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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

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

Convictions: Prisoners of Conscience

Profiles a few of the 200 civil disobedience activists who collectively have spent more than 80 years in federal prison for their non-violent actions to close the SOA.

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.

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

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)

The Gifts

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

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

In Our Hands

This feature-length documentary celebrates the largest peace demonstration in history: New York City, June 12, 1982 – one million people speaking with one voice. Photographed by 43 volunteer professional film crews, this theatrically distributed film features well-known performers and activists including James Taylor, Pete Seeger, Carly Simon, and Meryl Streep.
"An outright joy to behold...encompasses the excitement of the event, its intense sense of human fellowship...the passions and humor of the anonymous as well as the celebrated...ebullient...
entertaining, poignant and joyfully provocative."
—The San Francisco Chronicle
"Exhilarating, funny, poignant and occasionally frightening."
—The Village Voice
"One of the important films of our time."
—The Hollywood Reporter
"Will raise your spirits, if not renew your faith and optimism."
—Pacific Sun
"Excellent...first class...The surprising thing about this documentary is its lack of dogma...wonderful vignettes...humorous interviews."
—San Francisco Examiner
"A remarkable record...a model documentary...a pleasure to watch."
—Oakland Tribune
"Will raise your spirits, if not renew your faith and optimism."
—Pacific Sun

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

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 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"

What Price Clean Air?

Clean air v. industry and the White House