World Films for Equal Dignity

•  Filmmakers who depict dignity and humiliation in their films
•  List of films visualizing suffering from humiliation, including films depicting institutionalized humiliation and conditions that inflict humiliation
•  List of films on resilience to humiliation and how humiliation can be prevented, overcome, and healed
•  List of films presenting cultures that do not encourage humiliating practices and institutions
•  List of films presenting humiliation and revenge
•  Others


Filmmakers who depict dignity and humiliation in their films

"At the New York Film Festival, a Defense of Human Dignity"
by Scott A. O., New York Times, September 29, 2016. The New York Film Festival ran through October 2016. We thank Merle Lefkoff for making us aware.

Adore is a 2013 Australian-French drama film directed by Anne Fontaine. The film is based on a novella by British writer Doris Lessing called The Grandmothers. The original title of the film was Two Mothers and it premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival under this title.

Zheng Yun Mini Film - Works Oriented to the Grassroots of China
The Zheng Yun Studio is a producer of mini films that was established in 2008. It has put out more than 300 mini films, mostly satirical comedies. These mini works are not only viewed on the Internet, but are also downloaded by mobile phone users and broadcast on TV on buses and trains. Since the content is very relevant to the daily lives of the ordinary people, the mini films are widely popular among the Chinese masses. So far, the Zheng Yun Studio's website boasts over 2000 million person/time clicks, averaging over 3 million person/time clicks each day. The Studio has more than 10 million fans. The mini films can be viewed on at the following address: Soon, Zheng Yun will provide the English subscripts for the mini films, so as to clear language barriers for non-Chinese speakers. Zheng Yun's mini films reflect the mentality of the Chinese people who are located at the lower echelons of society and represent grassroots culture. Such mini films are widely popular at a time when the Chinese society is shifting from a traditional to a modern way of life. This phenomenon reveals a tendency that the population is seeking a more independent identity and a reconstruction of their own culture. It can be anticipated that the Internet will provide more possibilities to the large population at the grassroots level of society.

Women without Men by Shirin Neshat
Women without Men by Shirin Neshat is an independent film adaptation of Shahrnush Parsipur's novel. The story chronicles the intertwining lives of four Iranian women during the summer of 1953; a cataclysmic moment in Iranian history when an American led, British backed coup d'état brought down the democratically elected Prime Minister, Mohammad Mossadegh, and reinstalled the Shah to power.

Lakshmi and Me by Nishtha Jain, 2009
At the film’s outset, the basic paradox of modern-day Indian culture is exposed. As an emerging international powerhouse, India’s millions of upwardly mobile, professional women are freed from housework and domestic chores. No longer do they have to dust, sweep, do laundry, cook or even walk their children to school. Why? These recent professionals have a bai, or woman to help with some of these chores—a woman who comes from a less privileged class. Like most domestic workers in India, Lakshmi works nonstop—10 hours a day, seven days a week, in six different households. She works without days off, without complaining and without bitterness—all for the paltry monthly pay of 600 rupees or so from each home (the filmmaker confides that is what she herself would pay for a fancy dinner out). “But that’s what everyone pays,” Jain rationalizes at the film’s outset, in a voice-over commentary that follows her personal journey from impartial onlooker to—if not exactly friend—at least a sympathetic advocate.

The Gathering Storm by IRIN
Three more short films are part of IRIN's ongoing series on the human cost of climate change. Focusing on Asia, these high definition videos highlight the threat to Vietnam's coastal mangrove forests, the dwindling fish stocks of Southeast Asia's largest freshwater lake, and the innovative introduction of floating schools to flood-prone Bangladesh.

Forced to Flee by IRIN
IRIN Films launches “Forced to Flee” – a powerful series of short films about internal displacement. Around the world tens of millions of people have been forced to leave their homes. Some have been driven out by conflict, some by natural disaster. Some have been displaced in the name of development, others by climate change. Click here to watch the films: As usual we'd be grateful for any feedback you might have at
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Mira Nair, India
Accomplished Film Director/Writer/Producer Mira Nair was born in India and educated at Delhi University and at Harvard...
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List of films depicting and visualizing suffering from humiliation, including films depicting institutionalized humiliation and conditions that inflict humiliation

The Act of Killing (2012) and The Look of Silence (2014)
These are two documentary films by Joshua Oppenheimer. The Act of Killing was a portrait of the perpetrators of the 1965 Indonesian genocide, in which perhaps a million people suspected of being Communists were killed. In The Look of Silence the focus was on the murder of a single victim, Ramli Rukun.
In a 2015 interview with The New York Times, Oppenheimer stated that the West shares "a great deal" of responsibility for the mass killings in Indonesia, noting in particular that "the United States provided the special radio system so the Army could coordinate the killings over the vast archipelago. A man named Bob Martens, who worked at the United States Embassy in Jakarta, was compiling lists of thousands of names of Indonesian public figures who might be opposed to the new regime and handed these lists over to the Indonesian government." In 2014, after a screening of The Act of Killing for US Congress members, Oppenheimer called on the US to acknowledge its role in the killings.

"At the core of Whiplash, a finalist for best picture at the Academy Awards, stands a teacher who happens also to be a monster....Fletcher pretends to be obsessed with music but as we watch him we realize that his true obsession is power and the pleasure of wielding it....Fletcher pours out obscene denigration and at one point ends a rant by throwing a cymbal at him... The relentless process of humiliation fills the screen....That movie might well be used in a lecture by H. Steven Moffic, an American psychiatrist. Moffic argues for better understanding of humiliation in an article, “Humiliation and its Impact,” for the Psychiatric Times last year."
Read more here. We thank H. Steven Moffic for making us aware of this film.

Dem Klima auf der Spur: Eine Reise um die Welt mit Bernice Notenboom, von Jörg Altekruse
Samstag, 23. August 2014, um 20:15 Uhr (90 Min.)
Alle reden vom Klimawandel. Doch was passiert vor Ort, wenn ein natürliches System plötzlich aus dem Gleichgewicht kippt? Diese Frage führt die holländische Abenteurerin und Wissenschaftsjournalistin Bernice Notenboom auf ihre Reise rund um den Globus, von Grönland nach Südafrika, vom Amazonas in den Himalaya und quer durch Europa.
Erste Station: Grönland. Die größte Insel der Welt wird von einem kilometerdicken Eispanzer in die Erdkruste gedrückt. In Form von Wasser würde er weltweit die Meeresspiegel um fast 20 Meter anheben. Bernice paddelt mit Forschern zu einer Eiszunge, die in den letzten zehn Jahren schneller abgeschmolzen ist als in einhundert Jahren zuvor. Die Temperaturen in Grönland lagen in diesem Frühjahr bis zu 16 Grad höher als normal, der Tauprozess beschleunigt sich. Wie aber gehen die Bewohner Grönlands mit dieser Situation um?
Auch der tropische Amazonas-Regenwald macht den Forschern Sorgen. Bernice erklettert eine Forschungsstation hoch in den Baumwipfeln. Die Messgeräte zeigen die höchste in Kohlendioxidkonzentration der Neuzeit an. Die Aufheizung der umgebenden Ozeane sorgt paradoxerweise für ein allmähliches Austrocknen des Regenwaldgebiets, was zunehmend die Artenvielfalt bedroht.
Gedanken macht man sich auch im Elsass: Die Erntezeit für Rotwein hat sich dort in nur 30 Jahren um 30 Tage nach vorne verschoben. Inzwischen experimentieren Winzer mit hitzefesten Rebsorten vom Mittelmeer, es geht um ihre wirtschaftliche Existenz.
Welche Folgen die Aufheizung bereits hat, kann man am besten in den Permafrostgebieten Sibiriens und Alaskas beobachten. Hier taut der Boden erstaunlich schnell auf. Die bisher tiefgefrorenen Pflanzenreste setzen bei ihrer Zersetzung in großen Mengen Treibhausgase frei. Bernice fährt mit dem Kajak bis zu einer Stelle, wo abgelagerte Pflanzenteile in bis zu einhundert Meter dicken Permafrostschichten konserviert sind.

Conservation Refugees - Expelled from Paradise
A film by Steffen Keulig / Freunde der Naturvoelker e.V. / ECOTERRA Intl.
Written by ecoterra, Friday, 04 January 2013
It is no secret that millions of native people around the world have been forced off their homelands to make way for oil, mines, timber, and agriculture.
But few people realize that the same thing has happened for a cause which is considered by many as much nobler: land and wildlife conservation. Indigenous Peoples evicted from their ancestral homelands, for conservation initiatives, have never been counted; they are not even officially recognised as refugees.
The number of people displaced from their traditional homelands is estimated to be close to 20 million.
These expelled native peoples have been living sustainably for all their nation's generations on what must be recognized as their ancestral land.
The film has granted a Special Mention at the Chicago Short Film Festival and won the award "Special Prize of the Jury" and the "Special Prize from the Estonian Ministery of Environment" at the 8th Matsalu Nature Film Festival in Estonia: and the "UWIP award" at the NAIFF film festival in Czech Republic:
Must watch:
Download: Original HD .MOV file (640x360 /459MB) or SD .MP4 file (640x360 / 113MB)
The film is also closely related to the Kampala Convention - the African Union (AU) treaty, which is now in force and enforced to protect especially the First Nation peoples of Africa and their folks driven off their ancestral homelands and are languishing in IDP camps.

Constantine's Sword, by Oren Jacoby
Constantine's Sword is an exploration of the dark side of Christianity, following author and former priest James Carroll on a journey of remembrance and reckoning. Carroll, a National Book Award winner and columnist for the Boston Globe, is a practicing Catholic whose search for the truth leads him to confront persecution and violence in the name of God – today and in the Church's past. He discovers a legacy that reverberates across the centuries – from the Emperor Constantine's vision of the cross as a sword and symbol of power, to the rise of genocidal antisemitism, to modern-day wars and conflicts sparked by religious extremism. At its heart, Constantine's Sword is a detective story, as Carroll journeys both into his own past – where he comes to terms with his father's role as a threestar General in the U.S. Air Force preparing for nuclear war – and into the wider world, where he uncovers evidence of church-sanctioned violence against Jews, Muslims, and others.

EARTHLINGS is a multi-award winning feature length documentary about humanity's absolute dependence on animals (for pets, food, clothing, entertainment, and scientific research) while also illustrating our complete disrespect for these so-called "non-human providers." Released in 2005, the film is narrated by two-time Academy Award nominee Joaquin Phoenix (GLADIATOR, WALK THE LINE) and features music by the critically acclaimed platinum artist Moby. It was written, produced and directed by Shaun Monson. The Quebec version, "Terriens" is narrated by vegan hockey player Georges Laraque from the Montreal Canadiens. (quoted from Wikipedia) See also here.

60 Minutes Episode on Conflict Minerals
If you have a cell phone in your pocket or a gold ring on your finger, you are directly linked to the deadliest war in the world. How is that possible? For over a century, the Democratic Republic of the Congo has been plagued by regional conflict and a deadly scramble for its vast natural resources. The conflict in eastern Congo today - the deadliest since World War II - is fueled in significant part by a multi-million dollar trade in minerals. Armed groups generate an estimated $180 million each year by trading four main minerals: the ores that produce the metals tin, tantalum, tungsten, and gold. This money enables the armed groups to purchase large numbers of weapons and continue their campaign of rape and brutal violence against civilians, with some of the worst abuses occurring in mining areas. After passing through traders, smelters, and component manufacturers, these materials are placed in jewelry and electronic devices, such as cell phones, portable music players, and computers, and sold in the United States. See also

Shame by Sharjil Baloch
Shame, a film made by Sharjil Baloch in 2009 (click to watch free online at “Humanity Explored” online film festival) is part of the honor killing awareness-raising campaign in rural Sindh and southern Punjab. The directors take to the road, documenting shocking interviews that uncover a deep-rooted gender bias in rural Pakistan as well as the first ever footage of a karion jo qabristan, an unmarked graveyard where victims of honor killing are buried without any ritual.

Chronicles of a Refugee by Adam Shapiro
Adam Shapiro writes (12th December 2008): This film series is an unprecedented effort; a kind of people's history of the Palestinian refugee experience on the global level. Rather than focusing on one camp or one country, we filmed all over the world to put together a social history, and then to tackle some major issues facing Palestinians today, including difficult, often taboo subjects. For both Palestinians and their solidarity supporters, this film will serve as a key point of discussion and debate, something we hope to achieve through various interactive mechanisms, including organized screenings in communities around the world.
For those who are interested in the region, this film serves as an intimate look at the lives of a people who have often been at the center of regional and global events, but who are often overlooked as individuals, families and people. Please consider purchasing a copy for your family and letting others know as well. Sales of the film will help subsidize free distribution of the film in refugee camps and in Gaza, and to any Palestinian family that cannot afford to pay. We are keen to get this film series into each and every Palestinian household worldwide. If you are interested in helping to organize screenings in your area, or if you would like to help in other ways (especially with translation!), please let me know by writing to: We also have a Facebook group for the film series set up. And soon we will have a website up and running...
If you are interested in updates and screenings, please also send me an email to the address above so i can add you to the announcement list (or sign up for the Facebook group). The website will have an interactive feature, so that discussions can occur globally about the issues raised in the film. Many thanks for your support and I hope you will consider purchasing a copy.
In solidarity, Adam Shapiro

Seeing Proof, Cambodia
To address the trend of children discrediting their parents’ history, an outreach project is underway at the Khmer Institute of Democracy (KID). With support from the Open Society Justice Initiative, based in New York, the Khmer Rouge Tribunal project at KID has focused on educating the public on the upcoming trial. Implemented by a team of dynamic Cambodian staff, the project has made flip charts to facilitate presentations about the court in the low literacy rural areas, as well as a highly acclaimed video targeting young people who struggle to come to terms with Cambodian history.
Vicchra Muoyly, a Program Officer responsible for the project, explains that while doing outreach activities, "we kept hearing from parents that their children did not believe their story. The kids say, 'This is the story that you make up. Parents are making this up when I do something bad. We need to see proof.’ So, we decided to make a film called Seeing Proof." The film has been shown to groups as large as 1,000 people in the provinces, and is being distributed to networks of community volunteers and village leaders. The most powerful part of the film follows a young man who refused to believe his mother's stories about the Khmer Rouge as he visits a stupa (Buddhist holy site) with a collection of several hundred skeletal remains unearthed from near-by mass graves. Once he saw the site, his attitude and entire conception of who his mother is transformed. Most young people in Cambodia do not have a frame of reference for the atrocities committed under the Khmer Rouge. It seems impossible to them that, for example, 100 people survived on two cups of rice. In fact, many people did not survive at all.
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Exile and The Kingdom (1993), Australia
Exile and the Kingdom is an award winning film that documented the history of the last 150 years of the Aboriginal peoples in and around Roebourne, in the Pilbara region of north Western Australia. It is a documentary telling Australia's colonial history through aboriginal eyes. Filmed in Roebourne in the northwest of Western Australia, the film depicts the history and contemporary lifestyles of the Injibandi, Ngarluma, Banjima and Gurrama people.
Exile and the Kingdom has been awarded for AFI Best Documentary and Best Sound, Human Rights Medal and Awards for Best Documentary and holder of a United Nations Media Peace Award.
It was a landmark production not only in that it told this often harrowing story for the first time, it also became the seed of a project to preserve, cultivate and promote the culture and history of this land and its people.

Rabbit Proof Fence (2002), Australia
Rabbit-Proof Fence is a 2002 Australian drama film based on the book Follow The Rabbit Proof Fence by Doris Pilkington Garimara. It concerns the author's mother, and two other young mixed-race Aboriginal girls, who ran away from the Moore River Native Settlement, north of Perth, in which they were placed in 1931, in order to return to their Aboriginal families. The film follows the girls as they trek/walk for nine weeks along 1,500 miles (2414km) of the Australian rabbit-proof fence to return to their community at Jigalong being tracked by a white authority figure and a black tracker.

One Night the Moon (2001), Australia
Set in the 1930s Australian Outback, starring singer Paul Kelly as the father of a girl who climbs out the window of their farmhouse one night and follows the moon into the hills. Her mother comes to check on her only to find her missing. They get the police to search for her, but when their Aboriginal tracker arrives Paul Kelly says he does not want any blacks on his land. So Paul Kelly and the white police go searching for her, destroying the tracks the tracker could have tracked the girl with. The men cannot find her, eventually the girls mother goes to the trackers hut and they go looking for her, they find her dead in the hills and bring her back home. Paul Kelly blames himself for not finding her, so he shoots himself.

The Tracker (2002), Australia
The Tracker is a beautiful and powerful film that bears witness to the time when there was no talk of Aboriginal reconciliation and no hope for it. Damon Gameau shows great promise as the young man who has developed that rare quality called conscience and we identify with his strength of character.

Kanyini (2006), Australia
Kanyini was voted "best documentary" at the London Australian Film Festival 2007. Kanyini is a story told by an Aboriginal man, Bob Randall, who lives beside the greatest monolith in the world, Uluru in Central Australia. Based on Bob's own personal journey and the wisdom he learnt from the old people living in the bush, Bob tells the tale of why Indigenous people are now struggling in a modern world and what needs to be done for Indigenous people to move forward. A tale of Indigenous wisdom clashing against materialist notions of progress, this is not only a story of one man and his people but the story of the human race.

Refugee Films, Japan
Following the success of the first festival in 2006 the RFF will showcase a new lineup of award-winning features and documentary films. All films will be about the lives, trials, and triumphs of people forced to leave their homes as a result of persecution and war...
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A Wake on the Pier (2007), by Thomas J. Scheff, US
Thomas J. Scheff, wrote (June 11, 2007): "The final version of my A Wake on the Pier is now available on Google Video. It is 40 minutes long."
We read on Every Sunday morning for over three years, the Santa Barbara chapter of the Veterans for Peace has been putting up a war memorial on the... all » beach. They place a white cross for each soldier who has died in Iraq, laid out like a mock-graveyard. This documentary is about this war memorial and the people who visit it. Many of these visitors come to see a specific cross for a friend or relative. Others merely stumble across it. They knew the casualties were numerous, but they did not feel the enormity of it until they saw Arlington West for themselves.

Ship of Fools, US
Linda Hartling kindly wrote on May 30, 2007: Ship of Fools is a "Columbia Film Classic." It contains the most examples of interpersonal humiliation I have every seen in one film. Don Klein introduced me to the film.

Chandani Bar, India
The film, Chandani Bar, from India, portrays how a young woman loses her parents in a communal violence, is brought to Bombay by her mother's brother, cajoled to work at a bar where women end up becoming a prostitute, is raped by her mother's brother, marries a gangster, leaves the dancing job after marriage and becomes a mother of a son and a daughter, husband is killed, is forced to go back to the bar and raises her kids well by sending them to good schools and aspires them to lead a respectable life, but due to dire circumstances to save her son from police arrest she ends up prostituting herself, her daughter becomes a dancer girl, and her son kills two kids who sodomized him when he was at the correction center for boys. As human beings we all have our miseries. 

The Bandit Queen, India

Life of a Geisha, Japan
Fifty minute film on the life of Geisha.

One hundred days, Rwanda

Wuthering Heights, UK
This classical literature (and film) plays out a tale of humiliation and shows to which dark results it may lead. The entire book manuscript can be found on Bibliomania; read here the introduction:
Perhaps the most enduring and affecting of the Brontë sisters' work is Wuthering Heights. Emily Brontë's tale of heartbreak and mystery still resonates on an emotional level with its theme of doomed romance. It was written between October 1845 and June 1846, appearing in print finally in December 1847. Emily's sister Charlotte spoke of the "horror of great darkness" surrounding the novel in her memoirs and it only received recognition after Emily's death from consumption in 1848. Much of the first half of the novel concerns the passionate and illicit relationship between Catherine Earnshaw and Mr Heathcliff as narrated by a number of individuals: primarily by Mr Lockwood and Nelly Dean, the housekeeper of Thrushcross Grange. There is intrigue concerning Heathcliff who has taken over the Grange and keeps a clumsy boy called Hareton Earnshaw. We learn of how his morose and stern attitude began and the cruel twists of fate which have torn two families apart. The death of Catherine and the true intentions of the novel's various mysterious characters have been the source of much speculation and even now Wuthering Heights remains genuinely harrowing and cathartic.


List of films depicting and visualizing resilience to humiliation and how humiliation can be prevented, overcome, and healed


Long Story Short, a one-man show with Colin Quinn and directed by Jerry Seinfeld

Porcelain Unicorn by Keegan Wilcox
Directed by Keegan Wilcox, it is a sensitive and moving tale of how a traumatic wartime encounter inspires a man in later life. Wilcox cites his grandfather’s war stories as inspiration for the short, and the ‘hero’s journey’ of a Joseph Conrad novel.

Dancing Through Death: The Monkey, Magic & Madness of Cambodia by Janet Gardner (1999)
Thavro Phim is a linguist, artist, author, editor, and translator. He is also a master Cambodian dancer who comes from a long familial line of respected Cambodian artists and writers. Although Phim lost his grandather, father, and brother to the Khmer Rouge genocide, he survived and was among the first post-war/post-revolution generation to enter the newly reformed Royal University of Fine Arts to study classical dance. He is one of only three professionally-trained Cambodian dancers living in this country who specializes in the monkey role. Since relocating to the U.S. in 1994, Mr. Phim has taught, performed, and been honored for his work throughout the US. He continues to teach and work in Philadelphia and works within the Public School system as well. Mr Phim was also a research associate for the Yale Cambodian Genocide Program. Phim’s story was told in the 1999 documentary film by director Janet Gardner called Dancing Through Death: The Monkey, Magic and Madness of Cambodia. Co-sponsored by the Solomon Asch Center for the Study of Ethnopolitical Conflict, see Clark McCauley.

Rage by Sally Potter (2009)
Sally Potter premiered her new film Rage at the Berlin Film Festival. The film made on a small £1 million budget has created a new genre of film titled Naked Cinema.

Cherry Blossoms (Kirschblüten) - Hanami by Doris Dörrie (2008)
Trudi (Hannelore Elsner) and Rudi (Elmar Wepper) are an affectionate, long-married couple whose children have grown up and moved away. When Trudi learns that her husband is terminally ill, she keeps it from him, and urges him to see more of life and visit their son who lives in Japan. The story culminates in a pilgrimage to Mount Fuji in the midst of the cherry blossom season, a celebration of beauty, impermanence and new beginnings.

Every War Has Two Losers: A Poet's Meditations on Peace (Based on the Journals of Poet William Stafford) by Haydn Reiss
Every War Has Two Losers tells the story of how one man, William Stafford (1914-1993), chose to answer the call to war. It is a story of confronting beliefs that swirl around war - Isn't war inevitable? Even necessary? What about the enemy? Stafford refused to fight in World War Two and served four years in camps for conscientious objectors. Later he was the winner of the National Book Award for poetry. Director Haydn Reiss met Stafford in 1990 and later produced a one-hour documentary, William Stafford & Robert Bly: A Literary Friendship. That film chronicles the similarities and differences between these two close friends and great poets. Approaches to writing, teaching and the meaning of poetry are all explored in this lively and engaging film. (The film is included as a DVD extra on EVERY WAR HAS TWO LOSERS)

Avatar by James Cameron, 2009
Avatar is a 2009 American science fiction epic film written and directed by James Cameron. The film is set in the year 2154 on Pandora, a moon in the Alpha Centauri star system. Humans are engaged in mining Pandora's reserves of a precious mineral, while the Na'vi—a race of indigenous humanoids—resist the colonists' expansion, which threatens the continued existence of the Na'vi and the Pandoran ecosystem. The film's title refers to the genetically engineered Na'vi bodies used by a few of the film's human characters to interact with the Na'vi.

Divided We Fall: Americans in the Aftermath by Sharat Raju and Valarie Kaur
This is an award-winning film by Sharat Raju & Valarie Kaur 2008 (90 min,Color, U.S.A.). Valarie Kaur was a 20-year-old college student when she set out across America in the aftermath of 9/11, camera in hand, to document hate violence against her community. From the still-shocked streets of Ground Zero to the desert towns of the American west, her epic journey confronts the forces unleashed in a time of national crisis – racism and religion, fear and forgiveness – until she finds the heart of America…
Divided We Fall "is an illuminating meditation upon what it has meant to be 'one of us' since September 11" (Harold Hongju Koh, Dean of Yale Law School). On a two-year international tour, the film is opening spaces for deep dialogue in 90 cities at more than 150 universities, festivals, and schools. It is celebrated as "a starting point for the new dialogue on race and religion that is essential to America's future" (Diana L. Eck, Professor of Comparative Religion and Indian Studies at Harvard University and director of The Pluralism Project).
We thank Olga Botcharova wor making us aware of this film!

Merry Christmas, Mr Lawrence
Lynn King writes (August 28, 2009): I just want to bring up two things: are people aware of a film called "Merry Christmas, Mr Lawrence"? It's about a Western POW man who finds himself stuck in a Japanese concentration camp during WWII and how he makes relationship with his jailors, and humanizes them. The film is by Nagisa Oshima, starring David Bowie and Takeshi Kitano. I saw the movie 20 years ago, and just found it yesterday here in a Shanghai DVD store!

Liberia: Pray the Devil Back to Hell
Amina Mama wrote (6th May 2008): I recently had the opportunity to watch an early cut of this documentary about the Liberian women’s mobilisation against the war, featuring Leymah Gbowee and a number of other key women, and including a combination of archival and real coverage. It includes dramatic scenes in which women activists blockaded the warlords into the venue where they were prolonging peace talks, refusing to allow them out until they arrived at a settlement. Pray the Devil Back to Hell was rejected by the South African International Documentary Film Festival Encounters, despite this being a film that African audiences really must see. The following week Pray the Devil Back to Hell won the prize for Best Documentary at the Tribeca international film festival last week. Gini Reticker and Abigail Disney have done a great job. Abigail Disney (yes, a descendent but with her own mind for sure) runs Daphne Foundation and serves on the Board of Global Fund for Women.

Encounter Point
Encounter Point (85 ms) is an up-close and personal documentary that features everyday heroes in both Israel and Palestine working together to make co-existence and reconciliation a reality―despite their own tragic personal losses. The film illustrates how effective grassroots efforts of interpersonal dialogue and concerted non-violence are proving to be powerful mechanisms of lasting political/social change in a region plagued by war and strife.

Please Vote for Me
An experiment in democracy is taking place in Wuhan, the most populous city in central China. For the first time ever, the students in grade three at Evergreen Primary School in Wuhan, China have been asked to elect a class monitor. Traditionally appointed by the teacher, the class monitor holds a powerful position, helping to control the students, keeping them on task and doling out punishment to those who disobey. The teacher has chosen three candidates: Luo Lei (a boy), the current class monitor; Cheng Cheng (a boy); and Xu Xiaofei (a girl). Each candidate is asked to choose two assistants to help with his or her campaign.
To prove their worthiness, the candidates must perform in three events. First is a talent show, where each candidate plays an instrument or sings a song. Second is a debate, in which the candidates bring up the shortcomings of their opponents as well as their own personal qualifications. And finally, each candidate must deliver a speech, an opportunity to appeal directly to classmates and ask for their votes.
At home, each of the children is coached by his or her parents and pushed to practice and memorize for each stage of the campaign. Although their parents are supportive, the candidates feel the pressure. Tears and the occasional angry outburst reveal the emotional impact. At school, the candidates talk to classmates one-on-one, making promises, planning tactics (including negative ones) and at times expressing doubts about their own candidacies.
For all three children, the campaign takes its toll, especially for the losing candidates and their assistants. Viewers are left to decide if the experiment in democracy has been “successful” and what it might mean for democracy education in China. PLEASE VOTE FOR ME challenges those committed to China’s democratization to consider the feasibility of, and processes involved in, its implementation.
See more at, and watch the film also at (in several parts).

Quilombo Country narrated by Chuck D
Brazil, once the world's largest slave colony, was brutal and deadly for millions of Africans. But many thousands escaped and rebelled, creating their own communities in Brazil's untamed hinterland. Largely unknown to the outside world, these communities, known as quilombos, struggle today to preserve a rich heritage born of resistance to oppression.
"Quilombo Country" ("Quilombo" is an Angolan word meaning "encampment") provides the historical context in which these communities developed, as well as numerous examples of material culture, discussions of race, land and human rights, plus rare footage of festivals and ceremonies. Of all the recent films about the Afrobrazilian experience, "Quilombo Country" stands out in its informed portrayal of traditional life among Afro-descended Brazilians.
"Quilombo Country" is narrated by Chuck D, the legendary poet, media commentator and front man of the hip hop band Public Enemy.
”Persuasive, complex, and timely" (Southern Quarterly)
“Outstanding footage of festivals and ceremonies” (In These Times)
“Winner, Best Documentary, 2007” (Black International Cinema Berlin)

Think Peace: Portrait of a 21st Century Movement by David Maidman
David Maidman kindly wrote (22/01/2008):
I am pleased to announce the release of the documentary DVD, Think Peace: Portrait of a 21st Century Movement. Filmed at the World Peace Forum held in Vancouver, British Columbia from June 23 - 28, 2006 the film examines the make up and direction of the peace movement in the 21st century.
On February 15th, 2003 the largest protest in human history occurred. Millions of people from all seven continents marched down the street of more than 800 cities to show that they did not support the invasion of Iraq. Yet even at the height of its power the movement was not able to stop the war. What went wrong?
This and other questions are explored in the film as we talk to such diverse people as Hans Blix, Rex Weyler, and Holly Near, among others. With over 40 citizen journalists participating in the project, over 120 hours of footage were captured and distilled into a 55 minute film by director Corey Ogilvie of DreamHouse Cinema.
In order to promote the film and celebrate "the other super power" that arose on February 15, 2003 we ask that you join us in celebrating the 5th Anniversary of this amazing event by declaring that February 15th be know internationally as "Think Peace" Day.
Later David wrote more (February 19, 2008):
While producing Think Peace: Portrait of a 20th Century Movement, we became aware of the role that powerful women are playing in implementing peace in this century. We shot so much insightful and moving footage at the World Peace Forum, that we could not include it all in our documentary. We invite you to listen to extra footage of three of these inspirational women:
- Marianne Williamson became renowned for her dedication to the Peace Alliance and a strong advocate for a Department of Peace. Marianne spoke at the World Peace Forum on Sunday, June 25, 2006.
- Medea Benjamin is a celebrated activist with Code Pink and since we talked to her she has become even more outspoken against the war. Medea talked to us at the World Peace Forum on Tuesday, June 27, 2006 about Code Pink's Peace Ribbon campaign.
- Judith LeBlanc is a co-chair of United for Peace and Justice, one of the largest anti-war coalitions in the U.S. Speaking on a panel at the World Peace Forum on Wednesday, June 28, 2006 on "Organizing in the U.S." Judith outlines some of the strategy that resulted in the Democrats capturing the U.S. Congress in November 2006. To view go to:

Scared Sacred by Velcrow Ripper
Patricia Wong Hall wrote (13th January 2008): Hi everyone -- I just saw a film called "Scared Sacred," by Velcrow Ripper. He traveled around the world to Bosnia, Japan (Hiroshima), India (Bhopal), Cambodia (Pol Pot), New York (9/11 site), Pakistan, Palestine, and other countries. He documented and interviewed people who have been traumatized by war, violence, and tragedies. Many of the people have been transforming their suffering. Some have done so through song (a rabbi in Israel), art (the Bejovics, artists in Bosnia). I especially liked his interview with the Bejovics, who created art everyday, amidst all of the violence around them--not knowing if they would be alive tomorrow. This was a wonderful film on transforming crisis; on forgiveness, genocide, war and compassion. The Dalai Lama spoke briefly in this film on creating unity in our communities.
After the film, we were shown a clip of an exercise to transform suffering into joy through Tibetan Buddhist tonglen meditation. In the background were misty scenes of fog traveling through Zen gardens. The filmmaker was the narrator. Those of you who wish to continue, please read on..... The exercise involved sitting with eyes open or closed, while picturing the face of someone you know who is suffering. Then imagine dark, hot and heavy black smoke pouring out of his or her mouth (her/his suffering) as you inhale; take this black, heavy smoke (suffering) into your heart and then immediately transform it into bright, cool, white light as you exhale -- it is fresh and light, as you send compassion, love, forgiveness, and kindness back to this person. Do not hold on to the suffering, let it go immediately, turning the black smoke into a white light of compassion. Continue to do this for five minutes or so, as you inhale and exhale.
Next, picture the face of someone that you have an aversion to; repeat the exercise above. Think of all of the suffering this person is experiencing in life. Breathe in the black, heavy smoke (his/her suffering) into your heart as you inhale; then transform it into a cool, white light as you exhale -- sending him or her compassion, forgiveness, love and respect. Do not hold on to the suffering -- let it go. Continue to do this for the next five minutes or so. Breathe in black smoke -- breathe out cool, white light.
Next, form a picture in your mind of yourself. Think of all of the suffering you are experiencing now in life. Breathe in the black, hot, and heavy smoke of your suffering into your heart as you inhale. Then transform this black smoke immediately into a cool, white light as you exhale, sending yourself love, compassion, kindness, forgiveness and respect. Let go... Continue to inhale and exhale in this way for five minutes as you transform your suffering into compassion for yourself.
Lastly, do this exercise for everyone on earth. Imagine all of the people who are suffering on this earth. Inhale and breathe in their pain as a heavy, hot, black smoke. Take it into your heart. Do not hold on to the suffering. Transform it immediately, as you exhale, into a cool, white light that you send out to the world to heal the planet. Continue to inhale and exhale in this way for five minutes. When you are ready, bring your awareness back to the place you are in, as you slowly open your eyelids.
One of my favorite books is called "Practicing Peace in Times of War," by Pema Chodron (on tonglen practice). Wishing you peace and joy. -- Risha

The Story of Stuff
This video illustrates in an easy-to-grasp manner how the philosophy of "obsolence" destroys the environment, humiliates people by degrading them to puppets of consumerism, and how humankind can recapture their dignity.
Please read on "From its extraction through sale, use and disposal, all the stuff in our lives affects communities at home and abroad, yet most of this is hidden from view. The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world. It'll teach you something, it'll make you laugh, and it just may change the way you look at all the stuff in your life forever
Please watch the video at

Slum Survivors
IRINs award winning film unit is pleased to announce the release of "Slum Survivors" the latest of its documentary films. This compelling 42 minute film tells the stories of a few of Kibera's residents and charts their struggle in the face of extreme poverty.
Please

The Women’s Kingdom by Xiaoli Zhou
Produced by Xiaoli Zhou & Brent E. Huffman
China/US, 2006, 22 minutes, Color, VHS/DVD, Chinese, Subtitled
Keepers of the last matriarchal societies in the world, Mosuo women in a remote area of southwest China live beyond the strictures of mainstream Chinese culture – enjoying great freedoms and carrying heavy responsibilities. Filmmaker Xiaoli Zhou takes a fascinating journey into the heart of The Women’s Kingdom to discover a society of powerful women whose future is on the brink of change.
Beautifully shot and featuring intimate interviews, this short documentary offers a rare glimpse into a society virtually unheard of 10 years ago and now often misrepresented in the media. Mosuo women control their own finances and do not marry or live with partners; they practice what they call "walking marriage." A man may be invited into a woman’s hut to spend a "sweet night," but must leave by daybreak. In recent years, the Chinese have marketed the beautiful Lugu Lake region as a tourist destination, and it draws hundreds of thousands of visitors each year, attracted in part by tales of "free love." While tourism has brought wealth and 21st century conveniences to this remote area, it has also introduced difficult challenges to the Mosuo culture – from pollution in the lake, to the establishment of brothels, to mainstream ideas about women, beauty, and family. This finely wrought documentary is a sensitive portrayal of extraordinary women struggling to hold on to their extraordinary society.

Enemies of Happiness (2007)
Winner of numerous awards including the Sundance World Cinema Documentary Jury Prize, this inspiring film follows Malalai Joya – an extraordinary, outspoken young woman, a folk hero and a women's rights activist - during the final weeks of her riveting campaign for a seat in the newly formed democratic parliament in Afghanistan. Recently suspended from her seat for harshly criticizing the parliament, Joya continues to struggle for the rights of the people of Afghanistan.

Ten Canoes (2006), Australia
Ten Canoes is a 2006 film notable as the first full-length feature made entirely in Indigenous Australian languages. It was directed by Rolf de Heer and starred Crusoe Kurddal. The title of the film arose from discussions between de Heer and David Gulpilil about a photograph of ten canoeists poling across the Arafura Swamp, taken by anthropologist Donald Thomson in 1936.
Comment by Anna Nolan (2nd September 2007): "It is a film entirely reflecting traditional life for Arnhem Land people - there is no reference to the colonial encounter or its humiliating effects. That is partly why the film is so ground-breaking: it is very much a creative celebration of indigenous story-telling and indigenous life."

Walkabout (1971), Australia
Nicolas Roeg's 1971 film centres upon two British children who are rescued in the Australian outback by a young aborigine. It is a cautionary morality tale in which the limitations and restrictions of civilisation become clear when the two children (played by Jenny Agutter and Roeg's young son, Lucien John) cannot survive without the aborigine's assistance.

Whale Rider (2003), New Zealand
The New Zealand hit Whale Rider combines Maori tribal tradition with "modern girl power." Despite the discouragement of her grandfather (Rawiri Paratene), who nearly disowns her because she is female and therefore traditionally disqualified from tribal leadership, 12-year-old Pai (Keisha Castle-Hughes) is convinced that she is a tribal leader and sets out to prove it.

Amazing Grace (2007), UK
Amazing Grace is based on the life of antislavery pioneer William Wilberforce...
Ioan Gruffudd plays Wilberforce, who, as a Member of Parliament, navigated the world of 18th Century backroom politics to end the slave trade in the British Empire. Albert Finney plays John Newton, a confidante of Wilberforce who inspires him to pursue a life of service to humanity. Benedict Cumberbatch is William Pitt the Younger, England's youngest ever Prime Minister at the age of 24, who encourages his friend Wilberforce to take up the fight to outlaw slavery and supports him in his struggles in Parliament.
Elected to the House of Commons at the age of 21, and on his way to a successful political career, Wilberforce, over the course of two decades, took on the English establishment and persuaded those in power to end the inhumane trade of slavery.
Romola Garai plays Barbara Spooner, a beautiful and headstrong young woman who shares Wilberforce's passion for reform, and who becomes his wife after a whirlwind courtship. Youssou N'Dour is Olaudah Equiano. Born in Africa and sent as a slave to the Colonies, Equiano bought his freedom and made his home in London, where he wrote a best-selling account of his life and became a leading figure in the fight to end the slavery of his fellow countrymen.

Since You Left (2005), Middle East
By Tina Ottman (23rd July, 2007)
Since You Left (2005) is a documentary by the Palestinian Israeli actor/filmmaker Mohammad Bakri, focussing on the fight to lift the ban in Israel of Bakri's controversial humanitarian documentary Jenin, Jenin, made, according to Bakri, not as propaganda for the outside world, but to awaken the consciences of his countrymen: Israelis.
The film maintains an elegiac internal monologue with Bakri's beloved late mentor, the writer and Israel Communist party leader Emil Habibi, and is a soul-searching questioning of the vision of coexistence in which Habibi and Bakri had so strongly believed.
Since You Left was released in the same year as the award-winning Private, a terrifying, claustrophobic drama in which Bakri also stars as the head of a family whose home is occupied by Israeli troops during a military operation.
Please read more here.

Private (2005), Middle East
By Tina Ottman (23rd July, 2007)
Private is Saverio Costanzo’s award-winning drama, starring Mohammad Bakri as Mohammad, the schoolteacher-father of a family whose house is occupied without warning by Israeli troops for use during a military operation. Confined to one floor of their home while the soldiers are upstairs, the family is torn apart by tensions, as Mohammad urges them to refuse to leave and to hold out despite overwhelming fear.
Languages: Arabic, Hebrew, IMDB ref:

Va Vis et Deviens (Go, See, and Become; Live and Become) (2005), Middle East
By Tina Ottman (14th July, 2007)
IMDB reference: Languages Amharic, French and Hebrew, directed by Radu Mihaileanu, for a trailer of this beautiful film, including stills, see the Japanese site
Va Vis et Deviens is the moving story of an Ethiopian boy who arrives in Israel as a result of the first of two operations (Operation Moses in 1984, which was followed by Operation Solomon in 1991) to airlift Ethiopian Jewry from refugee camps in Sudan.
Given away by his starving Christian mother to a Jewish Ethiopian woman who dies not long after arrival in Israel, the boy ("Schlomo") is instructed by his mother to keep his non-Jewish identity a secret, and not to return to Ethiopia until he has "become".
Please read more here.

Tibet: The Cry of the Snow Lion
Linda Hartling wrote (June 5, 2007): I recommend the movie "Tibet: The Cry of the Snow Lion." It tells the story of the Tibetan people's humiliation and courageous resilience.

Good Will Hunting, 1997, US
Good Will Hunting is a 1997 film directed by Gus Van Sant, set in Boston, Massachusetts. It tells the story of Will Hunting, a troubled prodigy who works as a janitor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, despite the fact that his knowledge of and facility with higher mathematics far outstrips that of anyone in the university. Will must learn to let go of the past in order to move on with his life. Good Will Hunting is the story of a young man and his struggle with both himself and personal relationships, trying to work through his problems so that he can open up to others, and begin putting his immeasurable intellectual potential to work...
This paragraph is taken from Wikipedia. Please

Freedom Writers, US
Michael Britton writes (April 12, 2007): I saw recently based on a real teacher in the US city of Los Angeles.  Her classes, like the entire school, involved a mix of different cultural groups who were in intense conflict with each other:  Hispanic, Black, Viet Namese, White, etc.  This was at the high school level.  She discovered she could not teach anything until she focused on the realities of their seeing each other through such hostile group eyes as enemies, and started using exercises in class that enabled them to discover the sufferings all of them had in common and could empathize with and respect, sufferings based on the poverty and violence of the neighborhoods all of them lived in.  She also created a means for them to express their experiences, their pain and their dreams, in a kind of private way at first, through journaling that only she would read, and only if they wanted her to.  Which they did.  Her approach led to their becoming a good working group together and becoming successful students, and later successful in starting into adult life.  The movie is "Freedom Writers."  If you are interested to view it and cannot find it available there, I would be happy to find a copy and mail it to you.  There is also now a website, as she has created a program to teach teachers her methods.

Julie Lescaut, France
Julie Lescaut est une série télévisée policière française créée par Alexis Lecaye et diffusée depuis le 9 janvier 1992 sur TF1 (en France), sur La Une-RTBF (en Belgique) et sur la TSR (en Suisse).
Julie Lescaut dirige un commissariat de police urbaine en banlieue parisienne, aux Clairières. Elle est à la tête d'une équipe composée d'une trentaine d'hommes et de femmes, parmi lesquels N'Guma et Kaplan. Une fois rentrée chez elle, Julie doit encore veiller sur ses deux filles, Sarah et Babou.
Cette série rencontre un grand succès populaire. Chaque diffusion rassemble de 8 à 11 millions de téléspectateurs. Pour beaucoup d'entre eux, l'héroïne représente la femme presque (elle est divorcée) parfaite, humaine, qui traite ses hommes et les suspects avec respect, ne fait presque jamais de bavures (et les assume jusqu'au bout lorsque cela arrive tout de même).
Evelin Lindner writes (5th April 2007): Julie Lescaut demonstrates how hierarchy can be combined with respect and dignity (she is the boss), in other words, this series highlights how hierarchy does not have to be oppressive and humiliating. I would recommend this series to be shown all over the world, because it brings across how equal dignity can be lived and realized in a very entertaining way. It stands in contrast to other approaches in the same genre, those which can be subsumed under "people running from explosions."

On a Tightrope, China
In an orphanage in the Chinese province of Xinjiang, children study tightrope walking. The children are Uighurs, the largest Muslim minority in China. Fearing the Uighurs' separatist movement, China rules with an iron fist in Xinjiang. Youngsters are forbidden to profess their religion, and the regime jumps at every opportunity to glorify the unity of China.
Walking the tightrope is an age-old Uyghur tradition, and their feats are spectacular. The children look up to their coach, but his intentions are dubious. After nine months of intense training, most children are told they have failed and will not be able to continue the course.
The film follows four children in the orphanage in their struggle to build a better life for themselves. They talk about the frustration of having to practice so hard, only to find out that it was all for nothing...

Breaking Bows and Arrows, Bougainville, Papua New Guinea
Set on the island of Bougainville in Papua New Guinea, Breaking Bows and Arrows explores the challenging emotional terrain of personal reconciliation after a bloody civil war.

White Flag - Playing with the Enemy

V for Vendetta, UK
V for Vendetta is a 2006 action-thriller film set in London sometime in the near future. The film follows V, a freedom fighter who uses terrorist tactics in pursuit of a personal vendetta and, above all, to force sociopolitical change in a dystopian Britain. The film is a loose adaptation of the graphic novel V for Vendetta by Alan Moore and David Lloyd. V for Vendetta was directed by James McTeigue and produced by Joel Silver and the Wachowski brothers, who also wrote the screenplay.
Victoria Fontan's comment after viewing the film on September 19, 2006 : V's rebellion is a product of institutionalized humiliation. This is an illustration that humiliation is becoming mainstreamed in popular culture.
Christopher Santee's comment: This film demonstrates the power and influence that humiliation has on people to execute drastic measures of violence for redress. V uses tactics of humiliation in his reaction to put down the state, its symbols, and institutions. He humiliates the dominance of the media, for example.

Turtles Can Fly, Iraq
This film received a peace award in 2005 and shows a rather disturbing story of children and violence in Iraq. The movie is in Arabic with English subtitles.

The INDIGO Children (a documentary film)
Who are The INDIGO Children? Have they come to save the world?
Or are they the product of wishful imaginations?
Whatever you call them, (Indigo's or something else) our children are coming into the world with their eyes wide open, ready to play their role in creating a world of compassion and peace. Are we witnessing a major leap in human evolution, what Jean Houston calls "Jump Time?" Many people believe that we are on the brink of a global awakening, and that the Indigo Children are here to show us our highest potential.
In the documentary "The INDIGO Evolution," you hear from leading experts from around the world that this is much more than an imaginary fancy. The Children are real, and they are changing the world. Director James Twyman takes us on a journey into one of the most important questions of our day: "Has the human race finally evolved to a higher reality?"

The Dream of Knowledge, depicting preventing/healing humiliation, Senegal
(made by Gerd Inger Polden, depicting Tostan's and Molly Melching's work)
Gerd Inger Polden's film The Dream of Knowledge (1999, NRK) documents how the practice of female genital cutting in Senegalese villages is discontinued. Polden shows in this film how this social change is achieved not as a result of applying pressure or punishment, but voluntarily. The film accompanies an NGO team that embeds their educational work within an atmosphere of respect. Thus, the film presents a "success story" of how cycles of humiliation can be left behind; the documentary shows how the discontinuation of practices that are experienced as humiliating is achieved by methods that do not humiliate the "perpetrators," but convince them respectfully to change their ways.

Whispers on the Wind: A Film for Peace, Global
Over several years, award-winning filmmakers Ann Crawford and Arn Battaglene traveled the world asking people how we can create peace in our time. From Iceland to India, from Rio to Rarotonga, Ann and Arn talked to teachers, housewives, street children, authors and scholars, Russian babushkas, Tibetan monks, maids and millionaires people from all walks of life. They also talked to world peace leaders, visionaries, and activists like Rev. Michael Beckwith, Thich Nhat Hanh, Jean Houston, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Don Miguel Ruiz, Kiara Windrider, and Harry Wu, among others. Their amazing answers have been woven together by a 20-year Hollywood veteran and accompanied by the music of Gary Malkin, who has won numerous awards for his movie scores, including 7 Emmys. The outcome is a beautiful, inspirational documentary that will take you around the world and deep into your own heart. As a result of talking to the people of the world and making this movie, the filmmakers have started the Whispers on the Wind Foundation. The movie contains wonderful answers, from the very simple to the very erudite, as to how we can create world peace. The Foundation is to be a tool to implement those answers, specifically in the areas of diversity, economics, environmental protection, equality, peace, and social justice. You can get a free copy of the movie with a tax-deductible donation to the Foundation. Suggested donation is $50, with $25 for low income.

Beyond the Fire, US, Global
War has killed two million children in the last decade alone. Four million children have become disabled and hundreds of thousands serve as child soldiers. Nearly half of all refugees worldwide are under 18, and across the globe, an estimated 25 million children have been uprooted from their homes as a result of war. Beyond the Fire introduces the real-life stories of 15 teenagers, now living in the U.S., who have survived war in seven war zones. These stories tell of loss, hope, fear, strength and despair - and most of all, resilience.

Kumbharwada, Bombay (Potters' Colony), India
This film captures the spirit of life in a potters' colony in Dharavi, Asia's largest slum, located in the heart of Bombay. These rural potters of Gujarat state came to settle in Bombay about a century ago. Despite their everyday hardships, Kumbharwada not only survives, it thrives. Filmmaker Rajul Mehta observes Kumbharwada intimately, not as an onlooker but as a participant. This was her natural response to the warmth and hospitality so readily extended by the potters. She is intrigued by their large-heartedness just as she is by the beauty of the pots, both, in stark contrast to their living conditions. She wants to dispel the myth that slums are a place for crime and celebrate the existence of these invisible people. Rajul draws a clearly positive picture, reflecting her own experience. True to Indian philosophy, she compares the human being with clay. She develops two lines of action simultaneously - one dealing with pottery; the other, with people. The camera restlessly follows one potter after another, one character after another, emphasising the frenetic pace of Kumbharwada. No words frame this visual experience and its richness is enhanced by authentic potters' music. Originally made in 1988,'Kumbharwada, Bombay' was 26 minutes in length.

Breezy, America
The film Breezy, directed by Clint Eastwood in 1973, features Kay Lenz (Breezy) as a teen, enjoying the hippie way of life in Los Angeles, and William Holden (Frank), a real estate salesman above fifty, who does not seem to expect anything anymore from life.
This film offers the brilliant description of age as a way of getting tired and cynical, as opposed to becoming more mature (William Holden's part). The young girl Breezy, in contrast, embodies hope, authenticity, spontaneity, and the ability to be alive. She slowly infuses liveliness into the stultified and dead existence lead by her aging cynical friend.
This film plays out how people can be lifted up and dignified within relationships. It also spells out the strategy: the young Breezy shows how it can be done.

The Take, Argentina
The Take is a new documentary by Naomi Klein and Avi Lewis about the inspiring workers' movement in Argentina.

List of films presenting cultures that do not encourage humiliating practices and institutions

"The F.B.I." The Young Warriors (1969), US
Part of the TV series:"The F.B.I." (1965), original air date: 9 March 1969 (Season 4, Episode 24). A mining company wishes to mine near an Indian Reservation. The tribe fears that their river wil be polluted. They oppose the mining project, even though it is planned to take place outside of their borders.
The Young Warriors shows how extremists starken ingoup/outgroup polarizations, essentialize their ingroup (in this case native Americans) as "good," and the outgroup (in this case the "White Man") as "evil," and are intent on killing not only outgroup "enemies" but also the moderates in their own ingroup (those who oppose their stark conceptualization and wish to promote win-win negotiation among equals also with an oppressive "outgroup"). Chief Crow, the head of a tribe, George Fisher, their lawyer (the one who was murdered), John Aldridge (the Mining company's representative, who is to survey for the prospective mining) and Inspector Lewis Erskine (inquiring the murder of the lawyer) stand for moderation, or the "old Indian way," while William Rockhill (the leader of the "young warriors," and the one who had killed the lawyer) and Howard Swift (another Mining company's representative) stand for those who live in a world of confrontation and domination, where only one can win and the other must lose.
A scene of utter humiliation is played out when Swift arrogantly enters the room, is presented to "his Excellency Chief Crow," whose hand he reluctantly shakes, while overlooking the extended hand of Rockhill, the "young warrior." Swift turns instead to the "white man," Inspector Lewis Erskine, clearly treating only the white man as worthy to talk to. To Erskine, he says something like: "We do not need to speak with'these people'! The law is on our side!" And "I am not afraid of'these people'!" The result is that Swift is hit by a stone from an angry crowd, and wounded.
In other words, the extremists (the arrogant mining company representative Swif, and the "young warrior" Rockhill) provoke each other into violent confrontation, while the moderates attempt to reframe the situation into cooperation. At the end of the series, when Rockhill is finally arrested, Chief Crow tells him that murder is not part of the "old way." Rockhill is in despair - to him, the "old way" did not render any valid results but merely represents cowardice.

We Have No War Songs, France
Gypsies in Southern France.

List of films presenting humiliation and revenge

Poisoned Chalice: The UN in Iraq
This one-hour documentary (director, Francis Mead, assistant producer, Ariel Lublin) shows UN staffers recovering from the attack on the organization’s Baghdad HQ in 2003, and working behind-the-scenes to support Iraq’s constitutional referendum in 2005. The film also hears the views of Iraqi families as they attempt to assimilate the profound changes in their lives. Director Francis Mead survived the 2003 attack unhurt and returned to Baghdad in 2005 with the aim of revealing an under-reported facet of the conflict in Iraq. (Password needed for viewing: iraq2005)

The Invasion, 2007
The Invasion, previously known as Invasion and The Visiting, is a 2007 science fiction film based on a screenplay by Dave Kajganich, originally meant to be based on the 1956 film Invasion of the Body Snatchers. A space shuttle mysteriously crashes on Earth, and an extraterrestrial disease in the wreckage begins infecting human beings. The transformation caused by the infection robs the victims of their humanity. As the infection spreads, fewer people can be trusted.

"Ellery Queen": The Adventure of the Hard-Hearted Huckster (1976), UK
This episode begins with the sentence, said by Ellery Queen: "Humiliating people can be dangerous to your health."

Agatha Christie's Poirot: The Underdog (1993), UK
This episode is based on Agatha Christie's short story The Under Dog, which was part of a collection called The Under Dog and Other Stories (1926). The story was first published in Mystery magazine in April, 1926.
Sir Reuben Astwell is making money selling synthetic rubber to the Germans. When he is discovered murdered, Poirot must decide if the motive is political or commercial. It turns out the the underdog, Horace Trefusis, having been exploited and used by Sir Reuben Astwell for years, is the murderer.

The Confession (1999), US
The Confession is a moving film about the leading the character (Harry Fertig played by Ben Kingsley) and his moral journeys, and an attorney (Roy Bleakie played by Alec Baldwin) and his struggle to regain his soul. Alec Baldwin plays a powerful New York litigator who is hired to defend a murderer who avenged his young son's death. It ensues a moral battle - whether or not he should win the case and achieve success, or listen to his client and strive to tell the truth.
Harry Fertig's young son died due to medical negligence, and Harry kills the three medical professionals who were involved. He turns himself in, wishing to plead guilty and accept the death penalty. He wants to be a "good man" he says, and, so he explains, even a good man is not without sin, but he is ready to make amends and take the consequences. The state, however, is subsequently more merciful than he is and he is is not sentenced to death but condemned to 25 years in prison.
It seems that Harry's revenge is played out in the old eye-for-an-eye moral order, whereas the punishment of the state is inscribed into another moral order, an order where the right to punish is taken from the individual and given to the state, where killings carried out by citizens are unacceptable and illegitimate in all cases. The lack of justice that occurs in certain instances in a state-dominated penalty system, augmented to unacceptable pain with the death of his son, combined with the humiliation of not having his son cared for and the additional humiliation of the state expecting him to quietly accept his son's death, drives Harry Fertig to revert to the old moral order and take justice into his own hands in an eye-for-an-eye fashion.
This film could be taken as an example that loss and humiliation, taken too far, can bring the old moral system to the fore again and lead to the kind of eye-for-an-eye revenge that otherwise is transcended in contemporary states (more or less, in the US less, for example, in Europe more).

The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side, UK
The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side (published in 1962), is a detective fiction novel by Agatha Christie. Marina Gregg, the heroine of the film, very much desired to be a mother and adopted some children. When she got pregnant herself, she sent her adopted children packing. One of them returned years later, to take revenge. When asked what kind of revenge she had in mind, she said: "humiliation!" The "daughter" then explains that she wanted to expose this woman, show to the world that she was "a cruel manipulative bitch, a user of other people's lives" and not the loving mother as which she fancied to portray herself. The disposed-off "daughter" explains that she and the other adopted children were given "a role in a play called motherhood" by Marina Gregg and were all sent packing off,, when their "mother" got pregnant. The "daughter" makes the interesting point that she could have forgiven her "mother" if she had not made her love her. "But this was part of the contract. We all had to love her." Clearly, humiliation makes for "hot" revenge.

IRIN Films (IRIN, humanitarian news and analysis, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs)

The films listed on are made freely available to broadcasters and advocacy partners but because of growing production and distribution costs IRIN asks that only those agencies and NGOs actively involved in advocacy work request copies.
While IRIN will endeavour to meet demand, they cannot guarantee that we will be able to provide copies to all who request them.

Slum Survivors - October 2007
Worldwide, more than a billion people live in slums. As many as one million of them in the Kenyan slum of Kibera. Slum Survivors tells the stories of a few of them and charts their remarkable courage in the face of extreme poverty.

Picking up the Pieces (Northern Uganda) - October 2007
After two decades of war and displacement, it is dawning on the people of northern Uganda, they have a chance to go home. A cautious return - step by step - as peace talks progress. But how will people settle the past - with forgiveness or retribution?

Losing Hope - Women in Afghanistan - June 2007
When Afghanistan's long civil war finally came to an end with the fall of the Taliban in 2001, its women dared to hope. But six years later, broken promises and a resurgent Taliban have left their dreams in tatters.

Somalia: A State of Need - December 2006
After years of conflict and isolation, Somalia finds itself once more in turmoil. Much of the country was under the control of the Union of Islamic Courts, until their recent defeat.

Fields of Fire: Cluster Bombs in Lebanon - November 2006
As many as one million unexploded cluster bombs litter southern Lebanon following the recent war with Israel. In the first two months after the war ended more than a hundred people have been killed or injured by these munitions.

The Shadows of Peace: Life after the LRA - September 2006
In Northern Uganda the bells of peace are starting to ring out. But after two decades of death, displacement and trauma, the obstacles on the path toward peace could be just as challenging as the war itself.

Gem Slaves: Tanzanite's Child Labour - September 2006
Mererani in northern Tanzania is the only place on earth where the precious stone tanzanite is mined. Every day thousands of children risk their lives in poorly constructed mine shafts for barely a meal a day. Despite efforts to curb this deadly practice, the global thirst for tanzanite continues to drive these children underground.

Congo's Curse - July 2006
In 1998 war broke out in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Since then, ountless millions of people have been displaced, denied an education or access to health care. As many as four million people have lost their lives.

Aftershock: Rebuilding after the Asian Earthquake - May 2006
At 08.52 am on October 8th 2005 a massive earthquake struck northern Pakistan. An estimated 73,000 people lost their lives and more than two million lost their homes. Six months after the quake, the Pakistani authorities began to move the displaced out of winter camps and back to their villages.

From North to South: Sudan's Displaced Head Home - April 2006
When Sudan's warring factions signed the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in January 2005, millions of southerners displaced by the war started to plan their long journey home. But a stark reality awaits these people as they return to a region devoid of services and utterly devastated by war.

Between Two Stones - February 2006
In February 1996, the first shots of Nepal's civil war rang out across the Himalayas. Ten years on, more than 12,000 people have lost their lives as Nepal's ruling monarchy battles with Maoist rebels seeking to establish a communist republic.

Malaria: Killer Number One - February 2006
Malaria claims three million lives every year worldwide, most of them in the countries south of the Sahara. In Ethiopia, malaria can wipe out the lives of hundreds of thousands of villagers in a single epidemic.

Deadly Catch: Lake Victoria's AIDS Crisis - November 2005
More than 20 years since the discovery of the AIDS virus, and despite huge advances in the prevention and treatment of the disease, AIDS is still decimating communities across Africa. This is the story of one such community.

Hungry For Help: Food Crisis in Niger - August 2005
In late 2004 Aid Agencies began warning that the people of Niger were facing serious food insecurity as a consequence of drought and last year's locust invasion. But the warnings fell on deaf ears and by July 2005 dramatic pictures of the unfolding emergency began to play out in the world's media. But Niger's problems, as with much of Sub-Saharan Africa, are the consequences of poor infrastructure and lack of development. Rather than food aid, what the people of Niger really need is development aid.

Razor's Edge: The Controversy of Female Genital Mutilation - March 2005
Across sub-Saharan Africa millions of girls and women battle the medical, social and psychological scars of Female Genital Mutilation.

The Long Journey Home: Angola's Refugee Return - February 2005
In April 2002, Angola's 30 year civil war finally came to an end. And with the advent of peace millions of Angolans displaced by the fighting began to make the long journey home to an uncertain future.

The Eighth Plague: West Africa's Locust Invasion - December 2004
During the course of 2004, several West African countries fell victim to the largest locust invasion in 15 year as millions of hectares of crops and pasture were destroyed by giant swarms of insects.

Our Bodies...their Battleground: Gender-based Violence during Conflict - September 2004
"Our bodies... their battlegrounds" highlights the crisis facing women, girls and infants throughout the world, both during conflict and in its wake. This film gives a voice to victims of rape in The Democratic Republic of the Congo and Liberia, and seeks to challenge the culture of impunity that allows this violence to continue unchecked.

Bittersweet Harvest: Afghanistan's New War - September 2004
Just as it emerges from more than two decades of war, Afghanistan now finds itself embroiled in yet another conflict - the war against drugs.

Peace Under Fire: Sudan's Darfur Crisis - May 2004
Against the background of peace talks aimed at ending more than two decades of civil war in Sudan, a vicious new civil conflict erupted in the western province of Darfur in early 2003. Tens of thousands have been killed and millions displaced.

Uganda's Forgotten Emergency: The Unholy Terror of The Lord's Resistance Army - August 2003
Since 1986, northern Uganda has been devastated by the rebel insurgency of the Lords Resistance Army. Displacement, the forced recruitment of child soldiers and widespread atrocities are the hallmarks of the conflict.


Discovering Psychology by Philip Zimbardo
Highlighting major new developments in the field, this updated edition of Discovering Psychology of an overview of historic and current theories of human behavior is narrated by Stanford University professor and author Philip Zimbardo as leading researchers, practitioners, and theorists probe the mysteries of the mind and body. Produced by WGBH Boston with the American Psychological Association.

Videos of Interest to Dispute Resolvers

Modern China by Michelangelo Antonioni
Lynn King wrote (August 28, 2009): Also recently there was an article about an Italian filmmaker, Michelangelo Antonioni, who was invited by the government to China in 1972, in the middle of the Cultural Revolution, to make a film about "modern" China, and he did. However this film received intense criticism from the Chinese government because when they saw the film, they felt "insulted and humiliated" because he showed what impacted him personally about the "ordinary life of ordinary Chinese" - the film did not show the "glorious new China" that they had hoped for. Now, after the filmmaker's death, and decades later, the film has been revived, and not only do Chinese today feel the film is not insulting nor humiliating, they in fact feel it's accurately captures the mood and feeling of that period in Chinese recent history. So this story aroused my interest by the way in which "humiliation" was experienced in a historical context, by the Chinese government in 1972, and how changes in Chinese society and in the world have changed that definition of "humiliation" now in the Chinese context. I would think that Antonioni was not intending to "humiliate" the Chinese in 1972, so was the Chinese government's experience of "humiliation" really "humiliation", especially in light of the fact that they no longer feel that way now?
Lynn King wrote (May 14, 2010): This was the film that caused the Chinese government, "at that time", to feel humiliated! This film was re-released because now they don't feel that way anymore. What an interesting commentary on the topic of humiliation. The film was obviously never made with the intent to humiliate, yet the reaction was such, Now, thirty years later, the leaders of the same culture no longer feel humiliated by the same film. Perhaps this incident shows how humanity can evolve over time, to see themselves differently. Also this points out how there was a lack of ability to even dialogue about the humiliation in question at that time. What about now? Are people who feel humiliated more able now than before in history to articulate, discuss, and meta-communicate about such a deep feeling and subject?

Of Human Bondage, US
The novel Of Human Bondage is a strongly autobiographical work that, although it is in itself a work of fiction, draws several of its scenes directly from the life of its author.

Les Visiteurs, France/Just Visting, American Remake
Just Visiting (2000) is an American remake of the 1993 French comedy Les Visiteurs. Jean Reno and Christian Clavier star as 12th century French nobleman Count Thibault and his servant André, transported to modern-day Chicago. They basically wreak comic havoc in both centuries. This film is interesting (of course, the French original is to be preferred), because it illustrates in a funny way how behavior appears to be humiliating in one century that is perfectly normal in another. The count's servant, for example, is expected to sit on the floor and receive rests of the master's meal; he is altogether nothing more than his master's property. The servant seems perfectly accustomed to being treated in that manner and does not protest. However, the modern-day hosts of the count and his servant do not at all enjoy such a treatment of a human being. The contrast is made visible, humorously.

Pleasantville, US
The film Pleasantville highlights authenticity as compared to life dominated by rules and regulations. The use of color signifies authenticity. It is a black-and-white film whenever rules dominate, however, as soon as authenticity emerges, people and things "acquire" color! Please see a review on

The Remains of the Day, UK
Kazuo Ishiguro (1954-) has written a novel, The Remains of the Day (1989), that has been turned into a very impressive film (1993) with Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson.
Greg O'Dea (UC Foundation Associate Professor of English, Director, University Honors Program, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Chattanooga, TN USA) was so kind as to explain the following: "Kazuo Ishiguro is the son of Japanese immigrants to the UK. He was born in Nagasaki, but at age five moved with his parents to England, where he grew up, was educated, and still lives. He is a British citizen, and English is his language."
In this novel/film the dilemma of duty is highlighted in the most subtle and touching ways. It becomes clear that a particularly high sense of duty is a possible choice every human being may take, including the price to be paid for this choice. Viewing the film is like receiving a nuanced introduction into the human condition that allows for, as one might formulate it, choosing oneself "away." Or, for humbleness that goes too far and turns into some kind of voluntary self-humiliation, a humiliation of the human capacity for judgment.
The Remains of the Day was selected by the New York Times Book Review as one of the best books of 1989 and won the prestigious Booker Prize in England.