RELEASED: SEP 1, 2002
The murders of two outspoken human rights defenders spotlight the difficulty of change in modern Mexico.
Cause for Murder is a collaboration which pairs New York Times bureau chief Ginger Thompson with independent filmmakers Pamela Yates and Peter Kinoy. The show paints a rich and complex portrait of modern Mexico with characters from the top to bottom of Mexican society: President Fox, family members, investigators, State Prosecutors, co-workers, reporters, and peasants.
“Within the past year in Mexico two young women lawyers were gunned down. Both women, from opposite ends of Mexican society, were working to end corruption and bring about rule of law.”
Digna Ochoa was a lawyer from a peasant background who became recognized in her own country and internationally as a fearless defender of human rights. She took on difficult and controversial cases and was discovered shot to death in her office.
Marigeli Tames was the talented daughter of an affluent Mexican middle-class family. At 27 she was already a City Councilwoman and was becoming a political player in Fox’s PAN Party. She was shot through the heart on the eve of exposing citywide corruption within Fox’s own political party. How these two women lived and died, and how the Fox administration is pursuing justice in their cases reveals much about the possibilities of change in Mexico.
In 2000, Vicente Fox was elected President of Mexico, ending 71 years of single party rule by the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI. Fox was swept into office promising to bring “el cambio,” the change, to Mexico.
This change would attack corruption and injustice at every level of Mexican society. It was this very injustice that shaped the lives and deaths of Digna Ochoa and Marigeli Tames.
Marigeli’s fierce drive and commitment to the anti-corruption ideals of her PAN party led her to become City Councilwoman of Atizapan, a huge suburb of Mexico City. But to her shock and dismay she uncovered a citywide web of corruption controlled by the Mayor of Atizapan, a member of her own PAN Party. Before she could bring legal proceeding against the PAN mayor she was assassinated.
Digna Ochoa was a small woman who was pit-bull like in her defense of the poor and powerless. In what would become one of her final case she was defending two peasants who were fighting to keep illegal loggers out of their mountains. The story reveals impoverished farmers caught between the powerful forces of local strongmen, a US-based International Corporation, and the Mexican Army. Digna brought the case to national attention and exposed human rights abuses by the Mexican Army. In October 2001, after numerous threats, she was found shot to death in her small law office.
Cause for Murder uses the lives and deaths of these two courageous women to help the audience evaluate the reality of “el cambio”, Fox’s promise of a new tomorrow for Mexico.
RELEASED: JUL 14, 2000
Poverty activists challenge police at the Republican National Convention.
RELEASED: JUL 14, 1999
Poor and homeless families on a cross-country odyssey to expose poverty in America.
In June 1998, 50 people, mostly women and children, all poor, some homeless, boarded a bus in Philadelphia. They are members of the Kensington Welfare Rights Union — an organization composed of and guided by poor and homeless people — embarking on an odyssey to meet America. For a month they crisscross the country, gathering stories from people who, like themselves, have been cut off welfare or downsized from their jobs. Outriders is the human story of the riders on the New Freedom Bus and the remarkable people they meet.
This third film in the “Poverty in America” trilogy premiered at the International Peace Conference at the Hague, May, 1999. Broadcast on PBS in 2000. Since then it has been used by hundreds of activists and educators around the country.
RELEASED: MAR 1, 1999
The story of one family that tried to raise their eight sons to be “white warriors.”
When Arkansas Deputy Sheriff Aaron Duvall was assigned to investigate what appeared to be an isolated triple homicide outside rural Russellville, he became obsessed with finding the killers of the family that he knew, including William Mueller, his wife Nancy and their 8-yearold daughter Sarah. BROTHERHOOD OF HATE recounts Duvall’s investigation of the Mueller murder case, which gradually expanded to reveal a nationwide pattern of violence linked to a white supremacy group. The investigative trail leads to the Kehoe family in Coleville, Washington, in particular the oldest son Chevie, who conspired to build a whitesonly homeland in the Pacific Northwest. The film reveals how his efforts led to a countrywide rampage of theft, gunfights with police and murder. BROTHERHOOD OF HATE thus documents one family’s legacy of hate, relating the story of eight brothers raised to be white supremacist warriors, and in the process reveals the dangers posed to America by the virulent, racist ideology of white supremacy
2001 Amnesty International Human Rights Film Festival
Salt Lake City 2001 Seattle Human Rights Film Festival
RELEASED: JAN 1, 1997
RELEASED: JUL 14, 1994
Three teens shoot their autobiographies in this pioneering work.
RELEASED: MAR 1, 1989
The first music video to come out of China amidst the aborted democracy movement.
RELEASED: JUL 14, 1986
One Man’s Journey of Conscience
One man’s journey of conscience from Vietnam to El Salvador, Witness to War is the Academy Award winning story of Dr. Charlie Clements who was a pilot in Vietnam until he refused further combat missions. Stripped of his military identity, Charlie Clements dedicated his life to non-violence and healing, ultimately tending to the wounded behind rebel lines in El Salvador. A personal testament to the enduring tragedy of war as relevant in our times as it was then, this new edition includes a soul-searching return to El Salvador with Dr. Clements.
RELEASED: JUL 14, 1981
Union organizing, murder, and the Ku Klux Klan.
This shocking exposé is as timely today as when it premiered at the 1981 New York Film Festival. The first collaboration by filmmakers Newton Thomas Sigel, Pamela Yates, and Peter Kinoy, RESURGENCE brings together the extremes of social struggle in America; poor black women leading a strike in a small Mississipi town, and Ku Klux Klan members indicted for the cold-blooded killing of union organizers in Greensboro, North Carolina. RESURGENCE aired on national PBS and won a Blue Ribbon at the American Film Festival.
“RESURGENCE has the most literally incredible footage of any American documentary in memory.” – The Village Voice
RELEASED: DEC 14, 1980
Historic strike of the Hormel meatpackers Local P-9.
IJCentral is at the core of a campaign produced by Skylight Pictures to build global public awareness of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and contribute to a constituency that will support an effective international justice system. The outreach initiative includes making Skylight Pictures’ documentary film “The Reckoning: The Battle for the International Criminal Court” freely available for use by educators and activists, along with a range of related short films, video modules, and microdocs.
A companion transmedia project, Granito: Every Memory Matters was created as an online intergenerational, interactive public archive of memories to uncover the history of the Guatemalan genocide.
The GMEM project provides tools for the collection of memories related to the internal armed conflict in Guatemala that lasted from 1976-1985. This conflict, a genocidal war against the indigenous population, killed an estimated 200,000 Guatemalans (predominantly Maya people) as well as another 45,000 people missing. This dark period of Guatemala’s recent history has remained hidden and silent.
For this reason, one of the main goals of GMEM is to involve Guatemalan youth (70% of the population in Guatemala is under 30), who know very little about the fearful times that their elders lived.
By using the power of memory to facilitate an intergenerational exchange to recover memories, and put them in a publicly accessible online site, we hope to contribute to the long-term goal of establishing a shared historical narrative, and build a future in harmony.
The reports collected in this project can be in the form of short videos, photographs, letters, music or even a text message about a loved one. All the memories collected through this project are included in this interactive website, which serves as a public record. Each memory is easily accessible, and can be displayed chronologically or geolocated on the GMEM map. The website is a solemn memorial of the past and evidence of the strength of the Guatemalan people.
The project GMEM works in Guatemala and United States with established organizations that seek truth and justice through their projects. It also depends on user-generated content. Any person wishing to share their memories or do interviews with friends and family can contribute to the site.
The project is directed by a staff based in the U.S. and one in Guatemala. The staff serves as a bridge between those who live in the U.S. and those living in Guatemala. “Team Memory” acts as a link, provides facilitators and trainers, and assist communities in the collection of memories that will be part of the public archive.