Social Justice and Activism Films
Bold new documentaries dig deeper into ever-evolving themes of social justice and activism, revealing similarities that mirror today’s current events. Explore a collection of curated films that spearhead equality, visibility and inclusiveness set against cultural, geopolitical and environmental factors.
March 11, 2017
Revealing interviews unearth a story eerily relevant to contemporary times. RESISTANCE ON TULE LAKE focuses on the notorious camp where Japanese Americans who were labeled “disloyal” were held. Emotional, wrenching stories told by the “internees” make clear the consequences of race, wartime hysteria and political expediency.
In 1982, Vincent Chin was beaten to death with a baseball bat by two white men in Detroit. Chin’s killers were convicted, but never served a day in prison for their crime. Thirty-five years later, we revisit this Academy Award-nominated documentary that explored the impact of his death and flaws in the justice system in the wake of the outcry from the Asian American community.
The lives of workers processing inﬁnite amounts of recycled materials are full of dreams and debris. PLASTIC CHINA documents a family as they tread poor living conditions, sorting through mountains of plastic for income. In spite of their struggles, the family hopes for a richer life, seen through the global waste that they comb through every day.
March 12, 2017
Peel back the long-silent veneer covering the incarceration of Japanese Americans and witness an intimately complex and tense history in RABBIT IN THE MOON. Emiko Omori’s award-winning ﬁlm explores her own childhood experiences within the camps and the political tensions between generations living there.
Forcible evictions devastated a manong community after the International Hotel was demolished in 1981, marking the destruction of the last block of San Francisco’s Manilatown. Narrated by late poet Al Robles, THE FALL OF THE I-HOTEL tells the story of 50 old-timers displaced by 300 cops in the dead of night and the overall impacts of urban renewal.
March 16, 2017
CRIES FROM SYRIA is a stunning and brutal window into the lives of Syrian children, activists, families and ordinary citizens whose collective voice and struggle to be seen and heard by the world reveals hope in the face of unimaginable horror.
March 18, 2017
Set in the lush forests of New Zealand, the indigenous Maori tribe, Ngāi Tūhoe, embarks on a landmark construction project of a sustainable living building. Visually stunning and full of spirit, this documentary captures the development of the building, its vital ties to the tribe’s culture and the reclamation of their land and community.
A touching testament to the strength of those who overcame injustice and reconciled their identity in a complicated America, RELOCATION, ARKANSAS follows Japanese Americans as they travel to southern Arkansas, revisiting former Japanese internment camps in order to move forward from a painful past.
Through home video footage and interviews with family members, filmmaker Matthew Hashiguchi explores his identity and tells the story of what it means to grow up mixed race in America’s heartland, Cleveland, Ohio.
March 19, 2017
Filmmakers Ric Burns and Li-Shin Yu tackle a complicated and forgotten story of a significant piece of U.S. history — the only legislation barring an entire group of immigrants based on ethnicity and race. Through powerful and illuminating testimonies from subjects, scholars and experts, a wider, deeply American story comes to life, one that embodies the issues of globalization, immigration, labor and civil rights that continue to dominate headlines today.