Biographical Films: Feature film dramas or documentaries featuring the lives of non-fictional, usually historically significant people. (Biographical films about composers and musicians can be found under "Music Films" in this guide.)
Based on the true story of Solomon Northup. It is 1841, and Northup, an accomplished, free citizen of New York, is kidnapped and sold into slavery. Stripped of his identity and deprived of all dignity, Northup is ultimately purchased by ruthless plantation owner Edwin Epps and must find the strength within to survive. Filled with powerful performances by an astonishing cast including Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Brad Pitt, and newcomer Lupita Nyong'o, 12 Years a Slave is both an unflinching account of slavery in American history and a celebration of the indomitable power of hope.
History was made in 1947, when Jackie Robinson broke the professional baseball race barrier to become the first African American MLB player of the modern era. 42 tells the life story of Robinson and his history-making signing with the Brooklyn Dodgers under the guidance of team executive Branch Rickey.
The powerfully uplifting true story of one man's struggle to survive against mountainous odds. Aron Ralston has a passion for all things outdoors. But when a falling boulder traps him in a remote Utah canyon, a thrill-seeker's adventure becomes the challenge of a lifetime. Over the next five days, Ralston embarks on a remarkable personal journey in which he relies on the memories of family and friends as well as his own courage and ingenuity to turn adversity into triumph!
January 18, 2000 arson fire at Seton Hall University, South Orange, New Jersey: 3 fatalities, 58 injured; no sprinkler system in the dorm, Boland Hall, and students used to ignoring the (frequently false) alarms. "After the Fire tells the inspiring story of freshmen roommates Shawn Simons and Alvaro Llanos, proceeding from the devastating fire through the grueling medical treatment into their life-affirming future. And it is the story of the search for the arsonists--and the elaborate conspiracy that nearly obscured the truth.
U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle is sent to Iraq with only one mission: to protect his brothers-in-arms. His pinpoint accuracy saves countless lives on the battlefield. However, his reputation is also growing behind enemy lines, putting a price on his head and making him a prime target of insurgents. He is also facing a different kind of battle on the home front: striving to be a good husband and father from halfway around the world.
Pekar is a frustrated file clerk working at the local V.A. Hospital. He is also a comic book fan who befriends the young illustrator Robert Crumb and is soon inspired to create comic books based on his own life. Along his bumpy journey he meets, marries and falls in love with Joyce, an admiring comic book seller.
Was Shakespeare a fraud? Who really wrote about cloak-and-dagger political intrigue, illicit romances in the Royal Court, and the schemes of greedy nobles hungry for the power of the throne? Set against the backdrop of the succession of Queen Elizabeth I, and the Essex Rebellion against her, intrigue and suspense advance the theory that it was really Edward De Vere, Earl of Oxford, who penned Shakespeare's plays.
Explore the life and legacy of August Wilson, the playwright some call America's Shakespeare, who chronicled the twentieth-century black experience. Features James Earl Jones, Phylicia Rashad, Laurence Fishburne, Viola Davis, new dramatic readings, and rare footage.
Michael Oher is a homeless African-American teenager who is from a broken home. Mike is taken in by the Touhys, a well-to-do white family who help him fulfill his potential. At the same time, Oher's presence in the Touhys' lives leads them to some insightful self-discoveries of their own. Living in his new environment, Mike faces a completely different set of challenges to overcome-- as both a football player and student. Mike works hard and, with the help of his coaches and adopted family, becomes an All-American offensive left tackle.
Filmed on location in Bangladesh, demonstrates the positive effects of micro-loans by the Grameen Bank on several rural Bangladeshi families including their ability to empower women to become leaders in their families and their communities. Demonstrates how Nobel Peace Price winner, Muhammad Yunus, in partnership with world businesses, uses the power of "microcredit" and "social business" to unleash human potential through purposely designed social/business ventures.
Michael Peterson was 19 years old in 1974. Reckless, and hoping to make a name for himself, he picked up a homemade sawed-off shotgun and set off to rob a post office. Caught and arrested soon after, he was convicted and sentenced to seven years in prison. Ultimately, Peterson ended up behind bars for 34 years, 30 of which were spent in solitary confinement. While incarcerated, his alter ego, Charles Bronson, surfaced and eventually replaced his own personality.
Los Angeles, 1928. Christine says goodbye to her son, Walter, and departs for work. Arriving home, Christine discovers that Walter is nowhere to be found. Christine launches a desperate search for her son. Then, a boy claiming to be Christine's son appears out of thin air. Knowing the boy is not hers, Christine invites the child to stay in her home. Christine cannot accept the injustice being pushed upon her and continues to challenge the Los Angeles police force at every turn. The police slander Christine and paint her as an unfit mother. Christine challenges the system and the only person willing to aid her is local activist Reverend Briegleb.
Story of two English runners that were both driven by different means to win the Olympics. One used his faith in God, and the other his hatred of Anti-Semitism. Special Edition features include: additional scenes, interviews, featurettes, and more.
In the early 1980s, Charlie Wilson is best known as a womanizing US congressional representative from Texas. Once Charlie is prodded by his major conservative supporter, Joanne Herring, Wilson learns about the plight of the people who are suffering from the effects of the brutal Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. With the help of a maverick CIA agent, Wilson dedicates his political efforts to supply the Afghan mujahideen with the weapons and support needed to defeat the Soviet Union. Ultimately, Charlie learns that while military victory can be obtained, there are other consequences and prices to that fight that are ignored to everyone's sorrow.
Adaptation of Shakespeare's patriotic historical drama that celebrates the English nation and the greatness of its King. Includes medieval battle sequences with a recreation of the Battle of Agincourt.
In 1993, late architect Samuel Mockbee founded Auburn University's Rural Studio, an education program in which architecture students leave the university setting to live and work in rural Hale County, Alabama. In one of the poorest parts of America, a community in which 1 in 4 citizens live in poverty, students use donated and recycled materials to build homes and community facilities. The film presents the story of students' experiences during a typical year in one of the most prolific and inspirational design-build outreach programs ever established, including historical interviews with Mockbee. Infusing the film with a larger discussion of architecture's role in addressing issues of poverty, class, race, education, social change, and citizenship are other architects and designers who share praise and criticism of the Rural Studio.
This story begins on the steps on the Lincoln Memorial in August 1963 when a 34-year-old preacher galvanized millions with his dream for an America free of racism. It comes to a bloody end almost five years later on a motel balcony in Memphis, Tennessee. In the years since those events unfolded, the man at the center, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., has become a mythic figure, a minister whose oratory is etched into the minds of millions of Americans, a civil rights activist whose words and image are more hotly contested, negotiated and sold than almost anyone else's in American history.
Inspired by a true story, this inspirational account of a high school basketball coach who received high praise, and staunch criticism, for benching his entire undefeated team due to their poor academic performances.
A dramatic thriller based on the incredible true David vs. Goliath story of American immigrant Dr. Bennet Omalu, the brilliant forensic neuropathologist who made the first discovery of CTE, a football-related brain trauma, in a pro player and fought for the truth to be known. Omalus emotional quest puts him at dangerous odds with one of the most powerful and beloved institutions in the world.
Betty Anne Waters is a young woman whose world is shattered when her beloved brother Kenny is convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison. Steadfastly convinced of his innocence, Betty Anne embarks on an 18-year journey to set Kenny free, using state-of-the-art forensic technology. The unshakable bond between a brother and sister, at the heart of this real-life drama, will stir your emotions and inspire you.
In New York City in 1969, nineteen-year-old art student Noriko fell in love with 41-year-old avant-garde artist Ushio Shinohara and put her career on hold to marry and support this rising star of the Manhattan art world. But 40 years later and still struggling, Ushio remains consumed with reinforcing his legacy via his 'boxing' paintings, while Noriko is now finding her own creative voice through a series of drawings.
Texas cowboy Ron Woodroof's free-wheeling life was overturned in 1985 when he was diagnosed as HIV-positive. Shunned and ostracized by many old friends and bereft of government-approved medicines, he decided to take matters in his own hands, tracking down alternative treatments from all over the world by means both legal and illegal. Bypassing the establishment, he joined forces with an unlikely band of renegades and outcasts and established a hugely successful "buyers' club."
Abandoned by his birth parents and unable to speak for himself, DJ Savarese ("Deej") found not only a loving family but also a life in words, which he types on a text-to-voice synthesizer. As he dreams of college, he confronts the terrors of his past, society's obstacles to inclusion and often paralyzing beauty of his own senses. In this first-of-its kind collaboration between a veteran filmmaker and a nonspeaking autistic, Robert Rooy and DJ share editorial control as they navigate the challenges of representing autism. Deej is a story told from the inside.
The accomplished and currently pertinent story of a boy's coming of age set in an Australian Catholic boys' school. Based on the director's experiences in a monastery, repressed desires meet Christian doctrine head-on.
An extraordinary portrayal of humanity set during one of history's most inhumane periods. Features Millie Perkins as the insightful 13 year old biographer of her family's two-year hiding in an Amsterdam attic. At first, the strong-willed teenager embraces her fugitive lifestyle as an adventure. But in time, the ever-increasing fear of discovery and close quarters prove nearly unbearable for the eight personalities in hiding.
Based on a true story, the film examines the complex emotional experiences faced by John Merrick, the "Elephant Man" when he is discovered by a dedicated surgeon. Rescued from his degrading life as a circus freak, Merrick is given a chance to live his last years with comfort, respect, and dignity.
What response does seeing human suffering demand of us? Filmmaker Julia Haslett seeks an answer in the controversial French philosopher and activist Simone Weil (1909-1943), whose life and work took on this question in a dramatic way. Adopting Weil as her guide through an engaging and profound moral landscape, Julia goes on a journey to understand Weil's loss of faith in revolutionary politics and the spiritual awakening that followed. Driving her obsession with Weil is the interwoven story of suffering within Haslett's own family, her father's suicide when she was 17 and now her older brother's severe depression. When Weil dies from self-starvation at the height of World War II, she is left wondering if death was the logical conclusion to Weil's philosophy and her attempt to share the pain of others?
Erin Brockovich is a feisty young mother who convinces attorney Ed Masry to hire her and promptly stumbles upon a momumental law case against a giant corporation. Erin's determined to take on this powerful adversary even though no law firm has dared to do it before. The two begin an incredible and sometimes hilarious fight that will bring a small town to its feet and a huge company to its knees.
Christopher Nupen's film portrays Alice Sommer Herz, a woman with the true gift of forgiveness. A Nazi concentration camp prisoner for two years with her six-year-old son, suffering deaths of her mother and her husband in the camp, she also remembers playing more than 100 concerts in the camp and likens the experience, both for the performers and for the listeners, to being close to the divine. Alice is in no doubt that music saved her sanity as well as her life and the lives of hundreds of others.
An eccentric French shopkeeper turned documentary maker attempted to locate and befriend Banksy, only to have the artist turn the camera back on its owner with spectacular results. Banksy is a graffiti artist with a global reputation whose work can be seen on walls from post-hurricane New Orleans to the Palestinian segregation wall in the West Bank. Fiercely guarding his anonymity to avoid prosecution, Banksy has so far resisted all attempts to be captured on film.
The true life story of controversial psychologist Stanley Milgram, whose legendary experiment tested ordinary people's willingness to obey orders from an authority figure, even if they felt what they were doing was wrong. This led Milgram's whirring mind to delve into a parade of human behavior inquiries, including the Six Degrees Of Separation theory.
On the fast track and ready to taste the success of corporate America, John Crowley walks away from it all in hopes of finding a cure for two of his fatally ill children. With his wife Aileen by his side, he teams up with brilliant, but unconventional scientist, Dr. Robert Stonehill, and together they form a company to develop a life-saving drug. But just when it appears that a solution may be found, the relationship between the men is tested and the fate of John's children is at stake.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and his colleague Daniel Domscheit-Berg team up to become underground watchdogs of the very powerful. They create a platform that allows whistleblowers to anonymously leak covert data. But when Assange and Berg gain access to the biggest trove of confidential intelligence documents in U.S. history, they battle each other and a defining question of our time: what are the costs of keeping secrets in a free society, and what are the costs of exposing them?
Micky Ward ... is a struggling boxer long overshadowed by his older brother and trainer, Dicky ..., a local legend battling his own demons. Their explosive relationship threatens to take them both down--but the bond of blood may be their only chance for redemption.
Well-known playwright James M. Barrie finds his career at a crossroads when his latest play flops and doubters begin to question his future. Then by chance he meets a widow and her four adventurous boys. Together they form a friendship that ignites the imagination needed to produce Barrie's greatest work. Traverses both fantasy and everyday reality, melding the difficulties of adult life with the spellbinding allure and childlike innocence of the boy who never grows up.
Now considered one of the 20th century's greatest street photographers, Vivian Maier was a mysterious nanny who secretly took over 100,000 photographs that went unseen during her lifetime. Vivian's strange and riveting life and art are revealed through never-before-seen photos, films, and interviews with dozens who thought they knew her.
Explores one the of most influential theorists of the anti-colonial movement, as it follows Fanon from his birth in 1925 on the French island of Martinique through his medical training in France, then to Algeria where he joined the liberation struggle.
A true story about a teacher in a racially divided school who gives her students what they've always needed, a voice. Erin Gruwell comes to a southern California high school bubbling over with naive optimism. She quickly discovers that her unruly classroom is not easily won over by her good intentions. After a few floundering attempts to connect with her students, Gruwell gives them the assignment of keeping journals about their own lives, This assignment is something that the class can bite into with relish. This eventually bonds them together and pushes racial rivalries aside. Draws heavily from the published journals of the real students themselves.
Silent films with musical accompaniment and English intertitles.
From the manger to the cross: Gene Gauntier, Robert Henderson Bland, Percy Dyer, Alice Hollister, Samuel Morgan, James D. Ainsley, Robert G. Vignola, Sidney Olcott.
Musical setting for From the manger to the cross compiled and performed by Timothy Howard.
The life and passion of Jesus Christ originally produced as a motion picture in 1905.
From the manger to the cross originally produced as a motion picture in 1912.
Richard Nixon is the disgraced president with a legacy to save. David Frost is a jet-setting television personality with a name to make. In 1977, the former commander-in-chief agreed to sit for one all-inclusive interview to confront the questions of his time in office and the Watergate scandal that ended his presidency. Everyone is surprised that Nixon would select Frost as his televised confessor, intending to outfox the breezy British showman and secure a place in the hearts of Americans. Likewise, Frost's team harbors doubts that their boss will be able to hold his own. But as cameras roll, a charged battle of wits results.
Filmmaker Ryan Coogler makes his feature directorial debut with this drama centered on the tragic shooting of Oscar Grant (Michael B. Jordan), a vibrant 22-year-old Bay Area father who was senselessly gunned down by BART officers on New Year's Day in 2009, and whose murder sent shockwaves through the nation after being captured on camera by his fellow passengers.
Chronicles the life of Gandhi beginning with his political activities in South Africa during the late 1890's and ending with his assassination at the hands of a Hindu extremist in 1948. Shows the development of his philosophy of non-violence as he leads the people of India to independence from the British.
Details the rise and fall of Henry Hill, a Brooklyn kid who grows up idolizing the "wise guys" from his neighborhood. He begins hanging around the mobsters and doing odd jobs until he gains the notice of local chieftain Paulie Cicero. In his teens, Hill distinguishes himself as a "stand-up guy" by choosing jail time over ratting on his accomplices. From that moment on, he is a part of the family. Along with his partner Tommy, he rises through the ranks to become Paulie's lieutenant. Soon he finds himself the target of both the feds and the mobsters.
Melvin B. Tolson is a professor at Wiley College in Texas. Wiley is a small African-American college. In 1935, Tolson inspired students to form the school's first debate team. Tolson turns a group of underdog students into a historically elite debate team which goes on to challenge Harvard in the national championship. Inspired by a true story.
A brilliant biopic of the influential German-Jewish philosopher and political theorist. Arendt's reporting on the 1961 trial of ex-Nazi Adolf Eichmann in The New Yorker, controversial both for her portrayal of Eichmann and the Jewish councils, introduced her now-famous concept of the 'Banality of Evil.' Using footage from the actual Eichmann trial and weaving a narrative that spans three countries, von Trotta beautifully turns the often invisible passion for thought into dramatic cinema.
The true story of a small-town father who must find the courage and conviction to share his son's extraordinary, life-changing experience with the world. Colton claims to have visited Heaven during a near death experience. He recounts the details of his amazing journey with childlike innocence and speaks matter-of-factly about things that happened before his birth.
Linn Maxwell transports us back to medieval Europe to meet German writer, composer, healer and prophet Hildegard of Bingen in this captivating one-woman show. Accompanying herself on authentic medieval instruments, Linn performs Hildegard's original songs and, through the mystic's actual writings, embodies the life and passion of an extraordinary woman who lived centuries ahead of her time.
In Northern Ireland's Maze prison in 1981, 27-year-old Irish Republican Army member Bobby Sands went on a hunger strike to protest the British government's refusal to recognize him and his fellow IRA inmates as political prisoners. A transcendent depiction of what a human being is willing to endure in order to be heard.
Based on the unbelievable but true events, I, Tonya is a dark comedic tale of American figure skater, Tonya Harding, and one of the most sensational scandals in sports history. Though Harding was the first American woman to complete a triple axel in competition, her legacy was forever defined by her association with an infamous and poorly executed attack on fellow Olympic competitor Nancy Kerrigan ... I, Tonya is an absurd, irreverent, and piercing portrayal of Harding's life and career in all of its unchecked--and checkered--glory.
Fact-based film about Gerry Conlon, a young Irish punk who is caught in the wrong place at the wrong time and forced to confess to a terrorist bombing. He and his father, along with friends of Gerry, are found guilty and sentenced to life in prison. There, his father shows his true strength, and Gerry works to prove their innocence and clear his father's name.
In 1994, having been released from his long imprisonment, Nelson Mandela is elected as the first president of post-apartheid South Africa. Racial tension runs high, even in the president's offices, and especially among the members of his half black, half Afrikaner security team. As hosts of the 1995 Rugby World Cup, South Africa's low ranked national team, the Springboks, have a berth in the tournament. Mandela begins makeing public appearances supporting the team, and meets privately with captain Francois Pienaar, encouraging him to inspire his teammates to victory.
The dramatized story of Alice Paul and Lucy Burns, leaders of the suffragist women who fought for the passage of the 19th Amendment. They broke from the mainstream women's rights movement to create a more activist wing, daring to push the boundaries to secure women's voting rights in 1920.
A surprising and intimate portrait of Margaret Thatcher, the first and only female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. One of the 20th century's most famous and influential women, Thatcher came from nowhere to smash through barriers of gender and class to be heard in a male-dominated world.
J. Edgar Hoover [was] head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation for nearly 50 years. Hoover was feared, admired, reviled and revered, a man who could distort the truth as easily as he upheld it. His methods were at once ruthless and heroic, with the admiration of the world his most coveted prize. But behind closed doors, he held secrets that would have destroyed his image, his career and his life.
Catches primatologist Jane Goodall at various junctures in Tanzania, England, Paris, and San Francisco as she meets with various groups and individuals regarding her work as a primatologist and her personal concerns regarding the environment. Focuses on spiritual and philosophical aspects of Goodall's life as well as her stated belief that the human race is evolving in such a way as to become increasingly harmonious with nature.
Beginning before the nativity and extending through the Crucifixion and Resurrection, Jesus of Nazareth brings to life all the majesty and sweeping drama of the life of Jesus ... as told in the Gospels.
This inspiring and entertaining film chronicles Jobs' early days as a college dropout to his rise as the co-founder of Apple Computer, Inc. and forced retirement from the company. More than a decade later, Jobs returns and single-handedly sets a course that will turn the once-tiny startup into one of the world's most valuable companies. His epic journey blazes a trail that changes technology--and the world--forever.
While our new nation was suffering attacks from both within and without, John Adams had a vision of a nation of liberty and justice for all. He guided his peers--General George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson--in setting the values and agenda for a glorious, free America. Adams and his wife Abigail refined these ambitious democratic ideals, and their partnership became one of the most moving love stories in American history.
Julie Powell is a frustrated insurance worker who wants to be a writer. Trying to find a challenge in her life, she decides to cook her way through Julia Child's 'Mastering the Art of French Cooking' in one year, and to blog about it. As Julie begins to find her groove as a cook, and her voice as a writer, the project takes on a life of its own. The project provides the struggling young woman with her life's purpose, to her very pleasant surprise. Julia Child has an amazing love affair with her dashing husband, Paul, all while embracing life and French food. Julie lovingly celebrates the life of one of American food's most influential and beloved figureheads.
As global Cold War tensions mount and organized crime escalates in the U.S., a young, ambitious man from a wealthy family rises to become the leader of the free world. At the same time, a former dedicated Marine grows disillusioned with America. When their paths ultimately cross, the course of U.S. history will forever change.
Cecil B DeMille made movies for and of the masses, highlighting myths, mystery, and oversized stories. He excelled in the telling of the ultimate legends carved out of the Bible. The simple, straightforward saga of the last days of Christ's life is told in "The King of Kings." Told with DeMille's trademark opulent sets, incredible effects, and a cast of thousands, it is carefully crafted, flawless film making filled with as much meaning and message as possible. In 1927, working with the biggest budget in the history of Hollywood, DeMille spun the life of Christ into one of the highest-grossing, artistically executed films of all time.
Kinsey is a portrait of a man driven to uncover the most private secrets of the nation, and journey into the mystery of human behavior. His 1948 book Sexual Behavior in the Human Male irrevocably changed American culture and created a media sensation.
The story of T.E. Lawrence, the heroic and troubled man who organized the Arab nations to fight the Turks in World War I and then, having reached a pinnacle of power in Mideast politics, retired to postwar military obscurity.
Inspired by a true story about Cecil Gaines, a devoted husband, father, and White House butler who served eight Presidential administrations during the turbulent politics and civil rights battles of twentieth century America.
A revealing drama that focuses on the 16th president's tumultuous final months in office. In a nation divided by war and the strong winds of change, Lincoln pursues a course of action designed to end the war, unite the country, and abolish slavery. With the moral courage and fierce determination to succeed, his choices during this critical moment will change the fate of generations to come.
A lyrical and poetic consideration of the life of revered Harlem Renaissance poet Langston Hughes ; Isaac Julien invokes Hughes as a black gay cultural icon, against an impressionistic, atmospheric setting that parallels a Harlem speakeasy of the 1920s with a 1980s London underground nightclub.
On a train trip from Manchester to London in 1990, a young single mother named Joanne Rowling conceived the idea of a children's book about a boy wizard named Harry Potter. Five years later, that idea became the basis for the most successful book franchise in the history of publishing. Here is the rags-to-riches story of J.K. Rowling, who overcame numerous hardships to rise seemingly overnight from a destitute welfare mother in England to one of the richest and most admired women in the world.
Tells the story of Cecil Williams, a white anti-apartheid freedom fighter and theater director who enabled Mandela to travel around the country and organize the struggle against the apartheid regime, disguised as a chauffeur. Includes archive footage, home movies, personal testimony from resistance activists, and stories of secret gay life in apartheid South Africa.
Based on South African President Nelson Mandela's autobiography of the same name, it chronicles his early life, coming of age, education and 27 years in prison before becoming President and working to rebuild the country's once segregated society.
The true story of Rocky Dennis, a personable young man who has craniodiaphyseal dysplasia, a fatal disease which causes hideous facial disfigurement. Rocky is the son of biker Rusty and he is accepted without question by his mom's boyfriends and her cycle buddies, but treated with pity and disgust by much of the outside world. The local high school principal doesn't want to enroll Rocky, but Rusty fights for her son's rights. Rocky eventually falls in love with Diana, a blind girl who cannot see his deformity and is entranced by the boy's kindness and compassion.
A film portrait of Carl Gustav Jung which includes rare home movies, archival materials and interviews. Presents conversations with Jung's closet friends, patients and associates including Marie-Louise von Franz, Joseph Henderson, members of the Hugennmater family, and Sir Laurens van der Post. Explores Jung's long relationship with Fraulein Toni Wolff, and also focuses on the meaning of Jung's genius for society.
Examines the life and legacy of African American poet, memoirist, and civil rights worker Maya Angelou, from her upbringing in the Depression-era South to her work with Malcolm X in Ghana to the recitation of her inaugural poem for President Bill Clinton. Includes Angelou's own words woven together with archival photographs and videos as well as interviews with Angelou's friends and family.
The courageous story of an African-American sailor who dared to dream of becoming a U.S. Navy Master Diver. Despite a ruthless training officer and a tragic shipboard accident, Carl's iron will is never broken. Against all odds, he pushes on to achieve the impossible.
Explores the life and beliefs of Thomas Merton, Trappist monk and author, through interviews with scholars and the religious and lay people who knew him and through excerpts from filmed presentations by Merton.
His life changed history, his courage changed lives. Harvey Milk is a middle-aged New Yorker who, after moving to San Francisco, becomes a Gay Rights activist and city politician. On his third attempt, he is elected to San Francisco's Board of Supervisors in 1977, the first openly-gay man to be elected to public office in the United States. The following year, both he and the city's mayor, George Moscone, are shot to death by former city supervisor, Dan White, who blames his former colleagues for denying White's attempt to rescind his resignation from the board. Based on the true story of Harvey Milk.
JB Bernstein is a once-successful sports agent who may have to close his business. To save it, he comes up with an idea so radical it just might work. Setting off for Mumbai, JB stages a televised nationwide competition called "Million dollar arm" where two young finalists emerge as winners. JB brings them back to the US with a goal: get them signed as pitchers to a major league team. While the boys learn the game, they teach JB the meaning of teamwork and commitment, and JB finds a family.
In the summer of 1956, 23-year-old Colin Clark, determined to make his way in the film business, worked as a lowly assistant on the set of The Prince and the Showgirl, the film that famously united Sir Laurence Olivier and Marilyn Monroe. When his diary account was published, one week was missing. This is the story of that week: an idyll in which he escorted a Monroe desperate to get away from Hollywood hangers-on and the pressures of work.
Evaluates the authenticity of the earliest source, "The Confessions of Nat Turner", assembled by a white Virginia lawyer from jailhouse interviews. It then follows the controversy over the Nat Turner story played out through history. Alvin Poussaint and Ossie Davis recall how Nat Turner became a hero in the Black community. Religious scholar Vincent Harding and legal scholar Martha Minow reflect on America's attitudes toward terrorism. One of the most bitter race battles of the 1960s is reexamined, when William Styron published his novel, The Confessions of Nat Turner.
A critical view of Heidegger's relationship to National Socialism. It attempts to examine those elements in Heidegger's thought which led him to become an enthusiastic supporter of Hitler and the Nazi Revolution. Shot in Germany, France, the US and Holland, it includes interviews with friends and major scholars such as Bernd Martin, Hugo Ott, Rainer Marten, Silke Seemann, Iain Thomson, Tom Rockmore, Emmanuel Faye, Ted Kisiel, Victor Farias, Richard Wolin, Axel Graf Douglas and Jurgen Paul, among others. This film is a Terrance Edward Davis Production. A Freiburg Germany newspaper quote reads: "an ambitious film which examines Heidegger's intellectual and political career. Jeffrey van Davis does not shy away from the truth.
Anne Boleyn is a doe-eyed vixen who is ordered by her power-hungry uncle to bewitch King Henry VIII. Her shy sister Mary has always been in Anne's shadow. Anne is prettier, more accomplished, and desired by many men. So when the King picks Mary as his mistress, Anne turns on her sister and schemes to become not only the King's consort, but his new queen. Though the Boleyn girls' mother points out that her 'daughters are being traded like cattle for the advancement of men, ' it is Anne who ultimately throws her slight weight around to bully Henry into doing her bidding.
Judi Dench stars in the story of Philomena Lee, mother to a boy conceived out of wedlock and given up for adoption. Nearly 50 years later, Philomena meets Martin Sixsmith, a former BBC reporter looking for his next big story. Together, they embark on a journey to locate her long lost son. As the pieces of the puzzle come together, the unlikely travel companions form a comic and heartwarming friendship. Based on the 2009 investigative book by Martin Sixsmith.
Mary Griffith is a devout Christian who raises her children with the conservative teachings of the Presbyterian Church. However, when her son Bobby confides to his older brother he may be gay, life changes for the entire family after Mary learns about his secret. While Bobby's father and siblings slowly come to terms with his homosexuality, Mary believes God can cure him of what she considers his 'sin' and persuades Bobby to pray harder in hopes of changing him.
In 1981, Chris Gardner was a struggling salesman. His wife worked double shifts to support the family including their young son, Christopher. In the face of this difficult life, Chris has the desperate inspiration to try for a stockbroker internship where one in twenty has a chance of a lucrative full time career. Even when his wife leaves him because of this choice, Chris clings to this dream. The odds become more daunting by the day. Together, father and son struggle through homelessness, jail time, tax seizure and the overall punishing despair in a quest that would make Gardner a respected millionaire.
The Queen begins with a familiar epigraph "Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown"--Henry IV, Part II. The action of the film takes place during the week following the death, on August 31, 1997 of Diana, Princess of Wales. One of its accomplishments, courtesy of adroit use of newsreel and other contemporary footage, is to remind viewers of the deep sadness that surrounded that event. It is also about the divergent and potentially ruinous ways the monarch and Prime Minister Tony Blair responded to the resulting torrent of national grief.
Biographical sketch of the Afro-American writer, Richard Wright. Includes a discussion of his literary works and the times in which he lived, weaving together dramatic recreations from Wright's work and recollections of friends and scholars. It follows Wright's journey from a childhood of poverty through the Chicago Black cultural renaissance of the 1930's, the Communist Party during the Depression, the MacCarthy-era, the American expatriate community in 1950's Paris and his final years.
Based on the true story of two brothers, Norman and Paul Maclean, growing up in Montana. While Paul rebels against the stern nature of the boys' father Rev. Maclean, Norman pursues his dream of becoming a writer. Despite the brothers' differences, they are ultimately bonded by their mutual love of fly-fishing.
Tells the story of an exceptional baseball player and committed humanitarian, who challenged racial discrimination to become baseball's first Latino superstar. The film features interviews with David Maraniss, George F. Will, Clemente's wife Vera, Orlando Cepeda, and former teammates, to present an intimate and revealing portrait of a man whose passion and grace made him a legend.
This drama is based on events in the life of Ron Clark, a passionate and innovative teacher who left his small town to teach in one of Harlem's toughest schools. Clark uses persistence and unconventional methods to reach his students and encourage them to reach their full potential.
Follows the Roosevelts for more than a century, from Theodore's birth in 1858 to Eleanor's death in 1962. Over the course of these years, Theodore would become the 26th President of the United States and his beloved niece, Eleanor, would marry his fifth cousin, Franklin, who became the 32nd President of the United States. The series encompasses the history the Roosevelts helped to shape: the creation of the National Parks, the digging of the Panama Canal, the passage of innovative New Deal programs, the defeat of Hitler, and the postwar struggles for civil rights at home and human rights abroad. It is also an intimate human story about love, betrayal, family loyalty, personal courage, and the conquest of fear.
When P.L. Travers travels from London to Hollywood in 1961 to finally discuss Walt Disney's desire to bring her beloved character Mary Poppins to the motion picture screen (a quest he began in the 1940s as a promise to his two daughters), Disney meets a prim, uncompromising sexagenarian not only suspect of the impresario's concept for the film, but a woman struggling with her own past. During her stay in California, Travers' reflects back on her difficult childhood in 1906 Australia.
The French editor of Elle magazine, Jean-Dominique Bauby, who, in 1995 at the age of 43, suffered a stroke that paralyzed his entire body, except his left eye. Using that eye to blink out his memoir, Bauby eloquently described the aspects of his interior world, from the psychological torment of being trapped inside his body to his imagined stories from lands he'd only visited in his mind.
The story of a Catholic war profiteer, Oskar Schindler, who risked his life and went bankrupt in order to save more than 1,000 Jews from certain death in concentration camps. He employed Jews in his crockery factory manufacturing goods for the German army. At the same time he tries to stay solvent with the help of a Jewish accountant and negotiates business with a vicious Nazi commandant who enjoys shooting Jews as target practice from the balcony of his villa that overlooks the prison camp he commands.
When pioneering environmentalist Rachel Carson published Silent Spring in 1962, the backlash from her critics thrust her into the center of a political maelstrom. Despite her love of privacy, Carson's convictions and her foresight regarding the risks posed by chemical pesticides forced her into a very public and controversial role. An intimate and poignant reflection of Carson's life as she emerges as America's most successful advocate for the natural world.
Adaptation of the true story of a young New York police officer refuses to extort money from criminals as the other officers do. His fellow police officers turn against him when he seeks to expose the situation during a grand jury investigation.
Karen Silkwood becomes contaminated with plutonium at her job, voices her protest at the indifference and denial of her company, and becomes a threat to the entire nuclear industry and the government agencies that monitor it. Based on a true story.
In 2005, the only thing hurting Los Angeles Times columnist and recent bike accident victim Steve Lopez more than his banged-up face, was his pressing need for story ideas. He soon discovers Nathaniel Ayers, a skid row schizophrenic street musician, who possesses extraordinary talent - even though he only has half-broken instruments to play. Inspired by Nathaniel's story, Lopez writes an acclaimed series of articles about him and attempts to do more to help both him, and the rest of the underclass of L.A. have a better life. Lopez's good intentions run headlong into Nathaniel's personal demons and the larger issues of social injustice facing the homeless. Regardless, Lopez and Nathaniel find a way to conquer their deepest anxieties and frustrations.
The story of Jesus' life brought to audiences through compelling cinematic storytelling that is both powerful and inspirational. Told with the scope and scale of an action epic, the film features powerful performances, exotic locales, dazzling visual effects and a rich orchestral score from Oscar-winner Hans Zimmer. Portuguese actor Diogo Morgado portrays the role of Jesus as the film spans from his humble birth through his teachings, crucifixion and ultimate resurrection.
Biography of Charles Lindbergh from his days of precarious mail runs in aviation's infancy to his design of a small transatlantic plane and the vicissitudes of its takeoff and epochal flight from New York to Paris in 1927.
A founding figure of contemporary cultural studies--and one of the most inspiring voices of the post-war Left--Stuart Hall's resounding and ongoing influence on British intellectual life commenced soon after he emigrated from Jamaica in 1951. Combining extensive archival imagery--television excerpts, home movies, family photos--with specially filmed material and a personally mixed Miles Davis soundtrack, Akomfrah's filmmaking approach matches the agility of Hall's intellect, its intimate play with memory, identity and scholarly impulse traversing the changing historical landscape of the second half of the 20th century.
A landmark, classic drama depicting the extraordinary real life of a young woman suffering from multiple personality disorder. Includes the full 3-hour broadcast version (aired over two nights), along with over an hour of new exclusive special features.
Born in Boston, MA, in 1932, Sylvia Plath developed a talent as a writer and published her first poem when she was eight years old. That same year, Plath was forced to confront the unexpected death of her father. In 1950, she began studying at Smith College on a literary scholarship. In 1955, she was granted a Fulbright Scholarship to study in England at Cambridge. There, Plath met Ted Hughes, a respected author. The two fell in love, and married in 1958. However, marriage, family, and a growing reputation as an important poet failed to bring Plath happiness.
Taking Root tells the dramatic story of Kenyan Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Wangari Maathai, whose simple act of planting trees grew into a nationwide movement to safeguard the environment, protect human rights, and defend democracy--a movement for which this charismatic woman became an iconic inspiration.
The story of renowned astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, who falls deeply in love with fellow Cambridge student Jane Wilde. Once a healthy, active young man, Hawking received an earth-shattering diagnosis at 21 years of age. With Jane fighting tirelessly by his side, Stephen embarks on his most ambitious scientific work, studying the very thing he now has precious little of: time. Together, they defy impossible odds, breaking new ground in medicine and science, and achieving more than they could ever have dreamed.
Pat Tillman chose to walk away from a multimillion-dollar football contract and join the military for no other reason than he felt it was the right thing to do. Documented are the facts surrounding the way the military manipulated his tragic death in the line of duty into a propaganda tool.
When six members of a wealthy family contracted typhoid fever in ... August 1906, one question puzzled everyone: how would such an upscale summer enclave become infected with this hightly contagious 'slum disease'? Hired to perform the bacterials detective work, George Soper soon discovered the source of the outbreak was Mary Mallon, a 37-year-old Irish immigrant cook he feared was a 'walking typhoic fever factory.'
Prince Seretse Khama of Botswana causes an international stir when he marries a white woman from London in the late 1940s. When they decided to marry, just as apartheid was being introduced into South Africa, it caused an international uproar. However, their passionate romance triumphed over every obstacle and changed the course of African history.
The remarkable journey of legendary football coach Bob Ladouceur, who took the De La Salle High School Spartans from obscurity to a 151-game winning streak that shattered all records for any American sport.
The film shows a deep connection between Eggleston's enigmatic personality and his groundbreaking work, and also reveals his parallel commitments as a musician, draftsman, and videographer. Eggleston at age 65 become an icon and inspiration to artists.
A stunning and profoundly entertaining work on modern philosophy and the genius that revolutionized it. A humorous and bold portrait of the irreverent 20th-century gay thinker who preferred detective fiction and Carmen Miranda musicals to Aristotle.
Sex. Money. Power. Drugs. Brace yourself for an outrageous true story from legendary filmmaker Martin Scorsese. Jordan Belfort, a young stockbroker, is hungry for fame and glory in New York City, where corruption is king and more is never enough.