New Releases

New Releases – September 2014

HollowThe Sound of Old Rooms
by Sandeep Ray, 72 min, 2011

Shot over the course of 20 years, this film traces the life of Sarthak, an Indian man who juggles his desire to be a poet with the practicalities of raising a family. Still residing in his childhood home with his mother, wife, and young son, he sleeps surrounded by books. As Sarthak leads us through the cultural consciousness of Kolkata, his experiences raise questions about the choices we make and how art and life inform one another. Read more Read More

Posted on September 19th, 2014

New Releases - August 2014 - Turning Tide: The Robbie Leppzer Collection

Robbie LeppzerRobbie Leppzer is an award-winning documentary filmmaker whose works capture the experiences of ordinary people grappling with critical issues of our time, such as war and peace, environmental protection, human rights, and cross-cultural understanding. His film, video, and public radio works remain a valuable historical record of the 20th and 21st Centuries, and encapsulate the experience of grassroots activism from a cross-section of races, religions, and ages. Read more Read More.


Feature Length Films

An Act of ConscienceAn Act of Conscience
90 min, 1997

Filmed in a cinema-verité style over a five-year period, An Act of Conscience is a feature-length documentary chronicles the story of a family in western Massachusetts whose home was seized by federal marshals and IRS agents after they publicly refused to pay federal taxes as a protest against war and military spending. Read more Read More

The Peace PatriotsThe Peace Patriots
78 min, 2005

A chronicle of the early protests against the U.S. invasion and military occupation of Iraq as seen through a diverse group of individuals, ranging in age from 14 to 75, including teenagers, college students, war veterans, teachers, clergy, and community activists, as they take part in vigils, marches, theater performances, and civil disobedience sit-ins. Read more Read More

Seabrook 1977Seabrook 1977
80 min, 1978

Seabrook 1977 is a chronicle of a seminal event of 1970sʼ environmental activism when 1,414 people were arrested in a mass civil disobedience protest at a nuclear power plant under construction in Seabrook, New Hampshire and jailed en masse in National Guard armories for two weeks. Read more Read More

Collected Short Films

Voices for PeaceVoices for Peace: Four Films on Grassroots Activism
92 min, 1984/1989/1990/2001

Four films on grassroots activists from a cross-section of races, religions, and ages as they work together to stop war. Read more Read More

Across the AmericasAcross the Americas: Indigenous Perspectives
45 min, 1992/1993

Indigenous people from North, South, and Central America speak out about their common legacies of survival and contemporary struggles over land, human rights, and the environment. Read more Read More

Building BridgesBuilding Bridges: Cross Cultural Journeys
66 min, 1985/1994/2007

In Central America, young athletes and harvest volunteers from the U.S. engage in citizen diplomacy, while in Senegal, an African-American storyteller rediscovers her African roots. Read more Read More

Posted on July 23rd, 2014

New Releases - July 2014

HollowHollow: An Interactive Documentary
by Elaine McMillion Sheldon, 104 min, 2013, Educational DVD Edition

Hollow is an interactive documentary and community participatory project that examines the future of rural America through the eyes and voices of those living in McDowell County, West Virginia. DER’s Educational DVD Edition allows guided access to 35 stories from the project, which combines video portraits, data visualizations, photography, community-generated content and grassroots mapping to bring the stories to life. Read more Read More

Root Hog or DieRoot Hog or Die
by Rawn Fulton, 56 min, 1978, Digitally Remastered 2014

Since early Colonial times, the rural hilltowns of New England have been home to generations of farmers. This film follows the cycle of the farming year, visiting with elders who reflect on farming’s deep natural patterns, and share their family histories and personal memories, while pondering the inevitable forces of technological and social change. The film portrays a living remnant of a once pervasive but rapidly vanishing way of life. Read more Read More

Posted on July 7th, 2014

New Releases – June 2014

Talking StoneTalking Stone: Rock Art of the Cosos
by Paul Goldsmith, ASC, 53 min, 2014

Hidden away in the canyons of a top-secret military base on the edge of the Mojave Desert is the largest concentration of rock art in North America. Created over thousands of years by a now vanished culture, it represents the oldest art in California. Talking Stone explores the remote canyons and the mysteries surrounding these amazing images. Read more Read More

Posted on June 25th, 2014

New Releases – May 2014

Screening Room Series

Screening Room was a 1970s Boston television series that for almost ten years offered independent filmmakers a chance to show and discuss their work on a commercial (ABC-TV) affiliate station. The series was developed and hosted by filmmaker Robert Gardner (Dead Birds, Forest of Bliss).

This unique program dealt even-handedly with animation, documentary, and experimental film. Many of the filmmakers presented on the show, such as Jean Rouch, Ricky Leacock, Jonas Mekas, Bruce Baillie, John and Faith Hubley, Yvonne Rainer, Hollis Frampton, Michael Snow, and others are now considered the most influential contributors to their respective fields of modern cinema.

Twenty seven episodes have been edited for release as DVDs and are now available for purchase individually, in a set by category of animation, documentary, and experimental film, or as part of the complete series. Read more

Posted on May 8th, 2014

New Releases - February 2014

A Weave of Time color, 60 minutes
In 1938, noted anthropologist John Adair met and filmed the Burnside family, creating a visual record of Navajo life in the 1930s. This rare, previously unseen material is woven together with footage of the Burnside family 50 years later, powerfully documenting four generations of change in one Navajo family. Read more

Posted on March 5th, 2014

New Releases – January 2014

The Navigators: Pathfinders of the Pacific color, 59 minutes
Over 1,000 years ago, the islands of Polynesia were explored and settled by navigators who used only the waves, the stars, and the flights of birds for guidance. In hand-built, double-hulled canoes sixty feet long, the ancestors of today’s Polynesians sailed across a vast ocean area, larger than Europe and North America combined. Newly remastered, The Navigators: Pathfinders of the Pacific reveals the ancient navigational heritage of those original settlers. Read more

Posted on January 7th, 2014

New Releases - December 2013

Neighbors: Conservation in a Changing Community color, 28 minutes
Neighbors examines the challenges and opportunities of neighborhood revitalization through the stories of 12 South End residents. The older, working class population is juxtaposed with the more affluent newcomers who are attracted by the prime location and historic architecture as well as the ethnic mix of the neighborhood. While documenting the differences among these residents, the film also reveals their common goals — to make their neighborhood a better place to live. Read more

Posted on December 2nd, 2013

New Releases - November 2013

Gods and Kings color, 87 minutes
In the muddy market square of Momostenango, Guatemala, where shamans burn offerings in the shadow of the Catholic church, prehispanic gods dance beside horror movie monsters and dictators from the dark days of the Cold War. Gods and Kings illuminates the way creations of mass-culture take on new meanings as they travel around the world. Read more

Four Films by Robert Ascher color, 21 minutes
This collection contains four animated films by writer, educator and anthropologist, Robert Ascher. These films were created using a technique called “direct animation” — drawing with pen and ink directly on 35mm film. Films in this compilation have been included in the permanent collection of Museum of Modern Art, the New Zealand National Art Gallery, the Jewish Museum, NYC, and the Israel Film Archive. Read more

Returning Souls color, 85 minutes
In an environment highly influenced by western religions, national land policy, and local politics, the dream of the young people of the Amis tribe in Taiwan for cultural revitalization and to bring back not only the ancestral souls but the soul of the village encountered many frustrations. This documentary interweaves reality and legends as well as the seen and the unseen as it records the unique case of repatriation. Read more

Posted on November 21st, 2013

New Releases - October 2013

The Films of Jorge Prelorán
A cinematic icon in his native Argentina, Jorge Prelorán was a pioneer in the field of ethnographic documentary film. DER is proud to announce the first three titles in a collection of his works: Imaginero, Zulay, and Cochengo Miranda. As a companion to these films, don’t miss Traces and Memory of Jorge Prelorán, an illuminating biographical portrait of the filmmaker. Read more

Imaginero - The Image Man color, 53 minutes
Imaginero is an ethnobiography of Hermógenes Cayo, a self-taught woodcarver and painter who lives on the high Andean plateau of Argentina. The film portrays Hermógenes, his wife Aurelia Kilpe, and their children in their Andean lifestyle, as well as Hermogenes’ passion for painting, carving, building, and his devotion to the Virgin Mary. Read more

Zulay, Facing the 21st Century color, 110 minutes
Filmed over a span of 8 years, this film is based on dialogue between Zulay Saravino, an indigenous Otavaleña of Equador, and Mabel Prelorán, an Argentine anthropologist living in Los Angeles. Zulay tells Mabel stories passed down from her elders and reflects upon the trade-offs she’s had to make in leaving her home to come to Los Angeles, where her desire to learn new skills is tempered by homesickness. The film becomes a universal document on transculturation and its implications for identity, education, economic advancement and emotional ties. Read more

Cochengo Miranda color, 53 minutes
The extensive region of the Pampas in Central Argentina is one of the most fertile in the world. However, as the rains subside towards the West, the land becomes arid and dry. Here live a sparse population of rugged cattlemen whose nearest neighbor may be 10 miles away. Cochengo Miranda has lived here for over 30 years, and raised his family after marrying at 45. In his youth he had been an itinerant singer and ranch hand, but hung up his guitar when he finally settled down. Read more

Traces and Memory of Jorge Prelorán color, 79 minutes
Jorge Prelorán filmed a genre of his own, ethno-biographies, for more than twenty years. By focusing on one character and following him or her for a period of time, Prelorán achieved profound portraits that express the particular vision of the world of different people. Traces is an ethno-biography, but in this case the character is Prelorán himself, and the director a disciple of his. Read more

Posted on October 7th, 2013

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