Richter Documentaries
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Documentaries On:

Documentaries on Sociology

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."

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
—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

Come Out Shining

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

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."
"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
—Grand Rapids Press
—Boston Globe
—Dallas Morning News
—The Evangelist
"An inspiring tool for education and action."
—Report on Guatemala

Gods of Metal

Oscar nominated documentary short

Guns and Greed

Sweatshops, World Bank and IMF policies linked to the U.S. Army School of the Americas (SOA).
"One of the outstanding documentary shorts of the year."
—Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences

HHH: What Manner Of Man

"Advertised as The Mind Changer" it was telecast 300 times across the nation in the closing three weeks of the 1968 presidential race. Lawrence O'Brien, Democratic Party Chair, described it as the "most important" element in the campaign that pushed Hubert H. Humphrey up in the polls, resulting in the narrow election outcome.

"...A wonderful timepiece of the last campaign ever involving a New Deal Democrat...Even after all these decades, you can watch this fascinating film and see how it 'pushes buttons' for the housewife demographic, the anti-war liberals and the working class vote. It is worth study by advertsing and political science students...5 out of 5 stars."
—Daniel C. Dennis, author, "Invincible Summer" 2011

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."
"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

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

On the Run

Runaway teenagers and programs to help them

Project Second Chance

High School dropouts and projects 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,


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

“It's a forthright, unpretentious account of a filmmaker's journey.... dramatically reminds us....that real people lived at the other end of all those military flights. It shocks us that we are shocked by a peacetime Vietnam.” Pat Aufderheide, In These Times

"In addition to all the scenes and 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