Compiled by David Henderson (St. Lawrence University)
Acknowledgements: St. Lawrence University Libraries for financial and technical support.
General | Africa | Americas | Asia
and Oceania | Europe | Distributor Information
Music Moves the World: The Power and Passion of Rhythm, Melody, and
Dance. 2004. Produced by Jorge Sánchez Gallo (Spain). Distributed
by Films for the Humanities & Sciences. VHS, DVD, and streaming video,
52 min. Survey of the role of music in human society, with attention to
how music is used by populations ranging from Senufo weavers to soccer fans.
[Jorge Sanchez Gallo]
Oh What a Blow That Phantom Gave Me. 2003. Directed by John Bishop
and Harald Prins (USA). Distributed by Documentary Educational Resources.
VHS and DVD, 52 min. Taking its title from the 1972 book by Edmund Carpenter,
this film relates the ways native peoples engage with media, following the
premise that media has the ability to help native peoples document their
own cultures, but it also has the power to encroach upon those cultures
and irreversibly alter them.
Screening Room with Alan Lomax. 2005 (1975). Directed by Robert
Gardner (USA). Distributed by Documentary Educational Resources. DVD and
download, 75 min. Re-release of this episode of the series that aired on
WCVB-TV in Boston between 1973 and 1980. Lomax discusses choreometrics and
screens the film Dance and Human History.
An African Brass Band. 2006 (2004). Directed by Hugo Zemp (France).
Distributed by Supor XAO. DVD, 72 min. English-language version of Une
fanfare africaine. The performance of a brass band at religious and
profane festivities in southern Côte d’Ivoire, with a spirited
discussion about tradition and musical change in the modern world. In English
and French with English subtitles. [Cote d’Ivoire]
Jean Rouch—Premier Film, 1947-1991. 1991. Directed by Dominique
Dubosc (France). Distributed by Documentary Educational Resources. VHS,
DVD, and download, 27 min. Rouch talks about his beginnings as a filmmaker
and finishes, at last, his first film, Au pays des mages noirs/In the
Land of the Black Magi, of a Songhay possession dance in Niger.
In English and French with English subtitles.
Siaka, an African Musician. 2005. Directed by Hugo Zemp (France).
Distributed by Supor XAO. DVD, 78 min. English-language version of Siaka,
un musician africain. A portrait of a Senufo/Mande professional urban
musician playing five instruments in the city of Bouaké (Côte
d’Ivoire, former Ivory Coast) for local festivities. In English and
French with English subtitles. [Bouake Cote d’Ivoire]
American Hardcore. 2007. Directed by Paul Rachman (USA). Distributed
by Sony Pictures. DVD, 100 min. Set against the political landscape of the
early 1980s, this film traces the development of the U.S. punk scene. Inspired
by the book, American Hardcore: A Tribal History, by Steven Blush
(2001), and featuring live footage of performances by Black Flag, Minor
Threat, Bad Brains, DOA, the Adolescents, and others.
The Appalachians. 2005. Produced by Phylis Geller (USA). Distributed
by Films for the Humanities & Sciences. DVD and streaming video, 159
min. Three-part series on the political, economic, musical, and religious
history of the Appalachian region: (1) The First Frontier; (2)
The Fight for Land and Work; and (3) A Culture of Survival.
Beyond Beats and Rhymes. 2006. Directed by Byron Hurt (USA). Distributed
by Insight Media. DVD, 60 min. Examination of issues of masculinity, sexism,
and homophobia in hip-hop culture. Includes interviews with Mos Def, Fat
Joe, Chuck D, Jadakiss, Busta Rhymes, and Russell Simmons.
The Dancing Chickens of Ventura Fabian/Las gallinas danzantes de Ventura
Fabian. 2006. Directed by Nina Hasin (Mexico/USA). Distributed by Documentary
Educational Resources. VHS, DVD, and download, 10 min. A lively visit with
master woodcarver Ventura Fabian and his family in the village of San Martin
Tilcajete in Oaxaca. Combines documentary footage of home and village life,
interviews, and animated musical segments of Don Ventura’s whimsical
creations. In Spanish with English subtitles.
Land of Look Behind. 2007 (1982). Directed by Alan Greenberg (USA).
Distributed by Subversive Cinema. DVD, 90 min. Re-release of this film made
by cohorts of Werner Herzog in 1981. Jim Jarmusch, on selecting the film
for screening at the Vancouver International Film Festival in 2001, noted,
"Greenberg’s initial intention, to my knowledge, was purely
to capture Bob Marley’s funeral, and the impact of his death on the
island’s culture. But somehow, like an unusual tropical blossom, the
film unfolds into something more striking and beautiful than maybe even
Greenberg himself expected. It becomes an organic portrait of the very soul
of Jamaica, and the earthy persuasive substrata of Rastafarianism.”
Screening Room with Les Blank. 2005 (1973). Directed by Robert
Gardner (USA). Distributed by Documentary Educational Resources. DVD, 75
min. Re-release of this episode of the series that aired on WCVB-TV in Boston
between 1973 and 1980. Blank discusses his recent work and screens The
Blues Accordin’ to Lightnin’ Hopkins, along with footage
from what later comprised Dry Wood and Hot Pepper.
Stormy Weather: The Music of Harold Arlen. 2003. Directed by Larry
Weinstein (USA). Distributed by Insight Media. DVD, 72 min. Dramatized account
of Arlen’s last years, featuring performances by Sandra Bernhard,
Debbie Harry, Eric Mingus, Rufus Wainright, and others.
Asia and Oceania
Musafir. 2004. Directed by Pierre-Yves Perez and Cedric Dupire
(France). Distributed by Documentary Educational Resources. VHS, DVD, and
download, 84 min. Focuses on the group, Musafir, which is made up of a loose
collective of Rajasthani folk musicians selected and organized by tabla
player Hameed Khan. The film begins with a look at a training session in
Jaipur, continues with biographies of the musicians, and concludes with
footage from the group’s tour of Europe.
ShaktiMa no Veh. 2006. Directed by Jayasinhji Jhala (India/USA).
Distributed by Documentary Educational Resources. VHS, DVD, and download,
60 min. Presents the story of Shaktima as performed by the traditional Muslim
Bhavai troup led by Amrit Kalu Rudatala of Kankavati village (Gujarat, India)
on 11 July 2004. In Gujarati, Sanskrit, and Dingal with English subtitles.
Singing Pictures. 2005. Directed by Lina Fruzzetti, Ákos
Östör, and Aditi Nath Sarkar (India/USA). Distributed by Documentary
Educational Resources. VHS, DVD, and download, 40 min. Follows the daily
lives of a group of Patua women in a village in West Bengal who recently
founded a scroll painters’ collaborative to sustain their work. In
the past, scroll painters would perform their work in villages, unrolling
them a frame at a time while singing their own compositions; however, competition
from other media has eroded this way of life. The women of the collective
discuss the problems and rewards of practicing their art, and speak freely
about the social, religious, and political changes in the village and the
The Snake Charmer. 2004. Directed by Alex M. Goldblum (USA). Distributed
by Documentary Educational Resources. VHS, DVD, and download, 15 min. Short
ethnography outlining the family history and magical roots of a group of
nomadic Rajasthani snake charmers, or Madari. Shot in the summer of 2005
on the outskirts of the town of Dhrangadhra, Gujarat.
A Weekend in the Country: A History of the Meredith Music Festival.
2006. Directed by Robert McCafferty (Australia). Distributed by Madman Entertainment.
DVD (PAL), 100 min. From 1991 to 2005, the annual Meredith Music Festival
grew from a small party in rural Victoria, Australia, into one of the most
unique and beloved music festivals in the world. Narrated by the festival
organizers and Jack and Mary Nolan (the farmers who own the land where the
festival takes place), this feature-length documentary uses footage drawn
from home videos, personal photos, TV broadcasts, and Super-8 diaries to
show how the festival took on a life of its own.
Dont Look Back. 2007 (1967). Directed by D. A. Pennebaker (USA).
Distributed by New Video. DVD, 96 min. Remastered re-release of this classic
documentary following Bob Dylan on his three-week tour of England in the
spring on 1965.
Funeral Chants from the Georgian Caucasus. 2007. Directed by Hugo
Zemp (France). Distributed by Supor XAO. DVD, 21 min. English-language version
of Chants funéraires du Caucase géorgien. Individual
women’s and men’s lament punctuated by collective cries like
in ancient Greece, and polyphonic men’s choral singing expressing
grief without words and cries other than stylized. In English and Svan with
English subtitles. [Chants funeraires du Caucase georgien]
Mixing: World Music and Found Music. 2002. Directed by Colin Izod
(UK). Distributed by Films for the Humanities & Sciences. VHS and DVD,
20 min. Comparative study of the use of digital technology by Asian Underground
artist Talvin Singh and British composer Jocelyn Pook.
Documentary Educational Resources
101 Morse Street
Watertown, MA 02472
Films for the Humanities & Sciences
PO Box 2053
Princeton, NJ 08543-2053
New York, NY 10024
1-35 Wellington Street
New York, NY 10010
1037 Northeast 65th Street #200
Seattle, WA 98155
36 rue du Moulin de la Planche
91140 Villebon sur Yvette