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Documentaries On:

Documentaries on Asian studies

Can Tropical Rainforests Be Saved?

The first global investigation of this global issue, filmed in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
"Dramatic... will keep viewers riveted to the screen."
—Los Angeles Times
"Mind boggling... well worth your time."
—New York Daily News

Do Not Enter: The Visa War Against Ideas

Prominent people in twelve countries, invited to speak or participate in U.S. cultural activities, were denied U.S. visas. The filmmakers asked them what they might have told Americans if allowed to enter.
"A bold, indignant documentary."
—Newsday
"An excellent resource for classes."
—Journal of American History
"This outstanding video should be seen by every educator who believes in academic freedom. Also suitable for college students, it could easily be used as the basis for discussing what, if any, limits should be imposed on free speech.
Those who would dismiss U.S. restrictions by suggesting that foreigners need not be granted First Amendment rights, might well examine the flip side, that is, the possible infringement of U.S. citizens' rights to hear opposing opinions. Four Gold Stars."
—Teaching Equity Journal

"Responsible... persuasive... Watch it."
—New York Times
"Effectively challenges the portrayal of the U.S. as a 'marketplace of ideas'...skilfully draws out contradictions."
—Journal of Contemporary Sociology

Eating the Scorpion

American teachers visit China for the first time, an experience that transforms them and their students.
"...it is the teachers' enthusiasm which really grabs the students."
—Anne Prescott, Associate Director, Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies, University of Illinois

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 pharmaceuticals to developing nations.

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

The Last Atomic Bomb

Nuclear proliferation of today is seen through the life of a Nagasaki survivor and college students dedicated to making sure the truth about the last atomic bomb deliberately used on human beings will never be forgotten
"It's impossible to remain detached...Deeply affecting..."
—New York Times
"***(3 stars) A worthwhile effort to understand an event that should never be repeated. Recommended."
—Video Librarian
"****(4 stars) Impossible not to be moved"
—Time Out Magazine
"Shedding light on the dark corners of history... fascinating...alarming...the simple, earnest truth."
—The Villager
"Indelible images...effectively explains the domestic and economic calculations that factored heavily in the decision to drop the bomb."
—Prof. William Hartung, New School University, author "And Weapons for All"
"Powerful"
—TV Guide Movie Reviews
"Must see...important"
—The Campus, CCNY
"Of great documentary significance and moral beauty — an essential gift to every generation of our nuclear age.""
—Joanna Macy, author, activist
"Bracing, potent explorations of hot-button issues"
—All Movie Reviews
"An affecting portrait of the human costs of war."
—Frida Berrigan, Arms Trade Resource Center
"Deeply impressed...beautifully made...even more germane than usual...thought-provoking and inspiring."
—Don Kelley, Voices of the Heartland
"A lesson in humanity."
—Felicity Hill, Australia Medical Assoc. for the Prevention of War
"The definitive story"
— Planet in Focus
"***(3 stars) Powerful"
—AM New York
"Informative, compelling"
—Asia Reporter
"Persuasive"
—New York Sun
"Harrowing"
—Orlando Weekly
"Haunting"
—Asia Documentary Reviews
"Passionate"
—Film and History Journal
"Quite touching"
—New York Magazine
"Urgent"
—The Oregonian
"Powerful"
—Register Guard, Eugene

Leaving Home

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

The Money Lenders

A critical examination of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, with five country case studies. Updated in 2000.
"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
"Most everyone agrees that the system for governing the world economy that emerged from a hotel room in Bretton Woods, N.H. - in the era of the gold standard and fixed rate exchanges - is hopelessly outdated."
—New York Times

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

Woman Rebel

From Maoist army soldier to the halls of Parliament. Oscar "short list."