FLYING LESSONS by Andrea Weiss
Flying Lessons is a personal essay assemblage about my father who risked his life as a pilot during the Berlin Airlift in 1948-49. In response to the Soviet Union’s blockade of West Berlin in the first major crisis of the Cold War, the United States and Great Britain flew in a steady stream of food and supplies, enabling Berliners to survive the 11 months siege. My father was a pilot in World War II, and an American Jew who had lost his European family in the Holocaust. Growing up, I always wondered why he would risk his life to feed starving Germans whom the Allies had just defeated. Flying Lessons looks at the largest humanitarian relief effort in modern history through the lens of my father’s story. Reflecting on such thorny issues as familial ties, ethnic loyalties, and the shaky line between cultural identity and nationalism, this short film resonates deeply with current affairs, ultimately asking, what is the responsibility of the individual in times of political crisis?
Bells of Azaba by Greta Schiller
Bells of Azaba (working title) is a feature length, closely observed film exploring ecological restoration, arguably one of the most significant ideas of the recent fin de siècle.
In far western Spain, humans have coexisted with nature for thousands of years, until modern agriculture decimated the area. To bring this degraded landscape back to its prior state of equilibrium, people at the Campanarios de Azaba (Bells of Azaba) are practicing ecological restoration, the art of breathing new life into dying lands. Here vultures, wild horses, pigs, goats and thousands of insects and birds form an ecosystem in harmony with humans. However, these eco-pioneers now learn that Uranium Mining is about to commence on their doorstep…and a new battle begins. As the story unfolds, the audience is brought into the center of a radical project to heal planet Earth.
Supported in part by an Outreach Fellowship from the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, Universities of Munich and Zurich, 2015-16, and a Global Fulbright Scholar Award in 2016-17. Sign up for email alerts about our progress.
THE GREAT EXPERIMENT: THE STRUGGLE FOR OPEN ADMISSIONS AT CITY COLLEGE
by Linda Villarosa, Andrea Weiss, and Greta Schiller
The Great Experiment revisits the 1969 student strike at City College and the subsequent events which led to the tumultuous thirty year period of Open Admissions. As the majority of New York City high school students were Black and Hispanic, this initiated a seismic shift in the demographics of the university. Open Admissions was a highly contested policy, with passionate advocates and indignant adversaries across a spectrum of perspectives, at once seeming to underscore and threaten basic tenets underlying our identity as a nation. The film will explore the philosophical and pedagogical debates supporting and opposing the policy, and shed light on its legacy and significance for today.
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