The following list is a sampling of some of the materials in MRC which deal with important social, political, and cultural issues in America. Consult MRC's subject videographies for other titles of interest on these topics.

Abortion and Reproductive Rights. SEE: Women's Studies: Reproductive Rights

Affirmative Action

Child Welfare
See also Child Abuse (separate page)

Criminal Justice/Capital Punishment

Drug Traffic and Use

Medical and Health Issues. SEE Health & Medical Issues
(includes works on aging, death and dying, biotechnology, medical ethics)



Racism and Prejudice, General Works

Intellectual Freedom/Freedom of Speech/Censorship/Privacy

Poverty and Welfare

Gender/Sexual Violence
For works about domestic violence and pornography see Women's Studies videography)
For works about violence against gay/lesbian/transgender people, SEE Gay/Lesbian videography

Child Abuse - SEE International Child Welfare Issues
Urban Violence
Racial/Ethnic/Religious Violence
Violence and the Media.
Terrorism SEE separate listing

Related Videographies:

For Environmental Issues see:
Environment & Natural Resources Videography

For Medical, Health Care, and Public Health Issues see:
Health & Medical Sciences and Technology

For Race and Ethnic Relations see:
African American Studies
Asian American Studies
Chicano/Latino Studies
Indigenous Peoples of North America
Jewish Studies

Affirmative Action

African American Studies

Affirmative Action. 1986.
This event is organized by the Graduate Assembly, University of California, Berkeley. This event took place on February 2, 1986, at Booth Auditorium, Boalt Hall, University of California, Berkeley. An exchange of views and a discussion on affirmative action between Charles Murray, Senior Research Fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, New York, and Ronald Takaki, Professor of Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Video/C 1409

Affirmative Action Panel, UCB, 1995.
Contents: The impact of affirmative action on the University of California, Berkeley (105 min.) -- Affirmative action: Where do we go from here? (45 min.) A program designed to educate and inform the University community and the general public about the past, present and future of affirmative action policy and its impact on the University of California, Berkeley. 150 min. Video/C 4266 Pt. 1-2

Affirmative Action: The History of an Idea
Explores the historical roots of affimative action and the current debate over its usefulness. Looks at several different affirmative action programs including the Univ. of California, Berkeley, the U.S. Army, federal aid to minority businesses, and affirmative action in the Chicago Police Dept. Includes archival footage and features interviews with a wide array of academic scholars. 1996. 56 min. Video/C 4999

Beyond Black and White: Affirmative Action in America
All sides in the affirmative action debate say that they believe in the Constitutional right to equality regarding race, creed and sex, but they bring very different interpretations to what that means. A distinguished panel of experts discuss this issue.

Moderator: Charles J. Ogletree; panelists: Ward Connerly, Angela Walker, Ruth J. Simmons, Ann Coulter, Frank D. Riggs, Ann F. Lewis, Antonia Hernandez, Suzan Shown Harjo, Diane Chin, Robert L. Woodson, Sr., Christopher Edley, Jr., Judge Jon O. Newman, John R. Strangfeld, Tamar Jacoby, Lt. Gen. Julius W. Becton, Jr. c2000. 60 min. Video/C 7331

The Constitution--That Delicate Balance, Part 12: Affirmative Action versus Reverse Discrimination.
Presents viewpoints of leaders from government, media and the legal profession on a hypothetical case regarding the application of affirmative action to a university faculty tenure decision. c1983. 60 min. Video/C 6991

Legislating Morality: Affirmative Action and the Burden of History
Explores whether affirmative action promotes racial balance, or fights discrimination of the past with reverse discrimination in the present. Featured in the program are Roy Innis, Chairman of the Congress on Racial Equality; Ward Connerly, Regent of the University of California and Charles Willie, professor of Education at Harvard. 1996. 29 min. DVD 2141

Skin Deep.
A diverse group of college students reveal their honestfeelings and attitudes about race and racism. Students from 3 major universities are interviewed alone on topics including the climate toward talking about race on campus, self separation of ethnic groups, discrimination, affirmative action policies and individual responsibility for change. Concludes with a diverse group of 23 students from 6 major American universities who spent 3 days together to collectively challenge one another with dialogue focusing on such topics as the concept of individual responsibility, feeling separated from each other, wanting others to understand and what can be done to move awareness to action. c1995. 53 min. Video/C 4055

Reading, Writing and Race.
This program looks at the impact of affirmative action admissions policies, speech codes, and race relations on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley. Includes drama students enacting plays about racial conflicts and intolerance on campus. The film also examines the debate in California over a series of social studies textbooks which are under fire from critics, who charge that they do not adequately reflect California's multicultural heritage. 1991. 60 min. Video/C 6790

Shattering the Silences
Documentary explores issues of faculty diversity in American higher education in the mid-1990s, focusing on the professional and personal experiences of eight minority scholars in the humanities and social sciences at various institutions. 1996. 86 min. Video/C 4707 >

Talking About Race.
A diverse group of college students reveal their honest feelings and attitudes about race and racism. In part 1, students from 3 major universities are interviewed alone on topics including the climate toward talking about race on campus, self separation of ethnic groups, discrimination, affirmative action policies and individual responsibility for change. In part 2, a diverse group of 23 students from 6 major American universities spend 3 days together to collectively challenge one another with dialogue focusing on such topics as the concept of individual responsibility, feeling separated from each other, wanting others to understand and what can be done to move awareness to action. c1994. 25 min. Video/C 4054. See Also: Skin Deep

U.C. Charter Day, 1982.
Celebration of the 114th birthday of the University of California. Deena Gonzalez, Chair of the Graduate Assembly, delivers an address on the disproportionate low number of minority students enrolled at the University of California. Philip Habib, former Undersecretary of State and Special Presidential Envoy to the Middle East, delivers the keynote address on American foreign policy and the Middle East. Video/C 1718

Voices of a Divided City.
Film examines racial problems of urban areas focusing on the 1974 riots in Boston that were triggered by busing of children from the predominantly Black community of Roxbury to Charlestown with a mostly Irish population. Residents speak on the street and during a discussion group about the issues of racism and the impact busing and affirmative action programs have on their communities. c1982. 59 min. Video/C 455 - U-matic format, at NRLF #: B 4 175 250

To the top

Child Welfare

Child Abuse (separate page)

Aging Out
"Aging out" chronicles the daunting obstacles that three young people in foster care encounter as they "age out" of the system and are suddenly on their own for the first time. This emotionally complex film is also a portrait of young adults struggling to overcome the scars of their troubled childhood in order to realize their dreams of independence and fulfillment. Written, produced and directed by Roger Weisberg. 2005. 90 min. DVD 6003

Criminal Justice/Capital Punishment

Black Panther Party Online Resources

17 August
Focuses on documenting one day in the life of Boris Bezotechestvo, a murderer serving his entire sentence in solitary confinement in a prison situated on a small Island on Lake Novozero in central Russia. The filmmaker explores what happens when nothing happens. The theme of crime and punishment is present in every moment. When there is no death sentence, there is only time. Time can be spent conversing with God - or maybe with the Devil. Boris asks himself whether he should try to go insane. Written and directed by Alexander Gutman. Dist.: Cinema Guild. 2009. 63 min. DVD X3245

1993 UN Human Rights Conference Preview
Segment one is a behind-the scenes look at the problems, priorities, and players at the 1993 United Nations World Conference on Human Rights, the first to be held in 25 years. Includes interviews with undersecretary of State Timothy Wirth and former President Jimmy Carter and UN Sec. General Boutros Boutros-Ghali. The second segment examines a Chicago based campaign against capital punishment by families of murder victims who tour the United States to combat the death penalty. Segement from the television program Rights & wrongs, 1993. 27 min. Video/C 6695

After Innocence
This documentary tells the dramatic and compelling story of the exonerated - innocent men wrongfully imprisoned for decades and then released after DNA evidence proved their innocence. The film focuses on the gripping story of seven men and their emotional journey back into society and efforts to rebuild their lives. Directed by Jessica Sanders. 2005. 95 min. DVD 7279

American Library Association Video Round Table Notable Videos for Adults

Aileen Wuornos: The Selling of a Serial Killer
Tells the true story of the first female serial killer in the U.S., Aileen Wuornos, and the opportunists who used her story. They include the born-again Christian woman who adopted Aileen while she was on trial and then sold Aileen's story, the lawyer who convinced Aileen to plead no contest, and Aileen's lesbian lover who got her to confess. 1992. 87 min. Video/C MM229

All Things Censored [16 essays] / Mumia Abu-Jamal. Vol. 1
[sound recording]Dorothy Allison (:30) -- Dedication (:56) -- From death row (:36) -- War on the poor (3:26) -- Cornel West (:41) -- Media is the mirage (3:26) -- Ronald Hampton (:29) -- True African American history (3:34) -- Sister Helen Prejean (:36) -- When ineffective means effective (3:13) -- Howard Zinn (:28) -- Death: the poor's perogative? (2:48) -- Dr. Joyce Elders (:18) -- A rap thing (4:06) -- Alice Walker (:26) -- Mother loss (2:44) -- William Kunstler introduction (2:32) -- Acting like life's a ballgame read by William Kunstler (4:16) -- Ramona Africa (:43) -- May 13 remembered, part 2 (3:54) --Juan Gonzalez (:45) -- Seeds of wisdom (3:10) -- Martin Sheen (:24) -- NAFTA: a pact made in Hell (3:17) -- Robert Meeropol (1:21) -- De Profundis (3:30) -- Justice Bruce Wright (:37) -- No law, no rights (3:21) -- Assata Shakur (1:36) -- Sweet Roxanne (3:14) -- Manning Marable (:43) -- Blackmun bows out of death game (3:45) -- Judy Bari (:36) -- It's not nice to fool with mother nature (2:43) -- John Edgar Wideman (:43) -- South Africa (3:12). Recorded between 1993 and 1997. Sound/D 42

America, Behind Bars: Beyond the Prison Industrial Complex: Critical Resistance
The growing reliance on prisons as the solution to systematic social problems, has created a punishment industry that bleeds taxpayers as it wields repression against the poor, immigrants and minorities. The first film, Visions of Freedom (32 min.), shows highlights from the Critical Resistance Conference held in Berkeley, California in 1998. Weaving music, poetry and speakers at the conference, this video highlights the growing outlines the growth of the prison industrial complex, the privatization of corrections and the social trade-offs being made to support it. The second film is USA, INCorporated (24 min.). Commentary: Angela Davis, Mike Davis, Ruthie Gilmore, Jose Lopez, Ramona Africa, Vince Shiraldi, Bruce Franklin, David Muhammad, Asha Bandele, Bernardine Dohrn, Luana Ross, Christian Parenti, Reese Erlich. "Produced in association with The Critical Resistance Conference, Berkeley, Calif., Sept. 25-27, l998. Produced in conjunction with Deep Dish TV's America Behind Bars series & The Prison Activist Resource Center." 1999? 56 min. Video/C 6451

America in Black and White. Racial Profiling and Law Enforcement
For many African-Americans, simply having dark skin seems to be grounds for being pulled over by police and searched for drugs. Police call it "profiling," based on years of successful drug interdiction through traffic stops, but angry and humiliated victims call it "racial profiling," a blatant form of discrimination. This investigative report examines the issue from the victim's point of view as well as through the eyes of the police. Originally broadcast as segments of: Nightline. 1998. 44 min. Video/C 8641

America's Brutal Prisons
Visits correctional institutions in Texas, Florida and California, uncovering penal systems with deeply ingrained cultures of punishment, where prisoners are routinely abused, even tortured, by prison guards. The film features videos recorded by prison surveillance cameras and correction officers themselves, supplemented by interviews with former prisoners, a warden, a prison doctor, inmates' relatives, attorneys and former correction officers who have broken the code of silence. 2005. 48 min. DVD 4775

Description from First Run/Icarus catalog

America's Least Wanted
Criminologists, media critics and other experts discuss the forces behind crime hysteria in the United States, why American prisons don't work, the economic costs of crime and the large social and economic impact of white collar crime. Paper Tiger TV, c1997. 26 min. Video/C 5821

American Chain Gang.
On May 3, 1995, Alabama resurrected the chain gang; on Sept. 18, 1996, Arizona began the first female chain gang. In this documentary the filmmaker seeks the truth about chain gangs. Does forced labor change the hearts and minds of career criminals or does it make them hardened and even worse when they return to society? Both inmate and penal officer views of the situation are examined in this honest and shocking portrayal of the men and women in the American penal system. c1998. 56 min. Video/C 6997

Angel on Death Row.
An investigative report which takes on the death penalty debate with a profile of Sister Helen Prejean. A longtime spiritual advisor to inmates on Death Row, her life and work inspired the highly-acclaimed motion picture "Dead Man Walking". c1996. 57 min. Video/C 4462

Angel on Death Row web site (via PBS/Frontline). Includes interviews, newspaper accounts, death penalty pro/con discussions.

Anderson, George M. "Opposing the Death Penalty: An Interview with Helen Prejean." (nun, author of 'Dead Man Walking')(Cover Story) America v175, n14 (Nov 9, 1996):8 (5 pages).
Bruno, Marc. 'We Both Live With the Poor.' (Sister Helen Prejean's influence on the film 'Dead Man Walking')(includes related article on death penalty opponents and advocates) America v174, n5 (Feb 17, 1996):31 (3 pages)
Silvio, Lucy. "Raking in the Money."('Dead Man Walking!' and the Sisters of St. Joseph) America v176, n8 (March 8, 1997):10 (2 pages).
Wagner, Betsy. "For Death Row, A Message of Love."(Helen Prejean, nun and author of book 'Dead Man Walking')(Interview) U.S. News & World Report v120, n5 (Feb 5, 1996):19.

Assata Shakur at Alderson Prison, 1977; Geronimo Ji Jaga, Doc Holliday, 1974
[sound recording] Barbara Lubinski interviews Assata Shakur in prison as she describes her case, her arrest and indictment with no chance for legal preparation, her involvement with the FBI, the activities of Cointelpro, the FBI's program against dissident groups and FBI activities against the Black Panther Party. Side 2: Mark Schwartz reports on the prison movement and alleged BGF members in isolation. Geronimo Ji-Jaga Pratt talks about several cases of prisoners charged with the murder of guards and Doc Holliday (Douglas Fowley) expounds on the social and political philosophy of George Jackson. San Francisco, Calif.: Freedom Archives, 2001. 45 min. Sound/C 1510

At the Death House Door
An intimate look at the death penalty in the state of Texas through the eyes of Pastor Carroll Pickett, who served 15 years as the death house chaplain to the infamous 'Walls' prison unit in Huntsville. During Pickett's remarkable career he presided over 95 executions, including the world's first lethal injection. After each execution, Pickett recorded an audiotape account of his trip to the death chamber. Directed and produced by Steve James, Peter Gilbert. 2008. 98 min. DVD X2106

American Library Association Video Round Table Notable Videos for Adults

Black Panther Party: Attica Prison Riots, September 9-13, 1971
Presents coverage of interviews with prisoners during the four-day revolt at the Attica Correctional Facility in New York in September, 1971. The prisoners talk about the background of the rebellion, asking for an investigation into the treatment of prisoners and conditions at the prison which instigated the riots. [from The Freedom Archives]

Listen to it with RealAudio

Black Death in Dixie
Portrays capital punishment in the U.S. as an instrument that disproportionately targets racial minorities and the poor. Highlights statistics on the racial makeup of America's death row population, mistaken identification, the toll on those wrongfully convicted, and the effects of the Jim Crow era. Directed by Gerry Nelson. Originally produced as an episode of the Irish public television program What in the world? in 2007. Dist.: Films Media Group. 26 min. DVD X2952

Black Panther Party: 30 years After Attica
On the 30th anniversary, this is an examination of events and lessons learned from the rebellion and massacre at the Attica Correctional Facility in New York in September, 1971. Presents interviews with prisoners and guards during the 5 day occupation including spokesman prisoner L. D. Barkley who was killed in the riots and Frank "Big Black" Smith who describes the tortures that took place in the aftermath of the riot. [from The Freedom Archives]

Listen to it with RealAudio

Books Not Bars
Documents the inspiring youth-led movement against the massive prison industry in the U.S., illustrating the negative impact of for-profit prison industry on youth -- particularly those from communities of color. Looks at public misperceptions about the criminalization of youth and highlights the relationship between increases in prison spending and decreases in education spending. Youth activists challenge audiences to explore alternative options to detention and debunk public misperceptions about youth crime rates. The film provides inspiring examples of peer activism, youth organizing, and mobilization around prison issues, providing youth with tangible ways to get involved with the movement to reform the U.S. prison system. In the video, young activists convince the Board of Corrections to deny pre-approved state funding for Alameda County's effort to build the biggest per capita juvenile hall in the state of California. A production of the Witness Project which uses video technology to investigate human rights abuses. 2001. 22 min. DVD 3262

Witness web site

Brother's Keeper
Tells the story of the "Ward Boys," four eccentric brothers who shared the same dilapidated two-room shack for over 60 years in Munnsville, N.Y. Living in isolation, without heat or running water, these elderly bachelors had virtually no contact with the outside world--until one was found dead in the bed he shared with his brother. By day's end, Delbert Ward "confessed" to suffocating his ailing brother as an act of mercy, but others in Munnsville believed Delbert had been framed. Was Delbert, an uneducated hermit with a low IQ, an innocent victim of police abuse? Was it a mercy killing--or was there another motive? Special features: Commentary by Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky, deleted scenes, never-before-seen short film "The Wards take Manhattan," photo gallery, original theatrical trailer featuring Spalding Gray, filmmaker biographies. A film by Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky. 1992. 105 min. DVD X160

Capital Punishment: March 12, 1985 (Nightline)
Examines opinions on capital punishment as a possible deterrent to crime through interviews with executioners, a former death row inmate, Edward Koch, mayor of New York City and Hans Zeisel, professor of law at the University of Chicago. 23 min. Video/C 5777

Charisse Shumate: Fighting For Our Lives
Focuses on the life of Charisse Shumate, who became the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit against the abominable health care conditions that women in California's prisons face. Includes prison interviews, materials from State Senate hearings on conditions for women in the California State Prison System, and historical video footage of Charisse and her family. Created in collaboration with the California Coalition for Women Prisoners. Produced by Claude Marks; written and edited by Eve Goldberg. Dist. Freedom Archives. 2004. 37 min. DVD 8457
© notice

View this video online
Requires Windows Media Player or Flip4Mac

The Constitution--That Delicate Balance, Part 4: Criminal Justice and a Defendant's Right to a Fair Trial.
This seminar was made up of judges, lawyers, prosecutors, law enforcement officials, majors, and journalists who engaged in a dialogue exploring the trade-offs of a society trying to control crime yet preserve individual freedoms. 1983. 90 min. Video/C 6987

An examination of the efficacy and ethics of prison privatization in the United States and of the prison industries that profit from the burgeoning prison population. Features visits to the corporate headquarters of leading correctional corporations, prison trade shows, and testimony from leading experts and ordinary people, presenting diverse views of this new American "growth industry." 2001. 58 min. Video/C 9671

Crime & Punishment in America.
Brings a historical perspective to the problems of escalating crime and the public's fear of it, by exploring the evolution of crime and criminal penalties in American society. Tells how the regulation of gambing, drugs and pornography are rooted in colonial America. Looks at the rise of penitentaries and experiments to transform offenders, how law and the legal system has evolved in the United States, concluding with stalking laws and "three-strike" laws. Includes interviews with police, judges, historians, prison wardens, prosecutors, reformers and citizens as they speak about their experiences with crime and criminals. Based in part on Crime and Punishment in American History / by Lawrence Friedman (Main Stack KF9223.F75 1993; Moffitt KF9223.F75) 1997. 120 min. Video/C 5394

A Crime of Insanity
In 1994 a paranoid schizophrenic man, Ralph Tortorici, took a class of college students hostage, threatening and wounding one of them. Using excerpts from the actual trial, as well as interviews with Tortorici's father and brother, the defense attorney, chief assistant district attorney, the prosecutor, psychiatric experts, and the presiding judge, this documentary critically examines the ethical dilemmas surrounding the insanity defense. Originally broadcast on PBS, Oct. 17, 2002. 60 min. Video/C MM979

Cruel and Unusual
Examines the realities faced by transgender women in mens' prisons. Ashley, Linda, Anna, Yolanda and Ophelia describe their experiences including rape, violence, solitary confinement and denial of medical care. Their difficult stories challenge the most basic notions of gender and justice while raising an important question: Is their treatment indeed cruel and unusual -- a violation of the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution? A documentary film by Janet Baud, Dan Hunt, and Reid Williams. c2006. 60 min. DVD 6528

David Gilbert: a Lifetime of Struggle
An interview with David Gilbert, who is among the longest held anti-imperialist political prisoners in the world. He worked against the Vietnam War and for Black civil rights, was a leader in the Columbia University student strike and Students for a Democratic Society, and was a member of the Weather Underground Organization. In 1981 he was convicted for his participation in a Brinks truck robbery to raise funds for the Black Liberation Army. In prison he has continued to work for social justice calling early attention to the AIDS epidemic and working as an advocate for the rights of prisoners. Based on an interview by Sam Green and Bill Siegel. Videotaped in 1998 at Great Meadows Prison, Comstock, N.Y. Dist.: Freedom Archives, [2002]. 29 min. DVD 6896; vhs Video/C 9867
© notice

View this video online
Requires Windows Media Player or Flip4Mac

The Day After Diallo: Organizers Speak Out on Police Brutality
Video highlights recurring police violence against people of color in the context of the killing of Amadou Diallo, an unarmed Black man who was shot forty-one times in the vestibule of his apartment by four members of the New York City Street Crimes Unit. On Feb. 25, 2000, a jury acquitted these officers of all charges. Protests erupted and confrontations between the police and demonstrators ensued. A production of the Witness Project which uses video technology to investigate human rights abuses. 2000. 6 min. DVD 3263

Witness web site

What would you do if you discovered that 13 people slated for execution had been found innocent? That was exactly the dilemma that Illinois Governor George Ryan faced in his final days in office. He, alone, was left to decide whether the remaining 167 death row inmates should live or die. This details the gripping drama of the clemency hearings during the countdown to Ryan's decision. Documented as the events unfolded, this is a compelling look inside America's prisons, highlighting one man's unlikely and historic actions against the system. Directors, Katy Chevigny and Kirsten Johnson. c2004. 89 min. DVD 4909

The Diary of Sacco and Vanzetti
A docu-drama about the 1927 Massachusetts trial and execution of two Italian-American immigrant anarchists based on Vanzetti's own letters and speeches. Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, two Italian immigrants to America were executed after they were convicted of killing two people during a robbery in South Braintree. Their controversial trial became a political firestorm fueled by anti-immigration and "Red Scare" hysteria that gripped post-World War I America. This unique docu-drama, shot on location around Boston where the case took place, tells the events from the point of view of Vanzetti. Written and directed by David Rothauser. 2004. 57 min. DVD 6909

Doing Justice: The Life & Trials of Arthur Kinoy.
A biography of the civil rights lawyer, Arthur Kinoy, from his attempt to stay the executions of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, through the civil rights movement, to the unanimous Supreme Court decision on wiretapping. 1993. 51 min. Video/C 4130

Doing Time: Life Inside the Big House
Hard-edged look at life inside the walls of Lewisburg, a maximum security federal penitentiary where rehabilitation and parole have all but been abandoned. With access to the entire prison, the filmmaker captured the stories of corrections officers as well as the inmates, including drug lords, "lifers," with no possibliity of parole, and prisoners convicted of leading prison riots. Directed by Alan Raymond. 2006. 85 min. DVD 5997

The Execution (Frontline)
Explore capital punishment through the story of Clifford Boggess, a 30-year-old who spent almost a decade on death row. In the United States, executions have become almost routine, especially in Texas, where Boggess, a pianist, artist, class valedictorian and convicted murderer awaited the execution chamber. And while he waited, the tormented families of his two victims--both brutally murdered in premeditated convenience store robberies--impatiently awaited his death in June 1998. 1999. 90 min. Video/C 6646

The Execution Protocol.
The film includes interviews with death row prisoners, with state government and prison officials, and with all participants in capital punishment, including lawyers, police officers and manufacturers of lethal substances to show the legal context and logistics involved in carrying out executions. It was filmed at the Potosi Correctional Centre, Mineral Point, Missouri, and it includes a discussion of the execution of Tiny Mercer in 1989. 83 min. Video/C 3502

The Farm: Life Inside Angola Prison
Documentary film which follows the lives of 6 men imprisoned in Angola, Louisiana State Penitentiary. As one man turns to religion, another battles cancer, and another faces lethal injection, each prisoner learns to grasp what spiritual redemption he can. A graphic and sympathetic commentary on racial and social injustice, this film paints an unforgettable portrait of the Angola inmates and their struggle for humanity within an inhumane system. c1998. 100 min. Video/C 6147

American Library Association Video Round Table Notable Videos for Adults
Sundance Film Festival - Grand Jury Prize, Documentary

From One Prison ...
Interviews in a Michigan prison with women imprisoned for murdering abusive men in self-defense. Highlights injustice and inequities in the legal system regarding women. The average sentence for women convicted of killing men is 20 years; that for men convicted of killing women , 2-6 years. Approximately 80% of women who commit murder kill abusers in self-defense. Produced and directed by Carol Jacobsen. 1994. 72 min. Video/C MM667

Ghosts of Attica
Offers the definitive account of America's most violent prison rebellion, its suppression, and the days of torture that ensued. Using newly uncovered video of the assault, interviews with eyewitnesses who've never spoken before on camera, and footage of inmates and hostages throughout their battles against the state, this film unravels one of America's deepest cover-ups, and shows how the legendary prison riot transformed the lives of its survivors. Produced and directed by Brad Lichtenstein. c2001. 89 min. DVD X3433; vhs Video/C 8490

Description from Icarus Films catalog

Christianson, Scott; Toplin, Robert Brent. "Ghosts of Attica." Journal of American History, Dec2002, Vol. 89 Issue 3, p1172-1173, 2p UC users only
Cutler, Janet. "Ghosts of Attica." Cineaste, Winter2002, Vol. 28 Issue 1, p64, 1/4p; UC users only
Giesen, James C. "Ghosts of Attica and Investigation of a Flame: A Documentary Portrait of the Catonsville Nine." Film & History May2003, Vol. 33 Issue 1, p66-67, 2p UC users only
Solomon, Norman. "From Attica to Abu Ghraib--and a Prison Near You.Preview." Humanist, Sep/Oct2005, Vol. 65 Issue 5, p26-29, 4pUC users only

Girl Hood
Shanae was ten when she was gang-raped; she responded by drinking and drugging, and by age 12 had graduated to murder. Megan ran way from ten different foster homes before being arrested on assault charges. Both came to the Waxter Juvenile Facility in Maryland. Follow these two girls for three years, as they try to make a life for themselves both inside and outside of Baltimore's juvenile justice system. Originally produced in 2003. 82 min. DVD 5282

American Library Association Video Round Table: Notable Videos for Adults

Girl Trouble: Girls Tell Their Truth About the Juvenile Justice System
Shot over a four year period, documents the personal struggles of three girls enmeshed in San Francisco's juvenile justice system. Trying to change their lives, the girls work part-time at the Innovative Center for Young Women's Development, an organization run by young women who have faced similar challenges. As they confront seemingy impossible problems and pivotal decisions, the center's director, Lateefa Simon, is often their only support and mentor. Producer/director/cinematographers, Lexi Leban and Lidia Szajko. 2004. 74 min. DVD X7174; Video/C MM926

Gladiator Days
Violent crime in prison is an everyday reality. Captured by Utah State Prison surveillance cameras, the documentary shows how white supremacist Troy Kell stabbed black inmate Lonnie Blackmon 67 times while his accomplice Eric Daniels helped hold down the victim. All the while, prison guards watched from the sidelines waiting for the SWAT team to arrive. Originally produced for television broadcast in 2002. 60 min. DVD 2839

Homeboys: "My Daddy's in Jail"
Re-visits the young men interviewed eight years ago in the film "Homeboys: life and death in the hood" -- all but one now in jail. Equal time is given to their young children, who are struggling to remember their fathers and to understand why their fathers are not living at home. Both generations describe the pain of life without their fathers. c1999. 26 min. Video/C MM108

Hood News
Citizen reporters from Hood News investigate stories straight from the streets including on site coverage of crime scenes through interviews with eye witnesses, police responses, police brutality, immigration laws, users of medical marijuana, mothers grieving sons lost to gang violence, and other issues. Contents: Volume 1. Police terrorism -- Beginning -- Min. Tony beating -- Protest -- Daniel Freeman -- Broadway 92nd -- Og man -- Kornblum -- Public service announcement -- Avalon and Imperial -- 52nd Atlantic -- Leslie Brooks -- Bear murder (115 min) --. Volume 2. Freedom of the press -- Beginning -- Innocent man or gun man? -- Crenshaw -- Murdered by the Compton sherriff -- What's your story? -- Live to eat and learn -- Philly -- NBA stars -- Medical marijuana -- Claude Jones/Obama rally -- Celebrity game -- Hotel march -- Sisters pain -- Farrakhan prays with mothers. (118 min.) 2009. DVD X2263

House of Suh
One of Chicago's most famous murder cases surrounded sister and brother Catherine and Andrew Suh, first-generation Korean Americans, who conspired against, shot and killed Catherine's former boyfriend. Over a decade later, director Iris Shim revisits the case and opens a Pandora's box of family secrets that reveals the murder to be anything but black and white. Directed and produced by Iris K. Shim. c2011. 95 min. DVD X6642

Hungry for Monsters
This gripping documentary captures the nightmare that one family endures after a teenage girl confessed to a teacher that her father molested her. During therapy sessions to recover "repressed memories," the daughter exaggerates and embellishes her accusations as social workers, therapists, and officers of the court inadvertently egg her on. The girl's tales of satanic rituals and wild orgies eventually lead to arrests, years of turmoil and heartache for all. A sharp and unrelenting portrait of the American system of justice run amok. Produced, directed, and edited by George Paul Csicsery. 2006. 69 min. DVD 6526

I Thought I Was Seeing Convicts
An inquiry into means of surveillance and control at Corcoran State Prison, California. We see how the camera suddenly zooms in on a fight between two prisoners. The guard warns the prisoners through speakers, and then fires rubber bullets. When the fight continues they fire live ammunition. By placing the camera next to the rifleman Farocki emphasises the social relationship between the one who fires and the one who films; between the one with force and the one who takes shots. Because of this the images present a very oppressive and critical character. A film by Harun Farocki. 2000. 25 min. DVD X222

Juvenile Court

A documentary showing day-to-day activities in the large urban juvenile court system of Memphis. Scenes include conferences among parents, social workers, lawyers, and young offenders, interviews with psychologists, and meetings in the judge's chambers. A film by Frederick Wiseman. 1973. 144 min. Video/C MM1072

Juvenile Justice
Frontline explores whether children who commit serious crimes should be tried as juveniles or adults. The program shows what can happen to young offenders who reach the "end of the line" in the juvenile court system and how these children can be rehabilitated to prevent future criminal behavior. Originally broadcast on PBS as a segment of: Frontline. c2001. 90 min. Video/C MM921

This film explores the personal stories and impact of incarceration in an adult prison environment on twelve juveniles, male and female, who were at Los Angeles Central Juvenile Hall and were prosecuted and incarcerated as adults. 66 min. 2004. Video/C MM242

Kathleen Cleaver on Mumia [sound recording]
Kathleen Cleaver speaks at San Francisco State University about the case of African American journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal, convicted in 1982 of murdering a Philadelphia policeman. Abu-Jamal's Black Panther background and the political atmosphere of Philadelphia at the time stirred ardent advocates, pro and con, as the trial intersected racial politics and criminal justice. San Francisco, Calif.: Freedom Archives, 2001. 120 min. Sound/C 1508

The Last Graduation: The Movement for College Programs in New York State Prisons After Attica
Researcher Barbara Zahm gives a brief history of the 1971 Attica Prison Rebellion in which forty-three men died, and the college prison program which was initiated afterward. After interviews with prison inmates, "The Movement for College Programs of New York State Prisons After Attica" was formed. Zahm tells of her transformation after working with the inmates and her anguish over the Congressional decision to eliminate Pell Grants for prisoners, thus ending the program and leading to the "Last Graduation". As of 1997 funding cuts had not been restored. 1997. 55 min. Video/C 7028

Law & Disorder
Behind the enduring images of heroic rescues undertaken by the New Orleans Police Department in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, there is another story of law enforcement in crisis, even out of control. This year-long, ongoing collaboration among Frontline, ProPublica, and the New Orleans Times-Picayune investigates charges that NOPD officers inappropriately used lethal force against New Orleans citizens and then tried to cover up their actions. Director, Thomas Jennings. Originally broadcast as an episode of Frontline on August 25, 2010. 60 min. DVD X5417

Law and Order
An award winning documentary on the routine activities of the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department. Filmed in the highest crime district of the city, the film reveals the role of the police in a large urban center, the nature of contacts with the community and the diversity and complexity of the police role in American society. In showing police confronting problems such as a domestic dispute, arrests of a car thief and a prostitute, a clothing store holdup, and medical emergencies, the film presents an unflinching look at the intersection of criminal behavior and police work. Directed and produced by Frederick Wiseman. [1969?]. 81 min. Video/C 9301

Legacy: Murder and Media, Politics and Prisons.
From murders to manhunts to a win-at-all costs political campaign, this riveting expose presents the disturbing story behind the passage of California's stringent "three strikes" law. Through candid interviews and news footage, Mike Reynolds and Marc Klaas--both fathers of murdered children--and other key players including judges, legal analysts, and state officials illuminate both sides of this heated issue, revealing how criminal justice policy is debated and promoted in today's media-saturated political climate--particulary in a state where more money is spent on prisons than on education. 1999. 60 min. Video/C 6370

American Library Association Video Round Table Notable Videos for Adults

A License to Kill.
Presents both sides of the debate on capital punishment through interviews with jurists, lawyers, civil rights advocates, crime victims, and condemned criminals. 1985. 28 min. Video/C 1130

Lockdown Nation
The U.S. has five percent of the world's population, it has 25% of the world's inmates. This documentary goes inside America's troubled prison system where more than 2.2 million convicts live in a world of increasing violence, extreme crowding, rampant drug use and gang warfare. Produced and written by Mischa Gauss, Robert Goldberg. c2007. 96 min. DVD X6318

Lockdowns Up.
This film examines the potentials that privatized prisons see for their industry following the policy shifts after September 11th. A corporate conference call from one of the leading correctional facility corporations details the impact that such shifts offer not only for investors, but for those most prone to racial profiling. A film by Ashley Hunt. 2001. 9 min. Video/C 9982

Maximum Security University
Utilizes surveillance videos of the SHU (maximum security) exercise yard at Corcoran State Prison, California to show the shootings of four inmates by prison guards as they to break up fights. The tapes are compared with the shooting review board reports, revealing inconsistencies in the official accounts. This film criticizes the integrated yard policy whereby members of rival gangs are released into the yard together, almost ensuring that violence will occur. 1999. 48 min. Video/C 7058

Me Facing Life
Cyntoia's story takes a hard look at some of the complex social issues concerning a 16-year-old girl who is serving a life sentence for murder. Cyntoia Brown found herself in a series of bad situations that led to her killing a man. The filmmaker spent nearly six years exploring her life and familial relationships in order to answer a very basic question ... why? This documentary pushes aside assumptions about what we think about violence and takes a glance into a startling social mirror that reveals a strong connection between violence in her maternal line and a predestined childhood filled with bad decisions. Director, writer, Daniel H. Birman. Dist.: Cinema Guild. 2010. 52 min. DVD X5755

Mothers in Prison Children in Crisis
Eighty percent of women in prison are mothers. Seventy-five percent are mothers of minor children and studies show that these children are 5 to 6 times more likely to be imprisoned in their futures. At a time when tougher prison sentences are being handed down and more children are being affected by a parent's incarceration, this documentary looks at the social, economic, political, and emotional costs. Includes interviews with mothers in prison in Arkansas, their children, caregivers, child welfare experts and prison authorities in an attempt to illustrate how a mother's incarceration affects her children. 2002. 57 min. Video/C MM710

Mumia Abu-Jamal: A Case for Reasonable Doubt?
America's most "celebrated" death row inmate, Mumia Abu-Jamal, speaks for the first time behind prison walls. Mumia was convicted and sentenced to death for the 1981 murder of a 25 year-old white Philadelphia policeman. His conviction has been protested by activists and celebrities who call him a political prisoner because of the perceived irregularities in both the evidence and the conduct of his trial. 1997. 74 min. Video/C 4928

Murder on a Sunday Morning
A documentary investigating a true tale of murder and injustice in Jacksonville, Florida. When a 15-year-old black male is arrested for the murder of Mary Ann Stephens, everyone involved in the case--from investigators to journalists--is ready to condemn him,except for his lawyer, Patrick McGuiness. McGuiness reopens the inquiry, and discovers a slew of shocking and troubling elements about the case. Most importantly, can the police be lying? A film by Jean-Xavier de Lestrade 2003. 111 min. DVD 1842

The New Asylums
Fewer than 55,000 Americans currently receive treatment in psychiatric hospitals. Meanwhile, almost 10 times that number, nearly 500,000, mentally ill men and women are serving time in U.S. jails and prisons. As sheriffs and prison wardens become the unexpected and often ill-equipped caretakers of this burgeoning population, they raise a troubling new concern: Have America's jails and prisons become its new asylums? This program goes deep inside Ohio's state prison system to explore the complex and growing issue of mentally ill prisoners. Originally broadcast as a segment of the television program Frontline on May 10, 2005. 60 min. DVD 4437

The New Gulag: America's Prisons
In the United States the prison system costs 30 billion dollars per year to maintain and will escalate as stiffer sentences and tougher treatment are being demanded for criminals. Private companies are running prisons for profit often at the expense of recreation and rehabilitation services for the prisoners. In rural communities, prisons are welcomed for providing jobs and markets for goods needed in the prisons. In this documentary Alvin Brunstein of the American Civil Liberties Union and criminologist Marc Mauer, challege the theory that tougher prisons deter crime. Director Kari Mokko. 199-? 30 min. DVD X7097; Video/C 9257

Description from Filmakers Library catalog

Nuestra familia, Our Family
Nuestra Familia, Our Family goes inside one of California's most powerful Latino prison gangs. Through exclusive interviews with gang members, law enforcement officials and community members, as well as undercover FBI surveillance footage of the gang in action, the film reveals the gang's devastating effect on families--and the controversial war to stop its spread. Producer and director, Oriana Zill de Granados. Presented at the International Latino Film Festival held in the San Francisco Bay Area. Nuestra Familia, Our Family aired nationally on PBS as part of the Latino Public Broadcasting series VOCES, and in California as part of the KQED Public Television series Truly CA. c2006. 56 min. DVD X3731

Old Enough To Do Time: Juvenile Justice Policies.
Reviews the history of the treatment of juvenile deliquents in the United States. Gives examples from all over the country of recent policies of treating young offenders as adults. Shows four alternative correctional programs which are being tried instead of traditional prisons. 1983. 58 min. Video/C 3415

Operation Cooperation (Partnerships Between Law Enforcement and Private Security)
Presents a discussion of various cooperative endeavors between public law enforcement agencies and private security organizations. 2001. 15 min. Video/C 8807

O.J. Simpson Case: See African American Studies videography and Journalism videography

Omar & Pete
This compelling and highly personal documentary examines the social, economic, and personal barriers that two ex-offenders, who have spent the majority of their years in prison, face as they work at reintegration into their communities and families. A film by Tod Lending. 2005. 72 min. DVD 5996

Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills
Examines the brutal slayings of three eight-year-old boys in West Memphis, Arkansas, and the investigation, arrest and trial of the three teenagers (the West Memphis Three) whose only crime seems to have been that they dressed in black, listened to heavy metal music, and were fascinated with the Wicca religion. A film by Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky. Originally produced in 1996. 150 min. DVD 5124

The Plea
Examines the prevalence of plea bargaining in the American justice system, and the failures of justice that result when the practice is misused. Nearly 95 percent of all cases resulting in felony convictions never reach a jury, but instead are settled through plea bargains, in which a defendant agrees to plead guilty in exchange for a reduced sentence. Critics contend that the push to resolve cases through plea bargains jeopardizes the constitutional rights of defendants, who may be pressured to admit their guilt whether they are guilty or not. Written, produced and directed by Ofra Bikel. Originally broadcast June 17, 2004 on the PBS Television series Frontline. 90 min. DVD 5807

Police Brutality in the U.S.: June 25, 1980 (Nightline)
Looks at allegations of police brutality against officers of the Los Angeles Police Department through interviews with L.A. Police chief, Daryl Gates and Mayor, Tom Bradley. Moves on to examine the New York City Police Department through interviews with police officers and others. 18 min. Video/C 5773

The Police Tapes
Two filmmakers ride along with police in the South Bronx in 1976, to document a city trying to cope with rape, gang warfare, murder, arson and petty revenge. A dramatically raw account of the dangerous nighttime work of beat cops as they try to contain an urban community coming unraveled. Produced, edited and directed by Alan Raymond and Susan Raymond. 1976. 88 min. DVD 5998

Police Violence in the U.S.: March 21, 1991 (Nightline)
An examination of the causes and consequences of police brutality in the United States through interviews with private citizens, police officers, community leaders and historians. 23 min. Video/C 5772

Prisons on Fire: George Jackson, Attica & Black liberation [Sound Recording]
Thirty years ago, America's prisons burned. Who were the Attica Brothers? Why did 1,500 Black, Puerto Rican, and white prisoners seize control of New York State's Attica Prison? Thirty years later prison rights activists grapple with this history through contemporary interviews and narration including the voices of George Jackson, Angela Davis, Harry Belafonte, and others.

Performer: George Jackson, Jonathan Jackson Jr., Georgia Jackson, Angela Davis, David Hilliard, James Baldwin, Harry Belafonte, David Johnson, Hugo Pinell, Luis Talamantez, Sundiata Tate, Frank Smith, William Kunstler, Elizabeth Fink, Michael Deutsch, L. D. Barkley, Ruchell Magee. 60 min. Sound/D 171

Prisoners, Fights & Wrongs
Nevada State Prison / by G. John Slagle -- Norval Morris / by Kathie Robertson -- Alvin Paul Mitchell / by John Lipman, KIRO, Jesse Wineberry, Michael King -- William King / by Jimmy Sternfield -- Clarence Lusane ; Alexa Freeman / by Eddie Becker -- Barbara Franklin ; Jeanne McKinnis / by Jeanne C. Finley -- Jefftown / The Jefftown Crew : Jeffrey Archer, Darryl Brazil, Joe Corpier, Jerry Easton, Michael Hunter, Christiano Perez -- John Daleb / by Garth Bacon -- Percy Mayfield, poet laureate of the blues / by Michael Prussian, Starr Sutherland. Previously aired as segment of television program, "The 90's." 1991. 60 min. Video/C 2207

What happens when a struggling rural community tries to revive its economy by inviting prisons in? This documentary tells the story of Susanville, California, one small town that tried to resuscitate its economy by building a prison -- with unanticipated consequences. Now the Susanville area is home to three prison complexes housing a total of more than 11,000 inmates. The inmate population is more than one-and-a-half times the number of local residents. Weaving the stories of an laid-off mill worker turned guard, a strugglng dairy owner, and an inmate's family stranded in Susanville, the film illuminates the legacy of an industry that is transforming rural America. A film by Po Kutchins and Katie Galloway. 2006. 75 min. DVD 9487

Profits of Punishment
Dominated by a handful of American-based corporations including Wackenhut Corporation, the business of private prisons is now the most volatile and powerful industry in the United States. Visit an assembly line in Texas where prisoners produce circuit boards and follow prison entrepreneurs to a giant prison convention where hundreds of salesmen market the lastest prison products, such as portable restraint devices and the latest in surveillance technology. This film contrasts the glitzy commercial arena of the private prison industry with the world of the inmates on the inside. In the process, it exposes a recession-proof industry where money is made out of the deprivation of liberty. 2001. 52 min. Video/C 8190

Protect and Serve?: De-policing in Urban Neighborhoods
Beset with the catchphrase "racial profiling," police in many American cities have responded with "tactical detachment," and the code of NC/NC -- "no contact, no complaints." This program, focusing on the cities of Cincinatti and Seattle, reports on how police are moving from active to passive law enforcement in the wake of controversy, resulting in a spike of violent crimes. Originally presented as a segment on ABC News Nightline. 2001. 23 min. Video/C 8836

A documentary exploring the social phenomenon of punishment. The forms of punishment that a society chooses, and what it deems a crime, illustrate that society's values. How is justice pursued and punishment meted out? Looks at the history of punishment, beginning with early compensatory forms of justice, Hammurabi's Code and the Law of Moses. Socrates' execution and Roman and medieval forms of justice are analyzed in a historical context, underscoring the fact that punishment was often intended as a deterrent rather than as a reformatory measure. Discusses contemporary forms of punishment, including the death penalty, along with the ways in which these sentences reflect what society values. 2003. 53 min. DVD 5039

A Question of Racial Profiling.
The issue of racial profiling of minorities by police is highly-charged with legal, political, ethical and social implications. This report examines the issue from the points of view of ordinary black Americans, the police and social scientists. 2004. 40 min. DVD 4774.

Race to Execution.
Follows the cases of two death row inmates to examine the problem of race discrimination in the U.S. criminal justice system, particularly with regard to death penalty sentencing. Explores the roles of the Supreme Court, prosecutors, juries, politicians, media, and public opinion on capital punishment. Includes interviews with relatives of both the accused and the victims, as well as legal and social experts. A film by Rachel Lyon. c2006. 54 min. DVD 8686

Description from Filmakers Library catalog

Real Justice
Documentary presenting the Suffolk County criminal courts in Boston, Massachusetts, as a case study of the daily workings of public defenders and prosecutors scheduling, negotiating, and arguing both nonviolent and violent criminal cases. Focuses on the offers, social work, and presentation of mundane evidence used to keep the court system moving. Originally broadcast on November 14, 2000 and November 21, 2000 as episodes of the television program: Frontline. c2004. 150 min. Video/C MM1065

Reckless Indifference
This tragic story of teens, drugs and murder explores California's controversial felony murder rule. Four teenagers participated in a backyard brawl which resulted in the death of the son of a police officer. The teens were tried, convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole, even though only one of them actually committed the crime. Ten years have passed and they are still behind bars, though an appeal is pending. Directed by William Gazecki. 2000. 94 min. DVD 6113

The Released.
Examines what happens to the hundreds of thousands of mentally ill prisoners when they leave prison and why they return at such alarming rates. Includes the intimate stories of the released, interviews with parole officers, social workers, and psychiatrists. Directed by Miri Navasky & Karen O'Connor. Originally broadcast on the television program Frontline on April 28, 2009. 60 min. DVD X1837

Sacco and Vanzetti
Examines the case of Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti through archival film, music, poetry and excerpts from the 1971 feature film. Also includes interviews with historians, artists and activists as well as readings from the prison diaries of the two defendants. The many personalities involved in these historic events including the judge, the attorneys, the Italian anarchist movement and the Communist Party are examined within the period's political context, especiallly the notorious "Red scare," of the 1920's which led to the arrest and deportation of thousands of immigrants. c2006. 81 min. DVD 6486

Scared Straight!; Scared straight! 20 Years Later
Scared straight!: Profiles a unique juvenile crime-prevention program at New Jersey's Rahway maximum-security prison, recounting the day seventeen teenage lawbreakers spent inside the prison with the some of New Jersey's most dangerous criminals. In an attempt to scare the kids out of their criminal ways, prisoners took turns describing prison life, emphasizing it's worst features. Scared straight! 20 years later: Traces the subsequent lives of the teens and the convicts featured in the original documentary. Some have jobs and families now, but others weren't so fortunate. Written, directed, and produced by Arnold Shapiro. 1978; 1999. 90 min. DVD 3113

Sin by Silence
From behind prison walls, the film reveals the lives of extraordinary women who advocated for a future free from domestic violence. Inside California's oldest women's prison, the first inmate-initiated and led group in the U.S. prison system was created by inmate Brenda Clubine to help abused women speak out and realize they are not alone. Over the past two decades, the women of CWAA, Convicted Women Against Abuse, have changed laws for battered women and raised awareness for those on the outside. The documentary tells the personal and shocking stories of these courageous women who have learned from their past, are changing their future, and most importantly, are teaching us how domestic violence affects each and every person. Directed & produced by Olivia Klaus. Special features (ca. 2 hrs.): "Violence and abuse" discussion clips (40 min.) -- "CWAA Meetings" clips (11 min.) -- "Batterer's perspective" featurette (14 min.)-- Law enforcement and corrections" discussion clips (22 min.) -- "Legal aspects" discussion clips (24 min.) -- "Faith-based" discussion clips (15 min.) -- "Brenda Clubine" clips (12 min.). c2009. 49 min. DVD X5646

Description from Women Make Movies catalog

In this documentary director Steve James returns to rural Southern Illinois to reconnect with Stevie Fielding, a troubled young boy he had been an 'Advocate Big Brother' to for ten years. The film began as a way of discovering what forces shaped Stevie's life but part way through the filming, Stevie is arrested for a serious crime, which tears his family apart. What was to be a modest profile turns into a intimate four and half year chronicle of Stevie, his broken family, the criminal justice system and the filmmaker himself, as they all struggle with what Stevie has done and who he has become. 2002. 145 min. DVD 8566

Supermax Prisons
Supermax prisons can be described as maximum security, minimum privilege institutions designed to isolate the most dangerous inmates from the rest of the prison population. This documentary examines the history and development of supermax prisons and explores the internal and external features found in one. Covers details regarding staffing, mental health issues, and inmate transportation. 1999. 23 min. Video/C MM433

Sweethearts of the Prison Rodeo
Go behind the Oklahoma State Penitentiary walls to follow convict cowgirls on their journey to the 2007 Oklahoma State Penitentiary Rodeo. Directed by Bradley Beesley. 2010. 90 min. DVD X6325

Thanatos Rx
Presents a balanced discussion of the death penalty in the United States, offering a wide range of perspectives including interviews with several current and former death row inmates, families of homicide victims and distict attorneys. Beginning with the history of controversial death penalty cases, legal experts, representatives of Amnesty International and The Innocence Project examine the death penalty as just retribution and its efficacy as a deterrence to crime. 2001. 59 min. Video/C 9274

The Thin Blue Line.
Documentary about the conviction and imprisonment of Randall Adams for the killing of a Dallas policeman, an investigation and reconstruction of the murder and the questions that arise about Adams' guilt. Directed by Errol Morris. 1988. 101 min. DVD 4165; vhs Video/C 999:443

To Defend a Killer. (Ethics in America; 2)
A hypothetical murder case provides the context for discussion by a panel of jurists, journalists, clergy, and scholars of the ethical questions faced by the prosecutors, defense attorneys, defendants, and witnesses involved in the legal proceedings. c1989. 58 min. Video/C 1654

The Trials of Darryl Hunt
Chronicling this capital case in Winston-Salem, N.C. from 1984-2004, filmmakers Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg painstakingly frame the judicial and emotional reponses to a brutal rape/murder case, and the implications surrounding Darryl Hunt's wrongful conviction against a backdrop of class and bigotry in America. Directors, Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg. 2006. 107 min. DVD 8592

Tulia, Texas
In 1999 undercover narcotics agent Thomas Coleman executed one of the biggest drug stings in Texas history. Coleman and his drug task force arrested 46 Tulia residents - of which 39 were African American - on charges of suspected drug dealing. At the discovery that Coleman himself had a criminal record investigations were re-opened and all the defendants were eventually set free and pardoned by the Texas governor. Coleman himself was convicted of perjury, but the West Texas jury gave him only a suspended sentence. A co-production of Cassandra Herrman and Kelly Whalen. 2007. 54 min. DVD X296

Description from California Newsreel catalog

Voices From Inside
'Voices from Inside' follows German-born theater artist Karina Epperlein into a federal women's prison where she began teaching weekly classes as a volunteer in 1992. Her racially mixed group of women prisoners becomes a circle of trust and healing. Epperlein also talks to the children of the women. 1996. 60 min. Video/C 5226

Wearing the Green: Longtermers of the New York State Prison System
Profiles the work of ex-convicts in New York (some former Black Panthers) who are working to battle inequities which still mark the meting out of justice. Through Harlem's Community Justice Center, they work to make neighborhoods where unemployment, crime and drug use are high, into "self-respecting" safe communities so that today's children will not become "victims of the street." 1994. 52 min. Video/C 4528

Welcome to Warren
This sobering and perceptive documentary explores the lives of inmates and guards at the Warren Correctional Institution, in southern Ohio, providing the viewer with two interpretations of life inside. From the smallest details of life for prisoners ... to the cynicism with which the corrections officers analyze their surroundings, elucidates the effects of prolonged monotony and confinement on the human spirit. Directed by Brent Huffman. 2005. 31 min. DVD 5623

What Jennifer Saw
Examines the reliability of eyewitness identification and the implications of DNA evidence for the American justice system. Considers the case of Ronald Cotton who spent eleven years in prison before DNA evidence proved him innocent of rape. Originally broadcast Feb. 25, 1997 on PBS as a segment of Frontline. 60 min. Video/C 4528

Writ Writer
In 1960, Fred Arispe Cruz, a young man from San Antonio, Texas was arrested for robbery, convicted and sent to a state prison farm to pick cotton. Inspired by the civil rights movement, Cruz, a Mexican American with only an 8th grade education, became jailhouse lawyer--writ writer in prison parlance--and the catalyst of prison reform in Texas. Because he helped other prisoners with lawsuits, the Texas Department of Corrections classified Cruz as an agitator, transferred him to the Ellis Unit "the Alcatraz of Texas," and subjected him to long periods in solitary confinement. Cruz filed a case against George Beto, director of the TDC, which Cruz won in the Supreme Court. This led directly to the 1974 class action suit that found the TDC system unconstitutional. As told by wardens, convicts, and former prisoners who knew him, the film weaves contemporary and archival film footage to evoke the fascinating transformation of Fred Cruz from prisoner to activist, and a prison system still haunted by its past. Produced and directed by Susanne Mason. Dist.: New Day Films. 2007. 54 min. DVD X6592
To the top

Drug Traffickings and Use

Propaganda (for anti-drug propaganda and educational films, 1930-1970)
Medical Sciences and Technology/ Public Health

A television series that strives to educate America about addiction as a brain disease and its treatment as such. Breaks through the myths and explains what addiction really is, what causes it, and how to get the best available treatments. Originally broadcast on HBO in March, 2007. DVD 8191

Disc 1: Saturday night in a Dallas ER -- A mother's desperation -- The science of relapse -- The adolescent addict -- Brain imaging -- Opiate addiction: a new medication -- Topiramate: a clinical trial for alcoholism -- Steamfitters Local Union 638 -- Insurance woes.

Disc 2: What is addiction? -- Understanding relapse -- The search for treatment: a challenging journey -- The adolescent addict: multi-systemic therapy: a new outpatient approach ; Phoenix academy: a profile of residential treatment. Produced by John Hoffman, Susan Froemke; directors, Jon Alpert, et al.

Disc 3: An interview with Nora Volkow, M.D ; An interview with Mark Willenbring, M.D ; An interview with Michael Dennis, Ph.D ; An interview with Kathleen Brady, M.D., Ph.D.

Disc 4: Getting an addict into treatment: the CRAFT approach -- Treating stimulant addiction: the CBT approach -- Opiate addiction: understanding replacement therapy -- South Boston drug court -- A mother's desperation.

Black Tar Heroin: The Dark End of the Street
A documentary filmed in San Francisco, California from December 1995 to January 1998 when black tar heroin use, particularly among young adults, surged to record levels in the city. Looks at two years in the lives of five young heroin addicts, ages 18 to 25, as they face the perils of hard core drug addiction -- crime, prostitution, rape, incarceration, AIDS, overdoses and death. A film by Steven Okazaki.1999. 75min. Video/C 8727

Close To Home: Bill Moyers on Addition 1998.

Portrait of Addiction. Bill Moyers explores the issues of drug and alcoholaddiction. Nine men and women, all recovering fromdrug and/or alcohol addiction, tell their stories. 57 min.

The Hijacked Brain. Scientists are making dramatic discoveries about how addiction affects the brain. Bill Moyers goes into thelaboratory to follow researchers engaged in charting the effects of cocaine on a brain, who explain how brain scans reveal addiction as a chronic relapsing brain disease. Moyers also observes a genetic researcher as he monitors a variety of factorsthat may determine who is likely to developalcoholism. 57 min. Video/C 6506

Changing Lives. Bill Moyers focuses on the point that no singletreatment program will work for all addicts. He visitsthe Ridgeview Institute to interview recovering addicts and sit in on a group therapy session. The program also visits Project Safe, a treatment program that reaches out to disadvantaged mothers who are addicts and to their children who areat serious risk of becoming addicts. 90 min. Video/C 6507

The Next Generation. Experts are increasingly focusing on prevention efforts based on community and family. This documentary looksat two of these efforts. One works with parents addicted to heroin by teaching them how to repair the damage to family wrought by drug abuse, and in spite of it, how to raise strong, resilient children. In a second program, vigilant counselors in Dade County schools watch for kids at risk of becoming drug addicts, and offer immediate counseling for thosewho are already involved with drugs. Nicotine addiction is addressed by a program that provides classes designed to prevent students from smoking, and another that helps them stop if they've already begun to smoke. School officials, counselors, and students are interviewed. 57 min. Video/C 6508

Cuba and Cocaine
Documents narcotics smuggling in and through Cuba. Examines Cuban government officials' involvement in trading drugs for weapons to support Communist insurgents in Latin America. 1991. 58 min. Video/C 2048

Debunking the Myths About Marijuana: What Can Your Community Do?
Contents: Marijuana ads for teens: Roadside memorial ; Pregnacy test ; Four cigarettes -- [Marijuana] ads for adults: Thanks ; Loss ; Ask who, what, where, when: questions, the anti-drug -- [Marijuana] ads for community coalitions: Rabbi/Reverend ; Banker/ball player ; chef/plumber/policeman.

Produced by the U.S. governement this film is designed to educate communities about the harms of teen marijuana use. It highlights the latest research about the drug, features commentary by leading experts about the effects of marijuana on youth, and encourages communities to work together to address teen marijuana use. Also includes television advertisements for youth on the negative consequences of marijuana use, for parents on the importance of monitoring their kids, and for the general audience on the importance of community coalitions. 2003. 15 min. Video/C MM27

Ecstasy Rising
Investigation into the drug known as MDMA or Ecstasy and the people who made it the drug of choice for a generation-- from Alexander Shulgin, the chemist who was the first person to report the effects of MDMA, to Michael Clegg, the Dallas drug dealer who gave Ecstasy its name and turned it from a therapeutic to a recreational drug, to the drug enforcement officer who led the fight to make Ecstasy illegal, to the DJ who spread Ecstasy and dance parties -- known as raves -- across America. Concludes with a look at the U.S. government's campaign against MDMA and the controversial studies regarding whether the drug causes brain damage. Originally produced for the television program Primetime Live, broadcast on April 1, 2004. 45 min. Video/C MM293

Foo-foo Dust
Explores the relationship between a crack-addicted prostitute and her 23-year old drug addicted son, both living in one room in San Francisco's Tenderloin District. A disturbing and intimate portrait of the destructive power of drug addiction, including a crack-induced fit and near-fatal heroin overdose, as well as a moving, poignant look at the intense love between a mother and her son living on the edge of society. Directors, Gina Levy and Eric Johnson. 2003. 37 min. DVD 5560

Getting High: A History of LSD
Explores the legacy of LSD and its impact on society, aided by scholars who examine its history in the context of the role of hallucinogens in societies throughout history. The presentation visits the lab where the drug was first synthesized by Albert Hoffmann in 1943. Thirty years later, after Timothy Leary and Aldous Huxley brought the drug into the public eye, its role in the cultural upheavals of the 1960's is still debated. The film also examines the controversial tests conducted by the CIA and the U.S. military as well as tests by other nations. Originally broadcast as a segment of the A&E series History's mysteries. 1999. 50 min. Video/C 7223

Utilizing hilarious footage from U.S. Government propaganda films produced between the 1930's to 1960's and animation from underground artist Paul Mavrides, "Grass" blows the lid off the war on marijuana. With warnings of users becoming sex-crazed, these pressed official reports have molded government policy (and a multimillion dollar war) against this "assassin of youth." Produced and directed by Ron Mann Special features: Ron Mann on Grass; deleted scene; High Times Magazine Gallery; theatrical trailer; quick reference guide to state-by-state marijuana laws in the U.S. 2000. 80 min. DVD 1273

Hard Drugs, Hard Choices
Four part program about drugs and the reaction of society. Discussion with a panel of prominent leaders of the community about 1. Teaching, testing, treatment; 2. Law, order and the community; 3. Vigilantism and legalization; 4. The crisis beyond our borders. Videotaped on November 18, 1989 at the FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C. 440 min. Video/C 1562 pt. 1-pt. 2 (in NRLF)

The Heroin Wars.
Filmed over a 30 year period, this 3 part video examines the ongoing civil war and the burgeoning opium trade in Burma. 1996. 60 min each installment.

Part I: The Opium Convoys. This first segment begins in the 1960s when the Burmese Army seized power in a coup and the Shans began a war of independence. Opium was the Shan farmers' only source of income and the guerillas began to take 10% of the crop as tax and transported it in convoys to Thailand to buy guns. And so a deadly alliance was born. In the 1970s, as part of Richard Nixon's war on drugs, the U.S. joined in an all-out attack on the convoys in union with the Thai police. Lo Hsing-Han, the first "King of Opium" was arrested but the opium trade continued under the second "King of Opium", Khun Sa. Video/C 5296

Part II: Smack City. In Hong Kong opium was sold under a government license until the end of WWII when Britain enforced the UN treaty against narcotics. In the 1960s Hong Kong's suppliers and addicts switched from the relatively innocuous opium to the more addictive heroin because it was easier to smuggle and consume. This film follows the fortunes of one gang which controlled the selling of heroin on one street corner and also follows the Hong Kong police as they raid heroin factories and distribution centers in what appears to be a futile struggle. Video/C 5297

Part III: The Kings of Opium. This third segment returns to the Shans' war for independence led by Khun Sa, the second "King of Opium". In 1993 the Shan People's Republic Committee declared itself no longer part of the union of Burma. Lo Hsing-Han meanwhile joined the government forces and eventually brought Khun Sa to his knees, regaining control once again over the narcotics trade, but this time for the military dictatorship. Today both men are rich and powerful, and the amount of opium produced in Shan State has increased ten-fold, flooding Europe and the United States with cheap heroin. Video/C 5298

Hooked: Illegal Drugs and How They Got That Way
Since the dawn of civilization there has always been a "drug culture." But since the industrial revolution, drug use has changed and society's response to this -- particularly in America -- has been to demonize users and make drugs illegal. This documentary explores the world of illegal drugs, particularly in the U.S. looking at the cycles of social and legal acceptance and rejection of various drugs as their positive effects were recognized, used and overused. Describes the mechanisms by which drugs have been made illegal to use in the United States. 2000. 200 min. DVD 2339

The Last to Know
A documentary about four women of different backgrounds who are similarly dependent upon alcohol or prescribed drugs. Describes the nature of their addiction and how it is possibly perpetuated by the medical establishment and other societal forces. 1983. 45 min. Video/C 541 NRLF #: B 4 175 344

Lines of Blood
A powerful investigation of the drug war which is raging in Colombia. For almost a decade, the United States, backed by other Western countries, has tried to smash the wealthy drug cartels with little success. Coca growing has increased while murder and terrorism have become commonplace as drug cartels protect their territory. The film criticizes the rigidity of U.S. policy which pursues the trafficers, while ignoring the domestic social problems that create the demand. Extradition of drug traders to stand trial in the U.S. has led to a blood bath against judges, politicians, and law enforcement agents in Colombia, while the poor people in inner cities of both countries are victimized. 1991. 52 min. Video/C 5042

Marijuana: Weeding Out the hype.
Presents some of the latest facts about marijuana, including trends in the use of the drug, the strength of todays' marijuana, effects of the drug and efforts being made in prevention and treatment. Young people in treatment for marijuana dependence share their stories of how they started using the drug and what led them to seek help. Viewers will also hear from parents who faced their daughters' growing problem of marijuana use. U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, 2002. 30 min. Video/C MM1012

Meth: The Great Deceiver.
Drug experts and teenagers provide critical information on the common physical effects of methamphetamine abuse on the individual including paranoia, hallucinations, and heart attacks. Teens who have kicked their meth habit speak candidly of the impact the drug had on their lives. With 22-page activity guide. 1998. 17 min. Video/C 6331

Methamphetamine: From the Streets of San Diego.
Traces the drug's history and uncovers how San Diego became a hub of meth manufacturing, consumption and distribution. Features interviews with a meth "cook", former addicts, law enforcement personnel and drug treatment counselors. c1998. 27 min Video/C MM661

Mothers on Trial.
Examines the issues surrounding the prosecution of pregnant women and mothers in the U.S. who are drug addicts. Debate centers around the issues of jail vs. treatment for substance dependent mothers who take drugs during pregnancy. Includes interviews with women prisoners, recovering women addicts, relatives and medical personnel who care for their drug damaged infants. c1990. 30 min. Video/C 6794

Plan Colombia: Cashing-in On the Drug War Failure (Guerra anti-drogas o pro-petroleo?)
A 20-year "war on drugs" in Colombia has been paid for by American taxpayers. Still, more and more drugs and narco-dollars are entering the U.S. every year. Is it a failure by Washington? Or is it a smokescreen to secure Colombia's oil and natural resources? 2003. 57 min. DVD 7800

Pregnancy and Substance Abuse
Follows several couples through pregnancy and prenatal care, examining the risks of smoking and fetal alcohol syndrome. 1991. 28 min. Video/C 2506

Rushing, Crashing, Dying
Going beyond the health risks of this increasingly popular drug, recovering meth addicts share their experiences with methamphetamines and the damage done to family relationships, burns and disfigurement from lab explosions, and the problems they face finding work or completing school. Also includes interviews with law enforcement authorities, hospital ER doctors and social workers showing how meth destroys the brain and body of users, how meth lab toxins poison children living in and near the meth labs, and how police, emergency services, and social services are being overwhelmed by the epidemic. c2007. 25 min. DVD 8999

Smokeable Cocaine: The Haight-Ashbury Crack Film
Using animation, computer graphics, and personal interviews with physicians and former addicts at the Haight-Ashbury Drug Detox Clinic in San Francisco, this tape examines the physiological and psychological effects of using crack, a smokeable form of cocaine. 1987. 29 min. Video/C 9926

Crime drama following all aspects of the heroin trade from Pakistan to Western Europe. Tells four intertwined stories of people who's lives are related by their involvement in the drug trade. Docudrama filmed in Britain, Germany, and Pakistan. 1992. 3 videocassettes (360 min.) Video/C 3166 Pt. 1-3

Union Square
A chillingly accurate and powerful documentary portrait of seven young homeless heroin addicts in Union Square in New York City, revealing what they will do to maintain a habit that keeps them trapped in a vicious cycle. 2003. 90 min. DVD 3680

The War Against the War on Drugs.
Allies in the movement against drug prohibition thoughtfully speak their minds examining why outlawing drugs has failed; the virtues and pitfalls of harm-reduction programs; the detrimental effects of the drug war on the law enforcement profession and on civil rights, which are often violated in searches for evidence; and the potential merits and possible drawbacks of legalization and government regulation of drugs. Originally produced for the television program Witness. c2000. 45 min. Video/C 7167

Where Meth Goes Violence and Destruction Follow.
This video explores the Methamphetamine crisis in California and its high cost to society, examining the violence, child abuse, and social damage to individuals and families caused by the use of this drug. Also looks at the environmental impact of the production of Methamphetamine. With 22-page Activity guide for group leaders. 1998. 17 min. Video/C 6330

Who is the American Connection?
Two former agents of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration tell of coverups and corruption within the Administration when they worked undercover from the 1960s through 1974. In attempting to stop the narcotics traffic in the U.S. their inside knowledge of the corruption within the Administration ultimately threatened their lives and led to their resignations. Interview originally televised in 1957. 86 min. Video/C 6132

To the top


Almost Home.
Offers a raw and unsentimental look at the lives of children in a homeless shelter in the Bronx. Narrated by the children themselves, this is an evocative portrait of poverty and youth. 1996. 25 min. Video/C 4543

Broken Doors
Broken doors follows Rico and Starr, a young, homeless couple who live on the streets of Hollywood. In a town of dreamers and fantasy-makers, Rico and Starr are just trying to survive. Everyday is a struggle to find the basics: food, shelter, and, most importantly, a sense of peace and dignity. Barely able to take care of themselves, their lives become even more complicated when Starr discovers that she is pregnant. Directed by Goro Toshima. 2010. 34 min. DVD X7082

Bum's Paradise
Tells the stories and shows the extraordinary creativity of a group of homeless men and women, before and after their eviction from the community they built in the Albany Landfill in the San Francisco Bay. The film emphasizes their concepts of community as well as the amazing art they created. A film by Tomas McCabe; directed by Tomas McCabe and Andrei Rozen. 2003. 53 min. DVD 1988

Chelsea, Cobra, and the Infamous Bones
A gritty in-depth study of three street survivors in Berkeley, California. Sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes funny, the film follows them from 1992 to the present. With a close-up and personal view of street life at its most intense, this documentary traces them through periods in jail, several of Cobra's twenty seven surgeries for brain cancer, documenting his paintings and occasional violent rages. The film also records Bones' attempts to stop drinking, his sometimes beautiful music and his stormy on-again, off-again relationship with Chelsea, a forty-year-old street survivor. Director, editor and cinematographer, Claire Burch. 2002. 117 min. Video/C 9203

Dark Days
Documentary about a community of homeless people living in a train tunnel beneath Manhattan. Depicts a way of life that is unimaginable to most of those who walk the streets above: in the pitch black of the tunnel, rats swarm through piles of garbage as high-speed trains leaving Penn station tear through the darkness. For some of those who have gone underground, it has been home for as long as 25 years. 2000. 84 min. DVD 854

Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards - Best Documentary
Sundance Film Festival - Audience Award, Documentary; Freedom of Expression Award
SXSW Film Festival - Senior Programmers' Pick

Produced by students enrolled in the Anthropology 138B class at the University of California, Berkeley in Spring, 1995. Credits: Producers/directors/camera, Eric Simeon, Jesse Powell. Interviews with a variety of individuals from the upper middle class to street people concerning their attitudes towards money. 27 min. Video/C 3860

Down and Out in America.
We live in a country that prides itself on the opportunities available to all. This film takes a hard look at the farmers who can't hold on to their land, the homeless and the 20 million Americans who still don't have enough to eat, and asks how long can we ignore the nightmare of poverty. 1987. 57 min. Video/C 3128

Elegy for a Street Survivors
A film by Claire Burch. This piece follows the strange memorial that takes place after Yume, a homeless man who had been a "Buddhist hippie" dies of respiratory distress. His friends gather to perform odd rituals such as passing out his last pack of cigarettes, burning money in his honor, etc. As their feelings and tributes are expressed, the little knot of street people begins to take on the aspects of a Felliniesque procession. A fascinating addition to annals of contemporary sociology as well as an absorbing tale.1995. 45 min. Video/C 5528

Empress Hotel: Stories of the Residents
Profiles a number of the residents of the Empress Hotel, a safe haven for San Francisco's homeless population, many of whom suffer from mental illness or addiction. Directors and editors, Irving Saraf and Allie Light. 2009. 85 min. DVD X3644

Harnessing digital media and documentary filmmaking, Filmmaker-in-Residence is an innovative documentary experiment investigating complex issues and the need for creative collaboration in the search for new solutions ...proof that digital storytelling can work as a tool for social action. Contents: The bicycle (16:31) ; The bike (2:10) ; Pax memorial (8:15) -- The interventionists (31:23) ; Case study (7:31) -- Hand-held (Young Parents No Fixed Address). Unexpected (16:33) ; Street health stories (9:16) ; Street health impact (8:30) ; We're still here (10:42) ; (un)conference (10:30) ; I was here photoblogs (9:09) ; Street health stories trailer (1:15) ; 22 street health mini stories (56:25) ; Participants' videos (5;10) -- Drawing from life (30:32) ; Animate this! (4:25) ; Right to response (10:07) ; Case study - for facilitators (19:34) ; Why animations? (1:32) ; Informed consent/ethics (2:40) ; Kat on right to response (2:48). The bicycle: Rural health worker Pax Chigawale rides his bike over 20 kilometres daily, mobilizing a grassroots, community care program for HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention in the Zomba District in his native Malawi. An inspiring story of how local communities can join with global medical expertise to battle the deadly disease. The interventionists: This vérité film follows a psychiatric nurse and a police officer who, as part of the Mobile Crisis Intervention Team, respond to calls involving "emotionally disturbed persons." Their mandate: to de-escalate crises, and de-criminalize mental health. Hand-held (Young Parents No Fixed Address): How do you take care of your health when you don't have a home? Young mothers who have experienced homelessness create over 100 minutes of digital storytelling and dialogue creating a "video bridge" dialogue between homeless mothers and health care workers. Drawing from life: A hospital program helps high-risk people from further attemps at suicide, but dropout rates are high. That's where this film about a suicide intervention therapy group, interwoven with animation, offers support and insight. DVD X3181

Fragile Ladies.
Interviews with homeless women in New York City, interviews with two directors of homeless shelters and excerpts of commentary and speeches from the New York State Assembly public hearing on the homeless held on September 19, 1981. 25 min. Video/C 3935

Hand-held (Young Parents No Fixed Address)
How do you take care of your health when you don't have a home? Young mothers who have experienced homelessness create over 100 minutes of digital storytelling and dialogue creating a "video bridge" dialogue between homeless mothers and health care workers. 16:33 min. DVD X3181

Interviews with street people and homeless persons concerning their attitudes towards begging for "spare change" interspersed with commentary by students and others concerning their feelings towards panhandling. Investigates attitudes towards "Measure O", an ordinance passed by the Berkeley City Council in an effort to limit the scope of panhandling within the city limits. 1995. 35 min. Video/C 4062

Discusses the legal and economic problems of squatters in East New York who are reclaiming some of the 6,000 abandoned buildings in New York City. Includes interviews with homeless persons and political and community leaders. 1986. 30 min. Video/C 2515

A Home in Between: Designing Transitional Housing for Women & Children.
Film examines the architecture of residences for homeless women and children and through interviews with shelter residents and directors, shows how the design of these buildings contributes to successful recovery and the transition to independent living. (Washington, DC: National Coalition for the Homeless, 1992). 13 min. Video/C 3887

Home Less Home
People who are homeless reveal homelessness from their own experiences, dispelling common misconceptions and prejudices. Told as a personal journey, the film gives a broad analysis of the causes and conditions of homelessness while it analyzes news, TV reports, and historical images of poverty. 1990. 70 min. Video/C 8216

Home, Street Home.
A broadcast of the program Report on America, January 22, 1988 by NBC News. This documentary identifies the new categories of homeless persons that have joined the alcoholic adult males who were the homeless people in the 1930's. These new homeless include families, the working poor, drug abusers, the mentally ill, Vietnam veterans, and "throwaway" kids (permanent runaways). Looks at the politics of homelessness, and some of the services offered. 51 min. Video/C 3931

The Homeless Home Movie
"For years we've been hearing about the homeless. Now we can hear from them." A documentary produced in collaboration with homeless people in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area looking at the stories of five very different homeless people. Also examines the contrasting points of view of two groups that advocate for the homeless, Sharing and Caring Hands and Up & Out of Poverty. c1996. 85 min. Video/C 8268

Homeless in Paradise
Filmed over two years, follows the journeys of four people who are homeless and suffering with addictions and mental illness on the streets of Santa Monica, California. We experience homelessness through their eyes and come to better understand the complex political and social realities of a city that tries to be compassionate as it faces criticism and a seemingly intractable social problem. Directed by Marilyn Braverman.2005. 50 min. DVD 5029

Homeless in the 90s
A film by Claire Burch. The combined emphasis is on the friction between society and a marginalized group -- a friction that is potentially explosive. This emphasis is characterized by the opening clip, James Baldwin addressing an audience in Berkeley, where Baldwin says: "If I ain't got nothing to lose, what are you going to do to me?" The primary view of the situation is given via an impassioned interview at the Center for Independent Living in Berkeley with Margaret, a homeless Native American and mother of three. Includes original songs and images about homelessness. 1995. 40 min Video/C 5539

Homeless Not Helpless.
Evaluates a wide spectrum of homeless programs, both public and private. Some of these programs have good intentions but inconsistent results, while others are little more than shams and frauds. Most of the public programs are plagued by a lack of resources and funding. There is also an in-depth profile of the Union of The Homeless, a nationwide activist group made up of the homeless themselves. Told by the people involved -- in the streets, the missions and shelters. c1992. 45 min. Video/C MM845

Homeless: The Motel Kids of Orange County
A documentary that explores the world of children who reside in discounted motels within walking distance of Disneyland, living in limbo as their families struggle to survive in one of the wealthiest regions of America. The parents of motel kids are often hard workers who don't earn enough to own or rent homes. As a result, they continue to live week-to-week in motels, hoping against hope for an opportunity that might allow them to move up. A filmed by Alexandra Pelosi. c2010. 60 min. DVD X5243

Homelessness and the Search for Solutions, St. Francis Residence #I
The St. Francis Residence in New York City combats two key conditions contributing to homeless, the steady loss of low-income, single-room occupancy hotels (SRO's) and the lack of support for mental patients released from state hospitals to live in community settings. Not all the tenants at St. Francis are former state mental patients, but each resident is the beneficiary of the hotel's humane and caring environment. The tape introduces residents, staff and special programs at the hotel. A videotape by Julia Keydel. 1984. 57 min. DVD X5580

Homelessness Marathon.
[Sound recordings]

2nd Annual Homelessness Marathon. "The 'Homelessness Marathon' is an offshoot of 'The Nobody Show -- Your Unabashed Voice of the Left and Left Out' a weekly talk show hosted by Jeremy Weir Anderson (aka "Nobody") on WEOS, 89.7 FM, in Geneva, NY" --Container. Recorded January 27-28, 1999 from the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the second Annual Homelessness Marathon records commentary by advocates for the homeless and the voices of homeless people who have nowhere to go in the winter. 7 sound cassettes (14 hours). Sound/C 1369

3rd Annual Homelessness Marathon. "Co-production of "The Nobody Show-- your unabashed voice of the left and the left out", WEFT Community Radio for Champaign-Urbana Illinois, and WEOS, Geneva NY, the radio station of Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Recorded Jan. 25-26, 2000, in Champaign-Urbana, IL, by "Nobody" (aka Jeremy Alderson) with participants noted in contents. 7 sound cassettes (14 hours). Sound/C 1450

4th Annual Homelessness Marathon. Recorded Jan. 25, 2001, in Cambridge, Massachussetts by "Nobody" (aka Jeremy Alderson) with participants noted in contents. A marathon radio program of issues surrounding homelessness in America with interviews and panel discussions by service providers, authors in the field, and homeless persons. 2001. 7 sound cassettes (14 hours). Sound/C 1490

5th Annual Homelessness Marathon.Feb. 5-6, 2002, in Portland, Oregon by "Nobody" (aka Jeremy Alderson) with participants noted in contents. A marathon radio program of issues surrounding homelessness in America with interviews and panel discussions by service providers, authors in the field, and homeless persons. 7 sound cassettes (14 hours). Sound/C 1523

6th Annual Homelessness Marathon, February 5-6, 2003. A marathon radio program of issues surrounding homelessness in America with interviews and panel discussions by service providers, authors in the field, and homeless persons. Hour 1. Opening remarks / Nobody ; Panel of homeless people with medical conditions -- Hour 2. Formerly homeless service providers / Chuck Currie -- Hour 3. Scottie's Place, a respite for kids ; panel of homeless youth -- Hour 4. Communique from Rebel Jill from Osaka, Japan ; international hour / Walter Schmid -- Hour 5. Homelessness in literature ; homelessness and mental health / David Oaks, Ann Deutsch ; speak-out from a homeless people's town hall meeting in Denver -- Hour 6. Clerics discuss homelessness ; Why are people homeless? / Stephen Metraux, Tammy Johnson ; speak-out with residents of Seattle's Tent City homeless encampment -- Hour 7. Bits and pieces of yesterday's poverty / Jan Lightfoot-Lane ; open mic hour: where do we go from here? / Donald Whitehead -- Hour 8. Poetry by homeless poets ; homelessness and the law / Laurel Weir -- Hour 9. Our disappearing investment in public housing / Sheila Crowley ; Is the system set-up to fail? / Paul Boden, Tom Boland -- Hour 10. Rural homelessness ; whose fault is homelessness? / Indio -- Hour 11. Unspent funds / Don Gene ; whatever happened to labor in America? / Peter Kellman, Jim Pope. -- Hour 12. Been there, done that / Samantha Smoot ; health care and homelessness / Jeff Singer, Nate Nickerson. -- Hour 13. Poetry by homeless poets ; Is there enough food to go around? / Robert Forney. -- Hour 14. Why should we care? / Jill Saxby ; Solving the problem / Cheri Honkala, MaryAnn Gleason. Recorded Feb. 5-6, 2003, in Portland, Maine by "Nobody" (aka Jeremy Alderson) with participants noted in contents. Sound/D 167

7th Annual Homelessness Marathon.A marathon radio program of issues surrounding homelessness in America with interviews and panel discussions by service providers, authors in the field, and homeless persons. Cleveland, Ohio, 2004. Hour 1. Opening remarks / Nobody ; Over hill over dale, we will hit the garbage pail / panel of homeless veterans -- Hour 2. Homeless news update #1 ; Democratic Presidential candidates debate -- Hour 3. Homeless teens ; What causes homelessness / Brian Davis, Dennis Culhane -- Hour 4. Housing cuts ; Cracking down on Shantytown / Mike Rhodes ; Getting ripped off: the day labor trap -- Hour 5. Homelessness and AIDS ; NIMBYism: does America really care / Donna Hawk, Rebecca Troth -- Hour 6. Street poetry ; Police and homeless: when worlds collide / Street Roots ; speak-out with homeless veterans of Standing Rock Nation of the Hunkpapa Lakota in South Dakota -- Hour 7. Migrant workers in wine country ; International hour: simulcast with the Canadian Homelessness Marathon / Walter Schmidt, Michael Shapcott -- Hour 8. Homeless in Chicago's Union Station ; Homelessness and race / Angelo Anderson -- Hour 9. Street poetry ; Deficits, hoops and hurdles: the shape of things to come / Paul Boden, Tom Boland -- Hour 10. Homelessness in literature ; Does immigration cause homelessness? ; speakout from Atlanta -- Hour 11. The environmental effects of homelessness ; open mic hour / Indio, MaryAnne Gleason -- Hour 12. At the men's shelter ; Out of prison and onto the streets . / Joyce Chisar -- Hour 13. From homelessness to advocacy ; Politics and protest: bringing America home / Donald Whitehead, Cheri Hankala -- Hour 14. Homeless news update #2 ; Women and children first / panel of homeless mothers. Sound/D 179

8th Annual Homelessness Marathon., February 14-15, 2005, New Haven, Connecticut A marathon radio program of issues surrounding homelessness in America with interviews and panel discussions by service providers, authors in the field, and homeless persons. 2005. 14 hours. Sound/D 200

9th Annual Homelessness Marathon.
A marathon radio program of issues surrounding homelessness in America with interviews and panel discussions by service providers, authors in the field, and homeless persons. This program broadcast from Atlanta, Georgia includes three segments on the experiences of homeless persons during the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. 2006. 14 hours. Sound/D 234

10th Annual Homelessness Marathon, February 20-21, 2007, Fresno, California.
A marathon radio program of issues surrounding homelessness in America with interviews and panel discussions by service providers, authors in the field, and homeless persons. 2007. 15 hours. Sound/D 247

11th Annual Homelessness Marathon, February 20-21, 2008, Nashville, Tennessee
A marathon radio program of issues surrounding homelessness in America with interviews and panel discussions by service providers, authors in the field, and homeless persons. 2007. 14 hours. Sound/D 268

12th Annual Homelessness Marathon, Pass Christian, Mississippi, February 23-24, 2009.
A marathon radio program of issues surrounding homelessness in America with interviews and panel discussions by service providers, authors in the field, and homeless persons. Sound/D 272

13th Annual Homelessness Marathon, Detroit, Michigan, February 23-24, 2010
A marathon radio program of issues surrounding homelessness in America with interviews and panel discussions by service providers, authors in the field, and homeless persons. Sound/D 279

Hope on the Street
Examines how mental illness impacts families, the personal battles it creates, and the resources available to those who suffer from it. Features several people with mental illnesses who are often homeless and also looks at Kin Lim, a mental health care professional who has spent 13 years working with the homeless mentally ill. The film looks beneath the tattered clothes to reveal human beings who can be rehabilitated with access to treatment, medication and quality care. 2002. 56 min. Video/C MM256

"I Want to Go Home": A Pictorial Essay of Homelessness in New Hampshire.
A visual collage of photographs of children and families who are homeless in New Hampshire. 1992. 21 min. Video/C 3951

Inside Life Outside.
Follows a group of homeless people living in a shantytown on New York's Lower East Side. Captures in cinema verite style the drama of human beings struggling for survival and dignity against the harsh odds of the street. 1988. 57 min. Video/C 1779

The Interventionists
This vérité film follows a psychiatric nurse and a police officer who, as part of the Mobile Crisis Intervention Team, respond to calls involving "emotionally disturbed persons." Their mandate: to de-escalate crises, and de-criminalize mental health. 31:23 min. DVD X3181

It Was a Wonderful Life.
This film follows the stories of six different hidden homeless women as they struggle to survive, one day at a time, and find a place for themselves in a society ill-equipped to deal with the "used to haves". Clean, educated and articulate, many of the women were left in financial straits following a divorce, loss of job or a long illness. Avoiding public shelters, preferring to sleep in their cars, they eke out an existence picking up bits of work here and there. c1992. 84 min. Video/C 4510

Jupiter's Wife
Follows Maggie, a homeless woman in New York's Central Park who wanders the park with her pack of dogs and a backpack. She claims to be the daughter of the actor Robert Ryan and married to the Roman god Jupiter. The film follows her for two years, trying to uncover the truth behind her cryptic stories. 1994. 78 min. Video/C 8349

Documentary on the community "Justiceville," formed by the homeless in Los Angeles, California. It chronicles their struggle to provide themselves with the dignity, sense of community, welfare and shelter denied them by the social service and political systems. Commentary by nationally recognized authorities places the events in national perspective and shows that the plight of the homeless is one of America's most pressing problems. 1987. 28 min. Video/C 8914

Description from UC Center for Media & Independent Learning catalog

Kenny and Georgia
A film by Claire Burch. Kenny and Georgia: A film about an Afro-American homeless couple containing voiceover commentary and images of Kenny and Georgia, intercut with scenes and images of their friends and acquaintances who are also homeless. Includes original music set to images of homeless break-ins, squats and gatherings at People's Park in Berkeley. Ghost of James Baldwin, Chrismas day at Glide Memorial: A tribute to James Baldwin with voiceovers from his writings and original music superimposed on free Christmas dinners served to the homeless, while a homeless break-in is taking place across the street. 1995. 63 min. Video/C 5540

Letter Back Home.
A video by Sang Thepkaysone, Nith Lacroix. A rare and uncompromising look at life in the United States for some Laotian and Cambodian youth. Shot in San Francisco's "inner city" Tenderloin District, this video letter contains topics of concern for all in this American democracy. 1994. 14 min. Video/C 4187

Life in a Basket: A Documentary.
What's actually inside those shopping carts pushed by homeless people, packed to the brim with all kinds of "junk?" This documentary allows homeless people to explain just what they carry in their traveling carts -- and why. In this simple, but humanizing film, some thirty men and women explain what they have in their carts, and why the items are so important to their physical, psychological, and spiritual survival. Produced by Paul Haggar and Sheri Sussman. 2005. 32 min. DVD 4686

Lost Angeles: The Story of Tent City.
Discusses an area set up for the homeless in Los Angeles, California from June 14 to September 25, 1987 and some of the people involved. 1988. 51 min. Video/C 1462

More Street Survivors
A video by Claire Burch. This documentary film takes a compassionate look at homeless people who live on Telegraph Ave. in Berkeley, who sometimes land in hospitals, or simply "express themselves" in an area that tolerates more differences than the mainstream of American society. 1995. 30 min. Video/C 5528

My Big Fat Homeless Berkeley Double Feature
A warm infectious look at street life on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley, California. Contents: My big fat homeless Berkeley movie (2005-2006, ca. 52 min.) -- Another big fat homeless Berkeley movie (2006-2007, ca. 88 min.) A Johnny Allen Shaw Production. 140 min. DVD X1204

On the Bowery (1956)
A mix of documentary and scripted footage on the Bowery, New York City's skid row. Set against a backdrop of men drinking in bars, talking and arguing, and sleeping on sidewalks. the film chronicles three days in the life of Ray Salyer. The film jump-started the post-war American independent film movement, earning an Oscar nomination. 1956. 65 min. DVD X7084; DVD X4118; Video/C 1872
Information about this film from the Internet Movie Database

Awards & Honors
British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards - Best Documentary
National Film Registry Selection

Peter, Donald, Willie, Pat.
Examines the lives of four homeless men living in a Boston shelter, revealing the complexity of these men's lives, and documenting their techniques for survival on the streets. 1988. 30 min. Video/C 3550

A day in the life of Miguel Diaz, a homeless poet in Los Angeles who is revovering from substance abuse through his philosophy of recycling life. Diaz uses all the thrown away items he collects to make a community garden in the median of his street, while offering his insights on survival and nature. Directed by Vasco Nuñes and Ondi Temoner 6 min. DVD 6322

Remembering Jonathan
A film by Claire Burch. Jonathan Montague, was a People's Park "regular", warm hearted rebel and dropout from mainstream society. His death motivates a spontaneous demonstration of love and rememberance, after which his few belongings are distributed to anyone who wants them. 1995. 30 min. Video/C 5526

Rewind: It Could Have Been Me.
Short animated film about a woman who has been changed from a productive, young working mother into an angry homeless person. It begins with the alienated woman living on the street, swearing at a passer-by and then moves backwards in time to the start of her decline, the homeless people in the 1930's. These new homeless include families, the working poor, drug abusers, the mentally ill, Vietnam veterans, and "throwaway" kids (permanent runaways). Looks at the politics of homelessness, and some of the services offered. 51 min. revealing the details of her life and how she came to live on the street. (Washington D.C.: National Coalition for the Homeless [distributor], c1993.) 14 min. Video/C 4460

A film by Claire Burch. Runaways takes a close look at the lives and hopes of a group of young people who've left their homes all over the United States, to come to Berkeley, a place which gives a measure of entitlement to the homeless of all ages. They are all different, Raven, Sweetleaf, Jeremy, Doug and the others, but they share a rebellious nature, a comination of innocence and weary cynicism, and a tendency to get into trouble with the law (often not their fault) since citations for trespassing usually means they've found a place to sleep that wasn't legal. 1995. 40 min. Video/C 5531

The Salt Mines & The Transformation
The Salt Mines explores the lives of Hispanic male transvestite prostitutes and crack addicts living in abandoned garbage trucks at a road salt storage facility near lower Manhattan. The Transformation follows Ricardo (Sara in The Salt Mines) as he rejects his street life to join a group of Born Again Christians in an effort to tranform his life from that of a homosexual to a heterosexual. 1996?. 47, 58 min. Video/C 4569

Shopping Bag Ladies.
Interviews with homeless and poor women who carry their possessions with them in "shopping bags" as they live and sleep in the streets. 1977. 45 min. 3/4" DVD X5565 (preservation copy)

Streetlife: The Invisible Family.
Performers: Interviews with Dr. Richard Ropers, Claudette Reeves, Maxine Greer, Carrie Ryan, Gary Stein, Jenny Dudley, Glenn Bailey, Bill Biggs, Fr. Jerry Merrill, and Stacey Bess. A report on the status of the homeless, in particular, homeless families in Salt Lake City and agencies offering support including: Travelers Aid Society, St. Vincent de Paul Society, "The Inn" (La Posada), and the Salt Lake Family Shelter School. 1988. 58 min. Video/C 3551

Streets of Plenty: Inside the World of the Homeless
What is the relationship between addiction and homelessness? Where does personal responsibility fit into the equation? Should street addicts be left to their own devices, or do full-service shelters, legalized heroin dispensaries, and other provisions make for smart urban policy? In search of answers, Misha Klieder has put away his sociology textbooks and opted for real-life experience--spending close to a month sleeping and scavenging in the crime-infested Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, Canada. Directed by Alex Kleider and Corey Ogilvie. Dist.: Films Media Group. 2010. 65 min. DVD X7083
A film by Martin Bell, Mary Ellen Mark, Cheryl McCall. Documentary on the lives of 9 homeless American teenagers, ranging in age from 13 to 19, who survive on the streets as pimps, prostitutes, muggers, panhandlers, thieves and drug dealers. 1994. 92 min. Video/C 3977

A film by Claire Burch. A close look at people and events on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley and Haight Ashbury in San Francisco. Puntuated by original music, and heartfelt encounters with street people young and old. 58 min. 1995. Video/C 5535

Sheffield, Sandra Lee. ""Streetwise: Rethinking Motion Picture Arts Education." Journal of Film & Video, Spring2001, Vol. 53 Issue 1, p20, 5p UC users only

Taylor's Campaign
Documents the political campaign of Ron Taylor, a formerly homeless individual who ran for the Santa Monica City Council in 1994 in hopes of raising awareness about the plight of the homeless. This documentary examines the lives of people living in cardboard lean-tos in luxurious Santa Monica, dumpster-diving for survival. It addresses the issues of human dignity, poverty, unemployment, hunger, civil rights, and day-to-day life on the streets. Narrator: Martin Sheen. 75 min. Video/C 5992

Anderson, Leon. "Taylor's Campaign." Teaching Sociology, Jan2000, Vol. 28 Issue 1, p96-97, 2p UC users only
Joseph, Alfred; Cerio, Andrea. "Teaching About Poverty Through Images: Poverty Outlaw and Taylor's Campaign." Journal of Poverty, 2000, Vol. 4 Issue 3, p119, 5p UC users only

Union Square
A chillingly accurate and powerful documentary portrait of seven young homeless heroin addicts in Union Square in New York City, revealing what they will do to maintain a habit that keeps them trapped in a vicious cycle. 2003. 90 min. DVD 3680

Produced by students enrolled in Documentary Film (Film 28B) at the University of California, Berkeley, Spring, 1993. Instuctor: B. Ruby Rich. First film contains interviews with students concerning their attitudes towards the homeless and interviews with homeless persons living on the streets of Berkeley, Calif. In the second film Afro-American students discuss their expectations and experiences in their Afro-American studies classes. 1993. Video/C 3276

What Really Killed Rosebud?
Pt. 1-2. Documentary films profiling homeless persons living on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley through personal stories and interviews. Pt. 3. Examines the events of August 25, 1992, when Rosebud Denovo, a homeless women living in People's Park, was killed by the University of California police while she was trespassing in the Chancellor's residence. Interviews with homeless persons and other friends from People's Park raise disturbing questions about her death. 105 min. Video/C 7461

Young, Homeless and Queer. (Network Q)
An installment of a video news service published monthly providing the gay perspective on America. Video/C 4000:1994:5

To the top


For general and overview works dealing with immigration to the United States within the last half century SEE US Immigration - General Works

For current and historical works about specific immigrant/ethnic groups see listings for particular ethnic/national groups in MRC ethnic studies videographies.

To the top

Racism and Prejudice, General Works

Class Divided.
Documents a reunion of Iowa teacher Jane Elliott and her third-grade class of 1970, subjects that year of an ABC News television documentary entitled: The eye of the storm. Shows how her experimental curriculum on the evils of discrimination had a lasting effect on the lives of the students. 26 min. DVD 5915; also vhs Video/C 1143

Eye of the Storm Video/C 3984

The Eye of the Storm.
Award winning documentary records an innovative experiment in which a third-grade teacher divides her all-white class into "blue-eyes" and "brown-eyes," making each group superior or inferior on successive days. The program demonstrates the nature and effects of bigotry by showing changes brought about in the children's behavior and learning patterns. 26 min. Video/C 3984

A Class Divided 26 min. Video/C 1143

Description from California Newsreel catalog

How Biased Are You?
Explores the history and practice of racism through its extreme manifestations, such as slavery, the Holocaust, segregation, bias crimes, and racial profiling, as well as its more subtle demonstrations, such as the pernicious subconscious biases that can exert an influence on everyday behavior. Uses hidden cameras to show the different experiences of black and white persons in the same situations, such as shopping in a store. Examines the Implicit Association Test, a bias-sensitivity test developed by Anthony Greenwald and Mahzarin Banaji, which looks for hidden, subconscious biases. Also looks at prejudice in children of various ages. Originally produced by Discovery Communications, Inc. in 2000. 45 min. Video/C 8474

Prejudiced and biased attitudes between gender, racial, and economic groups are shown in examples and discussed. 1989. 30 min. Video/C 8357

Racism: A History
Originally produced by the BBC in 2007. Dist.: Films Media Group.

The Colour of Money
Reaching back across the centuries, this program sheds light on historical attitudes toward human differences. It assesses the significance of biblical narratives, including the "curse of Ham", in the evolution of European concepts of race, and goes on to examine the basis of institutionalized racism - entwined with fervent capitalism - on which the transatlantic slave trade operated. The destruction of America's indigenous civilizations and the dehumanization and exploitation of Africans are studied alongside the writings of Enlightenment philosophers and historians. Includes commentary by Dr. Orlando Patterson, Dr. Barnor Hesse, and Professor James Walvin. Director/producer, David Olusoga. 53 min. DVD X5137

Fatal Impact
During the 19th century, racial categorization took on a pseudoscientific stance. This program shows how the academic racism of the period helped to spread imperialist policies across the globe. Sifting through the "science" of eugenics and its link to social Darwinism, the film juxtaposes racial hygiene theories with racial warfare in Tasmania, Victorian apathy in famine-wracked India, and horrific German colonization tactics in Namibia. Commentary by David Dabydeen, Dr. Maria Misra, and Professor Catherine Hall. Director/producer, Paul Tickell. 53 min. DVD X5138

A Savage Legacy
Focuses on a pattern of segregation and genocide evident in King Leopold's Belgian Congo rampages, South Africa's apartheid rule, the terrorism of Jim Crow, and less obvious examples that persist in today's global community. Several renowned authors, including Dr. Michael Eric Dyson of Georgetown University, Dr. Manning Marable of Columbia, and Dr. Kwame Anthony Appiah of Princeton, contribute expert commentary. Director/producer, Tim Robinson. 52 min. DVD X5139

Skin Deep.
A diverse group of college students reveal their honestfeelings and attitudes about race and racism. Students from 3 major universities are interviewed alone on topics including the climate toward talking about race on campus, self separation of ethnic groups, discrimination, affirmative action policies and individual responsibility for change. Concludes with a diverse group of 23 students from 6 major American universities who spent 3 days together to collectively challenge one another with dialogue focusing on such topics as the concept of individual responsibility, feeling separated from each other, wanting others to understand and what can be done to move awareness to action. 53 min. DVD 3705; also VHS Video/C 4055.

Description from California Newsreel catalog

Social Psychology: Prejudice.
Prejudiced and biased attitudes between gender, racial, and economic groups are shown in examples and discussed. 1989. 30 min. Video/C 8357

First segment: With hate crimes at a record level, racism and community conflict escalating and the passage of Proposition 187, the first program examines attempts by individuals in Los Angeles to promote tolerance. Second segment: An interview with controversial author and philosopher Cornel West. Third segment: Profile of children's conflict resolution educator Darryl Williams, who was paralyzed by a sniper's bullet during Boston's 1979 busing crisis. Segment from the television program Rights & wrongs broadcast March 21, 1995. 27 min. Video/C 6716

The Wave
Based on the experience of a high-school history class in April, 1967, in Palo Alto, Calif. Explores what happened when a teacher started a Nazi-like movement called The Wave in his history class to show the students the development of attitudes such as those that allowed Germans to deny responsibility for genocide under the Nazis. Cast: Bruce Davison, Lori Lethin, John Putch. Director, Alex Grasshoff. A broadcast of the program ABC theater for young Americans, October 4, 1981 by ABC. 46 min. DVD X5610; Video/C MM257
To the top

Intellectual Freedom/Freedom of Speech/Censorship/Privacy

The A.C.L.U.: A History
This program, with commentary from Oliver North, Dave Barry, and Molly Ivins, traces the tumultuous history of the ACLU from its inception by founder Roger Baldwin, through dozens of legal challenges over the past century, including the Scopes trial, the 1930s labor strikes, Japanese internment, the HUAC hearings and blacklisting, the Vietnam war crimes trials, the American Nazi Party's bid to march in Skokie, Illinois, and others. Baldwin's story is interwoven throughout. A film by Lawrence R. Hott and Diane Garey. Dist.: Films Media Group. 1998. 57 min. DVD 6495

All Rapped Up : An Inside Look at the Rap/Dance Music Scene.
A critique of the spiritual realities behind the pop/dance and rap music scene from a Christian biblical perspective. c1991. 135 min. Video/C 3552

Blood Ties: The Life and Work of Sally Mann.
Examines the world of photographer Sally Mann, whose work and vision have come under censorship. Special features: Deleted scenes (15 min.) ; documentary short "Blood ties," (1993, 30 min.) shot during the creation of Sally Mann's Immediate Family series ; "Photojournalism conference excerpts" from Mann's appearance at the Nyborg photojournalism conference (7 min.) ; selected photos from Mann's series "Deep south", "Immediate family", and "What remains". 1993. 30 min. DVD X2991; Video/C 3390

Campus Culture Wars: Five Stories About PC.
Contents: Racially insensitive language (University of Pennsylvania) -- Gay Rights and religious expression (Harvard) -- Multicultural ideals (Stanford) -- Sexual harassment (Pennsylvania State) -- Radical feminism (University of Washington). If the freedoms of speech and dissent are protected by the Bill of Rights, to what degree should hate speech be included? Conversely, if "political correctness" is intended to counteract discrimination and intolerance, should it be used as a vehicle of censorship? Does PC heighten public awareness of marginalized groups or is it censorship designed to limit intellectual inquiry in the name of particular political agendas? This film examines five controversial incidents at universities around the country involving conflicts of values and "political correctness". Cases involve the use of racially insensitive language, gay rights and religious expression, pursuit of multicultural ideals, sexual harassment in the classroom, and radical feminism. c1993. 86 min. Video/C 3328

Damned in the U.S.A. and Obscenity, Hate Speech and the First Amendment.
Damned in the U.S.A features Jesse Helms, Christie Hefner, Donald Wildmon, Luther Campbell, Al D'Amato, Andres Serrano. Debate panel: John Frohnmayer, David Llewellyn, Bruce Herschensohn, Carol Sobel. covers the most significant battles over freedom of expression and censorship in the arts over the last five years. From the Mapplethorpe controversy to the debate over the lyrics of 2 Live Crew, from government sponsorship of artists to morally motivated boycotts, this film addresses both sides of the censorship debate in all its complexity. Film is followed by a debate which broadens the discussion of the First Amendment as it provides a sober, balanced look at the limits placed on freedom of speech. 1994. 126 min. total running time. Video/C 4199

The Darker Side of Black.
Gangsta chic, violence and nihilism, the hard edge of Rap and Reggae increasingly dominates the image of black popular culture. This film investigates the issues raised by the genre, such as ritualized machismo, misogyny, attitudes towards homosexuality and religion, and gun glorification. Filmed in dance halls, hip hop clubs, and using interviews and music video clips, film takes us to London, Jamaica and the U.S. to examine the "darker" side of contemporary black music. 1994. 59 min. Video/C 3969

Fall From Grace.
The surreal and shocking world of the controversial cult leader Reverend Fred Phelps and his hate group. The group has staged over 22,000 picket demonstrations at locations ranging from college campuses to funerals for American soldiers, enraging many with slogans such as "Thank God for 9/11," "You're going to hell," and "God hates fags." Includes interviews and rare Phelps footage and allows viewers to reexamine the quintessentially American right of free speech. Directed, produced by K. Ryan Jones. 2008. 87 min. DVD X5374

Fear and Favor in the Newsroom
Examines the need to protect freedom of the press and investigative journalism in the United States when newspapers and television stations are owned and influenced by large corporations hostile to media exposure. Examines case studies of investigative journalists who have been dismissed or forced to resign because of "too aggressive" journalistic practices and cases of censorship mandated by television and print media management. 1996. 56 min. Video/C 4474

California Newsreel catalog description

The First Amendment Project
All three films were originally released in 2004. A compilation of three short films about the current state of freedom of speech and freedom of assembly in the United States. Fox vs. Franken: When comedian Al Franken used Fox News' phrase "Fair and balanced" in his satiric book, the network sued. Fox lost in court and Franken earned national notoriety with a bestseller. Poetic license: Explores the implications of state-sponsored art through the story of New Jersey Poet Laureate Amiri Baraka and the outrage that erupted after a perfomance of his controversial poem, "Somebody blew up America," which is about the September 11 terrorist attacks. Some assembly required: Documents protestors at the 2004 Republican National Convention and examines the public's right to protest versus the need for public security. 2005. 72 min. DVD 4023

Freedom of Expression: Resistance and Repression in the Age of Intellectual Property
This provocative and amusing documentary explores the legal and ethical battles being waged in courts, classrooms, museums, film studios, and the Internet over control of our cultural commons. With special focus on a number of campaigns that have pushed back the assault by overzealous copyright holders, the film features commentary by leading copyright experts and activists. Based on Kembrew McLeod's book of the same title. Contents: Fair[y] use tale: Professor Eric Faden of Bucknell University created this review of copyright principles by cutting together thousands of extremely short clips from dozens of Disney cartoons, lifting individual words and short phrases to spell out an articulate, funny, and thoroughly educational lesson on how copyright works. Introduction -- Free speech in the age of copyright -- Fencing the cultural commons -- The rise of the clearance culture -- Suppressing freedom of information -- Fighting back -- Special feature: "A Fair(y) Use Tale" (ca. 11 min.) Produced by Kembrew McLeod and Jeremy Smith. 52 min. DVD X761

Media Education Foundation catalog description

Hollywood Censored: Movies, Morality & the Production Code (Culture Shock; 1)
First of a four part series exploring why particular works of art became controversial. Part one addresses the mass appeal of movies, including their portrayals of sex and violence which have made them a target of censors since the early days. In the 1930s, Hollywood studios enforced the Production Code, a set of guidelines for movie content, to answer growing charges of immorality. The Code lasted 20 years and still influences moviemaking today. As feature films continue to cause controversy, the question remains: do movies reflect--or cause--social behavior? c2000. 60 min. Video/C 6908

It's Not My Memory of It: Three Recollected Documents
A documentary about secrecy, memory, and documents. Mobilizing specific historical records as memories which flash up in moments of danger, the tape addresses the expansion and intensification of secrecy practices in the current climate of heightened security. A former CIA source recounts his disappearance through shredded classified documents that were painstakingly reassembled by radical fundamentalist students in Iran in 1979. A CIA film called "Burial at Sea"--Recorded in 1974 but unacknowledged until 1992 - documents the burial at sea of six Soviet sailors, in a ceremony which collapses Cold War antagonisms in a moment of death and honor. Images pertaining to a publicly acknowledged but top secret U.S. missile strike in Yemen in 2002 are the source of a concluding reflection on the role of documents in the constitution of the dynamic of knowing and not knowing. c2003. 25 min. Video/C MM529

Know Your Enemy
Using video animation and a collage of stills film examines the controversy surrounding politically or socially offensive lyrics in "hip-hop" and rap music. 1991. 27 min. Video/C 3314

Media Rights and Responsibilities
The media have established new outposts in the frontiers of taste that were thought impossible 25 years ago: sexually explicit and violent movies, "Gangsta" rap music, tabloid journalism, and all in the name of First Amendment rights and giving the public what it wants. But with these rights come responsibilities that are seldom respected. What leverage can society use to put curbs on the more outrageous forms of media expression while retaining a respect for creativity and freedom of expression? This program looks at all of the issues surrounding the media's pursuit of the advertising dollar vs. its responsibility to exercise concern for the public good. 1998. 28 min. Video/C 7292

No Place to Hide: Part 1, Big Brother
This program shows how governments and law enforcement agencies are using closed circuit cameras and other sophisticated tools to capture and catalog intimate details of our lives. Privacy commissions, hackers, former secret agents and privacy freedom fighters provide the inside stories. The film also investigates how DNA testing and digitized images are being used to certify identity and deepen personal profiles -- profiles which may be transmitted and intercepted on satellites, microwave and fiber optic links. 1998. 48 min. Video/C 7440

No Place to Hide: Part 2, Little Brothers
Private corporations call it "dataveillance." With every swipe of the card, the consumer releases yet another bit of information to a data bank that can create a personal profile at the request of market managers, credit agencies and government agencies. E-mail? Fax? Telephone? Once given, no information is resistant to anonymous collection. The usage and release of personal information is left to the discretion of the collector. This program details how we are no longer in control of our privacy. 1998. 48 min. Video/C 7441

Obscene: A Portrait of Barney Rosset and Grove Press
Chronicles the life and work of Barney Rosset, the influential head of Grove Press and the Evergreen Review, who published such groundbreaking works of fiction as Lady Chatterley's Lover, Naked Lunch, and Tropic of Cancer, while fighting the U.S. government's obscenity laws along the way. Special features: Original theatrical trailer ; Barney Rosset extended interview ; Spike the poodle killer ; Get me out of this camp! ; Three years of torment ; Going the final step ; Illiterates ; Rum and Coke ; This oblivious prostitute. Directed by Neil Ortenberg and Daniel O'Connor. 2008. 90 min. DVD X1401

Popular Culture: Rage, Rights, and Responsibility
A vigorous exchange by a distinguished group of panelists on the tension between artistic expression, freedom of speech, and social responsibility. They look at the impact that TV, music and the movies have on young people, the police, and public attitudes toward society in general, as they debate who decides what is popular culture, who produces it, who it influences, and the responsibilities of those who do produce it.

Host, Fred W. Friendly; moderator, Charles J. Ogletree ; debate participants, Richard Dreyfuss, Mark Clark, Barney Frank, Michael Franti, Jeff Ayeroff, David Harleston, Nadine Strossen, Deborah Prothrow-Stith, Henry Hyde, Grant Tinker, Richard Wolf, Terry Rakolta. 2000. 58 min. Video/C 7287

Rap, Race & Equality.
This documentary is an informative look at the issues which rap artists attempt to deal with through their music, such as racism, economic and social inequality and race relations. It suggests that rap music flows out of the African storytelling tradition and shows how it enhances the African American sense of identity. Also examines such controversial areas as sexism and censorship as it applies to rap music. Includes interviews with musicians from Ice Cube, Ice T, Public Enemy, and Naughty by Nature. c1994. 52 min. Video/C 3968

An examination of secrecy in the United States government, exploring the tensions between freedom of information and national security.... between our safety as a nation, and our ability to function as a democracy. Special features (58 min.): interview outtakes with Tom Blanton (8 min.), James B. Bruce (1 min.), Steve Garfinkel (2 min.), Barton Gellman (6 min.), Siegfried Hecker (2 min.), Neal Katyal (2 min.), Mike Levin (1 min.), Melissa Boyle Mahle (6 min.) & Charles Swift (2 min.); 2 extended sequences (6 min. total); 2 extracted stories (22 min. total). Also includes 56 min. classroom version of the film. 2008. 80 min. DVD X801

Description from Bullfrog Films catalog

Shouting Fire: Stories from the Edge of Free Speech
Through contemporary case studies dealing with the complex issue of limits on free speech at public gatherings, in school, in print and on the Internet, examines the balancing act between protecting both civil liberties and national security. First Admendent attorney, Martin Garbus is interviewed at length along with other well-known people from both the liberal and conservative fronts. Directed by Liz Garbus. 2009. 74 min. DVD X2986

This Film Not Yet Rated
Kirby Dick's provocative film investigates the secretive and inconsistent process by which the Motion Picture Association of America rates films. Kirby looks at some of the controversial rating decisions of the past four decades, hires private eyes to find out who these anonymous raters are and puts his own film through the rating process. 2006. 98 min. DVD 6868

Under Surveillance
This humorous and provocative documentary explores the work of the Surveillance Camera Players, a performance-based activist group in New York City. Through the group's activism, the film explores the complex and ambivalent roles of visuality and visual culture in contemporary urban American. In protest of covert and ubiquitous public surveillance, the group has devised a number of activities to co-opt public surveillance camera, including the performance of agitprop plays in front of the camera, leading walking tours of highly surveilled areas of the city, and mapping the locations of public surveillance cameras. A documentary by Brooke Nixon. c2003. 21 min. Video/C MM640

War Games: Hollywood's Power and Philosophy.(Unholy Hollywood)
An expose of the spiritual realities behind Hollywood entertainment. Seeks to expose sin, inspire repentance, and present a compelling strategy for reforming the arts. c1992. 48 min. Video/C 3559

Willful Infringement: A Report From the Front Lines of the Real Culture Wars.
Is copyright an instrument of censorship? Do newer copyright controls suppress the free speech of scientists, artists, and others? In this wholly independently filmed documentary, party clowns, a Rolling Stones tribute band, legal scholars, artists, DJ's, Star Wars fans, teachers and many more present their views and experiences about how ownership of ideas has come into conflict with free expression. 2003. 58 min. DVD 2246

You Can't Say That!: What's Happening to Free Speech?
Who determines when one person's right to expression must give way to another's sense of propriety? ABC News correspondent John Stossel looks at growing constraints on free speech made in the interest of protecting the public from offense. Using such controversial examples as the worker who was fired for telling a joke he heard on a popular prime-time TV show, Mr. Stossel considers the paranoia throughout the academic, political, and business sectors that has led to the creation of virtual "speech police" armed with special forms of censorship and "sensitivity training." Originally broadcast as an ABC News Special on March. 23, 2000. Who determines when one person's right to expression must give way to Dist.: Films Media Group. 43 min. DVD 9774

To the top

Poverty and Welfare


America's War on Poverty. 57 min. each.

In This Affluent Society. In the early 1960s, hundreds of Kentucky coal miners are displaced by machines and strike out at their former employers. Millions of others displaced by machines across Appalachia and the rural South head north to begin a new life in Chicago, where they face overcrowded tenements and schools, and the familiar inequities of segregation. This program recounts these stories of desperation and hope and explores the origins of the federal government's war on poverty and how attitudes toward race and faith in the accessibility of the American dream shape the battle plans for the nation's greatest effort to reduce poverty. DVD 9790 [preservation copy]; vhs Video/C 3926

Given a Chance. Early 1965 is a critical period for President Johnson's war on poverty. The Office of Economic Opportunity's goal to have the poor themselves design and run anti-poverty programs attracts strong opposition from local and state governments. Head Start is created to provide poor children with adequate nutrition, health care and the educational advantages that other American children enjoy. This program focuses on the Head Start program in Mississippi. DVD 9791 [preservation copy]; Video/C 3927

City of Promise. The context for the war on poverty shifts after 1965. Urban rebellions provoke a sense of urgency for some, while others now see the war against poverty as hopeless. Increasingly, the media and the public equate poverty with inner-city black communities. This program looks at the anger and despair of the poor and the powerless, and the anger and frustration of the middle class at having to pay for "others' mistakes." It also examines attempts made in Newark, New Jersey, to reclaim the inner city through public/private partnerships. DVD 9792 [preservation copy]; Video/C 3928

In Service to America. By 1967, poverty warriors increase the sophistication of their tactics at the same time that a number of outspoken opponents rise to national prominence. This program highlights the beginning of Legal Services and VISTA, two programs that combined individual action with the idea of volunteerism. Lawyers team up with migrant farm workers in California to fight for better education, health care and working conditions, and VISTA volunteers and local residents organize against strip mining in Appalachia. Both stories raise significant questions about activities the government funds in the name of fighting poverty. DVD 9793 [preservation copy]; Video/C 3929

My Brother's Keeper. The Nixon Administration and the National Welfare Rights Organization (NWRO) bring the nation to the brink of overhauling the federal social security system and replacing welfare with a guaranteed income for all citizens. When it appears the guaranteed income will be quite low, the NWRO joins an alliance of conservatives and liberals to defeat the proposed legislation. DVD 9794 [preservation copy]; Video/C 3930

A Day's Work, a Day's Pay
Examines the Work Experience Program (WEP) instituted in New York City to require welfare recipients to work for the city for one-fourth of union pay. Follows three New Yorkers and their attempt to organize workers for equal pay. Depicts the realities of welfare reform and the real obstacles faced by welfare recipients who are seeking to transition from welfare to work. c2001. 56 min. Video/C 9137

Economics USA. Lesson 24, Reducing Poverty: What Have We Done?.
Examines the causes of income inequality and analyzes government policies to reduce poverty. As examples looks at efforts by the federal government to alleviate poverty during the depression, the advent of social security and the welfare system and the problem of unemployment among young, undereducated Americans. 1985. 28 min. Video/C 1229:23-24 Pt. 24

From Cradle to Grave.
Examines the welfare systems of the United States. Questions asked are: Do they work and do they achieve their purpose? Mr. Friedman suggests that the country do away with welfare systems and offers better solutions. On tape 2 a panel of experts debate the issue presented on the first tape. 2 videocassettes. 1980. 60 min. Video/C 1175 pt. 1-2

How Unequal Can America Get Before We Snap?
Author and political theorist Robert Reich discusses the political implications of the widening inequality of income, wealth and opportunity in America. The gap is wider now than it's been since the 1920s, yet the nation seems unable or unwilling to reverse these trends. What happens if these trends continue? Will they "naturally" reverse themselves or will America get to the point where disparities are so wide that we finally find the political will to take action? Conversely, will the disparities themselves grow so wide as to discourage action, by fostering resignation among the losers and indifference among the winners? Recorded by Educational Technology Services, University of California, Berkeley on April 5, 2005. 99 min. Video/C MM484

Hunger in America
A researched study of hunger and malnutrition in the United States, showing views of Black sharecroppers in Alabama, Navajo Indians in Arizona, tenant farmers near Washington, D.C. and impoverished Mexican-Americans in San Antonio. Includes a discussion of surplus foods, food-stamps, and the farm subsidy program. Videocassette release of an episode of the television program CBS reports, originally broadcast in 1968. Reporters: Charles Kuralt, David Culhane. 51 min. Video/C 9366

Let the Curch Say Amen.
Blocks away from the Capitol and White House stands a tiny storefront church, endeavoring to combat the street violence, unemployment, and homelessness that threaten American families living in poverty. Over the course of a year, this feature-length documentary follows four church members as they work to fulfill their dreams for a better life. 2005. 90 min. DVD 5297

Living Broke in Boom Times: Lessons from the Movement to End Poverty
Includes excerpts from three documentaries on poor Americans organizing to end poverty: Takeover, Poverty outlaw, and Outriders. The films were produced between 1989-1999. Abstracts are interspersed with commentary from activists Willie Baptist, Liz Theoharis, and Cheri Honkala. Special features: 74 min. version of film divided into 5 thematic chapters for educators ; 13 min. mini-doc "Documenting the movement" with filmmakers Peter Kinoy and Pamela Yates ; slide show of Harvey Finkle's photographs. Produced and directed by Kathleen Dara Kell. c2007. 114 min. DVD 9936

No Place Like Home
By examining eight months in the life of a broken family in Seattle, this film powerfully depicts the cycles that keep families tied to poverty and violence from one generation to the next. The film focuses on a young girl, Barbara, who lives with her mother, brother, and sister in homeless shelters and cheap motels. They spend their days stretching welfare checks and shuttling between shelters while they wait for public housing and a future that never seems to arrive. Produced and directed by Kathryn Hunt. Dist.: Berkeley Media. 1994. 30 min. DVD 7847

On the Edge: America's Working Poor
Presents an examination of the working poor in the United States. Several families including single mothers as head of households describe their lives as members of the working poor community where one unexpected expense, sudden illness, or a missed payment could mean financial ruin. Originally broadcast on April 15, 2004 as a segment of: Nightline. 22 min. DVD 4655

Poor Kids : an intimate portrait of America's economic crisis
These are hard times in the Quad Cities, a great American crossroads along the border of Iowa and Illinois, where the Mississippi River intersects Interstate 80. It's home to John Deere manufacturing and the nation's breadbasket. But it's also an area deeply scarred by the Recession. Frontline spent months following three young girls who are growing up against the backdrop of their families' struggles against financial ruin. The result is an intimate portrait of the economic crisis as it's rarely seen, through the eyes of children. Originally broadcast on Nov. 20, 2012 as a segment of Frontline. 2012 60 min. DVD X8627

Take It From Me.
Follows four welfare mothers over the course of two years as they struggle to comply with new work requirements, find reliable child care and transportation, battle drug addiction and depression, confront domestic violence, and try to make ends meet in the new era of welfare reform. Concludes that though many welfare recipients are motivated to go to work, many are not landing on their feet and there are no easy answers to the problems of welfare dependency. 2001. 75 min. Video/C 9731

Wage Slaves: Not Getting By in America
Looks at five people working in low-wage jobs in Nevada, Alabama, California, and Florida who are not earning enough to support themselves or their families as the minimum wage does not cover basic needs. It compares the people living at the povety level in America with people in other countries and finds that poor Americans are in worse shape because of the cost of living. Based on the book Nickel and dimed / by Barbara Ehrenreich (Morrison Rm HD4918.E375 2001;Bus & Econ HD4918.E375 2001 Soc Welfare HD4918.E375 2001 DESK. Originally presented on the A&E television program Investigative Reporets in 2002. 89 min. Video/C 9733

Welcome to Poverty, USA! The 51st State
The United States continues to be the wealthiest country in the world, yet one in eight Americans--approximately 37 million people--live below the poverty line. This program analytically and sympathetically discusses the effects and implications of poverty, examining factors such as illiteracy, insufficient job skills, substance abuse, and crime. The phenomenon of multigenerational poverty is also addressed, underscoring the disturbing pattern of poverty begetting poverty. Interviews with impoverished people and those who reach out to them put a human face on the demographic group that lives below the radar of wealthy and middle-class Americans. Dist.: Films Media Group. c2007. 60 min. DVD 8695

The Welfare.
Describes some of the problems and frustrations of a new case worker and a woman receiving welfare aid in an industrial suburb of San Francisco. School of Social Welfare, University of California. Berkeley: University of California Extension Media Center, 1966. 17 min. NRLF B 3 969 161

Director and editor, Frederick Wiseman. Shows the nature and complexity of the welfare system in sequences illustrating the diverse problems that constitute welfare : housing, unemployment, divorce, medical and psychiatric problems, abandoned and abused children, and the elderly. Presents the struggle of both welfare workers and clients to cope with and interpret the laws and regulations that govern their work and life. 1975. 167 min. DVD X4592; Video/C 4134 v. 1-2

Making Welfare Work: With Walter Cronkite.
Documentary film examining the current wave of welfare reform in America. Walter Cronkite explores the success of several states' attempts to reduce welfare dependency by offering welfare recipients financial rewards and punishments. 1994. 58 min. Video/C 3387

Winners & Losers: An Essay on Poverty.
A documentary about the causes and effects of poverty, using examples from California that include migrant workers and residents of ghettos and barrios. There are interviews with officials, legislators, doctors, sociologists and the poor themselves. Topics include the role of the state in combating poverty, the nature of the "poverty cycle" and the food stamp program. 1976. 59 min. 3/4" UMATIC Video/C 35 - stored at NRLF #: B 4 175 011

To the top


(Includes works which deal with racial/ethnic, domestic, sexual, and urban violence, as well violence in the media)

African American Stuides
Asian American Studies
Chicano/Latino Studies
Journalism/Mass Comm
Women and Gender

To the top

Urban Violence

The American Gangster
With vintage film and photographs, this documentary chronicles the birth of organized crime in the United States and the most infamous deeds of gangsters such as Bugsy Siegel, Al Capone, John Dillinger, Pretty Boy Floyd, and Lucky Luciano, from Prohibition to prostitution, gangland massacres to gambling empires. c2006. 48 min. DVD 5337

Bowling for Columbine
he United States of America is notorious for its astronomical number of people killed by firearms for a developed nation without a civil war. With his signature sense of angry humor, activist filmmaker Michael Moore sets out to explore the roots of this bloodshed and America's culture of fear, bigotry and violence. A film by Michael Moore. Special features: Michael Moore interview on his Oscar win and acceptance speech ; introduction by Michael Moore ; "Return to Denver/Littleton" featurette; interview tith Moore by Press Sec. Joe Lockhart; audio commentary by receptionists and interns ; teacher's guide ; segment from "The awful truth II: Corporate cops"; Moore's "action guide"; film festival scrapbook; "Charlie Rose show" with Michael Moore; Marilyn Manson's "fight song" music video;photo gallery; original theatrical trailer. 2002. 119 min. DVD 1827

Michael & Me.
Author, talk radio and TV host Larry Elder challenges Michael Moore's 2002 hit documentary "Bowling for Columbine," and opposes Moore's message that America has too many guns in his own attempt to unravel the problems of gun violence in America's schools. c2005. 90 min. DVD 4202

Bui Doi: Life Like Dust.
A young adult Vietnamese immigrant, currently serving time in prison for armed robbery, recounts his evolution from a 13 year old immigrant to a life of crime. He relates his immigration from a Vietnamese refugee camp to California, his entry into American schools, his subsequent involvement with Asia American gangs followed by criminal activity and prison. 1994. 28 min. Video/C 3238

Center for Asian American Media catalog description
Bui Doi web site (Center for Visual Anthropology, USC). Includes study guides, filmographies and bibliographies, and an audiovisual tour.

Children of Violence.
Portrayal of a Mexican-American family living in an East Oakland, California barrio; as seen through daily events involving four teenage brothers and their mother who moves from the kitchen, to juvenile hall, to the hospital where two of her sons are recovering from gunshot wounds. 1980?. 56 min. Video/C 440

The Columbine Shootings
Commentary: Peter Jennings, Tom Foreman, Judy Muller, Bill Clinton, Ted Koppel. Peter Jennings and other correspondents cover the unfolding events in Littleton, Colorado, as two students over a period of four hours, murdered 13 people and wounded another 33 with gunfire and pipebombs before taking their own lives. The motives of Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold remain a mystery, although investigators have formed theories based on what was found in the killers' home and on their personal computers. Includes an address to the nation by Bill Clinton and interviews with students who were present in the school during the time of the shootings. From a broadcast of the program ABC News special report, April 20, 1999. 44 min. DVD 9430

Crips and Bloods: Made in America
With a first-person look at the notorious Crips and Bloods, this documentary film examines the conditions that have lead to decades of devastating gang violence among young African Americans growing up in South Los Angeles, and offers insight as to how this ongoing tragedy may possibly be resolved. Special features: The making of Crips and Bloods; seven short films. Directed by Stacy Peralta. 2007. 83 min. DVD X1329

Description from Bullfrog Films catalog

Deadly Force
Tells of an investigation of suspected police brutality in the Los Angeles Police Department during 1977. Focuses on the death of Ron Burkholder who was shot to death by Los Angeles police officer, Kurt Barz. The film follows this case which rocked city hall, stirred the national press and resulted in the re-writing of gun policy for LAPD officers. c1980. 59 min. Video/C MM006

Death in the Hood
Portland, Oregon has seen a dramatic rise in youth violence, especially in the neighborhoods in North and Northeast Portland. This documentary examines how youths have responded to this violence, the rise in black on black violence, and the effects it's had on the neighborhoods. Includes commentary by community activists, educators, health and law enforcement professionals and gang members and also shows some innovative efforts in Portland schools to deal with the problem. 1996. 29 min. Video/C MM783

Gang Wars
Disc 1. Gang war: bangin' in Little Rock (1994, 60 min.) -- Disc 2. Back in the hood: gang war 2 (2006, 60 min.) Leifel Jackson. Gang war: bangin' in Little Rock: Gain unprecedented access to actual rival gangs from Little Rock, Arkansas. A look at the lives of local Bloods, Crips, Folk, Vice Lords and Gangster Disciples in middle America. Back in the hood: gang war 2: Follows Leifel Jackson, onetime leader of the original Gangster Crips, as he is released from prison after almost a decade behind bars. Jackson was one of the targets in the 1993 drive-by shooting captured in the first gang war documentary. Now he is trying to live the straight life and make a difference in his neighborhood...but every day is a struggle. Special features: Audio commentary with producer/director Marc Levin, producer Daphne Pinkerson and former county coroner Steve Nawojczyk; "One decade later": interviews with Taz, Kool-Aid and Misty; "Notes from the coroner": interview with former county coroner Steve Nawojczyk, ten years after the original airing. Originally broadcast on HBO television in 1994. 120 min. DVD 6136

This shocking investigative documentary series offers a rare look inside some of the most notorious, deadly gangs in history. In each episode, the stories behind America's most important gangs are told through rare footage and exclusive interviews of gang members. Discover how they operate, their increasingly destructive methods, and the alarming rate at which they're spreading to suburban and rural areas. Disc 1. American gangster ; You rat, you die ; Code of conduct ; Behind enemy lines -- Disc 2. Race wars ; Kings of New York ; Stone to bone -- Disc 3. Hate nation ; Gangster city ; Blood in, blood out -- Disc 4. Basic training ; Blood oath ; Root of all evil. Originally broadcast on History during the 2007 season. 611 min. DVD X431

The Heart Broken in Half
An in-depth look at the street gangs of the Albany Park neighborhood in Chicago and the socio-economic conditions that give rise to them. Includes comments by neighborhood residents, interviews with several young gang members, scenes from the funeral and burial of a gang member who was killed in the street, and an extensive analysis of the intricate network of symbols, logos and icons (expressed in graffiti) that serve the gangs as a complex visual code for displaying identity and challenging rivals. Based on the ethnographic fieldwork of Dwight Conquergood. 1990. 57 min. DVD X248

Homeboys: Life and Death in the Hood
Embroiled in the deadly economy of crack cocaine, young African American "gangbangers" talk frankly of their experiences dealing drugs, being part of violent gangs, and losing their closest friends to violence. c1989. 28 min. Video/C 5993

Homeboys: "My Daddy's in Jail"
Re-visits the young men interviewed eight years ago in the film "Homeboys: life and death in the hood" -- all but one now in jail. Equal time is given to their young children, who are struggling to remember their fathers and to understand why their fathers are not living at home. Both generations describe the pain of life without their fathers. c1999. 26 min. Video/C MM108

Hood News
Citizen reporters from Hood News investigate stories straight from the streets including on site coverage of crime scenes through interviews with eye witnesses, police responses, police brutality, immigration laws, users of medical marijuana, mothers grieving sons lost to gang violence, and other issues. Contents: Volume 1. Police terrorism -- Beginning -- Min. Tony beating -- Protest -- Daniel Freeman -- Broadway 92nd -- Og man -- Kornblum -- Public service announcement -- Avalon and Imperial -- 52nd Atlantic -- Leslie Brooks -- Bear murder (115 min) --. Volume 2. Freedom of the press -- Beginning -- Innocent man or gun man? -- Crenshaw -- Murdered by the Compton sherriff -- What's your story? -- Live to eat and learn -- Philly -- NBA stars -- Medical marijuana -- Claude Jones/Obama rally -- Celebrity game -- Hotel march -- Sisters pain -- Farrakhan prays with mothers. (118 min.) 2009. DVD X2263

The Interrupters
The moving and surprising stories of three Violence Interrupters who, with bravado, humility, and even humor, try to protect their Chicago communities from the violence they once employed themselves. Shot over the course of a year, presenting an unusually intimate journey into the stubborn persistence of violence in our cities, this documentary follows these "Violence Interrupters" as they attempt to intervene in disputes before they turn violent. Directed and photographed by Steve James. 2012. 127 min. DVD X7056
Silent Witnesses: the Kitty Genovese Murder
On March 13, 1964, attacked by a man she didn't know, Kitty Genovese lay dying in the street of a middle-class neighborhood in New York. Over the next half-hour 37 witnesses watched through their windows as Genovese was stabbed two more times, the last fatally, but none called the police. Eyewitnesses gave varying reponses for their inaction. Did she die because of callousness now indicative of the changing American character? This film presentes interviews with people connected with the Kitty Genovese murder, including A.M. Rosenthal, author of Thirty-eight Witnesses : the Kitty Genovese Case. c1999. 43 min. Video/C 8406

Slippin': Ten Years with the Bloods
Documents the exploits of a group of African-American gang members through the mean streets of South Central LA for ten years after the 1992 LA race riots. Delves into the ongoin Blood/Crip gang war to reveal the short and brutal lives of LA street gangstas and the tragic personal toll that the gang life takes on families and friends. As the years and the bodies pile up, the boys grow into men and the highwire allure of street life gives way to the harsh realities of survival. Special features: "Slippin' ghettocam 1993" (28 min.); video footage shot by gang members themselves. Written and directed by Tommy Sowards and Joachim Schroeder. 84 min. 2005. DVD 7753

Streetfighters: Breaking the Cycle
Former drug dealer Leon Kelly relates his horrifying experiences with violence and dramatically describes the exact moment he decided to turn his life around -- and break the cycle. Rev. Kelly now devotes all of his time to educating young children about the danger of street gangs and violence, and helping rehabilitate hardened criminals who show a desire to change. c1999. 17 min. Video/C MM109

Understanding Violence
From within their communities, four young people tell stories of how they have been affected by violence. The places from which these individuals tell their stories- prison, high school, a wheel chair, and law school- reflect the positive and negative consequences of personal choice, and also the potential effects of exposure to violence and disadvantaged communities. Produced by Robert Arévalo. Presented at the International Latino Film Festival held in the San Francisco Bay Area. c2003. 36 min. DVD X3723

W.A.T.T.S.: We are Taught to Survive
Gains unmitigated access to the peace treaty signed by rival gangs in South Central Los Angeles and the ongoing struggles for a peaceful community. Includes interviews with members of the Crips and Bloods gangs. Produced, edited and photographed by Richard Adams. Produced as a thesis project for the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley. 2001. 23 min. Video/C 9168

Wrong Place, Wrong Time: The Aftermath of a Random Street Killing
A deeply affecting portrait of Stephen Moses, a young art student who was shot dead at a phone booth in a random shooting. The voices of the friends he left behind are heard as we see images of his art work in a posthumous exhibit. They remind us of the transience of life, and how quickly tragedy is forgotten in a society inured to violence. Produced and directed by John Haptas and Kristine Samuelson. 1987. 10 min. DVD 9574
To the top

Racial/Ethnic/Religious Violence

American Sons.
This film is a provocative examination of how racism shapes the lives of Asian American men. Asian American actors tell real stories based on interviews with Asian Americans addressing such issues as hate violence, the stereotypes placed on Asian men, and psychological damage that racism causes over generations. 1996. 41 min. Video/C 4391

Center for Asian American Media catalog description

Feng, Peter. "Redefining Asian American Masculinity: Steven Okazaki's 'American Sons.'" (Race in Contemporary American Cinema: Part 7) Cineaste v22, n3 (Summer, 1996):27 (3 pages).

Once a fanatical rising star in the white supremacist movement, Greg Winthrow grapples with a legacy of hatred handed down across generations in this haunting documentary. The film reveals how class divisions are masked by racial confict and follows the intense, angry and breathtakingly resourceful Winthrow as he grapples with his own redemption from a heritage of violence. 1998. 58 min. Video/C 7057

Description from Berkeley Media catalog

Blood in the Face.
Documents behind-the-scenes activities and individual philosophies and views of members of today's far right movement. Reveals the workings of the Ku Klux Klan, the American Nazi Party, the Aryan Nations, and David Duke. Based on the reporting of James Ridgeway, author of the book Blood in the face. Directed by Anne Bohlen, Kevin Rafferty, and James Ridgeway (MAIN: E184.A1 R482 1990; MOFF: E184.A1 R482 1990). 1991. 77 min. DVD X5373; Video/C 2319

Brotherhood of Hate
Examines the views of the violent white right in America through one family's legacy of hate, showing how it was handed down from one generation to the next. It is the story of eight brothers of the Kehoe family raised to be white supremacists warriors in Coleville, Washington. The eldest Chevie embarked on a national rampage of theft and murder including a triple homicide in Arkansas. This documentary tells the story of Deputy Sheriff Aaron Duvall's investigation into the case which reveals the virulent and dangerous mentality of white supremacy in America. 2000. 52 min. Video/C 8894

The California Reich.
A documentary on the National Socialist White Peoples Party in California that characterizes the party's dogma, leaders, and influence. Profiles the leaders of four California units showing their families, homes, and party meetings and social gatherings. 1975 55 min. Video/C 2913

The Darker Side of Black.
Gangsta chic, violence and nihilism, the hard edge of Rap and Reggae increasingly dominates the image of black popular culture. This film investigates the issues raised by the genre, such as ritualized machismo, misogyny, attitudes towards homosexuality and religion, and gun glorification. Filmed in dance halls, hip hop clubs, and using interviews and music video clips, film takes us to London, Jamaica and the U.S. to examine the "darker" side of contemporary black music. 1994. 59 min. Video/C 8894

Evil Among Us: Hate in America
2003. 51 min each installment.

Trail of Terror. This program examines domestic groups that inculcate members into hatred, often training them to carry out deadly crimes. Of primary focus are the Ku Klux Klan; Aryan Nations; Posse Comitatus; and the Covenant, the Sword and the Arm of the Lord, or CSA. Key incidents examined include Gordon Kahl's standoff with law enforcement and the standoff at CSA's fortified compound. Includes newsreel footage and photos. DVD 2286

Open Warfare. This program looks at the rise of America's extreme right wing. Angered by what they perceive as federal abuses of power and "race mixing," the "new patriots" have openly declared war on America. But who are they? By tracing such key events as the Oklahoma City bombing and the debacles at Ruby Ridge and Waco, this program examines the militia movement's major players, particularly Aryan Nations, its leader, Richard Butler and the splinter group, The Order. Includes extensive newsreel footage and numerous interviews. DVD 2287

The Lone Gunman. Fueled by the rhetoric of hate, the lone gunman views murder as a deadly mission. Using archival footage, reenactments, and interviews with FBI and ATF experts as well as those personally involved, this program isolates these elusive criminals, examining the link between fringe groups and lone gunmen. A psychological profile emerges in case studies of Benjamin Smith and his July 4th killing spree in 1999; Eric Rudolph, accused of bombing the 1996 Olympic games; Shelley Shannon, an anti-abortion extremist in prison for attempted murder, and Eric Harris of the Columbine High School killings. Includes interviews with leaders of white supremacist groups such as Matthew F. Hale, leader of the World Church of the Creator, and Dr. William Pierce, leader of the National Alliance. DVD 2288

The Fire This Time.
Through interviews with civic leaders, politicians and Los Angeles city residents film examines social conditions in Watts and other areas of inner city Los Angeles which have led to violence and rioting in the past. Critiques past governmental policies which have failed to correct the problem and makes suggestions for future solutions. 1993. 90 min. Video/C 3464

4 Little Girls.
Producer/director, Spike Lee. The Birmingham Campaign was launched in 1963. Martin Luther King Jr. and other activists were soon jailed... but it was the participation of the children that advanced the momentum of the Birmingham movement. They marched alongside the adults and were taken to jail with them as well. The 16th St. Baptist Church was close to the downtown area, it was an ideal location to hold rallies and meetings. On Sunday morning, Sept. 15, 1963, dynamite planted by the Ku Klux Klan, exploded in the building...under the fallen debris the bodies of [four] girls were found--Denise McNair, Addie Mae Collins, Carole Robertson and Cynthia Wesley died because of the color of their skin. 1998. 103 min. Video/C 5398

Collins, James. "4 Little Girls." (movie reviews) Time v151, n7 (Feb 23, 1998):86 (2 pages).
Britt, Donna. "Celebrating Life Before Martyrdom." (Spike Lee's documentary, '4 Little Girls')(Column) Washington Post v121, n44 (Fri, Feb 13, 1998):B1, col 1, 17 col in.
Byrd, Chris. "4 Little Girls." (movie reviews) Sojourners v27, n1 (Jan-Feb, 1998):63 (2 pages).
Klawans, Stuart. "4 Little Girls." (movie reviews) Nation v265, n4 (July 28, 1997):35 (2 pages).
Leonard, John. "Four Little Girls." (television program reviews) New York v31, n7 (Feb 23, 1998):135 (2 pages).
McCarthy, Todd. "4 Little Girls." (movie reviews) Variety v367, n11 (July 21, 1997):38.
Millner, Denene. "Remembering Four Little Girls." (Spike Lee's documentary on the 1963 bombing murder in Birmingham of Carole Denise McNair, Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Welsey and Carol Robertson while they were in Sunday School) American Visions v13, n1 (Feb-March, 1998):36.
Morgenstern, Joe. "4 Little Girls." (movie reviews) Wall Street Journal (Fri, July 18, 1997):A13(W), A13(E), col 1, 7 col in.

Hate and the Internet: Web Sites and the Issue of Free Speech
What is the price of free speech? American hate groups are having a field day on the World Wide Web, creating virulent virtual communities of intolerance. In this program ABC News anchor Ted Koppel investigates the proliferation of hate online with Don Black, founder of the white nationalist Web site Storm Front, and Floyd Abrams, a First Amendment attorney who has represented the New York Times and ABC News. They discuss both the medium and the message, plus thecontroversial issue of content filtering. Originally broadcast as a segment of: Nightline. c1999. 22 min. DVD 3019

Hate Crime.
Shows two examples of communities that are having some success in solving the problem of hate crimes. In South Carolina after the burning of Afro-American churchs, law enforcement officials arrested members of the Ku Klux Klan and one black church filed a lawsuit against the KKK winning a $38 million judgment against the Klan from a racially mixed jury. The second case spotlights a pioneering high school class on tolerance developed by teacher Joe Moros that has changed the social climate at San Clemente High School in California where tensions among whites, Latinos, blacks and Asian-Americans led to brutal violence and killing in the 1990s. c1999. 56 min. Video/C 6875 Extremists on the Internet
Addresses the use of the Internet to spread messages of hate and violence. Don Black, founder of Stormfront; Matt Hale, founder of the World Church of the Creator; Richard Butler, founder of Aryan Nations and Christian Identity; and Dr. William Pierce, founder of the National Alliance and author of The Turner diaries, expound their doctrines, tactics, and goals. Profiles of 'lone wolves' - individuals incited to commit violence and hate crimes - include Timothy McVeigh, Benjamin Smith, the lynchers of James Byrd, and others. c2000. 42 min. Video/C 7737

Inside the Ku Klux Klan: Faces of Hate
In this program, the leaders of the American Knights of the KKK and the Invisible Empire of the KKK air their views and discuss their efforts to recruit members through rallies, the Internet, and pamphlets. Civil rights crusaders, authors, representatives of the NAACP and the Anti-Defamation League, and religious and civic leaders analyze the Klan's rhetoric and ideology. Contains extensive footage of Klan rallies. 2000. 53 min. Video/C 8282

Invisible Revolution: A youth Subculture of Hate
This documentary profiles a chilling subculture among American youth: the clash between racist and anti-racist youth. Rising against the white supremacy movement, are a group of anti-racist skinheads, punk Anti Racist Action (ARA). Conflicts between these groups who are often indistinguishable as they battle one another, have led to assaults and even murder. A hard-hitting film with extreme expressions of racism. 2000. 55 min. Video/C 7656

The Klan: A Legacy of Hate in America .
Traces the beginnings of the Klan after the Civil War to its growth in the 1920s and the reasons for its present day revival. Describes the organization's activities against Afro-Americans, Jews, Catholics, and immigrants. 1989. Video/C 3242

The Klan: The Invisible Empire. (CBS Reports)
Shortly before this program was filmed in 1965, Klansmen were implicated in the murders of five people. Here Charles Kuralt presents an in-depth look at the Klan, featuring its history, its influence, the application process, and rare coverage of an initiation rite. Kuralt asks Klan leaders how they can avoid responsibility for violence when they themselves repeatedly whip up their followers to action. Among those interviewed are Alabama Attorney General Richmond Flowers, KKK Imperial Wizard Robert Shelton, and Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach. Originally aired on the CBS Television Network on September 21, 1965. 60 min. Video/C 8991

The Murder of Emmett Till
The shameful, sadistic murder of 14-year-old Emmett Till, a black boy who whistled at a white woman in a Mississippi grocery store in 1955, was a powerful catalyst for the civil rights movement. Although Till's killers were apprehended, they were quickly acquitted by an all-white, all-male jury and proceeded to sell their story to a journalist, providing grisly details of the murder. Three months after Till's body was recovered, the Montgomery Bus Boycott began. 2003. 60 min. DVD 9526; vhs Video/C 9440

Nazi America: A Secret History
After Germany's defeat in WWII exposed the horrors of the Nazi regime, Nazism in America became a threat that could no longer be ignored. Traces the story behind the American Nazi Party and the many neo-Nazi parties which are still active in the U.S. today. Interviews with party members reveal why these groups continue to embrace a cause that has been universally reviled and rejected, while law enforcement officers discuss the spread of racially motivated crime in America. Originally broadcast on the History Channel in 1999. 100 min. DVD X4779

The New Skinheads
More than 20 years ago, the first skinheads appeared in England. Violent youths with shaved heads, they intimidated any in their path. But for all their brutality and viciousness, they were too extreme to be a real threat to society, and many experts today feel that the movement has died. See why that optimistic view may be far from the truth. Examine the motives of these delinquents and find that, far from disappearing, they have become much smarter and more sophisticated growing their hair, hiding their tattoos and blending in with society. Yet, their dangerous message has continued to spread, as have murder rates, beatings, and hate crimes. And now, they have coordinated their efforts with other hate groups, including the KKK and Aryan Nations. Produced by Broadcast News Network, Inc. in association with A&E Network. 1996. 46 min. DVD 5146

No Justice...No Peace: Young, Black Immediate.
Interspersed with film clips of the Rodney King beating, filmaker interviews Afro-American college students in California concerning their experiences of racism, police harassment and the commonly percieved identity of Afro-American men as violent. 1992. 15 min. Video/C 3845

Open Letter: Grasp the Bird's Tail.
Directed by Brenda Joy Lem. Structuring her thoughts in a letter to her lover, a young woman confronts the very real fears of being an Asian woman in a world distored by misogynistic and anti-Asian hostilities. The work is a vividly disturbing contemplation of race, gender, and violence. 1992. 15 min. Video/C 2836

Center for Asian American Media catalog description

Rodney King Case/LA Insurrection: See African American Studies videography for holdings

Seven Days in Bensonhurst.
The 1989 murder of Yusef Hawkins by white youths in the Bensonhurst section of New York City set off a racial and political fire storm. On the eve of the first verdicts in the murder case, writer Shelby Steele returns to talk to the participants and tries to unravel the forces that propelled this racial crisis. From the television program, Frontline. 59 min. DVD X1454 [preservation copy]; vhs Video/C 1854

ABC-CLIO Video Rating Guide for Libraries

The Shot Heard Round the World
An examination of the death of teenaged Japanese exchange student, Yoshi Hattori, who was fatally shot by Rodney Peairs in 1992 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. This searing study in the pathology of urban fear, gun violence, criminal justice and cultural miscommunication utilizes news footage, videotape depositions, and interviews with the attorneys to examine the tragedy. 1997. 67 min. Video/C 5008

Center for Asian American Media catalog description

Skinhead Attitude
The first documentary to outline the history of forty years of the skinhead movement – from its extreme left to its extreme right wings. Starting by examining the most recent developments of the movement, the film describes the transformation and radicalization of this youth subculture. From London to Berlin, via Helsingborg, Dallas, Las Vegas and Montréal, skinheads established themselves as a movement with rebellious, violent, and often extremist traits. A film by Daniel Schweizer. 2003. 89 min. DVD X4757

Skinheads USA: The Pathology of Hate: Soldiers of the Race War.
A close-up look at white-supremacist skinhead hate groups active in the United States. Covers an actual neo-Nazi skinhead organization's day-to-day activities at its headquarters, white power rallies and recruitment drives, and visits a prison where four skinheads are jailed for the murder of a black man. Film powerfully captures firsthand the distorted idealism and openly racist objectives of the neo-Nazi youth movement. c1996. 54 min. Video/C 4998

Two Towns of Jasper
In 1998 in Jasper, Texas, James Byrd, Jr., a black man, was chained to a pickup truck and dragged to his death by three white men. The town was forever altered, and the nation woke up to the horror of a modern-day lynching. The filmmakers set out to document the aftermath of the murder by following the trials of the local men charged with the crime. The result is an explicit and troubling portrait of race in America, one that asks how and why a crime like this could have occurred. Originally produced in 2002 as a segment of the television series POV. 2003. 83 min. Video/C 9470


American Library Association Video Round Table Notable Video for Adults Peabody Awards

Cole, David. "Two Towns of Jasper." Visual Anthropology Review, Volume 21. Issue 1-2. March 2005 UC users only
Petersen, Jennifer. "Media as Sentimental Education: The Political Lessons of HBO's The Laramie Project and PBS's Two Towns of Jasper." Critical Studies in Media Communication, Aug2009, Vol. 26 Issue 3, p255-274, 20p UC users only
Rojas, Hernando; Shah, Dhavan V., et. al. "Media Dialogue: Perceiving and Addressing Community Problems." Mass Communication & Society, Spring2005, Vol. 8 Issue 2, p93-110, 18p, UC users only

Violence in Black America Life.
Examines the eruption of racial violence in America. Scenes from various race riots make up part of the program. 1983 made 1967. 60 min. Video/C 530

The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till
This film that helped reopen one of history's most notorious cold case civil rights murders, is the result of the director's 10-year journey to uncover the truth. In August, 1955, Mamie Till-Mobley of Chicago sent her only child, Emmett Louis Till, to visit relatives in the Mississippi Delta. Little did she know that only 8 days later, Emmett would be abducted from his Great-Uncle's home, brutally beaten and murdered for one of the oldest Southern taboos : whistling at a white woman in public. It was Beauchamp's nine years of investigation, summarized in the film, that was primarily responsible for the reopening of the case by the Justice Department. Produced and directed by Keith A. Beauchamp Special features: director's commentary with Keith A. Beauchamp ; the Harvard Civil Rights Project ; featurette "The Impact of the Emmett Till Case in American History and Today" ; trailer gallery. 2005. 70 min. DVD 5182

National Board of Review, USA - Freedom of Expression Award

The Murder of Emmett Till DVD 9526

Campbell, Christopher. "The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till (2005): A Film by Keith Beauchamp." Southern Quarterly: A Journal of the Arts in the South, vol. 45, no. 4, pp. 172-174, Summer 2008 UC users only
Segall, Rebecca; Holmberg, David. "Who Killed Emmett Till?" Nation; 2/3/2003, Vol. 276 Issue 4, p37-40, 4p UC users only
Wagner, Terry. "America's Civil Rights Revolution: Three Documentaries about Emmett Till's Murder in Mississippi (1955)." Historical Journal of Film, Radio & Television; Jun2010, Vol. 30 Issue 2, p187-201, 15p UC users only

Vincent Who?
Looks at the legacy of the case of Vincent Chin, a young Chinese American man who was attacked and killed at his bachelor's party at a suburban Detroit bar by current and former autoworkers who were unhappy with competition from Japanese auto manufacturers. The case attracted wide attention after Chin's attackers struck a plea bargain and were sentenced to three thousand dollars in fines and three years in prison, time that they never were required to serve after posting bail. Indignation by the Asian American community and others led to further charges being filed against the perpetrators. The film explores how the murder of Vincent Chin continues to have meaning to society today, as well as how the hate crime remains unknown or forgotten in many Americans' minds. Written & produced by Curtis Chin ; directed by Tony Lam. 2009. 40 min. DVD X3182

Who Killed Vincent Chin

Waco Fire Storm
Two years after the events of 1993, this is a news analysis of the government's response to the Branch Dividian standoff at Waco, Texas. Examines the question: Did agents of the U.S. government start the fire in which 75 people died? Originally broadcast on the television program Nightline, on May 5, 1995. Commentary by Paul Gray (chief arson investigator), Janet Reno, Chip Berlet, Carol Moore, Michael McNulty, James Pate. 23 min. Video/C 5950

Waco: The Inside Story.
Chronicles the siege of the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas in 1993, and the hostile interplay of FBI tactics teams and hostage negotiators. 199? 57 min. Video/C 4850

Waco: The Rules of Engagement.
A documentary film about the tragic series of events that occurred outside Waco, Texas in April 1993 in which 4 federal agents were killed along with 86 men, women and children of the Branch Davidian compound. This critical analysis of federal law enforcement gone tragically wrong, examines the need to reinforce the basic precepts of tolerance and freedom upon which American society is built. 1997. 136 min. Video/C 5339

Bowman, James. "Waco: the Documentary." American Spectator v30, n8 (August, 1997):68 (2 pages).
Elvin, John. "Waco: The Rules of Engagement." (movie reviews) Insight on the News v14, n9 (March 9, 1998):34.
Holden, Stephen. "WACO: The Rules of Engagement." (movie reviews) New York Times v146 (Fri, June 13, 1997):B13(N), C13(L), col 1, 17 col in.
Kauffmann, Stanley. "Waco: The Rules of Engagement." (movie reviews) New Republic v217, n2-3 (July 14, 1997):28 (3 pages).
Klawans, Stuart. "Waco: The Rules of Engagement." (movie reviews) Nation v265, n4 (July 28, 1997):36.
Verhovek, Sam Howe. "Four years after Waco raid, a documentary stokes slow-burning doubts; a hunger to know how and why Federal agents stormed a sect." (reaction to documentary film 'Waco: The Rules of Engagement') (Living Arts Pages) New York Times v146 (Tue, August 19, 1997):B1(N), C9(L), col 1, 32 col in.

Who Killed Vincent Chin?
Video on racism in working-class America focuses on the murder of Vincent Chin, a Chinese-American, in a Detroit bar. Interweaves the murder with social concerns and questions about justice. Director, Christine Choy. 1989. 83 min. DVD 9435; vhs Video/C 1767

Description from Filmakers Library catalog

Chang, Robert S. "Dreaming in Black and White: Racial-Sexual Policing in Birth of a Nation, The Cheat, and Who Killed VIncent Chin." Asian Law Journal 5, (1998) UC users only
Cohan, C. "Who killed Vincent Chin?" Cineaste v. 17 no. 1 (1989) p. 20
Fishbein, Leslie. "Who Killed Vincent Chin? (1988): Ethnicity and a Babble of Discourses." Film-Historia [Spain] 1995 5(2-3): 137-146. Fishbein, Leslie. "Who Killed Vincent Chin? (1988): The American Historical Review, Vol. 95, No. 4 (Oct., 1990), pp. 1147-1150 UC users only
Nichols, Bill. "Historical Consciousness and the Viewer: Who Killed Vincent Chin?" In: The Persistence of History: Cinema, Television, and the Modern Event. Edited by Vivian Sobchack. pp: 55-68. New York: Routledge, 1996. AFI film readers. (Main Stack PN1995.2.P47 1996)
Tajima-Peña, Renee. "Fast forward to History." Amerasia Journal 2002 28(3): 7-12.
Tajima-Peña, Renee; Sagara, M. Rosalind, interviewer. "Political Filmmaking: Talking With Renee Tajima-Peña." Women's Studies Quarterly 2002 30(1-2): 178-188. UC users only
White, A. "Who killed Vincent Chin?." Film Comment v. 24 (May/June 1988) p. 58
Wu, Jean. "Teaching Who Killed Vincent Chin? - 1991 and 2001." Amerasia Journal 2002 28(3): 13-23.

To the top

Violence and the Media

Dreamworlds 2.
A controversial video that MTV tried to ban by threat of legal action if it was released. Portrays the impact that sex and violence in media have on society and culture in our everyday life. Shows scenes from over 165 music videos to show how the media portrays masculinity, femininity, sex, and sex roles. Includes a scene of a brutal gang rape from the movie, The accused. 1995. 57 min. Video/C 4057

If It Bleeds, It Leads: A Film About Local TV New.
A discussion of the use of sensational news stories by local television news programs, focusing on Channel 22 in Dayton, Ohio. c1995. 15 min. Video/C 4079

The Killing Screens: Media and the Culture of Violence.
Contents: 1. Stories of power -- 2. Happy violence -- 3. Accelerating violence -- 4. Violence is a social relationship -- 5. Lessons of violence -- 6. Citizenship in the cultural environment -- 7. What parents, teachers, and schools can do. Host, Jean Kilbourne, with George Gerbner. Explores why there is so much violence on television and its effects on viewers. Addresses psychological, political, social, and developmental impacts of growing and living within a cultural environment of pervasive, ritualized violent representation. Suggests new ways of thinking about the negative effects of mass media on society, and discusses what can be done. Questions and ideas are based on the results of a 20-year ongoing study, the Cultural Indicators Project, by Dr. George Gerbner. c1994. 41 min. DVD 4889; Video/C 3581

On Television: The Violence Factor.
Host Edwin Newman explores the impact of television violence on viewers, especially on young children, through interviews with actors, network executives, media analysts, mental health researchers, children, and interested adults. c1986. 60 min. Video/C 2649

California Newsreel catalog description

Race Against Prime Time.
Documentary which explores how television news coverage of violent racial conflicts acts in complicated ways to exacerbate community and individual conflicts. 1985. 60 min. Video/C 1443

California Newsreel catalog description

To the top

Copyright (C) 1996 by the Library, University of California, Berkeley. All rights reserved.
Document maintained on server: by
The Media Resources Center.
Last update 09/24/13 [gt]

MRC web graphics by Mary Scott, Graphics Office, The Teaching Library