Many people across the country observe Martin Luther King, Jr. Day by participating in the MLK Day of Service, coming together--this year on Monday, January 16--to serve their neighbors and their communities. Whether you are going to participate in a service project or not, the following films tell stories of service and activism that will impress and inspire you.
Sunken City: Rebuilding Post-Katrina New Orleans When Hurricane Katrina devastated and nearly destroyed the city of New Orleans, it was only through the efforts of millions of volunteers that life found a way to carry on. Celebrate the achievements of the people who rebuilt this shattered city, and explore the government structure whose haphazard response may have threatened the lives, and livelihood, of many. Features the volunteers, victims, and leaders who galvanized a great many uprooted people into working together to rebuild their lives.
Freedom Riders This inspirational documentary is about a band of courageous civil-rights activists calling themselves the Freedom Riders. Gaining impressive access to influential figures on both sides of the issue, it chronicles a chapter of American history that stands as an astonishing testament to the accomplishment of youth and what can result from the incredible combination of personal conviction and the courage to organize against all odds.
Pray the Devil Back to Hell This documentary chronicles the courageous Liberian women who came together to end a bloody civil war and bring peace to their country. Thousands of women, ordinary mothers, grandmothers, aunts, and daughters, both Christian and Muslim, came together to pray for peace and then staged a silent protest outside of the Presidential Palace. Inspiring, uplifting, and most of all motivating, it is a compelling testimony of how grassroots activism can alter the history of nations.
War Child This film details the life of Emmanuel Jal, a victim and refugee of Sudan's civil wars. Now a successful hip-hop artist, as a seven- year-old Sudanese boy, Jal was conscripted into an army as one of 10,000 child soldiers. Fighting through two separate civil wars over the course of nearly a decade, Jal survived, eventually adopted by a British aid worker. As an adult, he relates his story and his hope for peace through his activism and through popular music, recording and releasing his own work and performing with international stars.
Living in Emergency Bosnia. Rwanda. Kosovo. Sierra Leone. Pakistan. Just a few of the world's humanitarian and political crises in the past years. Whether the result of war or nature, disasters devastate populations and cripple health systems. Despite the immense dangers and difficulties of the work, one organization, Doctors Without Borders, has continuously intervened at the front lines of overwhelming human need.
Darfur Now: Six Stories, One Hope The story of six people who are determined to end the sufferings in Sudan's war-ravaged Darfur. The six - an American activist, an international prosecutor, a Sudanese rebel, a sheikh, a leader of the World Food Program and an internationally known actor - demonstrate the power of how one individual can create extraordinary changes.
Sunset Story A funny and intimate documentary that will make you think differently about growing old. It tells the story of Irja (81) and Lucille (95), two friends at a rest home for retired radicals. As they attend demonstrations, register their fellow residents to vote and debate everything under the sun, Irja and Lucille's verve and humor delight us.