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Streaming Video Guides

Use this guide to find streaming alternatives to Media Services DVDs.

South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Oceania

Titles Available as of July 2022

This is a selective list of streaming video holdings in the American University Library. Streaming guides are created by doing multiple keyword searches in the library catalog to capture as many titles on a topic as possible. For complete up-to-date streaming holdings, please refer to our streaming catalog.


The Act of Killing

A documentary that challenges former Indonesian death squad leaders to reenact their real-life mass-killings in whichever cinematic genres they wish, including classic Hollywood crime scenarios and lavish musical numbers.

Bikini Atoll, Marshall Islands: Expulsion from Paradise

In the wake of World War II, in a move closely related to the beginnings of the Cold War, the United States of America decided to resume nuclear testing in the Pacific Ocean, on Bikini Atoll in the Marshall archipelago. After the displacement of the local inhabitants, 67 nuclear tests were carried out from 1946 to 1958, including the explosion of the first H-bomb (1952). Bikini Atoll has conserved direct tangible evidence that is highly significant in conveying the power of the nuclear tests, such as the sunken ships sent to the bottom of the lagoon by the tests in 1946 and the gigantic Bravo crater. Equivalent to 7,000 times the force of the Hiroshima bomb, the tests had major consequences on the geology and natural environment of Bikini Atoll and on the health of those who were exposed to radiation. Through its history, the atoll symbolises the dawn of the Nuclear Age, despite its paradoxical image of peace and of earthly paradise. This is the first site from the Marshall Islands to be inscribed on the World Heritage List. 


Between 1964 and 1973 the United States conducted a secret air war, dropping over 2 million tons of bombs and making tiny Laos the most heavily bombed country in history. Millions of these 'cluster bombs' did not explode when dropped, leaving the country massively contaminated with 'bombies' as dangerous now as when they fell a quarter century ago. [This film] examines the problem of unexploded cluster bombs through the personal experiences of a group of Laotians and foreigners and argues for their elimination as a weapon of war. 

Breaking the Caste

Fathima Burnad is fighting to change a social structure that has existed for 3,000 years. The caste system in India has created apartheid-like discrimination. Although child labor is common and women have few rights, worst off are the 160 million people in the landless, lowest caste - - the Dalits or "untouchables. They live without access to basic necessities and are often targets of violence. Fathima's aim is to empower these people -- her people -- by encouraging them to take action through grass-roots organizations and rallying the support of international communities behind her cause. Member of a series: Fearless Series: Stories from Asian Women 

Drua: The Wave of Fire

VAKA, DRUA, AND MOANA were created and produced as a trilogy of films that focus on the art of canoe voyaging in the Pacific. VAKA is about the traditional art of canoe building on Fiji, DRUA is about collaboration in double-hulled canoe building among Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, and Kiribati and the demise of this art form when steam ships arrived in the Pacific, while MOANA is about the symbol of the double-hulled canoe as a hope for rising sea levels and the human effects of climate change on the Pacific Islands. All three originated from the Oceania Center for Arts, Culture, and Pacific Studies (OCACPS) based at the University of the South Pacific and are informed by scholarly research.

Energy Security: India's Sustainable Solutions

In India a new generation is enjoying the luxury of air conditioning, not just at home, but in the thousands of commercial buildings that have sprung up in the flourishing economy. With its increased energy needs India is now spewing more greenhouse gases than almost every other country-and yet there still isn't enough electricity to meet the demand. This program examines India's energy shortage and the sustainable alternatives being employed to address it. Wind turbines have been effective in Tamil Nadu, and in Karnataka, villagers using fuel made from cow dung find benefits beyond the ecological: their health, finances, and educational opportunities have all improved. 

Eunuchs: India's Third Gender

This extraordinary film explores the twilight world of India's eunuchs who both exploit and bewail their ill-defined status within society. The eunuchs introduce a special world, where for them divinity and daily life alternate in the flash of an exquisitely made-up eye. A 3,600-strong ancient sect who claim to be descended from the gods live in relative luxury. Other Indian men explain why they too underwent painful castration.

Families of Philippines 

Meet 13-year old Khim, a boy who lives on the rural island of Cebu with his grandparents, aunt and her two children. See the dozens of outrigger boats Khim points out as he explains how the fisherman collect the fish that he and his family eat nearly every night. Shahani, 7, lives near the capital city of Manila, a thriving city boasting many modern skyscrapers. Living with her mom, dad and older sister, the early riser gets help from mom getting started in the morning before she's off to school. 

Forgetting Vietnam

One of the myths surrounding the creation of Vietnam involves a fight between two dragons whose intertwined bodies fell into the South China Sea and formed Vietnam's curving S-shaped coastline. Influential feminist theorist and filmmaker Trinh T. Minh-ha's lyrical film essay commemorating the 40th anniversary of the end of the war draws inspiration from ancient legend and from water as a force evoked in every aspect of Vietnamese culture.

Fraser Island, Australia: The Sleeping Goddess

Fraser Island lies just off the east coast of Australia, and at 76 miles long, it is the largest sand island in the world. The site has exceptional natural beauty with some 155 miles of sandy beaches, strikingly colored sand cliffs, and spectacular blowouts. Inland from the beaches are majestic remnants of tall rainforest growing on sandy dunes and half of the world’s perched freshwater dune lakes 

The Golf War

A Philippine government plan to transform ancestral farmland into a tourist resort sparks a dramatic conflict when villagers actively resist the development. As peasants and fisherfolk organize to stop the golf courses and yacht marinas, their community becomes a violent flashpoint in a larger, national battle over land. A provocative portrait of one community's fight for survival against forces of economic "development" presenting conflicting views by peasants, developers, bureaucrats and golf boosters. 

Gringo Trails

Gringo Trails follows well-worn travelers' routes through Bolivia, Thailand, Mali, and Bhutan. The film reveals the complex relationships between colliding cultures, such as the host countries' need for financial security and the tourists who provide it in their quest for authentic experiences. Through the stories of both travelers and locals, the film explores the dramatic impact of travel and tourism around the world over the past 30 years, highlighting the cases of the Amazon Tuichi River and Uyuni (Bolivia), Ko Phangan (Thailand), Timbuktu (Mali) and Bhutan.

Inside the Khmer Rouge

Documentary tracing the history and circumstances of the rise, fall, and re-emergence of the Khmer Rouge as a military and political power in Cambodia.

The Keepers

To call it a nation of incredible diversity would be an understatement. Indonesia’s 17,000 islands are home to nearly 260 million people. You can count more than 700 languages and six official religions. The Keepers will navigate Indonesia's unique history using culture as a compass. Art, dance and food provide a link to the past and a window to the future. Meet the people helping to preserve these traditions, while defining Indonesia’s modern identity. 

Lovebirds: Rebel Lovers in India

A newlywed couple find refuge in a small room in the center of New Delhi. They've escaped from their families and from the network of social norms which condemn their love. There to help them is Mr. Sachdev. He is an ex-journalist who now leads the Love Commandos, an activist group which helps young couples to escape persecution from India's ancient tradition of prohibiting marriage outside one's caste or religion. Even now with caste system having been legally abolished, young couples in mixed marriages continue to risk their lives. The Love Commandos offer safe refuge, legal support and organize secret weddings for couples known better as inseparable: the Lovebirds. 


Produced by the directors of SWEET GRASS and LEVIATHAN, MANAKAMANA is an exhilarating, one-of-a-kind documentary experience. Filmed entirely inside the narrow confines of a cable car, high above a jungle in Nepal, that transports villagers to an ancient mountaintop temple, it is an acute ethnographic investigation into culture, religion, technology and modernity.

Moana: The Rising of the Sea

VAKA, DRUA, AND MOANA were created and produced as a trilogy of films that focus on the art of canoe voyaging in the Pacific. MOANA is about the symbol of the double-hulled canoe as a hope for rising sea levels and the human effects of climate change on the Pacific Islands.

Moana Rua

"For most of us who live in the Pacific, our views of climate change are influenced by what we see happening in our own backyard: waves crashing against our homes, making obvious that we face a bleak and uncertain future." - Professor Vilsoni Hereniko, director and producer of Moana Rua. Moana Rua: the Rising of the Sea was filmed on stage at the Bergen International Festival, Norway, on 31 May 2015. A collaborative production by The University of the South Pacific, the European Consortium for Pacific Studies (ECOPAS), the University of Bergen, and Bergen International Festival. Oceania Dance Theatre and Pasifika Voices are resident artists at the Oceania Centre for Arts, Culture and Pacific Studies, the University of South Pacific, Suva, Fiji.

Mother India

We follow one couple's journey through the painful struggle to overcome their 'curse from the gods' and have a baby. A fascinating insight into the big and frightening fertility industry in India whose massive population is continuing to grow. So why do they want more children? Because Indian society is obsessed with kids. This mentality has resulted in a boom in assisted reproduction techniques, fueled by the promise of defeating the "curse" of infertility.

Myanmar’s Killing Fields

Secret footage going back years shows the effort to kill and expel Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar. With accounts from victims and witnesses, the film examines evidence that security forces 


Over the many billions of years of the Earth's history our planet has never stopped changing shape. Massive tectonic forces have sculpted and re-sculpted our world in a never ending journey. Tectonics has created life - and destroyed it as well. In this opener of a five part documentary series, we examine the movements of the Australian and Pacific tectonic plates and the resulting landscape. 

Opening the Eyes: Deciphering the History of the Khmer Empire

The gigantic Angkor temple complex in Cambodia is a testament in stone to the Khmer-miles of inscriptions that only Professor Thomas Maxwell and a handful of other experts can decipher. But time is running out as erosion and the ever-increasing influx of tourists take their toll on the carvings at this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Using Maxwell's research into the ceremonial eye-opening ritual as a point of entry, this program delves into the history and culture of the Khmer empire and the efforts of the Angkor Inscriptions Survey to preserve the fast-fading record of that civilization. 

Out Run

As leader of the world's only LGBT political party, Bemz Benedito dreams of being the first transgender woman in the Philippine Congress. But in a predominantly Catholic nation, rallying for LGBT representation in the halls of Congress is not an easy feat. Bemz and her eclectic team of queer political warriors must rethink traditional campaign strategies to amass support from unlikely places. Taking their equality campaign to small-town hair salons and regional beauty pageants, the activists mobilize working-class trans hairdressers and beauty queens to join the fight against their main political opponent, a homophobic evangelical preacher, and prove to the Filipino electorate that it's time to take the rights of LGBT people seriously. But as outsiders trying to get inside the system, will they have to compromise their political ideals in order to win? Culminating on election day, Out Run provides a unique look into the challenge's LGBT people face as they transition into the mainstream and fight for dignity, legitimacy, and acceptance across the globe.  

Paradise Bent

This is one of the first explorations of the Samoan fa'afafines, boys who are raised as girls, fulfilling a traditional role in Samoan culture. The film shows how in the large Samoan family there may be one or two fa'afafines who are not only accepted but appreciated. They cheerfully share the women's traditional work of cooking, cleaning and caring for children and the elderly. Today's fa'afafines are becoming more westernized and look more like drag queens. Dance has always been an important part of Samoan culture. From an early age, the fa'afafines dance the female role, and many continue to dance as entertainers in nightclubs. We meet Cindy, a popular dancer, who has fallen in love with a representative of the Australian High Commission. They live together in the Australian compound, which lands him in trouble. He is transferred to Australia but gives up his job and returns to be with Cindy. Several anthropologists, including Derek Freeman and Tom Pollard comment on the phenomenon. Paradise Bent brings up issues of culture and gender and the complexities of sexual identity. 

The Red River: Vietnam—Rivers of Our Time

Vietnam's famed water puppet performances originated from the Red River Delta. These performances recall the lifestyle of the Red River people, which is now threatened by the surging Vietnamese economy. This program examines the life of the sand miners who extract sand from the riverbed. For the sand miners, their seemingly simple routine ensures that the riverbed remains deep enough for the passage of bigger trade vessels - and keeps the cost of sand low for the development of their country.

Rising Waters: Global Warming and the Fate of the Pacific Islands 

Through personal stories of Pacific Islanders, Rising waters puts a human face on the international climate change debate. In the program, islanders show the viewers the physical and cultural impacts caused by global warming. 

The Road to Mandalay: Assessing the Myanmar Reforms

Burma, also known as Myanmar, has long been closed to the scrutiny of journalists and camera crews, and its only real ally and investor has been neighboring China. But, following the dubious elections of 2010, things began to change. The government released dissenter Aung San Suu Kyi, suspended a dam project with China, freed thousands of prisoners, and signed peace pacts with a number of warring ethnic groups. This report on the country was produced with a previously unheard-of travel visa and a relatively liberal ability to film and interview without interference. Locations include the old colonial capital of Rangoon (now Yangon), the bizarre new North Korean-style capital Naypyidaw, the ancient temple town of Bagan, and the bustling commercial hub of Mandalay. 

Saheri's Choice

his program examines the custom of arranged marriages in India. It follows the story of Saheri and her family as they confront the reality of an impending marriage that was arranged when she was barely six years old. An overview of the custom presents it as common among all castes, although many Indians today view the practice in a negative light. Education, family wealth, and astrological compatibility are examined as important in determining with whom the marriages are arranged. In one case, the issue of dowry leads to the suicide of a young female marriage prospect. Severe penalties for breaking engagements are discussed, along with divorce negotiations should the marriage fail. This is a candid glimpse into contemporary Indian society.

Saving Face

Every year in Pakistan, at least 100 people are victimized by acid attacks. The majority of these are women, and many cases go unreported. With little or no access to reconstructive surgery, survivors are physically and emotionally scarred, while many reported assailants - typically a husband or someone close to the victim - are let go with minimal punishment from the state. Saving Face tells the stories of two acid-attack victims: Zakia, a 39-year old whose husband threw acid on her after she filed for divorce, and Rukhsana, a 25-year-old whose husband and in-laws threw acid and gasoline on her, then set her on fire. Charting the arduous attempts to bring their assailants to justice, the film also follows plastic surgeon Dr. Mohammad Jawad, who put his London practice on hold to return to his home country to help Zakia, Rukhsana and other victims. 

Singapore: Industrialization and Migration

A hub of trade for centuries, Singapore is now an economic powerhouse. This program explores factors that have enabled Singapore to thrive, including its location, its high-tech labor force, and its wide variety of cultural groups and nationalities. Interviews with the deputy manager of the nation's port, conversations with citizens from a spectrum of ethnic backgrounds, and colorful displays of traditional Malay dance and dress reflect Singapore's balance of indigenous and immigrant influences.

Tanim: Instituting Democracy in Tribal Papua New Guinea

Democratic political principles have finally reached the highlands of Papua New Guinea. Tanim-"to change" or "to turn"-is the story of how the Apulin people, the ruling tribe of Enga province, are struggling to balance this alien electoral system, with all its implicit values and practices, with the secure familiarity of their traditional approaches to rule, land ownership, and systems of compensation. Change has come, and the Apulins must now turn their society in a new direction if they are to survive in their ancestral lands.

Tongariro National Park, New Zealand: New Zealand's Sacred Mountains

In 1993 Tongariro became the first property to be inscribed on the World Heritage List under the revised criteria describing cultural landscapes. The mountains at the heart of the park have cultural and religious significance for the Maori people and symbolize the spiritual links between this community and its environment. The park has active and extinct volcanoes, a diverse range of ecosystems and some spectacular landscapes. 

Trouble in Paradise

This overview of contemporary life in the tiny South Pacific country of Tuvalu documents the earth's first sovereign nation faced with total destruction due to the effects of global warming. With a population of about 11, 000 living on a total landmass of only 20 square miles spread over nine low-lying atolls 600 miles to the north of Fiji, Tuvalu has been inhabited for over four millenia. The government of Tuvalu and other concerned organizations are directing their pleas for solutions to the wealthy countries whose high pollution emissions could be the central human contribution to this phenomenon. 

Vaka: The Birth of a Seer

VAKA, DRUA, AND MOANA were created and produced as a trilogy of films that focus on the art of canoe voyaging in the Pacific. VAKA is about the traditional art of canoe building on Fiji.

Where the Streets Have No Name

Join Dr. Harald Falge, a man who has worked to alleviate homelessness, as he interviews the street kids of Cairns, Australia, discovering the bitter reality beneath the beautiful paradise. 

The World Before Her

A documentary examining opposing cultural movements in India (tradition vs. modernism), contrasting the experiences and attitudes of contestants in the Miss India beauty contest with those of participants at a Hindu fundamentalist camp for young girls.


Give Up Tomorrow

As a tropical storm slams the Philippine island of Cebu, two sisters leave work and never make it home. That same night, hundreds of miles away in Manila, Paco Larrañaga, 19, is at a party surrounded by dozens of reliable witnesses. The missing women, Marijoy, 21, and Jacqueline Chiong, 23, are Chinese-Filipinos. Paco, accused of their rapes and murders, is a Spanish mestizo who belongs to a political clan that includes a former president. Give Up Tomorrow exposes a Kafkaesque extravaganza populated by flamboyantly corrupt public officials, cops on the take, and a frenzied legal and media circus. It is also an intimate family drama focused on the near mythic struggle of two angry and sorrowful mothers, who have dedicated more than a decade to executing or saving one young man. 

Journey to the West

The powerful and mischievous Stone Monkey King brings chaos to heaven and earth. Freed from a mountain prison in order to guard a Chinese monk on his journey to retrieve the Buddhist scriptures from India, Monkey seeks his own spiritual transformation. Modern performance, contemporary art, and Buddhist philosophers provide a rich context to the ancient tale. Featured cast members include playwright David Henry Huang, storyteller Diane Wolkstein, and translator Professor Anthony Yu.

The Namesake

THE NAMESAKE is the story of the Ganguli family whose move from Calcutta to New York evokes a lifelong balancing act to meld to a new world without forgetting the old. Though parents Ashoke and Ashima (Irfan Khan, Tabu) long for the family and culture that enveloped them in India, they take great pride in the opportunities their sacrifices have afforded their children. Paradoxically, their son Gogol (Kal Penn) is torn between finding his own unique identity without losing his heritage. Even Gogol's name represents the family's journey into the unknown.


Unemployed Vijay is the youngest in his family consisting of his widowed mom, and two brothers. His passion is poetry - frowned upon by his brothers - who want him to find gainful employment instead. Vijay's poems are quite radical in which he laments about the poor, the destitute, and the arrogance of the rich after the departure of the British from India. His efforts to get them published are in vain. He takes to drinking, gets in trouble with the law, is disowned by his brothers, ends up at a brothel and befriends a prostitute named Gulabo. Gulabo is sympathetic, listens to him as he pours his heart out, and decides to assist Vijay. Watch what happens when Gulabo approaches some of her affluent clientèle to assist Vijay and try and get his work published, without revealing that they are written by an alcoholic, disheveled, homeless man.


A newly married couple discovers disturbing, ghostly images in photographs they develop after a tragic accident. Fearing the manifestations may be connected, they investigate and learn that some mysteries are better left unsolved.

Slumdog Millionaire

The story of how impoverished Indian teen Jamal Malik became a contestant on the Hindi version of "Who Wants to be A Millionaire?" -- an endeavor made without prize money in mind, rather, an effort to prove his love for his friend Latika, who is an ardent fan of the show.