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At your local video store

Photo by Asri Zaidir
Photo by Asri Zaidir

In addition to the dozens of movies available here at Plan USA for you to borrow, we've also reviewed many more that you can rent from your local video store or library.

Please browse the videos we've reviewed (organized by topic). If you'd like more information, send us an e-mail at YUGA@planusa.org with the name of the video you're interested in, your name and contact information.

Topics:
Children and poverty
Child soldiers
Child labor
Child trafficking
Climate change
HIV/AIDS
Other

“75 Cents for Every Dollar—A Documentary on Gender in the Workplace in 2005”
Length: 37:58 min
Type: Youth Documentary
Produced/Directed/Filmed by the Young Women of Broad Street Sisters: Wandy Maldonado, Elisha Miranda, Courtney Mitchell, Brittney Nije, Keaondra Smith, Martzarelly Tamarez, Kiara Taveras, Julissa Polanco, & Laura Rubin

Young Women from the Broad Street Sisters in Providence, Rhode Island give a behind-the-scenes look at gender inequality in the workplace through a series of interviews, dramatizations, and personal reflections.

Discussion questions:

  • Do you think women are treated differently in the workplace today?
  • How are poverty and inequalities in the workplace linked?
  • Do you perceive your abilities based on your gender?
  • Do you think glass ceilings exist where you live?

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“Juvies” (children and poverty)
Length: 66:00 min
Type: Documentary
Written/Directed by Leslie Neale
Recommended for High School and up
Narrated by actor, Mark Wahlberg, himself a former juvenile offender, "Juvies" explores the lives of kids who face a life of incarceration haunted by mistakes and missed opportunities. "Juvies" is a stark insight into the personal stories of twelve kids being prosecuted and incarcerated as adults.

For two years, Neale taught a video production class at Los Angelos Central Juvenile Hall to juveniles. Following the kids into adult prison, Juvies exposes a justice system that has become a dehumanizing vending machine of justice.

Discussion questions:

  • Do you think the media, movies and television influence society’s views of gangs, youth crime and young offenders?
  • Do you think youth should be charged as adults?
  • Do you think youth should be punished for what they might do in the future, instead of what they have done?
  • Do you think Duc’s sentence is fair?

Look for a copy at your local video store or obtain a copy at www.juvies.net

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“The Shape of Water” (children and poverty)
Length: 70 minutes
Type: Documentary
By: Kum-Kum Bhavnani
The stories of women are documented expressing the underlying theme of struggles which they must overcome. They each work to make positive change within their communities. Issues range from female genital mutilation, family displacement, protecting the environment, to other concerns.

Discussion Questions

  • Although differences exist between each woman’s role, what are the similarities among them that shape their stories?
  • How can the government in each story prevent many of the problems that still exist?

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Hotel Rwanda (child soldiers)
Based on a true story
Length: 2 hours
Rated: PG 13
Ten years ago some of the worst atrocities in the history of mankind took place in the country of Rwanda. But in an era of high-speed communication and round the clock news, the events went almost unnoticed by the rest of the world. In only three months, one million people were brutally murdered. In the face of these unspeakable actions, inspired by his love for his family, an ordinary man summons extraordinary courage to save the lives of over a thousand helpless refugees, by granting them shelter in the hotel he manages.

Discussion questions:

  • What is genocide?
  • What two ethnic groups were involved in the genocide?
  • Is the international community to blame for allowing this to happen?

Teachers guide available at http://www.amnestyusa.org/education/pdf/rwanda_brochuredivided.pdf

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“Night Commuters: Uganda’s Forgotten Children of War” (child soldiers)
Length:
From: Human Rights Watch
www.witness.org
“The world’s worst forgotten crisis,” is the case in Uganda according to the United Nations. Each day, thousands of children as young as 6 years, walk to Northern Uganda to avoid being targeted by rebels who are part of the Lord’s Resistance Army. Since the war, 300,000 children have been abducted and forced to be sex slaves, domestic servants, and child soldiers.

Discussion questions:

  • What is the future for these young children?
  • How are these children’s lives disrupted?
  • Why do child soldiers continue to exist?

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“Invisible Children” (Child Trafficking/Child Soldiers)
Documentary
Produced by Jason Russell, Bobby Bailey, Laren Poole and People Like You.
Length: 55 minutes (35 minute alternative option)
Not Rated
Website: http://www.invisiblechildren.com
In the Spring of 2003, three young Americans traveled to Africa in search of a story. What they found was a tragedy that disgusted and inspired them. “Invisible Children” exposes the effects of a brutal, 20 year-long war on the children of Northern Uganda. They live in fear of abduction by rebel soldiers, and are being forced to fight as part of a violent army. Many have lost parents due to the ongoing military conflict and the AIDS epidemic. The film provides a unique perspective on the harsh realities of everyday life for these children, but also uncovers an amazing source of strength and inspiration.

Discussion questions:

  • Where does the film take place?
  • Why are so many children living without their parents?
  • Where do the children sleep?
  • What are some differences between your daily life and the life of the children in the film?
  • What can be done to help the children and country as a whole?

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“The Devil’s Miner” (Child labor)
Length: 83 Minutes
The film documents the story of 14-year-old Basilio Vargas and his 12-year-old brother Bernadino as they work in the Bolivian silver mines of Cerro Rico, which date back to 16th century. Living with their mother in virtual poverty, the boys must assume many adult responsibilities.

Discussion questions:

  • Where are the boys from?
  • Where do they work?
  • Why are they working there?
  • What are some of the risks the boys face daily?
  • What are some of the risks you face daily?
  • Why can’t the boys just go to school?


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"Born into Brothels" (child trafficking)
Documentary
Some subtitles
Produced, directed, and filmed by Zana Briski and Ross Kauffman; some scenes were filmed by the seven children in the film.
Length:85 minutes
Rated R for strong language
Zana Briski originally went to Calcutta, India to capture the illegal activity of the red light district, but she found that the corruption she searched for was hidden when her camera appeared. As a result Zana finds seven kids who are children of prostitutes and who also face the same destiny. Her mission in Calcutta changes slightly and she begins to teach the children photography so they can take the cameras into the brothels. Briski also tries diligently to get the children out of their present environment, and into boarding schools. The documentary shows just how dire and brutal the condition of the red light district really is, but also shows the optimism and talent that the children possess.

Discussion questions:

  • What does it mean to be “put in the line”?
  • Do you think it is common for prostitutes to have husbands and families that they live with?
  • Why didn’t the mothers want to send their children to boarding school? Didn’t they want their children to get out of the brothel and create better lives for themselves?

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"A Closer Walk"
Documentary
Length: 120 min
Rating: NR
This documentary examines the AIDS crisis. The camera travels to Africa—where infections overwhelm the public health system and orphans face their own deaths; Central Europe—drug users spread the disease via shared needles; India—where husbands infect wives; and to the U.S.—where grass-roots efforts in places like Kansas City confront cultural stereotypes. Interviews include patients, doctors, nurses, the Dalai Lama, and Kofi Annan. The film's tone is compassionate and urgent, the statistics overwhelming. The message: the AIDS epidemic, history's worst, continues.

Discussion questions:

  • In the film someone mentioned that poverty is like slavery, how are the two similar?
  • Do you think clean needles should be available to the public in order to prevent HIV/AIDS or does that promote drug use?
  • What are some things you could do to raise awareness and prevent the risk of HIV/AIDS?

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"Beat the Drum"
Length: 113 minutes
Producers: Karen Shapiro, Richard Shaw, W. David McBrayer
Musa, a young boy, is orphaned after a mysterious illness strikes his village in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. To help his grandmother, Musa sets out for Johannesburg with his father's last gift, a tribal drum, in search of work and his uncle. The journey confronts him with the harsh realities of urban life, but his strong spirit never wavers; he returns with a truth and understanding his elders have failed to grasp.

Discussion questions:

  • Why does Nobe refuse to use condoms when his wife gives them to him, if he knows it will prevent him from contracting HIV/AIDS?
  • Why are so many young girls in Africa being raped? What is the myth?
  • Why doesn’t Stephan’s Dad want anyone to know about his son’s sickness? Why does he think his family is better than those who have HIV/AIDS?

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"The Monster"
Length: 11min
Written by: Randy Walton, Naeqwan Clarke, Jarel Turner and Brinton Newson, a group of youth incarcerated on Rikers Island.
When three boys chat up the new girl on the block, only one gets lucky. He, however, is forced to deal with a secret that not even his closest friends know about. This film deals with HIV status, communication and discrimination in the US.

Discussion questions:

  • In what ways do people react when they find out a friend is HIV-positive? How could they show support for him or her?
  • Can you tell a person is HIV positive by looking at them?
  • How do you think peer pressure influences sexual activity?

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"Nightmare on AIDS Street"
Length: 5 min
Written by 15 year old Nicole Zepeda and shot in her hometown on the Texas/Mexico border.
17 year old Isabelle knows that she can’t take back what happened one hazy night with a guy. She decides to take responsibility and face her greatest fear. This film deals with testing, friendship, self-confidence, and taking responsibility in the US.

Discussion questions:

  • Who is the little girl in the film? What does she represent?
  • If you had to get tested for HIV/AIDS would you tell your friends and family? Do you think they would be a support system for you?
  • If you know people who have been in the same situation as Isabelle what could you do to help and support them?

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"Pandemic: Facing AIDS"
Documentary
Length: 113 minutes
This documentary is a series of five half-hour films that takes a unique look at the worldwide AIDS epidemic, portraying intimate personal stories with a global perspective. The film follows five stories of people living with AIDS in countries around the world, revealing the heartaches and triumphs of coping with the stigma and effects of the devastating disease. Showing how AIDS tests people in unexpected ways, the series chronicles the minor miracles that occur in the face of doom. Treatment, prevention, education, mother-to-child transmission, the stigma of AIDS and harm reduction are among the issues explored in the series, as well as the many obstacles and opportunities faced by the individuals in the film.

Discussion questions:

  • Do you think there is too much focus on HIV/AIDS in Africa and not enough focus on HIV/AIDS in the rest of the world?
  • How is the disease getting to remote villages in India?
  • How is having HIV/AIDS in Brazil different from having the virus in another country?

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“Yesterday”
Length: 95:00 min
Rated: R
Set against the awe-inspiring, harsh landscapes of South Africa in a remote village in Zuzuland, "Yesterday" is an eloquent, heartbreaking film that quietly builds the overwhelming emotional force.

With little money, no modern conveniences, and a husband working far away in the mines of Johannesburg, Yesterday, a spirited and happy young mother, still manages to find great joy in her seven-year old daughter, Beauty. The precarious balance of Yesterday’s life is suddenly threatened when she is diagnosed with AIDS. She never had a chance to go to school and although her health is failing, she sets her sights on a single goal: to be with Beauty on her first day of school.

Discussion questions:

  • Think of every time you have been sick, would you have gotten better if you had to walk hours to the nearest clinic without any guarantee that you would see the doctor?
  • How can you help to make education and doctors easily accessible?
  • How can people’s common misconceptions of HIV/AIDS be changed?
  • Do you think Beauty contracted HIV/AIDS?
  • How could Yesterday have gotten better treatment?
  • Why does the village doctor refuse to believe Yesterday has AIDS?

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"A Massacre Remembered"
"A Right to Justice"

By: Jesus Tecu Osorio
Length: 23 minutes
www.witness.org
Jesus Tecu Osorio tells the story of the Massacre which occurred during the Guatemalan Civil War. As a young survivor, he is now an activist, attempting to bring international attention to the massacre.

During the 1980s, over 200,000 indigenous members of the Mayan Achi population were massacred by the military regime. The communities were tortured with machetes, beaten with wooden sticks, raped, while others were taken into captivity as servants for the military. On the evening of March 13th 1982, 107 children and 77 women were killed on the Rio Negro. As of 1999, only three men have been tried for the crimes, many have yet to be tried.

Discussion questions:

  • Why have the people responsible for the massacre not been brought to trial yet?
  • What should the international community do to help the families of the victims?
  • Do you think it is now safe for the indigenous people of Guatemala?

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“Darfur Destroyed” (other films)
Length:
From: Human Rights Watch
www.witness.org
In February 2003, the Sudanese government and the Arab militia known as Janjaweed committed acts of genocide in Darfur, Sudan. Both the government and the Janjaweed tribe have caused massacres of people, raped women and young girls, and forcefully seized people’s possessions. They have attacked local villages, leaving many people displaced, barely escaping death.

Discussion questions:

  • Why has it taken so long for the situation in Darfur to be considered genocide?
  • How is the international community allowing such acts to continue?
  • Will Sudan be another Rwanda?

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"The Human Cost Behind Bargain Shopping" (other films)
Produced by NBC Dateline
32 mins
This film documents a common issue throughout the developing world: exploitation. An estimated 95% of the clothing Americans pay for is produced in foreign factories like Bangladesh, because items from there are sold at less expensive rates. An average of $5 billion dollars worth of clothing is sent to American companies like Gap, K-Mart, and Wal-Mart.

When a phony company was created to see whether in fact working conditions in Bangladesh met standards, they found disappointing facts. Americans, all too accustomed to bargain shopping, unknowingly stimulate the exploitation of masses.

Discussion questions

  • Are consumers to blame for low wages paid to workers abroad such as those in the Garment Industry in Bangladesh?
  • Would you be willing to pay higher costs to support improved working conditions in foreign factories?
  • Is it possible for companies abroad to collaborate and demand not to sell goods at such low costs to buyers?
  • Would you be willing to succumb to cheap labor and poor working conditions? How are we, as Americans advantaged?

Watch "The Human Cost Behind Bargain Shopping" online at http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8243331/

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The 11th Hour (climate change)
Documentary
Running Time: 95 Minutes
Directed by Nadia Conners and Leila Conners Peterson
Narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio
http://wip.warnerbros.com/11thhour/
The 11th Hour is the last moment when change is possible. The film explores how we’ve arrived at this moment — how we live, how we impact the earth’s ecosystems, and what we can do to change our course.

  • How do the actions of humans affect the earth?
  • What changes can we make to slow and repair the damage we have done?

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An Inconvenient Truth (cloimate change)
Documentary
Running Time: 100 minutes
Directed by David Guggenheim, 2006
In this academy award winning documentary former Vice President Al Gore invites the viewer to join him on his plight to save the planet from the irreversible destruction being caused by global warming.

  • To what three causes does this film attribute global warming?
  • According to this film, why do many Americans still not believe in global warming?
  • What are alternative sources of energy?
  • What can you do to help slow global warming?

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Arctic Tale (climate change)
Documentary/Family
Running Time: 84 minutes
Directed by Adam Ravetch and Sarah Robertson
Narrated by Queen Latifah
http://www.arctictalemovie.com/
This film documents the life of a polar bear cub and a walrus pup as they struggle to survive on the rapidly melting arctic ice beneath them.

  • How do our own actions affect our immediate surroundings, the environment, and other people and animals?
  • What responsibility do we have as humans to preserve and protect the environment?

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The Great Warming (climate change)
Documentary
Running Time: 85 Min
Directed by Michael Taylor, 2006
Narrated by Alanis Morissette and Keanu Reeves
http://www.thegreatwarming.com/
This documentary highlights research and statistics surrounding global warming issues, showcases everyday people who have felt the effects, and discusses innovative ways to make a difference.

  • What did you think about some of the statistics that were shared in the film? Were you shocked by any of them?
  • How has global warming affected people’s everyday life?
  • What can you do to stop and reverse the effects of global warming?

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Power Shift: Energy + Sustainability (climate change)
Documentary
Running Time: 30 minutes
Narrated by Cameron Diaz
http://goworldlink.org/programs/powershiftvideo.html
This short documentary explores issues around energy, sustainability and technology

  • What is sustainable development?
  • How can technology contribute to sustainability?

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Saved by the Sun (climate change)
Documentary from TV series NOVA on PBS
Running Time: 56 minutes
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/solar/shop.html
This documentary investigates the need for alternative sources of energy, how solar energy works and the different options which are being utilized in the world today.

  • What are some pros and cons to using solar energy?
  • How is solar energy being used around the world today?
  • Do you think solar energy will become a main energy source in the future? Why or why not?

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Too Hot Not to Handle (climate change)
Documentary
Running Time: 54 Minutes
Directed by Maryann DeLeo and Ellen Goosenburg Kent
http://www.hbo.com/docs/programs/toohot/index.html
This documentary investigates the effects of global warming in the United States.

  • How will the weather, animals, and glaciers be affected by global warming?
  • How will these changes affect the lives of all of us?

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Transforming Energy (climate change)
Documentary Directed by Chuck Davis
This film highlights the affects of global warming, and explores the types of alternative energy which may able to transform the way the world works.

  • What types of alternative energy are discussed in the film?
  • What are the benefits of these types of energy compared to traditional forms of energy like oil?
  • What steps need to be taken to begin the shift from oil to other types of energy?

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What’s Up With the Weather? (climate change)
Documentary from TV series NOVA on PBS
Running Time: 112 minutes
Directed by Jon Palfreman
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/warming/
NOVA and FRONTLINE join forces to investigate the science and politics of one of the most controversial issues of the 21st century: the truth about global warming.

  • Why do you think so many Senators voted against the Kyoto treaty?
  • Why do you think global warming has been such a controversial issue?
  • What do you think our planet will be like 10 years from now if nothing is done to try to stop and reverse the effects of global warming?

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Who Killed the Electric Car? (climate change)
Documentary
Running Time: 92 minutes
Directed by Chris Paine, 2006
Rated PG for "brief mild language,"
Recommended for ages 8 and up
This documentary explores the short-lived life of the electric car during the 1990’s.

  • Why did gasoline beat out electricity as the fuel of choice?
  • Who is ultimately to blame for the “death” of the electric car?
  • Do you think an electric or hydrogen-powered car will be a vehicle of the future?

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