Diversity Video Library
Click on the video titles (left) to see a summary of each video.
The Betrayal (Nerakhoon)
Publisher: The Cinema Guild, Inc.
Runtime: 96 minutes
The collateral impact of America’s secret war in Laos is reflected in the extraordinary story of one family’s struggle for survival- in Laos and later in the U.S. Filmed over the course of 23 years, The Betrayal is the directorial debut of famed cinematographer Ellen Kuras in collaboration with the film’s subject and co-director Thavisouk Phrasavath.
During the Vietnam War, the U.S. clandestinely operated in the neighboring country of Laos. By 1973 a secret air campaign had dropped more bombs on Laos than were used during WWI and WWII combined. Recruited by the CIA to work intelligence along the Ho Chi Minh Trail, Thavisouk’s father is exposed after America’s retreat and is imprisoned by the ruling Communist government. The entire family comes under suspicion and their mother is forced to raise Thavi and his nine younger siblings alone. At the age thirteen, Thavi escapes across the Mekong River to Thailand, and is joined two years later by his mother and seven of his siblings. After living in a refugee camp the family seeks asylum in America, and is soon deposited in a crowded tenement in Brooklyn. Left to their own means by the government, the family struggles to survive and stay together, pulled by two different cultures, terrorized by local gangs, and haunted by memories. Renowned for her achievement as a Director of Photography, Ellen Kuras has worked for such directors as Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Be Kind Rewind) and Spike Lee (Summer of Sam, 4 Little Girls), among many others, and is a three-time winner of the Sundance Film Festival’s prestigious Cinematography award.
A lyrical melding of memoir, cinema verite’ and historical inquiry, The Betrayal is an exquisitely crafted tale of a country and a family torn asunder, and the long and painful process of repair.
Body of War
Publisher: Docurama Films
Runtime: 87 minutes
Paralyzed from the chest down after serving in Iraq for just one week, 25-year-old Tomas Young is forced to deal with the realities of war each and every day. For Tomas, learning to cope with his disability means finding his voice to speak out against the war in Iraq.
Directed by Phil Donahue and Ellen Spiro and set to the haunting vocals of Eddie Vedder, the multi award-winning Body of War splits its time between Tomas’s arduous daily reality in Kansas City, MO, and the harrowing legislative process that led up to the invasion of Iraq in 2002. Senatorial speeches and a running tally of pro-war votes that are inter-spliced with intimate footage of Tomas as he navigates through the acute physical and emotional impacts of his injury. A testament to the power of parallel images, the film adeptly juxtaposes the sanitized vantage point of Washington with raw personal experience. In the end, this contrast forces viewers to question the motives, methods, and ever-rising cost of the conflict in Iraq.
A deeply moving and bracingly honest film, Body of War narrates a story that must be heard-a story of courage, conviction and resistance.
Publisher: Room 11 Productions
Runtime: 82 minutes
How did a group of Army women-mechanics, supply clerks, and engineers-end up fighting alongside the Marines in some of the bloodiest counterinsurgency battles of the Iraq war? Directors Meg McLagan and Daria Sommers offer an unprecedented look at the war through the eyes of the first women in the U.S. history to be sent into direct ground combat in violation of official policy. Through intimate personal stories and scenes from their lives back home, the film creates a deeply moving portrait of love, faith, duty, and solidarity.
Rabbit in the Moon
Publisher: Emiko Omori, Sundance Film Award Winner
Runtime: 85 mins
A documentary/memoir about the lingering effects of the World War II interment of the Japanese American community. Interwoven is the story of two sisters, both former internees, filmmaker Emiko Omori and writer Chizuko Omori, who questioned the absence of this vital history in their lives while searching for the memory of their mother. Includes historical footage and accounts from Japanese American who experienced interment and fought against it.
Regret to Inform
Publisher: Barbara Sonneborn and Sun Foundation Productions
Runtime: 72 mins
Regret to Inform looks at the Vietnam War through the lenses of women who lived through it, nurses, U.S. and Vietnamese widows, women who were children at the time. The video jacket reads, "...has extraordinary power and beauty. It is a personal, haunting and redemption-filled journey that will forever change the way you think about war." Our viewers agree.
Returning Veterans: Implications for Higher Education
Publisher: Magna Online Seminars – July 15, 2008
Format: DVD (Web based seminar and handouts on CD)
Runtime: 92 mins
The seminar Returning Veterans: Implications for Higher Education compares veterans from World War II, Vietnam, and the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in terms of the economic climate, political climate, survival and injury rates, the characteristics of this generations soldiers, and implications for institutions of higher education.
When We Were Kids We Went to War
Publisher: Bristol Production
Runtime: 2 hrs
When We Were Kids...We Went to War is a powerful video for the classroom that shows the personal side of war as presented by WWII Veterans and civilians in their own words and from their unique viewpoint. History books tell us the names dates and places, while these people tell us about their feelings, thoughts, and everyday lives during the war. This documentary connects today's student with the fact that history is real, and the men and women who fought the war were real people about their age when they were called into service. --from http://wwiihistoryclass.com