Based on real-life events, this film tells the story of a black girl born to white parents in 1950s apartheid South Africa. Provides a profound illustration of the struggles of living a life defined by racial double-consciousness.
A beautifully animated film that poignantly and humorously explores the intersections of gender, religion, and nationality. Click here for more information.
A film portraying the rise and assassination of Patrice Lumumba, the first legally elected prime minister of the Republic of Congo after the country won its independence from colonial Belgium. An intriguing portrayal of postcolonial struggle and politics. Click here for more information.
Gillo Pontecorvo’s powerful film about the 1950s struggle of Algerian independence provides many vivid examples of colonial subjugation as well as important context for Fanon’s White Skin, Black Masks. The scenes of Algerian women cutting their hair so they can pass French checkpoints and plant bombs in French cafés are particularly striking. Click here for more information.
This compelling documentary traces the life of Puerto Rican rapper Hamza Pérez, a former drug dealer who converts to Islam and moves to Pittsburgh in search of faith and empowerment in a post-9/11 world. A great example of the complex intersections among race, class, religion, and nationality.
This PBS series follows Henry Louis Gates, Jr., as he explores the role of colonialism in the making of race and identity in Latin America. Full episodes and additional content are available online.
A documentary that explores what happens when there is no longer a “backstage” for our identities. To learn more, click here.
Mead and Simmel argued that we could only develop a sense of self through the collective work of social interaction. This film about Genie, a girl who spent her first 13 years of life without social interaction with others, provides a fascinating, disturbing, and controversial look into the importance of the social for the development of the individual. You can find an overview of the program here and watch clips here.
A lively documentary detailing a drag queen subculture in 1980s New York. The performers’ bending and parodying of gender norms served as inspiration for Judith Butler’s theories of gender identity. For more on the film, go here.
A four-part documentary on how the theories of the self developed by Sigmund Freud shaped how twentieth-century Western governments and corporations understood and attempted to control and influence people. Go here for more information from the BBC on the series and here for a full-length clip.