Documentary Films

HENRY L. GATES

Henry L. Gates, Alphonse Fletcher University Professor, W.E. B. Du Bois Professor of Humanities, Director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University, and author of numerous innovative studies on and edited works of Afro-American literature, ranging from the Signifying Monkey: Towards a Theory of Afro-American Literary Criticism (1988) to the encyclopedia Encarta Africana (1999) co-edited with Professor Anthony Appiah, has produced several important documentary films, including the BBC/PBS series Wonders of the African World (1998-1999). In America Beyond the Color Line Gates explores different landscapes of Afro-American culture located on the East Coast, the deep South, Chicago, and Hollywood. Gates, who studies their social, political, and economic dimensions,  interviews their representatives from Colin Powell, Quincy Jones, Samuel L. Jackson, Fannie Mae’s Franklin Raines, Jesse Jackson Russell Simmons, Alicia Keys, Maya Angelou, Morgan Freeman to grassroots Afro-Americans.  In the film „African American Lives” Gates explores by means of DNA analysis the family histories of famous protagonists, including  Whoopi Goldberg, Quincy Jones, and Oprah Winfrey.  In his most recent film about TV star and philanthropist Oprah Winfrey, „Oprah’s Roots,” Gates uses again DNA analysis in order to uncover her actual genealogy.

YVONNE BEZERRA DE MELLO: WARRIOR OF LIGHT (2003)

Award-winning artist, writer, and human rights activist Yvonne Bezerra de Mello has devoted her life to helping children in need. In the course of the past decades, she rescued over 1500 children from the slums in Rio de Janeiro, giving them shelter, food, education, and in particular emotional support. She established a foundation which helps children in need. UNESCO honored her commendable work with an important prize.

Recently, Yvonne Bezerra de Mello was the protagonist of the documentary film “Warrior of Light/Kriegerin des Lichts,” (2001/2002) produced and directed by Monika Treut. See: http://www.hyenafilms.com The award-winning film is distributed by New Yorker Films in the US and Canada. See:  http://www.newyorkerfilms.com and by Absolut Medien in Europe, see: http://www.absolutmedien.de The film gives an insight into the sufferings of street children in Rio and Yvonne Bezerra de Mello¹s efforts to help them.”

See: www.projetouere.org.br
 

WERNER HERZOG and HERB GOLDER

INVINCIBLE written and directed by Werner Herzog; Assistant Director: Herb Golder.

Invincible” (German: Unbesiegbar) is a 2001 drama film about the Jewish strongman Siegmund Breitbart ( Zishe Breitbart) in Berlin, Germany in a time overshadowed by the Nazi’s rise to power. The drama film which fuses historical facts and fiction is an allegory of human strength and the faithfulness to one’s heritage. The film was written and directed by Werner Herzog. The film stars Tim Roth, Jouko Ahola, Anna Gourari, and Max Raabe. The film features original score composed by renowned German film composer Hans Zimmer, co-written with fellow composer Klaus Badelt.

Herb Golder, Professor of Classics at Boston University and Honorary Member of the City for the Cultures of Peace, was an Assistant Director on this film. In addition, he played Rabbi Edelmann in the film.

MY SON, MY SON, WHAT HAVE YE DONE? co-written by Werner Herzog and Herb Golder

Together with Werner Herzog, Herb Golder wrote the film “My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done?” This 2009 film directed by Werner Herzog and produced by David Lynch, was inspired by the story of murderer Mark Yavorsky who killed his mother. The film was nominated for the Golden Lion at the 66th Venice International Film Festival.