Dinner with the President

Pakistani filmmaker Sabiha Sumar and co-director Sachithanandam Sathananthan request a dinner with President Musharraf as he’s facing impeachment charges and engage him in an enlightening discussion about the past and his vision for the country.
Learn more

Azmaish: A Journey Through the Subcontinent

Pakistani filmmaker Sabiha Sumar’s inspiring and probing documentary explores the complex relationship between India and her native country.
Learn more

Too Black to be French

In this documentary film, Isabelle Boni-Claverie explores the role of race and the persistence of racism in France, as well as the impact of the French colonial past. Through an exploration of her personal family history, and interviews with historians and academics, TOO BLACK TO BE FRENCH peels back the layers of race relations in supposedly institutionally colorblind France. Boni-Claverie, a French-Ivorian, who grew up in upper class French society, unpacks how socio-economic privilege doesn’t mean protection from racial discrimination. Boni-Claverie solicits anonymous individuals to speak on their daily experiences with race, class, discrimination and micro-aggressions. TOO BLACK TO BE FRENCH also features interviews with acclaimed sociologists and historians including Pap Ndiaye, Eric Fassin, Achille Mbembe, and Patrick Simon to help contextualize racial history in France. Boni-Claverie’s film starts an urgent discussion on French society's inequalities and discrimination.
Learn more

Flesh and Paper

FLESH AND PAPER is a lyrical exploration of the sense and sensibilities of Indian lesbian poet and writer, Suniti Bamjoshi. This moving and powerful portrait of a unique and brave woman weaves Namjoshi’s life and writings into a sensual tapestry. Born into an Indian royal family, Namjoshi discusses her reasons for leaving India (she fell in love with her best friend), and her experiences as a cultural outsider in the U.S. Showing how “language invents worlds,” her vision as an Indian lesbian feminist is informed both by a lesbian consciousness and a deep Indian cultural framework. A prolific writer who has been widely published in the U.K., Canada and India over the past twenty years, Namjoshi’s poems, fables and novels are characterized by her wit and wry, satirical sense of humor. Shot on location in Devon, England as well as at the Old Palace in India, the film includes interviews with young Indo-British lesbians, expressive readings and choreographed dance segments. Sharing her life with fellow writer and poet Gilllian Hanscombe, Namjoshi’s passionate correspondence with her love reflects the intimacy and detail of this meditative piece. With great visual beauty and lyricism, FLESH AND PAPER, captures the spirit of Namjoshi’s poetry in an evocative, multi-layered way.
Learn more

Mother, Lebanon & Me

A visually striking meditation on loss and a perceptive political critique, this deeply personal work has two subjects: filmmaker Olga Naccache’s ailing mother and the chaotic country where Naccache was raised. Both fell sick in 1975, the onset of incurable depression for one and a bloody civil war ushering in deep divisions for the other. In this sequel to LEBANON: BITS AND PIECES (1994), Naccache ponders the plight of the country she clearly loves while honoring the mother dear to her. Her montage draws on conversations with Naccache's mother toward the end of life, along with footage of this beautiful, accomplished woman and ardent secularist in more physically robust times. Stunning scenes of tranquil Beirut and southern Lebanon contrast with close-ups of a nation under siege from within and abroad. Recent interviews with two longtime friends—a leftist teacher of philosophy in a Christian village school and a Shiite Muslim viewing Hezbollah as Lebanon’s only hope—raise crucial questions about the nation’s identity and precarious future.
Learn more

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.
Learn more

Sweating Indian Style

The appropriation of Native American traditions by non-Natives comes under thoughtful scrutiny in this insightful documentary. As it follows the New Age activities of a group of Californian women learning to construct a sweat lodge and perform their own ceremony, it raises important questions about the use of elements of Native culture out of context, apart from the complex realities of American Indian experience. Interviews with diverse Native American women point out the problems inherent in this increasingly popular New Age phenomenon and its relationship to traditional forms of colonialism.
Learn more

Thunder in Guyana

THUNDER IN GUYANA is the remarkable tale of Janet Jagan, a young woman from Chicago who married Guyanese activist Cheddi Jagan, and set off for the British colony to start a socialist revolution. For more than fifty years, the couple fought tirelessly to liberate the country from colonial rule and exploitation—despite battering by the international press, imprisonment and the intervention of world figures including Winston Churchill and John F. Kennedy. Free and fair elections were instituted in the early 90's, and Janet Jagan was elected president of Guyana in 1997, the first foreign-born and first woman to serve in the role. Historian Suzanne Wasserman (Jagan’s cousin) creates a rich historical portrait combining interviews with friends and family, excerpts from Janet’s letters, archival photographs and footage, and video captured during Janet’s dramatic presidential campaign. The film, with cinematography by Sundance Award winner Debra Granik, illuminates the life of an extraordinary woman and the complex history of the little understood country of Guyana.
Learn more

Speaking Out: Women, AIDS and Hope in Mali

The fourth installment of Joanne Burke’s critically acclaimed NEW DIRECTIONS series on women's empowerment in developing countries, SPEAKING OUT presents a compelling case study on the impact of AIDS on women from Mali and the devastating effects the epidemic is having in Africa today. This critically acclaimed documentary profiles a remarkable HIV and AIDS support project in Bamako, Mali, sponsored by The Center for Care, Activity and Council for People Living with HIV (CESAC), and three brave women who tirelessly work on behalf of the infected community. Risking social ostracism and family rejection, Aminita, Oumou and Aissata are among a small group who dare to speak publicly about their HIV+ status. They help others with HIV, particularly women, by joining AFAS, the women's association for the support of widows and children of AIDS. Through their advocacy work they hope to demonstrate to the Mali government the desperate need for a more pro-active HIV and AIDS strategy. With the help of CESAC, these inspiring women are proving that an HIV+ diagnosis is not the end of life, but the start of a positive future for all African men and women.
Learn more

Children of the Crocodile

This documentary tells the story of two young Timorese-Australian activists – one a high profile human rights worker, the other a performance artist and lesbian – and their personal journey to further the cause of peace in the homeland they were forced to flee. Although merely infants when their families left East Timor to seek political asylum in Australia, Cidalia Pires and Elizabeth Exposto carry on their parents’ human rights work promoting the Timorese struggle. Their tireless activist efforts are documented through two amazing years in East Timor’s history - from the joy of voting for freedom in August 1999 to the rage at the destruction that followed and time of renewed commitment and hope. Their country’s independence fulfills their lifetime dream, but it also brings hard choices and painful returns for them both. Cidalia, in particular, faces the additional challenge of being an openly gay Timorese woman in a culture heavily steeped in tradition and conservative gender roles. CHILDREN OF THE CROCODILE tells a story which is personal yet universal - about ideals, identity, and the strength of an exile community that is committed to furthering the cause of peace in their native land.
Learn more

Africa, Africas

A rare collection from the emerging voices of African documentary filmmaking, this unique series daringly explores the social and cultural realities experienced in Africa today – including the infiltration of Western beauty standards, territorial displacement and high unemployment. FANTACOCA by Agnes Ndibi (23 minutes) presents the disturbing cultural phenomenon of skin bleaching in Cameroon and the challenge it is now posing on notions of black pride and identity. THE RIVER BETWEEN US by Maji-da Abdi (18 minutes) documents the alarming effects of war on a community of Ethiopian women and children who were forcibly relocated into refugee camps. LAAFI BALA by Fanta Regina Nacro (20 minutes) demonstrates the glaring causes of wide-spread unemployment and poverty in Burkina Faso, where few institutional resources and government support are available, and the debilitating effects this is having on women and youth.
Learn more

New Directions

NEW DIRECTIONS is award-winning documentarian Joanne Burke's series about women's empowerment in developing countries. Each one spotlights the critical role women are playing as community based leaders: providing education, inspiration and practical assistance to other women in their countries. WOMEN OF ZIMBABWE (1997, 30 minutes) focuses on a group of five daring women who have taken up the challenge of creating their own future in the traditionally male field of carpentry. At its center is Fatima Shoriwa, an inspiration to many of her countrywomen. Owner of a thriving carpentry business, she also openly advocates education, family planning, safe sex practices, and economic self-sufficiency to achieve women's full voices in their own destinies. In Klong Toey, Bangkok's largest slum, Duang Prateep, a foundation created and run entirely by women, provides empowering choices and role models to the area's residents. WOMEN OF THAILAND (1997, 30 minutes) centers on Rotjana Phraesrithong, a remarkable young social worker who first came to Klong Toey as a poor, ill-educated country girl of twelve. As it follows Rotjana in her work with the women and children of Klong Toey, the film reveals how her innovative programs promote schooling for children and provide AIDS and health eduction. WOMEN OF GUATEMALA (2000, 30 minutes) is a compelling portrait of Maria Del Carmen Chavajay and Micaela Chavajay, part of the new generation of Mayan women. They head the Health Promoter Group of San Pedro La Laguna, a group of seventy-five women that provides health education and tackles the grave social and economic injustices facing Mayan women in Guatemala. In a region where doctors are few or non-existent and where the cost of medical care is prohibitively high, these dedicated women share the aspirations, insights and experiences that underscore the important contributions of Mayan women--and their roles as future leaders--in Guatemalan women's struggle for empowerment. The fourth installment of the series, SPEAKING OUT: WOMEN, AIDS AND HOPE IN MALI (2002, 55 minutes) profiles a remarkable HIV and AIDS support project in Bamako, Mali, sponsored by The Center for Care, Activity and Council for People Living with HIV (CESAC) and three brave women who tirelessly work on behalf of the infected community.
Learn more

Writing Desire

"Ursula Biemann’s WRITING DESIRE is a video essay on the new dream screen of the Internet and how it impacts on the global circulation of women’s bodies from the third world to the first world. Although under-age Philippine 'pen pals' and post-Soviet mail-order brides have been part of the transnational exchange of sex in the post-colonial and post-Cold War marketplace of desire before the digital age, the Internet has accelerated these transactions. Biemann provides her viewers with a thoughtful meditation on the obvious political, economic and gender inequalities of these exchanges by simulating the gaze of the Internet shopper looking for the imagined docile, traditional, pre-feminist, but Web-savvy mate. WRITING DESIRE delights in implicating the viewer in the new voyeurism and sexual consumerism of the Web. However, it never fails to challenge pat assumptions about the impossibility for resistance and the absolute victimization of women who dare to venture out of the third world and onto the Internet to look for that very obscure object of desire promised by the men of the West. This film will promote lively discussion on third world women, the sex industry, mail order brides, racism and feminist backlashes in the West, and on women’s sexuality, desire, and new technologies." --Gina Marchetti, Ithaca College
Learn more

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.
Learn more

Made In India: SEWA in Action

This powerful documentary is a portrait of SEWA, the now-famous women's organization in India that holds to the simple yet radical belief that poor women need organizing, not welfare. SEWA, or the Self-Employed Women's Association, corresponds to the Indian word sewa, meaning service. Based in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad, a dusty old textile town on the edge of the Gujarati desert, SEWA is at its core a trade union for the self-employed. It offers union membership to the illiterate women who sell vegetables for 50 cents a day in the city markets, or who pick up paper scraps for recycling from the streets--jobs that most Indian men don't consider real work. Inspired by the political, economic and moral model advocated by Mahatma Gandhi, SEWA has grown since its founding to a membership of more than 217,000 and its bank now has 61,000 members, assets of $4 million and customers who walk in each day to deposit a dollar or take out 60 cents. Following the lives of six women involved in the organization, including Ela R. Bhat, its visionary founder, Plattner's documentary is an important look at the power of grassroots global feminism.
Learn more

Don't Fence Me In

Against the broader backdrop of modern India's political and social history, this lyrical documentary tells the story of the life of Krishna Sikand, the filmmaker's mother, from childhood to maturity. A rich mosaic of memory and impressions, DON'T FENCE ME IN captures the fragmented way in which we journey back through time. Evoking Krishna's earliest years in pre-independence Bombay as the daughter of a well-to-do Bengali family, the film also traces her post-colonial experiences--from marriage to a Punjabi army officer in the face of fierce family opposition, through the raising of two daughters and successful careers as an academic, small business entrepreneur, media consultant, journalist, and poet. Black-and-white photos of Krishna as a child and young woman are juxtaposed with clips from home movies shot by the filmmaker's father nearly thirty years ago, and recent location footage. Krishna's personal narrative is highlighted by her wonderful letters to her daughter and the poems that serve as milestones in her life.
Learn more

La Nouba des Femmes du Mont-Chenoua

Finally available in the United States, this classic film from acclaimed novelist and filmmaker Assia Djebar is essential viewing for an understanding of women in Algeria. Taking its title and structure from the “Nouba," a traditional song of five movements, this haunting film mingles narrative and documentary styles to document the creation of women’s personal and cultural histories. Returning to her native region 15 years after the end of the Algerian war, Lila is obsessed by memories of the war for independence that defined her childhood. In dialogue with other Algerian women, she reflects on the differences between her life and theirs. In lyrical footage she contemplates the power of grandmothers who pass down traditions of anti-colonial resistance to their heirs. Reading the history of her country as written in the stories of women’s lives, Assia Djebar’s LA NOUBA DES FEMMES DU MONT-CHENOUA is an engrossing portrait of speech and silence, memory and creation, and a tradition where the past and present coexist. Widely hailed as one of the most important figures in francophone Maghrebian literature, Djebar is the author of more than a dozen books, including A SISTER TO SCHEHEREZADE and WOMEN OF ALGIERS IN THEIR APARTMENT. She is currently Professor and Director of the Center for French and Francophone Studies at the Louisiana State University.
Learn more

The Devil Never Sleeps

Academy Award nominated filmmaker Lourdes Portillo (LAS MADRES: THE MOTHERS OF PLAZA DE MAYO) mines the complicated intersections of analysis and autobiography, evidence and hypothesis, even melodrama and police procedure in this ground-breaking work. Early one Sunday morning, the filmmaker receives a phone call informing her that her beloved Tio (Uncle) Oscar Ruiz Almeida has been found dead of a gunshot wound to the head in Chihuahua, Mexico. His widow declares his death a suicide. Most of his family, however, cry murder and point to a number of suspects that include the widow herself. The filmmaker returns to the land of her birth to investigate her uncle's identity and death. Finding clues in old tales of betrayal, lust, and supernatural visitation, Portillo blends traditional and experimental techniques to capture the nuances of Mexican social and family order. Poetic and tragic, humorous and mythic, this film crosses the borders of personal values, cultural mores, and the discipline of filmmaking in a fascinating look at family mysteries. THE DEVIL NEVER SLEEPS was funded by the Independent Television Service (ITVS) with funds provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
Learn more

Eternal Seed

With insightful interviews and rare footage from India's agricultural industry, this keenly observed film depicts Indian women's struggles to use traditional farming practices instead of chemically-based agriculture. Comparing the practices of women who consider seeds sacred with multinational companies' use of sterilized hybrids, this evocative analysis celebrates the scientific basis of women's native traditions in a provocative look at the evolving meanings of healthy land use.
Learn more

The Hidden Story

Its title referring both to women's hidden lives and the hidden work of creating ethnographic realities, this nuanced look at the lives of four rural Indian women paints a portrait of survival and advancement against great odds. Examining the lives of women tenant farmers, it depicts women balancing resistance and activism with a deep commitment to diverse myths and traditions. As scenes of India's changing urban and rural landscapes mingle with candid interviews and first-person narration, this perceptive film showcases how issues of class, education, and political consciousness shape documentary practice and women's circumstances.
Learn more

Adynata

A formal 1861 portrait of a Chinese Mandarin and his wife is the starting point for this allegorical investigation of the fantasies spawned in the West about the East, particularly that which associates femininity with the mysterious Orient. ADYNATA presents a series of oppositions-male and female images, past and present sounds-which in and of themselves construct a minimal and fragmentary narrative, an open text of our imaginations, fears and fantasies.
Learn more

Columbus on Trial

Inspired by the controversy surrounding the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus' "discovery" of America, Portillo has fashioned a fanciful version of a courtroom were Columbus to return from his grave to stand trial. Cross-examined by the Latino comedy group, Culture Clash, Columbus is charged with atrocities against the Native peoples of the New World, including the rape and violent treatment of women. Satire and parody rule in this dynamic document about American history and colonization.
Learn more

¡Adelante Mujeres!

Spanning five centuries, this comprehensive film, produced by the National Women's History Project, focuses exclusively on the history of Mexican-American/Chicana women from the Spanish invasion to the present. Hundreds of previously unpublished photographs, art works, and contemporary footage pay tribute to the strength and resilience of women at the center of their families, as activists in their communities, and as contributors to American history. A companion to the ground-breaking Chicana, ¡Adelante Mujeres! is suitable for young adult and college-age audiences, and community and women's groups.
Learn more

On Cannibalism

King Kong meets the family photograph in this provocative experimental film exploring the West's insatiable appetite for native bodies in museums, world's fairs, and early cinema. Intertwining personal narrative about race and identity in the U.S. with layered footage, artifacts and video effects, ON CANNIBALISM looks back at anthropological truisms with outrage and irony. "...In these times of heated debates around diversity and multiculturalism, ON CANNIBALISM is bound to arouse interesting discussions concerning race, identity and difference. " - Teshome Gabriel, UCLA
Learn more

Bedevil

BEDEVIL is the stunning debut feature from Tracey Moffatt (NIGHT CRIES, NICE COLORED GIRLS) and the first feature directed by an Australian Aboriginal woman.
Learn more

The Passion of Remembrance

The first film by Sankofa Film and Video, THE PASSION OF REMEMBRANCE has gained classic status as a representation of the totality and diversity of Black experience. Within a dramatic framework the film gives a mosaic impression of the different dimensions of Black experience lived and imagined by a generation of filmmakers in the UK. As beautiful as it is eloquent, THE PASSION OF REMEMBRANCE is critical viewing for those interested in race, gender, history and cinema studies.
Learn more

Nice Colored Girls

This stylistically daring film audaciously explores the history of exploitation between white men and Aboriginal women, juxtaposing the “first encounter” between colonizers and native women with the attempts of modern urban Aboriginal women to reverse their fortunes. Through counterpoint of sound, image, and printed text, the film conveys the perspective of Aboriginal women while acknowledging that oppression and enforced silence still shape their consciousness.
Learn more

Night Cries

On an isolated, surreal Australian homestead, a middle-aged Aboriginal woman nurses her dying white mother. The adopted daughter’s attentive gestures mask an almost palpable hostility. Their story alludes to the assimilation policy that forced Aboriginal children to be raised in white families. The stark, sensual drama unfolds without dialogue against vivid painted sets as the smooth crooning of an Aboriginal Christian singer provides ironic counterpoint. Moffatt’s first 35mm film displays rare visual assurance and emotional power.
Learn more

From Here, From This Side

The relationship between Mexico and its rich neighbor to the north has always been ambiguous. Using mostly stock footage, this collage-like documentary “stars” Robert Redford, John Gavin and Superman in an exploration of the largest border separating the First and the Third World—that separating the United States of Mexico from the United States of America. Incorporating texts by Octavio Paz and others, images from Mexican melodramas and Hollywood movies, this film forces American viewers to consider the question of cultural imperialism from “the other side.”
Learn more

Miss Amy and Miss May

Amy Bailey, daughter of an eminent Black family, was a leader of the Jamaican women’s movement in the 1930s. May Farquharson, daughter of a wealthy white planter, fought for reproductive rights for women and reforms to benefit the elderly. Combining contemporary interviews and dramatized scenes from their long, unlikely friendship, this fascinating docudrama covers the history of the fight for social justice for women in Jamaica. Useful for courses on women’s history, women and development and Caribbean studies. A Phase 3 Production.
Learn more

A Song of Ceylon

A formally rigorous, visually stunning study of colonialism, gender and the body. The title echoes the classic British documentary and evokes a country erased from the world map. The soundtrack enacts a Sri Lankan anthropological text observing a woman’s ritual exorcism. Visually, the film brings together theatrical conventions and recreations of classic film stills, presenting the body in striking tableaux. This remarkable film is a provocative treatise on hybridity, hysteria and performance.
Learn more

As the Mirror Burns

Most representations of the Vietnam War show women as innocent by-standers who sometimes became caught up in the conflict but who were otherwise uninvolved. AS THE MIRROR BURNS is an amazing redressing of this misconception. It is estimated that over 70% of the guerrilla forces in the war were women who were not victims but who were active participants in the struggle against foreign domination. AS THE MIRROR BURNS shows how the war still shapes life for the women of Vietnam as they continue their work in the fields and factories, on the roads and in the homes, to restore peace to their land. Study guide available.
Learn more

Naked Spaces

Shot with stunning elegance and clarity, NAKED SPACES explores the rhythm and ritual of life in the rural environments of six West African countries (Mauritania, Mali, Burkino Faso, Togo, Benin and Senegal). The nonlinear structure of NAKED SPACES challenges the traditions of ethnographic filmmaking, while sensuous sights and sounds lead the viewer on a poetic journey to the most inaccessible parts of the African continent: the private interaction of people in their living spaces.
Learn more

Reassemblage

Women are the focus but not the object of Trinh T. Minh-ha’s influential first film, a complex visual study of the women of rural Senegal.
Learn more

Angola Is Our Country

Angolan women are rarely heard describing the impact of South Africa’s undeclared war against their country. This moving documentary, produced in conjunction with the Organization of Angolan Women (OMA), highlights the contribution women make to the reconstruction of a country where war has consumed more than half the national budget and produced at least a million internal refugees.
Learn more

Lebanon: Bits and Pieces

LEBANON: BITS AND PIECES is an exquisitely beautiful and profoundly moving exploration of the myths and realities of present-day Lebanon, as reflected through the voices of women. During Olga Naccache's childhood, Lebanon was known to the outside world as an exemplary model of peace in the heart of an Arab Middle East dominated by dictators. Following a seven year absence, Naccache returned to Lebanon with a camera to record the dreams, disappointments and worries of women of her own generation and to meet a younger generation of women whose only memory is that of war. Through these voices, Naccache’s own voyage of rediscovery is revealed — rediscovery of her country and of herself.
Learn more
Shopping Cart