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Off-Campus Streaming Guide

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

Indie Films

Titles Available as of July 2021

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.

Actor Martinez

Dreaming of fame and fortune, a local Denver actor hires two indie filmmakers to come to town & make a film with him as the star. It becomes clear that his life will not provide enough drama to carry a film. So the filmmakers get creative...  

Adam

Soon after moving in, Beth, a brainy, beautiful writer damaged from a past relationship encounters Adam, the handsome, but odd, fellow in the downstairs apartment whose awkwardness is perplexing. Beth and Adam's ultimate connection leads to a tricky relationship that exemplifies something universal: truly reaching another person means bravely stretching into uncomfortable territory and the resulting shake-up can be liberating.

Balletguttene

Billy Elliot meets First Position in Ballet Boys, a documentary that follows, over four years, the struggles, set-backs and accomplishments of three friends and hopeful future dance stars: Lukas, Syvert, and Torgeir. The boys sacrifice a normal high school experience (including parties and dating) for the sake of ambition and a love of dance. Facing pressure from their parents, school teachers and ballet mentors, they prepare for potentially life-altering and career-making auditions at some of Europe's most prestigious ballet schools. 

Black Swan

Nina is a ballerina in a New York City ballet company whose life, like all those in her profession, is completely consumed with dance. She lives with her obsessive former ballerina mother Erica (Hershey) who exerts a suffocating control over her. When artistic director Thomas Leroy decides to replace prima ballerina Beth MacIntyre for the opening production of their new season, Swan Lake, Nina is his first choice. But Nina has competition: a new dancer, Lily, who impresses Leroy as well. Swan Lake requires a dancer who can play both the White Swan with innocence and grace, and the Black Swan, who represents guile and sensuality. Nina fits the White Swan role perfectly but Lily is the personification of the Black Swan. As the two young dancers expand their rivalry into a twisted friendship, Nina begins to get more in touch with her dark side - a recklessness that threatens to destroy her.

Born in Flames

This is the movie that rocked the foundations of the early Indie film world. A provocative, thrilling, and still-relevant classic, it's a comic fantasy of female rebellion set in America ten years after the Second American Revolution. When Adelaide Norris, the black radical founder of the Woman’s Army, is killed mysteriously, a diverse coalition of women - across all lines of race, class, and sexual preference - emerges to blow the system apart. Newly restored in high definition on its 35th anniversary, Born in Flames is even more relevant in today's political climate. Preserved by Anthology Film Archives with restoration funding from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and The Film Foundation. 

Burning in the Sun

26-year-old Daniel Dembélé is equal parts West African and European, and looking to make his mark on the world. Seizing the moment at a crossroads in his life, Daniel decides to return to his homeland in Mali and start a local business building solar panels, the first of its kind in the sun drenched nation. Daniel's goal is to electrify the households of rural communities, 99% of which live without power. The film tells the story of Daniel's journey growing the budding idea into a viable company, and of the business' impact on Daniel's first customers in the tiny village of Banko. Addressing climate change, poverty, and self-sufficiency, the film demonstrates how a small-scale, local business model can improve jobs, appropriate products, and empower poor people everywhere. 

Circo

Gorgeously filmed along the back roads of rural Mexico and set to the music of the indie-rock band Calexico, Circo follows the Ponce family’s hardscrabble circus as it struggles to stay together. Tino, the ringmaster, is driven by his dream to lead his parents’ circus to success and corrals the energy of his whole family, including his four young children, towards this singular goal. His wife, Ivonne, is determined to make a change; feeling exploited by her in-laws, she longs to return to her kids a childhood lost to laboring in the circus. Circo reveals the luminous world of a traveling family circus while the fate of this century-old family tradition hangs in the balance. 

The Cleaners

Enter a hidden third world shadow industry of digital cleaning, where the Internet rids itself of what it doesn't like: violence, pornography and political content. Here we meet five "digital scavengers" among thousands of people outsourced from Silicon Valley whose job is to delete "inappropriate" content off of the net. In a parallel struggle, we meet people around the globe whose lives are dramatically affected by online censorship. A typical "cleaner" must observe and rate thousands of often deeply disturbing images and videos every day, leading to lasting psychological impacts. 

David

As the son of the Imam of the local Brooklyn mosque, eleven year-old Daud has to juggle the high expectations of his Father and his feelings of isolation and difference- even from his peers in the Muslim community. Through an innocent act of good faith, Daud inadvertently befriends a group of Jewish boys who mistake him as a fellow classmate at their orthodox school, in the neighboring Jewish community. A genuine friendship grows between Daud and Yoav, one of the Jewish boys, and his family. Unable to resist the joy of a camaraderie that he has never felt before, David, as he is known to the kids, is drawn into a complicated dilemma inspired by youthful deceit and the best of intentions.

Denial

This biographical drama recounts Deborah E. Lipstadt's (Rachel Weisz) legal battle for historical truth against David Irving (Timothy Spall), who accused her of libel when she declared him a Holocaust denier. In the English legal system, in cases of libel, the burden of proof is on the defendant, therefore it was up to Lipstadt and her legal team, led by Richard Rampton (Tom Wilkinson), to prove the essential truth that the Holocaust occurred. 

Do the Right Thing

Traces the course of a single day on a block in the Bedford-Stuyvesant area of Brooklyn. It's the hottest day of the year, a scorching 24-hour period that will change the lives of its residents forever.

Downtown 81

In 1981, writer and Warhol associate Glenn O'Brien, Swiss photographer Edo Bertoglio, and Jean-Michel Basquiat, a graffiti innovator and noise music artist who'd just begun to exhibit his paintings, hit the streets of lower Manhattan to make a movie about the bombed-out bohemia that they knew, with a script by O'Brien, Bertoglio directing, and Basquiat, a naturally compelling presence, starring. Left incomplete due to money problems and assembled for release in 2000, Downtown 81, which follows Basquiat trying to move a painting while hustling for a place to sleep, became a window on a lost world of life on the margins and crazy creative ferment. Featuring John Lurie, Fab Five Freddy, and Debbie Harry, with musical performances by DNA, James White and the Blacks, and Kid Creole and the Coconuts-and Manhattan in all its mangy glory. 

The Escort

When Eric (Kevin Leslie) pays Veronica (Olivia Moyles), an escort, for sixty minutes of her time, he thinks he will be able to convince her to leave her work. Veronica is no wallflower though, and soon the pair is locked in an intense verbal battle that becomes more personal than either could have envisaged. When the hour is up, both are left feeling that things will never be the same again. Based on the experiences of both current and former sex workers, The Escort taps into the social conversation sparked by the #TimesUp and #MeToo campaigns to explore how sexual politics is played out in the digital age. Told in real-time, The Escort boldly holds up sexual relationships for examination, while giving a strong voice to women in the profession and beyond. A brave and fast-paced feature-length debut by Phoenix Waters Productions, The Escort is sure to have your mind racing long after the final credits roll. The Escort was named the Winner of the Award of Excellence at the IndieFEST Film Awards. 

Garden State

When Andrew Largeman (Zach Braff) returns to his hometown for his mother's funeral, he reconnects with old friends and - since he's gone off his depression medication - himself. A chance meeting with Sam (Natalie Portman), who is also suffering from various maladies, opens his world to the possibility of rekindling emotional attachments, confronting his psychologist father, and perhaps beginning a new life.

The Grand Budapest Hotel

GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL recounts the adventures of Gustave H, a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel between the wars, and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend. The story involves the theft and recovery of a priceless Renaissance painting and the battle for an enormous family fortune -- all against the back-drop of a suddenly and dramatically changing Continent.

Last Cab to Darwin

Rex is a cab driver, who has never left the mining town of Broken Hill in his life. When he discovers he doesn't have long to live, he decides to drive through the heart of the country to Darwin, where he's heard he will be able to die on his own terms. Along the way, he discovers that before you can end your life you've got to live it, and to live it, you've got to learn to share it.

Moonlight

MOONLIGHT is the tender, heartbreaking story of a young man's struggle to find himself, told across three defining chapters in his life as he experiences the ecstasy, pain, and beauty of falling in love, while grappling with his own sexuality.

Never Let Me Go

NEVER LET ME GO is a poignant love story, adapted from Kazuo Ishiguro's bestselling, Booker Prize short listed novel of the same name. As children, Ruth (Keira Knightley), Kathy (Carey Mulligan) and Tommy (Andrew Garfield), spend their childhood at a seemingly idyllic English boarding school. As they grow into young adults, they find that they have to come to terms with the strength of the love they feel for each other, while preparing themselves for the haunting reality that awaits them.

Once

A modern day musical set on the streets of Dublin. Featuring Glen Hansard and his Irish band "The Frames," the film tells the story of a street musician and a Czech immigrant during an eventful week as they write, rehearse and record songs that reveal their unique love story.

Plastic Paradise: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch

Thousands of miles away from civilization, Midway Atoll is in one of the most remote places on earth. And yet its become ground zero for The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, syphoning plastics from three distant continents. In this independent documentary film, journalist/filmmaker Angela Sun travels on a personal journey of discovery to uncover this mysterious phenomenon. Along the way she meets scientists, researchers, influencers, and volunteers who shed light on the effects of our rabid plastic consumption and learns the problem is more insidious than we could have ever imagined. 

The Scenesters 

Someone is killing beautiful young hipsters in East L.A. But while the bloody trail is cold for the super-apathetic detectives, Charlie - a crime scene cleaner with a penchant for Sherlockian deduction - begins finding some unusual clues in the demo CDs of indie bands left behind at the murder sites, which he shares with two out-of-luck filmmakers turned crime scene videographers. Problem is, nobody is really sure that Charlie isn't the serial killer himself. Meanwhile, the dead hipsters are piling up like pancakes in thrift-store flannel, there's a rival Danish film crew, and on top of everything else, it looks like the killer is now making an experimental film of his own. Simple? Not really, but then murder never is. The Scenesters: a murder-serial killer-film noir-comedy with really great music.

Toe to Toe

Jesse (Louisa Krause of The Girlfriend Experience) is a privileged but troubled white girl whose promiscuous tendencies pull her towards self-destructive behavior. Tosha (Sonequa Martin Green of Star Trek: Discovery) is a fiercely determined African-American from Anacostia, one of DC's most impoverished areas. Both new seniors and star players on their school's lacrosse team, the two girls click despite their differences. Their fledgling friendship begins to falter when they discover their shared interest in Rashid, a dashing Lebanese deejay.

Tokyo Fiancee

Based on Amélie Nothomb's bestselling novel, Tokyo Fiancée is a dark romantic comedy that will appeal to fans of Jean-Pierre Jeunet's Amélie and Sofia Coppola's Lost in Translation. The young, pixie-like Amélie is in love with all things Japanese, which prompts her to buy a one-way ticket to Tokyo to immerse herself completely in Japanese culture. She offers to work as a French tutor, and soon finds herself enjoying a passionate relationship with her only student, the charming Rinri. As the two explore the joys (and awkwardness) of their first real romance, and the colorful city around them, many cultural barriers fall, though some still remain. 

Under the Same Sky

The Chinese government is sponsoring a national campaign on "equal" education. UNDER THE SAME SKY documents school children in the city as well as the country to compare the two educational experiences. UNDER THE SAME SKY had been nominated for best short documentary at the 2017 **Asian Pacific Film Festival**, 2017 **St. Louis International Film Festival**, **Long beach indie Film Festival** and **Los Angeles Chinese Film Festival**. It's also been shown and won awards at 15 other film festivals around the world, including the **Cannes Short Film Corner** and **The Impact Docs Awards**. 

Under the Skin

Based on the novel by Michel Faber, UNDER THE SKIN examines human experience from the perspective of an unforgettable heroine (Scarlett Johansson) who grows too comfortable in her borrowed skin, until she is abducted into humanity with devastating results 

The Way Way Back

THE WAY, WAY BACK is the funny and poignant coming-of-age story of 14-year-old Duncan's summer vacation with his mother, Pam, her overbearing boyfriend, Trent, and his daughter Steph. Having a rough time fitting in, the introverted Duncan finds an unexpected friend in gregarious Owen, manager of the Water Wizz water park. Through his funny, clandestine friendship with Owen, Duncan slowly opens up and begins to finally find his place in the world--all during a summer he will never forget.

The Wrestler

Back in the late '80s, Randy "The Ram" Robinson was a headlining professional wrestler. Now, twenty years later, he ekes out a living performing for handfuls of diehard wrestling fans in high school gyms and community centers around New Jersey. Estranged from his daughter and unable to sustain any real relationships, Randy lives for the thrill of the show and the adoration of his fans. However, a heart attack forces him into retirement. As his sense of identity starts to slip away, he begins to evaluate the state of his life -- trying to reconnect with his daughter, and strikes up a blossoming romance with an aging stripper. Yet all this cannot compare to the allure of the ring and passion for his art, which threatens to pull Randy "The Ram" back into his world of wrestling.