Films to inspire you to change the world: Recommended picks from Seattle’s Social Justice Film Festival

Books to Prisoners logoOur guest post today is thanks to Michelle Dillon, librarian for Seattle’s groundbreaking and award-winning Books to Prisoners, a non-profit organization that puts thousands of books into the hands of incarcerated individuals each year. Learn more about the importance of this work in promoting literacy and reducing recidivism in this recent article from The Guardian, and learn about how you can support this cause at the Books to Prisoners website.  – Editor

Filmmakers have precious few moments to motivate you: to make you laugh, to move you to tears, or to lay bare important issues. The most resonant movies are often those which challenge your perceptions and expand your understanding of society. Seattle’s upcoming Social Justice Film Festival, running October 14-25, brings together 52 films on global issues of worker rights, immigration, indigenous rights, prisoner justice, Black Lives Matter, government surveillance, and much more. We are showcasing three selections from past years at the festival—each of which is available through the Seattle Public Library. These films shed light on urgent inequities—and might inspire you to take action in your own community. Continue reading “Films to inspire you to change the world: Recommended picks from Seattle’s Social Justice Film Festival”

Mary Ellen Mark: Eyeing Life

Follow us throughout the fall for posts which highlight library resources and information that support the Tiny: Streetwise Revisited exhibit at the Central Library and its community programming.

The undiffused difference between the placid suburb of her youth and the rough-edged city that surrounded it became quickly apparent. In she went with her lens widening as a jagged journey ensued. Lengths and dimensions of lives spread across cityscapes of lost dreams, nightmarish realities, and undying hope.

Pike
Tiny on Pike Street Seattle, Washington, 1983

Mary Ellen Mark made her mark when the book Streetwise was first published in 1988.  Within the reeking insides of a city, runaway children observed yet another stranger inserting herself into the frame of their lives.  Who else could she be except a question dangling itself before their eyes until it, too, disappeared after having received an answering look.

Look, I don’t have to tell you that in this world there are streets not meant to be crossed and sidewalks one dare not step onto less the last step at the far end of the block means curbing your own life. The innocent are not spared, the guilty go on to greater gory and there, midway, on that tumultuous street is a woman with a camera that haunts the harm.  She knows how, even absent the suburban enclave of a carefully manicured life, life remains hungry for itself.  A woman with a camera arrives a stranger and leaves with your face in her hands. Continue reading “Mary Ellen Mark: Eyeing Life”

Movie Mondays: A Dozen Documentaries to Devour

~posted by Frank

It’s fall, and the days are getting shorter and darker. For those of you who are underwhelmed with feature films and unable to commit to another TV series, I offer you a list of a dozen recent documentaries to fill the void. Continue reading “Movie Mondays: A Dozen Documentaries to Devour”

Movie Mondays: Movies about Movies

Last week, we looked at pictures about pictures — films about art and artists —  and this week we look at movies about movies – documentaries about individual films. These four documentaries — two about classic films and two about films that were never made — are required viewing for cinephiles. Continue reading “Movie Mondays: Movies about Movies”

A tribute to director Errol Morris

By Daniel S.

Errol Morris is one of America’s leading documentary filmmakers with a long career of thoughtful and provocative features. Morris combines dramatic reenactments, probing interviews and a kaleidoscope of thematically linked images to create films that push the boundaries of nonfiction narrative. His signature invention is a special camera rig he calls the Interrotron, which allows him to carry on a face-to-face interview with his subject while still having them look directly into the lens and thus create the feeling that they are having a conversation with the audience. The Library has nine of his films. Here are my three favorites. Continue reading “A tribute to director Errol Morris”