Films We Like has selected a number of titles
we think are viable for class use.
Also included are a number of our films that have been part of the Docs For Schools program.
Sonita Alizadeh is an Afghan rapper and activist who has been vocal against forced marriages. Alizadeh first gained attention when she released "Brides for Sale," a video in which she raps about daughters being sold into marriage by their families.
The story of the American civil rights movement through the powerful music the freedom songs protesters sang on picket lines, in mass meetings, in paddy wagons, and in jail cells as they fought for justice and equality.
In the spring of 2005, National Geographic photographer James Balog headed to the Arctic on a tricky assignment: to capture images to help tell the story of the Earth's changing climate. Even with a scientific upbringing, Balog had been a skeptic about climate change and a cynic about the nature of academic research. But that first trip north opened his eyes to the biggest story in human history and sparked a challenge within him that would put his career and his very well-being at risk.
“We all get dressed for Bill,” says Anna Wintour about Bill Cunningham, the 80-year-old New York Times photographer and unlikely man-about-town. Cunningham has two weekly columns in the Style section of The New York Times: “On The Street,” in which he identifies fashion trends as he spots them emerging on the street; and “Evening Hours,” his ongoing coverage of the social whirl of charities that benefit the cultural life of the city. The result is far from simple picture taking — it is cultural anthropology.
Hollywood wild-child, Hedy Lemarr, was infamous for her marriages and affairs with everyone from Spencer Tracy to JFK. This film will rediscover her, not only as an actress, but as the brilliant mind who co-invented 1940's wireless technology.
A behind-the-scenes look inside the historic case to overturn California's ban on same-sex marriage. The high-profile trial first makes headlines with the unlikely pairing of Ted Olson and David Boies, political foes who last faced off as opposing attorneys in Bush v. Gore. The film also follows the plaintiffs, two gay couples who find their families at the center of the same-sex marriage controversy. Five years in the making, this is the story of how they took the first federal marriage equality lawsuit to the U.S. Supreme Court.
In 1960 Jane Jacobs’s book The Death and Life of Great American Cities sent shockwaves through the architecture and planning worlds, with its exploration of the consequences of modern planners’ and architects’ reconfiguration of cities.
Ancient oceans teeming with life, Norwegian settlers, Native Americans and multinational oil corporations find intimacy in deep time. Following up his 2009 feature Crude Independence (SXSW), Deep Time is director Noah Hutton's ethereal portrait of the landowners, state officials, and oil workers at the centre of the most prolific oil boom on the planet for the past six years. With a new focus on the relationship of the indigenous peoples of North Dakota to their surging fossil wealth, Deep Time casts the ongoing boom in the context of paleo-cycles, climate change, and the dark ecology of the future.
EMPTYING THE SKIES chronicles the rampant poaching of migratory songbirds in southern Europe. Songbird populations have been drastically declining for several decades, and a number of species face extinction imminently.
A mysterious nanny, who secretly took over 100,000 photographs that were hidden in storage lockers and discovered decades later, is now considered among the 20th century’s greatest photographers. Maier’s strange and riveting life and art are revealed through never before seen photographs, films, and interviews with dozens who thought they knew her.
If there’s anyone who personifies the resilience, the vision and ultimately the contribution of the Jewish people, it’s Itzhak Perlman. The violin is the chosen instrument of Perlman, the vehicle he has used to overcome his own challenges and express himself to the world. In Perlman and his music, we hear the story of obstacles and survival, we trace the path of the Jewish people from the chaos of Europe to the promise of Israel, we see the comfort of home and family and witness how humor and talent combine with discipline and drive.
Kusama - Infinity explores artist Yayoi Kusama’s journey from a conservative upbringing in Japan to her brush with fame in America during the 1960s (where she rivaled Andy Warhol for press attention) and concludes with the international fame she has finally achieved within the art world. Now in her 80s, Kusama has spent the last 30 years living in a mental institution in Japan. Yayoi Kusama: Life in Polka Dots is a feature documentary about Yayoi Kusama. The film explores Kusama's fierce determination to become a world-renowned artist.
Leaning into the Wind – Andy Goldsworthy follows Andy on his exploration of the layers of his world and the impact of the years on himself and his art. As Goldsworthy introduces his own body into the work it becomes at the same time even more fragile and personal and also sterner and tougher, incorporating massive machinery and crews on his bigger projects.
Israeli bassist and producer Yossi Fine, known as the Jimi Hendrix of bass guitar, has recorded and produced music with artists from across the globe including, Lou Reed, David Bowie and Brian Eno. After travelling to Jamaica and Mali to expand his musical knowledge and get in touch with his ancestral roots, Fine discovers that his great-grandmother is Indian.
MAVIS! is the first documentary on gospel/soul music legend and civil rights icon Mavis Staples and her family group, The Staple Singers. From the freedom songs of the ’60s and hits like “I’ll Take You There" in the ’70s, to funked-up collaborations with Prince and her recent albums with Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, Mavis has stayed true to her roots, kept her family close, and inspired millions along the way.
A feature documentary about the powerful allure of a universal myth. MERMAIDS immerses audiences in a world where fantasies come to life. Following the stories of five extraordinary tail-donning women who are part of a growing "mermaiding" subculture. Audiences voyage between mermaid theme parks, conventions, tail-making studios, and deep into the ocean where escaping reality and transforming into the empowered icon of the mermaid is possible.
Filmed with vérité intimacy for over a decade, QUEST is the moving portrait of a family in North Philadelphia. Christopher “Quest” Rainey, along with his wife Christine’a, aka “Ma Quest,” open the door to their home music studio, which serves as a creative sanctuary from the strife that grips their neighborhood. Over the years, the family evolves as everyday life brings a mix of joy and unexpected crisis. Set against the backdrop of a country now in turmoil, QUEST is a tender depiction of an American family whose journey is a profound testament to love, healing and hope.
In 2004, Izzat Majeed founded Sachal Studios to create a space for traditional music in a nation that had rejected its musical roots. After convincing a number of master musicians to pick up their instruments again, they quietly released some classical and folk albums. But it is an experimental album fusing jazz and South Asian instruments that brings Sachal Studios worldwide acclaim. Their rendition of Dave Brubeck's Take Five becomes a sensation, and Wynton Marsalis invites them to New York to perform with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. After a groundbreaking week of rehearsals fusing the orchestras from Lahore and New York, the musicians take to the stage for a remarkable concert.
Unlocking the Cage follows animal rights lawyer Steven Wise in his unprecedented challenge to break down the legal wall that separates animals from humans. After 30 years of struggling with ineffective animal welfare laws, Steve and his lebgal team, the Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP), are making history by filling the first lawsuits that seek to transform an animal from a "thing" with no rights to a "person" with legal protections.
WATCHERS OF THE SKY interweaves four stories of remarkable courage, compassion, and determination, while setting out to uncover the forgotten life of Raphael Lemkin — the man who created the word "genocide," and believed the law could protect the world from mass atrocities. Inspired by Samantha Power’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book, A Problem From Hell, WATCHERS OF THE SKY takes you on a provocative journey from Nuremberg to The Hague, from Bosnia to Darfur, from criminality to justice, and from apathy to action.
Wind power... it’s sustainable ... it burns no fossil fuels...it produces no air pollution. What’s more, it cuts down dependency on foreign oil. That’s what the people of Meredith, in upstate New York first thought when a wind developer looked to supplement the rural farm town’s failing economy with a farm of their own — that of 40 industrial wind turbines.
For the first time, a film gives audiences a front row seat to a significant and inspiring scientific breakthrough as it happens. PARTICLE FEVER follows six brilliant scientists during the launch of the Large Hadron Collider, marking the start-up of the biggest and most expensive experiment in the history of the planet, pushing the edge of human innovation.
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