[Videolib] New Releases from the Cinema Guild -Middle Eastern

Fred Sandner (fsandner@rcls.org)
Thu, 26 Aug 2004 19:34:10 -0400

Great films! I would probably order "Different Drummer" for our Jewish/Israel/Palestinian collection, but even though we're a medium-sized public library, we just casn't afford $275 for one title. Public libraries are not just interested in pop movie fare - they often have special collections or concentrations - but the prices of documentaries are prohibitive. My theory has been: cut the price significantly and the difference will be made up in sales.

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From: "Handeh Kemmer" <hkemmer@cinemaguild.com>
Reply-To: videolib@library.berkeley.edu
Date: Thu, 26 Aug 2004 12:52:13 -0400

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>"Media collections seeking an unbiased and balanced portrayal of one of
>our world's most fractious situations should consider purchasing this well-crafted title.”
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>School Library Journal
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>DIFFERENT DRUMMERS:
>DARING TO MAKE PEACE IN THE MIDEAST
>Examining the efforts of Israeli and Palestinian organizations and individuals to overcome the legacy of bitterness between them and to find ways to end the ongoing conflict. It features interviews with a variety of Israeli human rights and peace activists who, out of political and religious commitment, are confronting the controversial issues of the Occupation, the Jewish settlements, the checkpoints, and the Palestinian refugee problem.
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>Directed by John Michalczyk
>2003, color, 50 mins, VHS
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>"…turns out to be rather prescient…offers viewers a lot of food for thought, while also presenting a seldom-seen glimpse of everyday Iraqi life…a valuable contemporary document. Sure to be a popular addition, this is highly recommended for both public and academic library collections."-Video Librarian
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>IRAQ: VOICES FROM THE STREETS
>The filmaker joins a U.S. congressional delegation, led by Congressman Nick Rahall (D-West Virginia) and former South Dakota Senator James Abourezk, that traveled to Iraq in September 2002 to meet with Sa'doun Hammadi, Speaker of the Iraqi National Assembly, and Tariq Aziz, Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister, to discuss the readmission of UN arms inspectors in the hope of averting war. The video also features numerous 'man-in-the-street' interviews with Iraqi citizens, commentary from international politicians and peace activists, shocking views of the impact of UN sanctions and U.S. bombing on the Iraqi economy and population, and the restrictions of the 'oil for food' program. Whatever one's attitude about the U.S. war with Iraq, this short video offers a rare chance to hear the views of ordinary Iraqi citizens about the U.S.
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>Directed by Sonia Angulo and Saul Landau
>2002, color, 22 mins., VHS
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>"Poignant, timely...important...a riveting documentary with the feel of an undercover expose." — School Library Journal
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>SECRET HEBRON: THE SCHOOL RUN
>Revealing the plight of young Palestinian children in the West Bank city of Hebron who regularly risk being attacked by Israeli soldiers as they try to go to school each morning. While the presence of international observers sometimes helps the children get safely to school, Israeli soldiers also regularly use percussion grenades, tear gas and rubber bullets against them. Thus, in direct contravention of UN resolutions and the Fourth Geneva Convention, the Israeli government continues to deny a generation of Palestinian children in the Occupied Territories their right to an education.
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>Directed by Donna Baillie
>2003, color, 28 mins., VHS
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>"…Judgment Day is more interested in finding solutions than becoming mired in recriminations…What gives the film poignancy is that the filmmaker seems as genuinely interested in the long-term effects the Occupation has on Israeli culture as in the physical damage it inflicts on Palestinians."—Cineaste Magazine
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>JUDGEMENT DAY
>By comparing the current Israeli/Palestinian conflict with the previous struggle for liberation and democracy in South Africa, this film makes a universal statement about war and the effects of war on young people on both sides of the conflicts. Focusing on the experiences of two young South Africans who discuss how they were brutalized in the South African conflict and who explain their current search for healing. After tracing the 1967 occupation by Israel of the Palestinian territories and examining the viewpoint of the Israeli settler communities.
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>Directed by Kevin Harris
>2001, color, 59 mins., VHS
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>"...captivating...this timely program presents the rich and diverse society of Syria as one which could be emblematic of much of the Middle East, and is certainly worthy of purchase consideration for media collections needing well-timed and contemporary information in an effective presentation."—School Library Journal
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>SYRIA: BETWEEN IRAQ AND A HARD PLACE
>Imagine a nation located between Israel, with its ongoing Palestinian tensions, and Iraq occupied by US forces. High U.S. officials threaten Syria, accusing it of accumulating weapons of mass destruction and having links to terrorists. Inside the country, we see a delicate balance of modern-clad men and women maintaining centuries-old traditions amidst satellite dishes on roofs and other symbols of globalization.
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>Directed by Saul Landau
>2004, color, 30 mins., VHS
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>"This important film is a damning indictment of how the government over-reacted after 9/11, singling out and targeting people who had nothing to do with terrorism. It should have the widest possible distribution and viewing by the American public." - Abdeen Jabara, Civil Rights Attorney and Former President of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee
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>POINT OF ATTACK
>In the aftermath of 9/11this documentary chronicles the racial profiling, large scale round-ups, detentions and mass deportations of Arab, Muslim and South Asian men as part of the government's "War on Terrorism." Interviews with detainees who tell about their arrest and detention, a mandatory special registration program that is imposed on Muslims, flights across the Canadian Border, and mass deportations overseas give a chilling view of their ordeal. The documentary frames the plight of these immigrant communities within the context of the US government's "other war" against civil liberties that is being waged via the USA Patriot Act. Although the "point of attack" of such legislation may be specific immigrant groups, the broader implications, detailing the undermining of basic freedoms for everyone, are explored.
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>Directed by: Kathleen Foster
>2004,color, 46 mins, VHS
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>"...effectively conveys reasons for Palestinian outrage, with stark evidence of the destruction wrought by the Israeli armed forces...For strong Middle East collections."—Library Journal
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>WOMEN IN BLACK
>Documenting the activities of Women in Black, a multinational organization that holds vigils for peace around the world, focusing on their efforts to promote a peaceful resolution to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. The video also features interviews with members of the Israeli Women in Black, Jewish Israeli women who in 1988 founded the organization to protest their government's Occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, as well as Palestinians struggling to maintain normal family life while surrounded by tanks and snipers, a Jewish settler woman who voices fears for her family, and documents the impact of the recent siege on life in Bethlehem, and the harsh realities of everyday life in the Jenin refugee camp.
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>Directed by Donna Baillie
>2002, color, 53 mins., VHS
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>BY THE DAWN'S EARLY LIGHT:
>CHRIS JACKSON'S JOURNEY TO ISLAM
>In 1996, basketball star Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf (formerly Chris Jackson) caused a national stir when the NBA suspended him for refusing to stand during the national anthem because of his "Muslim conscience." The documentary reexamines this controversy, the media misrepresentations and the reactions of the Muslim immigrants who responded with an embarrassed disavowal. Although Abdul Rauf's stance was consistent with the political orientation of many African American Muslims, his dissent perplexed many immigrant Muslims unfamiliar with the long history of American dissent. The film documents multiple and competing perspectives creating a complex montage of voices, including the analyses of four Muslim jurists, addresses issues of Islam in the US which take on a special urgency after 9-11and yet the film remains a simple story of one man's spiritual journey.
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>Directed by Zareena Grewal
>2004, 52 mins, VHS
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>To request a preview tape, please call or email Handeh Kemmer
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>at (212) 685-6242 or hkemmer@cinemaguild.com
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>The Cinema Guild
>130 Madison Avenue, 2nd Floor
>New York, NY 10016
>Tel: (212) 685-6242
>Fax: (212) 685-4717
>Web: www.cinemaguild.com
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Fred Sandner
Head, Circulation/Media Services          
Finkelstein Memorial Library

You see, I don't believe that libraries should be drab places where people sit in silence, and that's been the main reason for our policy of employing wild animals as librarians. -Monty Python, "Gorilla Librarian" sketch

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