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Japan
Jane Seymour examines how Japan’s ancient traditions have blended with new technology and modern trends to shape the society and its people today in this four-volume documentary series. (each tape 60 min. 1987)

Vol. 1 – The Electronic Tribe This segment focuses on the contrasts between the present-day life of factory workers and the inherited religious and rural customs still found in the ordinary home. Traditional ceremonies, including the bathing ritual, village festivals and more are in the first episode of this fascinating series.

Vol. 2 -- The Sword and the Chrysanthemum The second installment of this series examines the influence of the Samurai, as both warriors and lovers of high culture, on Japanese life, past and present. Much of the warrior history is still a part of everyday life in Japan, from the rock gardens and tea ceremonies to the violence of Japan’s popular culture in comic books and television programs.

Vol. 3 – The Legacy of the Shogun The 17th century Shogun philosophy of hard work, discipline and hierarchy continues to affect the culture and social mores of contemporary Japan. The program reflects on the rapid acceleration of industry and technology in the country, industry that was nonexistent fifty years ago and is fueled by the Shogun philosophy.

Vol. 4 – A Proper Place in the World The final episode in this series looks at Japan’s intervention on the world’s stage during the 20th century and its future as a world economic superpower. The desire for economic growth in Japan has led its people to embrace the best of Western culture while preserving Japanese traditions. The role of women and their economic power is also explored.

Jewels in A Test Tube: Biochemist Lynda Jordan
As a teenager growing up in a dangerous, low-income housing project in Boston, Lynda Jordan was, as she puts it, “on the cusp of becoming a delinquent child.” Today she’s a tenured associate professor in biochemistry, working on an exciting project: unlocking the secrets of a key human enzyme that’s vital to one of life most fundamental processes, giving birth. The inspiring story of Jordan’s journey toward that goal and of her efforts to encourage the next generation of African American scientists like herself, is at the heart of this profile. Her contribution to science is not only developing new discoveries in biochemistry, but also developing new African-American biochemists. Jordan talks about the importance of her undergraduate years at a historically black university. Jordan stated the university was a place where she could feel “strong, enforced, affirmed” in her identity as an African American women while learning the skills needed to go on to a Ph.D. from MIT and a fellowship at the prestigious Institut Pasteur in Paris. Part of the PBS Discovering Women Series (60 min. 1995)

A Jihad for Love
In a time when Islam is under tremendous attack from within and without, A Jihad for Love is a daring documentary filmed in twelve countries and nine languages.  Gay Muslim filmmaker Parvez Sharma has gone where the silence is loudest, filming with great risk in nations where government permission to make this film was not an option.  This film is Sharma’s debut and is the world’s first feature documentary to explore the complex global intersections between Islam and homosexuality.  Parvez enters the many worlds of Islam by illuminating multiple stories as diverse as Islam itself. The film travels a wide geographic arc presenting us lives from India, Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, Egypt, South Africa and France.  Always filming in secret and as a Muslim, Parvez makes the film from within the faith, depicting Islam with the same respect that the film’s characters show for it.  Crucially, this film speaks with a Muslim voice, unlike other documentaries about sexual politics in Islam made by Western directors.  In the hope of opening a dialogue that has been mostly nonexistent in Islam’s recent history, and defining jihad as a “struggle” rather than a “war,” the film presents the struggle for love. (2007, 81 minutes, subtitles)

Journey Into Courage
In this film six courageous Vermont women tell their stories of surmounting the domestic violence and sexual abuse in their lives. (65 min. 1995)

Journey Into Hope: Multi-Cultural Perspectives On Domestic Violence
In this film you will witness seven women and six men who speak from their hearts and represent various perspectives. Compassionate voices show the relationship between domestic violence, racism, and homophobia and how they affect individual lives. Despite the overwhelming majority of victims being female, many of the speakers in the film refer to the batterer as he or she to decrease the isolation of men wo are abused by women as well. (2000)

Joy Harjo
Part of the Lannan Library Film Series. Joy Harjo, born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1951, is an enrolled member of the Muscogee Tribe. She read from The Woman Who Fell from the Sky, Secrets from the Center of the World, In Mad Love and War, and She Had Some Horses. (60 min. 1996)

Joy Harjo
This is a different video than the one listed above. Part of the Lannan Library Film Series. Joy Harjo, a member of the Muscogee (Creek) nation, draws on the history, mythology, and contemporary problems of Native Americans for her visionary poetry. Ms. Harjo read from She Had Some Horses and In Mad Love and War (which won an American Book Award). Poet Lewis MacAdams interviewed Joy Harjo, which is also documented on this video. (60 min. 1989)

Ju-Dou
Acclaimed throughout the world, this Chinese variation on The Postman Always Rings Twice almost didn’t come to the screen at all. Chinese governmental efforts to censor the film spurred Western filmmakers to speak out in support of this remarkable film. The story explores the love affair between a factory mill owner’s battered bride and his overworked nephew, who turn to murder as a means of freeing themselves from his tyranny. Chinese, with English subtitles. (98 min. 1990)

Jump at the Sun (Zora Neale Hurston)
A pioneering anthropologist. A celebrated novelist. A noted intellectual. Zora Neale Hurston traveled coast to coast on a tireless journey, never forgetting her mother’s admonition to always “jump at the sun.” Forever ahead of her time, controversial to the end, she would die proud but penniless, only to be embraced by a new generation as the authentic voice of her era. This is her story told in her own words. (DVD, 84 minutes, 2008)

June Jordan
The closing reading at the Fifteenth Annual Maine Women’s Studies Conference at UMO, “Women Around the World: Bringing the Global Home.” June Jordan was a professor of African American Studies at the University of California at Berkeley and also an honored poet. She reads from her recently published memoir, Soldier: A Poet’s Childhood and from other of her works. (2000)


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