Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Free Films for Ethnic Studies courses, and the Umoja Learning Community

Streaming Film from Swank Digital Campus!
Free with your Library Card Account 

Explore Swank Digital Campus, a database of streaming film titles selected for courses and learning communities at CSM. Available free to students, faculty, and staff of CSM with your PLS Library Card. Contact a librarian if you have questions.


The tender, heartbreaking story of a young man’s struggle to find himself, told across three defining chapters in his life as he experiences the ecstasy, pain, and beauty of falling in love, while grappling with his own sexuality.

Mahershala Ali, Shariff Earp, Alex Hibbert, Ashton Sanders, Trevante Rhodes. Directed by Barry Jenkins (2016).

Featured for the Umoja Learning Community.


Who do you become when you can't be yourself?

A black teenager living in Brooklyn embraces her identity as a lesbian, but she struggles with how much she can confide in her parents.

Adepero Oduye, Pernell Walker, Aasha Davis, Charles Parnell, Sahra Mellesse. Directed by Dee Rees (2011).

Featured for Professor Erin Persley's FILM 100: Intro to Film course.

Get Out

A brilliantly crafted thriller! 

It's time for a young African-American to meet with his white girlfriend's parents for a weekend in their secluded estate in the woods, but before long, the friendly and polite ambience will give way to a nightmare.

Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Catherine Keener, Bradley Whitford, Caleb Landry Jones. Directed by Jordan Peele (2017).

Recommended by Professor Robbie Baden. Featured for the Umoja Learning Community.


In 1923, a black town in Florida was burned to the ground, its people murdered because of a lie. Some escaped and survived because of the courage and compassion of a few extraordinary people. This film is for them.

Jon Voight, Ving Rhames, Esther Rolle. John Singleton directed (1997).

Featured in Dr. Frederick Gaines ETHN 288: African-American Cinema course.


The story of Richard and Mildred Loving, a couple whose arrest for interracial marriage in 1960s Virginia began a legal battle that would end with the Supreme Court's historic 1967 decision.

Joel Edgerton, Ruth Negga, Marton Csokas, Nick Kroll, Michael Shannon. Directed by Jeff Nichols (2016).

Featured for IDST 110: College 1 course taught by Professor Fi Tovo & Professor Allie Fasth.

Additional Films Include:

  • Fruitvale Station (2013): Drama centered on the tragic shooting of Oscar Grant, a 22-year-old Bay Area father who was gunned down by a BART subway officer on New Year's Day in 2009, and whose murder shocked the nation after being captured on camera by his fellow passengers. [Selected for Umoja]
  • Do The Right Thing (1989): Racial tensions grow in a Brooklyn neighborhood on the hottest day of the summer. A Spike Lee joint. [Selected for FILM 100 & FILM 130]
  • Crash (2005): Ensemble drama about racism in present-day Los Angeles. Sandra Bullock, Don Cheadle, Matt Dillon. Directed by Paul Haggis. [Selected for FILM 100]
  • Chi Raq (2015): A group of women take a vow of abstinence to help stop the violence in Chicago's South Side, stating that their pledge will only end when their men decide to bring peace to the city. Nick Cannon, Teyonah Parris, Wesley Snipes, Angela Bassett, Jennifer Hudson. A Spike Lee joint. [Selected for Umoja]
  • The Queen Of Katwe (2016): Biopic of Ugandan chess prodigy Phiona Mutesi traces her journey from the slums of Katwe, where she is forced to abandon her schooling at the age of nine, to the upper echelons of the chess world. Lupita Nyong'o, David Oyelowo, Ntare Mwine, Madina Nalwanga, Martin Kabanza. Directed by Mira Nair. [Selected for ETHN 288]
  • Imitation Of Life (1934 Version): A widow builds up a business, aided by a black woman. Claudette Colbert, Louise Beavers, Fredi Washington, Warren William. [Selected for ETHN 585]

International Stories & Films of Interest:

  • District 9 (2009): A field operative is exposed to alien biotechnology while working in an internment camp for extraterrestrial refugees. [Selected for FILM 100]
  • Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom (2014): Docudrama based on Nelson Mandela's autobiography chronicles his long struggle against apartheid and his contributions to South Africa. Idris Elba, Naomie Harris, Tony Kgoroge, Riaad Moosa, Jamie Bartlett. Directed by Justin Chadwick. [Selected for IDST 110]
  • Invictus (2009): Nelson Mandela inspires the South African rugby team to strive for the World Cup in hopes of soothing the country's racial tensions. Morgan Freeman, Matt Damon, Tony Kgoroge, Patrick Mofokeng, Matt Stern. Directed by Clint Eastwood. [Selected for IDST 110]
  • City of God (2002): Based on the novel by Paolo Lin about gangland violence in the slums of Rio in the 1960s and '70s. Shifting alliances result in a brutal gang war, which is documented on film by an amateur photographer. [Selected for FILM 100]
  • Running Dry (2005): The Global Water Crisis - RUNNING DRY is a comprehensive public information/education project, established to raise awareness regarding the worsening global humanitarian water crisis. The projects' centerpiece is an explosive and enlightening in-depth documentary. It was inspired by former U.S. Senator Paul Simon’s book TAPPED OUT. [Selected for International Education]

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