Tag: documentary

Budrus: A Remarkable Documentary

Budrus is a find! It is one of those documentaries that needs to be talked about and it will leave you thinking about your role on as a bridge builder to peace for days. Why? Because it shares a story that is not commonly told: It documents a Palestinian village's non-violent response to a wall being built on their land by the Israelis. It is the winner of numerous awards and was called "A Must See Documentary" by The New York Times.






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We Still Live Here – Âs Nutayuneân

Language can come home again. This is the tremendous lesson that I witnessed in the remarkable documentary, "We Still Live Here - Âs Nutayuneânby," by Director/Producer Anne Makepeace.






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The Cats of Mirikitani: A Remarkable Documentary

Commentary on the documentary about Jimmy Mirikitani, the Japanese American artist who survived an internment camp, 9/11 and homelessness with the help of a local documentary film maker.






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Please Vote for Me: An Experiment in Democracy by 8 year olds in China

If you read Melibee regularly, you know I’m a big fan of documentaries. I have written extensively about Crossing Borders, a film that I think should be screened everywhere!  This weekend, I watched a terrific documentary from China entitled “Please Vote for Me.” Here is the trailer:

This film chronicles 3 adorable eight year old children (Xu Xiaofei, Cheng Cheng and Luo Lei) vying for the title of “classroom monitor.”  The film, directed by Weijun Chen, claims to have documented the first democratically elected elementary school classroom monitor in the city of Wuhan (in central China.)

This film is an outstanding educational tool on many different levels.  First, I found it hysterical (and sad) that these kids were so competitive that they manipulated, bribed and tortured their competitors.  They engaged in political strategy and debates that make some very seasoned politicians look amateurish!  Perhaps most disturbing was how incredibly overly involved their parents were in the coaching of their political “campaigns.”  You had to wonder at times who was running for the position.

This film gives a bird’s eye view of a Chinese elementary school in a large city.  We see some of the opening school ceremonies, the classroom spaces and learning tools, the food eaten at lunch (which certainly looks a heck of a lot healthier than the average American classroom school lunch!) and the type of dialogue between students and their teachers.  We also see 3 different homes:  one of a married couple, one of a single mother, and one of a mother who has remarried.  Finally, we get a sense of life in a country with a one-child policy.

This film creates an excellent opportunity to explore politics, human nature (are we naturally competitive?  is feeling guilty when we wrong someone a universal feeling? etc), education and family dynamics.

The film is only an hour long and is an easy, funny and enjoyable film to watch.  (Subtitles are in English.)  You may purchase the film here:

Crossing Borders Film Screening with Producer, Arnd Wachter

Arnd Wachter, Producer of the documentary "Crossing Borders"

Back in November 2009, I wrote about a documentary that I saw at the NAFSA Region X conference.  The film, “Crossing Borders,” was so very powerful that I swore that I would bring it to the community – and I am pleased to be able to invite you to the free screening at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury, Connecticut (USA) on Tuesday, April 6th at 6 pm.

The film’s Producer, Arnd Wachter, will participate in a question and answer period after the film along with WCSU Dr. Robert Whittemore and Dr. Damla Isik, both from WCSU’s Anthropology Department.

Wachter is the Founder and Managing Director of Crossing Borders Education. He completed his MA and Post-Graduate Certificate in Education at London University. He has over twelve years experience of living abroad, and has taught Cross Cultural Education, World Religions and German for the past nine years in the UK, Japan, New Zealand and Spain. Wachter’s fascination for foreign cultures and for the transformative power of journeys have led him to explore a wide range of travel destinations on six continents. In 2008/9 he produced the documentary “Crossing Borders.”

This screening of “Crossing Borders” is  free and is open to the public. The midtown campus of WCSU is located at 181 White Street. You can park in the large garage (also free) on White Street. The film will screen in the Science Building Theater, Room 125.  This map will be of assistance – and note that the walk from the parking garage to the science building is just a few minutes.

I hope to see you there!