Media Catalogue: Social Documentary

AIDS: Plague, Panic, and the Test of Human Values

Video: DVD, color; 30 minutes
The Maine Humanities Council held a conference in May 1987 to explore the way societies have responded to grave threats to the public health. Condensed in this videotape are highlights of the conference’s discussions led by scholars, health and community leaders, and public officials concerning the public alarm, private fears, and rising tide of policy proposals surrounding AIDS. Among those featured are writer and critic Susan Sontag and David Herlihy, professor of history, Brown University. Copyright 1988.
Producer: Maine Humanities Council
Editor: Polly Wilkinson

*American Utopia
Video: DVD, color; 60 minutes
A chronology of the controversial yet relatively successful utopian community Llano del Rio from its origins in California to its 22year stay in west central Louisiana. The documentary explores the relationship between populist Louisiana farmers and their new neighbors in the cooperative. Copyright 1994.
Producer: Louisiana Public Television
Director: Beverly Lewis

*Backlash: Race and the American Dream
Video: DVD, color; 60 minutes
Through indepth interviews, this documentary explores the resurgence of racism in politics across America, focusing on Louisiana and the political platform of David Duke. Examined are Duke supporters’ fears that they are no longer part of the American Dream, while Duke’s critics explain how he uses minorities and the poor to inflame and manipulate voters. Copyright 1991.
Producer: Louisiana Public Broadcasting
Director: Bess Carrick

*Louisiana Health Care
Video: DVD, color; 15 minutes
A stillphoto with voiceover documentary that explores the historical and ethical roots of the Charity heath care system. Discussion of the status of Louisiana health care in the late 1980s is presented. Copyright 1987.
Producer: League of Women Voters of Louisiana
Director: Robin Rothrock

*Louisiana Story: The Reverse Angle
Video: DVD, color; 60 minutes
A look back at the making of Robert Flaherty’s groundbreaking 1940s documentary Louisiana Storywhich was a social and political commentary of the industrialization of Acadiana. The film explores the legacy of the original movie by interviewing key participants including J.C. Boudreaux, the once emblematic Cajun boy who personified Flaherty’s optimistic vision along with legendary cinematographer and producer Richard Leacock and folklorist Barry Jean Ancelet. The film includes award winning narration and musical score.
Producer: Louisiana Public Broadcasting
Directors: Tika Laudun and C.E. Richard

*Men of the Ring: Boxing Legends of New Orleans
Video: DVD, color; 60 minutes
This film traces the development of professional boxing in New Orleans from the late 19th-century, when the city became the capital of American prizefighting, through the 1960s, when its prominence in the boxing world faded to obscurity. Men who helped establish boxing’s fame and shame are introduced, and an assessment of the sport’s place in New Orleans’ political, social, racial, economic, and criminal arenas is presented. Copyright 1989.
Producer: WLAETV, New Orleans
Director: Kathleen Mulvihill

*Our Land Too
Video: DVD, color; 57 minutes
A film documentary of the development of the sharecroppers’ union founded by H.L. Mitchell in the rural South of the 1930s. The lives of small farmers, strawberry growers, dairymen, fishermen, and sugarcane plantation workers are portrayed in this multistate project. Copyright 1987.
Producer: Landon McCrary, Southern Tenant Farmers Union
Director: KPI Kudzu Film and Video Productions

*Portraits of Aging
Video: DVD, color; 42 minutes
Accept life as it comes, says a retired man who spends much of his time raising and caring for bees. He is one of eight individuals in this upbeat video who are facing the last quarter of their lives with hope, courage, imagination, love, and a sense of friendship. The perceptions of an aging female narrator are cleverly mixed with glimpses into these eight lives. The retirees range from a philosopher busy on a new book, to an expro ball player, to a woman with artificial knees who learns to dance again. A touching portrait of triumph suitable for all ages and all groups. Don’t ever say you can’t, says one character in this rare view into the rich possibilities of aging. Copyright 1978.
Producer: Fred W. Miller
Director: Bill Wadsworth

*To the Best of Our Abilities
Video: DVD, color; 28 minutes
The opening of Benjamin Franklin High School in New Orleans was an early attempt to offer gifted youngsters an environment in which their natural and cultural talents could flourish to the best of their abilities. Via interviews with several graduates, this video returns to Benjamin Franklin a decade later to determine whether success or failure has marked this grand experiment’s efforts to surpass the pedagogical abilities of other public schools. Copyright 1984.
Producer/Director: Fred Schultz

*Funding provided by the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities.