THE BALLAD OF JOHN HENRY is an ambitious 50-minute documentary film analyzing how an ex-slave became one of America’s greatest tall tale heroes.
The heroic legacy of John Henry speaks to the needs of most Americans. His fame today rests on a single moment. The competition against the steam drill may have sealed his fate, but he died to preserve the dignity of the common man. Dozens of men by the same name have been attributed as the real-life tall tale hero. Only one person, a convict, is the most obvious choice according to the historical evidence.
Based on Scott Reynolds Nelson’s book, Steel Drivin’ Man, this story presents a new perspective on a famous tall tale often taught in classrooms around the country. The film sheds new light on an unjust legal system developed after the Civil War replacing slavery with a new labor-based economy, the convict lease program.
The legacy of the Japanese Occupation of Singapore still resonates today. But what of those from the island who fought on battlefields thousands of miles from home? Forgotten Heroes follows the stories of four courageous individuals from Singapore who found themselves in far-flung theatres of war. From the blood-soaked beaches of Northern France to the icy waters of the North Atlantic Ocean, from the violent skies over southern China to the brutalities of a Japanese POW camp in Java, this documentary recounts the incredible true stories of four Singaporeans who lived through turbulent times. Forgotten Heroes features an interview with one of the world's last remaining “Flying Tigers”, along with moving testimonies from our heroes’ families and leading WW2 experts. Stylish cinematography and bold animation bring these daring wartime stories to life.
"We had to live the American Dream twice."
Fugetsu-Do is more than a little candy store; since 1903 it has been an anchor for the Japanese-American community in Little Tokyo, centered at the heart of Downtown LA. At over 115 years old, this family-run business is one of the oldest in Los Angeles and its history is emblematic of the immigrant experience in America. It hasn’t been easy and yet, as its owner Brian Kito says, “the shop itself has an overwhelming desire to exist - it wants to survive.”
The ingredients of the brightly-colored pieces of mochi-gashi that line Fugetsu-Do's wood-paneled cases include so much more than rice flour and sweet bean paste. Mixed inside are stories of joy and pain, tradition and racism, legacy and loss. Survival is never easy; it’s complicated and messy, full of contradictions and surprises. In the three generations that the Kito Family has been running Fugetsu-Do, the store has become a memory bank for the community and the stories the line its walls could not be more relevant in today's America.
Saving a pristine island to share with others, Sandy West created a hospitable and sustainable community of interdisciplinary artists, scientists and authors with the hope that an idea would be generated to advance the human condition, much like Archimedes’ fulcrum.
The documented account of the life and deeds after II World War, of one of the most charismatic and enigmatic characters of World War II: SS Lieutenant colonel Otto Skorzeny, Hitler's favourite commando.
Lady Deborah Moody was called "a dangerous woman.”
She was thrown out of her English community in Massachusetts for refusing to silence her opinions and defying the patriarchal authorities of the Church of Salem.
With her bold courage and unwavering determination, Lady Deborah Moody became the first woman to establish a town in English and Dutch North America in 1645.
Catholic Hill, formerly known as Thompson’s Crossroads, is an area steeped in history. The predominant feature on the landscape is the 1935, gothic-revival inspired St. James the Greater Catholic Church and its recently renovated 1901 school house.
The first church on the spot was dedicated in 1832 and burned in 1856. Very little is known from that point until the 1890’s when it was learned that a group of former slaves and their descendants, with a vibrant and thriving faith, was worshipping in the area. Soon a new church and school was built. While mass was celebrated by itinerant priests twice a month at the church, the leadership flourished under the dedicated men and women of the church striving to preserve and strengthen the faith of the community on an everyday basis.
The present church, which was built in 1935, is home to a new generation of followers maintaining their strong Catholic Faith. Today’s congregation works tirelessly to preserve both the memory of those who came before them and safeguard the legacy for many generations to come.
This film focuses on the religion in South Carolina, early Catholicism, slavery, the history of St. James the Greater, and its importance to the Catholic Hill Community.