In-Depth Coverage of Issues Concerning the Global Sikh Community Including Self-Determination, Democracy, Human Rights, Civil Liberties, Antiracism, Religion, and South Asian Geopolitics
Life In A . . . Metro, Directed by ANURAG BASU, 2007
A textured story on relationships in modern India.
The Namesake, Directed by MIRA NAIR, 2006
Based on the novel by Jhumpa Lahiri, a nuanced study of the desi diaspora experience.
Provoked, Directed by JAG MUNDHRA, 2007
An important and high-quality movie about the landmark Kiranjit Ahluwalia domestic abuse case in Britain, starring Aishwaria Rai, Naveen Andrews, and Nandita Das.
A Mighty Heart, Directed by MICHAEL WINTERBOTTOM, 2007
Daniel Pearl, a journalist with The Wall Street Journal, was kidnapped and murdered in Pakistan by a group that claimed to be seeking better treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo. The story is potently delivered by the director who brought us the gutsy The Road to Guantanamo (see below).
Laaga Chunari Mein Daag, Directed by PRADEEP SARKAR, 2007
From the director who gave us the excellent Parineeta. The story of women grappling with a male-dominated society might not be entirely new, but the film is blessed with superior music, cinematography, editing, and acting (Rani Mukherjee, Konkona Sen Sharma, Jaya Bahaduri, Anupam Kher, Hema Malini, Abhishek Bachchan, Kunal Kapoor).
American History X, Directed by TONY KAYE, 1998
This gutsy movie should rank among the most enlightened handlings of race relations in modern America. This film is in the same league as Crash, Focus, Do the Right Thing, and Malcolm X.
Bend It Like Beckham, Directed by GURINDER CHADHA, 2002
This wonderful movie uses soccer as a backdrop to serve up a delicious slice of the trials and tribulations of Indian (specifically Sikh) diaspora life.
Mandi, Directed by SHYAM BENEGAL, 1983
A realistic portrayal of the social complexities that comprise the sex trade, delivered by a powerful ensemble including Shabana Azmi, Smita Patil, Naseeruddin Shah, Amrish Puri, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Saeed Jaffrey, Om Puri, Neena Gupta, Anita Kanwar, and Pankaj Kapur. Plenty of comedic moments provide welcome relief from the otherwise grave subject matter.
The Road to Guantanamo, Directed by MICHAEL WINTERBOTTOM and MAT WHITECROSS, 2006
The horrifying true story of three British citizens (Ruhel Ahmed, Asif Iqbal, and Shafiq Rasul) captured while on a reckless adventure in Afghanistan and held at Guantanamo with complete disregard for the utter absence of links to the Taliban or Al-Qaeda.
The Queen, Directed by STEPHEN FREARS, 2006
A splendidly executed rendition of the tragic death of Britain's Princess Diana from the tortured perspective of Queen Elizabeth II as contrasted with the instincts of Prime Minister Tony Blair and the British people.
Guru, Directed by MANI RATNAM, 2007
Superbly crafted portrayal starring Abhishek Bachchan (Gurukant "Gurubhai" Desai) and Aishwarya Rai, loosely based on Dhirubhai Ambani's inspirational yet controversial rags to riches lifestory and the rise of India's largest private sector enterprise, Reliance Industries.
Crash, Directed by PAUL HAGGIS, 2005
A masterpiece, this is a richly textured film about isolated lives and racial misunderstandings in Los Angeles.
GangaaJal, Directed by PRAKASH JHA, 2003
A reasonably well executed meditation on the near impossible challenges of maintaining civilized standards for society and law enforcement in the face of animalistic tactics adopted by criminals.
Sarkar, Directed by RAM GOPAL VARMA, 2006
Sarkar completes Varma's trilogy on crime and punishment, which started with Satya and Company. Sarkar, inspired by Francis Ford Coppola's Godfather trilogy, is based loosely on the life and times of Bal Thackeray and his extrajudicial rule in Mumbai.
Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price, Directed by ROBERT GREENWALD, 2005
Yet another eye-opener from Robert Greenwald. This documentary describes how Wal-Mart squeezes its suppliers, employees and host communities in order to make record profits.
Control Room, Directed by JEHANE NOUJAIM, 2004
An important perspective on America's most recent invasion of Iraq. The viewpoint is that of Al Jazeera, the Arab world's leading news organization.
Lord of War, Directed by ANDREW NICCOL, 2005
Based on actual events, this film is an entertaining and thought-provoking look at the underground arms trading that results in American-made arms finding their way to both state and non-state actors without regard to their human rights records. Nicolas Cage's character in the film is said to be based, at least partially, on Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout.
Syriana, Directed by STEPHEN GAGHAN, 2005
Inspired by Robert Baer's See No Evil: The True Story of a Ground Soldier in the C.I.A.'s War on Terrorism, this is a simply told story about the geopolitical complexities of the oil trade.
Shwaas, Directed by SANDEEP SAWANT, 2004
Based on a true story, this is a gripping tale about the humanity we owe to those who suffer from various forms of illnesses.
Incident at Oglala, Directed by MICHAEL APTED, 1988
In the 1970s, Sioux Native Americans at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation (South Dakota), the poorest in the country, were a divided lot. The traditionalists were represented by the militant American Indian Movement (A.I.M.) who were openly defying U.S. authorities in pursuit of justice. The other side was led by group that was being backed by U.S. authorities in an effort to squash the A.I.M. There were regular exchanges of fire between the two groups. February 27, 1973 was the start of a 71-day stand-off between A.I.M. and the F.B.I. and the National Guard at Wounded Knee, the site of the 1890 massacre. Against this backdrop, on June 26, 1975, another confrontation led to the death of two F.B.I. agents. A.I.M. member Leonard Peltier was extradited from Canada and convicted for the two F.B.I. murders using highly controversial evidence disputed by Amnesty International and many others. This is Peltier's story, narrated by Robert Redford.
Veronica Guerin, Directed by JOEL SCHUMACHER, 2004
The riveting true story of journalist Veronica Guerin's (Kate Blanchett) brave fight to expose Dublin's powerful crime lords.
Paradise Now, Directed by HANY ABU-ASSAD, 2006
A superb examination of the motivations that lead to Palestinian suicide bombings in Israel.
Omagh, Directed by PETE TRAVIS, 2005
A heartbreaking true story about Michael Gallagher's sorrow and strength subsequent to the loss of his 21-year-old son in an act of terrorism attributed to the Real I.R.A.
The Sea Inside, Directed by ALEJANDRO AMENABAR, 2004
Winner of the Academy Award and Golden Globe for the Best Foreign Language Film, this is a moving true story about Spaniard Ramon Sampedro's 20-year campaign to win the right to end his life with dignity.
The Exonerated, Directed by BOB BALABAN, 2005
Shocking true stories about six Americans assumed guilty until proven innocent. Shines a much needed light on a flawed justice system.
Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi, Directed by SUDHIR MISHRA, 2006
An examination of the monstrous nature of society and politics in India. Set in the context of the naxalite movement during Indira Gandhi's fascist rule (i.e. the 1977-1979 Emergency period), but similarly applicable more generally.
Kedma, Directed by AMOS GITAI, 2002
A startling meditation on the founding of the state of Israel.
Munich, Directed by STEVEN SPIELBERG, 2006
Based on the book by George Jonas, this is a thought-provoking dramatization of the kidnapping and killing of Israeli athletes by Palestinian terrorists at the 1972 Munich Olympics. The story leading upto the deaths of both the athletes and the terrorists is relatively well-known. Where this movie makes its mark is in its highly balanced (and, therefore, controversial) depiction of how Israel, led by then Prime Minister Golda Meir, is believed to have exacted revenge.
Skokie, Directed by HERBERT WISE, 2002
The village of Skokie in Cook County, Illinois made history in the late 1970s by defying a neo-Nazi group intent on parading through the village downtown area wearing swastikas. This film is a superb examination of the perpetual debate about the right to freedom expression when such expression is aimed at inciting hatred and violence.
Sardar: The Iron Man of India, Directed by KETAN MEHTA, 2005
A competent dramatization of the life and times of Sardar Patel, a key force in the shaping of post-British India. Sheds much light on the intricate politics than resulted in the 1947 partition of British India and creation of Pakistan.
Alexander, Directed by OLIVER STONE, 2004
Colin Farrell plays Alexander the Great, the indomitable Macedonian who came to rule Greece, Persia, Afghanistan, and India. Alexander is portrayed as a progressive, imaginative and benevolent conqueror who employs and befriends (rather than enslaves) the conquered.
Rang De Basanti, Directed by RAKEYSH OMPRAKASH MEHRA, 2006
This slick portrayal romanticizes the scope for a rebellion in contemporary India to rival Bhagat Singh's legendary revolt against the British. Features Aamir Khan, the music of A.R. Rahman, and a refreshing rendition of Ik Onkar by Harshdeep Kaur.
Shaheed-e-Mohabbat, Directed by MANOJ PUNJ, 1998
Excellent performances grace this depiction of the true story of Boota Singh. After serving in Burma during the World War II, Boota returns to his village in Jalandhar (Punjab) to witness the gruesome riots that afflicted British India's partition in 1947. Boota gives up his life savings to save a Muslim girl, Zainab (played convincingly by Divya Dutta), from rioters and eventually ends up marrying her to protect her from social stigma. However, in 1952, India and Pakistan agree to exchange those stranded or left behind during the partition. Zainab is shipped to Pakistan minus her husband and newborn daughter. Boota follows behind in a neverending quest for Zainab.
Life Story, Performed by JAGJIT SINGH, 2006
This audio/video bundle contains two C.D.s and one D.V.D. of an exquisite live performance by Jagjit Singh recapping one of India's supremely successful musical careers spanning more than half a century.
Kambdi Kalaai, Directed by ISH AMITOJ KAUR, 2006
Billed as a tribute to the leading Singh Sabha ideologue Vir Singh, this is a reasonably well done independent film. That is assuming you accept the film's simplistic and flawed ultra-orthodox premise that a rejection of the Khalsa form is necessarily due to a general lack of conviction ("he doesn't know who he is") rather than the presence of a passionate and informed alternate belief. When confronted with what is portrayed as religious infidelity on the part of their Sikh boyfriends, the two main female characters in the film reiterate the sentiment, "If you can't be faithful to your religion, how can you be faithful to our marriage?" Religion, according this film, is something immutable that is handed down from above as opposed to each individual's unique search for the truth.
Soldiers in the Army of God, Directed by MARC LEVIN and DAPHNE PINKERSON, 2005
A rare inside look at America's most extreme anti-abortion group, The Army of God, which openly advocates terrorist tactics such as bombing clinics and killing doctors and has resulted in intimidating abortion providers.
Veer-Zaara, Directed by YASH CHOPRA, 2004
A love story involving a Hindu/Sikh/Indian, Veer Pratap Singh, and a Muslim/Pakistani, Zaara Hayaat Khan, set in contemporary times. Much of the dialog and song sequences are in Punjabi. The multi-star cast includes Shahrukh Khan (Veer), Preity Zinta (Zaara), Rani Mukherjee, Amitabh Bachchan, Hema Malini, Manoj Bajpai, Divya Dutta, Boman Irani, Anupam Kher, Kiron Kher, Gurdas Mann, and Zohra Sehgal.
Jagjit Singh: Dastaan-e-Ghazal, Live & Life Story, Music World, 2003
The best audio-video of Jagjit Singh available on the market today. This collection consists of several superbly recorded and produced live ghazals as well as a few video singles.
Bonhoeffer, Directed by MARTIN DOBLMEIER, 2003
Dramatic documentary about the young German pacifist and theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer who resisted the Nazi regime and was hanged two weeks before World War II was over.
Dreaming Lhasa, Directed by RITU SARIN and TENZING SONAM, 2005
A Tibetan travels to Dharamsala to make a film about the exile community, and to escape her crumbling personal life back in New York City. She makes a connection to a disaffected local who spends his time online and chasing Western girls, as well as an ex-monk who recently escaped from political imprisonment. Together they end up on the search for a C.I.A.-trained resistance fighter who has been missing for some time.
Winter Soldier, Directed by ?, 1972
On January 31, 1971, members of Vietnam Veterans Against the War (V.V.A.W.) met in a Detroit hotel conference room to document war crimes that they had participated in or witnessed during their combat tours in Vietnam. During the next three days, more than 100 Vietnam veterans and 16 civilians gave anguished, emotional testimony describing hundreds of atrocities against innocent civilians in South Vietnam, including rape, arson, torture, murder, and the shelling or napalming of entire villages. The witnesses stated that these acts were being committed casually and routinely, under orders, as a matter of policy.
Pink Ladoos, Directed by GAURAV SETH, 2004
According to a reliable source, the movie, a humorous depiction of the culture of preference for male children in Sikh families, was dropped from the 3rd annual Spinning Wheel Film Festival's roster at the last minute because it was deemed "un-Sikh."
Howard Zinn: You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train, Directed by DEB ELLIS and DENIS MUELLER, 2004
A documentary depicting the life and times of Howard Zinn, the legendary historian, activist, and author of the classic A People's History of the United States. Starring Howard Zinn and friends.
The Giant Buddhas, Directed by CHRISTIAN FREI, 2005
A documentary about the Taliban-inspired descruction of the famous mega-statues, carved into the mountains that tower over the Bamiyan valley in Afghanistan. An essay on fanaticism and faith, terror and tolerance, ignorance and identity.
Short Cut to Nirvana: Kumbh Mela, Directed by MAURIZIO BENAZZO and NICK DAY, 2004
A reasonably well-reviewed documentary about "the biggest gathering of people in the history of humanity" at Allahabad, India, the meeting point of three of India's holiest rivers, Ganga, Yamuna, and the mythical Saraswati. Includes footage of the Dalai Lama. For further details, visit melafilms.com.
American Desi, Directed by PIYUSH DINKER PANDYA, 2001
A comedy about Indian diaspora youth in the U.S.
Tibet: Cry of the Snow Lion, Directed by TOM PIOZET, 2003
A documentary film about the state of Chinese occupied Tibet and its history of oppression and resistance. Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon provide voiceovers. (Courtesy: Dharam Singh)
Black Friday, Directed by ANURAG KASHYAP, 2005
Based on S. Hussain Zaidi's book by the same name about the serial bomb blasts that rocked Mumbai in March 1993.
Godhra Tak: The Terror Trail, Directed by SHUBRADEEP CHAKRAVORTY, 2004
This documentary investigates the Godhra train burning and the subsequent rioting that killed over 2000 Muslims in Gujarat, India.
Kaya Taran, Directed by SASHI KUMAR, 2004
Based on writer N.S. Madhavan's Malayalam short story, When Big Trees Fall, the film Kaya Taran weaves a plot that touches on both the 2002 Muslim massacres in Gujarat and the 1984 Sikh massacres in Delhi.
Des Hoyaa Pardes, Directed by MANOJ PUNJ, 2005
Gurshaan (played by the famous Punjabi singer Gurdas Maan), the main protagonist in this tear-jerker, is forced to flee to the U.S. when he is brutally tortured in a Chandigarh jail during Punjab's dark decade (1983-1993). Jassi (played by veteran Bollywood actress Juhi Chawla) and Guddi (Divya Dutta), who play his wife and sister respectively, also suffer as a result of the inhuman treatment meted out to Gurshaan after an ominous knock on his door changes the entire course of his life. This is a well done film despite some scenes that lack credibility, e.g. when Gurshaan slips back into India via Nepal and spends what seems an eternity greeting his sister, Guddi, at the door of their home in Punjab. The film rightly assigns blame both to Sikh militants and Punjab's police force. Based on a true story. Gurdas Maan lends his talented voice to many of the film's songs. The title song is performed by the maestro Jagjit Singh.
Amu, Directed by SHONALI BOSE, 2005
A film on the 1984 Sikh massacres in Delhi and elsewhere, a censored and restricted version of which was released in India. "[P]erhaps the most important Indian film of recent years" -- Frontline, February 12, 2005.
Keep the River on Your Right: A Modern Cannibal Tale, Directed by DAVID SHAPIRO and LAURIE SHAPIRO, 2000
In 1955, Fulbright scholar and Manhattan painter Tobias Schneebaum spent seven months in the Amazon basin with the Harakambut. When he returned to the U.S., he could no longer paint. Nearly 45 years later, documentary filmmakers want Tobias, now 78 and suffering from Parkinson's, to return to Peru. He refuses but agrees to revisit the Asmat in New Guinea where he spent an idyllic time years earlier. The trip goes well, including a serendipitous meeting with Aipit, an aging native and once Tobias' friend and lover. Tobias then agrees to go to Peru to look for the people whom he joined on a murderous raiding party. The scars of war remain as does fear.
City of God, Directed by FERNANDO MEIRELLES and KATIA LUND, 2002
Based on a true story, City of God is a housing project built in the 1960's that - in the early 80's - became one of the most dangerous places in Rio de Janeiro. The tale tells the stories of many characters whose lives sometimes intersect. However, all is seen through the eyes of a singular narrator: Busca-Pé, a poor black youth too frail and scared to become an outlaw but also to smart to be content with underpaid, menial jobs.
One Dollar Curry, Directed by VIJAY SINGH, 2004
"One Dollar Curry tracks the progress of a young Sikh immigrant, Nishan, arriving in Paris, clueless and penniless, desperate to earn enough to survive. He begins by selling curry from a bucket on the street corner, but quickly discovers that sophisticated Parisians find this level of service repulsive." -- The Guardian, November 7, 2003
Bus 174, Directed by JOSÉ PADILHA and FELIPE LACERDA, 2002
A documentary depicting events that took place in Rio de Janeiro on June 12, 2000, when bus 174 was hijacked in broad daylight by an armed young man (Sandro do Nascimento) threatening to shoot all the passengers. Transmitted live on all Brazilian T.V. networks, causing a revolt among the population, this shocking event with a tragic ending became one of violence's most shocking portrayals and one of the scariest examples of police incompetence and abuse in recent years. The documentary also explores, via interviews, how Nascimento's life prepared him for just such a doomsday.
Morning Raga, Directed by MAHESH DATTANI, 2004
An offbeat movie about the blending of Carnatic and Western music starring Shabana Azmi and Shaleen Sharma. The film features a good story but the highlights are Shabana Azmi's superb acting and heavenly music numbers.
Mirza Ghalib, Directed by SAMPOORAN SINGH GULZAR, 2003
A outstanding biographical account of Mirza Asadullah Beg Khan, known popularly as Ghalib, widely regarded as one of the best mid-19th century Urdu poets of the Moghul court. Combines the best of poetry (Mirza Ghalib), music (Jagjit and Chitra Singh), acting (Naseeruddin Shah and Shabana Azmi) and direction (Gulzar).
American Made, Directed by SHARAT RAJU, 2003
An articulate portrayal of the bias Sikh Americans have faced in the post-9/11 milieu.
Final Solution, Directed by RAKESH SHARMA, 2003
A study of the politics of hate. Set in Gujarat during 2002 and 2003, the film examines the phenomenon of organized violence against minorities in India.
My Mother India, Directed by SAFINA KAUR UBEROI, 2002
Safina Uberoi's film tells the story of her Australian mother Patricia who married an Indian Professor and went to live with him in India in the 1960s. Although the film starts of as a humorous and lighthearted documentary about an eccentric, multicultural family, it unfolds into a complex commentary on the social, political and religious events of the anti-Sikh riots of 1984.
Division of Hearts, Directed by SATTI KHANNA and PETER CHAPPELL, 1987
"Poignantly presents narratives of several individuals, including Sikhs, who struggle with the nature of communalism, violence, their own roles, and the significance of what transpired [during the 1947 partition of India]." Click here for more information.
Father, Son and Holy War, Directed by ANAND PATWARDHAN, 1994
"A valuable critique of the construction and dissemination of memory, values and agendas." Click here for more information.
In Memory of Friends, Directed by ANAND PATWARDHAN, 1990
"A powerful study of how various groups in the Punjab during the 1980s attempted to manipulate and use the image of Bhagat Singh for their own purposes." Click here for more information.
India: Who Killed the Sikhs, Reported by GEOFF PARRISH, 2002
Produced by Special Broadcasting Service (S.B.S.) television in Australia as part of their Dateline series.
Turning Points: Storming the Temple, Directed by CHRISTINE NIELSEN, 2004
Part of the History Television channel's Turning Points series. A study of the events that led up to Operation Bluestar. The documentary examines the cultural tensions that existed in India in the early 1980s and probes the concept of violence cycles.
Riding the Tiger, Directed by MICHAEL SINGH, 2005
A documentary by an award-winning filmmaker on the state-sponsored massacre of 3,000 Sikhs in and around New Delhi, India following the assassination of India's then prime minister Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984 at the hands of two of her Sikh bodyguards said to be avenging Operation Bluestar.
Bush Family Fortunes - The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, By GREG PALAST and The Disinformation Company, 2004
"Courageous Reporting" -- Michael Moore
The Passion of the Christ, Directed by MEL GIBSON, 2004
"This is the most violent film I have ever seen." -- Roger Ebert.
Au Hasard Balthazar, Directed by ROBERT BRESSON, 1966
The life of a donkey (not a cartoon donkey or a talking donkey, just an ordinary donkey).
Bowling for Columbine, 2003
A highly thought-provoking film written, directed, and produced by Michael Moore (Roger & Me) on the subject of disproportionately high levels of gun violence in the United States. One critique of the movie is that it compares numbers of gun homicides in various countries (Australia 65, Canada 165, United States 11,000+) without referring to population. That is, the numbers haven't been normalized (per capita).
Miles Davis - Live in Munich, 1988
An exquisitely produced record of Miles Davis' 1988 performance in accompaniment with an extremely talented, albeit young, touring band. The band is: Miles Davis (trumpet), Joe "Foley" McCreary (4-string guitar), Benny Rietveld (bass) [Sheila E./Santana's Supernatural (1999)], Kenny Garrett (sax/flute) [Art Blakey/Sting], Marilyn Mazur (percussion/dance), Bobby Irving and Adam Holzman (keyboards), and Ricky Wellman (drums) [Chuck Brown/Soul Searchers]. Five of the fifteen tunes are from Davis' Grammy-winning album Tutu (1986). Far from hogging the stage, Miles Davis spars continually with band members, allowing them numerous opportunities to segue into solos. That leaves the audience hungering for Miles Davis who delights plentifully with brief moments of brilliance without actually launching into extended solos of his own. Included is a rare and irreverent interview with Miles during which he is absentmindedly engaged in another lesser-known passion of his – painting.
Fleetwood Mac - The Dance, 1997
Beautifully produced reunion concert featuring many of the classics from the group's album Rumours, rated as the #25 greatest album of all time by the Rolling Stone, 2003. This is a reunion with a difference - the musicians are in peak form.
The Birth of a Nation, Directed By D.W. GRIFFITH, 1915
This American Civil War and Reconstruction epic, based on the play The Clansman: An Historical Romance of the Ku Klux Klan by former North Carolina Baptist minister Rev. Thomas Dixon, was the first feature length silent film. It is regarded as both masterful (for its innovative techniques in moviemaking) and controversial (for its heroic portrayal of the K.K.K. as vanquishers of the apparent black threat - especially sexual - to white society).
Schindler's List, Directed By STEVEN SPIELBERG, 1993
One of the most honored films of all time, winner of seven Academy Awards (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Score, Best Editing, and Best Art), this is the masterful adaptation of Thomas Keneally's best-selling fact-based story about one man (Liam Neeson) who brought relief to hundreds of victims during the Holocaust.
Focus, By NEAL SLAVIN, 2002
Adapted from playwright Arthur Miller's most controversial novel of the same name. The critically acclaimed film, set in New York during the height of World War II, portrays an executive (William H. Macy) who notices anti-semitism both at work and in his neighborhood but neither joins in nor actively resists it - until he himself becomes a target as a result of his lack of active participation in the bigotry. Macy won the Best Actor Award at the 2002 Karlovy Vary Festival.
Just a Little Red Dot, Directed By MITRA SEN, 1996
A wonderful short film based on the true story of grade five students who unexpectedly come across the pain felt by discrimination when they playfully adorn themselves with bindis out of sheer curiosity. The film has won twelve international awards including Most Popular Film at the 14th Chicago International Children's Film Festival and the Grand Trophy for Best Educational Film at the New York Festival.
Roger and Me, Directed By MICHAEL MOORE, 1989
A documentary about one man's tireless efforts to track down General Motors chairman Roger Smith, to show him what his factory closing did to the town of Flint, Michigan, where 40,000 jobs were lost. Winner of year's-best awards from the New York, Los Angeles, and National Society of Film Critics and the National Board of Review.
The Long Way Home, Directed By MARK JONATHAN HARRIS, 1997
This feature (Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature) traces intimate stories of courage in the harrowing years between the end of World War II and the formation of the state of Israel during which holocaust victims, who had already suffered through years of concentration camps, were made to feel unwelcome in their homelands and held in squalid detention camps or arrested for illegal immigration.
The Last Days, Directed By JAMES MOLL, 1998
This film (Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature) traces the experiences of five Hungarian Holocaust survivors who relate their very personal stories (through interviews and contemporary visits to Germany and Hungary) of horror during the last year of World War II when Adolf Hitler, already defeated and with depleted resources, revealed the depths of his racial hatred (the 'final solution') by diverting men and resources to the task of exterminating Hungary's Jews rather than salvage the war.
Mississippi Burning, Directed By ALAN PARKER, 1988
A thriller based on the real-life investigation conducted by two philosophically opposed F.B.I. agents (Gene Hackman and Willem Dafoe) into the disappearance during the summer of 1964 of three civil rights activists in a small Ku Klux Klan-ridden community. Nominated for six Oscars and winner of an Academy Award for Best Cinematography.
Maachis (Match Stick), Directed By GULZAR, 1996
Gulzar's (Filmfare Awards for Best Story and Best Dialogue) heart-wrenching masterpiece (National Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment), starring newcomers Chandrachur Singh (Filmfare Award for Best Male Newcomer), Raj Zutshi, and Jasjit (Jimmy) Shergill along with veterans Om Puri, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, and Kanwaljit along with Tabassum (Tabu) Azmi (National Award for Best Actress, Bengal Film Journalists Award) with music direction by Vishal Bhardwaj (Filmfare's R.D. Burman Award). The film was banned in Punjab and Kashmir and controversially awarded an adult certificate by India's Censor Board for its attempt to fracture the 'terrorist' stereotype via depictions of Punjab's Sikh youth propelled toward militancy as a reaction to State-sponsored injustice in the wake of the Indian Army's 1984 assault on the Golden Temple, the vatican of the Sikhs.
Cry Freedom, Directed By RICHARD ATTENBOROUGH, 1988
A true story starring Denzel Washington in a portrayal of South African anti-apartheid activist Stephen Biko and his unforgettable friendship with white liberal crusading newspaper editor Donald Woods (Kevin Kline) who risks his own life to bring Biko's message to the world.
The Burning Season: The Chico Mendes Story, Directed By JOHN FRANKENHEIMER, 1994
A riveting portrayal of the true story of Brazilian rain forest activist Chico Mendes's nonviolent stand against slash-and-burn deforestation of the Amazon won three Golden Globe Awards (Best Movie Made for Television, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor). Julia and Frankenheimer won Emmys.
China Cry: A True Story, Directed By JAMES F. COLLIER, 1990
American-made portrayal (Film Advisory Board Award of Excellence) of the true and intimate love story of two people who come in conflict with an oppressive and repressive state. Set in China some thirty years before the recent bloody events of Tian An Men Square.
A Dry White Season, Directed By EUZHAN PALCY, 1989
Upon getting a glimpse into the truly arbitrary and violent nature (the infamous Soweto massacre) of the Apartheid system he has so long benefitted from, prominent Afrikan (South African) schoolteacher Ben du Toit (Donald Sutherland) turns into a radical firebrand and partners with liberal lawyer Ian Mackenzie (Marlon Brando) and a radical reporter (Susan Sarandon) to expose the status quo. Marlon Brando worked on this film (based on a novel by Andre Brink) without compensation and received an Academy Award Nomination for Best Supporting Actor.