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Documentaries

  • Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am
    Documentary on the life and works of the storyteller and Nobel-prize winner
  • The Long Shadow: film that provides background information about the institutional racist oppression and violence against African-Americans that has been perpetuated for 400 years.
  • I am not your Negro,
    A documentary based upon the writings of James Baldwin in which the essence is Black-White race relations in the U.S
  • Paris is Burning
    A 1990 American documentary filmed in the mid-to-late 1980s that chronicles the ball culture of New York City and the African-American, Latino, gay, and transgender communities involved in it.
  • Disclosure, Takes an in-depth look at Hollywood’s depiction of transgender people and the impact of those stories on transgender lives and American culture
  • Viral: Anti-Semitism in Four Mutations
    Anti-Semitism in the US and Europe is spreading….and is seemingly unstoppable. It appears as vandalism, social media abuse, assault and murder. Director Andrew Goldberg examines its rise traveling through four countries to follow Anti-Semites and their victims, along with experts, politicians and locals.
  • We’re Still Here: Johnny Cash’s Bitter Tears Revisited, 2016 Cash faced censorship and an angry backlash from radio stations, DJs, and fans, for speaking out on behalf of Native people on his album, “Bitter Tears: Ballads of the American Indian.” He decided to fight back. This is that story. DVD, YouTube
  • Welcome to Chechnya, 2020, HBO Original
    A group of activists risk their lives fighting for LGBTQ+ rights in Chechnya.
  • John Lewis: Good Trouble Amazon Prime
    Chronicles Lewis’ 60-plus years of social activism and legislative action on civil rights, voting rights, gun control, health-care reform and immigration.
  • The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, Amazon Prime Video.
    The first feature-length documentary to explore the Black Panther Party, its significance to the broader American culture, its cultural and political awakening for black people, and the painful lessons wrought when a movement derails.
  • Disclosure: Trans Lives on Screen, by Nick Allen, 2020, Netflix
    Tackles a full history of transgender representation in Hollywood, one that goes back to early silent era films up to the present
  • Enslaved, history of the African slave trade. EPIX TV
    Investigates slavery’s history and expeditions to locate sunken ships that transported slaves
  • Immigration Nation, Netflix
    “If you watch only one documentary about immigration, then by all means make it “Immigration Nation,” a six-hour Netflix series that mixes reporting with an impressive amount of vivid ride-along observation.” Mike Hale, The New York Times, Aug 2, 2020
  • Oto Benga: Human at the Zoo directed by Niyi Coker, Jr., Jean Bodon, 2016 Amazon Prime
    In 1904 an Africa (“pygmy”) was removed from the Congo and brought to the New York City Bronx Zoo and placed in a cage with primates. He passed his nights at the monkey house. He was to be the ultimate example of the missing link and proof of Darwin’s theory of evolution. With archival footage.
  • The Soul of America, HBO. Historian Jon Meacham, based on his 2018 book of the same name, explores Japanese Internment, the Civil Rights Movement, and Women Suffrage as the dark past of America.
  • Viral: Antisemitism in Four Mutations by Andrew Goldberg, 2020. Available on YouTube.
    “By virtually every yardstick, anti-Semitism in the US and Europe is rising and worsening in ways not seen since the 1930’s. It comes in the forms of vandalism, social media abuse, assault and murder. Like a virus, it mutates and evolves across cultures, borders, and ideologies, making it all but impossible to stop.”
  • Disclosure, directed by Sam Feder with Laverne Cox, 2020. On Netflix or Amazon Prime Video
    An in-depth look at Hollywood’s depiction of transgender people and the impact of those stories on transgender lives and American culture.
  • Equal, a four-part miniseries on HBO Max that seeks to bring pivotal groups, moments, and figures throughout queer history to life through dramatic reenactments, found historical footage, and fact-based narration.
  • Driving While Black: Race, Space and Mobility in America, by acclaimed historian Dr. Gretchen Sorin and Emmy-winning director Ric Burns, 2020. Streaming on PBS
    Discover how the advent of the automobile brought new mobility and freedom for African Americans but also exposed them to discrimination and deadly violence, and how that history resonates today.
  • Cesar’s Last Fast, co-directed Richard Ray Perez and Lorena Parlee, 2014
    Available on Netflix
    This portrait of the late Cesar Chavez, agricultural workers’ champion against the danger of pesticides, cuts between a recap of his overall career and a more detailed chronicle of the 36-day protest fast he undertook in 1988.
  • Delores 2017, directed by Peter Bratt. Amazon Prime
    The life of Delores Huerta who is among the most important activists in American history. For more than 60 years, Delores tirelessly led the fight with Cesar Chavez for racial, gender and labor justice, becoming one of the most defiant feminists of the twentieth century.
  • MLK/FBI Shows the investigation and harassment that was faced by Martin Luther King Jr. with the help of newly classified documents showing his harassment by J. Edgar Hoover and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. A complicated portrait of a deified hero. 2020
    On Demand, Amazon Video
  • The United States vs Billie Holiday Screenplay by Suzan-Lori Parks, 2021
    This fascinating true drama sets the record straight in a story in which the U.S. government, through the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (now the DEA), harassed and targeted Holiday, trying to nail her for drug addiction in order to stop her from performing her signature but controversial song called “Strange Fruit.” Streaming on Hulu
  • The One and Only Dick Gregory, Showtime, You Tube, 2021
    Feature-length documentary examining activist, pop-culture icon and thought leader Dick Gregory, whose work as a self-described ‘agitator’ shaped a generation demanding justice. As a renowned Black comedian, Gregory had a platform to take on the most incendiary battles of hunger, gender equity, and civil rights – stirring trouble and making headlines in the service of social justice.