Documentaries

 Coming in January! 

Crossing the American Crises: 
From Collapse to Action
PM Press & Estreito Meios Productions, 2011
Directors: Michael Fox & Sílvia Leindecker

On September 15, 2008, the United States fell into the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. The same day, we set out on a trip around the country to ask the American people what they had to say about it. In 2010, we went back to see how things had changed. The financial forecasters say the recession is over, but the reality is otherwise.

Their stories reveal desperation, indignation, hope, dreams and a disastrous economic breakdown; chaos generated by a system of inequality. But the financial meltdown is just one of several human rights crises now shaking the United States—in housing, education, health care, etc. The solutions to “Crossing the American Crises” are in the hands of the people.

Featuring the Vermont Worker’s Center, LA's Bus Rider's Union, Santa Fe's local business Alliance, Oakland's Green Jobs Now, Baltimore’s United Workers, New York’s Poverty Initiative, the U.S. Social Forum, and American workers, truck drivers, farmers, homeless, ex-felons, minorities, natural disaster survivors, indigenous, immigrants, and residents from coast to coast—covering nearly 40 states across the nation.







Beyond Elections: 
Redefining Democracy in the Americas
PM Press & Estreito Meios Productions, 2008
Directors: Michael Fox & Sílvia Leindecker

What is democracy? Freedom, equality, participation? Everyone has his or her own definition. Across the world, 120 countries now have at least the minimum trappings of democracy---the freedom to vote for all citizens. But for many, this is just the beginning not the end. Following decades of US-backed dictatorships, civil wars and devastating structural adjustment policies in the South, and corporate control, electoral corruption, and fraud in the North, representative politics in the Americas is in crisis. Citizens are now choosing to redefine democracy under their own terms: local, direct, and participatory.

In 1989, the Brazilian Worker's Party altered the concept of local government when they installed participatory budgeting in Porto Alegre, allowing residents to participate directly in the allocation of city funds. Ten years later, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was swept into power with the promise of granting direct participation to the Venezuelan people; who have now formed tens of thousands of self-organized communal councils. In the Southern Cone, cooperative and recuperated factory numbers have grown, and across the Americas social movements and constitutional assemblies are taking authority away from the ruling elites and putting power into the hands of their members and citizens.

Featuring interviews with: Eduardo Galeano, Amy Goodman, Emir Sader, Martha Harnecker, Ward Churchill, and Leonardo Avritzer as well as cooperative and community members, elected representatives, academics, and activists from Brazil, Canada, Venezuela, Argentina, United States, Uruguay, Chile, Colombia, and more.

Beyond Elections is a journey that takes us across the Americas to attempt to answer one of the most important questions of our time: What is Democracy?

"Beyond Elections proves that democracy can and should be more than casting a ballot every four years. This empowering documentary gives hopeful and concrete examples from around the Americas of people taking back the reigns of power and governing their own communities. Beyond Elections is a road map for social change, drawing from communal councils in Venezuela and social movements in Bolivia to participatory budgeting in Brazil and worker cooperatives in Argentina. The film gracefully succeeds in demonstrating that these grassroots examples of people's power can be applied anywhere. Particularly as activists in the US face the challenges of a Obama administration and an economic crisis, this timely documentary shows that the revolution can start today right in your own living room or neighborhood." --Ben Dangl, author of The Price of Fire and editor of  the websites Upside Down World and Toward Freedom