The American Library Association (ALA) Video Round Table Notable Videos for Adults Committee has compiled its 2015 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 64 nominees for this year’s list of Notable Videos for Adults.
• The Act of Killing
(2013) 122 minutes. Drafthouse Films. Available from http://drafthousefilms.com and various distributors.
Death squad leaders of the 1965 Indonesian massacres reflect on their crimes and reenact them in the style of Hollywood movies.
• After Tiller
(2013) 88 minutes. Oscilloscope Laboratories. Available from http://www.oscilloscope.net/films/ and various distributors.
The few remaining doctors performing late term abortions in the United States discuss their chosen profession and look ahead to an uncertain future for reproductive rights.
• Anita: Speaking Truth to Power
(2013) 77 minutes. First Run Features. Available from https://firstrunfeatures.com and various distributors.
Anita Hill finds her voice as an advocate for women’s rights and gender issues after her testimony at the 1991 confirmation hearings of Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas.
• Dirty Wars
(2013) 86 minutes. IFC Films. Available from various distributors.
Investigative reporter Jeremy Scahill traces the rise of the Joint Special Operations Command, a U.S. covert fighting force, which conducts civilian torture and killings across the globe.
• Five Broken Cameras
(2011) 90 minutes. Kino Lorber. Available from http://www.kinolorber.com and various distributors.
Palestinian filmmaker Emad Burnat documents the damage done to each of his five video cameras during nonviolent protests against Israeli settlements.
• Gideon’s Army
(2013) 95 minutes. Third World Newsreel. Available from http://twn.org
Three dedicated Southern public defenders with staggering caseloads represent indigent clients within a problematic legal system.
• Harvest of Empire
(2012) 90 minutes. Third World Newsreel. Available from http://twn.org
A comprehensive geopolitical picture of the economic and historical realities that have guided waves of Latin American migration to the U.S.
• Inequality for All
(2013) 90 minutes. Anchor Bay Entertainment. Available from various distributors.
Former U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Robert Reich explains the growing chasm between rich and poor and its consequences for American society.
• Internet’s Own Boy
(2014) 105 minutes. Ro*co Films Educational. Available from http://www.rocoeducational.com and various distributors.
This portrait of Aaron Schwartz, programmer and Internet activist, highlights the many contributions and ideas he left behind after his suicide in 2013.
• Let the Fire Burn
(2013) 95 minutes. Zeitgeist Films. Available from https://zeitgeistfilms.com and various distributors.
An account of the events leading up to the explosive confrontation which decimated the Philadelphia MOVE community, told exclusively through archival news footage.
• Los Angeles Plays Itself
(2014) 169 minutes. Cinema Guild. Available from http://cinemaguild.com and various distributors.
Los Angeles’ imprint upon the American imagination is examined in this video essay of the city as character and subject in motion pictures.
• Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God
(2012) 107 minutes. Docurama. Available from various distributors.
The serial sexual abuse of hundreds of deaf students by a Milwaukee priest exposes patterns of secrecy and denial within the Catholic church hierarchy.
• Particle Fever
(2012) 99 minutes. Ro*co Films Educational. Available from http://www.rocoeducational.com
An international team of physicists work to complete the Large Hadron Collider to prove the existence of the Higgs boson particle.
• Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People
(2013) 92 minutes. First Run Features. Available from https://firstrunfeatures.com and various distributors.
Expands the history of photographic arts by exploring African American personal identity and representation through family portraits and albums.
• Who is Dayani Cristal?
(2013) 85 minutes. Kino Lorber. Available from http://www.kinolorber.com and various distributors.
Mexican actor and activist Gael Garcia Bernal traces the tragic journey of an illegal immigrant from his Central American village to the Arizona desert.
The committee wishes to acknowledge that several notable nominees released exclusively via streaming were disqualified because they were not available for library purchase.
The Notable Videos for Adults Committee members are: Michele McKenzie, Berkeley Public Library (chair); Brian Boling, Samuel L. Paley Library, Temple University; Linda Frederiksen, Washington State University Vancouver Library; Wendy Highby, James A. Michener Library, University of Northern Colorado; Sandra Macke, Multnomah County Library; Jeffrey Pearson, Askwith Media Library, University of Michigan Ann Arbor; Junior Tidal, Ursula C. Schwerin Library, New York City College of Technology, CUNY; Lorraine Wochna, Alden Library, Ohio University