FILM LIBRARY: WAR & PEACE

A World Not Ours
by Mahdi Fleifel

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A World Not Ours is a passionate, bittersweet account of one family's multi-generational experience living as permanent refugees. Now a Danish resident, director Mahdi Fleifel grew up in the Ain el-Helweh refugee camp in southern Lebanon, established in 1948 as a temporary refuge for exiled Palestinians. Today, the camp houses 70,000 people and is the hometown of generations of Palestinians. The filmmaker's childhood memories are surprisingly warm and humorous, a testament to the resilience of the community. Yet his yearly visits reveal the increasing desperation of family and friends who remain trapped in psychological as well as political limbo. Official Selection of the 2013 Berlin Film Festival.

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The Act of Killing
by Josh Oppenheimer

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An Oscar® nominee and the most honored documentary of 2013, this dreamlike, terrifying film asks Indonesian death-squad leaders to dramatize their roles in genocide. In a mind-bending twist, they play both themselves and their victims. Winner, 2014 BAFTA Film Award, Best Documentary.


This film is not available for university/college screenings through the POV free lending library. To purchase the educational DVD, visit filmplaform.net.

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Armadillo
by Janus Metz

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In 2009, Janus Metz and cameraman Lars Skree accompanied a platoon of Danish soldiers to Armadillo, a combat operations base in southern Afghanistan. For six months, often while under fire, they captured the lives of the young soldiers fighting the Taliban in a hostile and confusing environment, where official rhetoric about helping civilians too often met the unforgiving reality of being a foreign occupier. Winner of the Critics’ Week Grand Prix at Cannes, Armadillo is one of the most dramatic and candid accounts of combat to come out of Afghanistan. (90 minutes)

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The Camden 28
by Anthony Giacchino

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How far would you go to stop a war? "The Camden 28" recalls a 1971 raid on a Camden, New Jersey draft board office by "Catholic Left" activists protesting the Vietnam War and its effects on urban America. Arrested on site in a clearly planned sting, the protesters included four Catholic priests, a Lutheran minister and 23 others. "The Camden 28" reveals the story behind the arrests — a provocative tale of government intrigue and personal betrayal — and the ensuing legal battle, which Supreme Court Justice William Brennan called "one of the great trials of the 20th century." Thirty-five years later, the participants take stock of their motives, fears and the costs of their activism — and its relevance to America today.

This film is not available for private school or university/college screenings through the POV free lending library. To purchase the educational DVD, visit First Run Features.

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El Velador (The Night Watchman)
by Natalia Almada

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Award-winning director Natalia Almada (Al Otro Lado, POV 2005; El General, POV 2009) returns with a beautiful and mesmerizing new film. From dusk to dawn, El Velador (The Night Watchman) accompanies Martin, a guard who watches over the extravagant mausoleums of some of Mexico’s most notorious drug lords. In the labyrinth of the cemetery, this film about violence without violence reminds us that, amid the turmoil of a drug war that has claimed more than 50,000 lives, ordinary existence persists in Mexico and quietly defies the dead. An Official Selection of the 2011 Cannes Directors’ Fortnight and IDFA. A co-production of Altamura Films and American Documentary | POV in association with LPB, with funding provided by CPB. (60 minutes)

This film is not available for private school or university/college screenings through the POV free lending library. To purchase the educational DVD, visit Icarus Films.

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Granito: How to Nail a Dictator
by Peter Kinoy, Pamela Yates and Paco de Onís

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In a stunning milestone for justice in Central America, a Guatemalan court recently charged former dictator Efraín Rios Montt with genocide for his brutal war against the country’s Mayan people in the 1980s—and Pamela Yates’ 1983 documentary, When the Mountains Tremble, provided key evidence for bringing the indictment. Granito: How to Nail a Dictator tells the extraordinary story of how a film, aiding a new generation of human rights activists, became a granito—a tiny grain of sand—that helped tip the scales of justice. An Official Selection of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. A co-production of ITVS. A co-presentation with LPB. (90 minutes)

This film is not available for university/college screenings through the POV free lending library. To purchase the educational DVD, visit skylight.is.

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Inheritance
by James Moll

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Imagine watching Schindler's List and knowing the sadistic Nazi camp commandant played by Ralph Fiennes was your father. "Inheritance" is the story of Monika Hertwig, the daughter of mass murderer Amon Goeth. Hertwig has spent her life in the shadow of her father's sins, trying to come to terms with her "inheritance." She seeks out Helen Jonas, who was enslaved by Goeth and who is one of the few living eyewitnesses to his unspeakable brutality. The women's raw, emotional meeting unearths terrible truths and lingering questions about how the actions of our parents can continue to ripple through generations.

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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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The Reckoning: The Battle for the International Criminal Court
by Pamela Yates

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Over 120 countries have united to form the International Criminal Court (ICC) — the first permanent court created to prosecute perpetrators, no matter how powerful, of crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide. The Reckoning follows dynamic ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo and his team for three years across four continents as he issues arrest warrants for Lord's Resistance Army leaders in Uganda, puts Congolese warlords on trial, shakes up the Colombian justice system, and charges Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir with genocide in Darfur. Like a deft thriller, The Reckoning keeps you on the edge of your seat. Will the prosecutor succeed? Will the world ensure that justice prevails? An Official Selection of the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.

This film is not available for university/college screenings through the POV free lending library. To purchase the educational DVD, visit skylight.is.

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Reportero
by Bernardo Ruiz

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Reportero follows a veteran reporter and his colleagues at Zeta, a Tijuana-based independent newsweekly, as they stubbornly ply their trade in one of the deadliest places in the world for members of the media. In Mexico, more than 40 journalists have been slain or have vanished since December 2006, when President Felipe Calderón came to power and launched a government offensive against the country’s powerful drug cartels and organized crime. As the drug war intensifies and the risks to journalists become greater, will the free press be silenced? A co-production of Quiet Pictures and ITVS in association with LPB, with funding provided by CPB. (90 minutes)

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Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars
by Zach Niles and Banker White

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If the refugee is today's tragic icon of a war-ravaged world, then Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars, a reggae-inflected band born in the camps of West Africa, represents a real-life story of survival and hope. The six-member Refugee All Stars came together in Guinea after civil war forced them from their native Sierra Leone. Traumatized by physical injuries and the brutal loss of family and community, they fight back with the only means they have — music. The result, as shown in "Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars," is a tableau of tragedy transformed by the band's inspiring determination to sing and be heard. A Diverse Voices Project co-production.

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Soldiers of Conscience
by Catherine Ryan and Gary Weimberg

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When is it right to kill? In the midst of war, is it right to refuse? Eight U.S. soldiers today, some who killed and some who said no, reveal their inner moral dilemmas in Soldiers of Conscience. Made with official permission of the U.S. Army, the film transcends politics to explore the tension between spiritual values and military orders. Soldiers follows the stories of both conscientious objectors and those who criticize them. Through this clash of views, the film discovers a surprising common ground: all soldiers are "soldiers of conscience," torn between the demands of duty and the call of conscience.

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The Way We Get By
by Aron Gaudet

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On call 24 hours a day for the past five years, a group of senior citizens has made history by greeting nearly 800,000 American troops at a tiny airport in Bangor, Maine. The Way We Get By is an intimate look at three of these greeters as they confront the universal losses that come with aging and rediscover their reason for living. Bill Knight, Jerry Mundy and Joan Gaudet find the strength to overcome their personal battles and transform their lives through service. This inspirational and surprising story shatters the stereotypes of today's senior citizens as the greeters redefine the meaning of community. A co-production of Dungby Productions and ITVS in association with WGBH and Maine Public Broadcasting Network (MPBN) with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).

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FILMS FROM THE ARCHIVE

Films that are currently unavailable in our free lending library but that we recommend for group and classroom screenings.

The Betrayal (Nerakhoon)
by Ellen Kuras and Thavisouk Phrasavath

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Filmed over 23 years, The Betrayal is the Academy Award®-nominated directorial debut of renowned cinematographer Ellen Kuras in a unique collaboration with the film's subject and co-director, Thavisouk ("Thavi") Phrasavath. After the U.S. government waged a secret war in Laos during the Vietnam War, Thavi's father and thousands of other Laotians who had fought alongside American forces were abandoned and left to face imprisonment or execution. Hoping to find safety, Thavi's family made a harrowing escape to America, where they discovered a different kind of war. Weaving ancient prophecy with personal testimony and stunning imagery, The Betrayal is a story of survival and the resilient bonds of family. A Diverse Voices Project co-production with support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB); funded in part by the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM). An Official Selection of the 2008 Sundance Film Festival.

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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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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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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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Promises
by B. Z. Goldberg and Justine Shapiro

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What is it really like to live in Jerusalem today? Promises offers touching and surprisingly fresh insight into the Middle East conflict when filmmaker B.Z. Goldberg returns to his hometown to see what seven children — Palestinian and Israeli — think about war, peace, and just growing up. Living within 20 minutes of each other, these children are nevertheless locked in separate worlds.

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Rain in a Dry Land
by Anne Makepeace

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How do you measure the distance from an African village to an American city? What does it mean to be a refugee in today's "global village?" "Rain in a Dry Land" provides eye-opening answers as it chronicles the fortunes of two Somali Bantu families, transported by relief agencies from years of civil war and refugee life to Atlanta and Springfield, Massachusetts. As the newcomers confront racism, poverty and 21st-century culture shock, the filmmaker Anne Makepeace (POV's "Baby, It's You") captures their efforts to survive in America and create a safe haven for their war-torn families. Their poetry, humor and amazing resilience show us our own world through new eyes. A co-production with the Independent Television Service (ITVS).

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Regret To Inform
by Barbara Sonneborn and Janet Cole

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In this Academy Award nominated film, filmmaker Barbara Sonneborn is compelled to make a brave pilgrimage to the remote Vietnamese countryside where her husband died. She explores the meaning of war and loss on a human level and weaves interviews with Vietnamese and American widows into a vivid testament to the chilling legacy of war. As we near the 25th anniversary of the war's end, these stories are stirring reminders that the battle scars are life-long, but that shared sorrow can inspire healing and reconciliation.

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Soldados: Chicanos in Viet Nam
by Charley Trujillo and Sonya Rhee

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Based on the 1991 American Book Award winner of the same name, Viet Nam War veteran Charley Trujillo and producer Sonya Rhee's "Soldados: Chicanos in Viet Nam" is the first documentary to recount the harrowing experience of a generation of Mexican-American boys who fought in Viet Nam. Raised in the San Joaquin Valley of California, their first journey away from their rural hometown was to the war-torn rice paddies of Viet Nam. Profoundly changed by the experience, the soldados returned with a new conception of themselves and their country — and of the particular challenges facing them as Chicanos. A Diverse Voices Project Selection.

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War Feels Like War
by Esteban Uyarra

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This film documents the lives of reporters and photographers who circumvent military media control to get access to the real Iraq War. As the invading armies sweep into the country, some of the journalists in Kuwait decide to travel in their wake, risking their lives to discover the true impact of war on civilians. "War Feels Like War" records their frustration, fear and horror as they fight their way to Baghdad to witness events ignored by other news media, and reveals the difficulties the journalists experience as they try to return to normal life back home. A 2004 Election Issue Special.

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Where Soldiers Come From
by Heather Courtney

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From a snowy, small town in northern Michigan to the mountains of Afghanistan, Where Soldiers Come From follows the four-year journey of childhood friends who join the National Guard after graduating from high school. As it chronicles the young men's transformation from restless teenagers to soldiers looking for roadside bombs to 23-year-old combat veterans trying to start their lives again, the film offers an intimate look at the young Americans who fight our wars, the families and towns they come from — and the way one faraway conflict changes everything.

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