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Documentaries On:

Documentaries on Ethics

A Plague on Our Children

Dioxins, PCBs, public health v. profits
"Mr. Richter's documentary is angry and quite persuasive."
—New York Times
"Hard-hitting investigative documentary look at the price we pay for widespread use of herbicides and other toxic chemicals."
—Cue

Come Out Shining

Innovative youth-adult partnership in a troubled mid-West small city, released at You Tube.

Crossing the Line

The grassroots campaign to close the U.S. Army School of the Americas (SOA), with Martin Sheen and 7,000 others. Susan Sarandon, narrator.

Father Roy: Inside the School of Assassins

The struggle to find and reveal the truth about the U.S. Army School of the Americas (SOA). Susan Sarandon, narrator.
"This powerful film presents one person's efforts to change American foreign policy... recommended for all video collections."
—Library Journal
"One of the outstanding documentaries of 1997."
—Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
"Inspiring."
—Grand Rapids Press
"Persuasive."
—Boston Globe
"Chilling."
—Dallas Morning News
"Fascinating...intriguing."
—The Evangelist
"An inspiring tool for education and action."
—Report on Guatemala

Five Days to Change the World

A youth rebellion and major issues at the world's largest peace congress: child soldiers, small arms, land mines, nuclear weapons, peace education, racism, poverty, International Criminal Court. Martin Sheen, Narrator.
"...a riveting program that may inspire other young people to think about and perhaps take positive steps to achieve world peace."
—School Library Journal
"...conveys the earnestness of the young people, many of whom came from war-torn countries. In just a few days, they were able to influence the larger conference agenda... Highly recommended."
—Library Journal

For Export Only: Pesticides

Global corporations export banned or severely restricted pesticides to developing nations.
"If you ever wanted to know how human beings behave in the absence of rules, in an open unregulated market, these films provide the answer."
—Washington Post

"Elucidating, shocking...depicts the shocking truth...5 out of 5 stars..."
—DANDT, U.S.A., April 8, 2011
"Geneva: Experts and officials from some 150 countries started talks on Monday on banning production of nine chemicals considered potentially dangerous but still used in farming and for other commercial purposes."
—Reuters, May 4, 2009
"An extraordinary report."
—London Observer
"After nearly three decades of legal struggle a Los Angeles jury awarded $3.2 million to Nicaraguan farm workers who argued they were made sterile by exposure to a specific pesticide. Dole Food Company was accused of exposing the workers to pesticides made by Dow Chemical Company that caused permanent sterility."
—Los Angeles Times, Nov 6, 2007
"More of a piece of investigative journalism than any other program honored. And what made it special was that it was produced not by a major station or network, but by Robert Richter, an independent producer. He beat the networks, with all their money, at their own game."
—New York Times report on duPont Columbia award
"A global horror story with ugly implications...Watch this...You may never want to eat again!"
—Indianapolis Times

For Export Only: Pharmaceuticals

Global corporations export banned or severely restricted pesticides to developing nations.
"Elucidating, shocking...depicts the shocking truth...5 out of 5 stars..."
—DANDT, U.S.A., April 8, 2011
"Of value and interest. It will present another face of the pharmaceutical industry, contrasting greatly with the one ordinarily presented to students and practitioners of medicine and pharmacy in the U.S."
—Journal of Pharmacy Teaching
"More of a piece of investigative journalism than any other program honored. And what made it special was that it was produced not by a major station or network, but by Robert Richter, an independent producer. He beat the networks, with all their money, at their own game."
—New York Times report on DuPont Columbia Award (TV’s Pulitzer Prize)

Gods of Metal

Oscar nominated documentary short

Hungry for Profit

"Clear and convincing. Excellent for studies of population, land use, food economics, international banking, social organization, history and comparative government."
—Amer. Assn. for the Advancement of Science

"A clearheaded and moving film about the rise of global agribusiness and the disturbing effects of first-world economic concerns on third-world food supply ...Many of the issues investigated remain at the core of the global hunger debate."
—Gourmet Magazine, February 2007
"Sets forth the provocative proposition that the wealthier nations of the Western World are making the hungry nations even hungrier."
—Los Angeles Times
"No other documentary conveys the role of agribusiness and the importance of "food first" to the hungry."
—Institute for Food & Development Policy
"I'm glad somebody had the courage to tell this story!"
—Bread for the World
"An intelligent and merciless investigation into famine, with global agribusiness as the main culprit."
—Variety
"Clearly makes the connection between first world corporate profit motive and Developing World hunger. People in the United States need to know more about how our actions affect others around the world. 'Hungry for Profit' vividly conveys that message."
—Interfaith Hunger Coalition of Southern California
"Extremely well done and haunting. Sure to touch many people. Classroom teachers could interrupt the film in strategic places and initiate a lively discussion. Strongly recommended. Excellent."
—World Hunger Program, American Friends Service Committee
"One of the best videos on this topic."
—Development Update

Incident at Browns Ferry

Nuclear power and a near melt down, starting with a burning candle, ending with a chicken feather. A duPont Columbia Broadcast Journalism awardee.
"All the elements of an apocalyptic thriller...one of the most important public services on television this year, and it is terrifying."
—Boston Globe
"Particularly provocative, lucid, eye-opening..."
—Christian Science Monitor
"If nuclear power is to have a future...Americans have to have confidence that regulators and the industry are learning the lessons of Fukushima and taking all steps necessary to ensure safety...our nation's oversight of nuclear power plants is a less than rigorous 'patchwork'...The industry should have learned...that public confidence is fragile..."
—New York Times July 24, 2011; complete editorial at nytimes.com/2011/07/24/opinion/sunday/24sun1.html

Leaving Home

One step from slavery, the coming of age of a teenage girl in rural India.

Linus Pauling, Crusading Scientist

New Scientist, the British magazine, ranks Linus Pauling among the 20 most influential scientists in history, in company with Darwin, Einstein, Galileo and Newton. Pauling is the only person to have ever received two unshared Nobel Prizes, for chemistry and peace.
"Effectively conveys Pauling's continuing enthusiastic enjoyment of scientific adventure...warmly recommended."
—Journal of College Science Teaching

"Moving and effective... exhilarating and inspiring. Superb use of a great variety of film techniques to create a smooth, continuously interesting and stimulating film that provides powerful insights."
—Educational Film Library Association
"Excellent, interesting, impressive."
—San Francisco Chronicle

"Substantial, fascinating, enjoyable."
—New York Times

"Rare and valuable portrait of a rare and valuable human being."
—Seattle Times
"Pauling has been a larger-than-life figure his whole career for his ground-breaking work in explaining chemical bonds and his humanitarian concerns. But equally important has been his unwavering enthusiasm for scientific research over the decades...a phenomenal scientist who inspires generations of chemists. -Harry B. Gray, Beckman Institute Director California Institute of Technology"

The Money Lenders: Update 2000

Major criticisms of the World Bank and IMF. Prime-time TV in Europe, but too hot for PBS!
"Clear and comprehensive... admired the way in which you were able to bring an in-depth exploration of these complex issues to life."
—UN Development Program
"Well balanced...Excellent...Superior."
—U.S.A. Gabriel Awards
"Thought provoking."
—Bank Check Quarterly
"Interesting look at both sides of the issue... Recommended."
—Video Librarian

The New Patriots

Five U.S. military veterans, including a Congressional Medal of Honor winner and a woman West Point graduate, speak out on terrorism, patriotism and their transformation from warriors to peace activists.
"A timely and powerful work...exposes the hypocrisy of 'the war on terrorism.' The film is a reasoned, honest and inclusive discourse on what it takes to be counted as a true defender of freedom."
—Perth International Film Festival
"I just saw "The New Patriots" and was very moved. How brilliant to find these ex-military to add their voices to all those trying to stop our education of terrorists in this country. Never before has the point been made so clearly using the Sept 11 tragedy and Bush's own words. Thank you, thank you."
—Susan Sarandon

School of Assassins

Human rights abuses by School of the Americas (SOA) graduates and the start of the U.S. campaign to close the school. Susan Sarandon, narrator. Academy Award nominee, best documentary short.
"Great story...insightful, well-documented...important film...hopefully, more Americans will see it and form their own opinions about how our tax dollars are being spent. 4 stars."
—David Logsdon, Minneapolis MN, April 21, 2011

The Ultimate Wish

Abolition of all nuclear weapons—the ultimate wish made by Presidents Reagan and Obama–-and by Sakue Shimohira, age ten and hiding in a shelter when the bomb dropped over Nagasaki. She survived and has dedicated her life to making sure what happened to her will never again happen to anyone else. A different,shorter and updated (57 min) version of "The Last Atomic Bomb."
"...not only very powerful but imperative viewing for the younger generations that have no concept of what “nuclear” means."
—Dr. Helen Caldicott,founding president of Physicians for Social Responsibility, founder of Nuclear Policy Research Institute

"No film on our nuclear madness has so moved me with the promise of our humanity. What a stunning achievement! ... nourishes our deepest hopes ... For the love of life, may this jewel of a film be seen in every classroom and council chamber."
—Joanna Macy, author, Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We're in Without Going Crazy

"...profoundly effective...a wonderful resource for educators...powerful ... As we watched her share parallel memories with a holocaust survivor in Paris, I was struck by their mutual understanding and deep humanity. Their gentleness and commitment to peace stood as an enduring contrast to the barbarities they and their families suffered in government-sanctioned acts of war."
—Dr Rebecca E. Johnson, Executive Director, Institute for Disarmament Diplomacy, London
"Taking on an immense topic in a compact, emotional documentary...Lumping warheads in with the nuclear-power industry makes for an all-or-nothing tone here, but it’s all in keeping with the film’s uncompromising anti-nuke stance. Recommended."
—Video Librarian.*** Three Stars (C. Cassady)
"According to the oft-repeated quote of the U.S. philosopher George Santayana,"those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it". If the past includes catastrophic events like Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Fukushima, then it is vital that humanity continue remembering both the past and what led to it. The Ultimate Wish: Ending the Nuclear Age performs this essential task admirably and reminds us of what we need to accomplish if we are not to repeat it."
—M. V. Ramana, Princeton University Nuclear Futures Laboratory and the Program on Science and Global Security

"A powerful documentary … a brilliant job of highlighting the shared human dimension of these tragedies… Citizen activism, enlightened leadership in governments and disarmament education together have the potential to point the way to a brighter future for all, one free of the nuclear threats so graphically and compellingly described in this film. We must remember this history and learn from it, lest we find ourselves repeating tragedies of the past."
— Randy Rydell, Senior Political Affairs Officer, UN Office for Disarmament Affairs,


"40 minutes"

Vietnam: An American Journey

"

Robert Richter was the first American filmmaker allowed in Vietnam after the war, and his seven-week trip down Highway One from Hanoi to Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) is an enlightening, often touching portrait of civilian rehabilitation after a national trauma."
—Village Voice
"Terrific documentary in the best tradition of the genre and a just and unbiased piece of journalism. With the distance of 30 years it is by now a historical document in its own right... 5 out of 5 stars."
—Catinat Flaneur, German film reviewer, 2009
"In addition to all the scenes and faces...one can also catch a glimpse of the beautiful Vietnamese rural landscape with exquisite traditional music in the background. The video reflects the sense of confidence and optimism of the regime in the first few years after its victory. A subtle plea for reconciliation...and normalization of diplomatic relations with Vietnam."
—The Indochina Institute Report, George Mason University

What Price Clean Air?

Clean air v. industry and the White House