Kanopy, one of the streaming video services available at Harvard which makes available hundreds of award-winning documentary and feature films from around the world, has just shared the latest films they’re highlighting. Films highlighted include those of general interest as well as some that may be of special interest during Black History Month. We hope you enjoy them!
Out Run: LGBT Politics in the Philippines
As leader of the world’s only LGBT political party, Bemz Benedito dreams of being the first transgender woman in the Philippine Congress. But in a predominantly Catholic nation, rallying for LGBT representation in the halls of Congress is not an easy feat. Bemz and her eclectic team of queer political warriors must rethink traditional campaign strategies to amass support from unlikely places. Taking their equality campaign to small-town hair salons and regional beauty pageants, the activists mobilize working-class trans hairdressers and beauty queens to join the fight against their main political opponent, a homophobic evangelical preacher, and prove to the Filipino electorate that it’s time to take the rights of LGBT people seriously. But as outsiders trying to get inside the system, will they have to compromise their political ideals in order to win? Culminating on election day, Out Run provides a unique look into the challenges LGBT people face as they transition into the mainstream and fight for dignity, legitimacy, and acceptance across the globe.
Tashi’s Turbine: A Small Village in Nepal Harnesses Wind Energy
Set in the grassroots of the Himalayan mountains, TASHI’S TURBINE is an uplifting tale of a small village’s attempt to harness renewable, sustainable energy with the power of the wind. The story begins with the strong friendship between Tashi Bista and Jeevan, who journey from Kathmandu to Namdok with hopes of building a stronger Nepal, one wind turbine at a time.
Their first site, Namdok, is a humble remote village in Upper Mustang, which previously relied on sparse candlelight to power through the windy nights. As Tashi and Jeevan work with the villagers, the elements and gusty landscape bring their own set of unforeseen challenges for installing a strong wind turbine.
Lessons of Basketball and War – An African Girls Basketball Team in Oregon
What could it possibly be like to be a 13- or 14-year-old Somali refugee suddenly relocated to the US? One day you’re in a refugee camp under the blazing Kenyan sun, and the next you’re plunged into a strange country and culture you don’t understand.
How do you teach a 14-year-old algebra or American history when he or she speaks little English or has never held a pencil? To make matters worse, old tribal rivalries brought with them from Somalia could erupt into fights between the girls – the ultimate form of vengeance being the scar of a deep bite to the other girl’s face. Something had to be done, but what?
And then one morning, Principal Kevin Bacon noticed a couple of the Somali girls tossing a basketball at a basket on the school’s playground and the idea for the African Girls Basketball Team was born.
The Black Roots of Salsa: Cuban Dance and Music
In interviews, music- and dance sequences exhibit some of the most important and world famous protagonists of the cultural scene in Cuba, the conversion of Cuban Salsa, Rumba and African tradition until the present era.
The movie impresses with its proximity to protagonists. They discuss different subjects and get into details by live demonstration. They provide an overall understanding of the topic for Cuba specialists as well as interested viewers.
Titles Spotlighted for Black History Month
The Spirituals: American Spirituals, Music and Slavery
A musical art form, the American Spiritual, was born out of the folk songs of slaves. Melodies of backbreaking work were hummed, sung, and passed on throughout the Deep South over fields of cotton, greens, cowpeas, yams, rice, peanuts, and okra. Sorrow songs were used to console and transmit secret information. With defiance, sorrow, and anger, the songs traveled, after being hummed in to the ear of the next arranger.
Few of these spiritual treasure songs have survived. With a great sadness, the American Spiritual Ensemble lament the songs that have been lost forever. Songs with words and passion as vital as: Swing Low Sweet Chariot, Give me Jesus, and Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child. Just a small portion of the original songbook has survived and the ASE has a mission to nurture, teach, sing, and watch over the spirituals that have remained.
A Lot Like You: Exploring Multiracial Identity
Eliaichi Kimaro is a mixed-race, first-generation American with a Tanzanian father and Korean mother. When her parents retire and move back to Tanzania, Kimaro begins a project that examines the intricate fabric of multiracial identity, and grapples with the complex ties that children have to the cultures of their parents. Though Kimaro grew up spending every other summer in Tanzania, it isn’t until she is older and in an interracial relationship of her own that she finally grasps the importance of understanding her family’s cultural heritage.
American Experience: The Abolitionists (Part 1 of a 3-part series)
Shared beliefs about slavery bring together Angelina Grimke, the daughter of a Charleston plantation family, who moves north and becomes a public speaker against slavery; Frederick Douglass, a young slave who becomes hopeful when he hears about the abolitionists; William Lloyd Garrison, who founds the newspaper The Liberator, a powerful voice for the movement; Harriet Beecher Stowe, whose first trip to the South changes her life and her writing; and John Brown, who devotes his life to the cause. The abolitionist movement, however, is in disarray and increasing violence raises doubts about the efficacy of its pacifist tactics.
Teached: Code Oakland – African American Youth Challenge the Face of the Technology Industry
This film examines Oakland’s evolution through the eyes of social entrepreneurs determined that youth of color not be left on the sidelines as Silicon Valley spreads into the home of the second largest black community in California. Kalimah Priforce, whose first activism was a hunger strike at age eight, and Kimberly Bryant, a successful engineer turned founder of Black Girls Code, are organizing large-scale hackathons preparing youth to redesign the future through the power of coding. Joined on the national stage by #YesWeCode founder Van Jones, their work represents the cusp of a movement to change both the face and future of technology in America. But is Silicon Valley ready to be hacked?