UC Berkeley Library

The West

Home Economics: A Documentary of Suburbia

Documents the American dream of home ownership via portraits and landscapes from a Los Angeles suburb. Three women and a teenage girl speak of their struggles to sustain family and community connections amid current socio-economic conditions. Their stories reveal a sad irony--home ownership is often achieved at the expense of the very values a home is said to represent. 1994. 47 min.


Documentary portrait of a Chicano youth gang. Depicts life in Cuatro flats, a housing project in East Los Angeles, as seen through the eyes of gang members.

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.

How Weed Won the West

With California and the rest of the country going bankrupt, one business is booming. Takes a journey through the world of the growing medical marijuana industry, focusing on Los Angeles with over 700 legal dispensaries doling out the buds. Following the story of Organica, a southland dispensary which was raided by state and federal agencies in August of 2009, this film shows that although much has changed with Obama in office, the drug war is nowhere nearly over. Directed by Kevin Booth. c2010. 102 min.

Impressions of California: Early Currents in Art 1850-1930

Examines and documents the story of early California art from statehood in 1850 to the beginning of the Great Depression in 1930. Contents: I. Awakening in the north -- II. Rise of Impressioism in Southern California -- III. Early art in Laguna Beach and San Diego -- IV. Beyond Impressionism. Producer-writer-director Paul Bockhorst. 1996. 112 min.

In Her Own Time

Focuses on cultural anthropologist Barbara Myerhoff's study of the community of Hasidic Jews in Los Angeles's Fairfax neighborhood. Also relates how, after exhausting medical treatment for cancer, she found strength among the traditions, faith, and caring of these Orthodox Jews. Directed by Lynne Littman. 1985. Dist.: Direct Cinema. 60 min.

Invisible Indians: Mixtec Farmworkers in California

This presentation examines the distinct culture of Mixtec Indians from Oaxaca, Mexico, who started to migrate to California in the early 1970's to work in the produce fields. This program focuses on the special skills and values that these people bring to California agriculture jobs and their continuing connection to their communities in Mexico. Also examined are their living conditions in California. 1993. 35 min. [preservation copy]

Ishi of Fire Mountain (Ishi in Two Worlds).

A new edition of the film Ishi in two worlds by Richard C. Tomkins. Based upon the book Ishi in two worlds by Theodora Kroeber. Documentary of the life of Ishi, the sole survivor of a small band of Yahi Indians, who was found in 1911 in Oroville, California. Dramatizes the enormous contrast between his former primitive existence and his life in early twentieth-century San Francisco. 19 min. c1999.