Study Guide Genres Archives: Documentary

Say Her Name: The Life and Death of Sandra Bland

In 2015, Sandra Bland, a politically active black woman from Chicago, was arrested for a traffic violation in a small Texas town. Three days later, Sandra was found hanging from a noose in a jail cell. Combining Bland’s video blogs with extraordinary access to her family’s testimony and their legal team, Say Her Name is both an engrossing murder mystery and a disturbing account of systemic racism and neglect.

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The Other Side of the Wall

When their mother is sentenced to 10 years in a Mexican prison on questionable charges, teenagers Rocío and Ale are left with no choice but to play the role of both mother and father to their two younger siblings. The Other Side of the Wall roots its timely story about dislocation and migration in a deeply intimate and emotional domestic drama.

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For Akheem

Daje Shelton, a 17-year-old girl from St. Louis, just wants to do the right thing. But growing up in a tough neighborhood, she can’t catch a break: she’s struggling in school; she’s distracted by boys; and she’s surrounded by a culture of violence and brutality. The fatal shooting of Michael Brown Jr. provides a powerful backdrop for this masterfully crafted portrait of working-class urban life.

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United Skates

A rousing tribute to roller-skating’s pivotal role in the African-American community, United Skates careens around the country, offering an intimate look at a lively subculture that’s under threat. Facing discriminatory policies and rink closures, committed skaters from around the country—including Chicago’s own Buddy Love—fight to preserve a space for people to come together and express themselves in sliding, bouncing, snapping glory.

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Undefeated

Set in Memphis, Undefeated chronicles the Manassas Tigers’ 2009 football season as they strive to win the first playoff game in the high school’s 110-year history.

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