The Talk: Race in America, a Sam Pollard film, conveys the gut-wrenching reality parents of color face when they speak to their children about what to do if they are stopped by police. In six segments filmed in different cities, the documentary explores critical conversations occurring nationwide among families, police, activists and community members about policing and race. The film’s strength lies in its ability to give necessary voice to the fundamentally unjust, disproportionate policing that young people of color can face from an early age. While the spotlight on this harsh truth may be difficult viewing for those still unaware, the conversation—across all communities—is long overdue. (114 min.)*
*This film contains content that students may find disturbing. TT recommends that educators preview the film before deciding whether to show it to students.
First Daughter and the Black Snake, a film by Keri Pickett, provides a unique look into the present-day struggle between indigenous peoples and the petroleum industry. In this film, Winona LaDuke leads the charge against Enbridge Inc.’s plans to route an oil pipeline through the sacred wild rice lakes protected under the Ojibwe tribe’s 1855 treaty with the U.S. government. The pipeline poses the threat of irreparable damage, not only to the land’s ecosystems but also to the tribe’s traditional ways of life and individuals’ physical health. In addition to examining the challenges of protecting sacred indigenous lands from corporations, this film examines the intimate connections between Native peoples and the earth, heritage, tradition and family. (94 min.)
middle and HIGH school
Youth in Motion, a project of Frameline, offers to educators a library of films reflecting LGBTQ experiences. The collections cover diverse topics, from LGBTQ history and activism to unapologetic and humanizing portraits of what it’s like growing up queer in communities across the United States. The 2018 Youth in Motion collection features two films centered on trans youth experiences, including Deep Run, an intimate documentary featuring Cole Ray Davis’s life in rural North Carolina, where his identities as a trans man and undocumented immigrant cause tension in his quest for faith, work, acceptance and love. The current year’s collection is free for middle and high schools. Most of Youth in Motion’s previous collections are available for $25.
middle and high school // professional development
How Does Fake News Become News?, a short film from Teaching Tolerance, takes a humorous look at the journey of an inaccurate tweet that ended up becoming a mainstream news story. Fun animations and a quirky host help students understand digital literacy vocabulary like filter bubble and signal booster—concepts they need to be familiar with to create and consume high-quality material on the web. This is the first of five films rolling out over the course of the year to support the Teaching Tolerance Digital Literacy initiative, a multi-faceted project including K–12 lessons and professional development. The films support teaching of the Digital Literacy Framework, which presents the key knowledge and skills that students need to be safe, engaged and productive members of their online communities. (7 min.)