Video Round Table Notable Videos for Adults 2005

Video Round Table
2005 Notable Videos for Adults


The ALA Video Round Table Notable Videos Committee has compiled its 2005 list of Notable Videos for Adults.   The selections were made during the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting in Boston.


The winning titles are:


Arctic Dance: The Mardy Murie Story. 75 min. NdiMedia, VHS, $24.95;
Biography of Mardy Murie who dedicated her life to the protection and preservation of the unspoiled American wilderness and became known as the mother of the American conservation movement.


Beah: A Black Woman Speaks. 90 min. Women Make Movies, VHS, $295 college, $89 public and school libraries; 212-925-0606 x360;
This documentary explores the extraordinary life of Beah Richards, poet, activist, and Oscar-nominated African American actress best known for her role in Guess Who's Coming to Dinner.


Be Good, Smile Pretty. 56 min. Docurama, VHS or DVD, $24.95; 800-314-8822;
Film documents 32-year-old Tracy Droz Tragos' two and a half year search for information about her father, who died in Vietnam when she was three months old.


Farmingville. 78 min. Docurama, VHS $36.95 or DVD $29.95; 800-314-8822;
In the late 1990s, 1,500 illegal Mexican day laborers bypass traditional Southwestern cities and settle in Farmingville, NY, causing extreme tension in a community of approximately 15,000.


No Secret Anymore. 57 min. Frameline. VHS, $350 college, $95 public and school libraries; 415-703-8650;

Follows the half-century political struggle of Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon, a legendary couple who were founders of the modern lesbian rights movement.


Point of Attack. 46 min.  Cinema Guild, VHS, $250; 800-723-5522;

Racial profiling, mass round-ups, and deportation of U.S. Arabs and Muslims following 9/11 is revealed through the stories of detainees in this compelling and timely documentary.


A Place of Our Own. 60 min. Firelight Media, Inc. VHS or DVD, Available June 2005; 800-343-5540.
Following the death of his mother, filmmaker Stanley Nelson documents the history of the African American middle class in Oak Bluffs, Martha's Vineyard and uncovers family secrets. Includes archival footage.


Rivers and Tides: Andy Goldsworthy Working with Time. 90 min. Docurama, DVD $26.95; 800-314-8822;

This enchanting film depicts the magical relationship between art and nature while painting a visually intoxicating portrait of famed artist Andy Goldsworthy, who fashions sculpture from natural phenomena.


Shelter Dogs. 72 min. Red Hen Productions, VHS or DVD, $99 public and school libraries, $250 college, institutions, government;
Examines the ethical issues of no-kill animal shelters through a visit to the controversial Rondout Valley Kennel, where life and death decisions are made daily.


Super Size Me! 100 min. Hart/Sharp Video, VHS or DVD $26.99; 212-475-2888; Available through most retail stores.
Filmmaker Morgan Spurlock humorously examines the role of fast food in America's obesity-related health crisis by eating nothing but McDonalds fast food for 30 days.


Trembling Before G-d. 84 min. New Yorker. DVD, $39.95; Available through most retail stores.
Poignant documentary about gay and lesbian Jewish faithful coming to terms with their sexuality, and their efforts to reconcile their love of Judaism with strong Biblical prohibitions against homosexuality.


Unchained Memories. 75 min. HBO, DVD, $24.98; 866-316-4814.

Notable African American actors read excerpts from over 2,000 transcribed interviews given by former slaves and that are currently shelved as Slave Narratives in the Library of Congress.


Unprecedented: The 2000 Presidential Election (2004 Campaign Edition). 52 min. Shout! Factory/Sony Music Entertainment, VHS or DVD, $14.98; Available in most retail stores.
Peter Coyote narrates this documentary which looks at the controversial voting irregularities in Florida during the 2000 presidential election.


Weather Underground. 90 min. Docurama, VHS or DVD, $24.95; 800-314-8822;
Presents an examination of the radical branch of the 1960s group Students for a Democratic Society. Through archival footage and recent interviews, the filmmakers present a snapshot of the organization.


Winsor McCay. 100 min. Milestone, VHS or DVD, $29.95; 800-603-1104;
McCay, the first master of animation and creator of groundbreaking animated films such as Sinking of the Lusitania, is profiled using historical documentary footage, interviews, and rarely seen cartoon shorts.


Notable Video for Adults, 2005, committee members: 

  • Lori Stephens, chair, Utah Valley State College;
  • Steve Brantley, University of Illinois at Chicago;
  • John DeSantis, Dartmouth College;
  • Fang Gu, California State University, Sacramento;
  • Blane Halliday, Collier County Public Library;
  • Cecilia Hurt, Flower Mound Public Library;
  • Vicki Nesting, East Regional Library;
  • Marc Sober, Enoch Pratt Free Library;
  • Monique Threatt, Indiana University;
  • Sue-Ellen Beauregard, consultant, Booklist, Chicago, IL.