2017 Notable Videos for Adults announced

For Immediate Release
Tue, 01/31/2017


Linda Frederiksen


VRT Notable Videos for Adults Committee


ATLANTA – The American Library Association (ALA) Video Round Table Notable Videos for Adults Committee has compiled its 2017 list of Notable Videos for Adults, a list of 15 outstanding films released on video within the past two years and suitable for all libraries serving adults.  Its purpose is to call attention to recent video releases that make a significant contribution to the world of video.  The list is compiled for use by librarians and the general adult populace.

The Notable Videos for Adults Committee selected 15 outstanding titles from among 67 nominees for this year’s list of Notable Videos for Adults.  The availability of closed captions (CC) and/or subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing (SDH) is preferred; inclusion and exclusion of the same is indicated below.

  •          3 ½ Minutes, Ten Bullets

(2015) 98 minutes. HBO Documentary Films. DVD.  Ro*Co Films.  Subtitles.

Invoking the controversial “Stand Your Ground” defense, a Florida man opens fire on unarmed African-American teenagers, killing Jordan Davis


  •         Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution

(2016) 120 minutes; Firelight Films. DVD. PBS.  CC & SDH.

An historical overview of the rise and fall of a radical social movement that sought to empower African Americans and change the capitalist system.


  •         Fire at Sea (Fuocoammare)

(2016) 114 minutes. Sternal Entertainment. DVD. Kino Lorber. Subtitles.

Desperate African and Middle Eastern refugees arrive by boat to the Italian island of Lampedusa and residents respond.


  •        The First Monday in May

(2016) 91 minutes. Relativity Media. DVD. Magnolia Home Entertainment. SDH.

A fundraiser for the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art’s fashion wing makes multicultural connections between East and West.


  •         Heart of a Dog

(2016) 76 minutes. Abramorama. DVD. Criterion Collection. SDH.

Experimental artist Laurie Anderson projects the canine perspective in this non-linear meditation on fear, loss, and love.


  •          How to Change the World

(2016) 110 minutes. Sky Films. DVD. Kino Lorber. CC.

This history of the developmental phases of Greenpeace serves as a primer for environmental activism and political organizing for social change.


  •          Last Day of Freedom

(2016) 32 minutes. Grasshopper Film. DVD. CC.

His image altered by the animation technique of rotoscoping, the sibling of a death row inmate recounts the military service and PTSD leading up to his brother’s crime and punishment.


  •          Long Story Short

(2016) 45 minutes. Icarus Films. DVD. CC.

Based on interviews with residents of California homeless shelters, the filmmaker uses creative audio and visual techniques to distill hundreds of stories of poverty into a single message.


  •          Matt Shepard Is A Friend of Mine

(2015) 89 minutes. Logo Documentary Films. DVD. Available from various distributors. CC.

Friends of the Wyoming student and hate crime victim remember his life while also revealing the depth and longevity of their grief.


  •          OJ: Made in America

(2016) 520 minutes. ESPN Films. DVD. CC.

An encyclopedic analysis of the sociological impact of the murder trial of OJ Simpson, as seen through the lens of race, celebrity, and class.


  •          Sembene!

(2016) 89 minutes. Impact Partners. DVD. Kino Lorber. CC.

Ousmane Sembène, a laborer and son of a fisherman, becomes a pioneering and controversial African filmmaker.


  •          She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry

(2016) 93 minutes.  Music Box Films. DVD. Cinema Guild. SDH.

The women who raised consciousness, organized, and demonstrated for equal rights, tell the history of second wave feminism.


  •          Under the Sun

(2016) 110 minutes. Icarus Films. DVD. Subtitles.

Officially sanctioned footage demonstrates the mesmerizing, pervasive power of rhetoric, repetition, and propaganda in North Korean life.


  •          Welcome to Leith

(2015) 86 minutes. First Run Features. DVD. SDH.

Residents of Leith, North Dakota, struggle with democratic principles when a white supremacist buys property and moves to their small town.


  •          What Happened, Miss Simone?

(2016) 116 minutes. Netflix. DVD. Eagle Vision. Subtitles.

The complex and emotionally charged life of legendary musician and activist Nina Simone is chronicled.

The Notable Videos for Adults Committee members are: Linda Frederiksen, Washington State University Vancouver (Chair); Cecilia Cygnar, Niles Public Library District, Illinois; Phil Hallman, University of Michigan; Wendy Highby, University of Northern Colorado; Kyle Knight, St. Louis Public Library, Missouri; Maura Lynch, Guilderland Public Library, New York; Danette Pachtner, Duke University, North Carolina; Kati Perez, Pierce County Library System, Washington; Lorraine Wochna, Ohio University.