This is a constantly updated list of movies for student groups to utilize for workshops, educational discussions, screening and dialogues. All films in this section are available for free on youtube, vimeo, or can be borrowed through Associated Students UCSB. These movies touch on a variety of issues ranging from anti-militarism, white racism, inter minority racism, gender inequality, globalization,etc. Please feel free to contribute to this collection.
Free on-campus film archives:
The Spook Who Sat by the Door is a 1973 is a satire of the civil rights struggle in the United States of the late 1960s and a serious attempt to focus on the issue of Black militancy. Dan Freeman, the titular protagonist, is enlisted in the Central Intelligence Agency’s elitist espionage program as its token Black. Upon mastering agency tactics, however, he drops out to train young Chicago blacks as “Freedom Fighters.” This is a story of one man’s reaction to ruling-class hypocrisy.
The story follows Mona, a contemporary model, as she is visited by a mysterious old man in the Cape Coast Castle in Ghana and travels to the past, where, as a house servant named Shola she is constantly abused by her slave masters. Nunu, an African-born field hand, and Shango, Shola’s West Indian love interest, all continuously rebel against the slave system. For Nunu this means direct conflict with her son (whose father is a white man) benefiting from the system as a head slave. Inspired by Nunu and Shango’s determination to defy the system, Shola finally chooses to fight back against her masters.
Matewan (1987) is an American drama film written and directed by John Sayles, illustrating the events of a coal mine-workers’strike and attempt to unionize in 1920 in Matewan, a small town in the hills of West Virginia
Yellow Apparel: When the Coolie Becomes Cool
In examining the recent trendiness of Asian cultural elements, such as bindis, Buddhist beads, and Chinese character tattoos, ‘yellow apparel: when the coolie becomes cool’ (2000) seeks to address whether this commodification of Asian culture signals the acceptance of Asian Americans into the cultural fabric of America. Produced by a group of undergraduates at UC-Berkeley, the video forces the viewer to consider the contradictions between the current fashionability of Asian symbols and the history of oppression suffered by Asian Americans.
The Color of Fear, a film by Lee Mun Wah is material that provides a well thought out discourse for interminority racism on a personal level. Lee invited eight men to a cottage to spend the weekend while they engaged in an intellectual, dramatic and emotional discussion about race. The first half of the film is centered mostly around white racism: mostly of the institutionalized fashion. The second half of the deals with the issue of interminority racism. Click here to watch film.
Footage shot by a group of Swedish journalists documenting the Black Power Movement in the United States between 1967-1975 is edited together by a contemporary Swedish filmmaker.
The Corporation is a 2003 Canadiandocumentary film written by Joel Bakan, and directed by Mark Achbar and Jennifer Abbott. The documentary examines the modern-daycorporation, considering its legal status as a class of person and evaluating its behaviour towards society and the world at large as apsychiatrist might evaluate an ordinary person. This is explored through specific examples. Bakan wrote the book, The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power, during the filming of the documentary.
When We Were Kings is a 1996 documentary film about the famous “Rumble in the Jungle” heavyweight championship match between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman. The fight was held in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) on October 30, 1974. The film shows the buildup to the fight. Ali is shown talking about his beliefs regarding Africans and African-Americans, speaking of the inherent dignity of the native Africans and his hopes for African-Americans in the future. His relationship with the people of Zaire is shown, with the mutual love between Ali and the people of the nation contrasted with Foreman’s awkward and unsuccessful efforts to build his own popularity. The film contains footage of the “black Woodstock” soul music festival accompanying the fight, which is more fully documented in the 2008 film Soul Power. The film also emphasises the questionable ethics of locating the fight in Zaïre, as it was funded by the brutal dictatorship of Mobutu Sese Seko.
When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts is a 2006 documentary film directed by Spike Lee about the devastation of New Orleans, Louisiana due to the failure of the levees during Hurricane Katrina. It was filmed in late August and early September 2005, and premiered at the New Orleans Arena on August 16, 2006. It has been described by an HBO executive[specify] as “one of the most important films HBO has ever made.” The title is a reference to the blues tune “When the Levee Breaks“, by Kansas Joe McCoy and Memphis Minnie about the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927.
The Weather Underground is a 2002 documentary film based on the rise and fall of the American radical organization The Weathermen. Using much archive footage from the time as well as interviews with the Weathermen today, the film constructs a linear narrative of the militant organization.