Human communication is a thorny endeavor. No matter what our messages are, no matter how difficult it is to get them across, we all share one desire: to be understood. But what happens when we aren't understood? "10 Lives" features four segments of directed improvisation that investigate a few of the ways people argue.
The flow of Sicilian emigrants to Tunisia and Tunisian emigrants to Sicily has generated a wealth of stories for decades. Some are stories of cross-cultural integration, some are of animosity and hatred. Most are between the races--where the border between the Islamic world and the Western one is both evanescent and insurmountable. These are stories told that perfectly illustrate how globalization is both obsolete and unreachable.
"12 August 15:45 hours. It's dark and difficult to write, but I will try even though I can't see. We really have no chance any more. Perhaps less than 10 to 20 percent...But I hope someone will read this. My last greetings to everyone. Please don't despair."
In "A Letter from the Deep" we follow Olga during her year-long fight against the Russian military to obtain her husband's letter from the grave--a letter addressed to her--and her fight for the truth.
This documentary takes a fresh look at how America, under President Bush, is perceived in European cities, whose multinational citizens also reflect opinions from far beyond Europe's borders. It does not seek to present a single point of view, but rather to educate about the striking range and depth of sentiments--hate, love, irony, awe, disgust and envy--the world feels towards America.
Filmmaker, Ali Tamaddon, set up his camera in the homes of Iranian families from different walks of life and asked them a simple question: "Are You Happy?" He let the camera roll as they described their lives, homes, relationships, careers and their understanding of what it means to be happy or seek happiness.
It is an astonishing fact that in large Swiss cities, some 20% of the population lives below the poverty level. The film follows some of this population that society has left behind, those abandoned due to their neediness.
“Capturing A Short Life” is a beautiful, intimate and life-affirming documentary about families dealing with the loss of a child in the first few months of life. It explores how critical it is to remember these beautiful babies who are only with us for a moment, and how impossible it is to forget them.
“Concrete and Sunshine” documents the social impacts of this massive prison expansion, showing complex connections and consequences inherent in this alarming social trend. Arguing that a central component of prison is isolation, the film begins with interviews of prisoners housed in solitary confinement in California's first super-max prison, Pelican Bay. These men have been labeled by the state as the "worst of the worst" yet her they are presented as citizens, who despite being incarcerated, still have valuable testimony to offer the society in which we live.
This finely woven and immensely appealing ethnographic documentary examines Southwestern Louisiana, where it illustrates how shares history, language, music, cuisine, and agriculture combine to create and perpetuate community and family ties.
The life of a Southern drag queen isn't all wine and roses. Just ask Tara Nicole, the daring darling of Dixie Queen. In Tara's home town of Wilmington, North Carolina, stereotypes of Southern hospitality and redneck homophobia collide . This is a portrait of a small-town farm boy who grew up to become one of North Carolina's biggest--in every sense of the word--drag queens.
A small look into the after-effects of war on the human psyche, especially those suffering from PTSD. Doomsday Machine" deals with war veterans suffering mentally in one of the permanent sanatoriums in Tehran, Iran. One of these veterans, Mahmood, is under the illusion that he has built a "Doomsday Machine" that can destroy the world by pressing a button.
Dragon Slayers: And How the Devil Entered Christianity
Filmmaker Petrus van der Let explores the parallels between ancient religions & Christianity. Drawing on both religious texts and modern-day reenactments, this film examines the roots of religious symbols and figures, particularly the image of the dragon and what this creature represents. Dragon Slayers is the fourth part of a mini series on the origin of myths and religions in infant perception.
The Empress Hotel is home to a rarified clientele - ninety people with metalillness or addiction who have lived on the streets of San Francisco. Not every person can stay on meds or get clean, yet out of hopelessness and chaos, a community is formed. The tenants and those who serve them understand the depth of addiction and the difficulty in giving it up.
Narrated by Meryl Streep, this award-winning historical documentary examines the Stalinist purges and terror in the former Soviet Union during the 1930s and 1940s when an estimated twenty-million people lost their lives - some in labor camps, others starved in state-induced family, and many others executed for "crimes against the state".
ACT UP Philadelphia is a unique group that uses empowerment-based grassroots organizing, aggressive non-violent direct action tactics, and its analysis of the AIDS epidemic as a political crisis that can be solved.
This documentary portrays five women—a painter, a writer, a performance artist, a teacher, and a massage therapist—who use their arts to heal the split between sexuality and spirituality as they struggle with being openly (and joyously) lesbian.
Why do the oldest myths and religions all around the world resemble each other? Why do these myths continue to appear in contemporary art, films and fairy tales? Because many of these ancient myths reflect how a baby views the world, the answer to unlocking this mystery may be found in the modern psychology of the small child.
In "Gods with Pointed Caps", religious historian Harald Strohm embarks on an expedition that takes him to cave temples in West India and cult sites in eastern Anatolia.
The nine seasons of the gardening year-from snowy winter through midsummer to the blazing colors of fall-are chronicled in this charming film. The work of some of America's most famous gardeners and designers - including Frederick Law Olmsted, designer of Central Park and Edith Wharton, novelist, is seen in famed Berkshire sites.
High School football can be a magical thing, transforming unsteady, rebellious teenagers into selfless teammates and athletic heroes. This film examines two of Northern California's most successful football programs, their styles, their rivalry and, ultimately, some of the best, and most unsettling, influences of high school football.
Using archive film material rarely seen before, this documentary reveals the religious elements of National Socialism, drawing a portrait of the men who inspired the Nazi ideology: Richard Wagner (1813-1883), August Strindberg (1849-1912), Adolf Lanz (1874-1954), and Heinrich Himmler (1900-1945).
Using archive film material never seen before, this docu-drama draws a portrait of the man who gave Hitler his ideas. Adolf Lanz (1874 - 1954) was an impostor, ex-monk, woman-hater, self-acclaimed knight, Roman Catholic and creator of a doctrine whose murderous conclusions were put into action by his most prominent follower, Adolf Hitler.
How Much to Remember: One Family's Conversation with History
"How Much to Remember" is a 56 minute film which has screened extensively on PBS stations, in community centers, and in classrooms.
The film addresses one family’s very personal experience of the Holocaust and the complex legacy that is passed on from one generation to the next. Fifty years after their communities were destroyed, Celia and Morris Elbaum, elderly Jewish survivors of the Holocaust, make a return trip to Poland. They bring with them their children, grandchildren, and a fierce need to share the past—a past they had previously sought to hide.
In the 1930s young Jews from Germany and Eastern Europe emigrated to Palestine under the influence of the Zionist movement and helped to found the State of Israel. Displaced from the countries of their birth, they did not want to impose the same burden on Arabs. As early as the 1940s and '50s, at a time when such activity was still regarded as treason, these men and women pushed for a peace agreement with the Palestinians.
Stuart Perkin thought he knew everything about his wife, Sue. But after two years of marriage and ten years of friendship, intimacy and life experiences, the couple divorced when Sue announced she was a lesbian. In this film, Stuart documents a journey he made from Colorado to San Francisco, which took him into his past and back into the life of his ex-wife.
This film follows Jose, the middle of three children, as he struggles to cope with the multiple stresses of shelter life, uncertain meals, illiteracy, and parental abuse. It reveals the tenacity of a family slipping through the fraying safety net of social services, despite the best efforts of many caring individuals. It challenges the prevailing perspective on homelessness and family struggle.
Throughout the world, children are sexually exploited—by strangers, acquaintances, friends and even family members. From victims of child abuse in Vienna to child prostitution in Vancouver, "Kids for Sale" looks beyond the statistics as it profiles a handful of individuals personally affected by sexual exploitation. This film chronicles the dark side of life that all too often engulfs girls and boys who are powerless to protect themselves.
"Kumari: Living Goddess of Nepal" looks at the life of three young goddesses and explores the debates for and against this unique tradition. A rich, visual and poetic documentary with extraordinary access to the goddesses and their families offering real insight into the only place in the world where girls are worshiped as living goddesses.
Originally conceived as a documentary aimed at preventing youth violence, LIFERS evolved to become a deeper exploration of crime and humanity--a look at the prison system and the people entrenched in it, including inmates, their families and people who work with them. It also became the journey of a filmmaker looking to find answers to questions she hadn't known she was asking.
In many African countries, HIV/AIDS is called "Slim". In this 28-minute documentary film, seven African children, ranging in age from 6 to 17 years old, talk about what it's like to be HIV positive. Of the seven children, four are girls and three are boys. Three of the children have lost both parents to AIDS and three have lost one parent.
Maybe We're Talking About A Different God: Homosexuality and the Church
Maybe We’re Talking About A Different God" is the story of the Reverend Jane Adams Spahr, a Presbyterian minister and a lesbian, who was called to serve as pastor of a large metropolitan church in Rochester, New York.
This film chronicles the efforts to encourage a more humane treatment of livestock. These proponents argue that eliminating unnecessary stress and fear will result in higher quality meat. And better meat means healthier living.
Missing Peace : Women of Faith and the Failure of War
This film takes a nuanced look at the widening polarization of religions today. It shows how fear of that which is seen as the other locks us into deepening cycles of violence and grief. More specifically, it asks us to consider how religion is being used as a justification for war. Six women (two Jews, two Muslims, and two Christians) present a bold strategy for achieving peace—personally, interpersonally, and globally.
In Turkish society, attempts to reconcile modern living with religious traditions come to the forefront as more and more women insist on wearing headscarves. "My Head Is Mine" is a portrait of several women who represent the varied points of view about the wearing of headscarves in Turkey.
As the war in Europe escalated, German commanders anticipated the anxiety their troops were feeling as they braced themselves for conflict. In a strategy to distract soldiers from thinking too much about their ultimate purpose, they were encouraged to take up photography. Cameras were relatively inexpensive, and taking pictures allowed the men to cope with their hardships by viewing war almost as a hobby.
Reflections on the Fair: The New York World's Fair of 1964-65
In 1964-65 New York City offered the second of its two great Worlds Fairs - symbolized by The Unisphere and build under the direction of Robert Moses, Fair President. This is one of the very few documentaries of the Fair - a critical, independent review of four outstanding pavilions: General Motors' Futurama, Ford's Magic Skyway, IBM, and General Electric's Progressland.
Why have black women been ‘mute’ about their sexuality? What has prevented them from expressing their feelings about this important subject within their own families and with each other? In this provocative documentary, filmmaker Mya B. explores the reasons for sexual silence in the black community. She also aims to destroy misconceptions about black women and reveal the truth about their sexuality.
"Sing Birds: Following the Paths of Cahuilla Power" is a thought-provoking journey through the stories of individuals in the Cahuilla band of Indians that illustrates the strong currents of change in their culture documented by filmmaker Sean Owen.
The Cahuilla are in the midst of a transition that holds much promise, but is fraught with the challenges of how to avoid being totally absorbed by an alien culture.
In 1997 the so-called "Hall of the Races" in the Museum of Natural History in Vienna was closed and an exhibition showed what leading anthropology professors like Horst Seidler say: There are no racial differences among human beings.
This film traces the origins of defining and rating races among mankind, including people from Christian-Jewish families, whom the Nazis called the "Mixed Breed."
The Big Fair - Inside the Great State Fair of Texas
The State Fair of Texas is not only an institution in the state but a bit of living history. This film gives an overview of the fair and its history including rare film footage of the 1936 Texas Centennial Exposition and archive photos from the very first fairs.
Gottfried Wagner is the descendant of genius and controversy. From a youth spent rebelling against an inhuman family, which was part responsible for events in German politics and culture of the 19th and 20th centuries--including Hitler and the Holocaust--he has emerged as an adult who is trying to realize his own responsibility. And in direct contrast to his forefather's philosophy, his own is one of empathy: "I see the loss of empathy in our human existence as the reason for all evil." - Gottfried Wagner.
Follow a GI's photo journey through the European front of 1944-45. Glenn Kappelman, first a replacement soldier, then a gunner in the 106th Cavalry Group, took an unauthorized camera in his gas mask and scavenged a film along the way to amass over 400 stills during the war. Kappelman along with Art Barkis, the radio operator in his armored car, candidly narrate this extensive collection of photos being released for the first time to the public.
Seen through the photographs of an ordinary soldier, World War II unfolds in this fascinating collection of Glenn Kappelman's pictures and stories. The book reveals a uniquely detailed glimpse of the period between February 1943 and December 1945 as Kappelman went from replacement soldier to gunner on the front lines with the 106th Cavalry Group.
Two For One - Cambodia - Two People Every Landmine
In Cambodia, there are 12,000,000 inhabitants and 6,000,000 unexploded landmines. That's one landmine for every two people, a frightening ratio. But this film is not about statistics. It's a snapshot of an average day in the village of the Battambang province in Cambodia. "Two for One" is a film about a handful of those who have suffered directly from this horrible reality, a film about the youngest victims of landmines.
This documentary is a blue-print for the modern protest movement, offering explanations on why this protest movement is different from past movements. The first half-hour concentrates on the multitude of messages set forth by a diverse group of protestors. The second deals with the mechanisms that go into pulling off large-scale demonstrations.
This heartfelt film tells the story of how a small house party in an out of the way town in California grows into the biggest ukulele club in the world.
It is also the story of how a small instrument makes a long journey from Portugal to Hawaii to the mainland, lands in people’s hearts, and creates a uniquely Hawaiian-American musical tradition that is currently experiencing a world wide revival.
"Unwanted Cinema" profiles a number of Jewish artists who contributed to independent films produced in Vienna and Budapest between 1934 and 1937. The film follows them in subsequent years, as they sought refuge from the Nazi terror, both in Europe and the states. Some found great success, while others paid the ultimate price for being a Jew.
In October 1975 Roy Lowther was charged with murder for his wife, Pat, a gifted and renowned Canadian poet. At the time of her murder, Lowther's two young daughters, Chris and Beth, were only seven and nine.
In this film, the two women revisit the circumstances surrounding the violent death of their mother and try to make sense of their father's brutal act and its aftermath.
In a video adaptation of a widely seen touring stage production, Words of Choice opens conversations about reproductive justice. The actors portray multiple characters and viewers experience the many ways that people's lives are affected by topics that pepper the news. Addressing abortion, birth control or pregnancy, these stories offer opportunities to think and reflect about choice and justice.
"When Dreams Take Flight" is a film about people who are willing to risk life and limb to follow their hearts and chase a dream that has existed since the dawn of man. It is a film that explores mythology and the marriage of artistry and science in a digestible, fun and unique way. The film follows Todd Reichert and his team of young engineers as they attempt to construct and fly a human-powered ornithopter (a flapping plane).
Your Mom’s A Lesbian. Here’s Your Lunch, Have A Good Day at School.
This honest portrait of a family’s journey of acceptance and love will deepen anyone’s understanding of homosexuality. We watch the Reverend Jane Adams Spahr gradually come to embrace a part of herself that she had disowned for years.