Doc Watchers

Very Young Girls

Dir. David Schisgal & Nina Alvarez, 2008, 82 mins.

Very Young Girls is an exposé of human trafficking that follows thirteen and fourteen year old American girls, as they are seduced, abused, and sold on New York’s streets by pimps, while being treated as adult criminals by police. The film follows the barely-adolescent girls in real time, as they are first lured on to the streets, and the dire events that follow. The film also uses startling footage shot by the brazen pimps themselves giving a rare glimpse into how the cycle of street life begins for many women.

The film identifies hope for these girls in the organization GEMS (Girls Education and Mentoring Services), a recovery center founded and run by Rachel Lloyd, herself a survivor of sexual exploitation. She and her staff are heroic and relentless in their mission to help girls sent by the court or found on the street. Given a chance to piece their lives back together, many will teeter on edge of two different worlds consistently battling the force that will suck them back into the underground.

Very Young Girls’ unprecedented access to girls and pimps will change the way law enforcement, the media and society as a whole look at sexual exploitation, street prostitution and the human trafficking that is happening right in our own backyard.

Curated by Hellura Lyle

Post-Screening Q&A with:

Jennifer Park, Girls Are Not For Sale Campaign Coordinator, Girls Education & Mentoring Services (GEMS)

Thomas Sankara: The Upright Man

Doc Watchers - Curated by Hellura Lyle

Dir. Robin Shuffield, 2006, 52 min

Sankara, a charismatic army captain, came to power in Burkina Faso, in 1983, in a popularly supported coup. He immediately launched the most ambitious program for social and economic change ever attempted on the African continent. To symbolize this rebirth, he even renamed his country from the French colonial Upper Volta to Burkina Faso, “Land of Upright Men.”  This film offers a detailed history of Sankara’s  revolutionary program for African self-reliance as a defiant alternative to the neo-liberal development strategies imposed on Africa by the West, both then and today.

Doc Watchers

Curated by Hellura Lyle


Geralyn Pezanoski,81 Minutes, 2009

When tens of thousands of pets were left behind as Hurricane Katrina bore down on New Orleans, custody battles arise between the pets’ original owners and their adoptive families that bring to light some of the same race and class issues that have permeated five years of discussion of Hurricane Katrina.In the clamor to get out of the city, many pet owners left their animals with food and water, fully intending to return in a few days. People without the means to leave the city on their own were forced onto buses and barred from bringing their pets. Mine follows some of the hundreds of volunteers who mobilized in the hours and days after the storm, entering the city and capturing as many stranded pets as they could find.


So Fresh and So Clean: Food and Environment Film Series

@ the Maysles Cinema Supported by The Whole Foods Market

Pairing films about food and the environment to think holistically about our most pressing collective human needs. Related speakers, food demonstrations, tastings and workshops will make the connections between food reform, gardens and green economies.

Food Inc.

Dir. Robert Kenner, 2007, 94 min.

Food, Inc. lifts the veil on our nation's food industry, exposing the highly mechanized underbelly that has been hidden from the American consumer with the consent of our government's regulatory agencies, USDA and FDA. Our nation's food supply is now controlled by a handful of corporations that often put profit ahead of consumer health, the livelihood of the American farmer, the safety of workers and our own environment.


Saturday, July 10th, 7:30pm

The Cove

Dir. Louis Psihoyos, 2009, 90 min.

In a sleepy lagoon off the coast of Japan lies a shocking secret that a few desperate men will stop at nothing to keep hidden from the world. In Taiji, Japan, former dolphin trainer Ric O'Barry has come to set things right after a long search for redemption. In the 1960s, it was O'Barry who captured and trained the 5 dolphins who played the title character in the international television sensation "Flipper." One fateful day, a heartbroken Barry came to realize that these deeply sensitive, highly intelligent and self-aware creatures must never be subjected to human captivity again. This mission has brought him to Taiji, a town that appears to be devoted to the wonders and mysteries of the sleek, playful dolphins and whales that swim off their coast. But in a remote, glistening cove, surrounded by barbed wire and "Keep Out" signs, lies a dark reality. It is here, under cover of night, that the fishermen of Taiji, driven by a multi-billion dollar dolphin entertainment industry and an underhanded market for mercury-tainted dolphin meat, engage in an unseen hunt. The Cove won the 2010 Academy Award for best feature documentary


Followed by a Q&A with Fisher Stevens, Actor, Cove Producer

Reception to follow sponsored by Sugar Hill Beer


Monday, July 12th, 7:30pm

Doc Watchers Presents: Curated by Hellura Lyle

Has God Forsaken Africa?

Musa Dieng Kala, 2008, 52 min.

Brussels, Belgium - August 1999. Two teenagers are found dead in the undercarriage of a plane from Conakry, Guinea. In the pocket of one of the young men was a letter in which he had written, “There’s too much suffering in Africa”.  Each year, thousands of young Africans risk their lives in search of a brighter future. Many drown or die of cold, hunger and fatigue.  Shocked by this growing phenomenon, director Musa Dieng Kala returns to Dakar, Senegal, where he grew up, and asks the painful question: Has God Forsaken Africa?  The film follows five young adults who seek to immigrate to the West at any cost.  This moving film makes the case for a global ecology in which no nation or people is abandoned.


Discussion & Reception to Follow Screening

Doc Watchers Presents: Up With Me

Greg Takoudes, 2008, 80 min.

This East Harlem local, indie, coming-of-age narrative film follows Francisco who after winning a scholarship to a prestigious boarding school must struggle to maintain his relationships with his girlfriend, Erika, who fears he will no longer be the boy from El Barrio she loves, and best friend Brandon, who acts out in increasingly serious ways to force Francisco back home.

Curated by Hellura Lyle

*Shown on two dates