COVID-19 Update

To protect our community, the DER staff will be working remotely until further notice. We will do our best to continue meeting the needs of filmmakers, educators, students, and others during this challenging time. READ MORE
  • NEW RELEASE

    Wax Print

    Curious about the origins of the bold patterned fabrics she’d always had around her growing up, filmmaker Aiwan Obinyan sets off on a journey of discovery. From the villages of Indonesia to the cotton fields of America; from European industrial mills to the bustling markets and sewing schools of West Africa, she uncovers the fascinating story of how one fabric came to symbolize a continent, its people, and their struggle for freedom.

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  • RESOURCES

    Indigenous Studies Film Initiative

    Our Indigenous Studies Film Initiative is a commitment to decolonize and indigenize the DER film collection and improve access to our catalogue for Indigenous audiences through the creation of an interactive map, application of reparative language to subject categories, and outreach and collaboration with communities depicted in our collection.

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  • NEW RELEASE

    Mundo

    Matilde is elderly alpaca herder who lives high in the high plains along the borders of Chile, Bolivia, Peru, and Argentina. For many in the Aymara community, to which Matilde belongs, the magnificent landscape surrounding them has been reshaped by evangelical notions, introduced by Spanish campaigns over the past few decades. Now Matilde trusts more in Heaven than in Earth, which she has come to regard as Satan’s domain.

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  • NEW RELEASE

    Sankara Is Not Dead

    After Burkina Faso’s 2014 popular uprising, the young poet Bikontine travels along the country’s only rail line to meet his fellow citizens and learn about their dreams and disappointments while confronting his poetry with the realities of a rapidly shifting society. His journey ultimately reveals the enduring political legacy of former president Thomas Sankara, known as the “African Che Guevara.”

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  • FILMMAKER INTERVIEWS

    Mixing Time and Space: A Conversation with Steven Feld

    Steven Feld’s “Voices of the Rainforest” provides viewers extraordinary access to the complex human and non-human soundscape of Papua New Guinea’s Bosavi rainforest. Alice Apley “sat down” with Steve and, over email, discussed the making of the film.

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  • NEW RELEASE

    The Healer and the Psychiatrist

    On the South Pacific Island group of Vava’u, the traditional healer Emeline Lolohea treats people affected by spirits. One day away by ferry, the only Tongan Psychiatrist Dr Mapa Puloka has established a public psychiatry well known across the region. Though they have never met in person, this film creates a dialogue between them on the nature of mental illness and spiritual affliction.

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  • FEATURE

    COVID-19 Micro-Ethnographies

    COVID-19 has turned our world upside down, its impact reaching across the globe, affecting individuals in virtually every nation on the planet. This curated collection of short, stylistically diverse micro-ethnographies provides a window into the personal experiences of DER filmmakers from around the world during these extraordinary times.

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  • EVENTS

    DER50: Tim Asch Symposium at USC

    In November 2018, the USC School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California held a day-long symposium on the work of Timothy Asch, an event which also helped celebrate DER’s 50th anniversary.

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  • EVENTS

    The Cinema of Patience: Reflecting on N!ai, the Story of a !Kung Woman

    As part of DER’s 50th Anniversary celebrations, the Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology at Harvard University hosted a film screening & panel discussion on N!ai, the Story of a !Kung Woman.

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  • NEWS

    DER Featured in WBUR's The ARTery

    A recent feature in WBUR’S The ARTery takes a look back at 50 years of DER’s history and reflects on the influence its founders have had on documentary cinema.

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Founded in 1968, our mission is to champion the creation, circulation, and preservation of documentary film and media that amplifies underrepresented voices, and inspires understanding about people, cultures, and identities
of the world.

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