Kanopy, a Netflix-like streaming service for academic institutions, has thousands of documentaries and movies available for free streaming. Here are a few titles they’re highlighting this month.
American Political and Social Issues
Starving the Beast: The Battle to Disrupt and Reform America’s Public Universities
Starving the Beast tells the story of a potent one-two punch roiling public higher education right now: 35 years of systematic defunding and a well financed market oriented reform effort. It’s the story of a little known and misunderstood ideological fight, the outcome of which will change the future of public higher education.
All Governments Lie: Truth, Deception, and the Spirit of I.F. Stone
Independent journalists Jeremy Scahill, Glenn Greenwald and Michael Moore expose government lies and corporate deception, inspired by the legendary investigative journalist I.F. Stone.
Answering the Call: The American Struggle for the Right to Vote
The bloody attacks of protestors in Selma in 1965 led to the historic protection of all Americans’ right to vote. The film explores a cherished family story of Selma and the current state of voter suppression in America.
The Divide: What Happens When the Rich Get Richer?
The Divide takes a deeply personal look at wealth inequality, telling the story of seven individuals striving for a better life in the modern day U.S. and U.K. — where the top 0.1% owns as much wealth as the bottom 90%. There’s Wall Street psychologist Alden, who wants to make it to the top 1%; KFC worker Leah from Virginia, who just wants to make it through the day; and Jen in Sacramento, California, who doesn’t talk to her neighbors in her upscale gated community because they’ve made it clear she isn’t “their kind.”
Exploring Mental Health
Wizard Mode: An Autistic Teenager’s Quest to Become World Pinball Champion
In the game of pinball, there is no greater reward than Wizard Mode – a hidden level that is only unlocked when a player completes a series of lightning-speed challenges. Robert Gagno has dedicated most of his life to mastering Wizard Mode, and is now one of the top pinball players in the world. He also happens to have autism. . . .In between competitions, Robert attempts to reach milestones of adulthood, include looking for meaningful employment and learning how to drive. He consistently finds himself between two worlds, as he tries to maintain a successful pinball career and live a fulfilling life as a person on the autism spectrum.
Michael & His Dragon: A U.S. Marine’s Battle with PTSD
Michael Ergo looks like a typical guy in his early 20s but one thing sets him apart, only a few years before he was fighting insurgents in the Iraq war. Cleverly told through the story of Michael’s tattoos – tattoos that mark his personal journey as both solider and veteran, this film is a deep and personal account on one man’s experience with PTSD.
Rise of the Eco Warriors: Young Activists Saving the Rain Forest
A group of passionate and adventurous young people leave their known worlds behind to spend 100 days in the jungles of Borneo. Their mission is to confront one of the great global challenges of our time, saving rainforests and giving hope to endangered orangutans. Their task is enormous and the odds are against them.
Brooklyn Farmer: The Worlds Largest Rooftop Farm
This film explores the unique challenges facing Brooklyn Grange, a group of urban farmers who endeavor to run a commercially viable farm within the landscape of New York City. The film follows Head Farmer Ben Flanner, CEO Gwen Schantz, Communications Director Anastasia Plakias, Farm Manager Michael Meier, and Beekeeper Chase Emmons as their growing operation expands from Long Island City, Queens to a second roof in the Brooklyn Navy Yards. The team confronts the realities inherent in operating the world’s largest rooftop farm in one of the world’s biggest cities.
Viktoria (Bulgaria, 2014)
Maya Vitkova’s stunning debut feature Viktoria follows three generations of women in the final years of the People’s Republic of Bulgaria and the early years of the new government, focusing on reluctant mother Boryana and her daughter, Viktoria, who in one of the film’s surreal, magical touches is born without an umbilical cord. Though unwanted by her mother, Viktoria is named the country’s Baby of the Decade, and is showered with gifts and attention until the disintegration of the East Bloc. Despite throwing their worlds off balance, the resulting political changes also allow for the possibility of reconciliation.
Boiling Point (Japan, 1990)
Ono Masahiko is an unlucky gas station attendant who belongs to a losing junior baseball team. When the local yakuza threaten and capture his coach, he and a friend get more than they bargained for when they travel to Okinawa seeking revenge. This is the second feature film from renowned action auteur Takeshi “Beat” Kitano.
The President (Iranian-international, 2014)
The latest film by acclaimed Iranian ex-pat director Mohsen Makhmalbaf (Kandahar, The Silence) tells the story of a dictator who is forced to personally confront the many people tortured by his regime after his government is overthrown. The president and his family rule the land with a draconian fist, enjoying a privileged and luxurious existence at the expense of his miserable and oppressed subjects. After a coup d’etat uproots his position of power, the president’s wife and daughters are flown out of the country as he stays behind with his grandson, who is too young to grasp the unfolding events.
He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not (France, 2003)
Talented art student Angelique is madly in love with Loic, a married cardiologist whose wife is expecting their first child. Things take a dangerous turn as Angelique grows less discreet in her affections and her attempts to separate the couple fail. Halfway through, this black comedy takes a dramatic turn and the film reverses perspective, showing the preceding events from Loic’s (wildly different) point-of-view.