MEANINGFUL MOVIES IN KIRKLAND
Northlake UU Church Sanctuary
308 4th Ave. S
Kirkland, WA 98033
Northlake UU Church Sanctuary
308 4th Ave. S
Kirkland, WA 98033
Facilitated discussion follows the film.
Free and open to the public – donations kindly accepted.
(2016, Directed by Fisher Stevens, 93 min)
Leonardo DiCaprio may by the star of his latest documentary, Before the Flood, but something much bigger takes the stage: Earth. DiCaprio travels to Alberta, Canada, to see its toxic tar sands. He witnesses the frequently flooded streets of Miami Beach, Florida. He visits Beijing, a city shrouded by a constant cloak of smog. DiCaprio also explores Indonesia, a country scorched by forest fires caused by unsustainable palm oil development.
(2014, directed by Sut Jhally, 42 mins)
Consumer capitalism. For many decades it has dominated our economy, politics, and culture. Media scholar Justin Lewis argues that changing this domination will require changing our culture. He argues that our media limit critical thinking and keep us bound to a way of life that mandates consume, consume, consume.
Change our culture and transform our media and communications systems? Is that even possible?
(2008, directed by John Wellington Ennis, 95 mins)
It’d be hard to do here in Washington. But in states like Ohio or Florida, where easily hackable, vote-flipping machines are used, where campaign chairs just happen also to be Secretaries of State, where precinct lines are redrawn and a vote not cast in the “correct” precinct is not counted, where precincts with increased registration receive fewer machines than in previous years, where vote-counting servers mysteriously crash and are replaced by servers run by clearly biased management, where if your name happens to match that of a released felon you are handed a “provisional ballot” – the list goes on – elections can be and have been stolen.
Remember in 2004 how the exit polls in Ohio said one thing and the official count said another? FREE FOR ALL is an oldie-but-goodie (3 stars from Roger Ebert) from 2008 that tells the story of that election. It’s not only fascinating history, it’s a warning that it can happen again.
FREE FOR ALL was directed by John Wellington Ennis, who also directed PAY 2 PLAY in 2014, previously shown at Kirkland.
(2016, directed by Michael Moore, 2 hrs)
Just in time for election season, America’s favorite political provocateur, Michael Moore, is back with his new film, Where To Invade Next. Honored by festivals and critics groups alike, Where To Invade Next is an expansive, hilarious, and subversive comedy in which the Academy Award®-winning director confronts the most pressing issues facing America today and finds solutions in the most unlikely places. The creator of Fahrenheit 9/11 and Bowling for Columbine has returned with an epic movie that’s unlike anything he has done before—an eye-opening call to arms to capture the American Dream and restore it in, of all places, America.
“One of the most genuinely, and valuably, patriotic films any American has ever made… Optimistic and affirmative, it rests on one challenging but invaluable idea: we can do better.”
— Godfrey Cheshire, rogerebert.com
(2014, directed by Mary Dore, 1 hr 32min)
She’s Beautiful depicts the early days of the National Organization for Women (NOW) when ladies wore hats and gloves. At the same time, young women, frustrated with their second-class status in civil rights and peace groups, started a new movement called women’s liberation. They proclaimed that “the personal is political,” and demanded sexual equality in every part of daily life. Featuring interviews with early feminists Kate Millett, Fran Beal, Rita Mae Brown and many others, SHE’S BEAUTIFUL WHEN SHE’S ANGRY shows women fighting back with humor, sometimes with fury – daring to be “bad.”
SHE’S BEAUTIFUL WHEN SHE’S ANGRY reveals a wide-reaching movement with women’s rock bands, poetry readings, and “zaps,” impromptu protest actions. The film shows many aspects of the movement: poets and publishers in San Francisco (Susan Griffin and Alta); lesbian activists (Rita Mae Brown and Karla Jay) who made the slur “Lavender Menace” into a term of liberation; Chicago women who started a pre-Roe underground abortion service (Judith Arcana and Heather Booth); and the Boston women who wrote Our Bodies, Ourselves, named by Time Magazine as one of the most important books of the 20th century. She’s Beautiful shows many strands of early feminism, including the voices of women of color and struggles over issues of class and lesbian rights.
Major themes appear throughout the film: the struggle for freedom and equality, a woman’s right to control her own body — in terms of sexuality, health care, and reproductive rights. She’s Beautiful also links to current day issues, showing young women inventing their own forms of feminist action, with “Slut Walks” protesting rape culture in New York and Texas protests over the closing of abortion clinics.
(2016, directed by Shanga Parker, 60 min)
This is a film of Ian Ruskin’s acclaimed one-man play about Paine’s life, filmed in front of a live audience at the Lillian Theater in Hollywood.
Thomas Paine was the one truly radical Founder of America, a man largely forgotten and greatly misunderstood today. His ideas about democracy, equality, slavery, pensions, healthcare, education and morality would have created a very different world had they been acted on. When he was writing his books and pamphlets he was at the epicenter of world events, literally transforming nations through the power of his words.
“The man once enlightened cannot again become dark.”
“One must always speak the truth as one sees it, no matter the consequences, no matter the consequences.”
Filmed by Haskell Wexler.
(2016, directed by Dawn Porter, 90 min)
U.S. reproductive health clinics are fighting to remain open.
Since 2010, 288 laws regulating abortion providers have been passed by state legislatures. In total, 44 states and the District of Columbia have measures subjecting abortion providers to legal restrictions not imposed on other medical professionals. Unable to comply with these medically unnecessary laws, clinics have taken their fight to the courts.
As the U.S. Supreme Court decides in 2016 whether individual states may essentially outlaw abortion (Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt), Trapped follows clinic workers and lawyers who are on the front lines of the battle to keep abortion safe and legal for millions of American women.
(2014, directed by Grant Baldwin, 74 min)
We all love food. As a society, we devour countless cooking shows, culinary magazines and foodie blogs. So how could we possibly be throwing nearly 50% of it in the trash?
Just Eat It looks at our systemic obsession with expiry dates, perfect produce and portion sizes, and reveals the core of this seemingly insignificant issue that is having devastating consequences around the globe.
Just Eat It brings farmers, retailers, inspiring organizations, and consumers to the table in a cinematic story that is equal parts education and delicious entertainment.
(2014, directed by Brian Malone, 94 min)
Public schools across the country struggle for funding, impacted by
both poverty and politics. For free-market reformers, private
investors and large education corporations, this struggle spells
Education, Inc. examines the free-market and for-profit interests that
have been quietly and systematically privatizing America’s public
education system under the banner of “school choice”. The story is
told through the eyes of parent and filmmaker Brian Malone, as he
travels cross-country in search of the answers and sources behind the
privatizing of American public education.
With striking footage from school protests, raucous school board
meetings and interviews with some of the most well known educators in
the country, Malone zooms out to paint a clear picture of profit and
politics that is sweeping across the nation, right under our noses.
(2012, directed by David Van Taylor, 1 hr 27 min)
Government’s least-understood “Third Branch” has a huge impact on our lives—from abortion to affirmative action, education to the environment, privacy to police action. But in recent years the way we select Supreme Court justices has become dangerously politicized, threatening judicial impartiality, and making it increasingly hard to have faith in the ideal chiseled on its facade: “Equal Justice Under Law”.
Advise & Dissent goes behind the lines and into the trenches of the judicial confirmation wars. The film tracks two opposing lobbyists and two lions of the Senate through several recent nominations, each of which inflames passions and provokes surprising conflicts and shifting alliances. A similar scenario is about to unfold with President Obama’s nomination of a successor to Justice Antonin Scalia.
The award-winning film weaves “you-are-there” scenes into an unexpectedly suspenseful narrative. Advise & Dissent reveals how honesty has succumbed to strategy, how politics have come to trump principle, and how partisanship is overwhelming judicial independence.
(2013, directed by Kerry Candaele, 90 min)
Following the Ninth is a documentary film about the global impact of Beethoven’s final symphony. The film, released in mid-2013, has screened in over 250 cities in the United States and around the globe, with more to come.
Written in 1824, near the end of Beethoven’s life, the Ninth Symphony was composed by a man with little to be thankful for. Sick, alienated from almost everyone, and completely deaf, Beethoven had never managed to find love, nor create the family he’d always wanted. And yet, despite this, he managed to create an anthem of joy that embraces the transcendence of beauty over suffering.
Celebrated to this day for its ability to heal, repair, and bring people together across great divides, the Ninth has become an anthem of liberation and hope that has inspired many around the world.
Directed and produced by Kerry Candaele—who previously produced Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Prices, Iraq for Sale, and the documentary A League of Their Own—Following the Ninth traces these stories, intertwining them with the history of the Ninth itself to create a moving ode to hope, freedom, and the power of art.
(2015, directed by Sheldon P. Wolfchild, C0-Produced by Steven T. Newcomb, 61 min)
The Doctrine of Discovery: Unmasking The Domination Code examines a little known subject traced back to Columbus’s so-called “discovery” of the Americas. By papal decree, the first Christian people to discover lands inhabited by non-Christians asserted the “ultimate dominion” to be in themselves. This “right of discovery” was adopted and used by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1823 in the case Johnson & Graham’s Lessee v. M’Intosh, in which the Court defined the land title of the Indians as a “mere right of occupancy.” Thus the Christian power that claimed “ultimate dominion” could grant away the soil while yet in the possession of “heathens.” This doctrine remains the Supreme Law of the Land in the United States.
Theologian Luis Rivera, who was interviewed for the film, points out that an accurate history must account for the theological and religious justifications for claims of domination over the Indians. The film is based on a 2008 book, Pagans in the Promised Land: Decoding the Doctrine of Discovery, by Steven Newcomb (Shawnee/Lenape).
(2015, directed by Avi Lewis, 1 hr 29 min)
What if confronting the climate crisis is the best chance we’ll ever get to build a better world?
Filmed over 211 shoot days in nine countries and five continents over four years, This Changes Everything is an epic attempt to re-imagine the vast challenge of climate change. Directed by Avi Lewis, and inspired by Naomi Klein’s international non-fiction bestseller This Changes Everything, the film presents seven powerful portraits of communities on the front lines, from Montana’s Powder River Basin to the Alberta Tar Sands, from the coast of South India to Beijing and beyond.
Interwoven with these stories of struggle is Klein’s narration, connecting the carbon in the air with the economic system that put it there. Throughout the film, Klein builds to her most controversial and exciting idea: that we can seize the existential crisis of climate change to transform our failed economic system into something radically better.
Over the course of 90 minutes, viewers will meet…
The extraordinary detail and richness of the cinematography in This Changes Everything provides an epic canvas for this exploration of the greatest challenge of our time. Unlike many works about the climate crisis, this is not a film that tries to scare the audience into action: it aims to empower. Provocative, compelling, and accessible to even the most climate-fatigued viewers, This Changes Everything will leave you refreshed and inspired, reflecting on the ties between us, the kind of lives we really want, and why the climate crisis is at the centre of it all.
Will this film change everything? Absolutely not. But you could, by answering its call to action.
(2013, directed by Diana Whitten, 1 hr 30 min)
Vessel begins with a young doctor who lived by the sea, and an unlikely idea. Rebecca Gomperts, horrified by the realities created by anti-abortion law around the world, felt compelled to challenge this. Her method: to provide abortions on a ship in offshore waters.
Her project, Women on Waves, begins as flawed spectacle, a media frenzy, faced with governmental, religious, and military blockades. But with each setback comes a more refined mission, until Rebecca has a revelation that she can use new technologies to bypass law – and train women to give themselves safe abortions using WHO-sanctioned protocols with pills.
We witness the creation of an underground network of emboldened, informed activists, working at the cutting edge of global reproductive rights, who trust women to handle abortion themselves. Vessel is Rebecca’s story: one of an woman who heard and answered a calling, and transformed a wildly improbable idea into a global movement.
(2013, directed by Andy Norris, 71 min)
Through the lens of some of the world’s greatest sociopolitical thinkers, Targeting Iran examines the many political, historical, economic, military and cultural aspects of the U.S./Iranian tensions that are not often discussed in the mainstream media.
Based on the book of the same name by author and journalist David Barsamian, Targeting Iran seeks to elucidate the myths and popular misconceptions surrounding Iran’s nuclear aspirations. Through interviews with eminent figures such as MIT’s Jim Walsh, National Iranian American Council President and author of ‘A Single Roll of the Dice’ Trita Parsi, Noam Chomsky, veteran New York Times correspondent Stephen Kinzer and David Barsamian himself, the complexities of Iran’s history, socio-political strata and strategic quandary are laid out in all-too-rare a fashion for Western audiences.
(2014, directed by John Ennis, 1 hr 27 min)
Driven to make the world better for his newborn daughter, John Ennis looks for ways out of our system of pay-to-play politics. Along the way, he journeys through high drama on the Ohio campaign trail, uncovers the secret history of the game Monopoly, and explores the underworld of L.A. street art on a humorous odyssey that reveals how much of a difference one person can make. PAY 2 PLAY: Democracy’s High Stakes is a fun guidebook to returning the United States government to its People.
PAY 2 PLAY features Robert Reich, Lawrence Lessig, John Nichols, Noam Chomsky, Jerry Springer, Van Jones, Marianne Williamson, Jack Abramoff, Thom Hartmann, Bob Edgar and more…
(2013, Directed by Tim Wise, 69 min)
White Like Me, based on the work of acclaimed anti-racist educator and author Tim Wise, explores race and racism in the U.S. through the lens of whiteness and white privilege. In a stunning reassessment of the American ideal of meritocracy and claims that we’ve entered a post-racial society, Wise offers a fascinating look back at the race-based white entitlement programs that built the American middle class, and argues that our failure as a society to come to terms with this legacy of white privilege continues to perpetuate racial inequality and race-driven political resentments today.
For years, Tim Wise’s bestselling books and spellbinding lectures have challenged some of our most basic assumptions about race in America. White Like Me is the first film to bring the full range of his work to the screen — to show how white privilege continues to shape individual attitudes, electoral politics, and government policy in ways too many white people never stop to think about.
Features Tim Wise, Michelle Alexander, Charles Ogletree, Imani Perry, Martin Gilens, John H. Bracey, Jr., and Nilanjana Dasgupta.
“It is easy for whites to assume that they are not racist, that they are “postracial.” White Like Me shows how these “colorblind” racial attitudes don’t cut it. They INCREASE racial inequality and LIMIT democracy, rather than the reverse. This video helps us understand racism as a problem faced by our whole society, not just by people of color. While many whites remain oblivious to racism, others have courageously challenged it. Filmmaker Tim Wise is a shining example of that courage. White Like Me is an outstanding educational tool for both the classroom and the community. Highly recommended!
– Howard Winant | Professor of Sociology, UC Santa Barbara
(2014, Directed by Freddie Lane, 66 min)
In August 2014 master carver Jewell James carved a totem pole that traveled to South Dakota, Montana, Washington, British Columbia and Alberta, where it was erected at Beaver Lake Cree Nation. This film is about that journey and the voices of native and non-native communities along the route. Those communities are concerned about the impacts of the fossil fuel industry on their land and waters, especially the effects of coal trains and of extracting and shipping fuel from tar sands.
(2011, Directed by Steven Dunsky, edited by Ann Dunsky, 73 min)
Green Fire was produced in partnership between the Aldo Leopold Foundation, the Center for Humans and Nature, and the US Forest Service. The film provocatively examines Leopold’s thinking, renewing his idea of a land ethic for a population facing 21st century ecological challenges. Leopold’s biographer, conservation biologist Dr. Curt Meine, serves as the film’s on-screen guide.
Green Fire describes the formation of Leopold’s idea, exploring how it changed one man and later permeated through all arenas of conservation. The film draws on Leopold’s life and experiences to provide context and validity, then explores the deep impact of his thinking on conservation projects around the world today. Through these examples, the film challenges viewers to contemplate their own relationship with the land community.
The high-definition film will utilize photographs, correspondence, manuscripts and other archival documents from the voluminous Aldo Leopold Archives as well as historical film and contemporary full-color footage on location, including landscapes that influenced Leopold and that he in turn influenced.
The film also features commentary and insight from some of today’s most recognized and credible scholars and conservation leaders, including: three of Aldo Leopold’s children—Nina, Carl, and Estella, Leopold scholars, noted environmental writers, scientists, humanities experts, public policy leaders, business leaders, and leaders of non-profit groups inspired by Leopold.
(2013, John Ankele and Anne Macksoud, 56 min)
The Wisdom to Survive accepts the consensus of scientists that climate change has already arrived, and asks, what is keeping us from action? The film explores how unlimited growth and greed are destroying the life support system of the planet, the social fabric of society, and the lives of billions of people.
Will we have the wisdom to survive? The film features thought leaders and activists in the realms of science, economics and spirituality discussing how we can evolve and take action in the face of climate disruption. They urge us to open ourselves to the beauty that surrounds us and get to work on ensuring it thrives.
Among those featured are Bill McKibben, Joanna Macy, Nikki Cooley, Roger Payne, Richard Heinberg, Amy Seidl, Stephanie Kaza, Gus Speth, Jihan Gearan, and Ben Falk.
Film: Girl Rising
(2013, Richard E. Robbins, 1 hr 41 min)
Girl Rising is a powerful and innovative new feature film by Academy Award-nominated director Richard E. Robbins. Produced by award-winning former ABC News journalists of The Documentary Group and Paul G. Allen’s Vulcan Productions, Girl Rising is powered by strategic partner, Intel Corporation, and global television distribution partner, CNN Films.
Girl Rising spotlights the stories of nine unforgettable girls born into unforgiving circumstances. Girls like Sokha, an orphan who rises from a life in the garbage dump in Phnom Penh, Cambodia to become a star student and an accomplished dancer; Suma, who writes songs that help her endure forced servitude in Nepal and today crusades to free others; and Ruksana, an Indian “pavement-dweller” whose father sacrifices his own basic needs for his daughter’s dreams.
Each girl is paired with a renowned writer from her native country: Marie Arana (Peru), Edwidge Danticat (Haiti), Mona Eltahawy (Egypt), Aminatta Forna (Sierre Leone), Zarghuna Kargar (Afghanistan), Maaza Mengiste (Ethiopia), Sooni Taraporevala (India), Manjushree Thapa (Nepal), and Loung Ung (Cambodia).
These stories are narrated by celebrated actresses: Cate Blanchett (Haiti), Priyanka Chopra (India), Selena Gomez (Sierra Leone), Anne Hathaway (Afghanistan), Salma Hayek (Peru), Alicia Keys (Cambodia), Chloë Moretz (Egypt), Freida Pinto, Meryl Streep (Ethiopia), and Kerry Washington (Nepal). Girl Rising also features Freida Pinto and Liam Neeson, with original music from Academy Award-winner Rachel Portman and Lorne Balfe.
Girl Rising is the centerpiece of 10×10, a global campaign to educate and empower girls. The executive producers of Girl Rising are Tom Yellin, Holly Gordon, Paul G. Allen and Jody Allen.
Film: The Healthcare Movie
Special Guest Discussion Facilitator – Sherry Weinberg, a retired physician actively involved in Healthcare for All WA and in the development of the Washington Health Security Trust bill, will be present to answer questions.
(2012, Laurie Limons & Terry Sterrenberg, 65 min.)
This documentary provides the real story of how the health care systems in Canada and the United States evolved to be so completely different, when at one point they were essentially the same. Most people under the age of 50, in both countries, are not aware of the intensity of the political struggle that led to the universal medical care system in Canada. Nor are they aware of the public relations campaigns, still active today, that have been prevalent in the United States since the early 1900’s to dissuade the public from supporting national health care.
Produced by Canadian/American couple Laurie Simons and Terry Sterrenberg, The Healthcare Movie reveals the personal and emotional impact on Canadians who now have access to universal health care because of the heroism of people who took a stand nearly 50 years ago. It also reveals the continuing struggle in the United States between the fear of government intervention and the right to quality health care for all people.
Every day people are dying or going bankrupt due to the ills of the United States system. Who are we in the face of this human tragedy? If you agree that people are more important than profits, then you must watch this film.
Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret is a groundbreaking feature-length environmental documentary following intrepid filmmaker Kip Andersen as he uncovers the most destructive industry facing the planet today – and investigates why the world’s leading environmental organizations are too afraid to talk about it.
Animal agriculture is the leading cause of deforestation, water consumption and pollution, is responsible for more greenhouse gases than the transportation industry, and is a primary driver of rainforest destruction, species extinction, habitat loss, topsoil erosion, ocean “dead zones,” and virtually every other environmental ill. Yet it goes on, almost entirely unchallenged.
As Andersen approaches leaders in the environmental movement, he increasingly uncovers what appears to be an intentional refusal to discuss the issue of animal agriculture, while industry whistleblowers and watchdogs warn him of the risks to his freedom and even his life if he dares to persist.
As eye-opening as Blackfish and as inspiring as An Inconvenient Truth, this shocking yet humorous documentary reveals the absolutely devastating environmental impact large-scale factory farming has on our planet, and offers a path to global sustainability for a growing population.
Film: Chasing Ice
(75 min, Jeff Orlowski, 2012)
Chasing Ice is the story of one man’s mission to change the tide of history by gathering undeniable evidence of our changing planet. Within months of that first trip to Iceland, the photographer conceived the boldest expedition of his life: The Extreme Ice Survey. With a band of young adventurers in tow, Balog began deploying revolutionary time-lapse cameras across the brutal Arctic to capture a multi-year record of the world’s changing glaciers.
As the debate polarizes America and the intensity of natural disasters ramps up globally, Balog finds himself at the end of his tether. Battling untested technology in subzero conditions, he comes face to face with his own mortality. It takes years for Balog to see the fruits of his labor. His hauntingly beautiful videos compress years into seconds and capture ancient mountains of ice in motion as they disappear at a breathtaking rate. Chasing Ice depicts a photographer trying to deliver evidence and hope to our carbon-powered planet.
(65 min, Sam Martin, 2013)
Un|Divided documents the true story of how a suburban church unites with at-risk Roosevelt High School – once Portland, Oregon’s most outstanding but now failing and slated for closure – to create a beautiful transformation for students, the school and the volunteers serving it.
The film documents the startling possibilities for reconciliation and restoration. We watch as the volunteers of SouthLake Church – suburban, affluent and with little insight into economically challenged inner-city youth – decide to follow their faith.
They show up en masse one Saturday to work on the grounds, only to discover disaffected kids suffering from crumbling facilities, losing sports teams, a high dropout rate, hunger and nearly 20% of the student body homeless.
So they make a decision: to serve them with unconditional love. The results are surprising, even shocking.and an inspiring blueprint for rewriting how schools and communities can change their destiny.
(James Redford and Kirby Walker, 2013)
Toxic Hot Seat tells a story of a growing tide of activists, journalists and citizens who are bringing an end to the era of manipulation and misinformation about hidden chemicals. The film shows the struggle to remove toxic flame retardant chemicals from our couches, environment and bodies. These chemicals are linked to lower IQ in children, thyroid disease, infertility, cancer and other rising rates of health problems. They are found in every living being on earth.
(Mike Newell, 1987, 114 min.)
Amazing Grace and Chuck is the story of a Little League Pitcher and the power of one determined person to make a difference in the world.
When young Chuck Murdock visits a nuclear missile site, he learns that one bomb would destroy the earth in less time than it would take a piece of silverware to drop from his hand to the floor. This information sends the sensitive boy into existential angst. Wondering why anybody should do anything when the world can be destroyed so quickly, and hoping to raise consciousness about nuclear weapons, Chuck quits his Little League team. He gains a little bit of local press. One of those stories is read by NBA star “Amazing Grace” Smith (Alex English), who is so moved by the boy’s story that he too quits playing his sport. This produces a great deal of national press, as well as a handful of stars from other sports that decide to join the ranks of Amazing Grace and Chuck. Some powers that be in the sports world, as well as the government, do not look kindly upon these “strikes” and set about to end the movement.
In Fixing the Future, host David Brancaccio, of public radio’s Marketplace and NOW on PBS, visits people and organizations across America that are attempting a revolution: the reinvention of the American economy. By featuring communities using sustainable and innovative approaches to create jobs and build prosperity, Fixing the Future inspires hope and renewal in a people overwhelmed by economic collapse. The film highlights effective, local practices such as: local business alliances, community banking, time banking/hour exchange, worker cooperatives and local currencies.