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Last Chance for Peace in Sierra Leone [electronic resource]

This compelling program documents the daring efforts of the Interreligious Council of Sierra Leone to press for peace and reconciliation in a country devastated by civil war. Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, president of Sierra Leone; William Schulz, executive director of Amnesty International, U.S.A.; Diana Eck, of Harvard Divinity School; and others offer their views on topics including atrocities committed against civilians, the questionable Lome Peace Accord, and the power of religion to affect politics. Sierra Leonean history provides a larger context for the program, while news footage and interviews with those directly affected bring home the reality of the civil war and its turbulent aftermath.
2006; 2000

Africa's Children [electronic resource]: Kenyan Women in Transition

This program explores the pressures on female adolescents in the Third World through the stories of four young Kenyan women growing up in a time of cultural upheaval: Christine, a Masai who escaped an arranged marriage so she could study law; Dekha, brought up in a rigidly patriarchal Muslim town, who aspires to be a doctor; Anastasia, who works on her family's farm while yearning to become a Catholic nun; and Mboone, who dreams of exchanging her affluent urban lifestyle for a career of service in the UN, to help improve the lives of women all over the world. Female circumcision, polygyny, AIDS, reproductive choice, equal access to education, and other issues are discussed with candor.
2005; 2000

Mending Ways [electronic resource]: Canela Indians of Brazil

For the Canela, peace is more important than justice, and sharing-especially of sexual partners-means survival and prosperity. By putting the good of the tribe first, the Canela have retained their tribal identity for centuries, thanks both to the bonding that occurs through ritualized, extramarital, multiple-partner sex and to their ability to maintain communal harmony via their intricate family relationships. But can they survive the outside influences of sexual monogamy and materialism, which have finally infiltrated the tribe? This program, based on the research of Smithsonian Institution anthropologist Dr. William H. Crocker, documents the unique Canela way of life, focusing on their extraordinary bonding rituals and their conflict resolution skills they call "mending ways. Cont [...]
2005; 1999

Ethnic Identity, Regional Conflict, and Peacekeeping Initiatives [electronic resource]

This compelling documentary examines efforts to promote and safeguard peace in the 20th century, a century defined by its wars. Even today, more than a dozen wars are raging, many of them in Africa. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan discusses the history and the role of the United Nations, using the conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea as an example. Other scholars explore the purpose of the state, what it requires to function, and what happens when it disintegrates. Additional issues such as world government are addressed as well.
2005; 1998

Language [electronic resource]

Language is a social construct. It unites the individuals of a given community through a code that is understood by those who use it, ranging from street slang to the prescribed usage of grammar by an elite. This program examines language in a historical context and as a political tool. Since the advent of the printing press and, most recently, the Internet, English has become the universal language, replacing French. This has in turn meant the loss of many languages. Today only 6,000 are still spoken, and it is estimated that by the end of the 21st century, 90 percent of these will have disappeared.
2006; 1999

A History of Social Classes [electronic resource]

Marx divided the industrial world into two antagonistic classes: the bourgeois and the proletariat. In today's society, this simple dichotomy fails to capture the many segments of a global marketplace. From the communal hunter/gatherers and agrarian cultures; to ancient empires and medieval fiefdoms; to the technocrats, executives, laborers, and others of the stratified modern world, this program examines how each era has organized its members into social classes. Although the opportunistic meritocracy of the global marketplace has displaced earlier societal models, do older patterns of privilege still linger?
2006; 1999

Family [electronic resource]

From prehistoric extended families to today's double-income and single-parent families, the family as an institution has undergone dramatic change. This program examines the concept of family as viewed around the world and down through time. Historians Andre Burguiere and Pieter Spierenburg; authors Beatrice Gottlieb and Helene Tremblay; Henri Leridon, of the Institute for Demographic Studies; and Egyptologist Florence Maruejol discuss family structure in agrarian societies, life in a polygamous family, the practice of infanticide, the effects of the Industrial Revolution, the impact of the Baby Boom, the upsurge in generational alienation, the impact of divorce, and other topics.
2006; 1998

Globalization [electronic resource]: Winners and Losers

How is business without borders really affecting the world? As Sabeer Bhatia, inventor of Hotmail; Narayan Murthy, founder of Infosys; and other industry leaders attest, globalization has raised the standard of living in developing economies through high-tech opportunities, foreign investment, and debt relief. However, Harvard's Jeffrey Sachs and other experts point out that the world market is being exploited through shortsightedness, including the aggressive deployment of genetically modified crops, environmental negligence, and the abuse of NAFTA. This program-produced in the aftermath of the WTO protests in Seattle-addresses the pros and cons of doing business in the global marketplace.
2005; 2000

Batak [electronic resource]: Ancient Spirits, Modern World

This program featuring sociocultural anthropologist James Eder-author of On the Road to Tribal Extinction-travels to the island of Palawan in the Philippines archipelago to document the Batak tribe's eco-friendly hunter/gatherer way of life. Repeatedly displaced by immigrants and increasingly driven to take part in the island's growing cash economy, the tenacious Batak struggle to maintain their cultural and spiritual identity while attempting to adapt to the modern world. Can conservationists, who approve of their sustainable methods of harvesting, help to secure the tribe's ancestral forest before it is all lost?
2005; 2000

Popular Culture [electronic resource]: Rage, Rights, and Responsibility

In this Fred Friendly Seminar, Harvard Law School's Charles Ogletree stimulates a vigorous exchange on the tension between artistic expression, freedom of speech, and social responsibility. Presented with scenarios involving antisocial and sometimes violent messages in mass media, Richard Dreyfuss, Def Jam Recordings' David Harleston, the ACLU's Nadine Strossen, Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA), and other distinguished panelists examine the impact that TV, music, and the movies have on young people, the police, and public attitudes toward society in general. In addition, the program explores how the disenfranchised express their often-stifled views through entertainment venues.
2005; 1992

Fair Trade, Fair Profit [electronic resource]: Making Green Enterprise Work

All over the world, green enterprise is growing. This program focuses on the catalyst that is transforming Earth-friendly businesses into paying ventures: a thing that economists call externalities. In Mexico, coffee growers use collective bargaining to create a more secure market. In Tanzania, where malaria is rampant, a mosquito net manufacturer makes good by marketing social change. In Brazil, babassu nut farmers preserve their traditional business by finding markets for their nut by-products. And in Uganda, impoverished entrepreneurs rebuild their community with startup money from a nontraditional venture capital fund called C3.
2005; 2002

Nomads' Land [electronic resource]: Life That Ladakhi Shepherds Dream of

In the Himalayas of northern India, the Ladakhi and their exiled Tibetan cousins follow a nomadic lifestyle that is on the verge of disappearing, their sole livelihood shepherding and the making of cashmere wool. This program combines location footage and interviews to present an intimate portrait of the daily life of the Ladakhi people, as well as their rituals, customs, and history.
2006; 2002

The Masai Today [electronic resource]: Changing Traditions

Swahili or English? Extended or nuclear family? Cattle or camel herding? For the proud, pastoral Masai tribe of Africa, Western culture's advance brings decisions in every area of an ancient lifestyle. Filmed over the course of seven years, this program follows one family as it contends with the challenges of modernity facing the Masai people as a whole. Through interviews and an extremely detailed depiction of Masai daily life, the program explores changing gender relations, language and identity, tribal leadership and family structure, and the influence of education.
2006; 2003

Voices of Disposable People [electronic resource]

More than 300 million men, women, and children are being forced to work in conditions of virtual enslavement. They have lost all control over their lives, and their survival rests in the hands of exploitative individuals and corporations. When they are no longer productive, they are simply discarded-broken, empty, and humiliated. This program goes around the world to document the stories of disposable people: sugarcane cutters in the Dominican Republic, bonded laborers in India, and migrant workers in Miami, U.S.A.
2006; 2003

Tanim [electronic resource]: Instituting Democracy in Tribal Papua New Guinea

Democratic political principles have finally reached the highlands of Papua New Guinea. Tanim-"to change" or "to turn"-is the story of how the Apulin people, the ruling tribe of Enga province, are struggling to balance this alien electoral system, with all its implicit values and practices, with the secure familiarity of their traditional approaches to rule, land ownership, and systems of compensation. Change has come, and the Apulins must now turn their society in a new direction if they are to survive in their ancestral lands.
2006; 2003

Seasons of a Navajo [electronic resource]

This classic anthropological study of a traditional Navajo family, the Neboyias, examines their lifestyle through the four seasons as they travel to each of their hogans-planting, sheepherding, harvesting, and weaving. The documentarist's style is natural and unobtrusive, allowing viewers to share in the Navajo world vision. Filmed in the Monument Valley, Canyon de Chelly, and Window Rock areas of Arizona.
2006; 1984

Through the Looking Glass [electronic resource]: Mirror and Self-Conscious

When do humans develop self-consciousness and recognition of others as separate beings? Do these psychological advancements occur differently in animals? Many scientists think so, using the most advanced of scientific equipment to base their conclusions: the common mirror. This engaging and sometimes surprising documentary builds a case for the mirror's role in determining the stages of psychological progress in humans and animals. Field experiments conducted by Jim Anderson, researcher in psychology at Sterling University in Scotland, illustrate how the mirror's secrets teach much about the intelligence of the animal world.
2006; 2003

One Day of War [electronic resource]

This shocking and highly innovative documentary reveals the scale and effects of war on the modern world: people fight for their land, their religion, their ideas, and sometimes, solely their survival. Following combatants in 16 wars over the same 24-hour time period, the program tells the stories of a range of fighters-from child soldiers to women commandos and UN peacekeepers to army conscripts-in conflicts from Burma to Sudan, Laos to Cambodia, cutting between characters as the day unfolds. This is a continuing drama about individuals: their reasons for fighting, their hopes for the future, and the fear, excitement, and often banality of life in a war zone.
2006; 2004

Sudan [electronic resource]: Black Kingdoms of the Nile

A major gateway to sub-Saharan Africa, Sudan has seen the rise and fall of many powerful kingdoms and refined cultures-and the key to understanding these ancient civilizations lies in the multitude of archaeological treasures that dot the landscape and that are still buried beneath the sands. This program follows the trail of the young French naturalist and pioneer Frederic Cailliaud, whose account of his journey to Merowe in 1820 first sparked interest in Sudan. Excavations and artifacts provide insights into the way of life, beliefs, and accomplishments of the peoples who inhabited the region from Neolithic times onward.
2005; 1997

Shirts & Skins [electronic resource]: Sociology of Basketball

Pickup basketball is democracy in action. This program-an astute study of sports sociology-tracks a mixed group of serious amateurs through an eight-month period, studying player culture, hierarchy, and interaction as they manifest in a setting that has no place for referees. Age, gender, race, injuries, and multigenerational families of players are also considered, as are the game rules and social norms that keep this group together. Skill alone governs each player's status, and teamwork and fair play are prized above victory.
2006; 2003