Audio/Visual Resources

The prices below are current as of Spring 2001, and in most instances apply only to individual purchasers from the Teaching for Change catalog, Institutional purchasers should contact the distributors, if listed.

All starred resources [*] are available from the Teaching for Change catalog,; 800-763-9131.

*Act of War: The Overthrow of the Hawaiian Nation, by Puhipau and Joan Lander. 1993, 60 min., $65. Comprehensive documentary on the events surrounding the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy in 1893 from the perspective of Native Hawaiians. Act of War explores colonialism and the conquest of a Pacific Island nation by western missionaries and capitalists.

*The Ad and the Ego, by Harold Boihem and Chris Emmanouilides; California Newsreel(, 1996, $70. This is the best video-critique of the social and ecological effects of advertising. Blending MTV-style editing with brilliant narration, The Ad and the Ego can be a real awareness-raiser for many high school students.

*Ancient Futures: Learning from the Ladakh, based on the book by Helena Norberg-Hodge. Produced by John Page with International Society for Ecology and Culture. 1993, 60 min.,$25. Through the story of Ladakh, a Himalayan region in India, this video enables students to confront the devastating impact of ‘development.’ They see the root causes of environmental, social and psychological problems that arise when a traditional society is invaded by Western investment, culture, and consumer goods. This is an extraordinarily useful film that uses one case study to consider some of the intimate meanings of ‘globalization.’

*Arms for the Poor, Maryknoll. 1998, 25 min. $20. This video presents an international spectrum of dignitaries and activists who share the belief of one Nobel Laureate that, ‘The poor are crying out for schools and doctors, not guns and generals.’ Through interviews and footage of the impact of massive amounts of weapons throughout the world, students learn who benefits and who loses from the military-industrial complex.

*At the River I Stand, California Newsreel. 1993, 56 min. $50. Martin Luther King saw in Memphis an opportunity to use nonviolence to challenge the economic power structure of the North and South. At the River I Stand documents Memphis’ black community support for a path-breaking strike by 1300 city sanitation workers for a living wage. This film joins together many critical issues: violent vs. nonviolent struggle, white privilege vs. black poverty, and grassroots mobilization vs. national politics.

*Banking on Life and Debt, narrated by Martin Sheen, Maryknoll World Productions. 1995. $20.More than 90% of the world’s population lives in countries directly affected by World Bank and International Monetary Fund policies. This video takes students to Brazil, Ghana, and the Philippines to see the results of these policies. A valuable resource for classes in economics, global studies, and U.S. government. 30minutes. (A longer version, The Moneylenders, is also available.)

*Barefoot Gen, (DVD format; video out of print), 1983, 83 min $24.99. Chronicles the devastating impact of the bombing of Hiroshima as experienced by a family in Japan. A stylistically close adaptation of Keiji Nakazawa’s graphic autobiographical novel, this animation brings home the horrors of the war and the strength of people who survived.

*Bus Riders Union, by Haskell Wexler. Strategy Center (213-387-2800, 2000, 86 min., $30. Video documentary tracing three years of the Los Angeles Bus Riders Union, one of the nation’s most dynamic social movements formed to fight transit racism, clean up L.A.’s lethal auto pollution, and win billion dollar victories for real mass transit. Bus Riders Union is a rare mix of fine filmmaking, astute political awareness, and a complex portrayal of a multiracial grassroots movement that is taking on some of the most powerful forces in Los Angeles ‘ and winning.

*Business of Hunger, Maryknoll. 1984, 28 min., $20. In many countries, crops are exported while the poor go hungry. This phenomenon, one of the major causes of world hunger, is examined in Latin America, Africa, Asia, and North America. The film proposes a more just distribution of the earth’s resources offering a vision of a world where all have enough to eat.

Civil Rights: The Long Road to Equality, The Duncan Group, AGC/United Learning, 1999. 800-323-9084. $95.The Civil Rights Movement: The Role of Youth in the Struggle is the first video in this helpful two-video set. The second video, Overcoming Racism, has middle- and high-school youth reflecting on their own racial identity and discrimination. The producers are aware of the limitations of any short video on such a complex subject. Upper elementary through high school.

*Earth and the American Dream, by Bill Couturie. Direct Cinema Limited, 1993; $95 (individual or institution). This extraordinary 77-minute film examines U.S. history from the standpoint of the earth. Beginning with Columbus, it effectively blends contrasting quotes from Native Americans and European ‘settlers’ with images of the environmental consequences of these ideas. We’ve never seen a film that does this so powerfully. A vital classroom resource.

Freedom On My Mind, by Connie Field and Marilyn Mulford. Clarity Educational Productions,800-343-5540, $69.95 for high schools and public libraries. Others inquire. A mesmerizing 115-minute video that puts the Civil Rights Movement into the context of the daily lives of Mississippians and of Black and white activists. What distinguishes this documentary is its willingness to delve into complicated issues. Activists discuss the joys of struggle and the community it creates, as well as the implications of difficult decisions like the one to bring white northerners down to Mississippi to increase media and government attention.

*Freedom Song, starring Danny Glover. Directed by Phil Alden Robinson. 2000,150 min., $20. Inspired by accounts of the women and men on the front lines of the Civil Rights Movement, Freedom Song chronicles a family nearly torn apart by the struggles of a nation and the impact of the movement on a small Mississippi town. In documenting the complexity and effect of the movement on the volunteers, their families, and their community, Freedom Song places heroism squarely on the shoulders of the local people ‘ the unsung volunteers who risked their lives to make change at the grassroots level. Effective for young people as the story is seen through the eyes of a grade school student.

Gay Lives & Culture Wars, produced by Elaine Velazquez and Barbara Bernstein. Democracy Media, P.O. Box 82777, Portland, OR 97282; 503-452-6500. $20, plus $2.50 s+h for individuals. $50, plus $2.50 s+h for institutions. A powerful 27-minute video that looks at the relationships between gay and lesbian youth and their families against the backdrop of the intolerance of the religious right.

*Global Village or Global Pillage? How People Around the World are Challenging Corporate Globalization, by Jeremy Brecher with Tim Costello and Brendan Smith. 1999,28 min., $25. This documentary explores the impacts of globalization on communities, workplaces, and environments. Narrated by Ed Asner,Global Village weaves together video of interviews, music, and comics to show that, through grassroots organizing and international solidarity, ordinary people can empower themselves to deal with the global economy.

*It’s Elementary: Talking About Gay Issues in School, by Debra Chasnoff and Helen Cohen. New Day Films, 888-367-9154.1997. This video provides a window into what really happens when teachers address lesbian and gay issues with their students in age-appropriate ways. It shows how addressing anti-gay prejudice is connected to preventing violence, supporting families and promoting social equality.

*Off the Track: Classroom Privilege for All, by Michelle Fine, et al. New York: Teachers College Press, 1998,$50. This 30 minute video takes the viewer into a World Literature classroom where all the students ‘ lower income, middle class, and affluent; white, African American, Asian-American, and Latino; girls and boys; those automatically ‘advanced’ and those who have been labeled in need of ‘special education’ ‘ receive and produce high quality education. Useful for staff development.

*Regret to Inform, by Barbara Sonneborn. Sun Fountain Productions. 1999, 72 min., & teacher’s guide by Bill Bigelow, $25. This beautifully filmed Oscar-nominated documentary follows director Barbara Sonneborn as she travels to Vietnam to the site of her husband’s wartime death. Woven into her personal odyssey are interviews with American and Vietnamese widows who speak openly and profoundly about the men they loved and how war changed their lives forever. Regret to Inform is ideal for classes taking a critical look at the Vietnam War.

*Rethinking Columbus Slide Show, by Bill Bigelow. NECA. $70. Slides and script provide a critique of the story of the ‘discovery of America’ as it is told in most children’s literature and textbooks. Ideal for workshops for teachers or students on critiquing bias.

*Scarves of Many Colors: Muslim Women and the Veil. Audiotape by Joan Bohorfoush and Diana Dickerson. Curriculum by Bill Bigelow, Sandra Childs, Norm Diamond, Diana Dickerson, and Jan Haaken. 2000, audiotape 24 min., curriculum 54 pp., $10.This award-winning audiotape and curriculum engage students in thinking critically about stereotypes of ‘covered’ Islamic women. The audiotape introduces a range of U.S. and Middle Eastern women who tell stories and offer insight. The curriculum offers four classroom-tested lessons, including an excellent role play/tribunal on ‘Women and the Veil,’ with accompanying student handouts. A lively addition to any Global Studies, psychology, sociology, women’s studies, world history, or teacher education curriculum.

The Shadow of Hate: A History of Intolerance in America, by Charles Guggenheim. Order Dept., Teaching Tolerance, 400 Washington Ave., Montgomery, AL 36104. $25, free to middle and high school principals and college history department chairs upon written request. A teaching kit that details the legacy of prejudice toward ethnic and religious minorities, immigrants and other groups. The kit includes a 40-minute video, teacher’s guide, and a student handbook. While the video has technical shortcomings, the teacher’s guides and student handbook are excellent.

*Some Mother’s Son, 1995, 112 min., $20. From start to finish, students are riveted by this poignant dramatization of the hunger strikes initiated by imprisoned Irish Republican Army members in 1981. Based on true events, it explores the struggle in Northern Ireland from the standpoint of two mothers of IRA prisoners ‘ each of whom responds very differently to her son’s political involvement and incarceration. Although this film was unfairly slapped with an R rating for some harsh language and violence, this should not deter teachers who want to expose students to the complexities of the Irish ‘Troubles’.

*Sweating for a T-Shirt, Medea Benjamin. 1999, Global Exchange, 24 min., $25. An excellent classroom resource. Arlen Benjamin decides to travel to Honduras with her mother, activist/writer Medea Benjamin, to find out the conditions of workers who make t-shirts and sweatshirts for college students such as herself. Her narration deftly responds to a number of the myths about life in poor countries and we meet several women workers, who share powerful descriptions about their living and working conditions.

*Trinkets and Beads by Christopher Walker. First Run/Icarus, 1996. This powerful52 minute video examines the impact of oil ‘development’ in the rainforests of eastern Ecuador. Unforgettable images weave in and out of interviews with Huaorani Indians, oil company officials, and missionaries. The video has been used successfully with middle and high school students throughout the country. Accompanying teaching guide to Trinkets and Beads, by Bill Bigelow, available from

*Viva La Causa! 500 Years of Chicano History, by the South West Organizing Project and Collision Course Video Productions, South West Organizing Project, 211 10th Street S.W., Albuquerque, NM 87102. 505-247-8832; fax 505-247-9972. $112.50, includes s&h. A multicultural kit that includes the 238 page bilingual book 500 Years of Chicano History in Pictures, the two-part video Viva La Causa! 500 Years of Chicano History, and a teacher’s guide for elementary and secondary schools. The kit spans pre-Colombian times to the present, focusing on ancient Mexican societies, Spanish colonization, the U.S. War against Mexico and the resistance to U.S. colonization, and other significant events in Chicano history.

*Zoned for Slavery/The Child Behind the Label, National Labor Committee, 1995, $20. This 23-minute video looks at the exploitation of children and teenagers working in factories in Central America that make clothes for U.S. companies such as the GAP, Eddie Bauer, JC Penney and WalMart. Some of the young workers earn only 12 cents to make a shirt that retails for over$20. The video works with students as young as 5th grade but is also excellent for high school students.