To make a movie is to contribute to a conversation amongst filmmakers. NOW PLAYING – a multi-part series – brings this creative process to the screen, inviting some of the most thoughtful and innovative people working in movies to share their methods and their inspiration. Like AMERICA IN PRIMETIME, the Documentary Group’s series about television’s new golden age, we’ll go behind the lens to illustrate how the best movies touch hearts and leave their mark on culture.
CARTEL LAND (working title) is a classic western set in the 21st century, pitting vigilantes on both sides of the border against the vicious Mexican drug cartels. With unprecedented access, this character-driven film provokes deep questions about lawlessness, the breakdown of order, and whether it is just for citizens to take up arms to fight violence with violence.
“You have the right to remain silent.” Thanks to movies and television, it’s hard to conceive that this simple phrase hasn’t always been a part of our history. But before these words became a common staple of American culture, the Fifth Amendment’s right against self-incrimination was virtually impossible to protect.
Then came Ernesto Miranda.
In the 1970s Native American “self-determination” became official U.S. policy, allowing tribes to run their own governments. In the years since, something incredible has happened. It’s working. Native nations have seized control of their own affairs and – as a result – started to reverse the worst living conditions in the country. Produced in partnership with the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development and consulting producer, Academy-Award winner Thomas Lennon, TAKING BACK MANHATTAN will tell the dramatic stories of the people and tribes leading today’s change.
Fewer than 1% of American families include a service member, and yet we all rely on their voluntary service to protect our way of life. It has been more than a decade since the first Marines went off to Afghanistan in the wake of 9/11. Since that time 2.5 million Americans have been deployed overseas. The families left behind are also serving in ways that few outside the military community understand or appreciate. HOMEFRONT is an opportunity for all Americans to better understand what those families experience, including the motivation to serve, the challenges and opportunities of extended deployments, and the excitement and difficulties when service members return home.
In July 2004, the 9/11 Commission issued its final report with 41 recommendations to improve the security of the United States. Each recommendation was directly tied to an institutional failure that left the country vulnerable to the attacks on September 11th. Since that time, nearly all of their 41 recommendations have been implemented in whole or in part. A key exception was the one recommendation which the 9/11 Commission believed to be among the most important but also the most difficult to realize – fixing the fragmented congressional oversight of the Department of Homeland Security. HOMELAND CONFUSION examines the critical need for congressional reform and the security implications of inaction.
Search and Seizure: Mapp v. Ohio is the story of one of the most iconic cases in the history of the United States Supreme Court. The story might seem made for TV – after all, it’s got a bomb, gambling, a world famous boxing promoter, a determined heroine and a cop who breaks the rules when they get in his way – but to people that study the Constitution, what makes Mapp v. Ohio really exciting is the 4th Amendment.
Girl Rising is a groundbreaking film and the centerpiece of the global action campaign for girls’ education. We use the power of storytelling, leveraged through partnerships, to share the simple truth that educating and investing in girls can transform families, communities and entire countries for generations.