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Special Collections

2012 New Releases

Third World Newsreel's 2012 Film Collection Presents Stories about Social Justice Movements and People of Color. The collection includes the work of more than 40 independent filmmakers and new work by Manthia Diawara and Thomas Allen Harris.

Get the collection brochure (PDF)

Tracy Assing
Producer: Tracy Assing
2010, 40 min., Color, US
In this revealing documentary, Tracy Assing explores Trinidad’s indigenous history and the inner workings of the organization which represents these indigenous descendants, the Santa Rosa Carib Community--the only recognized group representing indigenous descendants in Trinidad and Tobago. Until now, Amerindian descendants have depended on the stories of their grandparents and great-grandparents for their history, while the indigenous story of survival has been written out of the history books. Assing walks us through her own exploration of the history of the Santa Rosa Community while her great aunt, the Carib Queen, prepares to join the Great Spirit.
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Producer: NDLON, NDWA & Puente Movement
2011, 60 min., Color, US
These four videos document the impact of SB 1070 and other immigration policies on the lives of immigrant families in Arizona, and the growing national efforts to end these violations of human and civil rights. SB 1070, signed into law by Arizona Governor Brewer in April 2010, made it a crime not to carry documentation at all times – and gave local police broad powers to detain anyone they suspected of possibly being undocumented. The videos show the chilling terror that has kept families prisoners in their own homes, and children in fear of losing their parents to surprise detainment and deportations.
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Mary Wells
2007, 33 min., Color, Jamaica
Jamaican filmmaker Mary Wells made ART FOR SOCIAL CHANGE, a perceptive half-hour film, in response to the launch of Frances-Anne Solomon’s heart-wrenching movie A Winter Tale when it opened in cinemas across Jamaica in 2008.
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Dagmar Schultz
2012, 79 min., Color, Germany
2012 marks the 20th anniversary of Audre Lorde’s passing, the acclaimed Black lesbian feminist poet and activist. Throughout the 70s and 80s, Lorde’s incisive writings and speeches defined and inspired the women of color, feminist and LGBT social justice movements in the United States.
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Deborah A. Thomas & John L. Jackson, Jr. & Junior “Gabu” Wedderburn
Producer: Deborah A. Thomas, John L. Jackson, Jr., Junior “Gabu” Wedderburn, & Junior “Ista J” Manning
2011, 63 min., Color, Jamaica
For many around the world, Jamaica conjures up images of pristine beach vacations with a pulsating reggae soundtrack. The country, however, has one of the highest per capita murder rates in the world, and the population is actively grappling with legacies of Western imperialism, racial slavery, and political nationalism – the historical foundations of contemporary violence in Jamaica and throughout the Americas. BAD FRIDAY focuses on a community of Rastafarians in western Jamaica who annually commemorate the 1963 Coral Gardens “incident,” a moment just after independence when the Jamaican government rounded up, jailed and tortured hundreds of Rastafarians.
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Judy Singh
2005, 40 min., Color, Cuba
BLOOD features popular Canadian-Jamaican dub poet d’bi.young, with performances by the Cuban female Hip-Hop Group Las Krudas. The film is part extraordinary music video (shot on locations around Havana, Cuba) and part entertaining after-dinner conversation between d’bi and her friends. Part of the CaribbeanTales Collection.
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Pascale Obolo
2005, 85 min., Color, Trinidad
Featuring the last of the great calypsonians, bringing them all together to sing such classics as “Rum & Coca Cola,” “Jean and Dinah,” and “Shame and Scandal in the Family,” to name a few, the film provides an opportunity to recapture the sound of classic calypso in all of its splendor. Sparrow, Calypso Rose, Terror, Bomber, Superior and Relator are gathered around Syl Dopson’s orchestra on the scene at Dirty Jim’s Club, specially recreated for the film. Lively and touching, filled in the sidelines of Trinidad Carnival, this musical documentary provides a sensitive and originalrendering of calypso, its culture and the legendary singers of the Dirty Jim’s.
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Geoffrey Dunn and Michael Horne
2004, 85 min., Color, Trinidad & Tobago
An intimate portrait of some of the true calypsonians in Trinidad & Tobago, in performance and in conversation. Shot over three years in Port of Spain, Trinidad, the documentary includes such legendary calypsonians as Lord Pretender, Lord Kitchener, the Mighty Bomber, Relator, Lord Superior, Brigo, Mystic Prowler, Calypso Rose, the Mighty Sparrow, Terror, Valentino, Lord Blakie, David Rudder, Regeneration Now, the Mighty Duke, Conqueror and many others.
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Mandisa Pantin
2010, 33 min., Color, Trinidad & Tobago
The documentary examines the concept of African identity as it has evolved over the generations in Trinidad & Tobago. In it, the director explores her own identity, using the Emancipation Day parade and its rituals as a starting point for her journey. Interviews with African-Caribbean people and scholars define and explain some of the complexities of race in this society. Part of the CaribbeanTales Collection.
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Renne Pollonais
2008, 12 min., Color, Trinidad
No one gives directions like a Trinidadian. Ask a Trini how to get to a certain place and if he doesn’t know the way, instead of admitting his ignorance, he’ll send you on a roundabout route guaranteed to get you hopelessly lost. In this short dramatization of that endearing, yet frustrating custom, a number of persons are asked to give directions to a well-known Port of Spain landmark, with unsurprisingly hilarious results. Part of the CaribbeanTales Collection.
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Christopher Laird
2009, 45 min., Color, Trinidad
On April 18th, 2009, the Rights Action Group and Fishermen and Friends of the Sea held a public event in the St. James Amphitheatre, Trinidad. This event, called a “Drummit 2 Summit,” was to allow for public declarations to be made about the way the society was going in contrast to what was on the agenda at the 5th Summit of the Americas. The event had no sooner begun when the police started to exercise increasing pressure to stop the proceedings until the amphitheatre was filled with armed riot police. Relive the declarations of the drums in Chris Laird’s DRUMMIT 2 SUMMIT.
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Manthia Diawara
2010, 50 min., Color, US
In 2009, Manthia Diawara, with his camera, followed Edouard Glissant on the Queen Mary II in a cross-Atlantic journey from South Hampton (UK) to Brooklyn (New York). This poetic meditation continued in Martinique, the native home of Edouard Glissant. The extraordinary voyages resulted in the production of an intellectual biography in which Glissant elaborates on his theory of Relation and the concept of “Tout-monde.”
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Konrad Aderer
2011, 82 min., Color, US
ENEMY ALIEN is the gripping story of the fight to free Farouk Abdel-Muhti, a Palestinian-born human rights activist detained in a post-9/11 sweep of Muslim immigrants. Told through the eyes of the filmmaker, the grandson of Japanese Americans interned during World War II, this documentary takes on unprecedented intimacy and historical resonance. As the filmmaker confronts his own family legacy of incarceration, his involvement in the current struggle deepens. Resistance brings consequences: In retaliation for organizing a hunger strike, Farouk is locked in solitary confinement, and a counterterrorism investigation into the documentary itself triggers the arrest of Farouk’s American-born son Tarek.
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Chris Newman
Producer: Chris Newman
2010, 26 min., Color, US
In 2005, D-Q University, California’s only tribal college, was shut down after a 35-year struggle. Since then, the school’s board of trustees, past students, and community members have tried to reopen the school against all odds. This 30-minute video documentary is structured around a group of occupants who illegally live at the closed D-QU campus amid threats of arrest by the school’s board of trustees. FINDING D-QU looks at the often-conflictive relationship between the board and the occupants. This current struggle frames the history of the school, beginning with D-QU’s establishment in the midst of civil rights activism in the late 1960s.
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Bob Bryan
Producer: Bob Bryan
2005, 45 min., Color, US
An award-winning documentary that explores the eclectic world of Hip-Hop and the urban graffiti artist. GRAFFITI VERITE’ is the first up-close and personal expose’ into the graffiti art world as experienced by 24 artists whose medium is the spray can.
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Bob Bryan
Producer: Bob Bryan
2010, 75 min., Color, US
Whether you call it breakin’, bboyin’, bgirlin’ or simply Hip-Hop dance, what we witness here is authentically funky and soulful. These dancers strive to be “in the moment.” When it’s good, what’s expressed in movement is spirit-filled, awe-inspiring and explosive!
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Bob Bryan
Producer: Bob Bryan
2010, 55 min., Color, US
This documentary is an exploration of the creative expressions in contemporary American Hip-Hop. It focuses on the innovation, movement, and the raw and unfiltered personalized “truth” of some of the most prolific and innovative urban philosophers of our time.
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Bob Bryan
Producer: Bob Bryan
2005, 57 min., Color, US
Flying high above Los Angeles, GV2 looks down on the streets, introducing us to the artists who “tag” the walls of our cities with spraycans while we sleep.
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Bob Bryan
Producer: Bob Bryan
2005, 54 min., Color, US
This experimental documentary probes the socio-political context that distracts the average person from appreciating the significance of graffiti’s historical and artistic impact.
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Bob Bryan
Producer: Bob Bryan
2005, 68 min., Color, US
This documentary is the ultimate step-by-step program on spray can art. Outsiders get a rare glimpse into the outstanding art and eclectic personalities behind the controversial graffiti art movement.
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Bob Bryan
Producer: Bob Bryan
2005, 42 min., Color, US
GV5 is a portrait of the educational value and therapeutic aspect of the four elements of contemporary Hip-Hop: DJing, break-dancing, rappin’ and graffiti art.
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Bob Bryan
Producer: Bob Bryan
2006, 78 min., Color, US
GV6 features 31 multi-ethnic, award-winning, published and highly respected poets. Their creations are a seamlessly woven, uniquely honest, visual tapestry that synthesizes one-on-one poetry readings, graphic iconography, creative insights, and fascinating dramatic interviews.
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Bob Bryan
Producer: Bob Bryan
2008, 120 min., Color, US
GV7 probes the reality of spoken word poets, or, poets that write for the stage. Spoke Word poetry, often flavored with Hip-Hop, connects with today’s youth because the poetics of this art form speak to their love for live performance, their suppressed passions, and the cultural attitudes concerning the world in which they live. Spoken word helps them to unravel, articulate, and document their experiences.
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Bob Bryan
Producer: Bob Bryan
2010, 45 min., Color, US
Combining throat-based effects that create a “wall of sound,” the job of the human beat-boxer is to compose a flawless soundscape.
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Bob Bryan
Producer: Bob Bryan
2010, 45 min., Color, US
Watching a great DJ spin is analogous to watching a professional musician perform. As composer and producer Glenn Towery says, “DJs have to understand the dynamics of music to understand the beat”.
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Mariel Brown
2007, 52 min., Color, Trinidad & Tobago
It’s January 2006 and Brian Mac Farlane’s carnival workshop is quiet and practically empty – littered with left-over costumes and a couple of hangers-on from last year’s carnival. The atmosphere begins to change as carnival costume makers arrive to the workshop, anticipating the work that's to come for the 2006 band, Threads of Joy. THE INSATIABLE SEASON is a fun and intimate look at the passion and creative process of the Mac Farlane camp as they produce a beautifully costumed band for Trinidad’s Carnival. Part of the CaribbeanTales Collection.
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Elspeth Duncan
2008, 11 min., Color, Trinidad
INVISIBLE tells the story of a woman named “Veronica” and her two children. Both the mother and her young daughter are HIV-positive and face the bitter effects of discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS in Trinidad & Tobago. Subsequent to the making of this video, Duncan and friends partnered with Habitat for Humanity to build a home for “Veronica” and her children.
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Newsreel
1971, 25 min., BW, US
"First I was my father's Janie, then I was my Charlie's Janie, now I'm Janie's Janie." --Jane Giese
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Briana Young
Producer: Jeff Olsen
2010, 35 min., Color/BW, US
When most think of American Football, then imagine raw, unbridled demonstrations of athletic might pushed to the max, but rarely do those images involve women. The Quake is a professional women's tackle football team out to break the glass ceiling of this traditionally all-male sport. These women embody the same dogged determination as their male counterparts, but without the money or fame. And beyond that, they must deal with a societal prejudice that keeps them on the periphery of professional sports, having to pay their own way even as other female athletes--such as those in the Lingerie League--draw a salary.
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Manthia Diawara
2008, 58 min., Color, Republic of Congo/France
Designed by famous French architect and designer Jean Prouvé and built by the colonial French government in 1951, the Maison Tropicales were prototype houses intended to address the shortage of housing in the French colonies of West Africa. The prefabricated aluminum structures were modular, made to be flat-packed, constructed and dismantled with ease.
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Newsreel
Producer: Newsreel
1970, 5 min., BW, US
As a young couple make out in a car, we hear the woman's stream of consciousness thoughts. She worries about her reputation and whether he'll try to "go all the way." This film is best used with discussions and/or materials about date rape.
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Thomas Allen Harris
2011, 15 min., Color, US
A documentary that connects the Lesbian and Gay Marriage Equality movement with the Black Civil Rights Movement.
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Dalton Narine
2010, 56 min., Color, Trinidad/US
Mingling traditional Carnival elements with abstract ideas, Emmy Award winner Peter Minshall goes chic to chic with upper crust art in Trinidad’s annual spring festival. The film captures his flair for costumery and the enigma of a designer/artist whose main job seems to open confrontation between good and evil against the backdrop of the celebrations. Minshall’s mobile street theatre, comprising 2,500 masqueraders, eventually influences the Olympic Games to feature him as an artistic director for the Opening Ceremonies in Barcelona, Atlanta and Salt Lake City.
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Annalee Davis
2007, 30 min., Color, Barbados/Trinidad/Guyana
ON THE MAP debunks the myth of a unified, “laid back” Caribbean culture by exposing how Caribbean people treat themselves as “other.” By questioning the notion of a merged Caribbean, the film asks difficult questions: Have regional institutions failed to advance integration? Will political leaders sacrifice sovereign power for a shared power under increasing regional governance? Is the CSME interested in the lives and dreams of poor, unskilled Caribbean nationals? Includes interviews with: Mas man Peter Minshall; poet Kamau Brathwaite; playwright/performer Michael Gilkes; and, musician Wendell Manwarren, among others.
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Stacy Lela
2010, 24 min., Color, Trinidad & Tobago
When a pregnant young woman discovers she is HIV-positive, her world comes crashing down. As she exhausts her possible options, the damage caused by her own errors overshadows whatever hopes she foresees for her child. Part of the CaribbeanTales Collection.
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Lana Lovell
2010, 48 min., Color, Canada
An intimate, richly detailed documentary that confronts long-held stereotypes by stepping inside the lives of three real women in the real world. With honesty, intelligence and humour, Nancy, Simone and Gloria reflect on their experiences of balancing single parenthood, working life, relationships and the fulfillment of their own goals in the context of a society that is often harshly judgemental. By interweaving their intimate stories, the documentary offers a deeper understanding of the challenges, practical strategies and dreams of three resilient women and of many black single mothers in Canada.
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Frances-Anne Solomon
1993, 25 min., Color, UK
In 1943, 300 middle-class “colored” women from across the West Indies were recruited to the ATS, a branch of the British Army during WW2.
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Natasha Florentino & Tamara Gubernat
Producer: Natasha Florentino, Tamara Gubernat, Juliana Alzate and Pamela Nichols
2008, 40 min., Color, US
Since 2002, more than 100 rezonings have been signed into law in New York City, including the rezoning of 125th Street in Harlem.
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Melissa A. Gomez
2008, 38 min., Color, Antigua
This documentary shows the strong bonds of the West Indian family by exploring the relationships between three Antiguan brothers and the unique way in which they continue to fight for a brother who was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia almost 25 years ago. The story of how these brothers come together celebrates two of the most important things in Caribbean life: family and laughter. Part of the CaribbeanTales Collection.
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Mariel Brown
2009, 70 min., Color, Trinidad/UK
What happens when talent isn’t enough? When, in spite of a life of work, you look around in the autumn of your life and discover that your world is not what you thought it would be. This is where we meet Trinidadian jeweller, Barbie Jardine.
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Cabral Larc Trotman
2007, 45 min., Color, Canada
THE SURVIVOR'S PROJECT: VOICES FROM THE INSIDE OUT! explores the traumatic impact and implications of gun violence on young people, and young black men in particular, living in low-income, racialized neighbourhoods. The film follows the story of a Grenadian-born, ex-gang member from “the Town” in Rexdale, Toronto, Canada. Part of the CaribbeanTales Collection.
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Yolanda Pividal
2010, 27 min., Color, US/Mexico
Jonathan (“Pollo”) and Enrique (“Gordo”) are 14-year old orphans making their own living on the streets of Tijuana, the busiest frontier city in the world. Jonathan assists the “Coyotes” in smuggling people across the Mexico/U.S. border and Enrique blows fireballs for entertainment.
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Christopher Wong
2011, 92 min., Color, US
WHATEVER IT TAKES chronicles the struggles and triumphs of the very first year of the Bronx Center for Science & Mathematics, an innovative public high school in New York City.
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