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Films & Videos: Top Ten Lists

Films for April

The boy inside : a family's journey into Asperger syndrome

Documents a young boy's struggle with Asperger syndrome. Adam and his family share their everyday challenges and triumphs to provide unparalleled insights into this increasingly common disorder. Includes interviews with autistic children and their families, and features Dr. Temple Grandin, a noted authority on autism spectrum disorders.

The Iroquois speak out for Mother Earth 

Film by Danny Beaton, a Mohawk of the Turtle Clan, of Iroquois people speaking on environmental issues. Appearing are Clayton Logan, Seneca; Audrey Shenandoah, Onondaga; Oren Lyons, Onondaga; and John Mohawk, Seneca. Their focus is on humanity's relationship with the Earth and the problems resulting from this neglected relationship as seen through the Iroquois worldview.

 

Borderless

A docu-poem about the lives of undocumented workers. Gives voice to the dreams and struggles of undocumented workers, Geraldo, a Costa Rican construction worker, and Angela, a second-generation Caribbean domestic worker, bring to life problems of labour exploitation and family separation.

Temple Grandin

An engaging portrait of an autistic young woman who became, through timely mentoring and sheer force of will, one of America's most remarkable success stories.

Autism : the child who couldn't play

Host David Suzuki looks at the newest research on autism being conducted at the Chedoke McMaster Hospital in Hamilton (Ont.) and at the Massachusetts General Hospital. Also looks at studies in social behavior being carried out at UCLA & Princeton Child Development Institute (PCDI). Autism strikes one in a thousand children, affecting more boys than girls. By the second year of life, autistic children turn inward & withdraw from the world. Today autism is recognized as a partly genetic biological disorder but its causes is still a mystery. At PCDI a treatment gives hope to parents who are often told little can be done.

Waterlife

​Follows the epic cascade of the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean. From the icy cliffs of Lake Superior to the ornate fountains of Chicago to the sewers of Windsor, this feature-length documentary tells the story of the last huge supply (20 per cent) of fresh water on Earth.

The state of the planet's wildlife

Speculates that almost half of the world's wildlife species may become extinct in the next fifty years as a result of loss of habitat, climate change, predation by humans, and other human activities. Suggests possible strategies for averting such a catastrophe. Examines the situations of lowland gorillas in Africa and in the Bronx Zoo, grizzly bears in the Blackfoot River valley of Montana, migrating birds and wetlands habitat in the Florida everglades, and elephants in Zambia.

H-2 worker 

Since World War II, the United States has been issuing H-2 licenses for seasonal farm workers. These workers are meant to be covered by the same laws as regular workers, but these rules are not often followed. While America complains about cheap foreign labor, it uses--and abuses--millions of foreign laborers who do jobs that American workers refuse to do. These people work in heavily subsidized industries, producing the food that North America demands, and because we are unwilling to pay more for that food, employers do not treat these workers with basic human dignity or respect. This film examines the plight of Jamaican's brought to spend six brutal months cutting sugar cane near Lake Okeechobee, Florida, in the late 1980's. There are thousands of H-2 workers in the U.S. today, and their circumstances have not improved with the passing of years.

The nanny business

The nanny business explores the domestic labour market that brings over 5,000 women to Canada every year to serve as caregivers. These women, mostly escaping poverty in the Philippines, need to support the families they have left behind. The nannies arrive in Canada under the government's "Live-in Caregiver Program" that gives them temporary visas, but stipulates that they must spend a minimum of two-years working and living in the homes of Canadian families before they can qualify for residency status. For many of these women that two-year period becomes a nightmare of long and gruelling workdays, below minimum wages and verbal and physical abuse.

This is what democracy looks like

Composed of film segments shot by over 100 media activists during the 1999 World Trade Organization's Ministerial meeting in Seattle when human rights activists, environmentalists, indigenous people, labor activists, fair trade proponents, people of faith, union workers, farmers, students and teachers from more than 700 organizations took to the streets to protest against the meeting.