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Advancing and Advocating for Social Justice & Equity

Descriptions of Films Screened during the NAME Film Festival 2013–Oakland, CA

In the U.S., race, more than any other demographic factor, determines levels of individual educational achievement, health and life expectancy, possibility of incarceration, and wealth. This film reveals a self perpetuating system of inequity in which internal factors play out in external structures: institutions, policy and law. Festival Opening Event,

Featuring Lynn Phillips. Media Education Foundation.

Social and developmental psychologist and author Lynn Phillips explores the line between consent and coercion in this thought-provoking look at popular culture and the ways real girls and women navigate their heterosexual relationships and hookups.

Does God really condemn loving homosexual relationships? Is the Bible and excuse to hate? These questions and more are answered in this award-winning documentary, which brilliantly reconciles homosexuality and Biblical scripture—and reveals that religious and anti-gay bias is based almost solely upon misinterpretation of the Bible.

A troubling wake-up call to American women and parents of daughters, this documentary explores the impact of media and pop culture on the identity development of girls.

Distinguished historian John H. Bracey Jr. offers a provocative analysis of the devastating economic, political, and personal toll that racism has taken on white Americans. In a departure from analyses of racism that have focused primarily on white power and privilege, Bracey trains his focus on the high price that white people, especially working class whites, have paid for more than two centuries of divisive race-based policies and attitudes.

Through the eyes of funeral director Isaiah Owens, the beauty and grace of African-American funerals are brought t life. Filmed at Owens Funeral Home in Harlem and the rural South, Homegoings takes an up-close look at the rarely seen world of undertaking in the black community, where funeral rites draw on a rich palette of tradition. history and celebration.

At the International High School at Lafayette, a Brooklyn public high school dedicated to newly arrived immigrants from all over the world, five teenagers strive to master English, adapt to families they haven’t seen in years and create a future of their own while coming of age in a new land.  

Immigrant nation is a series of short films that get at immigration issues around the country in a very personal way. There will be two films shown from the series:

Caretaker (7 minutes) The film explores the relationship between an immigrant caretaker and an elderly woman in the last months of her life.

Mayor (10 minute) A small town Republican mayor has a profound friendship with the Mexican family next door and becomes an unexpected ally for the immigrant in his South Georgia community.

Filmed by graduate students at Boise State University, the film features interviews with members of the Latino community discussing the challenges they face in their daily lives. Although filmed i one community, the film resonates with universal themes for communities throughout the U.S.

The film examines how US news and entertainment media portray –and do not portray—Latinos. Drawing on the insights of Latino scholars, journalists, community leaders, actors, directors and producers, they uncover a pattern of gross misrepresentation and gross under-representation.

The Mosque in Morgantown follows one woman’s crusade against extremism in her West Virginia mosque, throwing the community into turmoil and raising questions that cut to the heart of American Islam.

Women are the fastest growing U.S. prison population today. Mothers of Bedford gives human dimensions to these rarely reported statistics taking us inside Bedford Hills Correctional Facility. Shot over four years, Mothers of Bedford follows five women of diverse backgrounds and incarcerated for different reasons in dual struggles to be engaged in their children’s lives and become better themselves. 

When a Palestinian boy loses half of his home to Israeli settlers in East Jerusalem, he joins his community in a campaign of nonviolent protests. Efforts to put a quick end to the demonstrations are foiled when scores of Israelis choose to stand by the residents’ side

These are short films produced by students in a workshop setting sponsored by the California Film Institute. These films tell stories in the students own words about where they live. Students who made the films will be available to talk about their work following the films.

Told through the eyes of a native Punk Rock Band and exploring the lingering and damaging effects that residential schools still have on generations of First Nation communities. The band’s experience of growing up, working and living on reserve is featured while the band’s music provides a dramatic musical landscape for the film.

A coming-of-age historical fiction set in the 1850s, the film provides excellent, well-researched content on slavery in the United States as well as on everyday acts of resistance by enslaved people.

Cultural historian Dave Zirin examines the myriad ways sports culture has worked both to reproduce and challenge the wider culture’s dominant ideas about race and racial difference. Interviewed by Sut Jhally, Zirin’s analysis ranges from the emergence of professional sports in the 1800s to today’s commercial media sports spectacles to show how athletes of color have posed a direct threat to traditional notions of whiteness, white male authority, and American ideals of masculinity.

Sochan was one of the thousands of young women who were forced to marry Khmer Rouge solders in a coordinated effort to increase the population in Cambodia. Sochan’s husband raped and beat her before the then 16 year old girl managed to escape. After years of silence, she decides to file a complaint with the Khmer Rouge tribunal in hopes that the regime will be formally found guilty of the suffering that has overshadowed her life.

The film examines the political and economic forces at work in the trafficking of Burmese girls into prostitution in Thailand.

Winner of the Academy Award for Best Documentary (short subject), Saving Face is a harshly realistic view of some incredibly strong and impressive women. Every year in Pakistan, many women are known t be victimized by brutal acid attacks. With little or no access to reconstructive surgery, survivors are physically and emotionally scarred. Plastic surgeon Dr. Mohammad Jawad left his prominent London practice to return to his home country and help the victims of such attacks.

Award winning filmmaker Byron Hurt offers a fascinating exploration of the soul food tradition, its relevance to black cultural identity, and its continuing popularity despite the known dangers of high-fat, high calorie diets.

The films document a journey that 100 high school youth from 5 Minnesota high schools went through together during  the 2011-2012 academic year with New Wilderness Project.  The journey was about growing awareness, creative expression, breaking down barriers around race, class, sexual orientation, ability, religion, and ethnicity, and growing leadership for social justice.  The films highlight the students’ courage, ability to take creative risks, and a willingness to be vulnerable and honest about their experience in school.  The lessons they offer to educators and youth by speaking their truth are eye opening and transformative.