Film & Discussion: Broken On All Sides

Matthew Pillischer, director of this 2012 documentary, will lead a discussion after a screening of the film. Broken On All Sides: Race, Mass Incarceration and New Visions for Criminal Justice in the U.S. focuses on mass incarceration in the U.S. and racial inequalities in the criminal justice system. It discusses the theory that mass incarceration has become "The New Jim Crow" by targeting people of color and allowing much of the discrimination that was legal in the Jim Crow era to be applied to "criminals."

Using interviews with people on many sides of the criminal justice system--including Michelle Alexander the author of the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads book, The New Jim Crow-- the film attempts to answer and provoke questions about the American penal system.

Cosponsored by the UM Community Scholars Program.

Thursday, February 21 | 6 - 8:30 PM | Grade 9 - Adult | Downtown Library Lower Level Multi-Purpose Room

A Selection of February’s Non-fiction Staff Picks


Our incredible staff has been at it again. If you are in search an interesting read, look no further.

Here are just a few of this month’s non-fiction selections:

Chinese Lessons by John Ponfret, “which follows the lives of a group of Pomfret’s former classmates, is a highly personal, honest, funny and well-informed account of China’s hyperactive effort to forget its past and reinvent its future”.—NYT

Droidmaker by Michael Rubin “…really captures the 20-year technology journey that runs through Lucasfilm for a period and ends with Pixar Animation Studios. In short, it's the tale of relentless technophiles, visionary patrons and a film revolution.” Register UK

A Terrible Glory: Custer and the Little Bighorn by James Donovan is “A virulent stew of hubris, inexperience, misunderstanding of other cultures and misinformation overflowed into disaster. And Donovan puts it all into perspective without the biases of so many works about the battle's events and personalities.” –Billings Gazette

Ruffian: A Racetrack Romance by William Nack “As he writes in this short, fascinating, melancholy hybrid of turf history and personal memoir, “I have thought of Ruffian so often over the years that today she flits around like a ghost in all the mustier rooms of my reveries, a boarder who has had a run of the place.”’—NYT

Nine Suitcases by Bela Zsolt “This is by far the best book I've come across on the subject of the extermination of Hungary's Jews. Zsolt is and will be classified by literary historians as a minor novelist, whose tragedy was that his greatest story happened to himself.”-- Guardian

The War Lovers: Roosevelt, Lodge, Hearst, and the Rush to Empire, 1898 “Thomas has delivered an innovative, frequently entertaining and valuable retelling of an episode that set the pattern for more than a century of foreign military adventurism.” Washington Post

All of these titles are available at our Downtown location on the first floor Staff Picks shelf or by placing a hold and having them delivered to your preferred branch location.

Film & Discussion: Blacking Up: Hip-Hop's Remix of Race and Identity

Blacking Up explores racial identity through the lens of hip-hop music and culture.
This 2010 documentary examines the popularity of hip-hop among America's white youth, and considers whether this reflects
new racial understanding in white America or reinforces an ugly history of stereotypes.

The director, Robert A. Clift is a filmmaker from Washington, DC, whose previous film, Stealing Home: The Case of Cuban Baseball, appeared nationally on PBS.
He is currently writing his dissertation for the Department of Communication and Culture at Indiana University

A discussion will follow the film.
Cosponsored by the UM Community Scholars Program
Thursday, January 31, 6:00 - 8:30 PM | Downtown Library Multi-Purpose Room

Film & Discussion: Award-Winning Documentary About A True "Horse-Whisperer": Buck

Thursday January 24, 2013: 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

The Downtown AADL screens the acclaimed 2011 documentary Buck. Meet Buck Brannaman, a man who overcame an abusive childhood and is now a successful "horse whisperer." He travels nine months of the year teaching people how to communicate with their horses.

A post-film discussion will be led by Kimberly Cardeccia of Hidden Promise LLC., a Licensed Professional Counselor who has been involved with horses for 30 years.

Film & Discussion: Encounter Point

Thursday November 8, 2012: 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: 4th Floor Meeting Room

Created by a Palestinian, Israeli, North American, and Brazilian production team, this award-winning documentary Encounter Point is the story of an Israeli settler, a Palestinian ex-prisoner, a bereaved Israeli mother and a wounded Palestinian bereaved brother who risk their safety and public standing to press for an end to the Palestinian/Israeli conflict.

For two years, the Just Vision film crew followed the stories of ordinary people who feel driven to work for an end to bloodshed and occupation in favor of peace.

A post-film community discussion will follow. This event is co-sponsored by the University of Michigan Community Scholars Program. This event is for Grade 9-Adult.

James Bond: Pushing 60 and Still Looking Good

Everyone's favorite suave secret agent, James Bond, is headed back to the big screen with the upcoming release of Skyfall. The new flick stars Daniel Craig in his third outing as Bond, alongside a killer cast including Ralph Fiennes, Javier Bardem as the newest Bond villain, and Ben Whishaw in his debut as the gadget-master Q. The flick, which continues to dig into Bond's origins as seen previously in 2006's Casino Royale, has been receiving early critical acclaim as one of Agent 007's best. Opening in theaters everywhere November 9, Skyfall happens to come out exactly 50 years after the original Bond movie, Dr. No, which starred Sean Connery in 1962.

But before Skyfall arrives in theaters, AADL's collection offers plenty of ways to celebrate Mr. Bond's big birthday--and another even bigger 007 milestone. WhilJames Bond: Daniel Craig as James Bond.James Bond: Daniel Craig as James Bond.e Bond may be 50 in movie years, he's existed on the printed page for almost 60. Casino Royale, the original Bond story by Ian Fleming, was published in 1953 and is available via the AADL catalog. Fleming went on to write 14 James Bond books. His final one, Octopussy and The Living Daylights, was published in 1966, two years after his death. Fleming's series has been followed by numerous additional Bond books by authors including Jeffery Deaver, John Gardner, Raymond Benson, and Charlie Higson (who wrote the Young Bond series for teens).

And for those looking to get caught up on the movies, AADL has Bond flicks from the original Dr. No to 2008's Quantum of Solace. For true devotees, try the original 1967 film adaptation of Casino Royale, a wacky spoof of spy films with an all-star cast including David Niven, Peter Sellers, Woody Allen, George Raft, and Jean-Paul Belmondo.

Film & Discussion: Urban Roots

The film Urban Roots is a 2011 documentary that tells the moving story of the spontaneous emergence of urban farming in Detroit. It shows dedicated Detroiters working tirelessly to fulfill their vision for locally-grown, sustainably-farmed food in a city where people - as in much of the country - have found themselves cut off from real food. Their choices are limited to the offerings of fast food chains, mini-marts, and grocery stores stocked with processed food from thousands of miles away.

The discussion after the screening will be led by Malik Yakini (highlighted in the film), Chair of the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network and farmer with D-Town Farms, and Riet Schumack, a resident and community organizer involved with Neighbors Building Brightmoor and the Brightmoor Youth Gardens.

Cosponsored by the University of Michigan Community Scholars Program.

Thursday, September 20 | 6 - 8:30 PM | Film & Discussion: Urban Roots | Downtown Multi-Purpose Room | Grade 9 - Adult

C-SPAN Challenges Students to Compete in National Documentary Contest

Are you a policy wonk? Then you should enter this contest!!

This Year's Theme: Message to the President

C-SPAN is asking students to consider what issue the president should address in 2013, and create a video documentary explaining why it's important.

This Year's Theme is : Message to the President

What do you think is important and should be addressed by the president? Make a short film and enter it in this contest for a chance to win some cash!!. It will be fun to do and a great item to put on your resume (some day!).

Now in its ninth year, C-SPAN's national competition invites all middle school students (grades 6-8) and high school students (grade 9-12) to produce a five- to eight-minute video documentary using C-SPAN programming.

This year, students will have the opportunity to produce a documentary focusing on "A Message to the President: What's the most important issue the president should consider in 2013?"

The C-SPAN Education Foundation supports the contest by awarding 75 student and 11 teacher prizes, totaling $50,000 in cash.

Entries must represent varying points of view, and incluide C-SPAN video that supports the documentary's topic. Students, working alone or in groups up to three, must upload their videos by January 18, 2013, and winners will be announced in March. A full list of guidelines, FAQ's and past winning videos can be found at studentcam.org.

If enough students enter from Ann Arbor we can reserve a night to run the documentaries and you can invite all your friends!!

Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads Film: Poto and Cabengo

Wednesday February 1, 2012: 7:00 pm to 8:15 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

The theme for Ann Arbor Ypsilanti Reads 2012 is "Language: How We Communicate." Experience a very unique form of communication when you join us for this extraordinary haunting 1980 documentary.

Poto and Cabengo were identical twins who used a language unknown to other people until the age of eight. These San Diego twins, with little exposure to the outside world, created a private form of communication. A caseworker advised speech therapy, where it was quickly discovered that the young twins had invented a complex language of their own.

Director Jean-Pierre Gorin's investigation of this phenomenon looks at the family from a variety of angles, with the director taking on the role of a sort of sociological detective. It's a delightful and absorbing study of words and faces, mass media and hauntingly personal isolation. The film is not rated.

Filmmaker David Gatten Discusses Working With Words

Thursday December 1, 2011: 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

Learn how filmmaker David Gatten uses historical documents, "out-dated" instructional texts, and rare books as both inspiration and image in his film-making practice. What materials and resources do you use as inspiration?

Over the last fifteen years Gatten's work has explored the intersection of the printed word and the moving image, while investigating the shifting vocabularies of experience and representation within intimate spaces and historical documents. Through traditional research methods (reading old books) and non-traditional film processes (boiling old books), the films trace the contours of both private lives and public histories, combining elements of philosophy, biography and poetry with experiments in cinematic forms and narrative structures.

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