False Confessions

Law enforcement agencies across the U.S. commonly use a complex psychological tactic during interrogations to get suspects to confess to crimes, often without regard for whether or not the suspect is actually guilty. FALSE CONFESSIONS follows defense attorney Jane Fisher-Byrialsen as she fights to put an end to this institutionalized injustice. Through the stories of four of her cases, including that of Korey Wise who was only sixteen when he was manipulated into a false confession in the infamous Central Park Jogger case, the film examines the psychological aspect of how people end up confessing to crimes they have not committed as well as the consequences of these confessions – for those accused, for their families and for society. On the heels of the difficult and critically important national conversation sparked by Ava Duvernay's miniseries about The Central Park Five, FALSE CONFESSIONS is an urgent in-depth look at the dark side of the American Justice system that goes even further into investigating the social, racial and legal issues at stake.
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The Feeling of Being Watched

In the Arab-American neighborhood outside of Chicago where journalist and filmmaker Assia Boundaoui grew up, most of her neighbors think they have been under surveillance for over a decade. While investigating their experiences, Assia uncovers tens of thousands of pages of FBI documents that prove her hometown was the subject of one of the largest counter terrorism investigations ever conducted in the U.S. before 9/11, code-named "Operation Vulgar Betrayal." With unprecedented access, THE FEELING OF BEING WATCHED weaves the personal and the political as it follows the filmmaker’s examination of why her community-including her own family-fell under blanket government surveillance. Assia struggles to disrupt the government secrecy shrouding what happened and takes the FBI to federal court to compel them to make the records they collected about her community public. In the process, she confronts long-hidden truths about the FBI’s relationship to her community. THE FEELING OF BEING WATCHED follows Assia as she pieces together this secret FBI operation, while grappling with the effects of a lifetime of surveillance on herself and her family.
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Exit: Leaving Extremism Behind

EXIT is a personal and urgent look at the ways people legitimize hatred and the threats they face when they attempt to leave their radicalized worlds behind. Paralleling her own past as part of a violent right-wing organization with the experiences of other former extremists, filmmaker Karen Winther explores what makes someone join neo-Nazis, Jihadists or other hate groups, and what makes them decide to leave. Winther introduces us to Angela from the US and Ingo and Manuel from Germany, all ex-right-wing extremists who made the leap to abandon their movement and now must live isolated lives in hiding. In Denmark, we witness the other side of the spectrum when former violent left-wing extremist Søren shares the story of his life. Winther also travels to France to meet a French former jihadist. Through these intimate conversations, Winther examines how and why some radicalized people, when confronted with the realisation that everything they once firmly believed is wrong, gather the courage to embark on extraordinary journeys to turn their lives around.
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White Right: Meeting the Enemy

In this Emmy-winning documentary, acclaimed Muslim filmmaker Deeyah Khan meets U.S. neo-Nazis and white nationalists including Richard Spencer face to face and attends the now-infamous Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville as she seeks to understand the personal and political motivations behind the resurgence of far-right extremism in the U.S. Speaking with fascists, racists and proponents of alt-right ideologies, Deeyah, attempts to discover new possibilities for connection and solutions. As she tries to see beyond the headlines to the human beings, her own prejudices are challenged and her tolerance tested. When she finds herself in the middle of America's biggest and most violent far right rally in recent years, Deeyah's safety is jeopardized. Can she find it within herself to try and befriend the fascists she meets? With a U.S. president propagating anti-Muslim propaganda, the far-right gaining ground in German elections, hate crime rising in the UK, and divisive populist rhetoric infecting political and public discourse across western democracies, WHITE RIGHT: MEETING THE ENEMY asks why. The film is an urgent, resonant and personal look at race wars in America.
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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. Combining archival footage and interviews with female activists, scientists and scholars in the US and Africa, Nothing Without Us reveals how women not only shaped grassroots groups like ACT-UP in the U.S., but have also played an essential part in HIV prevention and treatment access throughout sub-Saharan Africa. From beauty parlors in Baton Rouge to the first HIV clinic in Burundi, this film looks boldly at the unaddressed dynamics that keep women around the world at high-risk for HIV, while introducing the remarkable women who have the answers to ending this 30-year old pandemic. As the history of AIDS activism is being written, women, particularly women of color, are being written out of it. This documentary will be a step in restoring women's crucial role in the history and present-day activism around HIV as well as bolstering the work of women everywhere still fighting for their lives.
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There Goes the Neighborhood

THERE GOES THE NEIGHBORHOOD intimately follows an extended Black family of View Park-Windsor Hills, California as they experience changes due to gentrification and reflect on their shifting community. View Park-Windsor Hills is the largest Black middle-class neighborhood in the country. Adele Cadres is a longtime resident and mother of three who gives us insight into the history of the neighborhood. Her eldest daughter Ayana Cadres raises her biracial children with the hopes that they foster the utmost respect and reverence for the Black community she grew up in. Adele’s youngest daughter, Aida, struggles to find an affordable home in the neighborhood due to increasing property value. As the family and other residents reflect on the history and culture of their neighborhood, they debate the issues of maintaining a changing community. As the national conversation about the housing crisis continues and more and more people are being priced out of the market, THERE GOES THE NEIGHBORHOOD provides intimate access to the families most affected by this growing issue.
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Black Girl in Suburbia

For many Black girls raised in the suburbs, the experiences of going to school, playing on the playground, and living day-to-day life can be uniquely alienating. BLACK GIRL IN SUBURBIA looks at the suburbs of America from the perspective of women of color. Filmmaker Melissa Lowery shares her own childhood memories of navigating racial expectations both subtle and overt-including questions like, "Hey, I just saw a Black guy walking down the street; is that your cousin?" Through conversations with her own daughters, with teachers and scholars who are experts in the personal impacts of growing up a person of color in a predominately white place, this film explores the conflicts that many Black girls in homogeneous hometowns have in relating to both white and Black communities. BLACK GIRL IN SUBURBIA is a great discussion starter for Freshman orientation week and can be used in a wide variety of educational settings including classes in sociology, race relations, African American Studies, Women's Studies, and American Studies.
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PROFILED

Profiled knits the stories of mothers of Black and Latino youth murdered by the NYPD into a powerful indictment of racial profiling and police brutality, and places them within a historical context of the roots of racism in the U.S. Some of the victims—Eric Garner, Michael Brown—are now familiar the world over. Others, like Shantel Davis and Kimani Gray, are remembered mostly by family and friends in their New York neighborhoods. Ranging from the routine harassment of minority students in an affluent Brooklyn neighborhood to the killings and protests in Staten Island and Ferguson, Missouri, PROFILED bears witness to the racist violence that remains an everyday reality for Black and Latino people in this country. Moving interviews with victims’ family members are juxtaposed with sharply etched analyses by evolutionary biologist, Joseph L.Graves, Jr, (The Race Myth) and civil rights lawyer, Chauniqua D. Young, (Center for Constitutional Rights, Stop and Frisk lawsuit). PROFILED gives us a window on one of the burning issues of our time.
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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.
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Southern Rites

Broadcast nationally on HBO, SOUTHERN RITES is a powerful portrayal of how perceptions and politics have divided two towns in southeast Georgia along racial lines for years. In 2009, The New York Times Magazine published filmmaker and acclaimed photographer Gillian Laub’s controversial images of Montgomery County High School’s racially segregated proms. A media furor ensued and under extreme pressure, the Georgian town was forced to finally integrate the proms in 2010. Laub returned camera in hand to document the changes, only to stumble upon a series of events far more indicative of race relations in the Deep South: old wounds are reopened following the murder of an unarmed young black man by an elderly white town patriarch. Against the backdrop of an historic campaign to elect its first African-American sheriff, the case divides locals along well-worn racial lines and threatens to drag the town back to darker days. SOUTHERN RITES documents one town's painful struggle to progress while confronting longstanding issues of race, equality and justice. Through her hauntingly intimate portrait, Laub reveals the horror and humanity of these complex, intertwined narratives, a chronicle of their courage in the face of injustice. Laub’s film captures a world caught between eras and values with extraordinary candor and immediacy— and ultimately asks whether a new generation can make a different future for itself from a difficult past.
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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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Old South

OLD SOUTH, through a quiet unfolding story, provides a window into the underlying dynamics of race relations that influence so many American communities. In Athens, Georgia, a college fraternity traditionally known to fly the Confederate flag moves to a historically black neighborhood and establishes their presence by staging an antebellum style parade. What starts with a neighborhood struggle over cultural legacies in the South, the opening of a community garden becomes a grounds for understanding, as well as a physical and emotional space for healing, offering a sense of possibility and hope for the future.
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Living Thinkers: An Autobiography of Black Women in the Ivory Tower

LIVING THINKERS: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF BLACK WOMEN IN THE IVORY TOWER examines the intersection of race, class and gender for Black women professors and administrators working in U.S. colleges and universities today. Through their diverse narratives, from girlhood to the present, Black women from different disciplines share experiences that have shaped them, including segregated schooling as children, and the trials, disappointments and triumphs encountered in Academia. Though more than 100 years have passed since the doors to higher education opened for Black women, their numbers as faculty members are woefully low and for many still, the image of Black women as intellectuals is incomprehensible. And while overtly expressed racism, sexism and discrimination have declined, their presence is often still often unacknowledged. Through frank and sometimes humorous conversations, this documentary interrogates notions of education for girls and women and the stereotypes and traditions that affect the status of Black women both in and out of the Academy. A perfect companion film for any classroom discussion on the intersection of racism, sexism and/or feminism.
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Slaying the Dragon and Slaying the Dragon: Reloaded

SLAYING THE DRAGON is a comprehensive look at media stereotypes of Asian and Asian American women since the silent era. From the racist use of white actors to portray Asians in early Hollywood films, through the success of Anna May Wong’s sinister dragon lady, to Suzie Wong and the ’50s geisha girls, to the Asian-American anchorwoman of today, this fascinating film shows how stereotypes of exoticism and docility have affected the perception of Asian-American women. Produced by Asian Women United, this invaluable resource has been widely used by universities and libraries. SLAYING THE DRAGON: RELOADED is a 30-minute sequel to SLAYING THE DRAGON. RELOADED looks at the past 25 years of representation of Asian and Asian American women in U.S. visual media — from blockbuster films and network television to Asian American cinema and YouTube — to explore what’s changed, what’s been recycled, and what we can hope for in the future.
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Tea & Justice

TEA & JUSTICE chronicles the experiences of three women who joined the New York Police Department during the 1980s—the first Asian women to become members of a force that was largely white and predominantly male. In this award-winning documentary, Officer Trish Ormsby and Detectives Agnes Chan and Christine Leung share their fascinating stories about careers and personal lives, as well as satisfactions and risks on the job, the stereotypes they defied, and how they persevered. Intrigued by the image of Asian women in a non-traditional profession, filmmaker Ermena Vinluan explores her own mixed feelings about cops while honoring the challenges Ormsby, Chan and Leung embraced, and the far-reaching changes they helped bring about. Interviews with ordinary New Yorkers, leading advocates of law enforcement reform, and anti-police abuse activists consider proposed changes in police culture and explain how women’s preventive policing style, based on communication, contrasts with more reactive, physically forceful methods used by men. Humorous cartoons, lively graphics depicting cultural icons of strong Asian women, and original music enhance this nuanced study of race, gender, and power.
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Antonia Pantoja

Antonia Pantoja (1922-2002), visionary Puerto Rican educator, activist, and early proponent of bilingual education, inspired multiple generations of young people and fought for many of the rights that people take for granted today. Unbowed by obstacles she encountered as a black, Puerto Rican woman, she founded ASPIRA to empower Puerto Rican youth, and created other enduring leadership and advocacy organizations in New York and California, across the United States, and in Puerto Rico. Recognized for her achievements in 1996, Dr. Pantoja was awarded the prestigious Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor bestowed upon civilians in the US. In this important documentary, Pantoja’s compelling story is told through never-before-seen home movies, archival footage, and personal passionate testimony from Pantoja herself and some of her countless protégés, as well as her life partner. Highlighting major landmarks in Pantoja’s biography and long, productive career, the film shows her profound commitment to transforming society, her pivotal role in the Puerto Rican community’s fight to combat racism and discrimination, and her pioneering work in securing a bilingual voice in the US. An eloquent tribute to a remarkable woman, the film sheds new light on the Puerto Rican community’s far-reaching triumphs.
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Say My Name

In a hip hop and R&B world dominated by men and noted for misogyny, the unstoppable female lyricists of SAY MY NAME speak candidly about class, race, and gender in pursuing their passions as female MCs. This worldwide documentary takes viewers on a vibrant tour of urban culture and musical movement, from hip hop’s birthplace in the Bronx, to grime on London’s Eastside, to Philly, Detroit, Chicago, Atlanta, and L.A., and points in between. Featuring interviews and musical performances from a diverse cast of women that includes Remy Ma, Rah Digga, Jean Grae, Erykah Badu, Estelle, as well as newcomers Chocolate Thai, Invincible and Miz Korona, this powerful documentary delves into the amazing personal stories of women balancing professional dreams with the stark realities of poor urban communities, race, sexism, and motherhood. The more than 18 artists featured in SAY MY NAME battle for a place in a society that creates few chances for women. From emerging artists filled with new creativity, to true pioneers like MC Lyte, Roxxanne Shante, and Monie Love, these are women turning adversity into art.
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The Feminist Initiative

The Feminist Initiative reveals the passion, pitfalls and promise of a diverse group of women working to establish the world’s first feminist political party in Sweden in the spring of 2005. Even in one of the most gender-equal societies in the world, the advancement of women’s agenda within the patriarchal establishment requires a revolution. Beginning from the innovative and inclusive decision to elect three party leaders rather than one, the film charts every trail-blazing step (and misstep) of the Feminist Initiative (F!) from their energetic start to the climactic moments of their inspiring, celebrity-supported rally. In the face of internal discord, public backlash, and a worrisome lack of funds, the Feminist Initiative forges a new path towards parliament, raising critical questions along the way about what women really want from their government and about gender differences in leadership. This is an invaluable story about the struggle to have women’s voices heard in a patriarchal, modern society, and an amazing behind-the-scenes film about what women do with power, and what power can do to women.
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Patsy Mink: Ahead of the Majority

In 1965, Patsy Takemoto Mink became the first woman of color in the United States Congress. Seven years later, she ran for the US presidency and was the driving force behind Title IX, the landmark legislation that transformed women’s opportunities in higher education and athletics. Mink was an Asian American woman who fought racism and sexism while redefining US politics. Her tumultuous, often lonely political journey reveals what can be at stake for female politicians that defy expectations, push limits and adhere to their principles. Mink encountered sexism within her own party, whose leaders disliked her independent style and openly maneuvered against her. And her liberal views, particularly her vocal opposition to the Vietnam War, engendered intense criticism. A compelling portrait of an iconoclastic figure that remains seldom spotlighted in history books, this film illuminates how Mink’s daring to remain “ahead of the majority” in her beliefs enabled groundbreaking changes for the rights of the disenfranchised. A woman of the people as well as a pioneer, a patriot and an outcast, Patsy Mink’s intriguing story embodies the history, ideals and spirit of America.
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Far From Home

While busing may be a rapidly fading memory in most American schools, it continues to be a reality for more than 3,000 Boston students every year. FAR FROM HOME spotlights Kandice, an insightful, precocious African-American teenager participating in METCO, a voluntary Boston school integration program. Since kindergarten, she has risen before dawn each day to be bused to Weston, an affluent, predominantly white suburb. Now in her last two years of high school, she takes us inside her personal triumphs and daily negotiations: serving as the first black class president, playing the college admissions game, defying stereotypes she feels from white society, living up to her family’s tradition of activism. Kandice’s grandfather, a civil rights activist murdered in 1968, helped found the busing program and her mother was among the first black students bused to the suburbs in the late 1960s. Through cinema verité and interviews, the film weaves together Kandice’s current school life with a family history that has been profoundly shaped by racially integrated educational experiences. With more than fifty years separating Kandice’s story from the landmark Brown vs. the Board of Education decision, this compelling film illustrates the ways in which a truly desegregated education system is still an unachieved goal in this country.
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Chisholm '72 - Unbought and Unbossed

Recalling a watershed event in US politics, this compelling documentary takes an in-depth look at the 1972 presidential campaign of Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman elected to Congress and the first to seek nomination for the highest office in the land. Following Chisholm from her own announcement of her candidacy through her historic speech in Miami at the Democratic National Convention, the story is a fight for inclusion. Shunned by the political establishment and the media, this longtime champion of marginalized Americans asked for support from people of color, women, gays, and young people newly empowered to vote at the age of 18. Chisholm's bid for an equal place on the presidential dais generated strong, even racist opposition. Yet her challenge to the status quo and her message about exercising the right to vote struck many as progressive and positive. Period footage and music, interviews with supporters, opponents, observers, and Chisholm's own commentary all illuminate her groundbreaking initiative, as well as political and social currents still very much alive today.
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A Knock Out

Boxing champion Michele Aboro grew up in South London, where life for a girl was never easy, let alone for a mixed-race lesbian girl. Thanks to her tenacious spirit and an uncanny talent for combat sports, she put her difficult past behind her and managed to sign a contract with the biggest boxing promoter in Europe. She won all 21 fights, 18 of them with a knockout - an exceptional achievement in women’s boxing. But despite her spectacular record in the ring, her career came to a sudden halt when her promoter broke her contract under the belief that she was not "promotable." Refusing to vamp up her image and pose naked in magazines, this undefeated world champion was abandoned by an industry more interested in selling sex than sport. A KNOCK OUT interweaves Aboro’s personal story with interviews with boxers whose wild success strikes a painful contrast with Aboro's struggles. Searching for logic behind Aboro’s case, this poignant documentary captures a universal story of fighting for one's identity and offers a probing look at the intersection of gender, ethnicity, sexuality and the increased commercialization of women's sports.
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Standing on My Sisters' Shoulders

In 1965, when three women walked into the US House of Representatives in Washington D.C., they had come a very long way. Neither lawyers nor politicians, they were ordinary women from Mississippi,and descendants of African slaves. They had come to their country’s capital seeking civil rights, the first black women to be allowed in the senate chambers in nearly 100 years. A missing chapter in our nation’s record of the Civil Rights movement, this powerful documentary reveals the movement in Mississippi in the 1950’s and 60’s from the point of view of the courageous women who lived it – and emerged as its grassroots leaders. Their living testimony offers a window into a unique moment when the founders’ promise of freedom and justice passed from rhetoric to reality for all Americans. Through moving interviews and powerful archival footage, STANDING ON MY SISTERS' SHOULDERS weaves a story of commitment, passion and perseverance and tells the story of the women fought for change in Mississippi and altered the course of American history forever.
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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.
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Between the Lines: Asian American Women's Poetry

BETWEEN THE LINES offers rare interviews with over 15 major Asian-Pacific American women poets. Organized in interwoven sections such as Immigration, Language, Family, Memory, and Spirituality, it is a sophisticated merging of Asian-American history and identity with the questions of performance, voice, and image. This engaging documentary serves as poetry reading, virtual anthology, and, perhaps most importantly, moving testimony about gender, ethnicity, aesthetics, and creative choice. The carefully edited interviews and poems read reflect the filmmaker's desire to show both individual voice and diversity within the Asian-American women’s community. Theoretically as rich as the images and poems provided, there is also an implicit conversation in the film about the possibility and usefulness of an Asian-American women’s aesthetic/poetic. Using carefully selected archival images, historical footage, and brilliant photography as the scrim through which we hear the poets, BETWEEN THE LINES provides important and lively viewing for literature, history, ethnic and women’s studies classes.” - Joseph Boles, Visiting Scholar, Center for Visual Culture, Bryn Mawr
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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
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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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Hollywood Harems

"Tania Kamal-Eldin has once again produced a stunning video, a half-hour documentary, this time taking critical aim at Hollywood's abiding fascination with and fantasies about all things east. Juxtaposing film clips from the 20s through the 60s, 70s, and 80s, Kamal-Eldin explores the organization of gender, race, and sexuality in Hollywood's portrayal of the exotic east an indiscriminate fusion of things Arab, Persian, Chinese and Indian. She argues, convincingly, that in abridging cultural plurality and difference, these technicolor fantasies have worked both to shape and reinforce often derogative assumptions about peoples of the east while at the same time reinscribing the moral, spiritual, and cultural supremacy of the Anglo-European west. HOLLYWOOD HAREMS is skillfully crafted, well-paced technically adept production versatile and especially suitable for use in a variety of classroom settings." Dr Valerie Hartouni, Director, Critical Gender Studies Program, University of California at San Diego
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Black Women On: The Light, Dark Thang

BLACK WOMEN ON: THE LIGHT, DARK THANG explores the politics of color within the African-American community. Women representing a variety of hues--from honey-vanilla to brown-sugar chocolate--speak candidly about the longstanding "caste system" that permeates black society. These women share provocative, heart-wrenching personal stories about how being too light or too dark has profoundly influenced their life and relationships--from childhood on and throughout their adult years. Originating in a culture of slavery, the "light, dark thang" still persists. Even today it haunts black women's individual and collective memories. Both entertaining and transformative viewing, BLACK WOMEN ON: THE LIGHT, DARK THANG combines personal interviews and historical footage with literary and dramatic vignettes.
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Black, Bold and Beautiful: Black Women's Hair

Afros, braids or corn rows--hairstyles have always carried a social message, and few issues cause as many battles between black parents and their daughters. To "relax" one's hair into straight tresses or to leave it "natural" inevitably raises questions of conformity and rebellion, pride and identity. Today, trend-setting teens happily reinvent themselves on a daily basis, while career women strive for the right "professional" image, and other women go "natural" as a symbol of comfort in their Blackness. Filmmaker Nadine Valcin meets a diverse group of black women who reveal how their hairstyles relate to their lives and life choices. BLACK, BOLD AND BEAUTIFUL celebrates the bonds formed as women attend to each other's hair while exploring how everyday grooming matters tap into lively debates about self-determination and society's perceptions of beauty.
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Lip

It is Hollywood’s favorite role for black women: the maid. Sassy or sweet, snickeringly attentive or flippantly dismissive, the performers who play them steal every scene they are in, and Tracy Moffatt’s entertaining video collage reveals the narrow margin Hollywood has allowed black actresses to shine in. But shine they do. Giving lip is proven an art form in these scenes from 1930’s cinema to present-day movies featuring a remarkable roster of undervalued actresses and their more celebrated white costars. Moffatt and Hillberg’s rough, no-budget assembly effectively highlights with familiarity and humor the disturbing realization of how black characters and white characters still interact on screen, under Hollywood’s eternally backwards eye.
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Performing the Border

A video essay set in the Mexican-U.S. border town of Ciudad Juarez, where U.S. multinational corporations assemble electronic and digital equipment just across from El Paso, Texas. This imaginative, experimental work investigates the growing feminization of the global economy and its impact on Mexican women living and working in the area. Looking at the border as both a discursive and material space, the film explores the sexualization of the border region through labor division, prostitution, the expression of female desires in the entertainment industry, and sexual violence in the public sphere. Candid interviews with Mexican women factory and sex workers, as well as activists and journalists, are combined with scripted voiceover analysis, screen text, scenes and sounds recorded on site, and found footage to give new insights into the gendered conditions inscribed by the high-tech industry at its low-wage end.
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Tree Shade

Shame and embarrassment propel Savannah, a gifted high school student, to embark on a journey through space and time to witness the prison convictions of her great-grandmother Etta Mae, her grand-aunt Olive, and her aunt Denise. The fanciful and chilling tales of a delightfully vain maid in the 1920s, a hopelessly depressed nanny in the 1950s, and a mother frustrated during the holiday season in the 1980s, help Savannah reconcile her feelings about her own past in this touching coming-of-age story. An imaginative, thoroughly engaging drama that speaks volumes about identity and self-worth, TREE SHADE will have special appeal to teenage viewers and delight audiences of all ages.
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Searching for Go-Hyang

A moving personal documentary, SEARCHING FOR GO-HYANG traces the return of twin sisters to their native Korea after a fourteen year absence. Sent away by their parents for the promise of a better life in the US, they instead suffered mental and physical abuse by their adoptive parents, including the erasure of their cultural heritage and language. Reunited with their biological parents and brothers, the young women explore their past in an attempt to reconnect with their “Go-Hyang”, their homeland, which they find they may not have a place in anymore. Thousands of Korean and Chinese girl babies have been brought to the US for adoption in the last twenty years. This beautiful film is a rare feminist look at the issues of cross-cultural adoption and national identity.
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Lockin’ Up

When Jamaican-born filmmaker T. Nicole Atkinson threw away her comb to let her hair coil into dreadlocks, she was forced to challenge both society’s and her own conflicted notions of beauty. Her story and those of other African Americans who have chosen to ‘lock up’ are wittily chronicled in this award-winning, entertaining film. Anecdotes, historical data, groit performances, and hair tips mingle in a survey of the origins and cultural significance of dreadlocks, including the stereotypes which mirror the racism inherent in Western standards of beauty. T. Nicole Atkinson is the co-producer of the late Marlon Riggs’ acclaimed documentary, BLACK IS...BLACK AINT.
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My Feminism

MY FEMINISM is a critically important look at second wave feminism in the 1990’s, a time rife with anti-feminist backlash. Powerful interviews with feminist leaders including bell hooks, Gloria Steinem, and Urvsahi Vaid are intercut with documentary sequences to engagingly explore the past and present and future status of the women's movement. Discussing the unique contributions of second wave feminism, they explore their racial, economic and ideological differences and shared vision of achieving equality for women. An essential component of women's studies curricula, MY FEMINISM introduces feminism's key themes while exposing the cultural fears underlying the lesbian baiting, backlash, and political extremism which informed feminist dialogues in the 90’s, some of which continues to this day.
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Real Indian

REAL INDIAN is a lighthearted, very personal look at the meaning of cultural identity. As a Lumbee Indian, the filmmaker is constantly confronted with the fact that she doesn't fit any of society's stereotypes for Native Americans. Those stereotypes are imposed by both whites and other Indians, alienating the filmmaker from many of the conventional definitions of Native American identity. REAL INDIAN is a unique look into the fascinating and complex world of Lumbee Indian culture and makes the viewer question perceptions of Native Americans, as well as the meaning of our own cultural identity.
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Mother of the River

In this poignant story set in the 1850s, a young slave girl befriends a magical woman in the woods called Mother of the River. Through their friendship the young girl learns about independence, honor, humility and respect for others. MOTHER OF THE RIVER is a rare portrayal of slavery from a young woman's perspective. MOTHER OF THE RIVER was funded by the Independent Television Service (ITVS) with funds provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. "Academics will find the film especially useful in courses such as Women's Studies, African American Studies and History." -Jacqueline Bobo, Film and Television Studies, University of NC, Chapel Hill
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Rebel Hearts

REBEL HEARTS is a captivating documentary about the abolitionists Sarah and Angelina Grimke and the anti-slavery movement of the early 19th Century. Daughters of a wealthy slave-holding family from Charleston, SC, the Grimke sisters astonished everyone-family, friends and abolitionists-when they left the South to become the first female agents of the anti-slavery movement. Their passionate rhetoric and fiery speaking style led them to the front ranks of the abolitionist movement and set the stage for the establishment of the women's rights movement. A combination of interviews - - including one with historian Gerda Lerner - - dramatic performances and rare archival footage creates a lively portrait of these extraordinary women and their contribution to American history.
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Remembering Wei Yi-fang, Remembering Myself

REMEMBERING WEI YI-FANG, REMEMEBERING MYSELF: An Autobiography charts the influence of the filmmaker’s six-year experience as an African American woman in Taiwan after college graduation. The highly original film recounts Welbon’s discovery, through another language and culture, of being respected for who she is, without the constant of American racism, and how it helped her achieve self-knowledge. Linking this story with that of earlier women in Welbon’s family, the richly textured memoir blends dramatic sequences with documentary footage.
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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
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Yuri Kochiyama: Passion for Justice

Yuri Kochiyama was a Japanese American woman who lived in Harlem for more than 40 years and had a long history of activism on a wide range of issues. Through extensive interviews with family and friends, archival footage, music and photographs, YURI KOCHIYAMA chronicles this remarkable woman’s contribution to social change through some of the most significant events of the 20th century, including the Black Liberation movement, the struggle for Puerto Rican independence, and the Japanese American Redress movement. In an era of divided communities and racial conflict, Kochiyama offered an outstanding example of an equitable and compassionate multiculturalist vision.
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Beyond Black and White

BEYOND BLACK AND WHITE is a personal exploration of the filmmaker’s bicultural heritage (Caucasian and Asian/Begali) in which she relates her experiences to those of five other women from various biracial backgrounds. In lively interviews and group discussions these women reveal how they have been influenced by images of women in American media, how racism has affected them, and how their families and environments have shaped their racial identities. Their experiences are placed within the context of history, including miscegenation laws and governmental racial classifications. BEYOND BLACK AND WHITE is a remarkable celebration of diversity in American society.
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Siren Spirits

SIREN SPIRITS is a wonderful feature comprising four short dramas directed by women of color, produced by Leda Serene for the British Film Institute and BBC Television. Ngozi Onwurah’s WHITE MEN ARE CRACKING UP uses a murder mystery to explore the legacies of British colonialism and the exoticization of Black women. Using magic realism, MEMSAHIB RITA by Pratibha Parmar looks at the physical and emotional violence of racism. Shanti is haunted by both the racist taunts of nationalist white youths and the memory of her white mother. Dani Williamson’s GET ME TO THE CREMATORIUM ON TIME is a moving portrait of undying love and grief. When her husband of twenty years dies, Bonetta is overcome by her loss and is taken to a mental hospital; but she knows she must escape to get to the crematorium to say farewell to the man with whom she has shared her life. In Frances-Anne Solomon’s BIDESHI a 50-year-old Bengali man lies in a coma in hospital, his soul stuck in a dark tunnel near death, until a resolution of his conflict with his daughter liberates his spirit. SIREN SPIRITS shows the powerful complexity of family and race relations in contemporary society and is testament to the brilliant creativity of these four directors. SIREN SPIRITS is only available as an 80-minute program.
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Home Away from Home

A bittersweet drama that unfolds almost without dialogue, this prizewinning short film from Sankofa Film and Video conveys the isolation of immigrant women’s experiences. Miriam lives with her children in a cramped and dreary house near the airport where she works. The planes coming and going overhead remind her of how far removed she is from her rural African roots. Eventually Miriam constructs a beautiful mud hut in her garden, a magical space which takes her away from the loneliness crowding her suburban existence. Although her neighbors are intolerant, her daughter Fumi learns something about the African side of herself.
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Brincando El Charco

Refreshingly sophisticated in both form and content, BRINCANDO EL CHARCO contemplates the notion of “identity” through the experiences of a Puerto Rican woman living in the US. In a wonderful mix of fiction, archival footage, processed interviews and soap opera drama, BRINCANDO EL CHARCO tells the story of Claudia Marin, a middle-class, light-skinned Puerto Rican photographer/videographer who is attempting to construct a sense of community in the US. Confronting the simultaneity of both her privilege and her oppression, BRINCANDO EL CHARCO becomes a meditation on class, race and sexuality as shifting differences. BRINCANDO EL CHARCO was funded by the Independent Television Service (ITVS) with funds provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
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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.
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And Still I Rise

Inspired by a poem by Maya Angelou, this powerful film explores images of Black women in the media, focusing on the myths surrounding Black women's sexuality. Like COLOR ADJUSTMENT, in which Marlon Riggs looked at images of Black people on television, AND STILL I RISE uses images from popular culture to reveal the way the media misrepresents Black women's sexuality. A combination of fear and fascination produces a stereotypical representation which in turn impacts on the real lives of Black women. AND STILL I RISE intercuts historical and media images with hard-hitting contemporary views of women of African heritage as they struggle to create a new and empowered perspective. Both a celebration and a critique, AND STILL I RISE is essential viewing for those interested in African American studies, women's studies, media studies and popular culture. From the director of THE BODY BEAUTIFUL and COFFEE COLORED CHILDREN.
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The Cinematic Jazz of Julie Dash

From her innovative short works to her critically acclaimed feature debut DAUGHTERS OF THE DUST, the films of Julie Dash have broken new cinematic ground and redefined black women's images on screen. In this wide-ranging interview, Dash talks about her background, development and approach to movie making, as well as the struggles, victories and interdependence of African American women filmmakers. Excerpts from early films and DAUGHTERS OF THE DUST, the dramatic feature about different generations of South Carolina sea islanders which has thrilled audiences across the nation, underscore the originality of this immensely gifted artist.
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Japanese American Women

The stereotype of the polite, docile, exotic Asian woman is shattered in this documentary in which a dozen women speak about their experiences as part of the "model minority." JAPANESE AMERICAN WOMEN explores the ambivalent feelings the women have both towards Japan and the United States. The underlying theme is the burden of being different, of being brought up “one of a kind” as opposed to growing up part of an ethnic community. An uneasy feeling prevails of being neither Japanese nor American, and the documentary ultimately becomes the story of Japanese American women and their search for a sense of place.
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Who’s Going to Pay for These Donuts, Anyway?

A brilliant collage of interviews, family photographs, archival footage and personal narration, this film documents Japanese American video artist Janice Tanaka’s search for her father after a 40 year separation. The two reunited when Tanaka found her father living in a halfway house for the mentally ill. Telling the moving story of her search as well as what she discovered about history, cultural identity, memory and family, WHO'S GOING TO PAY FOR THESE DONUTS, ANYWAY? is a rare look at connections between racism and mental illness.
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Home is Struggle

Using interviews, photographs and theatrical vignettes, Home is Struggle explores the lives of women who have come to the United States from different Latin American countries-Nicaragua, Chile, Argentina and the Dominican Republic-for very different reasons, economic and political. In sharing stories about their pasts and present and their views on issues such as sexism and personal and political repression, Home is Struggle presents an absorbing picture of the construction of 'Latina' identity and the immigrant experience.
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History and Memory: For Akiko and Takashige

Groundbreaking and haunting, this film is a poetic composition of recorded history and non-recorded memory. Filmmaker Rea Tajiri’s family was among the 120,000 Japanese and Japanese Americans who were imprisoned in internment camps after the attack on Pearl Harbor. And like so many who were in the camps, Tajiri’s family wrapped their memories of that experience in a shroud of silence and forgetting. Ruminating on the difficult nature of representing the past – especially a past that exists outside traditional historic accounts – Tajiri blends interviews, memorabilia, a pilgrimage to the camp where her mother was interned, and the story of her father, who had been drafted pre-Pearl Harbor and returned to find his family’s house removed from its site. Throughout, she surveys the impact of images (real images, desired images made real, and unrealized dream images). The film draws from a variety of sources: Hollywood spectacle, government propaganda, newsreels, memories of the living, and sprits of the dead, as well as Tajiri’s own intuitions of a place she has never visited, but of which she has a memory. More than simply calling attention to the gaps in the story of the Japanese American internment, this important film raises questions about collective history – questions that prompt Tajiri to daringly re-imagine and re-create what has been stolen and what has been lost.
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The Body Beautiful

This bold, stunning exploration of a white mother who undergoes a radical mastectomy and her Black daughter who embarks on a modeling career reveals the profound effects of body image and the strain of racial and sexual identity on their charged, intensely loving bond. At the heart of Onwurah’s brave excursion into her mother’s scorned sexuality is a provocative interweaving of memory and fantasy. The filmmaker plumbs the depths of maternal strength and daughterly devotion in an unforgettable tribute starring her real-life mother, Madge Onwurah.
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Sidet: Forced Exile

During the past two decades, more than two million refugees have left Ethiopia. Famine, poverty and political strife as well as the religious persecution caused by Eritrea’s annexation have already cost countless lives. Narrated by Salem Mekuria, an Ethiopian filmmaker in the US, this lucid documentary presents the life stories of three women refugees in neighboring Sudan. It traces the attempts of individual women to survive displacement, resettlement camps and ineffectual bureaucracy. An astute, politically sophisticated analysis of social and economic crisis from the perspective of Third World women.
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Knowing Her Place

A moving investigation of the cultural schizophrenia experienced by Vasu, an Indian woman who has spent most of her life in the U.S. Vasu's relationships with her mother and grandmother in India and her husband and teenage sons in New York, reveal profound conflicts between her traditional upbringing and her personal and professional aspirations. The film fuses photographs, vérité sequences and experimental techniques to probe the multilayered experience of immigrant women with rare candor and emotional resonance. Useful for courses on immigration, sex roles and the study of documentary form.
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I Is a Long-Memoried Woman

This extraordinary film chronicles the history of slavery through the eyes of Caribbean women. A striking combination of monologue, dance, and song—griot-style—conveys a young African woman’s quest for survival in the new world. Based on award-winning poems by Guyanese British writer Grace Nichols, the evocatively rendered story charts abusive conditions on sugar plantations, acts of defiance and the rebellion which led to eventual freedom. Produced by a Black women’s collective, I IS A LONG-MEMORIED WOMAN illuminates Black diasporic culture and heritage.
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Color Schemes

An upbeat, ironic look at America’s multicultural society, COLOR SCHEMES uses the metaphor of “color wash” to tackle conceptions of racial assimilation. Challenging stereotypes, twelve writer/performers collaborate on four performance sequences—soak, wash, rinse and extract. Spinning through this tumble- jumble of America’s washload, the performers scheme to claim racial images that remain color vivid.
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Juxta

This beautiful drama observes the psychological effects of racism on two children of Japanese women and American servicemen. Thirty-one year old Kate, the daughter of a Japanese/white mixed marriage visits her childhood friend, Ted, a Japanese-Black American. Together they confront the memory of her mother’s tragic story in this telling, emotionally nuanced journey into the complexity of US racism.
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Sari Red

Made in memory of Kalbinder Kaur Hayre, a young Indian woman killed in 1985 in a racist attack in England, SARI RED eloquently examines the effect of the ever-present threat of violence upon the lives of Asian women in both private and public spheres. In this moving visual poem, the title refers to red, the color of blood spilt and the red of the sari, symbolizing sensuality and intimacy between Asian women.
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The Displaced View

THE DISPLACED VIEW is a film that movingly depicts the odyssey of an American-born Japanese granddaughter in search of her identity through her grandmother who is the last of the family born in Japan. The sense of isolation the granddaughter feels as a Japanese woman who cannot speak Japanese is skillfully evoked in a montage of images gleaned from old photographs, movies, animated puppets, and various experimental film techniques. Onodera focuses almost exclusively on Japanese women as preservers of the old traditions in a country where they have no meaning. By revealing the inconsistency of memory and the cultural erosion of assimilation, the fragile identity of the Japanese in North America is eloquently expressed, and the sense of alienation and displacement heightens as the old voices try to remember the past. The narrative shifts between English and Japanese, as well as between generations. Japanese subtitles are artfully displayed throughout. The focus on women makes this film ideal for women’s studies, but the historical overview would be important in other disciplines such as history and sociology. Highly recommended for academic libraries. -Roxanna Herrick, SUNY at Stony Brook Library
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Coffee Colored Children

This lyrical, unsettling film conveys the experience of children of mixed racial heritage. Suffering the aggression of racial harassment, a young girl and her brother attempt to wash their skin white with scouring powder. Starkly emotional and visually compelling, this semi-autobiographical testimony to the profound internalized effects of racism and the struggle for self-definition and pride is a powerful catalyst for discussion.
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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.
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A Kiss on the Mouth

From the Lilith Video Collective comes this sensitive and sympathetic examination of female prostitution in urban Brazil. Frank, intimate and politically astute, the women discuss experiences of racism, poverty, police harassment, and violence as well as their relationships with their families, children, lovers and clients.
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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.
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Black Women of Brazil

Despite official jargon to the contrary, Brazilians live in a racially segregated class system. This upbeat, sensitive and elegantly composed documentary, produced by Lilith Video Collective, looks at the ways Black women have coped with racism while validating their lives through their own music and religion.
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Hair Piece

An animated satire on the question of self image for African American women living in a society where beautiful hair is viewed as hair that blows in the wind and lets you be free. Lively tunes and witty narration accompany a quick-paced inventory of relaxers, gels and curlers. Such rituals are all-too familiar to African American women-and indeed to all women confronted with an unattainable ideal of beauty. This short film has become essential for discussions of racism, African American cinema and empowerment. Used by hundreds of groups as diverse as museums, churches, hospitals and hair stylists.
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A Different Image

A highly-acclaimed film, A DIFFERENT IMAGE is an extraordinary poetic portrait of a beautiful young African American woman attempting to escape becoming a sex object and to discover her true heritage. Through a sensitive and humorous story about her relationship with a man, the film makes provocative connections between racism and sexual stereotyping. The screenplay of A DIFFERENT IMAGE is published in Screenplays of the African American Experience, edited by Dr. Phyllis R. Klotman.
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Susana

In this autobiographical portrait, Susana leaves her native Argentina to live her life outside the strictures of Latin American cultural and family pressures. Susana interweaves cinema vérité interviews of her family and lovers with snapshots, home movies and even a Disney cartoon to render the cultural context in which female, sexual and ethnic identity is shaped.
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Chicana

CHICANA traces the history of Chicana and Mexican women from pre-Columbian times to the present. It covers women's role in Aztec society, their participation in the 1810 struggle for Mexican independence, their involvement in the US labor strikes in 1872, their contributions to the 1910 Mexican revolution and their leadership in contemporary civil rights causes. Using murals, engravings and historical footage, CHICANA shows how women, despite their poverty, have become an active and vocal part of the political and work life in both Mexico and the United States.
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A Minor Altercation

A fight between an African American and a white schoolgirl in Boston is explored in all its complexity in this fact-based drama from one of the producers of EYES ON THE PRIZE.
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