FILM LIBRARY: J - N

Johnny Cash: The Man, His World, His Music
by Robert Elfstrom

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In this classic 1969 documentary, the Man in Black is captured at his peak, the first of many in a looming roller-coaster career. Fresh on the heels of his Folsom Prison album, Cash reveals the dark intensity and raw talent that made him a country music star and cultural icon. Director Robert Elfstrom got closer than any other filmmaker to Cash, who is seen performing with his new bride June Carter Cash, in a rare duet with Bob Dylan, and behind the scenes with friends, family and aspiring young musicians. "Johnny Cash: The Man, His World, His Music" paints an unforgettable portrait that endures beyond the singer's 2003 death.

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The Judge and the General
by Elizabeth Farnsworth and Patricio Lanfranco

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When in 1998 Chilean judge Juan Guzman was assigned the first criminal cases against the country's ex-dictator, General Augusto Pinochet, no one expected much. Guzman had supported Pinochet's 1973 coup — waged as an anti-Communist crusade — that left the democratically elected president, Salvador Allende, and thousands of others dead or "disappeared." The filmmakers trace the judge's descent into what he calls "the abyss," where he uncovers the past — including his own role in the tragedy. "The Judge and the General" reveals one of the 20th century's most notorious episodes and tells a cautionary tale about violating human rights in the name of "higher ideals." A co-production of Independent Television Service (ITVS) in association with Latino Public Broadcasting.

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Kelly Loves Tony
by Spencer Nakasako

Kelly Loves Tony'
She's a straight-A student; he's trying to leave gang life behind. A camcorder becomes both witness and confidante for these markedly singular, yet utterly typical teens as they self-document the trials of growing up too fast and too soon in America. Emmy award winning filmmaker Spencer Nakasako deftly guides this video diary of a young Southeast Asian couple wrestling with the demands of parenting, love, dreams and disillusionment in the nebulous cultural zone between first and second generation immigrant life.

 

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Kings of Pastry
by Chris Hegedus and D A Pennebaker

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When Chris Hegedus and D A Pennebaker, award-winning filmmakers of The War Room, Startup.com and Don't Look Back, turn their sights on the competition for the Meilleurs Ouvriers de France, the country’s Nobel Prize for pastry, you’re in for a treat. In Kings of Pastry, 16 chefs, including Jacquy Pfeiffer, co-founder of Chicago’s French Pastry School, whip up the most gorgeous, delectable, gravity-defying concoctions and edge-of-your-seat drama as they deliver their spun-sugar desserts to the display table. The inevitable disasters and successes prove both poignant and hilarious. (90 minutes)

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Koch
by Neil Barsky

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New York City mayors have a world stage on which to strut, and they have made legendary use of it. Yet few have matched the bravado, combativeness and egocentricity that Ed Koch brought to the office during his three terms from 1978 to 1989. As Neil Barsky's Koch recounts, Koch was more than the blunt, funny man New Yorkers either loved or hated. Elected in the 1970s during the city's fiscal crisis, he was a new Democrat for the dawning Reagan era—fiscally conservative and socially liberal. Koch finds the former mayor politically active to the end (he died in 2013)—still winning the affection of many New Yorkers while driving others to distraction.


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Kokoyakyu: High School Baseball
by Kenneth Eng

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In Japan, baseball is not a pastime — it’s a national obsession. And for many of the country’s youth, the sport has become a rite of passage, epitomized by the national high school baseball tournament known simply as "Koshien." Four thousand teams enter, but only 49 are chosen to compete in the championship that grips the nation for two weeks every August. Following two teams and their dedicated coaches, "Kokoyakyu: High School Baseball" take viewers inside a world where baseball becomes a proving ground for life’s challenges.

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La Boda
by Hannah Weyer

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Elizabeth is marrying Artemio in Nuevo Leon, Mexico and you are cordially invited to the wedding. Meet these two young people from the U.S.-Mexican border region whose lives are framed by the challenges of migrant life. Through Elizabeth, we see a family and community continually on the move, keeping alive their roots in Mexico even as they incorporate American-style dreams and their often harsh realities. In this absorbing film, the wedding becomes a touching evocation of migrant life, girlhood, and the enduring strength of family tradition.

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Larry v. Lockney
by Mark Birnbaum and Jim Schermbeck

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Meet Larry Tannahill. Out of 2,000 residents in the West Texas town of Lockney, he's the only one against the school board's new mandatory drug testing policy. Larry, a third-generation farmer, believes the testing is a violation of his son's Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable searches. He sues to overturn the policy, forming an unlikely alliance with the American Civil Liberties Union. In the battle over rights, Larry makes headlines around the country, loses his job and his family receives threats. Mark Birnbaum and Jim Schermbeck's "Larry v. Lockney" dramatically reveals the price of democracy in a small Texas town, when one man stands against the majority. An Independent Television Service (ITVS) co-presentation.

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The Last Conquistador
by John J. Valadez and Cristina Ibarra

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Renowned sculptor John Houser has a dream: to build the world's tallest bronze equestrian statue for the city of El Paso, Texas. He envisions a stunning monument to Spanish conquistador Juan de Oñate that will honor the contributions Hispanic people made to building the American West. But as the project nears completion, troubles arise. Native Americans are outraged — they remember Oñate as the man who brought genocide to their land and sold their children into slavery. As El Paso divides along lines of race and class in "The Last Conquistador," the artist must face the moral implications of his work. A co-production of Independent Television Service (ITVS). A co-presentation of Latino Public Broadcasting, Native American Public Telecommunications and KERA Dallas/Fort Worth.

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Last Man Standing: Politics Texas Style
by Paul Stekler

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Asking what the politics are that launched George W. Bush to national office, award-winning filmmaker Paul Stekler takes his camera to Texas for a lively, behind-the-scenes look at a pair of 2002 elections — one for state representative in a district that includes Lyndon Johnson's hometown, and a polarizing race for governor. Prominent Texans, including Bush strategist Karl Rove, former Governor Ann Richards, Clinton appointees Henry Cisneros and Paul Begala, and writer Molly Ivins shed light on the changing political landscape. In the end, "Last Man Standing" shows how politics in Texas may have become the blueprint for Washington. A 2004 Election Issue Special.

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Last Train Home
by Lixin Fan

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Every spring, China’s cities are plunged into chaos as 130 million migrant workers journey to their home villages for the New Year in the world’s largest human migration. Last Train Home takes viewers on a heart-stopping journey with the Zhangs, a couple who left infant children behind for factory jobs 16 years ago, hoping their wages would lift their children to a better life. They return to a family growing distant and a daughter longing to leave school for unskilled work. As the Zhangs navigate their new world, Last Train Home paints a rich, human portrait of China’s rush to economic development. An EyeSteelFilm production in association with ITVS International. An Official Selection of the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. (90 minutes)

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The Law in These Parts
by Ra’anan Alexandrowicz and Liran Atzmor

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In The Law in These Parts, acclaimed Israeli filmmaker Ra’anan Alexandrowicz has pulled off a tour-de-force examination of the system of military administration used by Israel since the Six Day War of 1967—featuring the system’s leading creators. In a series of thoughtful and candid interviews, Israeli judges, prosecutors and legal advisers, who helped devise the occupation’s legal framework, paint a complex picture of the Middle East conflict and the balance among political interests, security and human rights that has come with it. Winner, World Cinema Jury Prize: Documentary, 2012 Sundance Film Festival.

 

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Lawn
by Monteith McCollum

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"Your lawn is a reflection of your character," a woman says in a phone conversation at the beginning of the film. "Lawn" explores our relationship with nature and our desire to control it. Filmed over a period of months through time-lapse, stop-motion, and long takes, it depicts an untamed yard (McCollum’s) living and dying.

This is a 9 minute short film.


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The Learning
by Ramona Diaz

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One hundred years ago, American teachers established the English-speaking public school system of the Philippines. Now, in a striking turnabout, American schools are recruiting Filipino teachers. The Learning is the story of four Filipino women who reluctantly leave their families and schools to teach in Baltimore. With their increased salaries, they hope to transform their families’ lives back in their impoverished country. But the women also bring idealistic visions of the teacher’s craft and of life in America, which soon collide with Baltimore’s tough realities. A co-production of CineDiaz and ITVS in association with The Center for Asian American Media, with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and American Documentary | POV. (90 minutes)

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Libby, Montana
by Drury Gunn Carr and Doug Hawes-Davis

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Nestled below the rugged peaks of the Northern Rockies in Montana — as iconic a representation of America's "purple mountain majesties" as one can find — lies the worst case of community-wide exposure to a toxic substance in U.S. history. In the small town of Libby, many hundreds of people are sick or have already died from asbestos exposure. "Libby, Montana" takes a long working day's journey into a blue-collar community, and finds a different reality — one where the American Dream exacts a terrible price.

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Life And Debt
by Stephanie Black

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Jamaica — land of sea, sand and sun. And a prime example of the impact economic globalization can have on a developing country. Using conventional and unconventional documentary techniques, this searing film dissects the "mechanism of debt" that is destroying local agriculture and industry while substituting sweat-shops and cheap imports. Life and Debt is an unapologetic look at the "new world order," from the point of view of Jamaican workers, farmers, government and policy officials who see the reality of globalization from the ground up.

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Life. Support. Music
by Eric Daniel Metzgar

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In 2004, Jason Crigler's life was taking off. He was one of New York's hottest young guitarists, his new CD was due for release and his wife, Monica, was pregnant with their first child. Then, at a gig in Manhattan, Jason suffered a near-fatal brain hemorrhage. His doctors doubted he would ever emerge from his near-vegetative state. The astonishing journey that followed, documented by friend and filmmaker Eric Daniel Metzgar (The Chances of the World Changing, POV 2007), is a stirring family saga and a portrait of creative struggle in the face of overwhelming tragedy.

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The Light in Her Eyes
by Julia Meltzer and Laura Nix

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Houda al-Habash, a conservative Muslim preacher, founded a Qur’an school for girls in Damascus, Syria, 30 years ago. Every summer, her female students immerse themselves in a rigorous study of Islam. A surprising cultural shift is underway — women are claiming space within the mosque. Shot right before the uprising in Syria erupted, The Light in Her Eyes offers an extraordinary portrait of a leader who challenges the women of her community to live according to Islam, without giving up their dreams. An Official Selection of the 2011 International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam. (90 minutes)

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Lomax the Songhunter
by Rogier Kappers

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Alan Lomax was "the song hunter." He devoted his life to recording the world's folk tunes before they would permanently disappear with the rise of the modern music industry. In "Lomax the Songhunter," filmmaker Rogier Kappers seeks to tell Lomax's story by interviewing friends such as Pete Seeger, combining it with archival recordings of music greats Woody Guthrie and Leadbelly, and gathering footage of the cotton fields, rock quarries and prisons where Alan Lomax captured America’s quintessential music. Finally, Kappers followed the route that Lomax took so many years ago and traveled to remote villages in Spain and Italy, hearing memories and music from the farmers, shepherds and weavers whose songs Lomax recorded decades earlier.

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Lost Boys of Sudan
by Megan Mylan and Jon Shenk

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For the last 20 years, civil war has raged in Sudan, killing and displacing millions. "Lost Boys of Sudan" follows two young refugees from the Dinka tribe, Peter and Santino, through their first year in America. Along with 20,000 other boys, they lost their families and wandered hundreds of miles across the desert seeking safety. After a decade in a Kenyan refugee camp, nearly 4,000 "lost boys" have come to the U.S. As Peter and Santino set out to make new lives for themselves in Houston, their struggle asks us to rethink what it means to be an American. An Independent Television Service (ITVS) co-presentation.

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Love & Diane
by Jennifer Dworkin

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"Love & Diane" is a frank and astonishingly intimate real-life drama of a mother and daughter desperate for love and forgiveness, but caught in a devastating cycle. During the 1980's, a crack cocaine epidemic ravaged many impoverished inner city neighborhoods. As parents like Diane succumbed to addiction, a generation of children like Love entered the foster care system. Shot over ten years, the film centers on Love and Diane after the family is reunited and is struggling to reconnect. Now eighteen and a mother herself, Love must reconcile her anger and confront the ways in which her mother's past mistakes haunt her life. Diane, in turn, makes new choices for herself, seeking to break the treadmill of addiction and poverty. Powerful and immediate, "Love & Diane" is an epic film that shatters stereotypes and offers hope amidst seemingly impossible odds. An Independent Television Service (ITVS) co-presentation.

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Lumo
by Bent-Jorgen Perlmutt and Nelson Walker III
co-directed by Louis Abelman & Lynn True

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The agonies of present-day Africa are deeply etched in the bodies of women. In eastern Congo on the Rwandan border, vying militias, armies and bandits use rape as a weapon of terror. Lumo Sinai was just over 20 when marauding soldiers attacked her. A fistula, a medical condition common among victims of violent rape, rendered Lumo incontinent and threatens her ability to bear children. Rejected by her fiancé and cast aside by her family, she awaits reconstructive surgery. "Lumo" is her story, tragic in its cruelties but also inspiring for the struggle she wages and the dignity she displays, with the help of an extraordinary African hospital, to overcome shame, fear and the affliction that robs her of a normal life.

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Made in L.A.
by Almudena Carracedo and Robert Bahar

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"Made in L.A." follows the remarkable story of three Latina immigrants working in Los Angeles sweatshops as they embark on a three-year odyssey to win basic labor protections from a trendy clothing retailer. In intimate verité style, "Made in L.A." reveals the impact of the struggle on each woman's life as they are gradually transformed by the experience. Compelling, humorous, deeply human, "Made in L.A." is a story about immigration, the power of unity and the courage it takes to find your voice. A co-production with the Independent Television Service (ITVS). A Diverse Voices Project co-production. A co-presentation with Latino Public Broadcasting.

Winner of the 2008 News & Documentary Emmy Award for Outstanding Continuing Coverage of a News Story — Long Form

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Maquilapolis [city of factories]
by Vicky Funari and Sergio De La Torre

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Just over the border in Mexico is an area peppered with maquiladoras: massive factories often owned by the world's largest multinational corporations. Carmen and Lourdes work at maquiladoras in Tijuana, where each day they confront labor violations, environmental devastation and urban chaos. In this lyrical documentary, the women reach beyond the daily struggle for survival to organize for change, taking on both the Mexican and U.S. governments and a major television manufacturer. A co-production of the Independent Television Service (ITVS).

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Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision
by Freida Lee Mock

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The Vietnam War Memorial was one of the most controversial monuments of its time. Thrust in to the eye of the storm was architect-sculptor Maya Lin, whose design for the memorial was chosen when she was a 21-year-old college student. Withstanding bitter attacks, she held her ground with clarity and grace. In this Academy Award winner, Freida Lee Mock follows a decade in the life of this visionary artist.

"Two Thumbs Up" — Siskel and Ebert


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The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers
by Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith

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In 1971, Daniel Ellsberg, a leading Vietnam War strategist, concludes that America’s role in the war is based on decades of lies. He leaks 7,000 pages of top-secret documents to The New York Times, a daring act of conscience that leads directly to Watergate, President Nixon’s resignation and the end of the Vietnam War. Ellsberg and a who’s-who of Vietnam-era movers and shakers give a riveting account of those world-changing events in POV’s The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers by award-winning filmmakers Judith Ehrlich (The Good War and Those Who Refused to Fight It) and Rick Goldsmith (Tell the Truth and Run: George Seldes and the American Press). A co-production of ITVS in association with American Documentary/POV.

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Mugabe and the White African
by Lucy Bailey and Andrew Thompson

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Mugabe and the White African, much of which was filmed clandestinely, tells an alarming story from one of the world’s most troubled nations. In Zimbabwe, de facto dictator Robert Mugabe has unleashed a "land reform" program aimed at driving whites from the country through violence and intimidation. One proud “white African,” however, has challenged Mugabe with human rights abuses under international law. The courage Michael Campbell and his family display as they defend their farm — in court and on the ground — makes for a film as inspiring as it is harrowing. (90 minutes)

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My American Girls: A Dominican Story
by Aaron Matthews

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In vivid verité detail, My American Girls captures the joys and struggles in a year of the lives of the Ortiz family, first-generation immigrants from the Dominican Republic. Matthews' funny and touching film captures the rewards and costs of pursuing the American dream. From hard-working parents who imagine retiring to their rural homeland to their American-born daughters caught between their parent's values and their own, the film encompasses the contradictions of contemporary immigrant life.

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My Country, My Country
by Laura Poitras

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Working alone in Iraq over eight months, filmmaker Laura Poitras ("Flag Wars," POV) creates an extraordinarily intimate portrait of Iraqis living under U.S. occupation. Her principal focus is Dr. Riyadh, an Iraqi medical doctor, father of six and Sunni political candidate. An outspoken critic of the occupation, he is equally passionate about the need to establish democracy in Iraq, arguing that Sunni participation in the January 2005 elections is essential. Yet all around him, Dr. Riyadh sees only chaos, as his waiting room fills each day with patients suffering the physical and mental effects of ever-increasing violence. "My Country, My Country" is a powerful mosaic of daily life in Iraq. A co-production with the Independent Television Service (ITVS), produced in association with POV/American Documentary.

Nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 2007.


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My Reincarnation
by Jennifer Fox

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Filmed over 20 years by acclaimed documentarian Jennifer Fox, My Reincarnation chronicles the epic story of exiled Tibetan Buddhist master Chögyal Namkhai Norbu and his Western-born son, Yeshi. As Namkai Norbu rises as a teacher in the West, Yeshi, recognized from birth as the reincarnation of a famed Buddhist master, breaks away to embrace the modern world. Can the father convince his son to keep the family’s spiritual legacy alive? With intimate access to both the family and H.H. The Dalai Lama, Fox distills a decades-long drama into a universal story about love, transformation and destiny. Produced in association with American Documentary | POV. (90 minutes)

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My Way to Olympia
by Niko von Glasow

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Who better to cover the Paralympics, the international sporting event for athletes with physical and intellectual disabilities, than Niko von Glasow, the world's best-known disabled filmmaker? Unfortunately—or fortunately for anyone seeking an insightful and funny documentary—this filmmaker frankly hates sports and thinks the games are "a stupid idea." Born with severely shortened arms, von Glasow serves as an endearing guide to London's Paralympics competition in My Way to Olympia. As he meets a one-handed Norwegian table tennis player, the Rwandan sitting volleyball team, an American archer without arms and a Greek paraplegic boccia player, his own stereotypes about disability and sports get delightfully punctured. Official Selection of the 2013 Berlin International Film Festival.


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Neurotypical
by Adam Larsen

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Neurotypical is an unprecedented exploration of autism from the point of view of autistic people themselves. Four-year-old Violet, teenaged Nicholas and adult Paula occupy different positions on the autism spectrum, but they are all at pivotal moments in their lives. How they and the people around them work out their perceptual and behavioral differences becomes a remarkable reflection of the “neurotypical” world—the world of the non-autistic—revealing inventive adaptations on each side and an emerging critique of both what it means to be normal and what it means to be human.

 

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New Muslim Cool
by Jennifer Maytorena Taylor

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Puerto Rican-American rapper Hamza Pérez pulled himself out of drug dealing and street life 12 years ago and became a Muslim. Now he's moved to Pittsburgh's tough North Side to start a new religious community, rebuild his shattered family and take his message of faith to other young people through hard-hitting hip-hop music. But when the FBI raids his mosque, Hamza must confront the realities of the post-9/11 world, and himself. New Muslim Cool takes viewers on Hamza's ride through streets, slums and jail cells — following his spiritual journey to some surprising places in an America that never stops changing. Produced in association with Latino Public Broadcasting (LPB) and the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM).

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No Bigger Than a Minute
by Steven Delano

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Few people ever meet a dwarf face-to-face. In this personal journey, dwarf documentary filmmaker Steven Delano shows first-hand how a genetic mutation marks a person for life. He reveals the isolation of his school age years, his "ludicrous" strategies to fit in, as well as the mixed blessings of dwarfism. In "No Bigger Than a Minute," Delano exercises his license of stature and irreverent sense of humor to confront head-on conventional representations and misperceptions about dwarfs.

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No More Tears Sister
by Helene Klodawsky

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A story of love, revolution and betrayal, "No More Tears Sister" explores the price of truth in times of war. Set during the violent ethnic conflict that has enveloped Sri Lanka over decades, the documentary recreates the courageous and vibrant life of renowned human rights activist Dr. Rajani Thiranagama. Mother, anatomy professor, author and symbol of hope, Thiranagama was assassinated at the age of 35. This documentary recounts her dramatic story.

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Nostalgia for the Light
by Patricio Guzmán

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Patricio Guzmán’s Nostalgia for the Light is a remarkable meditation on memory, history and eternity. Chile’s remote Atacama Desert, 10,000 feet above sea level, provides stunningly clear views of the heavens. But it also holds secrets from the past in its arid soil: human remains, from pre-Columbian mummies to the bones of political prisoners “disappeared” during the Pinochet dictatorship. In this otherworldly place, earthly and celestial quests meld: Archaeologists dig for ancient civilizations, women search for their loved ones and astronomers scan the skies for new galaxies. An Official Selection of the 2010 Cannes Film Festival. A co-presentation with LPB. (90 minutes)

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Left: WHO KILLED VINCENT CHIN? by Christine Choy and Renee Tajima (POV 1989)