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Tag: Social Justice

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“Abacus: Small Enough to Jail”: A Minority Bank, Racial Bias, and the Democratization of Credit 

February 26, 2017

Steve James presents the story of the Sungs and their struggle to save their family-run Chinatown bank from a misguided prosecution based on cultural incompetence.


Not Girls in a Gang nor a Gang of Girls: A Law-Focused Review of “Out in the Night” 

August 11, 2015

The law uses the term “gang” too loosely.  “Out in the Night” explores what happened when the term was applied to four young-adult black working-class lesbians from Newark.


Collective Trauma, Transitional Justice and Two Documentaries about Philadelphia’s Confrontation with MOVE 

July 3, 2015

As “Let the Fire Burn” (2013) and “The Bombing of Osage Avenue” (1987) show in very different ways, May 13, 1985 was a traumatic day in the history of police/citizen relations in Philadelphia.  Its legacy is reflected in contemporary controversies over race relations in America.


“The Look of Silence”: Vicarious Fear, Transitional Justice, and Documentary Practice 

June 8, 2015

Like “The Act of Killing,”  Joshua Oppenheimer’s “The Look of Silence” examines the 1965 Indonesian genocide; this time the focus is Adi Rukun, the brother of a victim, who pursues his own mission of truth and reconciliation.


A Feature-Length Black Feminist Autobiographical True-Crime Amateur Documentary: “Justice for Her” 

April 13, 2015

“Justice for Her” is a compelling, insightful documentary directed and produced by a black mother about her struggle to secure the acquittal of her daughter who was charged with capital murder during the “War on Drugs.”


Portraying Young Black Men “with a Background”: An Authenticating Audience Reviews “Evolution of a Criminal” 

February 26, 2015

“Evolution of a Criminal,” with its complex portrait of the filmmaker, offers an good starting point for an audience with lived experience to consider how the media should portray young black men with criminal records.


Blurring the Boundary Between the Doc World and the Law: A Conversation with Chico Colvard 

December 16, 2014

Chico Colvard–documentary filmmaker, film series curator, and lapsed lawyer–explains how he puts skills acquired during his legal training to work in the documentary world.



October 21, 2014

The PA Department of Corrections’ nearly complete ban on recording in its facilities by lawyers and the media needs to be reexamined in light of advances in the use of digital audiovisual technology and visual legal advocacy.


Documenting Social Justice Protests #3: The Supporting Roles of Three Different Kinds of Lawyers 

May 27, 2014

Lawyers play a supporting role in protecting and assisting protesters who interact with digital visual technology. The lawyers may be practicing criminal law, civil liberties, or international human rights.


Documenting Social Justice Protests #2: “In Struggle” with Signs, Symbols, Spectacle, and Respect for Social Connections 

May 22, 2014

Not only should visual artist activists produce work that is authentic and creative, they should also pay due regard to the importance of social connections to movements for social change.


Due East: The Chinese Internet Audience 

May 20, 2014

The Chinese audience for Internet video programming is much like that for television documentaries.  Few dreamers here.


Documenting the ‘Black Male Achievement Gap’ and Building a Campaign for Change 

March 8, 2014

American Promise documents the education of two middle-class African-American boys in New York City from kindergarten through high school.  With the documentary as a springboard, the filmmakers are spearheading a larger social justice campaign to support better educational opportunities for African-American males.