. With meetings once a month at Hilltop Prison in Gatesville, Texas, this innovative Girl Scout program brings daughters together with their inmate mothers, offering them a chance to rebuild their broken relationships. Intimately involved with the troop for several years, the directors took their cameras far beyond meetings to explore the painful context of broken families. Powerful insight comes from interviews shot by the girls themselves, which reveal their conflicted feelings of anger and joy, abandonment and intimacy—as well as the deep influence their mothers still have on them. An estimated 1.5 million children have incarcerated parents and 90 percent of female inmates are single parents. Their daughters are six times more likely to land in the juvenile justice system. TROOP 1500 poignantly reveals how an inspired yet controversial effort by the more than 90-year old Girl Scouts organization is working to help these at-risk young girls deal with their unique circumstances and break the cycle of crime within families.
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Highway Courtesans

This provocative coming-of-age film chronicles the story of a bold young woman born into the Bachara community in Central India – the last hold-out of a tradition that started with India’s ancient palace courtesans and now survives with the sanctioned prostitution of every Bachara family’s oldest girl. Guddi, Shana and their neighbor Sungita serve a daily stream of roadside truckers to support their families. Their work as prostitutes forms the core of the local economy, but their contemporary ideas about freedom of choice, gender and self-determination slowly intrude on the Bachara way of life. HIGHWAY COURTESANS follows Guddi from the ages of 16 through 23 as she turns her world upside down, incurring the wrath of her fathers and brother as she struggles with tradition, family and love in hopes of realizing her dreams. In probing beyond the surface of a world of paradoxes, HIGHWAY COURTESANS resists easy moralizing and reveals the very real costs – financial, social and personal – for breaking with tradition. As a community hangs in the balance between traditional and contemporary values, this gripping documentary raises universal questions about sex, the roles of women, and the right of one culture to judge another.
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Tomboys!

Are tomboys tamed once they grow up? This lively and inspiring documentary explodes that archaic myth with the stories of proud tomboys of all ages: African-American teenager Jay Gillespie; Massachusetts firefighter Tracy Driscoll, lesbian artist Nancy Brooks Brody and the inimitable political activist Doris Haddock, aka “Granny D”, whose walk across America in support of campaign finance reform has gained global attention. Interviews with these feisty women are intercut with personal photographs and archival footage to celebrate tomboys of all ages. Exploring the myriad ways gender identity is constructed from a very young age, TOMBOYS makes the connections between rebel girl and spirited women gloriously clear. With additional commentary by girls’ studies pioneer Carol Gilligan, these tales of energy and enterprise are a revelation to us all.
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Ferry Tales

Academy Award Nominee for Best Documentary Short, FERRY TALES exposes a secret world that exists in the powder room of the Staten Island Ferry.
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Quick Brown Fox: An Alzheimer's Story

Who are you if you can’t remember who you are? Ann Hedreen’s mother started showing symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease at the barely-old age of 60. Though it started with small signs—forgetting what she was doing and losing her way home—the irreversible disease would change her and her family's lives forever. Emmy-nominated QUICK BROWN FOX combines their moving personal journey with an insightful look at the science and politics of Alzheimer’s—a disease that now affects more than 18 million people worldwide. Devastated and angry about her mother's decline, Hedreen began an uncompomising pursuit of information about possible causes and cures, volunteering as a long-term test subject at an Alzheimer's research center in Washington and interviewing prominent doctors and researchers to gain insight into the politics of funding and stem-cell research. Interweaving these experiences with Super 8 home movies, 1950s medical films and heartbreaking interviews with her family, Hedreen’s film bravely confronts the disease that has mangled the mind of her once brainy mom, and raises profound questions about the importance of memories in defining ourselves.
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Love & Diane

Jennifer Dworkin’s groundbreaking documentary LOVE & DIANE presents a searingly honest and moving examination of poverty, welfare and drug rehabilitation in the United States today. Filmed in New York City over a five-year period, Dworkin documents the struggles of three generations of the Hazzard family as they face a myriad of emotional, financial and personal challenges. LOVE & DIANE is at its heart a highly charged story about a mother and daughter searching for love, redemption and hope for a new future. While caught in a devastating cycle of teen pregnancy and the bureaucracy of an over burdened welfare system, they demonstrate an inspiring resiliency and ability to find strength during the most desperate times. Without falling into stereotypes of welfare and poverty, LOVE & DIANE casts a fair, non-judgmental eye on the Hazzard’s and presents a forgotten, but very real, side of the American experience. This film is a presentation of the Independent Television Service (ITVS) with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).
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Through the Skin

In this highly personal experimental autobiography, emerging filmmaker Elliot Montague presents a daring meditation on the experience and trauma of growing up androgynous. Incorporating home movies with vintage health public service announcements, along with his own performance pieces, Elliot jarringly discloses the conflicts between his changing female body with that of his gender and sexual identity. Through a montage of images set against a dissonant soundtrack, he speaks about the misunderstandings and tensions his identity struggle caused his family and the depression that later resulted. In scenes where Elliot binds his breasts, he painfully discloses how his parents sent him to a psychologist who diagnosed him with bi-polar disorder – a diagnosis that later proved to be incorrect. Exploring the complexities and implications of feeling androgynous in a female body, THROUGH THE SKIN presents more than a personal testimony on the transgender experience, it provokes universal questions on the meaning of gender.
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For My Children

In October 2000, as the second Palestinian Intifada erupts, Israeli filmmaker Michal Aviad begins an exploration about both the moral and mundane dilemmas she faces every day in Tel Aviv. What begins with deceptive simplicity-a tender scene of sending the children off to school-quickly becomes a profound study of vulnerability and anxiety. Small acts like crossing the street are charged with inescapable fear. As the nightmare of violence escalates over the coming months, Michal and her husband Shimshon ask the quintessential Diaspora Jewish question, "When is it time to go?" The question reverberates through a stream of images-public and private, home video and historic archival footage-as her parents and extended family recount their own journeys to Israel from Europe, escaping death and the Holocaust, and from America, out of ideological commitment to Israel. Their stories are told with vivid, beautiful detail-at a bucolic family picnic, during a vacation on the California coast-and with a degree of candor and intimacy rarely seen in Israeli cinema. "I don't want to be an immigrant," says Shimshon, a political activist whose profound feelings about displacement and exile are interwoven with TV images of war, children asleep in their beds, grandma making pasta and the sounds of sirens. Tanks roll over the hills as tea is being made in the kitchen in a cosmic seesaw between blissful domesticity and the nightmare of public life, in this deeply moving and riveting video essay. -Deborah Kaufman
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All Water Has a Perfect Memory

ALL WATER HAS A PERFECT MEMORY is a poignant experimental documentary that explores the effects of tragedy and remembrance on a bi-cultural family. At seven months old, filmmaker Natalia Almada lost her two-year-old sister, Ana Lynn, in a drowning accident at her childhood home in Mexico. Inspired by an essay written by Toni Morrison, in which she speaks of the Mississippi River’s ability to conjure memories, this moving piece serves as a meditation on the cultural and gender differences between the filmmaker’s North American mother and Mexican father in the face of their daughter’s death. Through personal recollections narrated by each family member, including her brother, Almada incorporates Super-8 home movies, photographs and fabricated images to weave together a touching and moving visual memory of Ana Lynn.
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Escuela

There are over 800,000 students enrolled in migrant education programs in the United States and, of those, only 45-50% ever finish high school. ESCUELA, the sequel to Hannah Weyer’s critically acclaimed documentary LA BODA, personalizes these glaring statistics through the honest portrait of a teenage Mexican-American farm worker, Liliana Luis. ESCUELA is a clear-eyed view into the lives of contemporary Mexican American migrants and their struggles to educate their children while obtaining employment. Centered around the life of Liliana, a daughter entering her first year of high school, Hannah Weyer follows the back-and-forth movement of the family between their home in Texas near the borderlands and the California agricultural fields. Despite the best efforts of the school systems to accommodate students like Liliana, the social and emotional life of this young woman is constantly in flux. This is an important work revealing the difficulties of girl life on the border in a way that no textbook could. - Joe Austin, Popular Culture Studies, Bowling Green University
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Closer

An experimental documentary which has at its heart a poignant character study of a 17 year-old lesbian living in Newcastle, England, CLOSER innovatively explores the process of documentary filmmaking and boldly challenges traditional forms of storytelling. Produced without a script and in close collaboration with the subject, Annelise Rodger, the filmmaker presents a hypnotizing array of montages and fictive sequences to introduce the day-to-day happenings of this extraordinary person. From the streets of Newcastle – where we find Annelise speaking frankly to the camera about her experiences as a young lesbian – to the emotionally charged reenactment of her coming out to her mother, this highly original film provides a rare auto-portrait where fiction and documentary collide. In the end what emerges is not only a remarkable encounter with a young woman, but also a story that has broader implications about being young, being at the cusp of adulthood, and finding one's identity. A Bridge & Tunnel Production.
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My Left Breast

“Every once in a while someone comes up with a film that sends us a clear signal that it's time to re-evaluate our lives. The film MY LEFT BREAST is not just for women living with breast cancer--it's for everyone.” – Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. Incorporating a unique blend of wit, wisdom and resilience, filmmaker Gerry Rogers bravely recounts her story of breast cancer survival to share with the world that life, indeed, can continue with full force and vigor. Shortly after being diagnosed at age 42, Rogers began to document her ordeal on camera in an attempt to confront her own questions and fears about breast cancer. Rather than present a somber and morose meditation on this difficult experience, she decides to invoke humor to frankly reflect on the meaning of this disease on her life, as well as on the lives of her friends and family. The result is a one-of-kind approach to positively coping with a potentially fatal disease. Rather than merely chronicling how one copes with an infirmity, MY LEFT BREAST serves as a model for overcoming every challenge and obstacle in life with clarity and honesty. In the same vein as the most highly regarded films on health, such as COMPLAINTS OF A DUTIFUL DAUGHTER, this powerful film intimately embraces the emotional challenges of disease, demonstrates acceptance and, above all, affirms life.
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Runaway

“RUNAWAY is a powerful and heart-breaking documentary about a group of young runaway girls who are taken to a women's shelter in Tehran, Iran. The film focuses on the sufferings of young girls who struggle to free themselves from the tyrannical and abusive power of their families, mainly their fathers, brothers, and stepfathers. The sisterly feelings of the girls towards each other, their spiritual strength, their courage to rebel, and their wit are shown with a great degree of compassion and empathy in the film. The filmmakers have beautifully criticized the patriarchal system of family and the destructive power of male family members over the lives of their daughters and sisters. One can imagine that the issue of confinement and abuse goes beyond the issue of class when it comes to the problem of domestic violence and the desire to control women through anger, aggression and madness.” - Mehrnaz Saeed, Colombia College Chicago
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The Day You Love Me

A close-up look at the varieties and complexities of domestic violence, THE DAY YOU LOVE ME takes us into the daily life of policewomen and social workers in one of the Police Commissaries for Women and Children in Nicaragua's capital city of Managua. Women of different ages, as well as children and young adults, come there seeking help against abusive husbands, lovers and parents. They also talk freely about their experiences and their sometimes conflicting desires for change. The men in their lives come to the station to respond to the charges against them by defending themselves, justifying their actions, arguing their own grievances, or even admitting their wrongs. Actively engaged in the life of the community around the Commissary, the policewomen and social workers demonstrate their responsiveness and skill in dealing with a range of situations and abuses. In the course of documenting their day, this important film records the essential and empowering process that breaks the traditional law of silence aiding and abetting domestic violence in its many forms.
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Seven Hours To Burn

"A visually expressive personal documentary that explores a family's history. Filmmaker Thakur mixes richly abstract filmmaking with disturbing archival war footage to narrate the story of her Danish mother's and Indian father's experiences. Her mother survives Nazi-occupied Denmark while her father experiences the devastating civil war in India between Hindus and Muslims. Both émigrés to Canada, they meet and marry, linking two parallel wars. Their daughter lyrically turns these two separate histories into a visually rich poem linking past and present in a new singular identity." Doubletake Documentary Film Festival Catalogue
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Black Sheep

Lou Glover grew up in New South Wales repeating the same homophobic and racist taunts she heard around her. Though she was raised in a white family, she was dark-haired and dark-eyed and was often asked if she was Aboriginal--a suggestion she vehemently denied. It wasn't until she came out as a lesbian and left the racist and homophobic environment in which she was raised that she began to explore her ancestry. And that's when she uncovered the secret that her father's family had been hiding for three generations. In this upbeat film from Australia, Lou Glover tells her own story as lesbian, one-time police officer, and recently-discovered Aboriginal woman.
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Blind Spot: Murder by Women

Because murder by women is still relatively rare--only one out of eight murders in the United States is committed by a woman--women's own stories provide unique insights into the circumstances leading to these violent acts. In this absorbing documentary, intimate one-on-one interviews with six women murderers are combined with re-enactments of their background experience and visual re-creations of their interior lives. Sharing and reflecting on their memories, fantasies, dreams, and anger, the six women candidly describe their actions as perpetrators in detail and address the issue of having taken a life. Interspersed between their separate stories are their individual reflections on coping strategies, and life and relationships in prison. From the Academy and Emmy-award winning filmmakers responsible for DIALOGUES WITH MADWOMEN, BLIND SPOT is a provocative and riveting encounter with throw-away children, out-of-control adults, and the emotional, psychological and spiritual consequences of murder.
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Girls Around the World

Produced by Brenda Parkerson, GIRLS AROUND THE WORLD is a collection of six extraordinary documentaries that examine the hopes, dreams and worldviews of a diverse group of 17-year-old girls from across the globe. This multidimensional series provides a critical cross-cultural perspective into the lives of young women, the concerns they share and the difficult decisions they face as they transition into adulthood. A compelling snapshot of global girlhood, GIRLS AROUND THE WORLD introduces young American women to the social and economic reality that shapes, and sometimes limits, the goals of their counterparts in the world. ANNA FROM BENIN (Monique Phoba, Benin) One of 31 children, Anna struggles to remain a normal teen and still fulfill her family’s high expectations, after she accepts a prestigious scholarship to study music in France. DAUGHTERS OF WAR (Maria Barea, Peru) The effects of war, drugs and poverty on a generation of youth in Peru is seen through Gabriela, the leader of a girl gang and mother of a 7 month old daughter. HEAVEN AND EARTH (Pascale Schmidt, Germany) Unlike other teens, Ramona chooses to follow a religious path and leave behind the freedoms enjoyed by youth her age in modern-day Munich. FRONTIER (Kaija Jurikkala, Finland) On a small, isolated farm near the Russian border, Tarja is forced to make the painful decision to leave her childhood home in order to pursue greater opportunities. DON'T ASK WHY (Sabiha Sumar, Pakistan) Anousheh, a spirited and independent-minded Pakistani teen, attempts to realize her dreams while confronting the expectations of her religion and culture. NIGHT GIRL (Yingli Ma, China) *A striking picture of contemporary China, Night Girl presents the poignant story of Han Lin, a 17 year old prematurely made to enter into the workforce as a Go-Go dancer to help ease her family’s economic burdens. *May be inappropriate for audiences under 17.
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The Films of Jane Campion

The internationally acclaimed director of THE PIANO, AN ANGEL AT MY TABLE and SWEETIE first displayed her visual flair and dark humor in these award-winning shorts. The compilation includes: A GIRL'S OWN STORY is about Beatlemania, the sixties and growing up. Some stories about girlhood: where family is strange, adutlhood lonely, and innocence perverse. PASSIONLESS MOMENTS is a series of wry vignettes: Sean and Arnold Not Speaking; Scotties, Part of the Grand Design of the Universe; Angela Eats Meats, Ironing on Sunday; and others... PEEL takes place on a hot Australian summer's day, a recalcitrant, freckled, red-headed family of three go on a Sunday drive in the country. Their outing results in an intrigue of awesome belligerence. Winner of the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival.
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La Boda

In an intimate portrait of migrant life along the U.S.-Mexican border, Hannah Weyer’s new film LA BODA delves into the challenges faced by a community striving to maintain their roots in Mexico, while pursuing the “American Dream” across the border. Weyer’s camera follows Elizabeth Luis during the weeks before her marriage to Artemio Guerrero, interweaving the anticipation of the upcoming wedding with candid stories that explore the architecture of the Luis family. For 22-year-old Elizabeth, migrant life has meant shouldering responsibilities beyond those of an average young adult. Along with her seven siblings, she has contributed to the family income throughout her adolescence and young adulthood, often forced to sacrifice school for fieldwork and social life for travel as she and her family move between Texas, California and Mexico. LA BODA tells the timeless story of a young woman’s coming of age, while also confronting negative stereotypes of the migrant community with the real life biography of a Mexican-American family bridging the gap between countries and culture.
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Divorce Iranian Style

Hilarious, tragic, stirring, this fly-on-the-wall look at several weeks in an Iranian divorce court provides a unique window into the intimate circumstances of Iranian women’s lives. Following Jamileh, whose husband beats her; Ziba, a 16-year-old trying to divorce her 38-year-old husband; and Maryam, who is desperately fighting to gain custody of her daughters, this deadpan chronicle showcases the strength, ingenuity, and guile with which they confront biased laws, a Kafaka-esque administrative system, and their husbands’ and families’ rage to gain divorces. With the barest of commentary, acclaimed director Kim Longinotto turns her cameras on the court and lets it tell its own story. Dispelling images of Iran as a country of war, hostages, and “fatwas”, and Iranian women as passive victims of a terrible system, this film is a subtle, fascinating look at women’s lives in a country which is little known to most Americans. Directed by Kim Longinotto and Ziba Mir-Hosseini, author of MARRIAGE ON TRIAL: A STUDY OF ISLAMIC FAMILY LAW.
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Daughter Rite

"Daughter Rite is a classic, the missing link between the 'direct Cinema' documentaries and the later hybrids that acknowledged truth couldn't always be found in front of a camera lens. Scandalous in its day for bending the rules of representation to enlighten its audience about filmmaking, DAUGHTER RITE has a lot to teach folks hooked on reality TV, too. Citron's documentary inquiries into feminism, women in the trades, and feminist approaches to media representation are time capsules that merit re-opening." -B. Ruby Rich, author of " Chick Flicks: Theories and Memories of the Feminist Film Movement" Includes special bonus feature, WHAT YOU TAKE FOR GRANTED, also by Michelle Citron.
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Acting Our Age: A film About Women Growing Old

An invigorating antidote for American culture's one-dimensional image of older women, this classic film offers empowering insights about women and aging for every generation. Personal portraits of six ordinary women in their 60's and 70's who share their lives. In candid interviews that tackle a range of thought-provoking topics, including self-image, sexuality, financial concerns, dying, and changing family relationships, members of the group display both a vibrant strength of spirit and inspiring zest for life.
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Complaints of a Dutiful Daughter

With profound insight and a healthy dose of levity, COMPLAINTS OF A DUTIFUL DAUGHTER chronicles the various stages of a mother's Alzheimer's Disease and the evolution of a daughter's response to the illness. The desire to cure the incurable-to set right her mother's confusion and forgetfulness, to temper her mother's obsessiveness-gives way to an acceptance which is finally liberating for both daughter and mother. Neither depressing nor medical, COMPLAINTS OF A DUTIFUL DAUGHTER is much more than a story about Alzheimer's and family caregiving. It is ultimately a life-affirming exploration of family relations, aging and change, the meaning of memory, and love.
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Dreaming Rivers

From Sankofa Film and Video comes this bittersweet and nostalgic short drama illustrating the spirit of modern families touched by the experience of migration. Miss T., from the Caribbean, lives alone in her one-room apartment, her children and husband having left her to pursue new dreams. When she dies her family and friends gather at her wake. The tapestry of words that interweave the drama convey the fragments of a life lived, but only partly remembered.
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