Pax Christi past film offerings

PAX CHRISTI FILM SERIES, 2011

 July 10 BONHOEFFER 
This poignant documentary traces the life of German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who was one of the first to speak up against Adolf Hitler during Hitler's rise to power. Bonhoeffer organized the Confessing Church, the only structured revolt against Hitler, and turned to his roots as a devout Christian for the strength to take a political stand for Jews everywhere.

 

August 7  COUNTDOWN TO ZERO
Traces the history of the atomic bomb from its origins to the present state of global affairs, with the world held in a delicate balance that could be shattered by an act of terrorism, failed diplomacy, or a simple accident. Written and directed by acclaimed documentarian Lucy Walker.

 

September 11  WETBACK: THE UNDOCUMENTED DOCUMENTARY
Two friends travel over land from Nicaragua, across multiple borders to the U.S. On the journey they face gangs, assailants, thieves, and a ride on the infamous “train of death.”

 

October 9  FRONTLINE: DEATH BY FIRE
Cameron Todd Willingham was executed in 2004 for allegedly setting a fire that killed his three children in 1991. The arson investigation used to convict him was questioned by leading experts before Willingham was executed. Since 2004, further evidence in the case has led to the inescapable conclusion that Willingham did not set the fire.

 

November 13  OF GODS AND MEN
Under threat by terrorists, a group of Trappist monks stationed with an impoverished Algerian community must decide whether to leave or stay.

 

December 11   WHERE LOVE IS 
Tells the inspirational story of the Capuchin Soup Kitchen, which has been faithfully serving the poor of Detroit since 1929. Stories of faith from places of deep pain emerge like beams of light piercing through immense obstacles.


Pax Christi Film Series 2012

April 15 
GASLAND
Hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” is a modern method of extracting natural gas by forcing a mixture of water and sand down a gas well to create fractures in the rock and thus release more gas.  Is fracking safe?  A cross-country odyssey by filmmaker Josh Fox  has given us a film described as “part verité travelogue, part exposé, part mystery, part bluegrass banjo meltdown, part showdown.”  This is our film for Earth Month. 
 
May 6         
AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: THE TRIANGLE FIRE
As seen on PBS. This film chronicles the 1911 fire that tore through the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York City killing one hundred and forty-eight young women and forever changed the relationship between labor and industry in the United States. A relationship that is still in question today as Americans re-examine the balance between the welfare of citizens and the motivations of global capitalism.   Clips from a similar tragedy in Bangladesh just three months short of the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Fire will help shed light on our discussion.

June 10 
INSIDE JOB
“An angry, well-argued documentary about how the American financial industry set out deliberately to defraud the ordinary American investor. The crucial error was to allow financial institutions to trade on their own behalf. Today, many large trading banks are betting against their own customers.” (Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times)

                                                                                                        Pax Christi Film Series 2013
January 13 
ENCOUNTER POINT
Tells the story of Israelis and Palestinians who sacrifice their safety, public standing, and homes in order to press for a grassroots movement for nonviolence and peace. 
 
February 10 
THE UNTOLD STORY OF EMMETT LOUIS TILL
This groundbreaking film is the result of a 10-year journey to uncover the truth behind the nightmarish murder of an innocent African-American teenager in Mississippi in 1955.
 
March 10
ROSES IN DECEMBER 
A compassionate look at the life of Jean Donovan, a Central American missionary who was brutally murdered along with three American nuns (Dorothy Kazel, Maura Clarke, Ita Ford) in El Salvador in 1980, this film is also an indictment of U.S. foreign policy in that area of the world.  
 
April 14 
AWAKENING THE DREAMER, CHANGING THE DREAM 
This program explores and generates action in fulfillment of the following vision: To bring forth an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling, and socially just human presence on Planet Earth.
 
May 19 (third Sunday)
THE END OF POVERTY 
“A powerful description of how Western policies since colonialism have subjugated Third World countries.” (Charles Masters, The Hollywood Reporter). 

June 9 
HIDDEN BATTLES 
A dramatic and deeply personal film about the psychological impact of killing on the lives of five soldiers. 

July 14, 2013 
INCIDENT AT OGLALA: THE LEONARD PELTIER STORY 
Documentary, narrated by Robert Redford, about violent events in 1975 on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Leonard Peltier, a Sioux political leader, got blamed for several deaths and has spent years in prison. This film is persuasive in its detail and its case against brutal federal policies toward Native Americans. 89 minutes.
 
August 11, 2013
WHITE LIGHT, BLACK RAIN: THE DESTRUCTION OF HIROSHIMA AND NAGASAKI 
Focuses on a few survivors of the 1945 atomic bomb attacks. Includes graphic footage shot by an American military film crew in Hiroshima and Nagasaki shortly after the bombings—and kept from the press and public for decades. 86 minutes. 
 
September 15, 2013 
ROMÁNTICO 
This film helps sensitize viewers to the dignity of undocumented workers and the hardships they face. It’s about a Mexican musician who leaves San Francisco to return home to his family after years playing in taquerías and bars. Once he arrives home, he is confronted with the struggles and poverty wages that led to his first border crossing. 80 minutes.
 
October 13 , 2013
THE CENTRAL PARK FIVE
“This new film from award-winning filmmaker Ken Burns tells the story of the five black and Latino teenagers from Harlem who were wrongly convicted of raping a white woman in New York City’s Central Park in 1989. The film chronicles the Central Park Jogger case, for the first time from the perspective of these five teenagers whose lives were upended by this miscarriage of justice. This DVD features subtitles in English.” (Amazon) 119 minutes.
 
November 10, 2013
BLUE GOLD: WORLD WATER WARS
Tells the story of how water is being hijacked by wealthy corporations for profit and reveals how this issue effects everyone in the world. 90 minutes. 
 
December 8, 2013
WHO IS POPE FRANCIS? 
This new documentary film gives an overview into the life, thought and work of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, formerly Archbishop of Buenos Aires and now Pope Francis.  45 minutes.


Pax Christi Film Series 2014

January 12, 2014  (second Sunday)
THINK PEACE: PORTRAIT OF A 21st CENTURY MOVEMENT 
The largest peace rally in human history occurred in February 2003—but it did not stop the U.S. invasion of Iraq. What is the “peace movement” doing wrong?

 

February 9, 2014 (second Sunday)
BROTHER OUTSIDER: THE LIFE OF BAYARD RUSTIN 
Bayard Rustin, an African-American Quaker activist, was a key figure in organizing the March on Washington in 1963 and has been described as the unknown hero of the civil rights movement. This award-winning documentary explores his life and work.

 

March 2, 2014  (first Sunday) 
MADE IN L.A. / HECHO EN LOS ANGELES 
The story of three Latina immigrants working in Los Angeles sweatshops and their struggle to win basic labor protections. “Compelling, humorous, deeply human” (IMDb review).

 

April 6, 2014 (first Sunday)  
GENETIC ROULETTE: THE GAMBLE OF OUR LIVES 
This film presents “never-before-seen evidence” that genetically engineered foods are a major contributor to rising disease rates in the United States.

 

May 4, 2014 (first Sunday) 
HARVEST OF LONELINESS 
From 1942 to 1964, the Bracero Program recruited Mexican farm workers for temporary work 
in the United States. The pay was low and working conditions often unsatisfactory. This film features testimony by surviving braceros and family members and sheds light on present-day discussions of immigration reform and the use of guest workers.

 

June 8, 2014 (second Sunday) 
UNMANNED: AMERICA’S DRONE WARS
“This documentary focuses on drone operators, on several cases of innocent people assassinated by drones, and on the reactions to these killings, especially in Pakistan. As long as this murder campaign goes on the prestige of the US will shrink even more in the eyes of the world and legions of mortal enemies of our country will be created.” (IMDb review)


July 13, 2014

INEQUALITY FOR ALL 

A documentary film about income inequality, public policy, and economics. A passionate argument on behalf of the middle class. Robert Reich, former Labor Secretary, demonstrates how the widening income gap has a devastating impact on the U.S. economy.


August 10, 2014

WAR MADE EASY: HOW PRESIDENTS & PUNDITS KEEP SPINNING US TO DEATH

Based on a book by the same title by Norman Solomon, this film is an insightful analysis of the strategies used by Democratic and Republican administrations to promote their agendas for war.

It familiarizes viewers with the techniques of war propaganda and encourages critical thinking.


September 14, 2014

THE INCONVENIENT TRUTH BEHIND “WAITING FOR SUPERMAN”

This documentary, produced by the Grassroots Education Movement, severely criticizes Davis Guggenheim’s 2010 film, “Waiting for Superman.” A group of New York City public school teachers and parents believe that Guggenheim’s film—with its emphasis on charter schools, standardized tests, and free-market competition—is highly misleading. Their real-life experiences have convinced them of the need for reforms such as small class sizes; more teaching, less testing; parent and teacher empowerment; culturally relevant curriculum.... In all, they propose ten major reforms to the public school system.


October 12, 2014

INTO THE ABYSS

Through conversations with Texas death-row inmate Michael Perry and with persons affected by his crime, filmmaker Werner Herzog explores the question of why people kill and why a state kills. He describes the result as “a gaze into the abyss of the human soul.”


November 9, 2014

A PLACE AT THE TABLE

The film highlights several different families and how they struggle to make ends meet while trying to provide for their loved ones. “Forcefully makes the case that hunger has serious economic, social and cultural implications for the nation.” (Julie Makinen, Los Angeles Times)


December 14, 2014
PEACE LIKE A RIVER 
The 1993 Parliament of World's Religions was organized to celebrate, explore and reflect on the ways in which the world's religions could confront the problems that threaten humanity. This film, narrated by Academy Award winner Ellen Burstyn, tells the story of that extraordinary event. Featured speakers include the Dalai Lama, Hans Kung, Charlotte Black Elk, Thich Nhat Hanh, many others.


PAX CHRISTI FILM SERIES 2015


January 11  (second Sunday)
WAGING PEACE: MUSLIM AND CHRISTIAN ALTERNATIVES
This hour-long documentary takes a serious look at the distrust and animosity that exists between Christians and Muslims. It also shows persons in those faith communities learning to understand one another and work together. The film's goal is to nurture an atmosphere for building a more peaceful future. 

 

February 8  (second Sunday)
LET THE FIRE BURN 
Using only archival news coverage and interviews, the filmmaker has brought to life a tumultuous, and largely forgotten, clash between government and citizens.  A longtime feud between the city of Philadelphia and the  controversial Black Power group MOVE came to a deadly climax on May 13, 1985, when police dropped military-grade explosives onto a house occupied  by MOVE. This  resulted in the deaths of eleven people, including five children, and the destruction of 61 homes. 

 

March 8  (second Sunday)
THEY KILLED SISTER DOROTHY 
“A riveting courtroom drama set against the combustible backdrop of the decimated rain forest.” (Austin Chronicle)  At the mouth of the Amazon River, a murder trial is taking place. The events that led to the death of  Sister Dorothy Stang, a 73-year-old Catholic nun, and the trials that follow reveal the larger battle being fought for the future of the rainforest. This gripping documentary follows the real-life drama at the trials of Dorothy's killers, while exploring the conflicts in the Amazon that led to that fateful day. Winner of several awards.

 

April 12  (second Sunday)
BIDDER 70
"A shocking look at how far the energy industry and the government will go to crush just one voice." (Michael Moore) In 2008, a young man disrupts a controversial Bureau of Land Management oil and gas leasing auction by posing as a bidder (#70) and bidding $1.7 million to win 22,000 acres of land he has no intention of paying for or drilling on. For his courageous act, he is sentenced to two years in prison . The story is told in a wider context of citizen action and the history of peaceful civil disobedience.

 

May 17  (third Sunday)
THE LINE: POVERTY IN AMERICA
This intriguing documentary tells the stories of people across the country living at or below the poverty line. They are from diverse backgrounds and represent some of the faces of poverty in America. The film also shows how faith-based organizations can make a difference through compassion, creativity, and entrepreneurship.

 

June 14  (second Sunday)
SOPHIE SCHOLL: THE FINAL DAYS
Focusing on not just how evil the Nazis were but also on how some people non-violently stood up to them, this film re-creates the last six days of Sophie Scholl's life: arrest, interrogation, trial, sentencing. Julia Jentsch gives a luminous performance as Germany's most famous anti-Nazi heroine.


Sunday, July 12  
ONE FOR TEN        
Two young British filmmakers traveled around the United States to make this documentary about ten innocent persons who were sentenced to death but later exonerated. Each exoneree tells his or her story. The result is a powerful exposé of flaws in our criminal justice system.
 
Sunday, August 9  
THE FORGOTTEN BOMB       
Filmmaker Bud Ryan looks at various perspectives on nuclear weapons through interviews with bomb survivors, visits to Japanese peace museums, and a visit to the place that gave birth to the atomic bomb.
 
September 13 
WHICH WAY HOME     
Migrants from around Mexico and Central America risk everything for the chance of a better life. Which Way Home follows the adventures of several unaccompanied children on their trek to the U.S. border.
 
October 11          
TRIGGER: THE RIPPLE EFFECT OF GUN VIOLENCE
"Why did this happen to us?”  After looking at the effects of shootings upon individuals, families, and communities, this film addresses the question: What can we do to prevent gun violence?
 
November 8          
THE POWER OF NIGHTMARES: THE RISE OF THE POLITICS OF FEAR
This film explores what seem to be parallels between Islamic fundamentalism in the Middle East and Neoconservatism in the United States. It ends with a presentation of Al Qaeda and the war on terror as a distorted projection of the struggle of Good to overcome Evil.
 

December 13 - DOUBLE FEATURE
1) Pax Christi USA: A Journey of Faith and Hope
Introduce your friends, family, or parish to Pax Christi USA! This movie uses video and stills of Pax Christi events to explore the roots and history and ideals of Pax Christi USA.
 
2) Cite Soleil: Sun, Dust, and Hope

This is the story of a peace education program started in 2007 by Pax Christi Port-au-Prince. It shows Haitians promoting active nonviolence in one of the most marginalized places in the Western hemisphere.  

Meaningful Movies 2016


January 10 -  A UNIVERSAL APPROACH TO PEACE
“The Dalai Lama speaks simply about deep issues. Peace in its multi-layered complexity isn't just stopping violence on our planet. Slowly, gently we are led to the deepest meanings of peace in our individual and collective minds and hearts.” (From an Amazon.com customer review)
 
February 14 - THE BLACK POWER MIXTAPE, 1967-1975
The media often portrayed the Black Panther Party as a bunch of gun-toting militants, but in The Black Power Mixtape we see Black Panthers running community schools, serving free breakfasts, and teaching self-defense. The film combines music, never-before-seen footage by a group of Swedish journalists, and audio interviews with artists, activists, musicians and scholars.
 
March 13 - THE POWER OF FORGIVENESS
Research into the psychological and physical effects of forgiveness is the basis for this popular  documentary film made for national public television. It includes segments on the Amish, the 9/11 tragedy, and peace-building in Northern Ireland, along with interviews with Thich Nhat Hanh, Elie Wiesel, Marianne Williamson, and others. The film also explores the role of forgiveness in various faith  traditions.
 
April 10 - ORIGINS
Humans once lived symbiotically with our environment, but that’s all changed. We’ve become disconnected from the natural world. This is what prompted Dr. Pedram Shojai  to look for ways  to reclaim the health of our planet. This film, from Friends of the Earth, shows how to combine natural practices from past generations with modern-day living, how to take back the power to determine our quality of life, how to make improvements to the world around us.
 
May 15 - THE TAKE: OCCUPY, RESIST & PRODUCE
“Using the recuperated Forja factory as a microcosm of the larger Argentine piquetero movement, author Naomi Klein and director Avi Lewis have done a brilliant job documenting the grassroots activism of marginalized workers in the wake of Argentina's dramatic economic collapse caused by years of IMF/World Bank structural adjustment programs and the corrupt presidency of Carlos Menem. Faced with abject poverty and state repression, the unemployed auto-parts workers of the Forja factory have occupied their abandoned workplace and transformed it into a successful cooperative, proving thus the power of labor solidarity.” (From an Amazon.com customer review 
 
June 12 - TANGERINES
“A tangerine harvest may seem a strange vehicle to use as the backdrop to this Oscar-nominated film about the pity and the futility of war, but it carries perfectly a story that combines beauty of landscape with random and savage violence, the quiet depths of human compassion with brainless thuggery, wry irony and a series of unnoticed tragedies amid a largely ignored war.” (Thinking Faith, the online journal of the Jesuits in Britain)

Sunday, July 10, 2016
HOW TO SURVIVE A PLAGUE
This is the story of some young activists and their struggle to turn AIDS from a death sentence into a manageable condition. Without scientific training, they still were able to help identify promising new drugs, get the attention of unresponsive government leaders, and shorten the time it took to get the drugs into the hands of AIDS patients. 
Film includes interviews with activists, physicians, and others, along with clips of protests, meetings, and news coverage.


Sunday, August 14, 2016 

NUCLEAR 911: BROKEN ARROWS, ACCIDENTS & INCIDENTS 
There have been a lot more “broken arrows”—a phrase the U.S. government uses to refer to accidents involving nuclear weapons—than the public realizes, and some of these misfortunes have come close to wiping out millions of people. This film portrays real events, using a combination of news footage and archival footage, interviews with participants in some of the accidents, narration by Adam West, and details spoken by a former Department of Energy spokesman.


Sunday, September 11, 2016
THE GHOSTS OF JEJU 
A shocking documentary about the struggles of the people of Jeju Island, South Korea—both after World War II, against the U.S. backed military government of Korea, and now again, against the construction of a massive U.S. naval base that will destroy their 400-year-old village and its rich natural environment. The indomitable spirit of the villagers and their supporters will inspire and motivate everyone who believes there is a better way to live together on this planet.


Sunday, October 9, 2016
GUNNED DOWN: THE POWER OF THE N.R.A. 

An investigation into the National Rifle Association and how it consistently manages to defeat new gun-control legislation. Featuring voices on both sides of the gun-regulation debate, the film provides an understanding of how the NRA evolved from a group of gun enthusiasts and sportsmen to a powerful lobbying force.


Sunday, November 13, 2016 
CITIZEN KOCH
"One of the most entertaining documentaries I've seen,” declares one Internet Movie Database user, who goes on to say: “Sadly, it happens to be about the real and tragic theft of power from the 99% into the hands of an unscrupulous, greedy bunch of millionaires." But on the same page, another reviewer says: "No one with a shred of critical thinking skills that has ever read the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution could defend this insipid propaganda." Watch the movie and decide for yourself.


Sunday, December 11, 2016
THE SINGING REVOLUTION
In 1986, crowds of Estonians began to gather in public places to sing illegal patriotic songs, declaring their desire for national independence but never resorting to violence. Estonia later became one of the first nations to break away from the Soviet Union.