Past Film Series

2011 2010 2009
2007 2006 2005 2004 2003
Globalization Environment Peace & Justice Media Control & Literacy
For Man Must Work Velorution: One City's Solution to the Automobile You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train Weapons of Mass Deception
Bloodletting: Life, Death, Healthcare Greening of Cuba Hope
Trading Democracy End of Suburbia: Oil Depletion and the Collapse of The American Dream The Doctor, Depleted Uranium & the Dying Children
Argentina: Hope in Hard Times Power of Nightmares: The Rise of the Politics of Fear
Price of Aid Unfinished Symphony
Store Wars: When Wal Mart Comes To Town World Stopped Watching
Money (L' Argent) The Wall
Landless (Sin Tierra) Friendship Village
Thirst About Baghdad
The Corporation Mission Against Terror
The Take



Globalization

  December 2, 2005:  For Man Must Work  The 20th Century saw the creation of colossal wealth and exploding economies. But the days of industry providing mass employment are over. In the global economy, human resources are being replaced by technology. We are moving from a mass labor force to an elite corps concentrated in the knowledge sector. Will this change result in a sort of economic apartheid in which a third of humanity is made redundant? Will it mean the end of work as we know it? For Man Must Work raises crucial questions and suggests rethinking the future. The film shows how living and working conditions are deteriorating for many people. It also features experts such as Vivianne Forrester, author of The Economic Horror; Jeremy Rifkin, American economist and author of The End of Work; sociologist Ricardo Petrella; Ignacio Ramonet, editor-in-chief of Le Monde diplomatique; and Jacques Attali, former president of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. They have no illusions, and they think the 21st Century is getting off to a very bad start. (52 minutes; 2001.)

  October 28, 2005: Bloodletting: Life, Death, Healthcare

Bloodletting is a tale of two countries, one rich, one poor; it's the story of two healthcare systems, one nationalized, one profit-driven; and it's the personal story of two regular people living without healthcare in America. Filmmaker Lorna Green borrows a camera to make a documentary on Cuba's healthcare system, revealing history, culture, and paradoxes of contemporary Cuban life. When she returns to the U.S., she finds her mother, a teacher, and her brother, a manufacturing worker, living without health insurance. Both become caught in a downward cycle in the ugly underbelly of medicine for the uninsured in America. Turning the camera on her own family, Lorna documents the struggles of real life without a health safety net. What emerges is an intensely personal story, woven in with grave statistics and commentary on a country where 45 million people are uninsured. (67 minutes, 2004.)

 Margaret Allen & Christina Meacham from the Ravenswood Family Health Care Center in East Palo Alto, will speak and lead a discussion after the film. Margaret is a Stanford-trained Family Practice Physician Assistant who has practiced for 15 years with socio-economically deprived communities.  She is currently heading up the Health Care for the Homeless Program here in East Palo Alto. 

Feb 21, 2005: Trading Democracy  Bill Moyers reports on Chapter 11 of North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) which multinational corporations are using to challenge democracy.  Chapter 11 is only one provision in the 555-page NAFTA - negotiated to promote business among the US, Canada and Mexico and was supposedly written to protect investors, if foreign governments tried to seize their property.  But corporations have stretched NAFTA's Chapter 11 to undermine environmental decisions, sue local governments, and overturn decisions of local communities.  The cases are heard not in open court, but before international trade tribunals that make rulings in secret.  The program details a system of private justice that is enabling companies to obtain covertly what they have failed to achieve publicly in national legislatures or courts.  58 mins, 2002

Jesse SwanHuyserDirector, California Coalition for Fair Trade & Human Rights will speak and lead a discussion after the film.

Feb 7, 2005: Argentina: Hope in Hard Times  joins in the processions and protests, attends street-corner neighborhood assemblies, visits workers' cooperatives and urban gardens, taking a close-up look at the ways in which Argentines are picking up the pieces of their devastated economy and creating new possibilities for the future. A spare narrative, informal interview settings, and candid street scenes allow the pervasive strength, humor, and resilience of the Argentine people to tell these tales. These are their inspiring stories - of a failed economy and distrusted politicians, of heartache and hard times, of a resurgence of grassroots democracy and the spirit of community - told in resonant detail.  74 mins, 2004

Antonia JuhaszProject Director, International Forum on Globalization will speak and lead a discussion after the film.

Jan 31, 2005:Price of Aid  Everyday the U.S. donates millions of tons of food to famine victims and other starving people in the world's poorest countries. The provocative documentary reveals the vast bureaucratic network of American aid agencies involved in the 'hunger business,' one in which rich countries benefit from the problems of poor countries and questions how America's well-intentioned foreign-aid program has spawned a self-serving relationship between humanitarian aid and American business and politics.  Zambia, a country teetering on the precipice of famine, becomes a cause for a solemn discussion regarding the dignity of the people we seek to help.  55 mins, 2004

Karl Beitel – Food Policy Analyst, Food First will speak and lead a discussion after the film.

May 9, 2005:  World Stopped Watching - is a sequel to the award winning The World Is Watching, a cinema verité look at foreign news coverage of a climactic moment in the US-financed Contra war against Nicaragua’s revolutionary government.  Fourteen years later, filmmakers Peter Raymont and Harold Crooks return to Nicaragua to discover what became of the first revolution to be conducted in the glare of the world media. T The film revisits the mothers and children in the barrios, the taxi drivers, and of course, the politicians.  Much has changed. The country is now replete with strip malls, prostitutes and MacDonald’s. Literacy is down. Infant deaths are up. Many NGOs and UN agencies are doing useful development work, particularly in the area of women’s health and housing. But, according to recent UNESCO reports, 26% of Nicaraguan children never set foot in a classroom, a figure twice as high as the 13% average in the rest of Latin America.  52 mins,  2003

April 25, 2005: Store Wars: When Wal Mart Comes To Town  In the US, Wal-Mart opens a new mega-store every two business days. This is the story of the impact of discount chain stores on American towns and cities, and on our society as a whole. STORE WARS follows events in Ashland, VA, over a one-year period, from the first stormy public hearing that galvanizes residents' opposition till the Town Council takes a final vote on the proposed Wal-Mart store.  The cast of characters includes the mayor and Town Council members who will eventually make the decision, Wal-Mart representatives and the "Pink Flamingos," the grassroots citizen group opposed to the store.  STORE WARS does not single out Wal-Mart, but rather highlights its position as the icon of the Big Box industry. While offering a critical view of this industry, the film presents fairly all viewpoints on this controversial issue. 59 min, 2001

Tony Alexander, Political Relations Director of United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 428 (covers Palo Alto area) will lead a discussion after the film.

  April 18, 2005: Money (L' Argent)  Money: who creates it? Who controls it? Who profits from it?  The film takes us to Turkey, Argentina and the US in a moving portrait of citizens who have lost everything.  How could these relatively wealthy countries possibly go bankrupt in less than a decade.?  Interwoven with these stories, a lucid essay dissects the macro-economic policies, demanded by the World Bank and the IMF, that have plunged entire nations into economic crisis. Faced with a lack of money, the people have begun to reinvent it, initiating credit and barter systems, and inventing local parallel economies. An essential and incisive look into the hidden side of money.  65 min, 2004

Antonia Juhasz -  Project director at International Forum on Globalization will speak and lead a discussion.

April 11, 2005: Landless (Sin Tierra)  Part 20th-anniversary homage to what it is the “world’s most successful people’s movement” according to Naom Chomsky and part condemnation of the social conditions that gave rise to it, the film traces the rise of Brazil’s Landless Movement (MST), whose strategy is to peacefully and legally take over and set up encampments on unproductive land, which is then redistributed among the occupying families. The battle has been hard fought, with many landowners organizing themselves into paramilitary groups. In the last 15 years, some 1600 workers have lost their lives. The film, produced by Pedro Almodóvar, takes some fascinating detours into the underbelly of Brazilian life, perhaps the most heartbreaking being those dealing with child slavery and rural workers who work for years to pay off debts to landowners.  Audience Best Documentary Award- Málaga Film Festival, 2004.

Charlotte Caseymember of Friends of MST will speak and lead a discussion after the film.

April 4, 2005: Thirst   Population growth, pollution, and scarcity are turning water into "blue gold," the oil of the 21st century. Global corporations are rushing to gain control of this dwindling natural resource, producing intense conflict in the US and worldwide where people are dying in battles over control of water.  As revealed in "Thirst," the world is poised on the brink of epochal changes in how water is stored, used, and valued. Will these changes provide clean water to the billions of people who need it? Or save the child who dies every eight seconds from contaminated water? Looking at tensions in Bolivia, India and Stockton, California, "Thirst" reveals how water is becoming the catalyst for explosive community responses to the management of this precious resource. 62 min, 2004

Juliette Beck – California Director, Water For All Campaign of Public Citizen will speak and lead a discussion after the film.

July 8, 2005The Corporation, 145 mins, 2004


THE CORPORATION explores the nature and spectacular rise of the dominant institution of our time. Footage from pop culture, advertising, TV news, and corporate propaganda, illuminates the corporation's grip on our lives. Taking its legal status as a "person" to its logical conclusion, the film puts the corporation on the psychiatrist's couch to ask "What kind of person is it?" Provoking, witty, sweepingly informative, The Corporation includes forty interviews with corporate insiders and critics - including Milton Friedman, Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein, and Michael Moore - plus true confessions, case studies and strategies for change.

Winner of 24 INTERNATIONAL AWARDS, 10 of them AUDIENCE CHOICE AWARDS including the AUDIENCE AWARD for DOCUMENTARY in WORLD CINEMA at the 2004 SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL.

June 17 2005, The Take2004, 87 mins

In the wake of Argentina’s spectacular economic collapse in 2001, Latin America’s most prosperous middle class finds itself in a ghost town of abandoned factories and mass unemployment. In suburban Buenos Aires, thirty unemployed auto-parts workers walk into their idle factory, roll out sleeping mats and refuse to leave. All they want is to re-start the silent machines. But this simple act —the take —has the power to turn the globalization debate on its head.

Director/producer Avi Lewis (Counterspin) and writer/producer and renowned author Naomi Klein (No Logo) take viewers inside the lives of ordinary visionaries, as they reclaim their work, their dignity and their democracy.

Environment

March 7, 2005:  Velorution: One City's Solution to the Automobile - When the USSR collapsed, Cuba lost 80% of their oil supply. This movie documents how they bought 1.2 million bicycles, switched 5 bus factories to bicycle manufacturing, educated riders on how to ride, changed the city of Havana to accommodate bikes, posted bicycle signs, did job swaps to reduce length of commutes and in the process created more human interaction and community  A truly inspiring video. 30 mins,  1996

Also on March 7, 2005: Greening of Cuba - When trade relations with the socialist block collapsed in 1990, Cuba lost 80% of its pesticide and fertilizer imports and half its petroleum - the mainstays of its highly industrialized agriculture. Challenged with growing food for 11 million in the face of the continuing U.S. embargo, Cuba embarked on the largest conversion to organic farming ever attempted. Told in the voices of the women and men - the campesinos, researchers, and organic gardeners - who are leading the organic agriculture movement, The Greening of Cuba reminds us that developed and developing nations alike can choose a healthier environment and still feed their people. 38 mins,  1996

Ana Perez - Director, Cuba Program Global Exchange, will lead a discussion after the film.



Feb 28, 2005:  End of Suburbia: Oil Depletion and the Collapse of The American Dream  With brutal honesty and a touch of irony, The End of Suburbia explores the American Way of Life and its prospects as the planet approaches a critical era, as global demand for fossil fuels begins to outstrip supply. World Oil Peak and the inevitable decline of fossil fuels are upon us now, some scientists and policy makers argue in this documentary. What does Oil Peak mean for North America? As energy prices skyrocket in the coming years, how will the populations of suburbia react to the collapse of their dream? Are today's suburbs destined to become the slums of tomorrow? And what can be done NOW, individually and collectively, to avoid The End of Suburbia78 mins, 2004

David RoomCommunications Director, Post Carbon Institute will speak and lead a discussion after the film.


Peace & Justice

December 16, 2005:  You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train - Documents the life and times of Howard Zinn, historian, activist, and author of the best selling classic A People's History of the United States. Featuring rare archival materials, interviews with Howard Zinn as well as colleagues and friends including Noam Chomsky, Marian Wright Edelman, Daniel Ellsberg, Tom Hayden, and Alice Walker, You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train captures the essence of this activist and thinker who has been a catalyst for progressive change for more than 60 years. The film follows the trajectory of Zinn's life from his early childhood in the slums of New York City through his time as a teacher and civil rights and antiwar activist. Zinn has informed and inspired generations of those who struggle for social and economic justice with hope. As Noam Chomsky has said of him, "It is no exaggeration to say he has changed the consciousness of a generation." Features music by Billy Bragg, Woody Guthrie, and Eddie Vedder. (78 minutes; 2004.)

November 11, 2005: Hope is a unique and powerful short film with a message of peace for the future. Combining animation, archival footage and live action, in a multi-layered non-linear story, the film brings the viewer on a fascinating journey through human existence. ‘Hope’ is shaped around the knowledge and ideas of Willy Whitefeather, a man in his sixties of Cherokee ancestry, a fascinating storyteller, healer, survivalist and an individual of wisdom and heart. Using traditions and stories from Native American and world cultures, the film combines dreams, images and reminiscences from our collective memory to send a message of hope for the future. Now is the time to reconnect with Spirit, to recognize the effects of our actions, to evaluate the underlying causes of suffering and to reshape our life and our world into a harmonious one.  Catherine Margerin, known for her unique painterly style animation, is the director of "Hope".  The film is produced by Luna Media, a non-profit 501 (c)3, dedicated to producing media that promotes peace and personal vision.  (7 mins, 2005)

Nov 11, 2005: The Doctor, Depleted Uranium & the Dying Children  An award-winning documentary film that exposes the use and impact of radioactive weapons during the current war against Iraq. The story is told by citizens of many nations, including British veterans who describe their exposure to radioactive so-called ‘depleted’ uranium (DU) weapons and the congenital abnormalities of their children. The film follows Dr. Siegwart-Horst Günther, who traveled to Iraq with Tedd Weyman of the Uranium Medical Research Center to assess uranium contamination there. They found evidence of the use of a new class of uranium weapons, including "bunker defeat" bombs. The team also explored the long-term health effects, including increases in cancer and congenital deformities in the area around Basra, that are attributed to DU contamination from the first Gulf War. The grisly realities of the cancer ward provide an appropriate alarm that could help to stop the use of these weapons. (52 minutes; 2004.)

"Film US TV Networks Dare Not Show"

The screening of this film is made possible by Ellison Horne, Founder of Celebrating SolutionsEllison will introduce the film.

October 14, 2005: Power of Nightmares: The Rise of the Politics of Fear  In the past our politicians offered us dreams of a better world. Now they promise to protect us from nightmares. The most frightening of these is the threat of an international terror network. But just as the dreams were not true, neither are these nightmares. The Power of Nightmares, produced by the BBC, contends that the idea that we are threatened by a hidden and organized terrorist network is an illusion. This myth has spread unquestioned through politics, the security services, and the international media. At the heart of the story are two groups: the American neo-conservatives and the radical Islamists. Both were idealists who were born out of the failure of the liberal dream to build a better world. These two groups have changed the world, but not in the way either intended. Together they created today's nightmare vision of an organised terror network -- a fantasy that politicians then found restored their power and authority in a disillusioned age. (165 minutes, 2004. - Three 55 min segments)

British Academy Television Awards - Best Factual Series
Broadcasting Press Guild Awards - Best Documentary Series
Royal Television Society - Best Documentary Series
"The Film Major Media Companies Do Not Want You to See"

May 23, 2005: Unfinished Symphony - is an emotional, poetic, and lyrical journey back in time to reflect on the highly contested Vietnam War. The film is divided into three sections, which mirror the movements of Henryk Gorecki's Symphony No. 3, the Symphony of Sorrowful Songs, to which the film is set. Taking place in Massachusetts over Memorial Day weekend in 1971, the film focuses on a three-day protest in the form of a march, staged by newly returned veterans.  Stunning black-and-white filmed footage from the original march is interspersed with shots of the war and recent conversations with political historian Howard Zinn. At the protest, veterans voice their feelings about the horrors they witnessed overseas just months before. "How do you ask a man to be the last man to die in Vietnam?" asks a young, distraught veteran, John Kerry, speaking at a hearing to stop the war. Because the film uses actual archival footage, rather than simply describing the march 30 years later, the emotions are intense and raw and bubble to the surface. But because time has passed, the material is put into a meaningful historical context. The juxtaposition results in a seamless, organic, provocative, and powerful tapestry of history on film.  59 min, 2001

Steve Morse - Program Coordinator for the Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors will lead a discussion after the film

May 9, 2005:  World Stopped Watching - is a sequel to the award winning The World Is Watching, a cinema verité look at foreign news coverage of a climactic moment in the US-financed Contra war against Nicaragua’s revolutionary government.  Fourteen years later, filmmakers Peter Raymont and Harold Crooks return to Nicaragua to discover what became of the first revolution to be conducted in the glare of the world media. T The film revisits the mothers and children in the barrios, the taxi drivers, and of course, the politicians.  Much has changed. The country is now replete with strip malls, prostitutes and MacDonald’s. Literacy is down. Infant deaths are up. Many NGOs and UN agencies are doing useful development work, particularly in the area of women’s health and housing. But, according to recent UNESCO reports, 26% of Nicaraguan children never set foot in a classroom, a figure twice as high as the 13% average in the rest of Latin America.  52 mins,  2003

May 2, 2005:  The Wall  A close-up look at the vast civil engineering project of building the "Wall" or "security fence" which may turn out to be the largest in Israel's history: a system of trenches, electronic fencing, razor wire, concrete walls, sensors, cameras, and remote-controlled machine guns which will be up to 100 meters wide and stretch for more than 600 km; and the devastating effect it is having on the Palestinians whose lives are affected by it.  The film documents the construction of the Wall or "security fence" and the devastating impact it is having on Palestinians. Through interviews with Israeli activists it also helps to place the separation barrier in the context of other forms of control, including checkpoints, roadblocks and closure that the Palestinians have been increasingly subject to since 1991.  54 mins, 2003

Uda Walker, of Middle East Children's Alliance will speak after the film.

March 21, 2005: Friendship Village - An award-winning documentary about an international group of veterans who are building a village in Viet Nam for children with Agent Orange-related disabilities. Built on a former rice paddy near Hanoi, the Friendship Village stands not only as a symbol of peace and reconciliation, but as a testament to the potential for all people to come to terms with the past, heal the wounds of war, and create a better world.   Veterans from the USA, Vietnam, France, Germany, Japan, Great Britain and Australia are attempting to mitigate the ongoing effects of the toxic herbicide sprayed during the war. Their efforts are a powerful example of how average people can still make a profound difference in our increasingly globalized world. As such, the Vietnam Friendship Village has the potential to change not only the lives of the children who live in it and the men who build it, but all who come to understand its mission. 50 mins, 2003 >


March 14, 2005: About Baghdad - In July of 2003, exiled writer and poet Sinan Antoon returned to his native Baghdad with a team of independent filmmakers, artists and poets to document the effects that decades of oppression, war, sanctions and occupation have had on his city. The result is a fascinating mosaic of opinions, perspectives, desires and memories that offers a picture far more complex than the limited one presented by mainstream US media. ABOUT BAGHDAD pays tribute to the brave people of Baghdad as they struggle to come to terms with the tragic fate of their beloved city.  90 mins, 2004

Mahmood Suleiman will lead a discussion after the film.  

Feb 14, 2005: Mission Against Terror  The documentary follows the case of the Cuban Five—five men from Cuba who are unjustly imprisoned in the U.S. for doing nothing more than preventing terrorism against the Cuban people. They were arrested on September 12, 1998 by the FBI and have been in prison ever since. The men, Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, René González, and Fernando González, were sentenced in Miami federal court to four life terms and 75 years collectively. Their case is on appeal before the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.  The film shows historical footage of terrorism against Cuba and provides a moving depiction of the case of the Cuban Five. It features interviews with Cuban National Assembly president Ricardo Alarcón, former CIA agent Philip Agee, attorney Leonard Weinglass, Cuban activist from Miami, Andrés Gómez, and family members of the Cuban Five.   48 mins, 2004

Bernie Dwyer - Co-Director of the film, will be present and answer questions.

Media Control & Literacy

September 30, 2005: Weapons of Mass Deception   There were two wars going on in Iraq. One was fought with armies of soldiers, bombs, and a fearsome military force. The other was fought alongside it with cameras, satellites, armies of journalists, and propaganda techniques. One war was rationalized as an effort to find and disarm WMDs -- Weapons of Mass Destruction; the other was carried out by even more powerful WMDs -- Weapons of Mass Deception. The TV networks in America considered their non-stop coverage their finest hour, celebrating the use of embedded journalists and new technologies that permitted viewers to see a war up close for the first time. But people in different countries saw different wars. Why? Weapons of Mass Deception explores this story with the findings of a gutsy former network journalist and media insider-turned-outsider, Danny Schechter, “The News Dissector”, who is one of America's most prolific media critics. (100 minutes; 2004.)

Best Documentary Award Durban International Film Festival
Best Documentary Starz Denver International Film Festival
Best Documentary Award Austin Film Festival