Welcome to Shelbyville
Welcome to Shelbyville is a glimpse of America at a crossroads. In one town in the heart of America’s bible belt, a community grapples with rapidly changing demographics. Longtime African-American and White residents are challenged with how to integrate with a growing Latino population and the more recent arrival of hundreds of Somali refugees of Muslim faith. Set on the eve of the 2008 Presidential election, the film captures the interaction between these residents as they navigate new waters against the backdrop of a tumultuous year. The economy is in crisis, factories are closing, and jobs are hard to find. Just as the Latino population grapples with their own immigrant identity, African-American residents look back at their segregated past and balance perceived threats to their livelihood against the values that they learned through their own long struggle for civil rights. While the newcomers attempt to make new lives for themselves and their children, leaders in this deeply religious community attempt to guide their congregations through this period of unprecedented change. Through the vibrant and colorful characters of Shelbyville, the film explores immigrant integration and the interplay between race, religion, and identity. Ultimately, the story is an intimate portrayal of a community’s struggle to understand what it means to be American.
Set on the border of Thailand and Eastern Burma, Crossing Midnight tells the story of a remarkable community of refugees from Burma working against incredible odds to help their own. During the violent crackdown of the 1988 student uprising, Dr. Cynthia Maung and a group of fellow students fled to the border of Thailand. There, with virtually nothing in hand, they created the Mae Tao Clinic in a one-room barn. Over twenty years later, in the midst of an unparalleled healthcare crisis, the clinic has grown into a community of over 500 healthcare workers, a school for refugee children and a dedicated group of cross-border backpack medics who travel at great risk through the jungles of Eastern Burma to treat those living on the run. Today, one million internally displaced persons are living in the jungles of Eastern Burma in the midst of on-going armed conflict. Over two million more have fled to the border of neighboring Thailand after enduring decades of oppression by a brutal military dictatorship. Through rare footage of these backpack medics and poignant testimony from community leaders, Crossing Midnight presents a unique portrait of resilience, courage and hope.
One Bridge to the Next
One Bridge to the Next, addresses the emerging field of street medicine. In 1992 Dr. Jim Withers began doing night rounds on the streets of Pittsburgh, offering medical assistance and support to the homeless. Fifteen years later, the organization he founded, Operation Safety Net, is a pioneering model in a growing movement to provide healthcare to the homeless. Dr. Withers and his team navigate riverbanks, bridges, and alleyways to bring medical help and social justice to those who have fallen through the cracks of society. The complex condition of the chronically homeless is depicted through vivid characters – a 70 year old former architect, a laid-off steel mill worker and an ex-drag queen failing from cancer. In a time when our national healthcare policy is under increasing scrutiny, this story illuminates the committed efforts within a single urban area to create a humane society and dignity for those on our streets.
Alone No Love
Alone No Love sheds light on child sex abuse in America. Through the work of the Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center (CCAC), one of the nation’s largest and most progressive centers for sexually abused children, we observe firsthand the challenging work of a multidisciplinary team of doctors, state’s attorneys, police officers and social workers whose tireless efforts continue to provide refuge for sexually abused kids in Chicago.
The story centers on the powerful account of Jesse Hall, whose father began molesting him at the tender age of 10. He suffered in silence for five years before finally coming forward to seek help. He shares his intimate story, an ongoing journey to heal from the emotional wounds of his past. Jesse is just one of approximately 3,000 children who walk through the doors of the CCAC each year. The Chicago CAC is one of over 300 Child Advocacy Centers across the United States.