This international independent series samples the best of international documentary.
Before The Revolution (#712) Duration: 56:46 STEREO (Secondary audio: none)
Dan Shadur's brother can't forget the day in November 1978 when he stood on the balcony of his family's apartment in Tehran and watched thousands of demonstrators clash with tanks and soldiers of the Shah's regime. His mother stood behind him, trembling, baby Dan in her arms. The next day, the Israeli embassy ordered the Shadur family, along with thousands of other Israeli citizens, to evacuate the city. The Islamic Revolution had begun. Dan's father stayed behind, and only managed to escape in 1979 with the help of others from the Israeli Embassy and the Mossad. Two years later, he died, leaving nothing but some 8 millimeter film for his sons to remember Tehran by. Director Dan Shadur is 30 - the same age as his father had been that fateful year. He set out to discover the man his father was, and the humble beginnings he imagined his parents had had. Instead, he discovers the extravagant lives of led by many Israelis in pre-Revolution Iran, and of Israel's intimate connection with the Shah's violent and corrupt regime. Using exclusive 8mm footage and rare television archival clips, Before the Revolution offers a glimpse of Israel's dramas in the Middle East, and illuminates the cycles of change in the region, all the way up to the Arab Spring of 2011. The film tracks one of the first great modern first popular uprisings in the Middle East through the people who experienced it firsthand without realizing its historic import or its ongoing consequences.
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Ice People (#713) Duration: 1:26:46 STEREO (Secondary audio: none)
No one gets to Antarctica by accident. For the few scientific teams who brave this beautiful and silent landscape, it feels like another planet. Their discoveries yield secrets about the Earth's past and future, and prompt questions about our place in the world. This documentary captures the experience of vastness and claustrophobia, of excitement and waiting, and of a life still set to nature's rhythm.
Here Comes Uncle Joe (#714) Duration: 56:46 STEREO TVG (Secondary audio: none)
He is not their uncle, and his name is not Joe. But to the old ladies of An-dong, a rural community in southeastern Korea, Uncle Joe is almost the only contact they have with the modern world. As the young leave these rural areas to acquire higher education and to find high salary jobs in the cities, there are no services or people to support old people. In this situation, Uncle Joe becomes the only man for the old.
However, his road taken isn't always happy. Because of their advanced years, Joe often encounters his old customer-friends' misery and death. Moreover, as he reflects on his life, he faces his inner conflict and shame. In this film, we see how Uncle Joe serves these communities with humor and attention, how love and friendship are infused in life, and how he overcomes his conflicts with his friends.
Welcome to the World (#528) Duration: 56:46 STEREO
Is it worse to be born poor than to die poor? 130 million babies are born each year, and not one of them decides where they?ll be born or how they'll live. In Cambodia, you're likely to be born to a family living on less than $1/day. In Sierra Leone chances of surviving the first year are half those of the worldwide average Brian Hill takes a worldwide trip to meet the newest generation - In the US Starr's new baby could well be one more of 1.6 million homeless children now living in the streets.
Recycle (#715) Duration: 1:26:46 STEREO (Secondary audio: none)
Zarqa, Jordan's second largest city, is a rundown, industrial metropolis and birthplace of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the notorious mastermind of al Qaeda's terror operations in Iraq who was killed by American forces in 2005.
This documentary reveals the distinct yet intertwined stories of 3 native sons of Zarqa: al-Zarqawi; Abu Ammar, an ex-Mujahadin fighter who now supports his family of 11 by collecting cardboard to recycle; and filmmaker Mahmoud al Massad who, from behind the camera's lens, coolly unravels the knotted threads of poverty, humiliation, and strict religious doctrine that have made the city a continuing source for jihadist recruits.
The central story is Ammar's; his attempts to build a normal life in the impoverished town are thwarted at every turn. He cannot afford his rent; a scheme to sell used vehicles in Iraq fails when he is almost killed by extremists and American soldiers, and the book he is writing - a moderate interpretation of jihad - goes unfinished.
Inscrutable, undaunted, and ever-devout, Ammar labors alone at night in an abandoned storefront transcribing his personal interpretations of scripture from slips of paper stuffed in garbage bags onto an old desktop computer. But, when the war on terror strikes close to home, he is swept up and forced to deal with the reality that his life is falling apart. His surprising decision to try something completely different suggests that, when push comes to shove, desperate acts can emerge from the most ordinary of circumstances.
Give Us The Money (#523) Duration: 56:46 STEREO
How do you change the world? From Live Aid to Make Poverty History, celebrities have become activists against poverty. Bob Geldof and Bono have been the most prominent voices advocating on behalf of the poor. But have their concerts and campaigns really lifted millions out of poverty? Geldof, Bono and Bill Gates speak candidly about how to lobby effectively and how to play to politicians' weaknesses for glitz and popularity.
Stealing Africa (#524) Duration: 53:35 STEREO
How much profit is fair? Ruschlikon is a village in Switzerland with a very low tax rate and very wealthy residents. But it receives more tax revenue than it can use. This is largely thanks to one resident - Ivan Glasenberg, CEO of Glencore, whose copper mines in Zambia are not generating a large bounty tax revenue for the Zambians. Zambia has the 3rd largest copper reserves in the world, but 60% of the population live on less than $1 a day and 80% are unemployed. Based on original research into public documents, the film describes the tax system employed by multinational companies in Africa.
Casablanca Calling (#716) Duration: 56:46 STEREO (Secondary audio: none)
In Morocco, women are being employed as religious leaders - called Morchidat - for the first time, offering advice and guidance in mosques, schools, prisons, and orphanages around the country. The Islam they teach is based on tolerance, compassion and equality.
This documentary follows 3 exceptional women: Karima is witty, mischievous, and outgoing; Bouchra is powerhouse of energy working in the North; Hannane is a poetic soul - warm, wise, and compassionate, who wants to change people's perceptions of the true teachings of Islam - including non-Muslims' conception of religious guides as "scary men with beards."
In the mosques, the Morchidat offer advice on everything from marital relationships, to bringing up children, work, money, and neighborhood disputes. They mentor teenagers in schools and fight against early marriage. They go into orphanages to offer comfort and guidance to children whose parents can't afford to keep them. And they visit prisons to counsel the most vulnerable prisoners, and mediate between the inmates and their estranged families.
The Fighting Spirit (#704) Duration: 56:46 STEREO (Secondary audio: none)
There aren't a lot of ways to leave Bukom. A poor village in Ghana, its main industry is fishing, with a paltry annual salary of $300. So its young people are fighting their way out -- literally. Thanks to tenacious coaches who turn rough street fighters into money-churning professional boxers, the village has produced several champions, and is looking for its next big winner. Twenty-two year-old George is excited to box overseas for the first time, but has girlfriend troubles back home. Known as the first lady of boxing, Yarkor is using the memory of her cheating ex-boyfriend to fuel her fire, but is struggling to win her first big fight. Having already achieved international success, Joshua is training for the world featherweight title, with the help of dodgy manager Vinnie Scolpino. A spirited look at Ghana through the eyes of those fighting for their dreams.
74 Square Meters (#513) Duration: 53:42 STEREO
Iselsa, Kathy, tribal leader Ivan, and 150 other marginalized families from Valparaiso, Chile, are chosen to participate in a social experiment that moves them into a middle-class neighborhood. But their new neighbors consider them delinquents who would endanger the neighborhood. Filmed over four years, this doc explores what happens when two worlds collide and looks at the struggles of attaining one's dreams.
Land Rush (#526) Duration: 56:46 STEREO
How do you feed the world? 75% of Mali's population are farmers, but rich, land-hungry nations like China and Saudi Arabia are leasing Mali's land in order to turn large areas into agribusiness farms. Many Malian peasants do not welcome these efforts, seeing them as yet another manifestation of imperialism. As Mali experiences a military coup, the developers are scared off ? but can Mali's farmers combat food shortages and escape poverty on their own terms?
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Oil & Water (#717) Duration: 56:46 STEREO (Secondary audio: none)
Shot over 6 years, this documentary is the true story of 2 boys coming of age in the middle of one of the world's worst toxic disasters. Hugo fights for the survival of his Amazonian tribe, while David attempts to revolutionize the oil industry.
When Hugo Lucitante was 10 years old, the Cofan tribe of Ecuador made a desperate decision. Fearing extinction, they sent Hugo to be educated in the US, in hopes that he would return to lead them into a better future. A decade later, Hugo returns to the Ecuadorian Amazon to meet his destiny, armed only with a high school diploma.
David Poritz was just a 6th grader when he learned of the oil disaster in Hugo's homeland. With the blessing of his mother, David started a humanitarian aid project that led him away from his home in Amherst, Massachusetts to spend much of his youth in the Amazon.
The two teenagers meet by chance during a shared canoe ride, and then again to tour Hugo's ancestral lands where 18 billion gallons of oil waste was dumped, leading to unexplainable rashes, childhood deformities, and ballooning cancer rates.
While still a college student, David launches the world's first international company to certify oil as "fair-trade," meaning that it is drilled in a safer way. David's approach could be a game changer for the oil industry. Meanwhile, Hugo struggles with culture shock, the demands of learning to be a Cofan tribal leader, and also becoming a husband. Financial pressures cause him to shoulder two minimum wage jobs, even as oil prospectors push deeper into the rainforest.
Will Hugo become the leader his tribe so desperately needs? Will David clean up one of the world's dirtiest industries? This film follows the twists and turning points in their lives to bring a powerful conclusion to the story.
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