Video Round Table

2007 Notable Videos for Adults

VRT Notable Videos Committee has compiled its 2007 list of Notable Videos for Adults, a list of 15 outstanding programs released on video within the past two years that are suitable for all libraries serving adults. The list's purpose is to call attention to recent video releases that make a significant contribution to the world of video recordings. The selections were made during the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Seattle , Washington , January 20-25, 2007.

The winning titles are:

Country Boys. 335 min. PBS, DVD or VHS: $34.99 home use ($64.95 educational use). 
website: www.pbs.org

Producer David Sutherland explores the timeless issues of poverty and class through the lives of two teenage boys coming of age in Kentucky's Appalachian hills.

cover of country boys

The Devil and Daniel Johnston. 110 min. Sony, DVD: $24.96. (Available most distributors) 

Enter the manic-depressive world of creative genius Daniel Johnston, a singer, songwriter, and artist who achieved cult status in the world of contemporary music.

The Devil's Miner. 82 min. First Run Features, DVD or VHS: $24.95 home use. (First Run/Icarus Films, $298 educational use). 
website: www.thedevilsminer.com

This documentary follows two young boys working in the Cerro Rico silver mines of Bolivia, where they face deadly conditions to earn enough money to provide for their family and attend school.

image from the devil's miner (1)

image from the devil's miner (2)

End of the Century: The Story of the Ramones. 150 min. Rhino Home Video. DVD:  $19.98.  (Available most distributors)

Captures the groundbreaking band at its peak while providing an examination of the influential New York music scene that gave rise to the punk movement.

Grizzly Man. 103 min. Lions Gate Home Entertainment, DVD: $14.98.  (Available most distributors) 

Werner Herzog's haunting study of Timothy Treadwell's obsessive and ultimately fatal relationship with grizzly bears.

The Ground Truth. 78 min. Universal, DVD: $14.98.  (Available most distributors)

An honest portrayal of the recruitment and training of soldiers, their combat experiences, and their attempts to reintegrate into the community upon returning.

Homeland: Four Portraits of Native Action. 57 min. Bullfrog Films, DVD or VHS: $295. 
website: www.bullfrogfilms.com 

Tells the story of several Native American tribes and their struggles against environmental racism as they fight to protect and care for their ancestral lands.

image from homeland: four portraits of native action

In the Tall Grass. 57 min . Choices, Inc.  DVD: $99.95. 
website:  www.choicesvideo.net

J. Coll Metcalfe looks at the Gacaca grassroots court process in Rwanda as the Hutu and Tutsi tribes struggle with reconciliation following that country's 1994 genocide.

image from in the tall grass

Life in the Undergrowth.  240 mins.  BBC/ BBC Warner, DVD, $34.98.  (Available most distributors)

David Attenborough guides viewers through an amazingly intricate miniature world of insects and spiders in this five-part series on two discs.

Murderball. 86 min. ThinkFilm, DVD: $29.99.  (Available most distributors)

A group of quadriplegics overcomes severe mental and physical challenges through participation in the highly competitive sport of wheelchair rugby, known as "murderball."

One Bright Shining Moment: The Forgotten Summer of George McGovern. 125 min. First Run Features, DVD or VHS: $29.95 home use—available most distributors (First Run/Icarus Films $298 educational use).
website: www.frif.com 

Interweaving vintage video footage and contemporary interviews, Stephen Vittoria retraces McGovern's ill-fated 1972 presidential campaign, shedding light on current events.

image from one bright shining moment (1)

image from one bright shining moment (2)

Sir! No Sir!    84 min. Docurama, DVD or VHS: $26.95 home use. (Bullfrog Films $295 educational use). 
website:   www.bullfrogfilms.com 

David Zeiger's film tells the unique and previously untold story of the brave rebellion by thousands of American soldiers against the Vietnam War.

image from sir! no sir!

Street Fight . 82 min. Genius Products $26.95 home use. Available most distributors.  (Bullfrog Films, DVD or VHS: 295 educational use.) 
website:   www.bullfrogfilms.com

Marshall Curry's close-up coverage focuses on the last four months of the 2002 Newark mayoral battle between altruistic newcomer Cory Booker and old-style incumbent Sharpe James.

image from street fight

We Are Dad. 68 min. Indie-Pictures, DVD: $24.95. 
website: www.indie-pictures.com

Chronicles the struggle of 20-year-plus life partners as they encounter racism, homophobia, and the challenge of keeping their extended family of HIV-positive foster children together.

image from we are dad

Why We Fight. 99 min. Sony Pictures Classics, DVD: $24.96.  (Available most distributors) 

Explores a half-century of U.S. foreign policy from World War II to the Iraq War, revealing how political and corporate interests have become alarmingly entangled in the business of war. 

Members of the 2007 committee are:

  • Chair, Vicki Nesting, St. Charles Parish Library (La.);
  • Blane Halliday, Collier County Public Library (Fla.);
  • Cynthia Knight, Hunterdon County Library (N.J.);
  • Meghann Matwichuk, University of Delaware;
  • Chet Mulawka, San Mateo County Library (Calif.);
  • Jeff Pearson, University of Michigan;
  • Marc Sober, Enoch Pratt Free Library (Md.);
  • Steve Switzer, Florida International University;
  • Monique Threatt, Indiana University;
  • Sue-Ellen Beauregard, consultant, Booklist magazine, Chicago.