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THE RISE AND FALL OF BLACK VELVET FLAG

American Studies  Music  Performing Arts 

Between 1840 and 1870, over 250,000 Americans traveled west by covered wagon on the Oregon Trail. Some claimed land in Oregon; others headed for California gold country. Many went enthusiastically. Others reluctantly left homes, family and friends to face hardship and an uncertain future. Actress Amy Warner vividly presents the experiences and feelings of these pioneers in her one-woman performance based on entries from diaries, letters and memoirs of pioneer women and a young girl who trekked the Oregon Trail.

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PANOPTICON

Architecture  Criminal & Law  Music 

In this offbeat mockumentary, Thompson Merrimack, Chairman of WorldWide Monitor, hosts a performance of the Surveillance Chamber Music Society in a celebration of Jeremy Bentham, whose architectural design of the Panopticon revolutionized systems of penal surveillance in the eighteenth century.

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THE SOUL OF THE ISLANDS

Latino Studies  Music  Sociology  Spanish Language 

This poetic docu-drama about the pride and anguish of Haiti features the renowned Haitian singer Toto Bissainthe who recounts in song a fable that recreates Haiti's past and reveals its continuing tragedy.

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GHOSTMAKERS

Music  Performing Arts 

Features conversations with Oscar and Grammy Award winning composer John Corigliano and Tony and Obie Award winning playwright and librettist William Hoffman, who discuss the challenges they faced in creating their first opera, The Ghosts of Versailles.

THE BALLAD OF BERING STRAIT
THE BALLAD OF BERING STRAIT

Music  Russia  Directed by Women 

This cinéma-vérité documentary, shot in high definition video, follows seven Russian teenagers who came to America to become country music stars.

SING! HEALING, COMMUNITY, CELEBRATION
SING! HEALING, COMMUNITY, CELEBRATION

Music  Performing Arts 

This documentary profiles three women who are reviving a musical legacy, a birthright, which so many of have lost the simple act of singing.

PUPPETRY: WORLDS OF IMAGINATION
PUPPETRY: WORLDS OF IMAGINATION

Performing Arts  Music  Dance  Art History 

This documentary surveys the revolutionary new developments in American puppet theater, profiling many of puppetry’s most imaginative contemporary artists.

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INDIANA ARIA

Performing Arts  Education  Music  Directed by Women 

Offers a behind-the-scenes glimpse into one of the country's top opera schools, Indiana University's School of Music, where young singers prepare for one of the world's riskiest careers.

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BALD SOPRANO, THE

Music  Performing Arts 

The 1950 debut of Eugene Ionesco's The Bald Soprano, a "mixture of social satire, Alice in Wonderland-type logic, verbal delirium and surrealist farce," stirred a sensation in Paris. For the fiftieth anniversary of the Theater of the Absurd's founding work, the piece has been adapted by The Center for Contemporary Opera into a delightful comic opera in English.

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I AM JUANA BACALLAO

Spanish Language  Latin-American Studies  Music  Directed by Women 

A profile of the colorful singer who uses the street Spanish of Cuba to sing, swagger and slang her way into the hearts of her audience.

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SONGOLOLO: VOICES OF CHANGE

Sociology  Music  Literature  Dance  Cultural Studies  African Studies  Directed by Women 

Examines the role of black resistance to apartheid in South Africa through a look at two of the nation's leading cultural activists and popular performers--poet Mzwakhe Mbuli and writer/ performer Gcina Mhlophe.

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SONG OF THE SPEAR

Sociology  Music  Cultural Studies  African Studies 

Examines the role of culture in the struggle for national liberation in South Africa by interspersing performances by the Amandla Cultural Ensemble with footage of the mass singing of resistance songs on the streets of South Africa and interviews with leading cultural workers of the African National Congress.

SUN, MOON & FEATHER
SUN, MOON & FEATHER

American Studies  Anthropology  Music  Native American Studies  New York City  Directed by Women 

This prize-winning musical comedy/documentary, blending documentary, musical theater and personal memoir, is about three Native American sisters growing up in Brooklyn during the 1930s and '40s.

HARP OF MY COUNTRY
HARP OF MY COUNTRY

Irish Studies  Literature  Music 

This musical biography is a documentary-style recreation of the life of Thomas Moore (1779-1852), Ireland's greatest national lyric poet, whose melodies and poems were revered throughout 19th-century Europe.

FROM SHORE TO SHORE: IRISH TRADITIONAL MUSIC IN NEW YORK CITY
FROM SHORE TO SHORE: IRISH TRADITIONAL MUSIC IN NEW YORK CITY

American Studies  Irish Studies  Music  New York City  Immigration 

Examines both the continuity and the changes that have affected Irish traditional music since the turn of the century. Using New York City as the focus, this video mixes historical photographs and film footage with contemporary interviews and performances.

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THE RETURN OF JOE HILL

American History  American Studies  Labor Studies  Music  Sociology  World History  Immigration 

Tells the story of Joe Hill (1879-1915), a Swedish immigrant to America who became a songwriter, cartoonist and labor organizer for the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) and whose 1915 execution by the state of Utah for a crime he probably did not commit transformed him into a martyr for the labor movement and an international folk hero.

GANDY DANCERS
GANDY DANCERS

African-American Studies  American Studies  Labor Studies  Music  Sociology  Directed by Women 

Features the musical traditions and verbal recollections of eight retired African-American railroad track laborers, whose occupational folk songs were once heard along the railroad lines that crisscross the South.

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CAN'T HEAR YOU KNOCKING

Disabilities  Health  Music  Directed by Women 

Examines the dangers of hearing loss from listening to or performing loud music, featuring interviews with American and European rock musicians as well as rock music fans, sound engineers and audiologists.

BUILDING A CELLO WITH HAROLD
BUILDING A CELLO WITH HAROLD

Music  Art History 

This feature-length video features Harold Hayslett, a retired pipefitter and master builder of violins and cellos, and documents in fascinating detail, from start to finish, the entire process of his construction of a cello.

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CISSY HOUSTON: SWEET INSPIRATION

Women's Studies  Music  African-American Studies 

This biographial profile of a woman whose career has successfully combined gospel and popular music moves from smoky clubs to a Sweet Inspirations reunion concert, from nostalgic gospel singing with The Drinkard Singers to a sold-out concert with Cissy's daughter Whitney.

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