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Filmography - Washington DC: Home

Titles available on DVD and streaming video as of January 2017.

Washington DC Filmography - Documentaries A-L

Titles available on DVD and streaming video (and one VHS tape) as of January 2017. 

Most streaming videos listed are available exclusively to AU students, staff and faculty after an online authentications.

Filmographies are created by doing multiple keyword searches in the library catalog to capture as many titles on a topic as possible. To find titles acquired after this filmography was last updated, use keyword searching in (catalog.wrlc.org).

This filmography is focused on people, places, and events in and around the Washington, DC area. Media Services also has many videos related to the federal government, politics, policy, and the news media that are not not included here. To browse some of those holdings look under "political science" on the Filmographies by Academic Area page or search the catalog at http://www.american.edu/library/mediaservices/. See also Film Genres: American Political Movies.

 

 

180 days: A year inside an American high school. 2013,  2 videodiscs (ca. 240 min.).  Gives space and breadth to our nation's education reform debate by giving the audience a first-hand view of what happens in a school that meets the needs of the most challenged students in new and sometimes non-traditional ways.  DVD 7631

Adjust your color : The truth of Petey Greene. 2009. 1 videodisc (53 min.). Actor Don Cheadle narrates the story of America's first shock-jock, Washington D.C. radio personality Ralph 'Petey' Greene. DVD 5420

Air Force One. 2003. 1 videodisc (60 min.). "Take an unprecedented exclusive look inside the world's most famous plane. Features engaging interviews with past and present Presidents as well as details of the inner workings of this legendary aircraft."--Publisher's website. DVD 6265

America Beyond the Color Line: Ebony Towers. 2004. 1 streaming video file (56 min.). The existence of a small group of African-Americans at the heart of the corporate and political establishment is something that, just two decades ago, seemed unimaginable. How did they get there and what is the significance of their success? Beginning at Harvard University, Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. travels to New York City and Washington, D.C. to ask if this new black elite represents genuine progress for black America as a whole. Interviewees include Colin Powell, Russell Simmons, Vernon Jordan, and many others. Distributed by PBS Distribution. Part of the series America Beyond the Color Line, with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (56 m:inutes).  Streaming video. 
http://proxyau.wrlc.org/login?url=http://digital.films.com/PortalPlaylists.aspx?aid=8604&xtid=40966

American hardcore: the history of American punk rock 1980-1986. 2007, 1 videodisc (100 min.).  Set against the conservative early 80s political landscape, this film chronicles the homegrown hardcore scene that was a swift kick in the head to corporate rock and mainstream complacency, as disaffected teens adopted the same collective credo--harder, faster, louder. Features live concert footage and interviews with people involved in the scene including DC musician Ian MacKaye.  DVD 9141

The Anacostia: Restoring the people's river. 2005. 1 DVD-R (36  min.). Portrays the history, process of degradation, and restoration of the Anacostia River and its riverside communities in Prince George's and Montgomery Counties, Maryland, and downtown Washington, D.C. DVD 2118

Arlington: Field of Honor. 2004. 1 streaming video file (55 min.). Presidents, U.S. Supreme Court Justices, and five-star military officers; astronauts and explorers; major figures in literature and medicine; Medal of Honor recipients from World War II and ordinary foot soldiers of the Civil War: all told, more than 230,000 Americans have found their final resting place at Arlington National Cemetery. On the 140th anniversary of the first burial at Arlington in May 1864, this program takes a respectful look at the history of one of America's most sacred places-and the stories of some of the many heroes who are interred there. (55 minutes).  Streaming video. 
http://proxyau.wrlc.org/login?url=http://digital.films.com/PortalPlaylists.aspx?aid=8604&xtid=40740

The assassination of Abraham Lincoln. 2009. 1 videodisc. "On March 4, 1865, at the United States Capitol, a crowd of fifty thousand listened as President Lincoln delivered his classic second inaugural address, urging charity and forgiveness to a nation in the final throes of war. Just two months later, a train, nine cars long and draped in black bunting, pulled slowly out of a station in Washington, D.C. Dignitaries and government officials crowded the first eight cars. In the ninth rode the body of Abraham Lincoln. As the funeral train made its way across nine states and through hundreds of cities and towns, the largest manhunt in history was closing in on Lincoln's assassin, the famous actor John Wilkes Booth. This American experience film recounts a great American drama: two tumultuous months when the joy of peace was shattered by the heartache of Lincoln's death. At the heart of the story are two figures who define the extremes of character: Lincoln, who had the strength to transform suffering into infinite compassion, and Booth, who allowed hatred to curdle into distruction"--Container. DVD 797

Ballou. 2008.  1 videodisc (ca. 86 min.). A documentary on the members of Ballou Senior High School Marching Band and their director as they prepare for a national band competition while attempting to rise above the violence that plagues the youth of Washington, D.C. DVD 6649

Battlefield detectives Civil War : Antietam. American history in video. 2004. 1 electronic resource (50 min.). General Robert E. Lee's first invasion into the North ended in the Battle of Antietam--the bloodiest single day in the Civil War--and in all US history. Just 12 hours of fighting resulted in nearly 23,000 casualties. On September 17, 1862, two determined armies gathered near Sharpsburg, a quiet backwater near Antietam Creek in western Maryland. Union forces were desperate to repel the South's invasion of their territory. The Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, its back to the Potomac River, was fighting for its very existence. Much was at stake. But just why was Antietam such a terrible killing field? Now the latest forensic techniques are shedding new light on the question. Experts from the fields of archaeology, geology, weapons technology, and pathology investigate this uniquely horrific moment in American history.  Streaming video. 
http://proxyau.wrlc.org/login?url=http://www.aspresolver.com/aspresolver.asp?AHIV;500313

Black Georgetown remembered. 1989.  1 videodisc (40 min.). A documentary based on the recollections of the Black community of Georgetown from the 1930s to the 1950s.  DVD 1080

Born to entertain: Anacostia rollers & friends. 2012, 1 streaming video file (15 min).  The Anacostia Rollers & Friends is a roller skating group made up of seniors who have been performing for the Anacostia community and beyond for over twenty years- performing to improve community relations while showing their stuff. They are featured as part of a collaborative effort between the Anacostia Community Museum and AU's Community Voice Project to document public artists in the Anacostia community.  DVD 2847 and Streaming video.
http://proxyau.wrlc.org/login?url=http://www.american.edu/customcf/catalog_video_longtail.cfm?callNum=13632821

Carolyn Darley: Community Council for the Homeless at Friendship Place. 2011, 1 streaming video file (6 min).  In this short profile, Carolyn Darley tells the story of her journey from a home and family, to homelessness, and then ot a home of her own, through her own perseverance and the help of a very special organization -- the Community Council for the Homeless at Friendship Place.  DVD 2862 and Streaming video.
http://proxyau.wrlc.org/login?url=http://www.american.edu/customcf/catalog_video_longtail.cfm?callNum=13634025

Casino Jack and the United States of money. 2010. 1 videodisc (118 min.). "This portrait of Washington super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff, from his early years as a gung-ho member of the GOP political machine to his final reckoning as a disgraced, imprisoned pariah, confirms the adage that truth is indeed stranger than fiction. A tale of international intrigue involving Indian casinos, spies, sweatshops, and a mob-style killings, this is a story of the way money corrupts our political process"--Container. DVD 7529

Catching the music. 1987. Streaming video (54 min). Presents a tribute to old-time music and to the people who play it. Shows excerpts from Banjo dancing, the longest running show in the history of Washington D.C. theater.  Streaming video. 
http://www.folkstreams.net/film,135

Children will listen. 2004. 1 videodisc (60 min.). This documentary tracks the junior production of Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods, featuring 140 Washington D.C. public school children in a performance at the Kennedy Center. The film captures the growth and transformation of these children, given a rare experience. DVD 1027

Chinatown. 2013, 1 videodisc (26 min., 28 sec.).  Set in the historic Chinatown neighborhood in Washington, D.C., this observational documentary provides an insight into the impact of gentrification on the daily lives of its residents. The film intimately follows three residents over the course of a year.  Their stories give voice to the community's attempt to preserve the culture and heritage they value. THESIS DVD 59

Chocolate city. 2007. 1 videodisc (46 min.). In 2003 over 400 families from the Arthur Capper's housing project in South East Washington DC were force from their homes as part of a massive nation-wide redeveloment program. This film tells the impressive story of one community fighting for its survival alonside the wider narrative of the city itself. DVD 1051

City of trees. Meridian Hill Pictures. 2015. 1 videodisc (90 min.). "A complex tale of social justice, urban forestry and community politics, City of Trees portrays the struggles of a DC non-profit to challenge the cycle of poverty and violence in blighted urban areas by implementing an ambitious 'green jobs' program that hires 150 unemployed residents to plant trees in underserved parks"--From distributor website. DVD 13307

Civil War combat. American history in video. 2002. 1 electronic resource (ca. 50 min.). Chronicles the actual experiences of individual soldiers in the Civil War. At the first battle of Manassas, green soldiers were introduced to the horror and chaos of war in a fight that was more a clash of mobs than a strategic engagement.  Streaming video. 
http://proxyau.wrlc.org/login?url=http://www.aspresolver.com/aspresolver.asp?AHIV;519891

La clinica del pueblo. 2010. 1 videodisc (30 min.). Five student short films about La clinica del pueblo, a Washington D.C. based community clinic whose mission is to provide culturally appropriate health services to persons in the Hispanic and Latino community regardless of their ability to pay. DVD 7022

DC24. 1 videodisc (21 min., 18 sec.).  Twenty-four hours in DC.  THESIS DVD 64

D.C.: divided city. 1989.  The Koppel report.  1 videodisc (167 min.). Ted Koppel reports from the black ghetto area in Washington, D.C. showing the conditions and problems of the people living there. Interspersed are interviews with government officials, business leaders, community workers and others.  DVD 6977

DC Youth Orchestra Program. 2009, 1 streaming video file (12 min).  A documentary on Metropolitan DC's largest youth music program, which involves toddlers and teens from neighborhoods across the city - and varying income levels.  DVD 2873 and Streaming video.
http://proxyau.wrlc.org/login?url=http://www.american.edu/customcf/catalog_video_longtail.cfm?callNum=13652072

Digital stories. 2010, 11 streaming video files (41 min.). Eleven short films by American University students from the Fall 2012 Community Documentary: Stories of Transformation class taught by Professor and Filmmaker, Nina Shapiro-Perl. This streaming video collection includes the films: “Bruce” by Bruce McNeil : Bruce McNeil attributes his affinity for Fort Dupont Park to his former residency in Montreal. For McNeil, his world travels have influenced how he sees his neighborhood in Ward Seven, east of the Anacostia River. In collaboration with Lysette Urus. “Blackstraction” by Sheila Crider : Sheila Crider, co-founder of Free DC (The Writers Workshop), talks about her contributions to art history and literature by coining the term, Blackstraction, and its variants.In collaboration with Rachel Lynne Smith. “Art” for Joy, Love and Life by Amber Robles-Gordon : Amber Robles-Gordon received some blunt criticism during her graduate studies when she was told she couldn’t seem to separate herself from her artwork. In collaboration with Lena Shareef. “Getting Ugly” by Toni Ford: Toni Ford says that as a young girl, the stories she collected empowered her. In collaboration with Sarah Albanawi and Viviana Martinez-Gonzalez. "Something to Hold On To" by Charles 'Coco' Bayron: An exploration of Bayron's work, as he grew from a graffiti artist in the Bronx to a tattoo artist, who eventually transplanted to D.C.; "A Digital Story" by Quennel 'Q' Monts: A short film about Monts. A local artist.; "The Family Business" by Mike Peay: For Peay, family isn't just who you're related to. They're the people with whom you feel most comfortable.; "Art of RE:membering" by Melani Douglass: Douglass revisits a tragic incident in her past, which threatened to seize her ability to feel whole. Through her art, Douglass found the strength to become at peace with her life.; "My Life as a Performing Artist" by Saleem Hylton: The arts have always been a part of Hylton's life. He talks about how music has carried him from a passion as a young boy, through a record deal with Motown, and into a career in youth development as an adult.; "Gifts of the Spirit" by Reverend Ivy Hylton: The love that Rev. Hylton's great grandmother passed down to her provided the architecture for a fulfilling life. Through that love, Hylton acquired certain skills that continue to guide her every day.; and "To Whom Much is Given, Much is Expected" by Wanda Aikens : Aikens reflects on the lessons and gifts she was given by her family as a young girl, and talks about why those lessons are important to pass down to her children. DVD 2881 and Streaming video.
http://catalog.wrlc.org/cgi-bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?BBID=13632108

Digital stories. 2011, 7 streaming video files (35 min.).  Seven short films by American University students from the Fall 2011 Community Documentary: Stories of Transformation class taught by Professor and Filmmaker, Nina Shapiro-Perl. This collection includes "Making Do With What You Have": A story by Francis Wheeler focusing on growing up in south-eastern Washington DC near the Anacostia River.; "Row the Anacostia": A story by Bob "Coach" Day, a lifetime rower, his love for the Anacostia and his after school rowing program. ; "Sharifa": A story by Kalin William, her journey from a childhood in Senegal to a young adult in Anacostia, her rediscovery of nature and her life as a conservationist. "Small Moments" : A story about Vaughn Perry and his path to becoming an environmentalist, his desire to share the environment with all people, and his quest to build bridges between different social groups. "A Digital Story": A story by Rodney Stotts, an ex-drug dealer, falconer and environmentalist, about the trials and tribulations involved in cleaning the dirtiest places. "Connected by Design": A story by Brenda Richardson, her life as an eco-feminist, and her link to the Anacostia.; and "The Digital Story of Gabe Horchler": A short story about Gabe commuting to work by boat, his love for the Anacostia River, and the pollution of the river. DVD 2880 and Streaming video.
http://catalog.wrlc.org/cgi-bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?BBID=13632365

Digital stories. 2012, 7 streaming video files (27 min.).  Seven short films by American University students from the Fall 2012 Community Documentary: Stories of Transformation class taught by Professor and Filmmaker, Nina Shapiro-Perl. This collection includes "Love, Hope & Art: The Journey" by Luis Peralta: Moving from one war zone (Nicaragua) to another (14th and Park Road in the 1980's), Luis first used his talent as a street artist to reflect the battles for turf around him. Now, he creates messages of love and beauty so that young people are not overwhelmed by their still-harsh surroundings; "Are You a Real Artist?" by Kristen Hayes: Kristen turned from her work as a successful book designer, to create a color transformation project, using art to heal anyone in need of help -- from young children to community elders.; "The Story of Jahlion" by Jay "Jahlion" Coleman: Surrounded by art his entire life and now a musician, writer, actor, and painter, Jay is dedicated to teaching arts to children with autism and other special conditions.; "Asad" by Jennifer Gray: Questioning everything since she was a child, Jennifer uses photography to shake and wake people to think for themselves.; "A Digital Story" by Pastor Lois Void: A choreographer and minister, Pastor Void uses music and dance to spread the gospel and help people express themselves, teaching people -- especially women -- life skills, and confidence.; "My Art is Contagious" by John Pearson III: Growing up listening to Go Go music, John teaches and practices his own "Beat Your Feet" dance moves to young people -- fusing dance with other types of knowledge to teach life skills -- like geometry!; and "A Digital Story" by Tendani Mpulubusi: Throughout public school, Tendani escaped the world of guns, drugs and girls by absorbing himself in building things. Today as a multi-media artist, musician and teacher, he uses all that he has to build his community. DVD 2844 and Streaming video.
http://catalog.wrlc.org/cgi-bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?BBID=13632472

Duke Ellington's Washington: The Rise, Fall, and Rebirth of a Neighborhood. 1999. 1 streaming video file (57 min.). During the early 20th century, Washington, D.C., was the cultural capital of black America. Prefiguring Harlem in the 1920s, D.C.'s Uptown area nurtured dynamic figures such as Duke Ellington, Langston Hughes, Mary Church Terrell, Justice Thurgood Marshall, and Dr. Charles Drew. In this program, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Hedrick Smith tells the often-overlooked story of the heyday, decline, and renewal of Uptown. Combined with rare photographs and archival footage, sparkling interviews with jazz pianist Billy Taylor, Ellington biographer John Hasse, historians James Horton and Edward Smith, and others describe the community's halcyon days, the post-desegregation exodus that opened the door to urban decay, and efforts that are reclaiming and renewing the neighborhood. (57 minutes). Streaming video.  
http://proxyau.wrlc.org/login?url=http://digital.films.com/PortalPlaylists.aspx?aid=8604&xtid=10444

The education of Michelle Rhee. 2013, 1 videodisc (60 min.).  Michelle Rhee, the former chancellor of Washington, D.C., public schools, is one of the most admired and reviled school reformers in America. FRONTLINE examines her legacy in Washington, D.C., including her battles with the teachers' union and her handling of a cheating scandal in the District.  DVD 11023

Extreme commuting. 2008.  1 videodisc (29 min.). A driver, train rider, and bicyclist each ride 90 minutes or more to get to work in Washington, DC. The documentary follows the daily paths of these three professionals as they negotiate their way through one of the most congested cities in the nation, shedding light on this ever expanding subculture of people who are forced in to or choose to do this extreme type of commute.  DVD 8307

Extreme engineering. 2005. 1 videodisc (50 min.). In this documentary originally broadcast as part of the series, Extreme Engineering, builders work to construct the Woodrow Wilson Bridge over the Potomac River, the world's largest bascule bridge. DVD 6259

Fishing in the city. 1990. 1 videodisc (28 min.). Discusses recreational fishing on the Potomac River in Washington, DC. DVD 13491

Garden of the dead: Arlington Cemetery. Civil War journal: American history in video. 1993? 1 electronic resource (43 min.). Streaming video. 
http://proxyau.wrlc.org/login?url=http://www.aspresolver.com/aspresolver.asp?AHIV;519290

Government girls of World War II. 2004. 1 videodisc (56 min.). "The story of the young women who flocked to Washington, D.C. during the 1940s to help in the mobilization for World War II and how their experience during the war years changed their lives, the city and American society"--Government girls website. DVD 3647

Green architecture: Environmentally Friendly Housing. 2008. 1 streaming video file (31 min.). Combining aesthetics, sustainability, and function is the challenge of green architecture-and 20 teams of college students from North America and Europe brilliantly rise to that challenge as they compete to design, build, and demonstrate the operation of the most attractive and energy-efficient house at the 2007 Solar Decathlon held in Washington, D.C. This program tracks the teams from the University of Maryland, MIT, The University of Texas at Austin, and Lawrence Technological University as they seek out corporate sponsors, research available materials, and hone their construction skills to create appealing living spaces that require zero energy. A Films for the Humanities & Sciences Production. (30 minutes). Streaming video.
http://proxyau.wrlc.org/login?url=http://digital.films.com/PortalPlaylists.aspx?aid=8604&xtid=39106

Green architecture: Environmentally friendly housing. 2008. 1 videodisc (31 min.). "Combining aesthetics, sustainability, and function is the challenge of green architecture -- and 20 teams of college students from North America and Europe brilliantly rise to that challenge as they compete to design, build, and demonstrate the operation of the most attractive and energy-efficient house at the 2007 Solar Decathlon held in Washington, D.C. This program tracks the teams from the University of Maryland, MIT, The University of Texas at Austin, and Lawrence Technological University as they seek out corporate sponsors, research available materials, and hone their construction skills to create appealing living spaces that require zero energy."--container. DVD 4811

Heavy metal parking lot. 2005. 1 videodisc. Interviews with heavy metal music fans tailgating in the parking lot outside the Capital Center in Landover, Maryland, on May 31, 1986, before a Judas Priest concert. Extras include Monster truck parking lot, Neil Diamond parking lot, and Harry Potter parking lot all of which were shot in the Washington DC metropolitan area. HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 3407

Historians on the Supreme Court building. 2009. 1 videodisc (29 min.). "In this program, we first hear from historian Jim O'Hara on the idea behind creating a new building for the Supreme Court. Built in the early 1930's and opened in 1935, it's biggest champion was former President and Chief Justice William Howard Taft. However, when it opened, 7 of the 9 Justices refused to move into their new chambers in the building. In the second part of the program we hear from Frank Gilbert, the grandson of Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, one of the seven who preferred the prior location of the Court in the U.S. Capitol." --taken from C-SPAN's website. DVD 6364 and Streaming video.
http://supremecourt.c-span.org/Video/TVPrograms/SC_Week_Wednesday.aspx

Hollywood, D.C: A tale of two cities. 1 videodisc (60 min.).   Hollywood D.C. looks back at the sometimes cozy, often contentious relationship between the U.S. federal government and the Hollywood entertainment industry.  DVD 6433

In training. 2008.  1 videodisc (ca. 29 min.). An amateur boxer once in trouble with the law has turned his life around. This film follows his journey to an amateur boxing tournament. DVD 6050

Instrument. 2001, 1 videodisc (115 min.).  Shot over ten years (from 1987 to 1997), this documentary about the Washington D.C.- based punk band Fugazi includes concerts, interviews, tours, practice, portraits, landscapes, studio work, super 8, 16mm and video.  DVD 4476

The legend of Cool "Disco" Dan. 1 videodisc (92 min.).  Narrated by D.C. native Henry Rollins, this documentary tells the story of Washington, D.C. in the 1980s through the eyes of D.C. graffiti legend Cool 'Disco' Dan. Blending exclusive interviews with dozens of local and national celebrities along with archival footage, Washington natives offer the most comprehensive portrait to date on this critical decade. Narrated by D.C. native Henry Rollins, this documentary tells the story of Washington, D.C. in the 1980s through the eyes of D.C. graffiti legend Cool "Disco" Dan. Blending exclusive interviews with dozens of local and national celebrities along with archival footage, Washington natives offer the most comprehensive portrait to date on this critical decade. DVD 7794

Let the church say amen. 2006.  Film Movement series: Film Movement series.  1 videodisc (87 min.). Let the church say Amen: "Blocks away from the White House and the Capitol stands a tiny storefront church, endeavoring to combat the street violence, unemployment, and homelessness that threaten American families living in poverty. Over the course of a year, this feature-length documentary ... follows four church members as they work to fulfill their dreams for a better life."--Container.  DVD 6647

The life of Rayful Edmond: The rise and fall, vol. 1. 2005,  1 videodisc (78 min.).  The story of a young man who, at 22 years old, was the head of the largest network for street sales of cocaine in Washington, D.C. At it's peak, his organization was said to have brought in 2,000 kilos of cocaine a month from California and employed more than 150 people. One focus of the film is on the contrast between the negative view of Edmond in the media, his image in the streets as a hero who made it to the top.  DVD 10900