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CATEGORY: Beyond the Films

This Couple Finds Answers for Adopted Daughters From China

Brian and Long Lan Stuy are a Utah couple who have adopted three daughters from China: Meikina from DianBai, Meigon from Guangzhou, and Meilan from Luoyang. After discovering that documentation for one of their adopted children was fake, Brian and his wife created their home-based company Research-China, with the mission of reuniting adopted children with … READ MORE

“Is Attraction Different in the Absence of Sight?”

By  Kemberlie Spivey Australian-born independent filmmaker Patricia Zagarella has been creating documentaries for over ten years and co-produced the Emmy-award winning documentary Baring It All. That film followed fashion photographer David Jay into the worlds of four young breast cancer survivors, exploring their journeys as they were photographed for the SCAR Project. Patricia made her … READ MORE

A Flood of Myths and Stories

By Lennlee Keep We Believe in Dinosaurs is an exploration of the scientific and historical veracity of the Bible and the construction of an authentic likeness of Noah’s Ark in Williamstown, Kentucky.  Known as “The Ark Encounter,” this theme park explores the Judeo-Christian story of the wrath of God, a great flood, and the repopulation … READ MORE

Religion, Science and Belief: Unearthing the Thorny Intersection

Filmmakers Monica Long Ross and Clayton Brown have long been fascinated by how science and culture mix–or don’t mix–in America. In short, that relationship is complicated.  They directed and produced the award-winning documentaries The Atom Smashers (which aired on Independent Lens), which was about the search for the Higgs boson particle, and The Believers, the … READ MORE

The One-Child Policy Legacy on Women and Relationships in China

By Kristal Sotamayor The one-child policy was introduced to China in 1979, written into the national constitution in 1982, and subsequently ended in 2015. Over the 36 years of the policy, entire generations have been marked by the effects of the state’s control on women’s reproductive rights. The films One Child Nation and Leftover Women both … READ MORE

From Race Riots to Rainbow Coalitions and Heatwaves: Chicago Activism on Racial and Economic Justice

It would be foolhardy to try to succinctly sum up the political history of one of America’s most historically politically complicated cities–Chicago–in one sweeping post. Rather, consider this a basic primer of touchstones that connect some key dots, with recommendations for ways to learn more, as you think about the histories presented in two essentially … READ MORE

Mush! One Day in the Life of a Dogsledder

By Blair Braverman Writer and dogsled racer Blair Braverman, who spent two summers working as a dogsled guide on a glacier in Alaska, also wrote the acclaimed book Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube, which was a memoir of her childhood and northern adventures that the NY Times called a “stunning and sharp first book”; … READ MORE

For Tribal Communities, Battle Over Land Is Nothing New

By Jordan Dresser Sometimes, two people can look out of the same window and see two very different things.  This outlook sprang to my mind while watching Treva Wurmfeld’s Conscience Point, which tells the story of the Shinnecock Indian Nation’s fight to preserve and protect the land they call home in Long Island, New York. Relocated to … READ MORE

How the Burning of the Bronx Led to the Birth of Hip-Hop

Joshua Jelly-Schapiro, a geographer and writer who co-edited, with Rebecca Solnit, the remarkable, fascinating book Nonstop Metropolis: A New York City Atlas, helped us create a playlist to accompany both Decade of Fire and a key map in his book: “Burning Down and Rising Up: The Bronx in the 1970s.” That map puts a geographic spin on … READ MORE

“A Scene I’ll Never Forget.” Filmmaker Intimately Captures Surrogacy Journey in Boise

Emmy and Peabody-winning producer/director Beth Aala has gone from a Pool Party (her first film as director) filled with amazing music, the story of how a swimming pool became the center of a music scene in Brooklyn, to co-directing (with actor Mike Myers) Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon, a portrayal of a legendary talent agent, to tracking an … READ MORE