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    While not every film listed here will be used throughout the course of the semester, parents and families are welcome to contact Mr Huesken will any questions or concerns about a particular film being looked at in class as part of our course film study. Films are selected based on their relevence to the course content and curriculum and are usually incorperated into a larger class discussion, debate, project, or unit assessment at their conclusion.

  • Frontline

    by TV Series (PBS) Year Published: 1983 - present TV-MA

    "Frontline" offers an unflinching and compelling look at complex, vital and often-controversial subjects. Each broadcast consists of a long-form news documentary. Topics run the gamut -- from Bernie Madoff's intricate fraud and prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib, to AIDs, racial issues and Wal-Mart's effect on the U.S. economy.

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  • Freakonomics

    by Heidi Ewing & Alex Gibney (Directors) Year Published: 2010 PG-13

    A collection of documentaries that explores the hidden side of human nature through the use of the science of economics. Because all economics, deep down inside, is the study of people and the choices they make.

     

    Unit = Economics

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  • Money For Nothing: Inside the Federal Reserve

    by Jim Bruce (Director) Year Published: 2015 Not Rated

    Filmmaker Jim Bruce traces the history of the Federal Reserve through extensive interviews with federal officials, economists and historians.

     

    Unit = Economics

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  • An Inconvient Tax

    by Christopher Marshall (Director) Year Published: 2011 Not Rated

    In a time when many Americans are concerned about the future of the economy, rising deficits, and unfair tax treatment, "An Inconvenient Tax" provides a crucial, honest look at the income tax. For the first time ever, Americans can engage in the tax debate with confidence and perhaps discover a new way to tax.

     

    Unit = Economics

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  • IOUSA

    by Patrick Creadon (Director) Year Published: 2008 PG

    Will the United States of America go broke in your lifetime? This documentary examines the myriad reasons why such a dangerous outcome is a distinct possibility. In the opinion of some, as the baby boomer generation ages, entitlement programs will be strained to the breaking point, and an astronomical defense budget and excessive national debt threaten to hurl the country over the financial brink.

     

    Unit = Economics

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  • Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price

    by Robert Greenwald (Director) Year Published: 2005 PG

    A look at the impact of the retail giant, Wal-Mart, on local communities and the larger US economy as a whole.

     

    Unit = Economics

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  • Dark Money

    by Kimberly Reed (Director) Year Published: 2018 TV-14

    DARK MONEY examines one of the greatest present threats to American democracy: the influence of untraceable corporate money on our elections and elected officials. The film takes viewers to Montana - a frontline in the fight to preserve fair elections nationwide - to follow a local journalist working to expose the real-life impacts of the US Supreme Court's Citizens United decision.

     

    Unit = Political Parties / Elections

    Comments (-1)
  • Gerrymandering

    by Jeff Reichert (Director) Year Published: 2010 Not Rated

    Filmmaker Jeff Reichert examines how politicians manipulate the outcome of elections by redrawing voting districts in the process commonly known as "gerrymandering". Includes interviews and insights from former politicans, electoral officials, and campaign workers.

     

    Unit = Political Parties / Elections

    Comments (-1)
  • Electoral Dysfunction

    by Bennett Singer, David Deschamps, & Leslie D. Farrell (Directors) Year Published: 2012 Not Rated

    'Electoral Dysfunction' uses irreverent humor to illuminate how voting works - and doesn't work - in America. Hosted by Mo Rocca (a CBS correspondent and former 'Daily Show' cast member), the film is structured as a road trip that begins when Mo makes an eye-opening discovery: The Constitution does not guarantee the right to vote. Mo explores the battle over voter fraud and voter I.D.; searches for the Electoral College; critiques ballot design and encounters experts and activists across the political spectrum who offer commentary on why our voting system is broken and how it can be fixed.

     

    Unit = Political Parties / Elections

    Comments (-1)
  • Anytown USA

    by Kristian Fraga (Director) Year Published: 2005 Not Rated

    Filmmaker Kristian Fraga examines the politics behind a tightly contested, three-way mayoral race in Bogota, N.J., which is colored by the national politics of the day. An interesting look at how all politics is local politics.

     

    Unit = Political Parties / Elections

    Comments (-1)
  • Constitution USA

    by TV Series (PBS) Year Published: 2013 Not Rated (TV)

    Peter Sagal, the host of NPR's "Wait, Wait ... Don't Tell Me!" travels around the United States to investigate where the Constitution lives, how it works -- and when it doesn't -- how it has united the nation, and how it has nearly torn it apart. Throughout his travels, Sagal talks to ordinary citizens as well as scholars about the meaning of the document and about the historical events and crises that have defined it.

     

    Unit = Government

    Comments (-1)
  • American Creed

    by Sam Ball (Director) Year Published: 2018 Not Rated

    Condoleezza Rice, former U.S. Secretary of State, and David M. Kennedy, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, come together from different points of view to investigate the idea of a unifying American creed. Their spirited inquiry frames the stories of people striving to bridge deepening divides in different communities around the country.

     

    Unit = Government

    Comments (-1)
  • Mr Smith Goes to Washington

    by Frank Capra (Director) Year Published: 1939 PG

    A naive man is appointed to fill a vacancy in the United States Senate. His plans promptly collide with political corruption, but he doesn't back down. A great discussion of the ideology that makes American government great.

     

    Unit = Government

    Comments (-1)
  • Gideon's Trumpet

    by Robert L. Collins (Director) Year Published: 1980 Not Rated (TV)

    The story of Clarence Earl Gideon and his fight for the right to have publicly funded legal counsel for the needy. Nominated for three Primetime Emmy Awards in 1981.

     

    Unit = Government

    Comments (-1)
  • RBG

    by Betsy West & Julie Cohen (Director) Year Published: 2018 PG

    An intimate portrait of an unlikely rock star: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. With unprecedented access, the filmmakers explore how her early legal battles changed the world for women.

     

    Unit = Government

    Comments (-1)
  • Anita: Speaking Truth to Power

    by Freida Lee Mock (Director) Year Published: 2013 Not Rated

    A profile of Anita Hill, the African-American lawyer who challenged Clarence Thomas' nomination to the US Supreme Court and thus exposed the problem of sexual harassment to the world.

     

    Unit = Government

    Comments (-1)
  • Gideon's Army

    by Dawn Porter (Director) Year Published: 2014 Not Rated

    Three young, idealistic Public Defenders in the Deep South struggle against long hours, low pay and staggering caseloads to ensure justice is served for America's forgotten poor. A great discussion of important of access to an attorney for all Americans when facing a criminal or civil case.

     

    Unit = Government

    Comments (-1)
  • Hot Coffee

    by Susan Saladoff (Director) Year Published: 2010 Not Rated

    Examines the case of Liebeck v. McDonald's Restaurants, the so-called "hot coffee lawsuit" in which a woman sued the fast-food giant after she spilled her coffee and burned herself. Engages in a larger discussion of civil litigation and the roles / controversies it has in America's judiciary today.

     

    Unit = Government

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  • 13th

    by Ava DuVernay (Director) Year Published: 2016 TV-MA

    Filmmaker Ava DuVernay explores the history of racial inequality in the United States through the context of the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution, focusing on the fact that the nation's prisons are disproportionately filled with African-Americans.

     

    Unit = Criminal Justice / Constitutional Law

    Comments (-1)
  • Kids for Cash

    by Robert May (Director) Year Published: 2013 PG-13

    In the wake of the shootings at Columbine, a small town celebrates a charismatic judge who is hell-bent on keeping kids in line...until one parent dares to question the motives behind his brand of justice. This real life thriller reveals the untold stories of the masterminds at the center of the scandal and the chilling aftermath of lives destroyed in the process - a stunning emotional roller coaster.

     

    Unit = Government

    Comments (-1)
  • Central Park Five

    by Ken Burns, Sarah Burns, David McMahon (Director) Year Published: 2012 Not Rated (TV)

    Filmmakers Ken Burns, Sarah Burns and David McMahon examine a 1989 case of five teenagers who were wrongfully convicted of raping a woman. After they had spent from six to 13 years in prison, a serial rapist confessed to the crime. An interesting discussion of justice in today's society.

     

    Unit = Criminal Justice / Constitutional Law

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