Film & Video
This section compiles the names, production information, descriptions, and additional contact information for films and other video clips potentially useful for intergroup dialogue and political education. The summaries for the films and video clips below have been borrowed from official websites, reviews, and other online sources. The language is not our own and Intergroup Resources takes no credit for them; we merely reproduce them here to point potential viewers in the right directions. Wherever possible, we have hotlinked the title back to the official website or other site with more information.
2011 / 80 minutes
9500 Liberty documents the first and possibly only time in U.S. history that an Arizona-style immigration law was actually implemented — then captures the grassroots opposition that led to its repeal.
A Day Without A Mexican
2004 / 100 minutes
A thick fog surrounds California’s borders, communication beyond state lines is cut off, and the Mexicans disappear: workers, spouses, and business owners are missing. Cars are abandoned in the street, food is left cooking on the stove. We meet the wife of a musician who’s gone, a state Senator whose maid doesn’t show up for work, and a farm owner whose produce is ripe and unpicked. A scientist asks any Mexicans who haven’t disappeared to volunteer for genetic experiments: a female newscaster and the daughter of the musician may be the only missing links around. Why them? And where have all the Mexicans gone? Even the border guards grieve. The state and its economy grind to a halt.
A Time for Justice
1995 / 38 minutes
In A Time for Justice, four-time Academy Award-winning filmmaker Charles Guggenheim captured the spirit of the civil rights movement through historical footage and the voices of those who participated in the struggle. Narrated by Julian Bond and featuring John Lewis, the 38-minute film allows today’s generation of students to witness firsthand the movement’s most dramatic moments—the bus boycott in Montgomery, the school crisis in Little Rock, the violence in Birmingham and the triumphant 1965 march for voting rights.
Film, Teacher’s Guide, and Civil Rights Timeline poster available free from Teaching Tolerance.
2011 / 97 minutes
This documentary by Luis Argueta about the largest, most expensive and most brutal immigration raid in the history of the United States, reveals the disastrous effects of enforcement policies on families, children and communities. It also serves as a cautionary tale against government abuses of the rule of law, the constitution and labor rights.
African American Lives
2006 / 4 part series, 56 minutes each
This unprecedented four-part PBS series takes Alex Haley’s Roots saga to a whole new level through moving stories of personal discovery. Using genealogy, oral history, family stories and DNA analysis to trace lineage through American history and back to Africa, the series provides a life-changing journey for a diverse group of highly accomplished African Americans: Dr. Ben Carson, Whoopi Goldberg, Bishop T.D. Jakes, Dr. Mae Jemison, Quincy Jones, Dr. Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot, Chris Tucker and Oprah Winfrey.
Americano as Apple Pie: The Latino Experience in America
2001 / 2 part series, 30 minutes each
This informative series looks at a variety of issues concerning the Latino cultures in America, including the size and history of different Hispanic populations and the effects of current U.S. immigration laws. The programs examine Latino identity in both thriving urban neighborhoods and isolated rural towns and feature a host of prominent figures in the greater Hispanic community.
Another Side of the Border
2010 / 30 minutes
The purpose of the documentary is to shed light on aspects of the border that are rarely covered by the local and national news media. Three stories were chosen: the relationship between the Tohono O’odham Nation and the international border, water rights along the lower Colorado River, and trade through the border city of Nogales.
2006 / 143 minutes
In the remote sands of the Moroccan desert, a rifle shot rings out– detonating a chain of events that will link an American tourist couple’s frantic struggle to survive, two Moroccan boys involved in an accidental crime, a nanny illegally crossing into Mexico with two American children, and a Japanese teen rebel whose father is sought by the police in Tokyo. Separated by clashing cultures and sprawling distances, each of these four disparate groups of people are nevertheless hurtling towards a shared destiny of isolation and grief. In the course of just a few days, they will each face the dizzying sensation of becoming profoundly lost – lost in the desert, lost to the world, lost to themselves – as they are pushed to the farthest edges of confusion and fear as well as to the very depths of connection and love.
2007 / 90 minutes
A hundred years ago, in communities across the U.S., white residents forced thousands of black families to flee their homes. Even a century later, these towns remain almost entirely white. Banished tells the story of three of these communities and their black descendants, who return to learn their shocking histories. Through conversations with current residents and the descendants of those who were driven out, the film contemplates questions of privilege, responsibility, denial, healing, reparations and identity.
This film has a discussion guide, located here.
Be Our Guest (TV segment)
2006 / 28 minutes
This week on NOW we travel to the remote mountains of Montana and follow a number of guest workers, most of them from Mexico, to find out what life is really like on this side of the border.
2009 / 96 minutes
The epic story of a family forced to emigrate from Laos after the chaos of the secret air war waged by the U.S. during the Vietnam War. Kuras has spent the last 23 years chronicling the family’s extraordinary journey in this deeply personal, poetic, and emotional film.
1995 / 93 minutes
This film shows Jane Elliot’s now-famous exercise in which she “teaches” people to discriminate against each other in a matter of minutes based on eye color. Elliott first developed the activity as an elementary school teacher looking for a creative way to address racism in her classroom after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. Blue-Eyed reminds us how easily prejudices are learned and cycled and how easily we are persuaded to buy into a worldview that privileges us. To further illustrate this point, the film exposes how uncomfortable usually-privileged people become when removed from that privilege for only a short amount of time.
Cambodian Doughnut Dreams
Cambodian Doughnut Dreams focuses on three Cambodians who, 10 years after escaping the killing fields, work in Los Angeles doughnut shops—80% of which are owned or operated by Cambodians—remaking their lives in this particularly American line of work.
The Children’s March
2004 / 40 minutes
The Children’s March tells the story of how the young people of Birmingham, Alabama, braved fire hoses and police dogs in 1963 and brought segregation to its knees. Their heroism complements discussions about the ability of today’s young people to be catalysts for positive social change.
Film and Teacher’s Guide available free from Teaching Tolerance.
Continent on the Move
1993 / 60 minutes
This ten-part series examines the constantly shifting social, political, and economic forces at work in South America, Central America, and the Caribbean basin. Viewers are taken behind the scenes to gain a historical perspective on the turmoil that has developed in these countries. Experts share their opinions on how these countries’ leaders might better manage the unique challenges they still encounter as they try to govern their diverse citizenry. This episode examines how Mexico has been coping with the large migration of its citizens from rural areas to the country’s large, metropolitan regions. Crowded conditions are causing an entirely new set of problems.
Crisis of Capitalism
In this short RSA Animate, radical sociologist David Harvey asks if it is time to look beyond capitalism, towards a new social order that would allow us to live within a system that could be responsible, just and humane. View his full lecture at the RSA.
2006 / 77 minutes
With Americans on all sides of the issue up in arms and Congress embroiled in a knock-down-drag-out policy battle over how to move forward, Crossing Arizona tells the story of how we got to where we are today. Heightened security in California and Texas has pushed illegal border-crossers into the treacherous Arizona desert in unprecedented numbers – an estimated 4,500 a day. This influx of migrants crossing through Arizona and the attendant rising death toll have elicited complicated feelings about human rights, culture, class, labor and national security. Crossing Arizona examines the crisis through the eyes of those directly affected by it.
2009 / 113 minutes
Crossing Over is a multi-character canvas about immigrants of different nationalities struggling to achieve legal status in Los Angeles. The film deals with the border, document fraud, the asylum and green card process, work-site enforcement, naturalization, the office of counter terrorism and the clash of cultures. Written by Wayne Kramer
2003 / 58 minutes
Denese Joy Becker, a manicurist living in Iowa, discovers she is indeed Dominga Sic Ruiz, a survivor from a 1982 Guatemalan massacre, when more than 200 people were killed in the small village of Rio Negro, after opposing the construction of a dam, sponsored by World Bank. She then tries to unveil the truth.
Dying to Live: A Migrants Journey
2005 / 33 minutes
Dying to Live is a profound look at the human face of the immigrant. It explores who these people are, why they leave their homes and what they face in their journey. Drawing on the insights of Pulitzer Prize winning photographers, theologians, Church and congressional leaders, activists, musicians and the immigrants themselves, this film exposes the places of conflict, pain and hope along the US-Mexico border. It is a reflection on the human struggle for a more dignified life and the search to find God in the midst of that struggle.
2001 / 57 minutes
This film explores the lives of Southeast Asian refugee families of the Bronx who are struggling to survive the welfare “reform” years under the Giuliani Administration. It’s told through youth in the community who eventually organize a take-over of the welfare center. Film contact organization is the Committee Against Anti-Asian Violence.
1983 / 140 minutes
Mayan Indian peasants, tired of being thought of as nothing more than “brazos fuertes” (“strong arms”, i.e., manual laborers) and organizing in an effort to improve their lot in life, are discovered by the Guatemalan army. After the army destroys their village and family, a brother and sister, teenagers who just barely escaped the massacre, decide they must flee to “El Norte” (“the North”, i.e., the USA). After receiving clandestine help from friends and humorous advice from a veteran immigrant on strategies for traveling through Mexico, they make their way by truck, bus and other means to Los Angeles, where they try to make a new life as young, uneducated, and illegal immigrants.
2009 / 80 minutes
A story based on facts which offers a fresh take on the issue of new immigrants in the United States. Mariana totes her two children from Colombia to reunite with her husband in Queens, New York. Her life is devastatingly turned around when her husband abandons the family. The woman and her kids have to fend for themselves in a foreign country. Mariana desperately searches for work. In the end, she resourcefully navigates a surprising avenue for making some money, the city’s recycling. Written by Warsaw Film Festival
Eyes on the Prize
1987 (part 1), 1990 (part 2) / 14 hours
Eyes on the Prize is a 14-hour documentary series about the African-American Civil Rights Movement. It tells the definitive story of the civil rights era from the point of view of the ordinary men and women whose extraordinary actions launched a movement that changed the fabric of American life, and embodied a struggle whose reverberations continue to be felt today. Winner of numerous awards, Eyes on the Prize is the most critically acclaimed documentary on civil rights in America.
2004 / 79 minutes
The hate-based attempted murder of two Mexican day laborers catapults the Long Island town of Farmingville into national headlines, unmasking a new frontline of the border wars — suburbia. Blending the stories of town residents and day laborers, Farmingville reveals the human impact of mismanaged national policies that lead to fear, racism and violence.
2010 / 36 minutes
The film is a scathing and frequently satirical investigation about the $3-billion construction of the 700-mile-long metal fence along the 2000-mile-long US-Mexico border. Intended to keep out terrorists, drug traffickers and illegal migrant workers, it completely ineffectual — and is, in fact, a humanitarian, environmental and fiscal disaster. Kennedy packs her 36-minute film with well-researched information, compelling archival footage and interviews, and her own brilliant commentary.
2006 / 28 minutes
This week NOW travels to Tar Heel, North Carolina to investigate the twelve-year battle to unionize the world’s largest pork processing plant.Smithfield has been locked in a fight with the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) for over a decade amid court and government findings of past intimidation, physical violence, spying, and other past violations of workers’ rights.
The Forgotten Americans
2000 / 57 minutes
In America, colonias “the Spanish word for neighborhoods” has come to describe rows of “ruddy, crudely constructed shacks that are little more than a patchwork of old boards and cardboard,” according to one resident. These single or double room dwellings were placed on land that was never registered with any city or county. As a result, these American communities on the U.S.-Mexico border exist without fundamental services such as water and electricity.
Freedom on My Mind
1994 / 110 minutes
Freedom On My Mind vividly chronicles the complex and compelling history of the Mississippi voter registration struggles of 1961 to 1964: the interracial nature of the campaign, the tensions and conflicts, the fears and hopes. It is the story of youthful idealism and shared vision, of a generation who believed in and fought for the principles of democracy.
Frontiers of Racism
2010 / 7 minutes
This video makes a connection between contemporary anti-immigration bigotry particularly against Mexicans and Mexican Americans, which seems to be growing, and historical, institutional racism against African Americans.
2009 / 97 minutes
When her husband runs off with the payment for their new home, Ray turns to crime to keep herself and her two sons afloat. A chance encounter with Lila, an equally desperate young Mohawk woman, leads Ray to smuggling illegal immigrants by driving across the frozen Hudson River onto tribal land. But with every trip, things go wrong in small and not-so-small ways, until Ray finds herself pushed into a more desperate corner than ever before. Leo delivers a gritty, restrained, but richly compelling performance; her raw face, beautiful but worn down by life, radiates a weary defiance.
Hawo’s Dinner Party
With tensions mounting between the U.S. and the Muslim world, integrating newcomers from those countries raises a whole set of sensitivities and challenges. That’s where Hawo’s Dinner Party: The New Face of Southern Hospitality comes in. This half-hour DVD serves as a tool for community leaders – including educators, clergy, law enforcement, public officials, and employers – who are helping to integrate newcomers with unique needs, often against considerable obstacles. By focusing on the experiences of several Somali residents in Shelbyville – including Hawo, a refugee and former nurse who now works at a local poultry processing plant, and Mohamed, the local imam – the module puts a human face on the complex issues we face in this time of increasing globalization.
Resources to support these activities include a Recipes and Discussion Guide, Event Planning Toolkit and Facilitation Guide and an online Recipes section.
If This Stone Could Speak
2009 / 60 minutes
This documentary explores the lives and work of Italian immigrant granite-cutters who settled in Barre, Vermont.
2010 / 96 minutes
Immigrant Nation is the story of the modern immigrant rights movement and the struggle of single mother, Elvira Arellano, who fought against her deportation. It tells how organizations, activists, community leaders and individuals came together to oppose bill HR4437 and the anti-immigration forces.
Journey of a Badiu
2010 / 54 minutes
This enlightening film focuses on Cape Verdean-American musician Norberto Tavares, a composer, bandleader, social activist and humanitarian, whose influence throughout the Cape Verdean diaspora has become legendary.
La Ciudad (The City)
1999 / 88 minutes
The City (La Ciudad), David Riker’s critically acclaimed program, is a collection of stories about the love, hope, loss, and dreams of Latin American immigrants living in New York City. Set in the present day, The City (La Ciudad) takes us inside this community of newcomers, creating a powerful and incisive drama about the loneliness, displacement, and economic hardship which they face in the new and unfamiliar world of the city.
La Misma Luna (Under the Same Moon)
2007 / 106 minutes
Under the Same Moon tells the parallel stories of nine-year-old Carlitos and his mother, Rosario. In the hopes of providing a better life for her son, Rosario works illegally in the U.S. while her mother cares for Carlitos back in Mexico. Unexpected circumstances drive both Rosario and Carlitos to embark on their own journeys in a desperate attempt to reunite. Along the way, mother and son face challenges and obstacles but never lose hope that they will one day be together again. Written by Fox Searchlight
Legacy of Shame: Migrant Labor, an American Institution
1995 / 48 minutes
In this program – a follow-up to the alarming 1960 broadcast Harvest of Shame, which first awakened the nation to the plight of migrant workers – correspondents Dan Rather and Randall Pinkston document the ongoing exploitation of America’s invisible laborers while highlighting efforts being made to protect them. Topics of investigation include pesticide risks, the uneven enforcement of employment and immigration regulations, and peonage, as well as the efforts of rural legal services and progressive growers to advocate for this silent minority and provide equitable employment opportunities.
Letters from the Other Side
2006 / 74 minutes
This film contains the stories of many different families who are affected by the immigration of many Mexicans into the United States. With intimate windows into the lives of the immigrants and those they left behind, this film depicts the difficult complexities intertwined in issues of immigration, U.S. foreign policy and the importance of family structures. From a hesitant son’s decision to break away from the family farm, to an abandoned wife’s newfound self-sufficiency, this is an eyeopening peek into what immigration really means to immigrants and their families. Anyone with opinions about immigration and international economic policies will learn from this movie.
1996 / 135 minutes
An independent dramatic film by John Sayles (1996), which uses a murder plot to interrogate relations between Mexican Americans and undocumented immigrants, between Latinos and African Americans, and the meaning of “the border.”
Los Trabajadores (The Workers)
It’s 1999, and the booming city of Austin, Texas keeps on growing – thanks largely to men like Ramón and Juan, who work some of the hardest jobs in an America that doesn’t want them. Through the lives of these two men and a battle over Austin’s controversial day labor program, Los Trabajadores brings to life the vivid contradictions that haunt America’s dependence on and discrimination against immigrant labor.
The Loving Story
2011 / 77 minutes
The Loving Story, a documentary film, tells the story of Richard and Mildred Loving to examine the drama, the history, and the current state of interracial marriage and tolerance in the United States.
A Teacher’s Guide produced by Teaching Tolernace can be downloaded here.
Maquila: A Tale of Two Mexicos
2000 / 55 minutes
This video examines the impact of corporate globalization on Mexico, focusing on the maquiladoras, U.S.-owned factories employing cheap Mexican labor. Archival footage and interviews provide historical background to the present crisis, involving the displacement of peasant farmers who migrate to northern border cities such as Juarez and Tiajuana, where they endure dangerous working conditions in the maquilas for starvation wages. The film also reveals other aspects of the present crisis, including the environmental disasters generated by these factories, their unsafe environment, which has resulted in an unsolved series of brutal rapes and murders of young women employees, and violent rural confrontations between the Mexican Army and Mayan peasant farmers as part of the government’s efforts to suppress the Zapatista rebellion. The video features interviews with workers, factory managers, government officials, army officers, indigenous peasants and economists.
Maria Llena de Gracia (Maria Full of Grace)
2004 / 101 minutes
In a small village in Colombia, the pregnant seventeen years old Maria supports her family with her salary working in a floriculture. She is fired and with a total lack of perspective of finding a new job, she decides to accept the offer to work as a drug mule, flying to USA with sixty-two pellets of cocaine in her stomach. Once in New York, things do not happen as planned.
2007 / 82 minutes
Questions of race, workers’ rights and exploitation form the crux of this intriguing documentary about Latin American immigrants living in rural Mississippi, where poultry plants promise jobs but little else. Shot on Super 8mm film, which gives it a lustrous, saturated color, Mississippi Chicken reveals the textures, moods and struggles of the New South.
1995 / 60 minutes
The PBS produced Mississippi, America chronicles a significant chapter in the history of the nation’s civil rights movement. Noted actors Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee narrate this account of the 1964 “Freedom Summer” voter-registration drives in Mississippi when a coalition of civil rights activists penetrated racial barriers to bring Mississippi’s African-Americans to the voting booth. Historic footage and interviews with key figures of the movement including Bob Moses and Congressman John Lewis, recounts the life-threatening violence and struggles which changed Mississippi and the nation forever. The documentary concludes with a look at the state’s contemporary crises of poverty and lack of educational opportunities.
Morristown: In the Air and Sun
2007 / 60 minutes
Filmed over an 8-year period in the mountains of east Tennessee, interior Mexico, and Ciudad Juarez, Morristown: in the air and sun is rooted in the authentic expression of workers who speak about their lives, work, disappointments, and hope. These conversations are combined with scenes in factories, fields, union halls, Mexican stores, city parks, and employment agencies. The documentary travels to the U.S.-Mexican border (El Paso – Juarez) to create deeper understanding of factory flight out of Morristown, and to interior Mexico to look at the forces that cause immigration. Morristown ends with a stunning union victory at a large poultry processing plant in Morristown, Tennessee.
My American Girls: A Dominican Story
2001 / 62 minutes
In vivid vérité detail, My American Girls: A Dominican Story captures the joys and struggles over a year in the lives of the Ortiz family, first generation immigrants from the Dominican Republic. This film captures the rewards — and costs — of pursuing the American dream. From hard-working parents, who imagine retiring to their rural homeland, to fast-tracking American-born daughters, caught between their parent’s values and their own, the film encompasses the contradictions of contemporary immigrant life.
2009 / 64 minutes
This video is a must-see for anyone black, white, Asian or other to understand a reality of being “black” in America that was right under their noses but seemingly invisible. Not only does it shine a light on the sense of identity of people with high levels of brown melanin in their skin – often their only similarity – but it introduces the question of other “races” and their identities in America.
The New Americans
2004 / 3 episodes. 7 hours total.
The New Americans follows four years in the lives of a diverse group of contemporary immigrants and refugees as they journey to start new lives in America. The detailed portraits—woven together in the seven-hour miniseries— present a kaleidoscopic picture of immigrant life and a personal view of the new America.
A discussion guide and related materials are available here.
New World Border
2001 / 28 minutes
A film documenting the rise of human rights abuses along the US-Mexico border since the implementation of border walls (such as Operation Gatekeeper) that have been erected in populated areas throughout the border region during the last decade. This documentary includes interviews with immigrant rights organizers, testimony from immigrants, analysis of ‘free trade’ policies, and discusses efforts to build a vibrant movement for immigrant rights.
New Year Baby
2006 / 80 minutes
Born on Cambodian New Year in a Thai refugee camp, Socheata never knew how she got there. After her birth, the family left the past behind and became American. Her parents hid the story of surviving the Khmer Rouge genocide. In NEW YEAR BABY, she journeys to Cambodia and discovers the truth about her family. She uncovers their painful secrets kept in shame which also reveal great heroism.
The Other Side of Immigration
2009 / 55 minutes
Based on over 700 interviews in Mexican towns where about half the population has left to work in the United States, The Other Side of Immigration asks why so many Mexicans come to the U.S. and what happens to the families and communities they leave behind. Through an approach that is both subtle and thought-provoking, filmmaker Roy Germano provides a perspective on undocumented immigration rarely witnessed by American eyes, challenging audiences to imagine more creative and effective solutions to the problem.
Out of This Furnace: A Walking Tour of Thomas Bell’s Novel
1990 / 20 minutes
This is a short film about Thomas Bell’s Out of This Furnace, a classic novel of immigration and labor in industrial America, tells the story of three generations of a Slovak family working in the steel mills of Braddock, PA. First published in 1941, and reprinted in 1976 by the University of Pittsburgh Press, the book has been a national success, selling over 70,000 copies. It has been widely used in high school and college classrooms, introducing a new generation to the lives and experiences of the immigrant workers whose blood and sweat built the industrial empires of the early twentieth century.
2010 / 88 minutes
Papers is the story of undocumented youth and the challenges they face as they turn 18 without legal status.
Prom Night in Mississippi
2009 / 90 minutes
In 1997, Academy Award-winning actor Morgan Freeman offered to pay for the senior prom at Charleston High School in Mississippi under one condition: the prom had to be racially integrated. His offer was ignored. In 2008, Freeman offered again. This time the school board accepted, and history was made. Charleston High School had its first-ever integrated prom – in 2008. Until then, blacks and whites had had separate proms even though their classrooms have been integrated for decades. Prom Night in Mississippi captures a big moment in a small town, where hope finally blossoms in black, white and a whole lot of taffeta.
2006 / 91 minutes
Magdalena is 14 and anxiously awaiting her 15th birthday where she’ll celebrate her quinceanara. Her world starts to crumble when she discovers her pregnancy after not being able to fit in her gown for her quinceanara. Soon, she’s kicked out of her home, abandoned by her family, and abandoned by her baby’s father. Magdalena is then taken in by her great-granduncle, Tomas and her gay, often-in-trouble cousin, Carlos. There she finds a new family and life.
Race: The Power of an Illusion
2003 / 3 episodes, 56 minutes each
The division of the world’s peoples into distinct groups – “red,” “black,” “white” or “yellow” peoples – has became so deeply imbedded in our psyches, so widely accepted, many would promptly dismiss as crazy any suggestion of its falsity. Yet, that’s exactly what this provocative, three-hour series claims. Race: The Power of an Illusion questions the very idea of race as biology, suggesting that a belief in race is no more sound than believing that the sun revolves around the earth. Yet race still matters. Just because race doesn’t exist in biology doesn’t mean it isn’t very real, helping shape life chances and opportunities.
Facilitation documents and other companion pieces may be found online here.
Return to Goree
2007 / 108 minutes
A musical road movie, Return to Gorée follows Senegalese singer Youssou N’Dour’s historical journey tracing the trail left by slaves and the jazz music they created. Youssou N’Dour’s challenge is to bring back to Africa a jazz repertoire of his own songs to perform a concert in Gorée, the island that today symbolizes the slave trade and stands to honor its victims.
Salt of the Earth
1954 / 94 minutes
Based on an actual strike against the Empire Zinc Mine in New Mexico, the film deals with the prejudice against the Mexican-American workers, who struck to attain wage parity with Anglo workers in other mines and to be treated with dignity by the bosses. The film is an early treatment of feminism, because the wives of the miners play a pivotal role in the strike, against their husbands wishes. In the end, the greatest victory for the workers and their families is the realization that prejudice and poor treatment are conditions that are not always imposed by outside forces. This film was written, directed and produced by members of the original “Hollywood Ten,” who were blacklisted for refusing to answer Congressional inquiries on First Amendment grounds.
Shades of Youth
Shades of Youth was filmed at The White Privilege Conference Youth Institute where 100 high school students gathered from across the United States to seriously engage in issues of race, power, identity, oppression and social change. This film and accompanying curriculum, offer multiple views and experiences around race and privilege, giving youth and adults entry points to discuss and better understand how institutional racism affects all our lives.
The Shadow of Hate: A History of Intolerance in America
1995 / 38 minutes
“The Shadow of Hate chronicles the haunting legacy of prejudice in America over the last 300 years, from the persecution of the Quakers in colonial New England to the ethnic tensions that divide our towns and cities today. Historical photos, archival film footage, and the voices of eyewitnesses bring to life events such as the Wounded Knee Massacre, the lynching of Jewish businessman Leo Frank, and the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II. By telling the stories of those who have struggled against persecution, The Shadow of Hate illuminates the dark corners of American history.”
2009 / 96 minutes
Sin Nombre — “without name” in Spanish — tracks two parallel journeys that inevitably meet, brought together after a fatal encounter. The first, by far liveliest voyage begins in the chaos of Tapachula in Chiapas, Mexico, where Casper (Edgar Flores), a teenage member of the vicious street gang Mara Salvatrucha, is making a fast run toward an early grave. Casper meets his destiny when his story collides with that of Sayra (Paulina Gaitan), a solemn-eyed, none-too-sharp Honduran teenager who is riding the rails to Texas with her father and uncle.
The Sixth Section
2003 / 26 minutes
The Sixth Section is a groundbreaking documentary that follows the transnational organizing of a community of Mexican immigrants who live and work in upstate New York. The men profiled in the film form an organization called ‘Grupo Unión,’ which is devoted to raising money in the United States to rebuild the Mexican town that they’ve left behind. Grupo Unión is one of at least a thousand “hometown associations” formed by immigrants in the United States. The Sixth Section is the first documentary to capture this dynamic form of cross-border organizing, and in doing so, it shatters many of the preconceptions around immigrants. The film shows how immigrants are responding to the pressures of economic globalization, how small groups of people can make big change, and how immigrant communities are building transnational communities, even in these times of increasingly militarized borders.
Sweet Om America
Depicting the trials and tribulations of Indian Americans who live in the American suburbs during the current Recession Era, Sweet Om America is a multimedia story with 10 characters told in episode format, voiced by South Asian American readers from all over the U.S. This project aims to be a new type of digital literary art–a hybrid of short fiction, television writing, radio drama, and hyper-text collage. The main characters of Sweet Om are all Americans of Indian origin, representing multiple perspectives of generation, profession, and philosophy within the real non-resident Indian universe, as well as the more universal challenges of immigration, such as maintaining traditions in an adopted homeland.
2005 / 110 minutes
Set in 1920, Inge travels from Germany to rural Minnesota meet the man destined to be her husband. Bureaucracy and social morality cause major complications.
The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada
2005 / 121 minutes
Peter Perkins is a veteran cowboy who embodies the values of the old west, living in a small Texas town bordering the U.S. and Mexico. He hires Melquiades Estrada as a ranch hand and quickly befriends the man. But when Estrada is gunned down under mysterious circumstances, Perkins takes justice into his own hands and kidnaps a trigger-happy border patrolman, forcing Perkins to unearth Estrada’s body and accompany Perkins on horseback on the long and treacherous journey through the frontier mountains and back roads of Mexico to bring his friend’s body home.
Tony and Janina’s American Wedding
2010 / 83 minutes
Tony & Janina’s American Wedding is a feature length documentary that gets to the heart of the broken, red tape ridden U.S. immigration system. After 18 years in America, Tony and Janina Wasilewski’s family is torn apart when Janina is deported back to Poland, taking their 6 year old son Brian with her. Set on the backdrop of the Chicago political scene, and featuring Illinois Congressman Luis Gutierrez at the heart of the immigration reform movement, this film follows the Wasilewski’s 3-year struggle to be reunited, as their Senator Barack Obama rises to the Presidency. With a fresh perspective on the immigration conversation, this film tells the untold human rights story of Post-9/11, that every undocumented immigrant in America faces today, with the power to open the conversation for change.
The Two Towns of Jasper
2002 / 90 minutes
On June 7, 1998, a sleepy east Texas town awoke to the news of a horrifying crime. Early that Sunday morning, James Byrd Jr., an African-American, was viciously beaten, chained to the back of a pick-up truck, and dragged for three miles until his body was torn apart. Three white men – all with ties to the Arayan Nation – were arrested and charged with kidnapping and murder. The film is a collaborative effort between a black and a white filmmaker, with the producers using segregated crews to document the town of Jasper over the course of the trials of the three men charged with dragging Mr. Byrd to his death. Two Towns of Jasper will resonate with anyone concerned with the divisions that separate one person from another, whether that division is based on race, nationality, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, or religion.
Understanding the U.S. Economy Part 1
2009 / About 5 minutes
Robber barons, the great depression, and demand-side economic policy
Understanding the U.S. Economy Part 2
2009 / About5 minutes
U.S. Economy: Reaganomics, Supply Side, and the Global Pool of Money
Up South: African-American Migration in the Era of the Great War
Narrated by a Mississippi barber and a sharecropper woman who organized migration clubs to Chicago, Up South tells the dramatic story of African- American migration to industrial cities during World War I. Letters, oral histories, songs, photographs, and art convey how southern black culture and traditions helped sustain migrants as they rejected the oppression and indignity of the Jim Crow South. But the migrants encountered new problems and challenges in the “promised land.” Among the issues and events explored are the rise of black politics, women’s club and church activities, the July 1919 race riot, the industrial workplace, and the emergence of the “New Negro” movement.
Uprooted: Refugees of the Global Economy
2001 / 28 minutes
Uprooted is a compelling documentary about how the global economy has forced people to leave their home countries. It presents three stories of immigrants who left their homes in Bolivia, Haiti, and the Philippines after global economic powers devastated their countries, only to face new challenges in the United States. These powerful stories raise critical questions about U.S. immigration policy in an era when corporations cross borders at will.
2007 / 107 minutes
Widowed professor Walter Vale finds himself drawn to a different rhythm when he discovers an immigrant couple, Tarek and Zainab, squatting in his Manhattan flat and becomes wrapped up in their lives.
Viva La Causa
2008 / 39 minutes
Viva La Causa focuses on one of the seminal events in the march for human rights – the grape strike and boycott led by César Chávez and Dolores Huerta in the 1960s. Viva la Causa will show how thousands of people from across the nation joined in a struggle for justice for the most exploited people in our country – the workers who put food on our tables.
Welcome to Shelbyville
Change has come to rural Tennessee. Set against the backdrop of a shaky economy, Welcome to Shelbyville takes an intimate look at a southern town as its residents – whites and African Americans, Latinos and Somalis – grapple with their beliefs, their histories and their evolving ways of life.
2000 / 2 hours
Well-Founded Fear documents a variety of dramas unfolding in INS offices in the New York City area. The filmmakers focus on both the pleas of immigrants to stay in the United States, and the consideration of their cases by INS officers. At issue in every case are the requirements of asylum. To be granted, applicants must demonstrate a “well-founded fear” of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.
The film’s website includes a discussion guide and materials for planning an event around this film.
Which Way Home?
2009 / 90 minutes
Which Way Home is a feature documentary film that follows unaccompanied child migrants, on their journey through Mexico, as they try to reach the United States. We follow children like Olga and Freddy, nine-year old Hondurans, who are desperately trying to reach their parents in the US.; children like Jose, a ten-year old El Salvadoran, who has been abandoned by smugglers and ends up alone in a Mexican detention center; and Kevin, a canny, streetwise fourteen-year old Honduran, whose mother hopes that he will reach the U.S. and send money back to her. These are stories of hope and courage, disappointment and sorrow. They are the children you never hear about; the invisible ones.
Wonders of the African World (with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.)
1999 / 6 hours
Let’s face it — think of Africa, and the first images that come to mind are of war, poverty, famine and flies. How many of us really know anything at all about the truly great ancient African civilizations, which in their day, were just as splendid and glorious as any on the face of the earth? Join me on the journey from Zanzibar to Timbuktu, the Nile River Valley to Great Zimbabwe, the slave coast of Guinea to the medieval monasteries of Ethiopia in search of the lost wonders of the African world”. There are six episodes with different titles and subjects. The titles are “Black Kingdoms of the Nile” , “the Slave Kingdoms”, “The swahili Coast”, “The Holy Land”, “The Road to Timbuktu”, and “Lost Cities of the South”.