Dec 13, 2004: This is What Free Trade Looks Like - This is one of the first activist films to carefully explain how free trade operates. It does so from the perspective of the Mexican experience with ten years of NAFTA. Activists and scholars authoritatively condemn free trade as a solution to poverty and discuss the impacts on farmers, workers, youth, and immigrants. Shot in Cancún, México on the occasion of the 5th WTO ministerial in September 2003, it contextualizes the growing international resistance to free trade policies. Music from the streets of Cancún. 2004. 60 minutes.
Dec 6, 2004: The Bottom Line: Privatizing the World
The Bottom Line is a multi-layered investigation into the erosion of the global commons within the context of increasing privatization and expanding patent rights. People from Canada, the United States, Mexico, France, Brazil and India share stories of the commodification of water, seeds, genes, healthcare, knowledge –and what citizens around the world are doing to oppose this trend. The Bottom Line presents a revealing snapshot of a global community at a crossroads. 52 mins, 2002
Jesse SwanHuyser – Director, California Coalition for Fair Trade & Human Rights will speak and lead a discussion after the film.
Nov 29, 2004: Future of Food offers an in-depth investigation into the disturbing truth behind the unlabeled GMO products that have quietly filled grocery store shelves over the past decade. From the test tube, to the farm field, to the supermarket, the film follows the personal stories of the farmers in the U.S., Canada who have been sued by large multi-national corporations for continuing the time-honored tradition of saving seeds; of the scientists in the U.S. and Europe who have been censored for raising serious public and environmental health concerns; and finally, of the consumers, who are beginning to question why this has escaped the attention of both the media and the Federal agencies in charge of keeping our food safe. THE FUTURE OF FOOD unravels the complex web of market and political forces that are changing the nature of what we eat. Food has gone from being a basic need to part of a larger billion dollar battle to control the world's food production. 2004
Deborah Koons Garcia – Director, Writer, Producer of the film will be present and lead a discussion after the film.
Nov 15, 2004: Coming to Say Goodbye: Stories of Aids in Africa is a stunning documentary on the AIDS pandemic as it is experienced today by East Africans. Through the eyes of courageous people suffering from AIDS and their eloquent and committed care-givers, we see how AIDS is not just a “health crisis” but is part of the cycle of poverty and inequality that is devastating to food security and economic development in the poorest countries of the world. 30 mins, 2002
Also on Nov 15, 2004: Cost of Living 90% of the people infected with HIV today live in developing countries, and most don't have access to the drugs that could keep them alive because they are still under patent to major pharmaceutical companies -- and so too expensive for their national health services. This program investigates why Thailand and South Africa applied to use compulsory licenses and parallel importing -- practices agreed under World Trade Organization guidelines -- to make their own generic versions of anti-retroviral drugs to halt the AIDS epidemic in their countries, and asks why anti-retroviral drugs still aren't included in their lists of essential drugs. 24 mins, 2000
Nunu Kidane, Coordinator, Priority Africa Network and John Iverson, Director, ActUP East Bay will speak and lead a discussion after the films
June 1, 2004: Doing the Right Thing
Porto Alegre, capital of Brazil's southernmost state of Rio Grande do Sul, was once a run-of-the-mill, dirty, Brazilian port city. But an amazing transformation has taken place: unemployment has fallen, public transportation is now excellent, and poor neighborhoods have improved dramatically. These changes are thanks to a process of direct democracy known as the 'Participatory Budget' scheme that's giving all Porte Alegre's citizens a say in how their city is run. 27 min, 2002
Also on June 1, 2004: Another World Is Possible
In early 2002, in Porto Alegre, Brazil, public officials, representatives of non-governmental organizations, indigenous nations, farmers, and labor gathered for the World Social Forum an international event covered extensively by the media in other parts of the world, was virtually ignored by the US press. The film presents a sampling of the issues and events at this enormous and creative gathering, featuring speakers such as Naomi Klein, Vandana Shiva, Kevin Danaher, Wolfgang Sachs, and Rigoberta Menchu. 24 min, 2002
Suzzane York, Research Director at International Forum on Globalization and Shannon Biggs, Development Director at Global Exchange who were both present at the World Social Forum in Brazil will jointly give a presentation and lead a discussion after the film.
May 25, 2004: No Logo: Brands, Globalization and Resistance
Based on the best-selling book by Canadian journalist and activist Naomi Klein, reveals the reasons behind the backlash against the increasing economic and cultural reach of multinational companies. Analyzing how brands like Nike, The Gap, and Tommy Hilfiger became revered symbols worldwide, Klein argues that globalization is a process whereby corporations discovered that profits lay not in making products (outsourced to low-wage workers in developing countries), but in creating branded identities people adopt in their lifestyles. 51 min, 2003
Jason Mark communications director of Global Exchange and the co-author (with Kevin Danaher), of the new book Insurrection: Citizen Challenges to Corporate Power will speak and lead a discussion after the film. Jason has helped develop campaign strategies to stop Nike and Gap sweatshops, transform the IMF and WTO, and pressure Starbucks to offer Fair Trade certified coffee
May 11, 2004: Deadly Embrace: Nicaragua, the World Bank & IMF
Using outstanding footage this program traces the history of U.S. involvement in Central America, presenting the 1990's economic policies of the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and U.S. agencies as a continuation of the war of the 1980's by economic means. Notes that after 5 years of IMF and World Bank programs Nicaragua experienced the worst economic collapse in its history and was reduced to one of the poorest countries on earth. 30 min, 1996
Also on May 11, 2004: Global Village or Global Pillage: The Race to the Bottom
Today's global economy lets corporations pit workers and communities against each other to see who will provide the lowest wages, most abusable workers, cheapest environmental costs, and biggest subsidies for corporations. The result: a "RACE TO THE BOTTOM" in which conditions for all tend to fall toward the poorest and most desperate. But that gives people around the world a common interest in opposing the race to the bottom. This movie shows how they are doing so. 27 min, 1999
Carmencita Chie Abad from Global Exchange will speak and lead a discussion after the films. Chie speaks from personal experience about the hardships endured by millions of workers in sweatshops around the world. Chie spent six years as a garment worker on the Pacific island of Saipan, a U.S. territory and endured wretched working conditions, frequently working 14-hour shifts in order to meet arbitrary production quotas for her employer, the Sako Corporation, which makes clothes for the Gap and other U.S. retailers.
April 27: Life and Debt
The film addresses the impact of the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank and current globalization policies on a developing country such as Jamaica focusing on the stories of individual Jamaicans whose strategies for survival and day-to-day existence are determined by the U.S. and other foreign economic agenda. 86 min, 2001
Peace & Justice
Nov 12, 2004: Unconstitutional: War on Our Civil Liberties - A new, hour-long documentary from Robert Greenwald -- one of the most prolific and progressive producers in Hollywood -- in conjunction with the ACLU. This new film, written, directed and produced by Nonny de la Peña, details the shocking way that civil liberties of American citizens and immigrants alike have been infringed upon, curtailed, and rolled back since 9/11 and the USA Patriot Act. 66 mins, 2004
Nov 1, 2004: Political Advertisement 2000 features ads from the 1950s to the present, including the 2000 campaign. As Muntadas and Reese trace the development of the TV spot, what emerges is the political strategy and manipulative marketing techniques of the American televisual campaign process. Political Advertisement 2000 includes many rare spots, some never before seen. Edited without commentary, there's an endless stream of candidates, from Eisenhower to Al Gore, who are sold like commercial products. 65 mins, 2000
Oct 25, 2004: Brothers and Others Brothers and Others is a one hour video documentary on the impact of the September 11th tragedy on Muslims and Arabs living in America. This documentary follows a number of immigrants and American families as they struggle in the heightened climate of suspicion, FBI and INS investigations and economic hardships that erupted in America following the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. In interviews with Arab and Muslim immigrants, government representatives, and a select group of legal and historical experts including Ghazi khankan, Noam Chomsky and James Zogby, this film explores how America’s fear of terrorism has negatively impacted a substantial portion of the American population. 52 mins, 2002
Samina Faheem, Founder, American Muslim Voice will lead the discussion.
Oct 18, 2004: Hijacking Catastrophe 9/11, Fear & the Selling of American Empire examines how a radical fringe of the Republican Party has used the trauma of the 9/11 terror attacks to advance a pre-existing agenda to radically transform American foreign policy while rolling back civil liberties and social programs at home.
"Hijacking Catastrophe stands to become an explosive and empowering information weapon in this decisive year in U.S. history." Naomi Klein 64 mins, 2004
Oct 11, 2004: Invisible Ballots is an in-depth exposé of all-electronic computerized voting. Underneath the radar of public scrutiny, election officials and voting machine manufacturers are putting into service tens of thousands of touch screen voting machines that cannot be relied upon for accuracy or security from tampering. 50 mins, 2004
Oct 4, 2004: Unprecedented: The 2000 Presidential Election, is the riveting story about the battle for the Presidency in Florida and the undermining of democracy in America. What emerges is a disturbing picture of an election marred by suspicious irregularities, electoral injustices, and sinister voter purges in a state governed by the winning candidate's brother. George W. Bush stole the presidency of the United States… and got away with it. 50 mins, 2004 Campaign Edition
May 18, 2004: Plan Colombia: Cashing In on Drug War Failure
From the producers of The Hidden Wars Of Desert Storm a film on the complex issues of drug-trafficking and civil struggle in Colombia and the impact of both the current chemical-spray program carried out by the US Defense-contractor Dyncorps and the multi-billion-dollar aid package delivered to the brutal Colombian military. Additional insights are provided on the significant factor oil has become in the Colombian equation, a country with the same oil potential as Venezuela, today the second largest oil supplier to the US. 57 min, 2003
Jutta Meier-Wiedenbach will speak and lead a discussion after the film. Jutta has been coordinating the Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR) Task Force on Latin America and the Caribbean Colombia Program since January 2002. Jutta has many years of experience working for peace and justice, including more than four years in Chiapas, Mexico, and has visited Colombia several times, and speaks on Colombia and Colombian grassroots peace initiatives and gives media interviews on the subject.
May 4, 2004: Arms for the Poor
Experts explore how the arms industry in America influences our Congress to encourage and expand the sale of high tech weapons across the globe. This destabilizes entire regions and impoverishes countries where "the poor cry out for for food and doctors, not guns and Generals." 25 min, 1998
Cine Golden Eagle Award Winner
Also on May 4, 2004: In Whose Interest Leads us on an eye-opening journey, questioning the effects of U.S. foreign policy over the past 50 years, revealing a pattern of intervention, the film focuses on Guatemala, Vietnam, East Timor, El Salvador, and Palestine/Israel. Archival footage, photographs and media tidbits are dynamically interwoven with personal eye-witness accounts and commentary from academics -- such as Noam Chomsky -- religious leaders and politicians. 27 min, 2002
Rush Rehm of Classics and Drama at Stanford, author of many books and articles and an activist will speak and lead a discussion after the film. Prof. Rehm also teaches a seminar titled "Noam Chomsky: The Drama of Résistance" which presets information and analysis to encourage action and activism.
April 20, 2004: Peace, Propaganda & the Promised Land
Exposes how the foreign policy interests of American political elites exercise a powerful influence over news reporting about the Middle East conflict. Combining American and British TV news clips with observations of analysts, journalists, and political activists, the film provides an historical overview, a striking media comparison, and an examination of factors that have distorted U.S. media coverage and, in turn, American public opinion. 80 min, 2004
Journalist Alison Weir the founder of "If Americans Knew," an organization dedicated to providing Americans with information on topics of importance that are misreported or under-reported in the American media, will present the film and give a presentation after the film on the three studies of Bay Area newspapers, on the reporting of the Middle East conflict.
April 13, 2004: Haiti, Harvest of Hope (All donations go to Haiti Emergency Relief Fund)
Originally planned as a documentary about democracy coming to Haiti with the election of Jean-Betrand Aristide in December 1990, filming had to be stopped due to another military coup. Kevin Pina, the filmmaker returned to Haiti and spent the next three weeks chronicling the brutality and machinations of Haiti's new military leaders and their supporters and then again in 1994 in to film Aristide's return. He has since then filmed another 27 min update. Part of the first film together with the latest update will be shown. 57 min, 1998, 2003
April 6, 2004: The Revolution Will Not Be Televised
Winner of over 20 international awards, this fascinating documentary records the coup attempt against Hugo Chavez, in 2002, supported by the upper 20% of the economic class in Venezuela and the Bush administration. The coup attempt failed two days later as the nation’s working class took to the streets and military officers loyal to Chavez restored the people's elected government. 74 min, 2003
Dawn Gable, actively involved in Venezuelan politics and Founder of the International Bolivarian Circle: Cyber-Solidarity, the co-creator and co-manager of the Bolivarian Circles official website , will present the film and lead a discussion after the screening.
Media Control & Literacy
Nov 8, 2004: War feels like War - This film documents the lives of reporters and photographers who circumvent military media control to get access to the real Iraq War. As the invading armies sweep into the country, some of the journalists in Kuwait decide to travel in their wake, risking their lives to discover the true impact of war on civilians. 60 mins, 2004
Dana Hull, Reporter at San Jose Mercury News and an un-embedded journalist in Iraq will lead the discussion.
January 13, 2004: Fear and Favor in the Newsroom
In the public's eye, reporters will do anything for a story. Narrated by Studs Terkel, the film akes viewers behind the scenes to shatter this myth and shows for the first time on film how ownership of the press by a small corporate elite constricts the free flow of ideas and information upon which our democracy depends. Journalists, including four Pulitzer Prize winners, from The New York Times, NBC, PBS and other respected news organizations reveal how they have been censored, squelched or fired for aggressively reporting on the wealthy and the powerful. 60 min, 1997
January 20, 2004: Beyond Good and Evil
The belief that “good triumphs over evil” resonates deeply in our psyche through religious, cultural, and political discourses. It is also a common theme in the entertainment media where the struggle between good and evil is frequently resolved through violence. The potential negative impact of media violence on children has long been a public concern. It is even more troubling when U.S. military violence, both in the news and in the entertainment, is often glorified as heroic and patriotic. Full of poignant footage and moving responses from children, the video examines how the "good and evil" rhetoric, in both the entertainment and the news media, has helped children dehumanize "enemies," justify their killing and see the suffering of innocent civilians as necessary sacrifice. 39 min, 2003
January 27, 2004: Toxic Sludge is Good For You
While advertising is the visible component of the corporate system, perhaps even more important and pervasive is its invisible partner, the public relations industry. This video illuminates this hidden sphere of our culture and examines the way in which the management of "the public mind" has become central to how our democracy is controlled by political and economic elites. The film illustrates how much of what we think of as independent, unbiased news and information has its origins in the boardrooms of the public relations companies. 45 min, 2002
February 3, 2004: Constructing Public Opinion
The media regularly use public opinion polls in their reporting of important news stories. But how exactly do they report them and to what end? In this insightful and accessible interview, Professor Justin Lewis demonstrates the way in which polling data are themselves used by the media to not just reflect what Americans think but instead to construct public opinion itself. Addressing this vital issue, the film provides a new way to think about the relationship between politics, media and the public. 32 min, 2001
Also on Feb. 3, 2004: Rich Media, Poor Democracy
If a key indicator of the health of a democracy is the state of its journalism, the United States is in deep trouble. In Rich Media, Poor Democracy, Robert McChesney lays the blame for this state of affairs squarely at the doors of the corporate boardrooms of big media, which far from delivering on their promises of more choice and more diversity, have organized a system characterized by a lack of competition, homogenization of opinion and formulaic programming. The video connects the decline of journalism to the profit motive of the mega-corporations that own the media and questions how media policy decisions are made, examines the way our media system affects news coverage, and offers suggestions for reclaiming our media. 30 min, 2003
February 10, 2004: Unprecedented: the 2000 Presidential Election
This is the riveting story about the battle for the Presidency in Florida and the undermining of democracy in America. What emerges is a disturbing picture of an election marred by suspicious irregularities, electoral injustices, and sinister voter purges in a state governed by the winning candidate's brother. 50 min, 2003
February 17, 2004: 30 Second Democracy
Explores the disturbing relationship between political parties and the advertising industry during election campaigns. Using television advertising, techniques perfected to sell commercial products are applied to political candidates, turning elections into marketing exercises and voting into another consumer choice. Do we elect leaders or buy them? 30 Second Democracy is unique among explorations of this theme, providing a comparative history of political television advertising in the U.S., Britain and Canada looking at how each of these countries has taken widely differing approaches to regulating political advertising on television, with very different results. 51 min, 1996
February 24, 2004: Myth of Liberal Media
Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky demolish one of the central tenets of our political culture, the idea of the "liberal media." Instead, utilizing a systematic model based on massive empirical research, they reveal the manner in which the news media are subordinated to corporate and conservative interests so that their function can only be described as that of "elite propaganda." "If you want to understand the way a system works, you look at its institutional structure. How it is organized, how it is controlled, how it is funded." -Noam Chomsky, 60 min, 1997
March 2, 2004: Project Censored: Is the Press Really Free?
A documentary about one of the country's most respected media watchdogs: Sonoma State University's Project Censored. It exposes the existence and frequency of censorship in today's mainstream news media. It includes in-depth reports on five of the project's yearly "top ten" stories of the recent past. It investigates many of the reasons why these important news stories have been ignored by the press. And, it reveals the frightening circumstances that befall journalists who investigate the wrong stories. The film features an impressive list of media experts who discuss the various reasons behind censorship, including how corporate pressures shape news delivery, how P.R. departments and government agencies pipeline stories to the media, and how consolidation of news sources has eliminated a diversity of viewpoints in news delivery. 60 min, 2001
March 9, 2004: KPFA on the Air
A lively documentary providing food for thought about the potential for alternative visions of media and their relationship to community. This video documents the growth of KPFA from the brainstorm of some WWII pacifists to a rare and dynamic voice for cultural and political pluralism through the 1950s, and as a voice for the social movements of the 1960s. 60 min, 2000
Nov 22, 2004: Surplus: Terrorized into being Consumers Consumer confidence has been low since September 11. A successful war against Iraq was supposed to be the only way to restore that confidence - and our happiness. But is shopping our salvation? Do we have a choice? Why is the lifestyle of consumerism a source of such rage today? How come the privilege of buying goods does not automatically lead to happiness? Why all this emptiness despite our wealth? Surplus’ approach is to portray this issue from an emotional rather than a factual perspective: in the US, India, China, Italy, Sweden, Hungary, Canada and Cuba. George W Bush’s famous "shopping-speech" calling for a war against terrorism that deters the nation from the fear of consumption. Castro responding with hymns to the anti-consumerist, advertising-free island of Cuba. Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer preaching that the computer will give us peace on earth ‘bringing people together’ while Adbuster Kalle Lasn warns that advertising pollutes us mentally, that over-consumption is unsustainable and that we are running out of oil. 52 min, 2003
First prize at the 2003 IDFA-Amsterdam Silver Wolf Competition.
Nominated for the 2003 Guldbaggen, the "Swedish Oscar", as best documentary film.
Award best use of sound and music at the 2004 One World documentary Film Festival, Prague Czech Republic.
Jurys mention at the 2004 DocAviv, Documentary Film Festival, Tel Aviv, Israel.
Second bestshort film at the 2004 Ecocinema International Film Festival, Rhodes, Greece
First prize as "greatest of all productions" at 2004 FICA, the International Festival of Environmental Film, Goias, Brazil.
Kevin Danaher, Co-founder of Global Exchange will speak and lead a discussion after the film.