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Your search by 'Social Issues' identified 38 films

USA 2016 9 min.

A family of Ponderai Native American hunters embarks on a controversial journey from northern Montana to Yellowstone to take part in the federal culling of 900 wild bison.

The Black Belt
USA 2016 11 min.

In 2015, the state of Alabama closed 31 DMVs across the state. Many of these closures occurred in the Black Belt, a predominantly African-American region, directly impacting voter enfranchisement in a state that requires photo IDs at the polls.

Black Head Cow
Tanzania 2016 12 min.

In a remote Maasai village in rural Tanzania, a young schoolgirl is suddenly confronted by an arranged marriage.

Boris Without Beatrice
Canada 2016 93 min.

In this modern morality tale from Canadian director Denis Côté, one-percenter Boris Malinovsky can’t fathom why his wife left her government post and retreated into silence—until an oracular stranger arrives, spouting Greek myth and forcing him to examine his own role in her despair.

Check It
USA 2016 91 min.

In 2009, three gay African-American teens started a gang to defend themselves from bullying. Today the gang called Check It is over 200 strong. This passionate documentary reveals the fabulous and fierce members of the group as they learn to channel their aggression in a more positive direction.

The Cinema Travellers
India 2016 96 min.

This tender yet unflinching documentary travels through dusty towns in India with the crews of touring cinemas, who jury-rig 35mm projectors while enticing locals into their tents with calls of “movies to touch your soul.” Their passion persists despite dwindling audiences, as most watch TV at home.

USA 2016 7 min.

Some things must die to live.

Farewell Ferris Wheel
USA 2016 70 min.

This insightful documentary examines the complex personal and political issues affecting carnival workers on visa in the US. From the hardships they endure to the battles being fought in Congress to protect them, it explores the age-old conflict between workers’ rights and economic imperatives.

Fata Morgana
China 2016 20 min.

A Chinese couple must examine their relationship's fractures—and future—after they arrive in the United States to organize the funeral rites for their only child.

Food and Shelter
Spain 2015 90 min.

This sobering, coolly depicted glimpse of life on the edge earned Juan Miguel del Castillo a nomination for Best New Director at Spain’s prestigious Goya Awards; the prize for Best Actress went to Natalia de Molina for her pitch-perfect portrayal of a single mother trapped in poverty.

Franca: Chaos and Creation
USA 2016 80 min.

Made by her son, this engrossing documentary makes sense of Franca Sozzani’s life and work as the controversial editor of Vogue Italia. Pithy commentary from Karl Lagerfeld, Baz Luhrmann and others punctuates the conversations between the filmmaker and his mother.

USA 2016 52 min.

Your average American, Gary uploads snippets of his life onto YouTube. When his family begins to spiral into debt, what they do on camera to wipe the slate clean is shocking. Director Dean Fleischer-Camp deftly edits Gary’s video footage to create a compelling narrative of modern consumerism.

A Good Wife
Serbia 2016 90 min.

Milena faces devastating choices in this unsettling drama set in Belgrade long after the Balkan War. Not only is her doctor insisting on a mammogram, but she has just come across disturbing footage of her husband’s military past. Is the façade of her comfortable family life about to crumble?

Granny's Dancing on the Table
Sweden 2015 89 min.

Hanna Sköld combines animation and live action to tell the deeply disturbing, fairy tale–like story of young Eini, who lives with her controlling father in the woods—where her only means of escape is concocting a fantasy world in which she tries to make sense of her family’s dark history.

Guantanamo's Child: Omar Khadr
Canada 2015 80 min.

Canadian-born Omar Khadr was just 15 when he was arrested in Afghanistan for killing an American soldier. After stints at Bagram and Guantanamo, he became the first juvenile to be tried for war crimes. But all is not what it appears. This riveting documentary tells his story.

Romania 2016 89 min.

Romanian director Adrian Sitaru unearths such taboo subjects as abortion and incest in this tragicomedy. Retired doctor Victor Anghelescu lives happily with his four grown children—until a polite dinner conversation takes a dark turn toward chaos, leading us to question our own moral boundaries.

USA 2016 90 min.

Shot in Jackson, Mississippi, this gripping documentary delves into the conflict between religious freedom and reproductive rights in the Deep South. As the last-standing abortion clinic in the state is threatened with closure, leaders of the pro-life and pro-choice movements come to a head.

Katie Says Goodbye
USA 2016 88 min.

This equally heartfelt and harrowing character study features a riveting central performance by Olivia Cooke (Me and Earle and the Dying Girl) as a truck-stop waitress whose plans to escape to the big city are derailed by small-town treachery.

Live Cargo
USA 2016 88 min.

A young couple returns to a small island in the Bahamas after the loss of their baby. While they struggle to start over, they find that the island harbors dark secrets all its own. Shot in stark black-and-white, this dramatic thriller explores the gray areas of human suffering.

Lupe Under the Sun
Mexico 2016 78 min.

Set in California’s sun-drenched Central Valley and inspired by the story of writer-director Rodrigo Reyes’s own grandfather, this poetic yet realistic portrait of a Mexican farmworker whose life is falling apart sheds a timely light on the lonely struggles of immigrants caught between two worlds.

NADIA COMANECI: The Gymnast and the Dictator
France 2016 56 min.

At the 1976 Montreal Olympics, 14-year-old Nadia Comaneci made history by scoring the first perfect 10 on the uneven bars. Upon returning to Communist Romania, she faced tremendous pressure to help keep her country on the map. In this documentary, the legendary gymnast tells her side of the story.

New World
Poland 2015 90 min.

Three short dramas examine the struggles of immigrants in Warsaw: Zhanna raises her daughter alone when her husband is imprisoned; Afghani nightclub worker Azzam suffers PTSD; Vera immigrates from Ukraine for a sex change only to learn she is now responsible for raising her child.

The Nine
USA 2016 98 min.

In her first documentary, photographer Katy Grannan reveals a ravaged America through her portraits of sex worker Kiki and her damaged companions, who live in the modern-day purgatory of Modesto. Grannan’s luminous visuals highlight this microcosmic study of human aspiration and resilience.

Off the Rails
USA 2016 87 min.

Darius McCollum has spent 23 years in maximum-security prison for hijacking hundreds of trains and buses—all to feed his obsession with driving them. This fascinating documentary places the story of McCollum, who has Asperger’s, within the framework of our broken justice system.

Old Stone
China 2016 80 min.

In Johnny Ma’s noir-ish debut feature, taxi driver Lao Shi runs into a motorcyclist, then saves his victim’s life by paying for his admittance to the hospital. The callous response to his compassionate act, even from those closest to him, forces him to consider dire solutions to his growing troubles

Ovarian Psycos
USA 2016 72 min.

A group of brave women of color from east Los Angeles form the heart and soul of this powerful documentary about an all-female cycling brigade. Called the Ovarian Psycos, these women take back the night, supporting each other as they attempt to heal themselves and their community.

United Kingdom 2015 99 min.

Scottish director Ben Sharrock offers a look, comedic and touching by turns, at two young lovers struggling to find privacy and consummate their relationship. But in sleepy Basque country, they’re beleaguered by the economic hardships Europe is facing.

The Promise
Germany 2016 117 min.

Masterfully weaving archival footage and new evidence, German documentary filmmakers Marcus Vetter and Karin Steinberger shed light on the convictions of Jens Soering and Elizabeth Haysom for the gruesome murder of Elizabeth’s parents in 1986.

The Queen of Ireland
Ireland 2015 86 min.

Outrageous, heartbreaking and ultimately winning, Conor Horgan’s documentary reveals how Ireland’s most famous drag queen, Panti Bliss, came into being, took on her country’s homophobic establishment and helped usher in the passing of the country’s historic referendum on gay marriage.

SEED: The Untold Story
USA 2016 94 min.

Featuring stunning time-lapse cinematography and meticulous research, this documentary shines a spotlight on the fascinating world of seeds. With 94 percent of seed diversity disappearing over the past century, the directors give a rallying cry for all concerned about environmental issues.

The Shepherd
Spain 2016 105 min.

In this timely story of one man’s struggle to preserve his traditions in a rapidly changing world, Anslemo’s quiet life on the Spanish plains is turned upside down when he’s confronted by developers who will go to any lengths to take over his land.

USA 2016 80 min.

For this insightful portrait of life in solitary confinement, documentarian Kristi Jacobson filmed prisoners, corrections officers and psychiatrists at a Virginia supermax over the course of one year. Tight camera angles and high-contrast photography emphasize the inmates’ despair and anger.

Speaking Is Difficult
USA 2016 16 min.

This film always begins in the present day. A scene of tragedy unfolds, accompanied by fear, chaos and disbelief. As it rewinds into the past, retracing our memories, it tells a cumulative history that is both unbearable and inevitable.

Lebanon 2016 21 min.

Under the imminent threat of Lebanon's garbage crisis, Hala, a wild child inside of a woman, is the only one to refuse evacuation, clinging to whatever remains of home.

The Tip of the Iceberg
Spain 2016 95 min.

Maribel Verdu (Y Tu Mamá También) leads a fine ensemble cast in David Canovas’s stylish tale of intrigue about a corporate executive sent to investigate employee suicides at a high-functioning but stress-filled company branch.

Visitor's Day
Mexico 2016 75 min.

This inspiring documentary follows Juan Carlos, a teenager who has gone from the streets to IPODERAC—a unique boys’ home in Mexico that offers its residents structure for the first time in their lives as they receive therapy and form a strong brotherhood, all while learning to make goat cheese.

Walk With Me: The Trials of Damon J. Keith
USA 2016 104 min.

Through interviews interspersed with old photos and video footage, this documentary portrait of pioneering Detroit district court judge Damon J. Keith explores his monumental rulings on civil rights, the Nixon administration and more. Along the way, a wry love story to the Motor City emerges as well

Wrestling Alligators
USA 2016 90 min.

Legalized gaming on reservations has proven an effective tool for Native Americans to achieve self-sufficiency, and its instigator was longtime Seminole chairman James E. Billie. This documentary captures Billie as he deployed charm, physical bravado and grit to assert tribal sovereignty.

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