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Subject: Social Justice

Justice is not always easily won for exploited children, women’s struggles, civil rights, and those who fight to reconcile the inequities and right the wrongs.

Kongen av Bastøy (King of Devil's Island)

  • Director: Marius Holst
  • Release Date: 2010
  • Production Country: Norway, France, Sweden, Poland

Everyone at the Bastoy reform school has heard of the young murderer Erling even before his arrival on their bleak island, so Olav, who is about to be released for good behavior, will have nothing to do with him. But Erling refuses to merely endure the brutal conditions forced upon them, with even Olav eventually standing beside him as they lead the other boys in a unified rebellion against their oppressors.

Kozijat rog (The Goat Horn)

  • Director: Metodi Andonov
  • Release Date: 1972
  • Production Country: Bulgaria

In Ottoman Bulgaria, Maria is raised as a boy by her father, who is determined that she will help him avenge the rape and murder of her mother by Ottoman Janissaries.

L'homme sur les quais (The Man on the Shore)

  • Director: Raoul Peck
  • Release Date: 1993
  • Production Country: France, Canada, Haiti, Germany

Left behind when their parents fled 'Papa Doc' Duvalier's regime in Haiti, Sarah and her sisters are in their grandmother's keeping, as protected as they can be from the random, brutal violence of the secret police and the local police chief's vendetta against their family. But is physical safety enough to "save" them as the children cannot help but watch violence consume the adults in their lives—both victims and perpetrators?

La historia oficial (The Official Story)

  • Director: Luis Puenzo
  • Release Date: 1985
  • Production Country: Argentina

Alicia fears that her adopted daughter is the child of a desaparecido, one of the thousands of people 'disappeared' by the government in the 'Dirty War' of the late 1970s.

La Teta Asustada (The Milk of Sorrow)

  • Director: Claudia Llosa
  • Release Date: 2009
  • Production Country: Spain, Peru

Fausta's life is consumed by the fear she ingested as an infant nursing at her mother's breast. Thus, when her mother dies, Fausta must learn to live beyond her fear and interact with the rest of the world if she wishes to return her mother's body to her native village.

Malon 9 Kochavim (9 Star Hotel)

  • Director: Ido Haar
  • Release Date: 2007
  • Production Country: Israel

Palestinian workers illegally cross the border into Israel where they work on construction sites building luxury hotel suites during the day; however, at night they must retreat to their own hidden campsites in the hills, sharing food, stories, and their fears of the Israeli police and military as they try to earn enough money to feed and house their own families back home.

Meres tou '36 (Days of '36)

  • Director: Theodoros Angelopoulos
  • Release Date: 1972
  • Production Country: Greece

An assassin takes a political official hostage and exposes corruption and incompetence in the government.

Mississippi Burning

  • Director: Alan Parker
  • Release Date: 1988
  • Production Country: United States

F.B.I. agents return to a Mississippi town in order to investigate the murders of three civil rights workers in the 1960s, but, even twenty years later, find themselves facing many of the same issues and problems that led to the murders in the first place: a racist and dominant white government and law enforcement community, as well as a cowed general populace.

Moolaadé

  • Director: Ousmane Sembene
  • Release Date: 2004
  • Production Country: Senegal, France, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Morocco, Tunisia

Four young girls scheduled to undergo circumcision take refuge with Colle, the one woman in the village who refused to let her own daughter be mutilated, and are protected by the magic barrier the woman has placed across the gate to her home. The entire village comes together against Colle's defiance, determined to circumvent Colle's magic rope so they can regulate the behavior of both Colle as a wife and the girls as potential wives.

Osama

  • Director: Siddiq Barmak
  • Release Date: 2003
  • Production Country: Afghanistan, Ireland, Japan

Unemployed because she has no living male family member to escort her when in public, a widow disguises her pre-teen daughter as a boy, despite the girl's very real fears that she will be executed if she is discovered by the Taliban officials in their village—a fear that becomes all too real when she is recruited with the rest of the boys in the village to go to a school that will teach them how to be soldiers.

Podarok Stalinu (The Gift to Stalin)

  • Director: Rustem Abdrashitov
  • Release Date: 2008
  • Production Country: Kazakhstan, Russia, Poland, Israel

Taken in by an elderly Muslim man, an abandoned Jewish boy, Sashka, finds a home in his rescuer's village, where Kazakhs and deportees from Russia and Eastern Europe live side-by-side. As celebrations honoring Stalin's 70th birthday—and the Soviet Union's first nuclear tests—approach, tensions come to a head between local Soviet officials and the deportees. Ultimately, the fallout endangers both the village's future and Sashka's dreams of being reunited with his deported parents.

Pray the Devil Back to Hell

  • Director: Gini Reticker
  • Release Date: 2008
  • Production Country: United States

Their families and their country devastated by decades of civil war, a small group of women in Liberia gathered to pray for a solution. The solution: they launched an interfaith, nonviolent campaign demanding peace and justice for their nation. With nothing more than their conviction and their signature white t-shirts, Liberia's wives, daughters, mothers, and sisters forced a dictator out of power and re-established their country's democratic government.

Some Mother's Son

  • Director: Terry George
  • Release Date: 1996
  • Production Country: Ireland, United States

Two Irish mothers fight for the rights of their sons who are imprisoned for their roles in an IRA bombing. But when their sons begin a hunger strike, the women must decide which cause they support more: the cause for which their sons are risking their lives or their sons' lives.

Stonewall Uprising

  • Director: Kate Davis, David Heilbroner
  • Release Date: 2010
  • Production Country: United States

As part of a "Public Morals Squad," the police attempt a raid on the New York City gay bar the Stonewall Inn; however, they did not anticipate those in the bar and the surrounding area to fight back, leading to a full-scale riot by the local LGBT community... and the founding of the modern LGBT-rights movement.

The Day My God Died

  • Director: Andrew Levine
  • Release Date: 2003
  • Production Country: United States

Spy cameras capture the horrific lives of three little girls forced to work in the sex trade in Bombay, India.

The Devil's Miner

  • Director: Kief Davidson, Richard Ladkani
  • Release Date: 2005
  • Production Country: United States, Germany

Two young brothers believe that Christ has no power inside the infamous silver mines of Potosí where they labor to provide for their mother and younger sister; instead, they worship "Tio," the horned demon who both protects the miners and covets the silver they remove from the mountain, where conditions have changed little in the five hundred years since Conquistadors first sent Mayan conscripts into the mines without care or thought for their welfare.

The Help

  • Director: Tate Taylor
  • Release Date: 2011
  • Production Country: United States, India, United Arab Emirates

Hired to write a "household hints" column for a local paper, a young white woman, Skeeter, has to ask for help from Aibileen, one of the many African-American maids who work in the homes of local white families. The friendship awakens Skeeter to the rampant racism in Southern society and the Civil Rights movement, so she decides to write a book about Aibileen and the other maids; however, first she must convince the women to talk to her, many fearing that telling their stories will cost them their jobs and possibly endanger their families.

The Lady

  • Director: Luc Besson
  • Release Date: 2011
  • Production Country: France, United Kingdom

A British man dying of cancer struggles to find a way to keep his wife safe after the military dictatorship in her native Burma places her under house arrest while he and their children are banned from the country. Her safety is further compromised by the fact that his wife is both the daughter of a slain national hero, and a hero in her own right as the democratically elected leader of Burma.

The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till

  • Director: Keith Beauchamp
  • Release Date: 2005
  • Production Country: United States

In 1955, Emmett Till, a young black teenager from Chicago spending the summer in Mississippi, was kidnapped and brutally murdered after he reportedly flirted with a young white woman; his murder became the event that galvanized the Civil Rights Movement.

Two Spirits

  • Director: Lydia Nibley
  • Release Date: 2009
  • Production Country: United States

Murdered when he was sixteen, becoming one of the youngest hate crime victims in U. S. history, Fred Martinez identified within his native Navajo culture as nádleehí, a male-bodied person with a female nature. This young nádleehí's life and tragic death illuminate and drive a discussion about the complexities of gender identity, focusing on Navajo and other Native American cultures that have historically embraced multiple and varied genders.

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