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Documentaries On:

Documentaries on Environment, Public Health, Science & Society

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

Asbestos Alert

Strategies for safety and health when dealing with asbestos

Ben Spock, Baby Doctor

The life, times and pediatric pioneering of one of the 20th century's most important and influential figures, a genuine American folk hero.
"One of the most influential people
of this (the 20th) century."
—Life Magazine
"Excellent..."
—Boston Globe
"Amiable, engaging..."
—New York Times
"A man of peace and a man of children, and there is not much difference between them. If you care for children, you are going to be concerned for peace."
—The Rev. William Sloan Coffin

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

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.

The Gifts

Oscar nominated documentary short
"The most beautiful film on ugliness ever made."
—Variety

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

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

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

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

On the Run

Runaway teenagers and programs to help them

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"

What Price Clean Air?

Clean air v. industry and the White House