Raising Social Consciousness Through Film: A Cinema Series Addressing Moral Issues, via Zoomsponsored by the Social Action Committee
Raising Social Consciousness Through Film: A Cinema Series Addressing Moral Issues
Mondays at 7:30 PM (No class November 9; we will meet Thursday, November 12, instead), via Zoom.
sponsored by the Social Action Committee
Watch the films on your own—all available on Netflix— before the discussion date, and then every two weeks, we will gather via Zoom to discuss the film.
“Rabbi Tarfon used to say: It is not your duty to finish the work, but neither are you free to neglect it.”— Pirkei Avot 2:16
Film can exert a powerful influence on how we see the world and the way we consider problems facing society. This fall, the Social Action Committee is continuing the popular series, Raising Social Consciousness Through Film. We will watch five films on our own and then discuss the problems they highlight and how they have affected our world view.
The list of films, descriptions, and subsequent Zoom discussion dates can be found below. We hope you join us for these spirited and important conversations!
THE TRUE COST
Monday, December 7, 2020, 7:30 PM
2015 documentary film directed by Andrew Morgan that focuses on fast fashion, The True Cost examines aspects of the garment industry from production—mainly exploring the life of low-wage workers in developing countries—to its after-effects such as river and soil pollution, pesticide contamination, disease and death. Using an approach that looks at environmental, social and psychological aspects, it also examines consumerism and mass media, ultimately linking them to global capitalism. The documentary is a collage of several interviews with environmentalists, garment workers, factory owners, and people organizing fair trade companies or promoting sustainable clothing production. (92 minutes) Tubi (FREE through Netflix)
THE IVORY GAME
Monday, December 21, 2020, 7:30 PM
A 2016 American documentary film, directed by Kief Davidson and Richard Ladkani, The Ivory Game examines the ivory trade, which has become a global concern, pitting governments and environmental preservationists against poachers and Chinese ivory merchants. Ivory is a prized status symbol for middle-class Chinese, and poachers in pursuit of white gold are slaughtering African elephants in record numbers. The filmmakers went under cover for 16 months, infiltrating and documenting the deep-rooted corruption at the heart of the global ivory trafficking crisis. (1 hour, 52 minutes)
THE BLEEDING EDGE
The Bleeding Edge exposes the sordid underbelly of the medical device market that convinces about 70 million American per year that they need some kind of apparatus implanted into their body. This multi-billion-dollar industry does some good, but a whole lot of harm, shilling products, and procedures that, in many cases, haven’t even been properly tested. Revealing the complicity between the medical device industry and the community of healthcare practitioners and even the FDA, who refused to be interviewed for this film, The Bleeding Edge offers, if nothing else, a good reason to take better care of yourself. (100 minutes)
A SECRET LOVE
This documentary features director Chris Bolan telling the story of his two great aunts, a secret couple for nearly seven decades. The women met in the 1940s and told their families that they were just friends and roommates, given the country’s treatment of gay couples at the time. Ryan Murphy produced the movie, along with Blumhouse Productions. (82 minutes)
THE SOCIAL DILEMMA
What are the effects of social networks on the human psyche? This Netflix documentary is a terrifying look inside at how and why tech giants like Facebook, Twitter, and Google operate the way they do. You get to hear from tech experts in different fields discussing the negative impact and polarizing nature of these attention-grabbing algorithms they created. While the “dramatizations” are a bit over the top, it remains one of the most popular documentaries on Netflix right now. (94 minutes)