Category Archives: Films

Rights! Camera! Action!: Trouble the Water

Date: Tuesday, 13 July 2010
Time: 7:00 PM
Location: Sarah P. Duke Gardens (map and directions)
Contact Information: Patrick Stawski, 919-660-5823 or patrick.stawski(at)duke.edu, or Kirston Johnson, 919-681-7963 or kirston.johnson(at)duke.edu

As Hurricane Katrina bore down on New Orleans, 9th Ward resident Kimberly Rivers Roberts, an aspiring rap artist, and her husband Scott, used their Hi 8 camera to film their experience of the storm, from the trepidation of the day before the storm’s landfall to the failing of the levees. Trouble the Water weaves this home movie footage with archival news segments and verite footage shot over the next two years to tell the story of a community struggling to rebuild itself.

The film screening will be preceded by a panel discussion with Wahneema Lubiano and Mark Anthony Neal, both of Duke’s Department of African and African American Studies.

The Rights! Camera! Action! film series, which is sponsored by the Archive for Human Rights, the Archive of Documentary Arts, the Duke Human Rights Center, the Franklin Humanities Institute, and Screen/Society at Duke’s Arts of the Moving Image Program, features documentaries on human rights themes that were award winners at the annual Full Frame Documentary Film Festival. The films are archived at the RBMSCL, where they form part of a rich and expanding collection of human rights materials.

“The Library, The Archive, The Collection”: Research as Studio Practice in the Art of the Moving Image

Date: Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Time: 12:30 PM
Location: Rare Book Room
Contact Information: Kirston Johnson, 919-681-7963 or kirston.johnson(at)duke.edu

A still from “The Great Art of Knowing” showing Byrd’s bookplate.

Award-winning filmmaker and Guggenheim Fellow David Gatten will present his 2004 film, “The Great Art of Knowing.”

The film belongs to a series exploring the extensive library of William Byrd II, a prominent 17th-century Virginian landowner and author. Taking as a point of departure Athanasius Kircher‘s Ars Magna Sciendi (often translated as The Great Art of Knowing), the film attempts a reconstruction of the lives of William Byrd and his daughter Evelyn, and underlines the centuries-old desire to build systems of total knowledge and complete understanding.

Gatten is the 2010 Distinguished Visiting Filmmaker for Duke’s Program in the Arts of the Moving Image. His residency is funded by the Provost’s Council for the Arts Visiting Artist Residency grant.

In addition to his 2005 Guggenheim Fellowship, Gatten has shown his films at the Whitney Biennial, the Toronto International Film Festival, the London Film Festival, and several other international film festivals. His work belongs to the permanent collections of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Whitney Museum of American Art, as well as those of numerous university and private collections.

Rights! Camera! Action!: The Self-Made Man

Date: Tuesday, 16 March 2010
Time: 7:00 PM
Location: Rare Book Room
Contact Information: Patrick Stawski, 919-660-5823 or patrick.stawski(at)duke.edu, or Kirston Johnson, 919-681-7963 or kirston.johnson(at)duke.edu

The Self-Made Man, the fifth film in the Rights! Camera! Action! series, Bob Stern decides to end his life after being diagnosed with a potentially terminal illness.

Susan Stern, the film’s director (and Bob’s daughter), will lead discussion following the film.

The Rights! Camera! Action! film series, which is sponsored by the Archive for Human Rights, the Archive of Documentary Arts, the Duke Human Rights Center, the Franklin Humanities Institute, and Screen/Society at Duke’s Arts of the Moving Image Program, features documentaries on human rights themes that were award winners at the annual Full Frame Documentary Film Festival. The films are archived at the RBMSCL, where they form part of a rich and expanding collection of human rights materials. Additional support for this screening is provided by the Kenan Institute for Ethics and the Divinity School Institute on Care at the End of Life.

Rights! Camera! Action!: Escuela

Date: Tuesday, 26 January 2010
Time: 7:00 PM
Location: Rare Book Room
Contact Information: Patrick Stawski, 919-660-5823 or patrick.stawski(at)duke.edu, or Kirston Johnson, 919-681-7963 or kirston.johnson(at)duke.edu

Courtesy of Women Make Movies


Rights! Camera! Action! is starting off the spring semester with a screening of Hannah Weyer’s 2002 documentary, Escuela. This film centers on Liliana Luis, the daughter of Mexican American farm workers, as she begins her first year of high school.

The Rights! Camera! Action! film series, which is sponsored by the Archive for Human Rights, the Archive of Documentary Arts, the Duke Human Rights Center, and the Franklin Humanities Institute, features documentaries on human rights themes that were award winners at the annual Full Frame Documentary Film Festival. The films are archived at the RBMSCL, where they form part of a rich and expanding collection of human rights materials.

Rights! Camera! Action!: No Umbrella and Please Vote for Me

Date: Tuesday, 3 November, 2009
Time: 7:00 PM
Location: Rare Book Room
Contact Information: Patrick Stawski, 919-660-5823 or patrick.stawski(at)duke.edu, or Kirston Johnson, 919-681-7963 or kirston.johnson(at)duke.edu

Celebrate Election Day at the second installment of Rights! Camera! Action! This monthly film series, which is sponsored by the Archive for Human Rights, the Archive of Documentary Arts, the Duke Human Rights Center, and the Franklin Humanities Institute, features documentaries on human rights themes that were award winners at the annual Full Frame Documentary Film Festival. The films are archived at the RBMSCL, where they form part of a rich and expanding collection of human rights materials.

No Umbrella (26 minutes) shows Fannie Lewis in action on November 2, 2004 as she struggles to manage a polling station in a predominantly African American precinct in Cleveland, Ohio. Facing record numbers at the polls, Ms. Lewis spends her day on a cell phone begging for the machines and the technical support Ward 7 needs to handle the throngs of frustrated voters. This documentary won the Jury Award for Best Short at the 2006 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival.

Please Vote for Me (58 minutes) is a portrait of a society and a town in through a school, its children and its families. In Wuhan, China, a 3rd grade class at Evergreen Primary School has their first encounter with democracy by holding an election to select a Class Monitor. Eight-year-olds compete against each other for the coveted position, abetted and egged on by teachers and doting parents.

Kerry L. Haynie of Duke’s Department of Political Science and Ralph Litzinger of Duke’s Department of Cultural Anthropology will lead discussion following the films.