Over the years The Linda has been host to a number of films. Every month The Linda and The Honest Weight Food Co-Op presents the Food for Thought film series featuring thought provocing, socially conscience documentaries and independent films.
Below is the archive of all of the films that have been shown at the Linda.
FRESH celebrates the farmers, thinkers and business people across America who are re-inventing our food system. Each has witnessed the rapid transformation of our agriculture into an industrial model, and confronted the consequences: food contamination, environmental pollution, depletion of natural resources, and morbid obesity. Forging healthier, sustainable alternatives, they offer a practical vision for a future of our food and our planet.
Among several main characters, FRESH features urban farmer and activist, Will Allen, the recipient of MacArthur’s 2008 Genius Award; sustainable farmer and entrepreneur, Joel Salatin, made famous by Michael Pollan’s book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma; and supermarket owner, David Ball, challenging our Wal-Mart dominated economy.
From the creators of You Can Heal Your Life: The Movie comes a compelling portrait of three modern lives in need of new direction and new meaning. In his first-ever movie (written by Kristen Lazarian and directed by Michael Goorjian), Wayne Dyer explores the spiritual journey in the second half of life when we long to find the purpose that is our unique contribution to the world. The powerful shift from the ego constructs we are taught early in life by parents and society—which promote an emphasis on achievement and accumulation—are shown in contrast to a life of meaning, focused on serving and giving back.
Filmed on coastal California’s spectacular Monterey Peninsula, The Shift captures every person’s mid-life longing for a more purposeful, soul-directed life.
The Shift explores the intertwined lives of an overachieving businessman (played by Edward Kerr), a mother of two young children seeking her own expression in the world (Shannon Sturges), and a film director trying to make a name for himself (Michael DeLuise). Also starring Portia de Rossi. The Shift not only inspires, but also teaches us how to find the path to our spiritual purpose and therefore our greatest joy.
Wayne Dyer appears in the film as himself. Special appearance by Louise L. Hay.
Hannah and Rachel grew up as little girls in the same small Midwest town, where traditional gender expectations eventually challenge their deep love for one another. Hannah becomes an adventurous, unapologetic lesbian and Rachel a strong but quiet homemaker. Weaving back and forth between past and present, the film reveals how the women maintained their love affair despite a marriage, a world war, infidelities, and family denial.
Hannah Free is a feature-length motion picture shot in HD for distribution in worldwide theatrical and ancillary markets.
In 1960, approximately 330,000 people were behind bars in USA. Since then, “three strikes” laws and “zero tolerance” policies wiped out many low level offenders. As a result America’s inmate population soared to 2.3 million having an enormous impact on the poor and minorities. There are now 70 prisons in New York State. Although 60 percent of all prisoners in New York State come from New York City, 95 percent of these prisons are located upstate, in remote rural towns and villages, like Attica, Dannemora, and Malone. Every Friday night about 800 people, mostly women and children, almost all of them African American and Latino, gather at Columbus Circle in Manhattan and board buses for the north. Depending on the destination, the whole visiting trip can take up to 25 hours. Most of the passengers make this trip every weekend for many years and in some cases decades.
Zero Film Festival (5/1/10)
Focusing on a niche in the independent film community, The ZFF is the first festival EXCLUSIVE to self-financed filmmakers from all over the world. Held annually in both New York and Los Angles, the festival provides a platform for supporting under-represented filmmakers and screening the world's best self-financed films for cinema lovers everywhere.
In the age where the majority of festivals are Hollywood marketing campaigns, and even "indie" and "underground" festivals screen financed films, the ZFF offers something different by recognizing authentically independent films and filmmakers who take risks and fight the odds to see their visions through.
In 2009, ZFF added there 1st annual West Coast Tour - screening selected 2008 films in Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Hollywood and Orange County. 2010 sees the expansion into the 1st annual North American Tour alongside screenings in Europe and South America
Taking Root: The Vision Of Wangari Maathai is the story of the growth of a woman and the grassroots movement she founded, the Green Belt Movement of Kenya. Together they have transformed their country and our understanding of the integral connections of sustainable development, ecological diversity, human rights, and democracy.
Planting trees for fuel and food is not something that anyone imagined as the first step toward the Nobel Peace Prize. Yet with that simple act, Wangari Maathai started down the path that led her to organize rural Kenyan women in a tree-planting project that reclaimed their land from 100 years of deforestation, restored indigenous agriculture, provided new sources of income, and gave these previously impoverished and powerless women a vital role in their country. They became Kenya's Green Belt Movement: their small organization found itself working successively against ignorance, against prejudice, against embedded economic interests, and political oppression, until they became a national force and in the face of violent government reaction helped to bring down Kenya's dictatorship. The Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 recognized Maathai for her 30-year struggle "to protect the environment, promote democracy, defend human rights, and ensure equality between men and women." In so doing, it also presented to the world a model of personal courage in her determination to follow the links from poverty to development, climate, economics, and democracy.
"The largest domestic natural gas drilling boom in history has swept across the United States. The Halliburton-developed drilling technology of "fracking" or hydraulic fracturing has unlocked a "Saudia Arabia of natural gas" just beneath us. But is fracking safe? When filmmaker Josh Fox is asked to lease his land for drilling, he embarks on a cross-country odyssey uncovering a trail of secrets, lies and contamination. A recently drilled nearby Pennsylvania town reports that residents are able to light their drinking water on fire. This is just one of the many absurd and astonishing revelations of a new country called GASLAND. Part verite travelogue, part expose, part mystery, part bluegrass banjo meltdown, part showdown."
GASLAND will be broadcast on HBO through 2012. To host a public screening in your community please click here. The DVD will be on sale in December 2010.
Academy Award® Winner for Best Documentary of 2009, THE COVE follows an elite team of activists, filmmakers and freedivers as they embark on a covert mission to penetrate a remote and hidden cove in Taiji, Japan, shining a light on a dark and deadly secret. Utilizing state-of-the-art techniques, including hidden microphones and cameras in fake rocks, the team uncovers how this small seaside village serves as a horrifying microcosm of massive ecological crimes happening worldwide. The result is a provocative mix of investigative journalism, eco-adventure and arresting imagery, adding up to an unforgettable story that has inspired audiences worldwide to action.
THE COVE is directed by Louie Psihoyos and produced by Paula DuPré Pesmen and Fisher Stevens. The film is written by Mark Monroe. The executive producer is Jim Clark and the co-producer is Olivia Ahnemann.
The fourteen-acre community garden at 41st and Alameda in South Central Los Angeles is the largest of its kind in the United States. Started as a form of healing after the devastating L.A. riots in 1992, the South Central Farmers have since created a miracle in one of the country’s most blighted neighborhoods. Growing their own food. Feeding their families. Creating a community.
But now, bulldozers are poised to level their 14-acre oasis.
The Garden follows the plight of the farmers, from the tilled soil of this urban farm to the polished marble of City Hall. Mostly immigrants from Latin America, from countries where they feared for their lives if they were to speak out, we watch them organize, fight back, and demand answers:
Why was the land sold to a wealthy developer for millions less than fair-market value? Why was the transaction done in a closed-door session of the LA City Council? Why has it never been made public?
And the powers-that-be have the same response: “The garden is wonderful, but there is nothing more we can do.”
If everyone told you nothing more could be done, would you give up?
A Man Named Pearl tells the inspiring story of self-taught topiary artist Pearl Fryar, whose unlikely journey to national prominence began with a bigoted remark.
In 1976, Pearl took a job in a can factory in Bishopville, South Carolina. New to this rural southern town, he and his wife Metra looked at a house for sale in an all-white neighborhood. The Fryars real estate agent was notified by neighbors in the prospective neighborhood that a black family was not welcome. A homeowner voiced the collective concern: Black people dont keep up their yards.
Pearl was stung by the racial stereotype. But rather than become angry and embittered, it motivated him to prove that misguided man wrong. Pearl bought a house in a black neighborhood and began fashioning a garden that would attract positive attention. His goal was modest, but clear: to become the first African-American to win Bishopvilles Yard of the Month award.
Realizing he would have to do something spectacular to impress the Bishopville garden club, Pearl began cutting every bush and tree in his yard into unusual, abstract shapes. He didnt know it then, but he was creating a magical wonderland that would, in time, not only garner local recognition, but draw thousands of visitors from across the United States and around the world.
Now 67, Pearl has been featured in dozens of magazines and newspapers, including The New York Times, as well as several television programs such as CBS Sunday Morning. The media interest that Pearl and his topiary garden generates helps steer much-needed tourist dollars into the declining town of Bishopville and Lee County, the poorest county in the state of South Carolina.
But the impact that Pearl and his art have had on his community is not just economic. Hes also had a profound spiritual influence. As Pearls minister, Rev. Jerome McCray, says of the garden: Its the one place in all of South Carolina that people can go, both black and white, and feel love.
Visitors who wander Pearls three-and-a-half-acre property quickly recognize that love is the gardens central theme. Meticulously etched into the ground in huge, flower-filled letters are three words: LOVE, PEACE & GOODWILL. These are the guiding principles by which Pearl lives his life and how hes been keeping up his yard for nearly thirty years.
A Man Named Pearl is a subtle and intriguing film that opens both hearts and minds. It offers an upbeat message that speaks to respect for both self and others, and shows what one person can achieve when he allows himself to share the full expression of his humanity.
Food For Thought - Blind Spot (3/19/09)
Blind Spot is a documentary film that illustrates the current oil and energy crisis that our world is facing. Whatever measures of ignorance, greed, wishful thinking, we have put ourselves at a crossroad, which offers two paths with dire consequences. If we continue to burn fossil fuels we will choke the life out of the planet and if we don’t our way of life will collapse.
'The Cake Eaters' is a quirky, small town, ensemble drama that explores the lives of two interconnected families coming to terms with love in the face of loss.
Living in rural America, The Kimbrough family is a normally odd bunch; Easy, the patriarch and local butcher, is grieving over the recent loss of his wife, Ceci, while hiding a secret ongoing affair for years; Beagle, his youngest son who was left to care for his ailing mother, works in the local high school cafeteria by day but has a burning passion inside that manifests itself through painting street signs; and the eldest son, Guy, has been away from the family for years while pursuing his rock star dream in the big city until the day he learns of his mother's passing and that he's missed the funeral.
Upon Guy's return home, relationships between the characters begin to unravel; Beagle's pent up emotions connect with Georgia Kaminski, a terminally ill teenage girl wanting to experience love before it's too late; Easy's long time affair with Marg, Georgia's eccentric grandmother, is finally exposed to the Kimbrough children; and Guy discovers that, in his absence, his high school sweetheart, Stephanie, has moved on and started a family of her own.
Through it all, The Kimbroughs and Kaminski's manage to establish a new beginning in the face of their greatest fears.
Obesity rates in the United States have reached epidemic proportions in recent years. The Centers for Disease Control estimate that at least 110,000 people die per year due to obesity and 1/3 of all cancer deaths are directly related to it. Former Surgeon General Richard Carmona remarked that obesity is a more pressing issue than terrorism, 'Obesity is a terror within. It's destroying our society from within and unless we do something about it, the magnitude of the dilemma will dwarf 9/11 or any other terrorist event that you can point out...' From our human evolution and our changing environment to the way our government's public policies are actually causing obesity, Killer at Large shows how little is being done and more importantly, what can be done to reverse it. Killer at Large also explores the human element of the problem with portions of the film that follow a 12-year old girl who has a controversial liposuction procedure to fix her weight gain and a number of others suffering from obesity, including filmmaker Neil Labute.
The film features interviews and covers events with such notable public figures as Former President Clinton, Ralph Nader, Senators Tom Harkin and Sam Brownback, Arnold Schwarzenegger, former Surgeon General Richard Carmona and a number of bestselling authors and renowned experts like Michael Pollan, Barry Glassner (Bowling for Columbine), Dr. Kelly Brownell (Supersize Me), Dr. Barry Popkin (Penn and Teller's Bullshit) and many others.
Consuming Kids throws desperately needed light on the practices of a relentless multi-billion dollar marketing machine that now sells kids and their parents everything from junk food and violent video games to bogus educational products and the family car. Drawing on the insights of health care professionals, children's advocates, and industry insiders, the film focuses on the explosive growth of child marketing in the wake of deregulation, showing how youth marketers have used the latest advances in psychology, anthropology, and neuroscience to transform American children into one of the most powerful and profitable consumer demographics in the world. Consuming Kids pushes back against the wholesale commercialization of childhood, raising urgent questions about the ethics of children's marketing and its impact on the health and well-being of kids.
What happens to a vegetarian who moves to Alaska and marries a commercial fisherman and deer hunter?
Join her on a wry search for a sustainable, healthy and ethical meal. Women try to teach her to hunt, teens gather traditional foods, vegans give cooking lessons, she fishes for wild salmon, scrutinizes food labels with kids and finds toxic chemicals getting into wild foods. With humor and compassion, the documentary Eating Alaska shows natives and non-natives trying to balance buying industrial processed foods with growing their own and living off the land in the 21st century. Made by a former urban vegetarian now living on an island in Alaska, it is a journey into regional food traditions, our connection to where we live and what we put into our mouths.
In the summer of 2004, the Mayor of Lewiston, Maine announced a plan to develop a four-lane boulevard across downtown's low-income neighborhood. This project was called "The Heritage Initiative." Contrary to its name, this plan was going to eliminate the downtown's heritage by displacing 850 people from their homes as well as destroy playgrounds, vegetable gardens, and historic buildings. Moving residents out of the city and improving traffic flow was at the heart of this proposal... It was 1960's Urban Renewal all over again. As tragic as the circumstances were, the threat of a road destroying the neighborhood required residents to rise to the challenge of becoming *community organizers. Instead of allowing their neighborhood to be paved over, the residents of downtown organized themselves into a group called "The Visible Community." They received support from non-residents alike - social service leaders, college students, and other people who recognized the Heritage Initiative as an unfair way of "cleaning up" the downtown at the expense of the people who lived there. What happened next was an incredible story of people coming together to protect their homes, hold their political leaders accountable, and work towards creating a democratic planning process that honored the input of low-income people as much as any other person's voice. This movie documents 5 years of development and community organizing in Lewiston, Maine. It reveals the strategies, the mistakes, the prejudices, the lessons... all of the difficult stuff that makes up the political process - the act of making decisions and setting policy TOGETHER. It's an exceptional story about the people of Lewiston, but it's also a universal story about the challenges faced by many urban neighborhoods across the United States.
Multinational coffee companies now rule our shopping malls and supermarkets and dominate the industry worth over $80 billion, making coffee the most valuable trading commodity in the world after oil.
But while we continue to pay for our lattes and cappuccinos, the price paid to coffee farmers remains so low that many have been forced to abandon their coffee fields.
Nowhere is this paradox more evident than in Ethiopia, the birthplace of coffee. Tadesse Meskela is one man on a mission to save his 74,000 struggling coffee farmers from bankruptcy. As his farmers strive to harvest some of the highest quality coffee beans on the international market, Tadesse travels the world in an attempt to find buyers willing to pay a fair price.
Against the backdrop of Tadesse's journey to London and Seattle, the enormous power of the multinational players that dominate the world's coffee trade becomes apparent. New York commodity traders, the international coffee exchanges, and the double dealings of trade ministers at the World Trade Organisation reveal the many challenges Tadesse faces in his quest for a long term solution for his farmers
In Food, Inc., filmmaker Robert Kenner lifts the veil on our nation's food industry, exposing the highly mechanized underbelly that has been hidden from the American consumer with the consent of our government's regulatory agencies, USDA and FDA. Our nation's food supply is now controlled by a handful of corporations that often put profit ahead of consumer health, the livelihood of the American farmer, the safety of workers and our own environment. We have bigger-breasted chickens, the perfect pork chop, herbicide-resistant soybean seeds, even tomatoes that won't go bad, but we also have new strains of E. coli—the harmful bacteria that causes illness for an estimated 73,000 Americans annually. We are riddled with widespread obesity, particularly among children, and an epidemic level of diabetes among adults.
Featuring interviews with such experts as Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation), Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma, In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto) along with forward thinking social entrepreneurs like Stonyfield's Gary Hirshberg and Polyface Farms' Joel Salatin, Food, Inc. reveals surprising—and often shocking truths—about what we eat, how it's produced, who we have become as a nation and where we are going from here.
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.
“I don’t think most people really understood that they were in a casino” says award-winning financial reporter Mark Pittman. “When you’re in the Street’s casino, you’ve got to play by their rules.” This film finally explains how and why over $12 trillion of our money vanished into the American Casino.
For chips, the casino used real people, like the ones we meet in Baltimore. These are not the heedless spendthrifts of Wall Street legend, but a high school teacher, a therapist, a minister of the church. They were sold on the American Dream as a safe investment. Too late, they discovered the truth. Cruelly, as African – Americans, they and other minorities were the prime targets for the subprime loans that powered the casino. According to the Federal Reserve, African-Americans were four times more likely than whites to be sold subprime loans.
We meet the players. A banker explains that the complex securities he designed were “fourth dimensional” and sold to “idiots.” A senior Wall Street ratings agency executive describes being ordered to “guess” the worth of billion dollar securities. A mortgage loan salesman explains how borrowers’ incomes were inflated to justify a loan. A billionaire describes how he made a massive bet that people would lose their homes and has won $500 million, so far. Trader's Screen showing Foreclosure
Finally, as the global financial system crumbles and outraged but impotent lawmakers fume at Wall Street titans, we see the casino’s endgame: Riverside, California a foreclosure wasteland given over to colonies of rats and methamphetamine labs, where disease-bearing mosquitoes breed in their millions on the stagnant swimming pools of yesterday’s dreams.
Filmed over twelve months in 2008, American Casino takes you inside a game that our grandchildren never wanted to play.
From producer Morgan Spurlock (SUPER SIZE ME) and director Rob VanAlkemade comes a serious docu-comedy about the commercialization of Christmas. Bill Talen (aka Reverend Billy) was a lost idealist who hitchhiked to New York City only to find that Times Square was becoming a mall. Spurred on by the loss of his neighborhood and inspired by the sidewalk preachers around him, Bill bought a collar to match his white caterer's jacket, bleached his hair and became the Reverend Billy of the Church of Stop Shopping. Since 1999, Reverend Billy has gone from being a lone preacher with a portable pulpit preaching on subways, to the leader of a congregation and a movement whose numbers are well into the thousands.
Through retail interventions, corporate exorcisms, and some good old-fashioned preaching, Reverend Billy reminds us that we have lost the true meaning of Christmas. What Would Jesus Buy? is a journey into the heart of America – from exorcising the demons at the Wal-Mart headquarters to taking over the center stage at the Mall of America and then ultimately heading to the Promised Land … Disneyland.
Will we be led like Sheeple to the Christmas slaughter, or will we find a new way to give a gift this Christmas? What Would Jesus Buy? may just be the divine intervention we’ve all been searching for.
Birth is a miracle, a rite of passage, a natural part of life. But birth is also big business.
Compelled to explore the subject after the delivery of her first child, actress Ricki Lake recruits filmmaker Abby Epstein to question the way American women have babies.
The film interlaces intimate birth stories with surprising historical, political and scientific insights and shocking statistics about the current maternity care system. When director Epstein discovers she is pregnant during the making of the film, the journey becomes even more personal.
Should most births be viewed as a natural life process, or should every delivery be treated as a potentially catastrophic medical emergency?
Mathematically Alive - A Story of Fandom
Joseph Coburn & Katherine Foronjy
This engaging documentary is for all New York Mets fans
and for anyone who is a devoted fan of a sports team.
Directors Coburn and Foronjy reveal the stories of
a spectrum of Mets devotees and take us on their
roller coaster ride of emotion through the 2006 playoffs.
Mathematically Alive explores why Sports are such an
integral part of American culture. What the affects are
of following a team and, more importantly, why fans
continue to invest so much emotion, time, and money into
their team. They are the stories of any fan in America.
For some it's an escape from reality, for others it forms
their identity. Their fanaticism, not too far off from
your own or someone you know, makes for a
fascinating window into an often unexamined part of
everyday life - Sport fandom.
Pete Seeger The Power of Song (3/21/2008)
In Pete Seeger: The Power of Song, Director Jim Brown documents the life of one of the greatest American singer/songwriters of the last century. Pete Seeger was the architect of the folk revival, writing some of its best known songs including Where Have All the Flowers Gone, Turn, Turn, Turn and If I Had A Hammer. Largely misunderstood and criticized for his strong beliefs he was picketed, protested, blacklisted, and, in spite of his enormous popularity, banned from commercial television for more than 17 years. Musicians including Bob Dylan, Arlo Guthrie, Joan Baez, Bonnie Raitt, Brice Springsteen, Natalie Maines, and Peter, Paul and Mary appear in this intimate portrait and discuss Seeger s lasting influence on the fabric of American music.
Filmmaker Julien Temple takes a look beyond the guise of the late, anti-establishment icon Joe Strummer to offer a warm portrait of the self-described "mouthy little git" who was born John Mellor and was destined to become the frontman for one of the most influential punk bands ever. A complex figure who would learn to use his gift for music as a means of decompressing his conscience, Strummer is revealed here through unearthed interviews and the illuminating recollections of his closest companions. At times idealistic to a fault, the flawed Clash singer/songwriter had a special gift for compelling listeners to think as they moved to the music. Vintage performance footage and excerpts from Strummer's popular BBC radio program offer the ideal musical backdrop for an affectionate tribute to a punk-rock legend.
Irena Salina's award-winning documentary investigation into what experts label the most important political and environmental issue of the 21st Century - The World Water Crisis.
Salina builds a case against the growing privatization of the world's dwindling fresh water supply with an unflinching focus on politics, pollution, human rights, and the emergence of a domineering world water cartel.
Interviews with scientists and activists intelligently reveal the rapidly building crisis, at both the global and human scale, and the film introduces many of the governmental and corporate culprits behind the water grab, while begging the question "CAN ANYONE REALLY OWN WATER?"
Beyond identifying the problem, FLOW also gives viewers a look at the people and institutions providing practical solutions to the water crisis and those developing new technologies, which are fast becoming blueprints for a successful global and economic turnaround.
Detective Lieutenant Laurel Hester spent 25 years investigating tough cases in Ocean County, New Jersey, protecting the rights of victims and putting her life on the line. She had no reason to expect that in the last year of her life, after she was diagnosed with terminal cancer, that her final battle for justice would be for the woman she loved.
The documentary film "Freeheld" chronicles Laurel's struggle to transfer her earned pension to her domestic partner, Stacie Andree. With less than six months to live, Laurel refuses to back down when her elected officials - the Ocean County Freeholders -deny her request to leave her pension to Stacie, an automatic option for heterosexual married couples. The film is structured chronologically, following both the escalation of Laurel's battle with the Freeholders and the decline of her health as cancer spreads to her brain.
As Laurel's plight intensifies, it spurs a media frenzy and a passionate advocacy campaign. At the same time, "Freeheld" captures a quieter, personal story: that of the deep love between Laurel and Stacie as they face the reality of losing each other. Alternating from packed public demonstrations at the county courthouse to quiet, tender moments of Laurel and Stacie at home, "Freeheld" combines tension-filled political drama with personal detail, creating a nuanced study of a grassroots fight for justice.
Among the slew of documentaries inspired by the post-9/11 war, arguably none is more important than Alex Gibney's Taxi to the Dark Side. The story it has to tell, with compelling thoroughness and no recourse to rhetoric, should be as disturbing to Americans supporting the war as it is to opponents. In December 2002, Dilawar, a young rural Afghan cabdriver, was accused of helping to plan a rocket attack on a U.S. base, clamped into prison at Bagram, and subjected to physical torture so relentless that he died after two days of it. But Dilawar was innocent--and he'd been denounced by the real culprit, who thereby took the heat off himself and won points with U.S. forces by giving them "a bad guy." Dilawar was the first fatal victim of Vice President Dick Cheney's devotion to "working the dark side"--torturing, humiliating, and otherwise abusing prisoners in the "Global War on Terror." His story, developed in horrific detail with testimony from the soldiers who tortured him, and also from two New York Times investigative reporters, becomes a prism for slanting light onto the "dark side" policy and the mindset behind it. The program at Bagram was deemed such a success that it served as the model for Abu Graibh the following year in Iraq, and both prisons became pipelines to the detainee facility at Guantánamo, Cuba.
The film's impact is powerful and complex. We come to see the very soldiers who broke Dilawar's body and spirit as victims, too--and patsies of a policy that, from Cheney and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on down, ignored the Geneva Convention and shrouded itself (and commanding officers) in "a fog of ambiguity" while the grunts took the fall. A lot of these grunts testify here, and the accumulation of their individual perspectives on a shared tragedy is devastating. The latter half of the film features penetrating commentary from critics of torture as a policy (Senator John McCain was still one at the time), all of whom agree that it doesn't work and it only damages us. And for Theatre of the Absurd, there's a PR tour of (a discrete portion of) the Guantánamo facility, which turns out to be kinda like summer camp: "They get ice cream on Sundays." Finally, Taxi to the Dark Side isn't about torture or politics or the justness or unjustness of the war in Afghanistan and Iraq. Gibney is entirely correct when he says, "It's really about the American character and whether we have become something rather different from what we imagine ourselves to be." He's asking; he doesn't want it to be true. --Richard T. Jameson, Amazon.com
At Rock 'n' Roll Camp, girls ranging in age from eight to 18 are taught that it's OK to sweat like a pig, scream like a banshee, wail on their instruments with complete and utter abandon, and that "it is 100% okay to be exactly who you are." The girls have a week to select a band, an instrument they may have never played before, and write a song. In between, they are taught by indie rock chicks such as Carrie Brownstein from Sleater-Kinney various lessons of empowerment from self-defense to anger management. At the end of the week, all the bands perform a concert for over 700 people. The film follows several campers: Laura, a Korean adoptee obsessed by death metal; Misty, who is emerging from a life of meth addiction, homelessness and gang activity; and Amelia, an eight-year-old who writes experimental rock songs about her dog Pipi. The girls are given a temporary reprieve from being sexualized, analyzed and pressured to conform.
Zombie Film Feast (7/26/2008)
Became permanent home for Upstate Independents' meetings and screenings
Presented first weekend filmmaking workshop in partnership with 4ormation Entertainment.
New WAMC film website launch in the fall of '08
Begin equipment upgrades for improved screening quality purchased new DVD playback unit with plans for a new screen, additional speakers and Surround Sound Processor Pre Amp
Present both short doc and feature doc academy award winning films with the directors in attendance
Maureen and Jim Tusty (aired 3/21/08) (2008.03.21)
Joe and David talk with film makers Maureen and Jim Tusty about their movie, "The Singing Revolution".
Steve and Dede Lieber- Upstate Films (aired 3/18/08) (2008.03.19)
Julia and David speak with Steve and Dede Lieber of Upstate Films about the Academy Award winning best documentary "Taxi to the Dark Side" with film maker Alex Gibney as well as current and upcoming local theater events.
Francine Segan (aired 2/1/08) (2008.02.01)
Joe and Julia talk with food historian Francine Segan about food in film and explore flavors from the silver screen.
Joe Maggio - Growing up Online (aired 1/21/08) (2008.01.23)
Joe and Selma speaks with Frontline's Joe Maggio about the new documentary film "Growing up Online."
Phil Donahue - Body of War 3/4 (aired 1/10/08) (2008.01.11)
Joe continues his discussion with Phil Donahue about his film, Body of War, and his career.
Filmmaker Byron Hurt, a life-long hip-hop fan, was watching rap music videos on BET when he realized that each video was nearly identical. Guys in fancy cars threw money at the camera while scantily clad women danced in the background. As he discovered how stereotypical rap videos had become, Hurt, a former college quarterback turned activist, decided to make a film about the gender politics of hip-hop, the music and the culture that he grew up with. “The more I grew and the more I learned about sexism and violence and homophobia, the more those lyrics became unacceptable to me,” he says. “And I began to become more conflicted about the music that I loved.” The result is HIP-HOP: Beyond Beats and Rhymes, a riveting documentary that tackles issues of masculinity, sexism, violence and homophobia in today’s hip-hop culture.
Sparking dialogue on hip-hop and its declarations on gender, HIP-HOP: Beyond Beats and Rhymes provides thoughtful insight from intelligent, divergent voices including rap artists, industry executives, rap fans and social critics from inside and outside the hip-hop generation. The film includes interviews with famous rappers such as Mos Def, Fat Joe, Chuck D and Jadakiss and hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons; along with commentary from Michael Eric Dyson, Beverly Guy-Sheftall, Kevin Powell and Sarah Jones and interviews with young women at Spelman College, a historically black school and one of the nation’s leading liberal arts institutions.
The film also explores such pressing issues as women and violence in rap music, representations of manhood in hip-hop culture, what today’s rap lyrics reveal to their listeners and homoeroticism in hip-hop. A “loving critique” from a self-proclaimed “hip-hop head,” HIP-HOP: Beyond Beats and Rhymes discloses the complex intersection of culture, commerce and gender through on-the-street interviews with aspiring rappers and fans at hip-hop events throughout the country.
Crazy Sexy Cancer is an irreverent and uplifting documentary about a young woman looking for a cure and finding her life.
In 2003, 31-year-old actress/photographer Kris Carr was diagnosed with a rare and incurable cancer. Weeks later she began filming her story. Taking a seemingly tragic situation and turning it into a creative expression, Kris shared her inspirational story of survival with courage, strength, and lots of humor.
With experimental treatment as her only option, Kris became determined to find answers where there were none. She traveled throughout the country interviewing experts in alternative medicine as she tenaciously dove head first into a fascinating and often hilarious holistic world. Along the way, she met other vivacious young women determined to become survivors. Their stories are as poignant and exciting as the women who tell them. As Kris's amazing journey unfolds, she realizes that healing is about truly living rather than fighting.
Crazy Sexy Cancer is more than a thought provoking film, it's an attitude! It's about rising to the challenge of life and turning lemons into champagne.
In Maxed Out, author/director James D. Scurlock (Maxed Out: Hard Times, Easy Credit and the Era of Predatory Lenders) takes on America's debt crisis. Consequently, he touches on related issues like race, corporate malfeasance, and political subterfuge. Scurlock’s multi-media approach incorporates statistics, news excerpts, and interviews, but it's rarely dull (comedy bits from Louis CK and tunes from Queen and Coldplay don't hurt). Speakers include economic professors, debt collectors, pawn brokers, investigative reporters, beleaguered consumers, and even Robin Leach (Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous). Instead of New York and Los Angeles, he concentrates on mid-size cities, like Minneapolis, Oklahoma City, and Seattle. Plenty of small towns also come into play. Though he never presses the point himself, Scurlock allows his subjects to note the similarities between the credit industry and the drug trade (others use such incendiary terms as "rape"). One thing he neglects to mention, however, is pride. If house payments are ruining your life, selling that property may be the only solution. In most cases, however, it's hard not to feel for those individuals who didn't know what they were getting into before they signed their lives away. For some viewers, this will be a dispiriting documentary--three subjects recount the suicides of relatives who found their debt too much to bear--but in explaining exactly how lenders and creditors make money, Maxed Out can help others to avoid some of their most egregious practices. In other words, debt may be a downer, but knowledge is power.
“Making Trouble” tells the story of six of the greatest female comic entertainers of the last century – Molly Picon, Fanny Brice, Sophie Tucker, Joan Rivers, Gilda Radnerm and Wendy Wasserstein.
Hosted by four of today’s funniest women – Judy Gold, Jackie Hoffman, Cory Kahaney, and Jessica Kirson – it’s the true saga of what it means to be Jewish, female, and funny.
Since its premiere in 2007 at the SilverDocs festival, “Making Trouble” has screened at almost 150 festivals and community venues.
With “Making Trouble”, the Jewish Women’s Archive continues its work to uncover, chronicle and transmit the rich history of American Jewish women. Since its founding in 1995, JWA has worked in a variety of media to bring to life the stories, struggles and achievements of American Jewish women. We provide educators with tools for teaching this history and through our website, JWA.org, offer a wealth of information, resources, guides, and discussion forums to millions of people all over the world.
Black Irish (12/20/2007)
Sixteen-year-old Cole McKay’s struggle for independence is put to the test as his South Boston Irish-Catholic family implodes around him. Older brother Terry is descending into a life of drugs and crime, pregnant sister Kathleen is being sent away to cover the shame of unwed motherhood and Cole’s father, Desmond, spends his days in a fog of alcohol and self-pity, silently torturing himself over what might have been. The one thing keeping young Cole’s head above water is his love of baseball. A talented pitcher, Cole overcomes self-doubt and family indifference to fight his way into the state championships. To get there however, he must make a life and death decision, a decision that will change the McKay family forever.
Begin programming films on a regular monthly schedule
Begin developing film combined with live performance programming
Joe Donahue interview with Garrison Keillor (2007.09.28)
Joe Donahue speaks with radio legend Garrison Keilor about his new book Pontoon, and the making of Prairie Home Companion the film. Keillor appeared at an event at the Mancester Center in Manchester VT for the Northshire Bookstore, on Sept. 19.
8.24 - Interview - Lynn Redgrave (2007.08.27)
The name Lynn Redgrave is synonymous with acting royalty. Her more than forty year career has earned her a Golden Globe, and two Academy Award nominations. Lynn Redgrave has appeared in such stage productions as A Midsummer Night's Dream, to the 2003 film production of Peter Pan. In this interview on The Roundtable, Lynn Redgrave speaks with Joe Donahue about her appearance at Tanglewood.
Photography & Video 8/17/07 (2007.08.17)
A picture is worth a thousand words, but, since this is radio, we'll do our best with words. Larry and Brooke Moore join Steve Felano in Studio A to take a shot at WAMC listener questions about photography and video.
7/24/07 - Interview - Vincent Dowling (2007.08.07)
Vincent Dowling is a stage actor and producer who toured all over the world. In this interview on The Roundtable Dowling speaks about his new film On Broadway, and his life.
7/27/07 - Interview - Tim Kavanaugh (2007.08.07)
Tim Kavanaugh is an independent film producer, who submitted the winning entry to get Springfield, Vermont chosen as the hometown of The Simpsons. Tim Kavanaugh speaks with Julia Taylor in this interview.
Joe and Julia speak with Steve and Dede Lieber 6-20 (2007.06.20)
There's nothing better than sitting back in those plush seats, all comfortable and cool, while you watch the big summer blockbuster-- or a quirky indie film. Steve and Dede Lieber, the creative muscle behind Upstate Films in Rhinebeck, New York, tell us about what movies we should keep our eye on this summer.
Jennifer Nathan speaks with Miranda July 6-18 (2007.06.18)
Miranda July, acclaimed writer and director of the Indie Film "Me You and Everyone We Know" talks about her new collection of short stories, "No One Belongs Here More Than You", in which she continues to explore lonely yet optimistic characters.
Joe Donahue and Julia Taylor speak with Meira Blaustein 5-31-07 (2007.06.01)
You don't have to travel to Sundance or hop a plane to Cannes to keep up with the latest independent film. Just drive over to Woodstock where the locals get to see everything first. It's all thanks to the Woodstock Film Festival and its new summer film series. Meira Blaustein, Co-Founder and Festival Director of the Woodstock Film Festival, tells us all about it.
Jennifer Nathan previews the independent film ARRANGED (2007.05.17)
Arranged marriages may seem like a thing of the past, but for many cultures around the world--and in the United States--it is a time honored tradition. We'll meet an Orthodox Jew who bucked that tradition and made a movie about arranged marriages rather than entering into one herself. Her film ARRANGED is featured this weekend at the Berkshire International Film Festival.
Alan Chartock speaks with Arthur Penn 5/16/07 (2007.05.17)
Arthur Penn, a three time Oscar nominee, is being honored with a lifetime achievement award. He speaks about his films, the actors, and his latest honor which is being presented at the Berkshire International Film Festival.
Student films to debut at BIFF (2007.05.17)
Thirty student short films were submitted and eight are being screened Saturday and Sunday in Great Barrington.
Big Rig: Life on the Road with America's Truckers 4/27/07 (2007.04.27)
Meet Jesse Blain - a tough looking truck driver with a lot on his mind. He was one of fifty truck drivers documentary filmmaker Doug Pray interviewed for his new film Big Rig. The Roundtable's Jennifer Nathan spoke with Jesse, Doug, and musician Buck 65 about the film and what life is really like on the road with America's truckers. www.bigrigmovie.com
Students inquire of Burns' history (2007.04.09)
Despite at least two of Ken Burns' documentaries delving into some of America's most violent times, he said he recently came to a realization about his work.
Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes 3/1/07 (2007.03.02)
It's easy to stereotype hip hop as misogynistic music that promotes violence and drug use. And it was those stereotypes that compelled filmmaker Byron Hurt to turn a critical eye on hip hop in his new film Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes. He tells Susan and Joe what inspired this journey.
In the wake of his stepfather’s death, Thomas Allen Harris embarks on a journesy of reconciliation with the man who raised him as a son but whom he could never call "father." As part of the first wave of black South African exiles, Harris’s stepfather, B. Pule Leinaeng, and his eleven comrades left their home in Bloemfontein in 1960. They told the world about the brutality of the apartheid system and raised support for the fledgling African National Congress and its leader, Nelson Mandela. Drawing upon the memories of the surviving disciples and their families, along with the talent of young South African actors who portray their harrowing experiences, Twelve Disciples of Nelson Mandela tells an intimate story of family and home against the backdrop of a global movement for freedom. A co-production of the Independent Television Service (ITVS), in association with P.O.V./American Documentary and the National Black Programming Consortium.
Chris Swain braved whitewater, sewage, snapping turtles, hydroelectric dams, homeland security patrols, factory outfalls, and PCB contamination to become the first person to swim the entire length of the Hudson River from the Adirondack Mountains to New York City. In the film, Swain’s experience links together stories of the river, which begins in wilderness and ends in one of the nation’s densest population centers. We meet heroes who are fighting to protect the Hudson against a range of threats from industry, inept regulatory agencies, and public indifference.
In the film the epic of the 19th century destruction and redemption of the Adirondacks compliments the modern-day story of citizens fighting to block the building of a huge trash plant that would burn one quarter of New York City’s garbage. Meanwhile the environmental group Riverkeeper battles the ExxonMobil Corporation to force it to clean up the largest oil spill in the United States and we get the latest in the three-decade old fight to make General Electric take responsibility for its PCB contamination.
We meet famous people, like folk singer Pete Seeger, but we also see how ordinary citizens can and do make a difference through choices they make effecting the environment, and by joining together around a common cause. SWIM FOR THE RIVER is a hopeful film that avoids preaching to the choir. Swain’s lighthearted commentary and incredible physical achievement appeal to a wide audience.
NYSCA Film - Red Tailed Angels (11/9/2006)
Hired personnel with film programming experience to help expand our film program
In-house staff begins programming, attending film festivals and developing stronger relationships directly with distributors with help from ETC
Before The Music Dies - 4/3/06 (2006.04.04)
Filmmakers Andrew Shaptner and Joel Rasmussen spent years criss-crossing the country, quizzing hundreds of musicians, journalists, industry experts, and music fans. The question they asked? "What is the future of American music?"
Independent Film (3/5/2005)
Edwood Film Festival (5/14/2005)
Independent Film - Murderball (6/18/2005)
More than merely a sports documentary or an inspirational profile of triumph over adversity, Murderball offers a refreshing and progressive attitude toward disability while telling unforgettable stories about uniquely admirable people. It's ostensibly a film about quadriplegic rugby (or "Murderball," as it was formerly known), in which players with at least some loss of physical function in all four limbs navigate modified wheelchairs in a hardcore, full-contact sport that takes them all the way to the Paralympic Games in Athens, Greece, in 2004. But as we get to know paralyzed or amputee players on Team USA like Andy Cohn, Scott Hogsett, Bob Lujano and charismatic team spokesman Mark Zupan, we come to understand that quad rugby is a saving grace for these determined competitors, who battle Team Canada coach (and former Team USA superstar) Joe Soares en route to the climactic contest in Athens. Simply put, Murderball is the best film to date about living with a severe disability, but codirectors Henry Alex Rubin and Dana Adam Shapiro avoid the sappy, inspirational sentiment that hampers nearly all mainstream films involving disability. By the time this blazing 85-minute film reaches its emotional conclusion, the issue of disability is almost irrelevant; these guys are as normal as anyone, and their life stories led to Murderball becoming the most critically acclaimed documentary of 2005. --Jeff Shannon
There were two wars going on in Iraq - one was fought with armies of soldiers, bombs and a fearsome military force. The other was fought alongside it with cameras, satellites, armies of journalists and propaganda techniques. One war was rationalized as an effort to find and disarm WMDs - Weapons of Mass Destruction; the other was carried out by even more powerful WMDs, Weapons of Mass Deception.
The TV networks in America considered their non-stop coverage their finest hour, pointing to the use of embedded journalists and new technologies that permitted viewers to see a war up close for the first time. But different countries saw different wars. Why?
For those of us watching the coverage, war was more of a spectacle, an around the clock global media marathon, pitting media outlets against each other in ways that distorted truth and raised as many questions about the methods of TV news, as it did the armed intervention it was covering-and it some cases-promoting.
WMD, a 100 minute non-fiction film, explores this story with the findings of a gutsy, media insider-turned-outsider, former network journalist, Danny Schechter, who is one of America's most prolific media critics. Schechter says he "self-embedded" himself in his living room to monitor media coverage, by fastidiously tracking the TV coverage on a daily basis. He wrote thousands of words daily about the coverage for Mediachannel.org, the world's largest online media issues network, and then collected his columns, blogs and articles in a recently published book, EMBEDDED: Weapons of Mass Deception (Prometheus Books) . He has continued his one-man investigation with WMD, a two-hour indie non-fiction film that asks the questions that his media colleagues refused to confront before, during and after the war. Featuring footage from inside Iraq, and inside the media, WMD tracks the media war through February 2004.
A Nieman Fellow in Journalism at Harvard University, and radio news director turned CNN and Emmy Award winning ABC News Producer, Schechter wears several hats at the same time. He is now an award-winning independent investigative journalist and filmmaker as well as an outspoken author. Danny Schechter is not afraid to take on his own industry. WMD busts through so-called "objective reporting" to challenge media complicity with the government and its cooperation in presenting the Iraq War the way it did. This is a hard-hitting, yet personal film that looks at the television war and asks why the American audience lapped it up and how the Pentagon helped shape media coverage.
WAL-MART: THE HIGH COST OF LOW PRICE is a feature length documentary that uncovers a retail giant's assault on families and American values.
The film dives into the deeply personal stories and everyday lives of families and communities struggling to fight a goliath. A working mother is forced to turn to public assistance to provide healthcare for her two small children. A Missouri family loses its business after Wal-Mart is given over $2 million to open its doors down the road. A mayor struggles to equip his first responders after Wal-Mart pulls out and relocates just outside the city limits. A community in California unites, takes on the giant, and wins!
Producer/Director Robert Greenwald and Brave New Films take you on an extraordinary journey that will change the way you think, feel -- and shop.
Hosted the Ed Wood Film Festival providing a major venue and assistance in its transition from backrooms at local bars
Expand documentary film programming with help from Woodstock Film Festival, Saratoga Film Forum
Partnered with Tang Museum and Saratoga Film Forum on special Documentary Film events partially funded by NYSCA
Joe Donahue's interview with Michael York 12/7 (2005.12.07)
Michael York has been a star of stage, screen, television, and audio recording for the past forty years. He was the raging, youthful Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet. He was the foil to Liza in Bob Fosse's Oscar-winning Cabaret. And he won over an entirely new generation in the Austin Powers movies.
What I Want My Words To Do To You (2/10/2004)
An Evening With Haskell Wexler (3/26/2004)
Woodstock Film Festival (4/17/2004)
When You See This Remember Me (6/23/2004)
Strange Fruit (6/30/2004)
Hiding and Seeking (7/21/2004)
I'll Sing For You (7/23/2004)
How To Draw a Bunny (7/24/2004)
Superstar in a Housedress (8/7/2004)
Bluegrass Journey (8/8/2004)
Goodbye Lennen (8/18/2004)
Ram Dass Fierce Grace (8/25/2004)
Control Room (9/18/2004)
You Can't Be Neutral On A Moving Train (9/19/2004)
The Corporation (10/20/2004)
An Unreliable Witness (12/17/2004)
Silent Film with Music (12/18/2004)
TSL partners to program our first full film series running June – September
Independent Film On The Air series begins with radio interviews, wider promotion of films and a focus on bringing filmmakers and their films partially funded by NYSCA
Crossover programming begins in-house combining film programming with other on air programming such as our long running Student Town Meeting series
Upstate Independants Short Films (5/1/2003)
Radical Harmonies (7/25/2003)
Our first NYSCA grant helps us begin presenting panels,
discussions and Q&As with the filmmakers
Provided a venue for Upstate Independants short film program and screenplay readings
Partnered with the CDGLCC for Girlz Night Out which included a film screening of Radical Harmonies