To aid in the selection of video's for your class and research needs, we've created a large number of filmographies on many subject areas. If you'd like to suggest a new filmography or ask that an existing one be updated, please contact email@example.com.
Anthropology and American Studies
Art and Art History
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Communications and Journalism
Film Studies, Film Genres and National Cinema
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Titles available on DVD and streaming video as of January 2017.
Most streaming videos listed are available exclusively to AU students, staff and faculty after an online authentication.
This is a very selective list of holdings related to India in the American University Media Services department. It’s intended for convenience and not for comprehensive browsing of the collection. It does not list any of the many feature films produced in India in the collection – nor does it include older titles on VHS. Filmographies 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 holdings (including VHS tapes) please refer to the library catalog (www.catalog.wrlc.org).
Note: Vietnam War and War on Terror (in Afghanistan) are addressed in specific filmographies on those topics. Feature films are also excluded from this list with the exception of a few that depict important historical events that aren’t well covered by documentaries (e.g. The Killing Fields).
See also: National Cinema - India
The age of AIDS. 2006. 1 videodisc (240 min.). Part one follows the trail of a medical mystery which began in 1981 when five gay men in Los Angeles were diagnosed with a deadly new disease. Traces the international response in the first years of the epidemic, contrasting moments of inspirational leadership with the tragedy of missed opportunities. Reveals the astounding spread of the infection to over 70 million infections in 2006. Part two explores the chasm that emerged between rich and poor following the development of the miraculous "triple cocktail" HIV treatment. While the discovery seemed to signal a new era in which AIDS was no longer a fatal disease, the high price of the drugs meant they were unaffordable to patients in developing nations. Also examines the next wave of the AIDS epidemic in some of the most populous and strategically important nations in the world, including Russia, India and China, and tracks the same pattern of official denial and political indifference that characterized the epidemic in so many other countries. DVD 3162.
Ajit. Filmmakers library online. 1997. 1 streaming video file (28 min.). Shown at eight international film festivals, Ajit is a close-up view of an eight year old boy who works as a domestic in a middle class Calcutta household. It brings home to the viewer the realities of childhood among the impoverished in underdeveloped countries. Good looking and affable, Ajit captures the viewers hearts. He is shown at his endless daily tasks -- sweeping, cleaning, laundry, caring for his employer s children. There is no time for school in his life. Yet, surprisingly, Ajit feels fortunate, for in this household he is given ample food as his wages. In the countryside where he was one of nine children, he was often hungry. Beautifully filmed by a rising young Indian filmmaker, Ajit makes its social statement with quiet charm. Streaming video.
Amartya Sen: a life reexamined. 2003. 1 videodisc (56 min.). Documentary on the life and work of Amartya Sen, the first South Asian to win the 1998 Nobel Prize in Economics. The film is centered around a conversation between Sen and economist Kaushik Basu, a student of Sen, and is interspersed with interviews of other experts as well as footage of places connected with Sen's life. DVD 1542.
Arranged marriages. Filmmakers library online. 2002. 1 streaming video file (52 min.). Westerners have always been averse to the idea of arranged marriages, holding up the "love match" as the ideal. In this film, a young, divorced European explores attitudes among the educated Indian couples of her acquaintance, asking them how they met and married their spouses. What emerges is an engaging portrait of young marrieds who have striven for personal happiness within a social system which would seem to negate these considerations. In India marriages are a family matter; the best interests of the family often govern the arrangements. Romance is not usually a consideration, nor are the feelings of the couple. We are taken to a marriage bureau, where earnest parents look over the qualifications of potential mates for their children; education, caste, religion, profession, physical attributes all figure in the equation. Marriages can be used to improve the social standing of the family. A rich, but low caste father has found a high-borne groom of shady reputation for his daughter and showers him with jewels. The bride accepts her fate and sadly drives off with her new husband after an opulent wedding. In our society where so many marriages fail and so many young people find it challenging to find a suitable mate, a glimpse into another world is both fascinating and ironic. Streaming video.
Auction house. Filmmakers library online. 2014. 1 streaming video file (86 min.). This film profiles the oldest auction house in India as it fights for survival in the age of the Internet. It follows the owners, brothers Anwer and Arshad, struggling to save their family business and a piece of India's heritage. Elder brother Anwer recently returned to his homeland after a long career in the UK. He is desperate to revive the fortunes of his family's beloved auction house, which his grandfather purchased from the British in 1940. But in the process he must contend with a chaotic city, an ailing workforce, and his quarrelsome younger brother. Arshad, India's longest-standing auctioneer, has worked at the Russell Exchange since the 1960s and knows the world of antiques inside and out. Although steeped in the city's traditions, he's skeptical about Anwer's plans for reform. He believes that their city is in terminal decline and that the auction house is destined to die along with it. As the brothers come to terms with their futures, and each other, their amusing, argumentative, and ultimately heartfelt relationship raises larger questions about the place of traditional family businesses in the 21st century economy. Streaming video.
Battling global warming one stove at a time in India. 2009. 1 streaming video file (7 min., 19 sec.). PBS NewsHour correspondent Fred de Sam Lazaro looks at reducing black carbon emissions in North India, where the simple act of cooking can be dangerous for the environment and lung health. Streaming video.
Beasts of burden. Filmmakers library online. 2001. 1 streaming video file (52 min.). India's cities are thronged with faceless rickshaw workers. This film puts a human face on those at the low end of the caste system whose only chance to eke out a bare subsistence for their families is to do the work done by beasts of burden in more affluent societies. The film follows Jadav as he leaves his drought-ridden village without luggage or money. Arriving in Calcutta, he finds people living in the train station and the streets. Although he feels humiliated to apply for the job as rickshaw puller, he sees no alternative. He meets men who have been pulling enormous loads for twenty years, who have developed lung problems and impaired vision. Other men sell their blood, often tainted, in order to feed their families. People even buy and sell the cadavers of those who died in the streets because there is a market for human bones. Despite the misery he encounters, Jadav dreams that life will be better for his children, and that, hopefully, his next life will be better! Streaming video.
The bomb under the world. The human race. 1994. 1 videodisc (52 min.). An ornately decorated elephant leads a parade through an Indian village, in a promotional campaign for soap. Consumer society is coming, and India's growing population looks for the same goods and a similar living standard as the West enjoys. Examines the consequences of Western-style consumerism in a large developing country. DVD 6263.
Bombay calling. 2006. 1 videodisc (71 min.). Kas Lalani's flight touches down in Bombay. His cell phone is ringing off the hook. The CEO of a small British outsourcing firm, he is working hard to cash in on the global gold rush of telemarketing jobs from the West. Bombay provides him with access to well-educated, English-speaking youths eager to get ahead and willing to sacrifice almost anything to do it. For their efforts, they are paid more money than their parents ever dreamed of earning. And they spend it, frequenting a new brand of all-night discos that cater to their unusual office hours. In Bombay Calling, filmmakers Ben Addelman and Samir Mallal dive into this bustling world of late nights, long hours and hard partying. The result is a compelling insider's look at youth culture in India, and a growing number of young people who choose to follow the American dream...Indian style. DVD 3697.
Bombay, our city. 2015. 1 streaming video file (59 min.). Tells the story of the four million slumdwellers who make up half of the city's population, and treats the causes, consequences and possible solutions of the problem. Streaming video.
Born to bondage. Filmmakers library online. 2000. 1 streaming video file (42 min.). Looks at the plight of women in India, where girls are considered to be worth less than boys and because of the tradition of dowry, are often left vulnerable. Streaming video.
Breaking the caste. Filmmakers library online. 2003. 1 streaming video file (26 min.). 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. Streaming video.
Buddha realms. Filmmakers library online. 2007. 1 streaming video file (55 min.). Buddhism, a religion that started in India, has shown a remarkable ability to adapt across race, language and cultural barriers. What became the dominant spiritual tradition of the East has now taken root and is flourishing in the West. Buddha Realms captures this contemporary spiritual phenomenon which sometimes manifests itself in massive edifices and gargantuan crowds of worshippers. The film suggests that Buddhism's universal appeal lies in the astonishing plurality of philosophies and practices that have evolved from its ancient traditions. Yet despite these permutations, the Buddha himself remains the ultimate ideal. Whether as a simple ascetic, or the compassionate Buddha, or the "Cosmic Light," devotees believe the Buddha is the symbol of all that is great and good in this world and beyond. Streaming video.
The Buddha: the story of Siddhartha. 2010. 1 videodisc (120 min.). Recounts the life of the Buddha and presents the tenets of Buddhism. DVD 9056.
Caste at birth. Filmmakers library online. 1991. 1 video streaming file (51 min.). Few Westerners realize the grave situation of India s "untouchables." There are 150 million of them who live a segregated life. They cannot own land or get an education and are condemned to the most menial jobs, such as sweeping streets, cleaning toilets, or butchering animals. In the villages they are subject to abuse, sometimes killed for minor slights to the landowners. From birth, all alternatives are closed to them. While the government has tried to improve the condition of the untouchables, these attempts have been met by strong resistance. Upper caste Hindus profit from this source of cheap labor. In addition, the Hindu notion that the untouchable is impure is deeply ingrained. However, a few leaders have arisen from their ranks, who work for change. Streaming video.
Children of Tibet: the exile generation. Filmmakers library online. 2006. 1 video streaming file (54 min.). Each year hundreds of Tibetan children risk their lives fleeing Tibet in search of a freer life and an education in India. The Tibetan Government has established schools for young refugees throughout India to provide them with a chance to learn about their own culture and religion and to be educated in their own language. Children of Tibet tells the remarkable story of three of these determined children who make the perilous journey across the Himalayas to India. Told in their own words, the children journey in the care of guides who take them by foot in the winter, leaving their families behind. Many others who went before them died in snowstorms in the mountains; others lost toes or feet to frostbite. Upon arriving in India not everything is as easy as the children expected. They do not all fit into the carefully organized school system. The film follows their lives as they prepare to leave the refugee center in Dharamsala and enter the school system. Streaming video.
Coat of many countries. Filmmakers library online. 1999. 1 video streaming file (51 min.). In Coat of Many Countries we see how the clothes we wear today are the remarkable coming together of goods and services from all over the world. By following the evolution of a suit, we glimpse the practical application of the new global economy. The motivating force behind this well-traveled suit jacket is to get maximum quality at minimum labor costs. We follow the fleece from an Australian sheep farm to northern India where it is spun into cloth. The shoulder pads are made in China; the lining in Korea; the buttons in Canada; and it all meets in Hamburg. Then it's trucked to Russia, where the frontier guards are paid off, and there it is cut and assembled to an Italian design for ultimate sale at Sears. The film explains why each of the stops on the itinerary makes economic sense. And, surprisingly, the savings far outweigh the transportation costs. The manufacture of a single garment mirrors the inter-relatedness of national economies and often reflects foreign policy as well. This fast-paced portrait of the global assembly line is a must for classes in economics, business, management, marketing, and international studies. Streaming video.
Crossing lines. 2007. 1 videodisc (32 min.). Crossing Lines is a film about an Indian American woman's struggle to stay connected to India after the loss of her father. This film takes you on a journey to India, where Indira [Somani] visits her father 's extended family for the first time after his death. DVD 6861.
Dadi's family. 1981. 1 videodisc (58 min.). Presents an intimate portrait of several generations of women in a village family in India. Focuses on a grandmother in a Jat farm family in Haryana, and gives her viewpoint as well as those of her daughters-in-law. Tells how they perceive their various roles, enjoy the benefits of family life, and cope with family crises and with changing society at large. DVD 7760.
Dalda 13. Filmmakers library online. 1997. 1 video streaming file (23 min.). Although her powerful images of India have been seen around the world, Homai Vyarawalla's name never appears in the annals of photojournalism. Her professional identity, Dalda 13, derives from her birth in 1913, her marriage at thirteen, and the license plate on her first car which was DLD 13. In a country where women were submissive, Ms. Vyarawalla was toting a large camera on her sari draped shoulder, always pushing to where the action was. Her photographs documented the death of Gandhi, the visits of international dignitaries such as Ho Chi Minh, Queen Elizabeth, and Jackie Kennedy. Never at a loss for words, she shares her impressions of the luminaries she photographed. Although her first photographs were published under her husband's name, she soon became recognized as a familiar presence on the front line of events. She gave up her career out of frustration when security restrictions governing press photographers limited her access to "special angles." After retirement she burned all her negatives, believing no one was interested. This film, a long overdue tribute, suggests she was overlooked because she was Asian and a woman. Streaming video.
Daughters of mother India. 2014. 1 streaming video file (45 min.). Reveals the aftermath of the horrific rape and murder of a 23-year-old medical student in Delhi in December 2012. For weeks, mass protests filled the streets of India and the country witnessed gender consciousness and extraordinary solidarity by ordinary citizens like never before. The eyes of the world were on the country's rampant gender violence, and stories about violence against women in India were hitting the world's headlines almost on a daily basis. Streaming video.
Diverted to Delhi. Filmmakers library online. 2003. 1 streaming video file (55 min.). This film explores a new phenomenon in the global economy. The toll-free telephone numbers used to place orders or get information are often answered thousands of miles away, by Indians impersonating local operators. Whether a New Yorker calls American Express or an English housewife calls Harrods, the calls may be re-routed, answered by Indians trained to speak and even think like Americans, or Brits or Australians. Diverted to Delhi follows a group of university graduates through a rigorous crash course which they hope will prepare them for prestigious, well paying positions in these call centers. Over a three- week period, they will attempt to improve their English language and presentation skills, change their names, modify their accents and put aside their own cultural identities as they learn to speak and think like their international callers. This adds a new cultural dimension to "globalization." Over 200 of the U.S. Fortune 500 companies choose to service their clients via Indian call centers. This has ramifications on the Western economies. These service jobs have left their countries of origin, contributing to unemployment in the West. But to the businesses who use them, it is an increasingly attractive proposition-- the technology is instantaneous and the labor and set-up costs are low, yet the staff is keen, highly educated and available around the clock. Streaming video.
Division of hearts. 2015. 1 streaming video file (57 min.). The British division of colonial India into Pakistan and the Republic of India caused tremendous loss of life and relocation of millions of people. After centuries of coexistence, Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims fell victim to mutual suspicion as violence and murder swept through the countryside, and village populations changed overnight. In this film, ordinary people from Pakistan, India and Bangladesh tell this history and recount their own tumultuous experiences. Streaming video.
Drowned out. 2015. 1 streaming video file (75 min.). The people of Jalsindhi in central India must make a decision fast. In the next few weeks, their village will disappear underwater as the giant Narmada Dam fills. Author Arundhati Roy joins the fight against the dam and asks difficult questions: will the water go to poor farmers or to rich industrialists? What happened to the 16 million people displaced by fifty years of dam building? Follows the Jalsindhi villagers through hunger strikes, rallies, police brutality and a six year Supreme Court case. It stays with them as the dam fills and the river starts to rise. Streaming video.
Dry days in Dobbagunta. Woman's place. 2015. 1 streaming video file (11 min.). This film looks at rural women in a village in southern India, who first got together when they enrolled in a national literacy program. During their meetings they began to discuss domestic problems, the root of which was their husbands' addiction to 'arak', the local alcohol. This was the beginning of an anti-liquor campaign that has spread across the entire state of Andhra Pradesh. Streaming video.
The Empire strikes back. The Story of English. 2007. 1 streaming video file (59 min.). Will standard English, as it was known in the 20th century, disappear? Will English continue as the global tongue, or will its numerous varieties become, as offshoots of Latin did, a host of mutually unintelligible languages? This classic PBS program features new varieties of English that have transcended British and American influence. The program focuses on some of the most successful examples of "New English," including Jamaican creole, the English of India, and the pidgin of Melanesia, brought to Papua New Guinea by maritime trade. The program concludes with the possibility that the world's first global language will endure alongside its unrecognizable descendants. Streaming video.
An English-speaking world. The Story of English. 1986. 1 streaming video file (59 min.). English is a language spoken by two billion people, perhaps even more. This classic PBS program examines the prevalence of English in the world today and presents a historical overview of its rise. Focusing on the expansion of the British Empire and the emergence of English-language mass media, the program explains how widespread English usage survived Britain's post-WWII decolonization, particularly in India and Africa. It also examines the impact of American-and especially Californian-English, which has arguably become standard. Interviews with William Safire and Gloria Steinem provide insight into Americanization and the linguistic influence of feminism. Streaming video.
Father, son and holy war: a film on men, religion, and violence. 2008. 2 videodiscs (133 min.). A film examining the connection between religion, violence and male identity in India today and exploring the possibility that a key to the psychology of violence against the enemy and the subjugation of women is male insecurity, itself an inevitable product of the very construction of manhood. DVD 6999.
Flying on one engine: the slumdog surgeon. Filmmakers library online. 2009. 1 streaming video file (50 min.). This is the story of the inspiring work of 76-year-old Dr. Sharadkumar Dicksheet who continues his commitment to the Indian children on whom he operates every year. He performs free reconstructive facial surgery in marathon-like sessions, correcting up to 700 children who have cleft lips and other facial deformities. Without the operations, these children would be not be able to develop normally and would be treated as outcasts. The eight-time Nobel Prize nominee is treated like a living god from the moment he arrives in India, with a reverence bordering on worship in the communities where he works. Watching the people who organize Dr. Dicksheet s surgery camps and those who help him perform the surgery, particularly his tough-as-nails nurse, viewers get an extremely up-close picture of contemporary India. When he is in New York, Dr. Dicksheet subsists on social security in his ramshackle Brooklyn apartment, wheelchair-bound, living without a larynx, and diagnosed with a life-threatening aortic aneurysm. Dr. Dicksheet suffered a car accident in the 1970s, a battle with cancer in the 1980s and heart attacks in the 1990s. The film shows how this quirky, funny, and sometimes difficult character overcomes his own ailments by curing others. His stamina and commitment are truly staggering. Streaming video.
Freak street to Goa: immigrants of the Rajpath. Filmmakers library online. 1987. 1 video streaming file (59 min.). The film profiles four survivors of the counter culture of the 60s. Like others of their generation, these rebels migrated to India and Nepal to escape Western materialism. While many eventually returned, these four chose to remain in the East. This film follows the migration of the aging hippies from the mountains of Kathmandu to the beaches of Goa in South India. It captures their lifestyle with all its ironies. Streaming video.
Frontline: a perfect terrorist. 2012. 1 videodisc (60 min.). On the night of November 26, 2008, ten men armed with guns and grenades launched an assault on Mumbai that left 166 dead. David Coleman Headley, a Lashkar/ISI operative had been casing the city for two years. He was an American citizen. Frontline and Sebastian Rotella team up to investigate the circumstances behind Headley's rise from heroin dealer and U.S. government informant to master plotter of the 2008 attack on Mumbai. HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 8086.
Future food. 2013. 1 streaming video file (29 min.). India is a country on the edge of two possible futures: a future that's well fed and healthy; or a future with Western diets and Western obesity. With so many hungry people to feed, is it possible to eat in ways that are nutritionally and environmentally sustainable? Streaming video.
Gift of a girl. Filmmakers library online. 2014. 1 streaming video file (26 min.). This powerful and moving film explores the complexity of female infanticide in southern India and shows steps that are being taken to eradicate the practice. Every year in India thousands of baby girls are killed. Partly this is because of the dowry system which makes a daughter a liability to a family. In a country where being a woman means living a life of hardship, the murder of female infants may be seen by the mothers as being a humane solution. There is even the widespread belief that if a baby girl is killed, then the next baby will be a boy. URISE, a non-governmental agency, is working in the villages to promote the idea among women that female children are equal in the eyes of the law and can be an asset in the family. They have set up associations called sanghams to support pregnant women and mothers in their decision to keep their daughters. When a girl baby is born, the sanghamscelebrates her arrival with gifts, showing the mother that a girl is something to be valued. This sensitive film does not dwell on the horrors of the practice. Rather, it allows the women to speak for themselves and shows how they can be empowered. Streaming video.
Highway courtesans. 2005. 1 videodisc (71 min.). Filmed in Central India from 1995 to 2004 where the eldest daughters in the Bachara community work as highway prostitutes to support their families. DVD 2061.
Holding our ground. Life 4 (Bullfrog Films, inc.). 2004. 1 videodisc (23 min.). Holding our Ground focuses on one of the most contested of the agreements hammered out at the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo in 1994 - reproductive rights. But 10 years after the Cairo agreement, these rights still appear to be far from universal. The programme features reports from: the Philippines, a country with an average of over five children per family, and now at the epicentre of the battle over efforts to restrict access to family planning; Latvia, one of the new members of the EU, where taboos surrounding the subject of sex still hamper efforts to provide information for adolescents; Japan, where the falling birthrate is focusing attention again on the problems of childcare for working women; and India, where - despite laws designed to protect the girl child - the practice of selective abortion of female fetuses appears to be growing. The stories are linked by an interview with Thoraya Obaid - Executive Director of the UN Population Fund, and the first Saudi Arabian woman ever to head up a UN agency. DVD 1696.
Human rights watch: report on caste discrimination. Filmmakers library online. 2010. 1 streaming video file (72 min.). "Hidden Apartheid: A Report on Caste Discrimination" provides an in-depth history and analysis of caste-based discrimination. Since the early 1900s, Indians have migrated across the world, seeking freedom from caste-based inequality, only to discover in the last few decades that the very practices they escaped have resurfaced in their new homelands. Caste discrimination outside India has been reported in community centers, places of worship, workplaces, educational and political institutions, restaurants, public transportation, and in matrimonial columns. This film illustrates how casteism originated in Indian society, and how caste segregation was systemic, until the Constitution of India made it unlawful. However, political democracy has not translated into social democracy; casteism and "untouchability" have remained, and are practiced in every country where Indians have settled. Filmed over 4 years, this human rights documentary uses interviews to uncover ongoing caste conflicts in the UK, the US, New Zealand, and Australia, and the current legal efforts to end these discriminatory practices once and for all. Caste discrimination is a human rights violation that receives very little attention by non-Indians, because the alternative stories of India's poor have been historically hidden. This film shines a spotlight on these injustices that need to be confronted urgently by the wider world. Streaming video.
India cabaret. Filmmakers library online. 1986. 1 streaming video file (60 min.). By focusing on a group of female strippers who work in a nightclub in the suburbs of Bombay, India Cabaret explores the "respectable" and "corrupt" stereotypes which typify women in contemporary Indian society. It shows us the ordinary lives the dancers lead during the day, and follows them into the dressing room where they transform themselves into "queens of the night." The film tells their story, relating their hopes and fears while respecting their sense of pride, independence, strength and resilience. It also reveals the rules and double standards of India s patriarchal society. Streaming video.
India: medical tourism. 2007. 1 streaming video file (24 min.). India's booming private healthcare system is expected to be worth billions of dollars in the decades to come, as westerners flock to India to get healthy. Fed up with long lines and exorbitant fees at home, these patients can now fly to the subcontinent and go straight to the front of the line for cheap operations in newly built, hi-tech hospitals. Averill Dollery who lives in Worcestershire in the U.K.suffers from chronic pain; a pinched nerve in her back is destroying her quality of life. Averill can't get an operation to fix her back because the National Health Service considers that her weight problem would make the spinal surgery she requires too dangerous. But salvation is at hand - in the form of India's Doctor Prathap Reddy. Reddy is a cardiologist, a medical entrepreneur and the driving force behind the Apollo Hospital empire. All Averill has to do to get help is sign up, pay up and get on a plane to New Delhi. But for the many millions of Indians who live in abject poverty the health system barely functions. India's overstretched and under resourced public health system is failing its people. With the rapidly growing private sector catering to prosperous medical tourists, the health care of ordinary Indians is being neglected. Streaming video.
India's daughter: the story of Jyoti Singh. 2015. 1 videodisc (62 min.). The powerful story of the 2012, brutal gang rape on a Delhi bus of a 23 year old medical student, who later died from her injuries. BAFTA winning filmmaker Leslee Udwin, herself a victim of rape, went to India inspired by the protests against sexual assault. With an all Indian crew, Udwin got exclusive, first time on camera interviews with the rapists and defense attorney. An impassioned plea for change, India's daughter pays tribute to a remarkable and inspiring young woman and explores the compelling human stories behind the incident and the political ramifications throughout India. DVD 12782.
India: the untouchables. 2008. 1 video streaming file (57 min.). It is common knowledge that untouchables occupy the lowest place in the Hindu caste system. Today it is illegal in India to discriminate against Dalits, which literally means "the oppressed," the term now commonly used to refer to India s former untouchables. Despite the legal abolition of untouchability a half-century ago, they continue to be the target of systematic discrimination and comprise a highly disproportionate percentage of India s illiterate, landless and jobless population. Dalits number 260 million Hindus, making caste discrimination one of the world s biggest human rights issues. The film describes several examples of caste discrimination. In a small town in India, a few Dalits swam in the part of the lake "reserved" for their upper caste neighbors who sued in protest. The Court ruled that the Dalits were within their rights. The upper caste people were furious with the decision and took revenge by throwing excrement in the well used by the Dalits. Professor V. Thorat argues that there are only two ways for Dalits to change their lives: to obtain an education or to move to a different area in India and convert to Islam because as a Muslim, they are treated as equals. The film also discusses the landlord-sponsored militia, Ranbir Sena s Army, which is attacking agricultural laborers and their families, all of them Dalits.(The most recent attack occurred on June 30, 2007 in Bihar, considered the poorest state in India.) The Ranbir Sena says the Dalits will be targets unless they cease their agitation for better pay and land and repudiate the Naxhalites. These are Maoist armed-activists who have gained a following in parts of Bihar by assisting agricultural workers in organizing and defending themselves from landlord violence. Streaming video.
The Indian miracle? Filmmakers library online. 2008. 1 video streaming file (47 min.). The new India has a high-tech, highly-skilled economy growing at an incredible nine per cent a year. Its universities are churning out thousands of highly qualified science and computer graduates working in software, biotechnology and engineering firms in metropolitan India. Yet underneath the glittering surface of the boom lie some ugly realties of modern day India. The film follows a well-known Indian journalist who questions the social stability of the economic giant. In urban centers there are still millions of homeless who live on the pavement as they have for the last thirty years. In rural areas, where three quarters of the population live, the poverty is more hidden. Farmers are deeply in debt because they cannot overcome the imbalance between the high cost of farming and the low minimum prices the government sets for their crops. Hundreds of thousands of desperate farmers have been driven to suicide. M.S. Swaminathan, the founder of India s original Green Revolution predicts a violent uprising if millions of farmers become landless. Another volatile issue is the widespread discrimination against the Muslim minority which numbers 150 million. Hindu nationalism is on the rise and Muslims struggle for employment and are excluded from buying property. And within the Hindu society the caste system remains a barrier separating the rich and the poor. Despite the government s attempt at affirmative action in education and employment, the age-old discrimination against the untouchables or dalits continues. They are condemned to a life of servitude. India s economy is powering ahead. The ultra rich live behind electrified fences in self-contained communities away from the degradation, poverty and despair of the rest of India. Streaming video.
Jang aur aman = War and peace. 2002. 2 videodiscs (136 min.). Filmed over three tumultuous years in India, Pakistan, Japan and the United States, after the 1998 nuclear tests on the Indian subcontinent. This film documents the contemporary, epic journey of peace activism in the face of religious militarism and war. DVD 9780.
Kasthuri: a South Indian film star. Filmmakers library online. 1995. 1 streaming video file (29 min.). Kasthuri is a twenty-one-year old film star who lives and works in Madras, the film capital of South India. She has starred in seven films and is about to make her eighth. In following her daily life - rehearsals, fan club appearances, visits with old friends, and shopping trips with her mother - the documentary exposes the paradox between her public and private life. Despite being a successful woman with a glamorous career and exposure to Western culture, Kasthuri does not challenge the traditional values of her culture. She is content to have her parents arrange a suitable marriage to a man of their choosing. This charming portrait contains excerpts from traditional Indian films. Streaming video.
The king of calls: telemarketers in India. Filmmakers library online. 2009. 1 streaming video file (29 min.). At a call center in the Indian city of Hyderabad, work starts at 8 P.M. India time. It's morning in the U.S., when America is beginning to work. A business directory, "The American Yellow Pages," similar to the original "Yellow Pages," has outsourced their telemarketing to India. Kabith is the Indian executive-in-charge, trying to build his career as a call center tycoon. He has hired 75 new sales agents to sell listings for several hundred dollars. The problem is that listings in the competitive directory are free. Equipped with new American names and rudimentary English, they begin to pursue customers. Confusion reigns supreme, no sales are made. As the agents frantically dial, fearing the loss of their precious jobs, Kabith grows increasingly desperate. New agents are hired, scolded, and fired. One young woman is promoted to deputy manager thanks to her relentless efforts to train the newcomers to speak with an American accent, to get their initial pitch on target, and to avoid hang-ups. She likes working in the call center "... because moneywise it's a very good industry" and she wants to be independent from her parents. Two million young Indians work in the call center industry. How can American workers compete with them when they cost five times more than Indian workers? This is the frontier of globalization. Streaming video.
Knowing her place. 1990. 1 videodisc (40 min.). An Indian woman looks at her life, her marriage, and her role in contemporary society both in India and the United States. DVD 2685.