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Media Log: Philosophy, Religion, and Ethics

June 6, 2012 | By Public Programs Staff

 Philosophy, Religion, and Ethics


Born Again: Life in a Fundamentalist Baptist Church

Documentary

Focusing on one independent Baptist congregation outside Worcester, Massachusetts, this film examines how the church serves its members’ needs and what it demands of them in everyday life.

PRODUCTION ORGANIZATION: Five Colleges, Inc., Amherst, MA
YEAR PRODUCED: 1987
PRODUCERS/DIRECTORS: James Ault, Michael Camerini
ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR: Adrienne Miesmer
EDITORS: Adrienne Miesmer, Sarah Stein
CINEMATOGRAPHY: Michael Camerini
MUSIC: Paul Moravec

AWARDS/FESTIVALS: American Film and Video Festival, Blue Ribbon; CINE Golden Eagle; Margaret Mead Film Festival

FORMAT: 16mm (87:00), Video (two versions, 87:00 and 55:00)

DISTRIBUTOR: James Ault Films


The Buddha

Documentary

Two and a half millennia ago, a new religion was born, generated from the ideas of a single man, the Buddha, an Indian sage who attained enlightenment while he sat under a large, shapely fig tree. The Buddha never claimed to be God or his emissary on earth. He said that he was only a human being who, in a world of unavoidable pain and suffering, had found a kind of serenity which others could find, too. The Buddha tells the story of his life, a journey especially relevant to our own bewildering times of violent change and spiritual confusion.

PRODUCTION ORGANIZATION: David Grubin Productions, Inc., New York, NY

YEAR PRODUCED: 2010

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: David Grubin

PRODUCER/DIRECTOR/WRITER: David Grubin

CINEMATOGRAPHY: James Callanan

EDITOR: Deborah Peretz

NARRATORS: Richard Gere, Blair Brown

FORMAT Video (120:00)

DISTRIBUTOR: PBS and PBS International Acquisitions


The Dean of Thin Air

Drama

This drama tells the story of the eighteenth-century philosopher Bishop George Berkeley who developed the theory that the physical world exists only in our perception of it.

PRODUCTION ORGANIZATIONS: WSBE, Providence, RI, in cooperation with Irish National Television (RTE)
YEAR PRODUCED: 1984
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Peter Frid
ASSOCIATE PRODUCERS: Frank Muhly, Jr., Christine Herbes
DIRECTOR: Deirdre Friel
WRITER: Frank Muhly, Jr.
EDITOR: Christine Dall
CINEMATOGRAPHY: Brian Heller
CAST: Dan Von Bargen, Keith Jochim, Richard Kneeland, Melanie Jones

FORMAT: 16mm, Video (60:00)

DISTRIBUTOR: Not currently available


Dying

Documentary

This film presents portraits of several terminally ill cancer patients through their comments and those of their families and friends.

PRODUCTION ORGANIZATION: WGBH, Boston, MA
YEAR PRODUCED: 1975
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Michael Ambrosino
PRODUCER/DIRECTOR: Michael Roemer
ASSOCIATE PRODUCER/CINEMATOGRAPHY: David Grubin

AWARDS: New York Film Festival, Blue Ribbon; Gabriel Award; American Cancer Society, Media Award; Virgin Island International Film Festival, Gold Medal; Columbus (OH) International Film and Video Festival, Chris Award; CINE Golden Eagle

FORMAT: 16mm, Video (97:00)

DISTRIBUTOR: Not currently available


The Glory and the Power:  Fundamentalisms Observed

Documentary Radio Series

This series explores the historical and philosophical foundations of fundamentalism and its impact around the world. (The four NEH‑supported programs are marked by an asterisk.)

Program 1

The Turning Point 

examines why religious leaders of the Christian right saw the 1980 March on Washington as a turning point and documents what has happened since in terms of growing activism and intensity of belief.

Producers:  Camilla Carroll, Char Woods

Host:  Alex Chadwick

Program 2

Guatemala 

considers why the evangelical Protestant religion—in particular Pentacostalism—has made dramatic gains in what was once a predominantly Roman Catholic Central and South America.

PRODUCER:  Bebe Crouse

Host:  Alex Chadwick

Program 3

The Swing of the Pendulum 

looks at how and why Islamic fundamentalism is sweeping the Middle East and, through conversations with Islamic Egyptians, explores the importance to them of nation, family, and following the way of the prophet Mohammed.

PRODUCER:  Claudia Hampston Daly

Host:  Alex Chadwick

Program 4

Who is a Sikh? 

explores what it means to be a Sikh with scholars, journalists, and political and religious leaders from Delhi to the Punjab.

PRODUCER:  Frederick de Sam Lazaro

Host:  Alex Chadwick

Program 5

An International Forum on Fundamentalisms 

is a two‑hour special taped before a live audience at the University of Chicago's Court Theatre in which the audience and experts search for answers to questions about contemporary fundamentalisms.

Producers:  Tom Voegeli, Char Woods

Host:  John Hockenberry

PRODUCTION ORGANIZATION:  William Benton Broadcast Project of the University of Chicago, IL, in association with WETA‑FM, Washington, DC

YEAR PRODUCED:  1992

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER:  Claudia Hampton Daly

Project Director for Benton Broadcast:  Lewis Freedman

FORMAT:  Audiocassette

Programs 1‑4 (30:00), Program 5 (120:00)

DISTRIBUTOR:  Not currently available


Hard Choices

Documentary Series

The series examines ethical questions and issues raised as a result of remarkable achievements in medicine, biology, and medical technology.

Program 1
Boy or Girl: Should the Choice Be Ours?
looks at new experimental procedures that are moving toward the possibility of sex choice at the time of conception.

Program 2
Genetic Screening: The Ultimate Preventive Medicine
examines the ethical dilemmas posed by the possibility of genetic screening in the prenatal stage.

Program 3
Human Experiments
examines how experiments with human subjects affect society and individuals.

Program 4
Behavior Control
considers the dilemma of distinguishing between helpful and harmful uses of behavior modification techniques.

Program 5
Death and Dying
looks at the questions raised by new life-prolonging medical technology concerning the rights of dying people and the definition of death.

Program 6
Doctor, I Want...
explores the attitudes and expectations of those seeking medical care and those providing it.

PRODUCTION ORGANIZATION: KCTS, Seattle, WA
YEAR PRODUCED: 1980
PROJECT DIRECTOR: Sandra Clement Walker
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: John Coney
EXECUTIVE IN CHARGE OF PRODUCTION: Ron Rubin
SERIES PRODUCERS: Graham Chedd, Steven Katten, Richard O. Moore
SERIES HOST: Dr. Willard Gaylin, M.D., President of the Hastings Center, Institute of Society, Ethics, and Life Sciences

FORMAT: Video 6 (60:00) programs

DISTRIBUTOR: Not currently available


Near Death

Documentary

Shot in the medical and surgical intensive care units at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston, this film considers the interrelationships among patients, families, doctors, nurses, and religious advisers as they confront the issues involved in deciding whether to continue life-sustaining treatment to dying patients.

PRODUCTION ORGANIZATION: Exit Films, Inc., Cambridge, MA
YEAR PRODUCED: 1987
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER/DIRECTOR: Frederick Wiseman
CINEMATOGRAPHY: John Davey
EDITOR: Frederick Wiseman

AWARDS: Dupont-Columbia Award, Best Independent Documentary; International Forum/Berlin Film Festival, Critics Award; Royal Film Archive of Belgium, L’Age d’Or Prize

FORMAT: Video (350:00) One almost six-hour program on 4 (90:00) cassettes

DISTRIBUTOR: Zipporah Films, Inc.


Out Of Order

Documentary

In Out of Order, six former nuns tell why they entered and why they left religious life: three to become teachers, one an artist, one an insurance agent, and one a private investor.

PRODUCTION ORGANIZATION: Documentary Research, Inc., Buffalo, NY
YEAR PRODUCED: 1982
PRODUCERS/DIRECTORS/EDITORS: Diane Christian, Bruce Jackson
CINEMATOGRAPHY: Bruce Jackson

FESTIVALS: Melbourne Film Festival; Houston International Film Festival; Dorothy Arzner Film Festival; American Film Festival; Museum of Modern Art

FORMAT: 16mm, Video (89:00)

DISTRIBUTOR: First Run/Icarus Films


Pursuit Of Happiness

Documentary

Shot in verité style, Pursuit of Happiness follows the lives of several Americans as they consciously or unconsciously search for this “inalienable right.”

PRODUCTION ORGANIZATION: Global Village, New York, NY
YEAR PRODUCED: 1984
COPRODUCERS/CODIRECTORS: John Reilly, Julie Gustafson
EDITOR: Nicole Fanteaux

AWARDS/FESTIVALS: Chicago International Film Festival, Gold Plaque; Toronto Film Festival; Atlanta Film and Video Festival, Prize Winner; American Film and Video Festival, Honorable Mention

FORMAT: Video (60:00)

DISTRUBTOR: Not currently available


Shadows of the Nuclear Age: American Culture and the Bomb

Documentary Radio Series

Shadows of the Nuclear Age examines the impact of the nuclear age on American social, ethical, and economic values.

Program 1
Seven Minutes to Midnight
gives an overview of the impact of recent breakthroughs in the technology of nuclear weapons and the proliferation of nuclear materials.

Program 2
Hiroshima: The Decision to Use the Bomb
discusses the Truman Administration’s decision to drop the bomb; the role of bureaucratic momentum, military necessity, and cold war politics, and public reactions to the bomb and its aftermath.

Program 3
The Story of the H-Bomb
examines the development of the early arms race, with particular attention to The Baruch Plan and the decision to build the hydrogen bomb.

Program 4
The Years of Testing
traces the history of nuclear testing, fallout, air raid drills, bomb shelters, and the effects of these on Americans in the 1950s.

Program 5
The Missile Crisis
recounts the Kennedy years, the Cuban missile crisis, and the move toward arms control and a test ban.

Program 6
The Road Not Taken: Protest and the Bomb
examines the attitudes behind past and present public efforts to end the arms race.

Program 7
Nuclear Hollywood
analyzes the different ways that nuclear war has been presented in film from the Cold War to the present.

Program 8
Nuclear Anxiety: Coping with the Eve of Destruction
explores the way Americans are affected by the possibility of nuclear destruction and looks at the means we have for facing the dangers of nuclear war.

Program 9
Memos and Megatons—How We Talk about the Bomb
considers the language of modern war, nuclear deterrence, and bureaucratic decision-making.

Program 10
The Literature of Apocalypse
presents leading literary figures and critics discussing the concept of war in modern fiction, poetry, and drama, as well as the role of the literary artist in relation to war.

Program 11
Swords and Plowshares—The Economy of the Arms Race
examines the effects of a growing military sector and high levels of military spending.

Program 12
Ethics and Options for a Threatened Planet
discusses what values, ethics, and laws are relevant in the nuclear age.

Program 13
Where Do We Go From Here? The Great Nuclear Debate
explores the feasibility of various plans to end the arms race.

PRODUCTION ORGANIZATION: SANE Education Fund, Philadelphia, PA
YEAR PRODUCED: 1980
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Stephen Shick
PRODUCER: David Freudberg
ASSOCIATE PRODUCER: Michael Marchino
RESEARCH DIRECTOR: Diana Roose
PROJECT DIRECTOR: Robert K. Musil

FORMAT: Audiocassette
13 (30:00) programs

DISTRIBUTOR: Not currently available


Speaking of Faith: Biographical Series

Documentary Series Radio

Speaking of Faith is public radio’s weekly conversation about religion, meaning, ethics and ideas. Speaking of Faith’s Biographical Series profiles influential historical figures and brings special focus to their religious context and milieu, and their legacy to our time. Each program includes a signature blend of in-depth interviews, music, literature, and archival materials to present a compelling radio portrait.

Program 1
Einstein and The Mind of God is a two-part series exploring the little-known spiritual, human, and ethical sensibility of Albert Einstein and the modern extensions of his scientific and ethical perspectives.

Program 2
Evolution and Wonder: Understanding Charles Darwin takes a fresh and thought-provoking look at Darwin’s life and ideas. He did not argue against God but against a simple understanding of the world—its beauty, its brutality, and its unfolding creation.

PRODUCTION ORGANIZATION: American Public Media, St. Paul, MN
YEAR PRODUCED: 2005 and 2006
PRODUCERS: Kate Moos, Mitch Hanley, Trent Gilliss, Colleen Scheck, Jody Abramson
EDITORS: Bill Buzenberg, Ken Hom, Krista Tippett
HOST: Krista Tippett

PRINT MATERIALS: Transcripts are available at www.onbeing.org

AWARDS/FESTIVALS: Gracie Allen Award from the Foundation of American Women in Radio and Television (2002, 2005); Religion Communicator’s Council Wilbur Award (2004, 2005); Gabriel Award from The Catholic Broadcasters Association (2004); Webby Award for www.speakingoffaith.org (2005)

FORMAT: Audio 53:00 minutes each program

DISTRIBUTOR: American Public Media


This Far By Faith: African-American Spiritual Journeys

Documentary

The tumultuous and inspirational journey of spiritual renewal and transformation is the theme of This Far by Faith, a major new television series from Blackside, Inc., producers of Eyes on the Prize, and Malcolm X: Make It Plain, and The Faith Project, Inc., an independent identity created to complete This Far by Faith.

The series presents a dramatic interpretation of the African-American religious experience in six hours of dramatic narrative storytelling. Black religious institutions and individuals helped lead the first for the abolition of slavery, offered new political ideals and leadership during Reconstruction, provided shelter and opportunity during the years of migration, immigration, and through the Great Depression; and fueled the movement for civil rights in the middle of the twentieth century. In the years since, these individuals and institutions have formed a vanguard in the search for answers to problems facing the nation. This Far by Faith tells their stories and examines their legacies.

PRODUCTION ORGANIZATION: The Faith Project, Inc., c/o Dasi, New York City, NY

YEAR PRODUCED: 2003

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: June Cross, Dante James

PRODUCERS/DIRECTORS/WRITERS: Noland Waler, June Cross, Lulie Haddad, Alice Markowitz, Valerie, Lison, Leslie Farrell

EDITORS: Michael Simollari, Tracy Baumgardner, Sandra Christie, Jonathan Sahula, Jean Boucicaut, Gina Sohn

NARRATOR: Lorraine Toussaint

PRINT MATERIALS: This Far By Faith: Stories from the African-American Religious Experience Available through Happer Collins

FORMAT: Video 3 programs 2 hours

DISTRIBUTOR: Blackside Inc. & PBS

 


Visions of Social Order: For the Love of Work

Documentary

For the Love of Work presents the life and thought of Karl Marx, explaining such ideas as alienation, exploitation, the dialectic, materialism, human nature, technology, and revolution. Co-hosts Sidney Hook and Tibor Machan discuss and debate differing perspectives on Marx’s ideas.

PRODUCTION ORGANIZATION: Palmer R. Chitester Fund, Erie, PA
YEAR PRODUCED: 1986
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Robert J. Chitester
PRODUCER/DIRECTOR: Eben Wilson
WRITERS: Eben Wilson, Tibor Machan, Robert J. Chitester
CINEMATOGRAPHY: Bob Ames, Gordon Hickie
EDITOR: Nicolette Bolgar
CO-HOSTS: Tibor Machan, Sidney Hook

FORMAT: Video (58:00)

DISTRIBUTOR: Not currently available