American Studies


MISS ALMA THOMAS: a life in color
MISS ALMA THOMAS: a life in color

2022  American Studies  American History  Art History  African-American Studies  Education  Short Films  Directed by Women  Women's Studies 

Alma W. Thomas, a Black woman painter, broke color barriers on and off the canvas, yet did not receive national attention until she was 80 years old. “Miss Alma Thomas” is the first documentary film that explores Thomas’ incredible life through the lens of curators, art specialists, scholars, and her family.  


CANE FIRE
CANE FIRE

2022  American Studies  American History  Cinema Studies  Indigenous Studies  Media Studies 

A kaleidoscopic portrait of Hawaiʻi and the economic and cultural forces that have cast Indigenous and working-class residents as "extras" in their own story


ROCK BOTTOM RISER
ROCK BOTTOM RISER

Anthropology  Asian-American Studies  Cinema Studies  Economics  Media Studies  Photography  Political Science  Science  Physical Science  Sociology  American Studies  American History  2022 

Explorers have long made Hawaii the hub for their searching. Today-as lava continues to flow on the island—another crisis mounts as scientists plan to build the world's largest telescope on Mauna Kea, Hawaii's most sacred and revered mountain. The film weaves a vital tapestry of post-colonialism and pop culture with cinematic brio and a wry wit. Rock Bottom Riser is an essential document and an exhilarating tour-de-force, a palimpsest that traverses geology, ethnography and astronomy.


LA MANPLESA: an uprising remembered
LA MANPLESA: an uprising remembered

2022  American Studies  American History  Criminal & Law  Cultural Studies  Directed by Women  Latin-American Studies  Sociology 

On May 5th, 1991, people took to the streets of Washington D.C.’s Mount Pleasant neighborhood to protest the police shooting of Daniel Gomez, a young man from El Salvador. Through testimony, song, poetry, and street theatre, La Manplesa weaves together the collective memory of one of D.C.’s first barrios and dives into the roots of the ‘91 rebellion.

ANY GIVEN DAY
ANY GIVEN DAY

2022  American Studies  Directed by Women  Family Relations  Health  Psychology & Psychiatry  Sociology  Criminal & Law 

A filmmaker with mental illness follows three defendants through a specialized mental health probation program. While sharing their rarely seen struggles, she faces her own challenges, making clear just how precarious the ties between people with mental illness, their families and society can be.  From Margaret Byrne, the director of Raising Bertie.



THE KITCHENISTAS
THE KITCHENISTAS

2021  American Studies  Business  Cultural Studies  Family Relations  Gastronomy  Health  Latino Studies  Latin-American Studies  Women's Studies  Sociology  2022 

What started as a 7-week nutrition program for women seeking healthier diets, has become a Latina-led movement to enact change in their own communities. Known as Kitchenistas, these women are showing how healthy food traditions can lead to physical, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing as well as big change in the home, at schools, within city hall, and in the healthcare system.

STRANGE NEGOTIATIONS
STRANGE NEGOTIATIONS

2021  American Studies  American History  Anthropology  Cinema Studies  Family Relations  Music  Religion & Spirituality  Political Science 

Musician David Bazan retreated into a solitary life after renouncing his long-held Christian beliefs and walking away from his critically-acclaimed band, Strange Negotiations follow David a decade into his journey, during which he has become a sort of reluctant prophet to Americans during the 2016 presidential election.

TO KID OR NOT TO KID
TO KID OR NOT TO KID

2020  American Studies  Cinema Studies  Cultural Studies  Directed by Women  Women's Studies  Health 

Filmmaker Maxine Trump turns the camera on herself and her close circle of family and friends as she confronts the idea of not having kids, and explores the cultural pressures and harsh criticism childfree women regularly experience.

THE FOURTH KINGDOM: the kingdom of plastics
THE FOURTH KINGDOM: the kingdom of plastics

American Studies  Alcohol & Drug Abuse  Chicano Studies  Cinema Studies  Environmental Studies  Immigration  Labor Studies  Latino Studies  New York City  Urban Studies  2020 

The Fourth Kingdom: The Kingdom of Plastics is a compassionate through-the-seasons study of a non-profit recycling and redemption center in New York.

AMERICAN REBELS IN CUBA
AMERICAN REBELS IN CUBA

2019  American Studies  Cuban Studies  Chicano Studies  Latino Studies  Latin-American Studies  Peace & Conflict  Political Science  World History 

American Rebels in Cuba follows the unusual life of “rebels” Neill and Nancy Macaulay and their involvement with the Cuban Revolution, providing an inside look at one of the most important historical events of the 20th century.



I'M LEAVING NOW (YA ME VOY)
I'M LEAVING NOW (YA ME VOY)

2019  American Studies  Chicano Studies  Latino Studies  New York City  Urban Studies  Cinema Studies  Immigration 

Felipe, an undocumented Mexican immigrant in Brooklyn, struggles with whether to return home to Mexico, to the wife and children he no longer really knows.



JEWEL'S CATCH ONE
JEWEL'S CATCH ONE

2018  African-American Studies  AIDS  American History  Directed by Women  Human Sexuality  LGBTQ  Women's Studies  American Studies  2019 

The story of famed Los Angeles nightclub Catch One and its owner Jewel Thais-Williams, who defied all odds and provided a safe space for both black and LGBT communities.

KEEP TALKING
KEEP TALKING

2018  Native American Studies  American Studies  Kartemquin Films  Cultural Studies  Indigenous Studies 

Keep Talking follows four Alaska Native women fighting to save Kodiak Alutiiq, an endangered language now spoken by less than 40 remaining fluent Native Elders.

THE ISSUE OF MR. O'DELL
THE ISSUE OF MR. O'DELL

2018  African-American Studies  American History  American Studies 

The Issue of Mr. O’Dell examines the lifelong work of a pioneering civil rights organizer Jack O’Dell, who was a close colleague and advisor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., but was ousted from King's organization after President Kennedy named him the number five Communist in America.



MILFORD GRAVES FULL MANTIS
MILFORD GRAVES FULL MANTIS

2018  Music  African-American Studies  American Studies  Media Studies 

Milford Graves Full Mantis is a feature-length portrait of renowned percussionist Milford Graves, oscillating from present to past and weaving intimate glimpses of the artist’s complex cosmology with blistering performances from around the globe, exploring his kaleidoscopic creativity and relentless curiosity.

HALE COUNTY THIS MORNING, THIS EVENING
HALE COUNTY THIS MORNING, THIS EVENING

2018  African-American Studies  American Studies  Cinema Studies  Media Studies  Academy Award Winners & Nominees  2019 

2019 ACADEMY AWARD® Nominee for Best Documentary Feature. Composed of intimate and unencumbered moments of people in a community, HALE COUNTY THIS MORNING, THIS EVENING allows the viewer an emotive impression of the Historic South - trumpeting the beauty of life and consequences of the social construction of race, while simultaneously a testament to dreaming - despite the odds.

EN EL SEPTIMO DIA (On The Seventh Day)
EN EL SEPTIMO DIA (On The Seventh Day)

2018  Immigration  New York City  Latino Studies  Cinema Studies  American Studies  Chicano Studies  Labor Studies  Narrative Films 

A fiction feature about a group of undocumented immigrants from Puebla, Mexico who live in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. En el Séptimo Día (On the Seventh Day) is both timely for our current immigration debate and an exciting enjoyable film to watch.

SPIRITS OF REBELLION: Black Independent Cinema from Los Angeles
SPIRITS OF REBELLION: Black Independent Cinema from Los Angeles

African-American Studies  Directed by Women  American Studies  Cinema Studies  Media Studies  Cultural Studies  American History  2018 

Spirits of Rebellion: Black Cinema from UCLA documents the lives and work of a small critically acclaimed group of black filmmakers and media artists known as the Los Angeles Rebellion, the first collective of minority filmmakers that aimed to reimagine the production process to represent, reflect on, and enrich the day to day lives of people in their own communities.

BEYOND WISEGUYS: italian americans & the movies
BEYOND WISEGUYS: italian americans & the movies

2017  American Studies  Cinema Studies  Media Studies  Pacific Street Films 

Executive-produced by award-winning actor/filmmaker John Turturro, BEYOND WISEGUYS is a feature-length documentary that uses extraordinary interviews with prominent Italian American film artists such as John Turturro, Isabella Rossellini, Susan Sarandon, Martin Scorsese, Ben Gazzara, Marisa Tomei, and many others to explore the personal experiences that brought them all to the movies. 


NEVER FAR FROM HOME
NEVER FAR FROM HOME

2017  American Studies  Anthropology  Children & Young Adult  Loud Roar Productions  Short Films 

This simple vérité film takes viewers on a journey to the backwoods of Southern Georgia. The kids are never far from home and live, like their grandfathers before them, out in the sticks with traditions routed in nature the forefront of their existences.

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