Past Film Series

2011 2010 2009
2007 2006 2005 2004 2003
Globalization Environment Peace & Justice Media Control & Literacy
Affluenza Gone Tomorrow: Hidden Life of Garbage Devil's Miner Channels of War: The Media is the Military
Darwin’s Nightmare The Real Dirt on Farmer John Wetback I'm Sorry I was Right
In Whose Interest Vanishing Ice The Real Face of Occupation Street Fight
T-Shirt Travels Next Industrial Revolution Dance of Death Media That Matters: Sixth Annual Film Festival
Buyer Be Fair: The Promise of Product Certification Ecological Footprint Art of Resistance
An Inconvenient Truth Erasing Memory: Cultural Destruction of Iraq
National Insecurities
The World Says No to War
Standing With the Women of Iraq
Empire and Oil
Globalization at Gunpoint: The Economics of Occupation
Resistance at Home
Iraq For Sale: The War Profiteers


January 20, 2006: Affluenza Americans, who make up only five percent of the world's population, use nearly a third of its resources and produce almost half of its hazardous waste. Add overwork, personal stress, the erosion of family and community, skyrocketing debt, and the growing gap between rich and poor, and it's easy to understand why some people say that the American Dream is no bargain. Many are opting out of the consumer chase, redefining the Dream, and making "voluntary simplicity" the in-thing. (56 min, 1997)

Affluenza - . "An unsustainable addiction to economic growth"

Feb 3, 2006:  Darwin’s Nightmare During the 60s a new fish was introduced into Lake Victoria. Voraciously predatory, the Nile Perch, multiplied rapidly, killing off almost the entire stock of native fish. Now the Nile Perch is exported all around the world, whilst the lakeside villagers who are completely dependent on the fishing industry for their living are too impoverished to afford to eat it. Hubert Sauper's incisive documentary is a damning analysis of the global economic and political interests at play in one of Africa's most beautiful and fertile regions: the huge ex-Soviet cargo planes which fly in to load up with fish arrive packed with Kalishnikovs and ammunition for the uncounted wars in the dark center of the continent. This booming multinational industry of fish and weapons has created an ungodly globalized alliance on the shores of the world’s biggest tropical lake: an army of local fishermen, World bank agents, homeless children, African ministers, EU-commissioners, Tanzanian prostitutes and Russian pilots. (107 min, 2004)

Sarah Dotlich, Africa Program Director at IDEX will speak and lead a discussion after the film.

May 26, 2006: In Whose Interest Leads us on an eye-opening journey, questioning the effects of U.S. foreign policy over the past 50 years, revealing a pattern of intervention, the film focuses on Guatemala, Vietnam, East Timor, El Salvador, and Palestine/Israel. Archival footage, photographs and media tidbits are dynamically interwoven with personal eye-witness accounts and commentary from academics -- such as Noam Chomsky -- religious leaders and politicians. (27 min, 2002)

Paul George, Executive Director of Peninsula Peace and Justice Center will speak and lead a discussion after the film.

April 7, 2006: T-Shirt Travels What happens to all those old clothes you bring to the Salvation Army or Goodwill Industries? Focusing on Zambia, this journey investigates the second hand clothes business, how it plays a devastating role in the economy and seeks to understand the growing inequalities that exist between the first and third world. The film draws connections between the history of colonialism, slavery, depletion of Africa’s natural resources and the current huge debt and IMF/World Bank structural adjustment policies resulting in terrible suffering from malnutrition, poor healthcare, inadequate schools and a crumbling infra-structure. (57 min, 2001)

December 8, 2006:   Buyer Be Fair: The Promise of Product Certification  takes viewers to Mexico, the Netherlands, the UK, Sweden, the USA and Canada to explore how conscious consumers and businesses can use the market to promote social justice and environmental sustainability through product labeling, with a focus on Fair Trade coffee and Forest Stewardship Council certified wood.  The Seattle WTO meetings and other trade gatherings have stirred powerful sentiment against globalization, but world trade is a juggernaut that will not be stopped. Still, is there a way to make free trade FAIR? How can retailers and consumers use their purchasing power and market choice to make the world better for people and the environment? What is the promise of product certification and labeling? And how do consumers decide whether the labels can be believed?  (57 mins, 2006)


Feb 24, 2006: Gone Tomorrow: Hidden Life of Garbage The film explores the history and politics of garbage, a substance both hidden and omnipresent. In 2003, each American dumped 1,600 pounds of refuse, and our mountains of trash get bigger every year. The documentary excavates the history of garbage handling from the 1800s to the post-WWII golden era of consumption and up through the contradictions of modern day recycling. Using interviews, scenes from massive dumps, and an array of obscure and beautiful archival footage, this film uncovers the links between modern industrial production, consumer culture, and our disposable lifestyle. (19 min, 2004)

March 24, 2006: The Real Dirt on Farmer John is a documentary about John Peterson, a farmer, artist, and revolutionary innovative thinker cast in rural Illinois. The film captures the rise and fall of the Peterson family farm and its resurrection through John’s courage to build a new form of community. Castigated as a pariah in his community, John bravely resurrects his farm amidst a failing economy, vicious rumors, and arson. Against all odds, eccentric Peterson abandons conventional chemical farming and fights local hysteria to create a bastion of free expression and alternative agriculture in the center of rural America. (82 min, 2005)

Feb 24, 2006: Vanishing Ice The world's glaciers are melting at an unprecedented rate, diminishing the earth's fresh water supply and threatening to kill millions in the next few decades. Stunning images of Alberta's ice fields and interviews with activists sound an urgent call for conservation. (19 min, 2005)

Eugene Cordero, professor at San Jose State University, Michael Murray, Research Associate at Global Footprint Network and Heidi Melander, President, Northern California Recycling Association will speak and lead a discussion after the film.

April 28, 2006: Next Industrial Revolution Architect Bill McDonough and chemist Michael Braungart bring together ecology and human design, taking nature itself as our guide for reinventing technical enterprises to be as safe and ever-renewing as natural processes. They work with corporations with over half a trillion dollars in annual sales, companies like Ford and Nike, to redesign buildings, processes, and products to work according to nature's rules. Using the stories of five projects that represent a revolutionary change in the direction of the human economy, the film inspires people to reconsider their current efforts for the environment, reinvent their businesses and institutions to work with nature and redefine themselves as consumers, producers, and citizens to promote a new sustainable relationship with the Earth. (55 min, 2001)

“One of the most informative, brilliant and hopeful films about the transformation of industrial and economic activities that will lead to a healthy, just, socially stable and environmentally sustaining society for all current and future generations.”

Feb 24, 2006: Ecological Footprint Humans are the most successful species on the planet. But our growing economy is placing unprecedented demand on the planet's limited ecological resources. In the film, Dr. Mathis Wackernagel, co-creator of the Ecological Footprint introduces the Ecological Footprint, a resource accounting tool that measures human demand on the Earth. In just thirty minutes, the film paints a picture of our current global situation: for the first time, humanity is in "ecological overshoot" with annual demand on resources exceeding what Earth can regenerate each year. (30 min, 2005)

October 6, 2006: An Inconvenient Truth Humanity is sitting on a ticking time bomb. If the vast majority of the world's scientists are right, we have just ten years to avert a major catastrophe that could send our entire planet into a tail-spin of epic destruction involving extreme weather, floods, droughts, epidemics and killer heat waves beyond anything we have ever experienced.  Al Gore does a great job in exposing the truths and misconceptions behind global warming and with bracing facts and future predictions shows that we are reaching a tipping point leading to catastrophic environmental change.  (100 mins, 2006)

Eugene Cordero, professor in the Meteorology Department at San Jose State University will lead a discussion after the film.  Dr. Cordero's research focuses on global climate change, ozone depletion and atmospheric dynamics.

Peace & Justice

May 26, 2006:I’m Sorry I was Right - One of the most fascinating characters in 20th-century Minnesota history--former Sen. Eugene McCarthy, best known for his impassioned 1968 campaign against the Vietnam War--is the subject of this half-hour documentary. Here's a politician whose age, experience, and background encourage him to raise his voice against the dangerous control of corporate media, the unlimited power of the military-industrial complex, and the injustice of tax breaks for the wealthy. (30 min, 2004)

May 12, 2006:Devil's Miner - This is a film that, once seen, is almost impossible to forget. With its striking images of mountains and sky contrasted to claustrophobic mine shafts, The Devil's Miner tells us that 800 children work shoulder-to-shoulder with dark-faced men (life expectancy: 35 to 40) in the silver mines of Cerro Rico, Bolivia. The film take us on a journey through hell under the earth, where God does not set foot and where Satan is worshipped as king. Basilio Vargas, the 14-year-old hero is called Papa by his younger siblings because he is the family's breadwinner. He was a fatherless 12-year-old when he started working in the mines. His classmates at school insult him for working in the mines, but he toughs it out because he knows getting an education is the only way to get out of hell. The film leaves a lot to think about, above all a feeling of outrage at the fate of these children. (2005, 82 mins)

Paul George, Executive Director of Peninsula Peace and Justice Center will speak and lead a discussion after the film.

March 10, 2006:Wetback - Persistent massive unemployment has left millions of Central Americans desperately impoverished, with little choice but to migrate to jobs in Canada and the U.S. It is estimated that 3000 a day embark on the treacherous overland journey north, and fewer than 300 ever make it. Wetback is a powerful record of the journey of five Nicaraguans, with no documents and little money, as they make their way north. The obstacles they face are tremendous and life threatening, from corrupt Mexican border police and vicious Mexican gangs, to dangerously overcrowded freight trains and fast-moving rivers. Those who make it into the U.S. face armed white supremacist vigilante groups who patrol the border to prevent illegal entry. Some make it, some don?t; all suffer greatly. Wetback is an exemplary committed documentary that offers crucial human insights into the politics of poverty, the forces of repression and the will to survive. (90 min, 2004)

This film is made possible through the Ironweed Film Club.

July 19, 2006:The Real Face of Occupation  How U.S. military occupation looks from the other end of the gun barrel. Was Abu Ghraib an exception or merely an extreme? How has Iraq changed since the fall of Saddam? What is life like under occupation? On-the-ground footage shows the humiliation and dehumanization inevitable in a colonial situation. (30 min)

July 19, 2006:Dance of Death  The American military in Iraq: lambs led to slaughter or centurions for the Empire? Either way, U.S. troops are locked in a deadly interaction with the people of Iraq. Soldiers and their families speak out against the war and talk about their lost loved ones. (30 min)

July 19, 2006:The Art of Resistance  The growing impact of artists and cultural performances that have invigorated and enlivened resistance to America's imperial war on Iraq.(30 min)

August 2, 2006:A lyrical, moving and disturbing video montage of the American invasion and occupation of Iraq. (30 min)

August 2, 2006:Erasing Memory: The Cultural Destruction of Iraq  The horrendous destruction of the museums and archives of Iraq, the oldest treasures of human civilization, in the wake of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Millennia of history were bombed, looted and destroyed, and with them the memory and culture of Iraq.  (30 min)

August 2, 2006:National Insecurities  Violence against immigrants, especially Arabs; imprisonment without trial, especially for Muslims. is the U.S. government fomenting fear to inflame racial and ethnic divisions? History repeats itself, as violence against immigrants and imprisonment without trial become routine.    (30 min)


August 16, 2006:The World Says No to War  Documents the massive protests of tens of millions of people throughout the world in opposition to the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Sounds and images from 16 countries show passionate and creative reactions to militarism and occupation.  (30 min)

August 16, 2006:Standing With the Women of Iraq  What has the U.S. invasion and occupation meant for the women of Iraq? In this program their passionate statements of resistance are intercut with actions by Code Pink, Women in Black and others who have been at the forefront of protests against the war in the U.S.  (30 min)

August 16, 2006:Empire and Oil  Modern empires run on oil, and controlling these resources is key to the control and penetration of potential rivals. This program examines the recent history of the Middle East and the Iraq War in relation to the desire of Western powers to control "the greatest strategic prize in history.”      (30 min)


August 30, 2006:Globalization at Gunpoint: The Economics of Occupation  The military occupation of Iraq has enabled the U.S. to enforce privatization of the Iraqi economy, in effect, selling off Iraq's assets to foreign investors. A look at the challenges to privatization.  (30 min)


August 30, 2006:Resistance at Home  Millions of Americans have said "NO!" to the invasion and occupation of Iraq, and the larger Bush agenda of clampdowns on free speech, increased spying on citizens and the elimination of civil liberties.   (30 min)

August 30, 2006:Channels of War: The Media is the Military  The mainstream television networks have fanned the flames of war, and have profited from doing so. This program looks at how the corporate media has sanitized Americans' field of vision.   (30 min)

October 13, 2006: Iraq For Sale: The War Profiteers - Acclaimed director Robert Greenwald takes you inside the lives of soldiers, truck drivers, widows and children who have been changed forever as a result of profiteering in the reconstruction of Iraq.  The film uncovers the connections between a small group of private U.S. companies that have made literally billions of dollars doing jobs that the military used to do on its own — and that the Iraqis themselves could do better, faster, and cheaper — and the policymakers and bureaucrats who have allowed these firms to turn no- bid contracts into a license to steal from American soldiers and taxpayers. (75 min, 2006)


Dahr Jamail, will talk and lead a discussion after the film. Dahr has been reporting from Iraq since 2003 as a rare independent journalist due to the failure of  US media to accurately report on the realities of the war. His dispatches are published in The Nation, the Guardian, The Independent and he reports for Democracy Now!, the BBC, KPFA Flashpoints and numerous other stations around the globe.

Media Control & Literacy

May 26, 2006: I’m Sorry I was Right One of the most fascinating characters in 20th-century Minnesota history--former Sen. Eugene McCarthy, best known for his impassioned 1968 campaign against the Vietnam War--is the subject of this half-hour documentary. Here's a politician whose age, experience, and background encourage him to raise his voice against the dangerous control of corporate media, the unlimited power of the military-industrial complex, and the injustice of tax breaks for the wealthy. (30 min, 2004)

November 3, 2006:  Street Fight chronicles the bare-knuckles race for Mayor of Newark, NJ between Cory Booker, a 32-year old Rhodes Scholar/Yale Law School grad, and Sharpe James, the four-term incumbent and undisputed champion of New Jersey politics. Fought in Newark's neighborhoods and housing projects, the battle pits Booker against an old-style political machine that uses any means necessary to crush its opponents: city workers who do not support the mayor are demoted; "disloyal" businesses are targeted by code enforcement; a campaigner is detained and accused of terrorism; and disks of voter data are burglarized in the night.  The battle sheds light on important American questions about democracy, power gripping and the underbelly of democracy where elections are not about spin-doctors, media consultants, or photo ops.  In Newark, we discover, elections are won and lost in the streets.  (82 mins, 2006)

Ellliot Margolies, Executive Producer of the MidPeninsula Community Media Center will lead a discussion.

November 17, 2006: Media That Matters Sixth Annual Film Festival  is the premiere showcase for short films on the most important topics of the day which engage audiences and inspire them to take action.  From gay rights to global warming, the jury-selected collection represents the work of a diverse group of independent filmmakers. The films are equally diverse in style and content, with documentaries, music videos, animations, experimental work and everything else in between. What all the films have in common is that they spark debate and action in 8 minutes or less.  16 inspiring films. (82 mins, 2006)

Ellliot Margolies, Executive Producer of the MidPeninsula Community Media Center will lead a discussion.