Director Stanley Nelson spent seven years making The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, years he says allowed him to “sift through the fragmented perceptions and find the core driver of the movement: the Black Panther Party emerged out of a love for their people and a devotion to empowering them.” The documentary unpacks the erroneous—but often-held—belief that the Party promoted violence as a means of resistance. Instead, it tells a more nuanced story about social movements, the realities of standing up for human rights and the consequences of challenging state institutions. The story pulsates with relevance in 2016, offering students a clear example of why understanding the present requires us to acknowledge the past. (116 min.)
He Named Me Malala tells the courageous and inspirational story of Malala Yousafzai’s journey from advocating for girls’ rights in Pakistan and being shot by the Taliban to winning the Nobel Peace Prize. The film centers on her relationship with her father, an activist himself, who named Malala after the Pashtun heroine Malalai of Maiwand. Interspersed with whimsical animation and comical interviews with her younger brothers, He Named Me Malala shows the teenage and “real life” sides of this respected hero; both sides are sure to inspire students and teachers. A curriculum guide and discussion guide created by Journeys in Film can be downloaded for free here. (88 min.)
Students and staff alike can take inspiration from Lizzie Velasquez, the woman behind the documentary A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story. Born with an undiagnosed syndrome that affects her appearance, Velasquez endured both schoolyard and cyber bullying—experiences that hurt her emotionally but ultimately motivated her to take back her self-esteem, voice and destiny. The film chronicles Velasquez’ rise from YouTube video blogger to sought-after public speaker and anti-bullying advocate. It also addresses Velasquez’ quest for an accurate diagnosis, which she received during filming. An accompanying discussion guide and tips for taking action can help your students join in the quest to make schools safer for all kids. (78 min.)
middle and high school and professional development
Have you heard of POV’s free lending library of DVDs for educators and community organizers? This library lends over 80 independent, nonfiction films for screenings in local communities. You can search for films by title or by topic, such as education, indigenous issues, LGBT and youth views. The library also offers a downloadable discussion guide, a “Further Reading” list and a lesson plan for most films. Browse this e-library today—and begin borrowing by joining the POV Community Network!
high school and professional development
Note: One of POV’s lending library titles is Don’t Tell Anyone (No Le Digas a Nadie), featuring immigrant-rights activist Angy Rivera. Read our interview with Rivera in this issue!