Diversity Video Library
Click on the video titles (left) to see a summary of each video.
The Betrayal (Nerakhoon)
Publisher: The Cinema Guild Inc.
Runtime: 96 mins
The collateral impact of America’s secret war in Laos Is reflected in the extraordinary story of one family’s struggle for survival-in Laos and later in the U.S. Filmed over the course of 23 years, The Betrayal is the directorial debut of famed cinematographer Ellen Kuras in collaboration with the film’s subject and co-director Thavisouk Phrasavath.
During the Vietnam War, the U.S. clandestinely operated in the neighboring country of Laos. By 1973 a secret air campaign had dropped more bombs on Laos than were used during WWI and WWII combined. Recruited by the CIA to work intelligence along the Ho Chi Minh Trail, Thavisouk’s father is exposed after America’s retreat and is imprisoned by the ruling Communist government. The entire family comes under suspicion and their mother is forced to raise Thavi and his nine younger siblings alone. At the age thirteen, Thavi escapes across the Mekong River to Thailand, and is joined two years later by his mother and seven of his siblings. After living in a refugee camp the family seeks asylum in America, and is soon deposited in a crowded tenement in Brooklyn. Left to their own means by the government, the family struggles to survive and stay together, pulled by two different cultures, terrorized by local gangs, and haunted by memories. Renowned for her achievement as a Director of Photography, Ellen Kuras has worked for such directors as Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Be Kind Rewind) and Spike Lee (Summer of Sam, 4 Little Girls), among many others, and is a three-time winner of the Sundance Film Festival’s prestigious Cinematography award.
A lyrical melding of memoir, cinema verite’ and historical inquiry, The Betrayal is an exquisitely crafted tale of a country and a family torn asunder, and the long and painful process of repair.
Body of War
Publisher: Docurama films
Runtime: 87 mins
Paralyzed from the chest down after serving in Iraq for just one week, 25-year-old Tomas Young is forced to deal with the realities of war each and every day. For Tomas, learning to cope with his disability means finding his voice to speak out against the war in Iraq.
Directed by Phil Donahue and Ellen Spiro and set to the haunting vocals of Eddie Vedder, the multi award-winning Body of War splits its time between Tomas’s arduous daily reality in Kansas City, MO, and the harrowing legislative process that led up to the invasion of Iraq in 2002. Senatorial speeches and a running tally of pro-war votes that are inter-spliced with intimate footage of Tomas as he navigates through the acute physical and emotional impacts of his injury. A testament to the power of parallel images, the film adeptly juxtaposes the sanitized vantage point of Washington with raw personal experience. In the end, this contrast forces viewers to question the motives, methods, and ever-rising cost of the conflict in Iraq.
A deeply moving and bracingly honest film, Body of War narrates a story that must be heard-a story of courage, conviction and resistance.
Children of Abraham
Publisher: Compassionate Listening Project
Runtime: 36 mins
"Children of Abraham compellingly documents the profound possibilities within a society in which friends and enemies alike attune themselves to the voice of the other. It should serve as an urgent reminder of how badly we transgress and how much we forfeit when we dismiss the power of listening as too simple. This is not a promotion of a naive quick fix, but rather a call to the wrenching but essential heroism that Jewish tradition says inheres in making one's enemy into one's friend."
Rabbi Gordon Tucker
In January of 1998, twenty-two Jewish Americans traveled to Israel and the Palestinian territories as part of Mid East Citizen Diplomacy's Compassionate Listening Project. Children of Abraham is a 34-minute broadcast-quality documentary which chronicles this journey.
The film follows the Jewish participants as they visit with and listen to Israelis and Palestinians - from leaders to refugees, and seek to understand the complexities of religious, political and human rights issues. Participants include Jewish leaders and professionals ranging from secular to observant.
This stunning documentary introduces the Compassionate Listening reconciliation model, and humanizes each Israeli and Palestinian portrayed. The film delivers a compelling message that conflict can be transformed through the simple act of listening.
Crossing the Lines
Publisher: Compassionate Listening Project
Runtime: 28 mins
Crossing the Lines contains interviews with Israelis and Palestinians filmed during the Compassionate Listening Delegations
Dispatches: The Killing Zone
Publisher: UK Channel 4
Runtime: 10 min
Dispatches reporter Sandra Jordan and producer Rodrigo Vasquez's 2003 five-week stay in Gaza, in which they document the level of daily violence and what life is like in a full blown war zone.
Egalite for All: Toussaint Loverture and the Haitian Revolution
Publisher: Koval Films/PBS
Runtime: 60 mins
It was the only successful slave insurrection in history. It grasped the full meaning of French revolutionary ideas and used them to create the world’s first black republic. It elevated a former slave, Toussaint Louverture, to such international fame that admirers ranked him on par with George Washington. It was the Haitian Revolution, a movement of admirable aspirations…and appalling destruction.. Vaguely remembered today, the Haitian Revolution of 1791-1804 traumatized planters in the American South and inspired U.S. slaves. Égalité for All explores this history through music, voodoo ritual, powerful recreations, and insightful writers and historians
The Face of Genocide: Crisis in Darfur & Chad
Runtime: 27 min
A film comprised of photographs and video footage of the ongoing genocide in the Darfur region of the Sudan, as well as Chad and the Central African Republic. Interviews, video footage and photographs by Dave Lynn with Groundview Productions - along with Mia Farrow, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.
The Fight in the Fields - Cesar Chavez and the Farm Workers' Struggle
Publisher: Paradigm Productions Inc
Format: Book/DVD/Study Guide
Runtime: 120 min
The Fight in the Fields follows the first successful organizing drive of farm workers in the United States, while recounting the many failed and dramatic attempts to unionize that led up to this victory. Among the many barriers to organizing was the Bracero Program, which flooded the fields with Mexican contract workers between World War II and the 1960s.
Inside Burma: Land of Fear
Publisher: Bullfrog Films
Runtime: 51 mins
John Pilger investigates the history and brutality of the military dictatorship in Burma. Inside Burma exposes the history and brutality of one of the world's most repressive regimes. Nearly the size of Texas, with a population of more than 40 million, Burma has rich natural resources probably unequaled in Asia. Yet Burma is also a secret country.
Isolated for the past 40 years, since a brutal military dictatorship seized power in Rangoon, this rich country has been relegated to one of the world's poorest, the assault on its people all but forgotten by the rest of the world.
Award-winning filmmakers John Pilger and David Munro go undercover to expose how the former British colony is ruled by a harsh, bloody and uncompromising military regime.
More than a million people have been forced from their homes and untold thousands killed, tortured and subjected to slavery.
Liberian Women Together as One
Publisher: Gilda L. Shepherd
Runtime: 15 min
"Women Together as One" focuses on work Sheppard did with Liberian women refugees who live at the Buduburam Refugee Camp in Ghana, West Africa. She worked with the refugees to organize and design classes for economic sustainability (computer literacy, adult literacy, cosmetology, catering, sewing and tie and dye workshops) and school scholarships for their children.
Publisher: Room 11 Productions Film
Runtime: 82 mins
How did a group of Army women-mechanics, supply clerks, and engineers- end up fighting alongside the Marines in some of the bloodiest counterinsurgency battles of the Iraq war? Directors Meg McLagan and Daria Sommers offer an unprecedented look at the war through the eyes of the first women in the U.S. history to be sent into direct ground combat in violation of official policy. Through intimate personal stories and scenes from their lives back home, the film creates a deeply moving portrait of love, faith, duty, and solidarity.
Long Night's Journey into Day
Publisher: California Newsreel
Runtime: 91 mins
For over forty years, South Africa was governed by the most notorious form of racial domination since Nazi Germany. When it finally collapsed, those who had enforced apartheid's rule wanted amnesty for their crimes. Their victims wanted justice. As a compromise, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was formed. As it investigated the crimes of apartheid, the Commission brought together victims and perpetrators to relive South Africa's brutal history. By revealing the past instead of burying it, the TRC hoped to pave the way to a peaceful future.
Long Night's Journey Into Day follows several TRC cases over a two-year period. The stories in the film underscore the universal themes of conflict, forgiveness, and renewal.
Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West
Publisher: The Clarion Fund
Runtime: 60 minutes
A film about the threat of Radical Islam to western Civilization. Using unique footage from Arab television, it reveals an "insider's view" of the hatred the Radicals are teaching, their incitement of global jihad, and their goal of world domination. the film also traces the parallels between the Nazi movement of World War II, the Radicals of today, and the Western world's response to both threats.
Pray the Devil Back to Hell
Publisher: Fork Films
Runtime: 72 mins
Pray the Devil Back to Hell was released in 2009 but got precious little distribution. The film chronicles the remarkable story of the courageous Liberian women who came together to end a bloody civil war and bring peace to their shattered country.
Thousands of women — ordinary mothers, grandmothers, aunts and daughters, both Christian and Muslim — came together to pray for peace and then staged a silent protest outside of the Presidential Palace. Armed only with white T-shirts and the courage of their convictions, they demanded a resolution to the country’s civil war. Their actions were a critical element in bringing about an agreement during the stalled peace talks.
A story of sacrifice, unity and transcendence, Pray the Devil Back to Hell honors the strength and perseverance of the women of Liberia. Inspiring, uplifting, and most of all motivating, it is a compelling testimony of how grassroots activism can alter the history of nations.
Regret to Inform
Publisher: Barbara Sonneborn and Sun Foundation Productions
Runtime: 72 mins
Regret to Inform looks at the Vietnam War through the lenses of women who lived through it, nurses, U.S. and Vietnamese widows, women who were children at the time. The video jacket reads, "...has extraordinary power and beauty. It is a personal, haunting and redemption-filled journey that will forever change the way you think about war." Our viewers agree.
Reverend James Lawson at Temple Beth Hatfiloh
Publisher: The Evergreen State College
Runtime: 120 minutes
Reverend James Lawson Jr’s talk at the Temple Beth Hatfiloh on 5/5/08.
Reverend James Lawson at Evergreen Hall I
Publisher: The Evergreen State College
Runtime: 60 minutes
Reverend James Lawson Jr.’s lecture 5/5/08 at The Evergreen State College Lecture Hall I.
The Sun Behind The Clouds
Publisher: Zeitgeist Films
Runtime: 79 Minutes
Languages: English, Tibetan & Mandarin
A provocative and potent look at The Dalai Lama's ceaseless struggle for justice recognition for the Tibetan people, The Sun Behind The Clouds focuses on the pivotal and particularly tumultuous events of 2008. From Buddhist monks' protest in Lhasa on the 50th anniversary of the Chinese invasion and the four-month march of exiled Tibetans through India to the Tibetan border, to the Beijing Olympics and the raucous talks between the Dalai Lama's representatives and the Chinese government, the film uncovers the growing rifts between younger Tibetans and their most respected spiritual leader.
While His Holiness advocates for the political autonomy within China rather than secession from it, a younger generation within Tibet has grown impatient and begun to chart a more confrontational course. Following the Dalai Lama's political life with unprecedented personal access, Tibetan filmmaker Tenzing Sonam and co-director Ritu Sarin, bring an impassioned focus to the myriad complexities in fining a peaceful solution based on compromise and dialogue.
Tattooed Under Fire
Publisher: Mo-Ti Productions
Runtime: 58 min
Tattooed Under Fire is a grippingly intimate, character-driven portrait of Iraq-bound and returning U.S. soldiers as they go under the tattoo needle-openly professing their pride, sharing their secrets and confessing their fears.
The tattoos cross lines of gender, class, and political affinity revealing the inner lives of young men and women as they live through the horrors of the Iraq War.
The film's narrative moves from the early expectations and excitement of 18 and 20 year-olds through cynicism and anger, to a sense of a psychological aftermath that will never be erased. Each soldier's story is an evocative, poignant, and highly personal look at the human and cultural cost of war.
Two Days in October
Runtime: 90 mins
Based on the book They Marched Into Sunlight by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Maraniss, Two Days in October tells the story of two turbulent days in October 1967 when history turned a corner.
In Vietnam, a U.S. battalion unwittingly marched into a Viet Cong trap. Sixty-one young men were killed and as many wounded. The ambush prompted some in power to wonder whether the war might be unwinnable.
Half a world away, concerned students at the University of Wisconsin protested the presence of Dow Chemical recruiters on campus. When Madison police showed up, the demonstration spiraled out of control, marking the first time that a student protest had turned violent.
Told entirely by the people who took part in the harrowing events of those two days -- American soldiers, police officers, relatives of men killed in battle, protesting students, university administrators and Viet Cong fighters -- the film offers a window onto a moment that divided a nation and a war that continues to haunt us.
Upward Bound, Gear Up Harassment Preview
Format: PowerPoint and Word documents
Runtime: 24 slides
Harassment Prevention Training - June 19, 2003
Waltz With Bashir
Publisher: Sony Pictures Classics
Runtime: 90 minutes
Inspired by actual events, Waltz with Bashir chronicles one man's descent into his own half-forgotten past. Filmmaker Ari Folman, an Israeli veteran of the First Lebanon War, encounters an old friend suffering from nightmares of conflict. Ari begins to wonder why his own memories are full of gaps. In an effort to uncover the truth, he reconnects with old friends and dares to confront the horrors of war. Hailed as innovative and devastating, Waltz with Bashir fuses animation and documentary to create an experience unlike anything you've ever witnessed.