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November 4, 2005 Edition


This National Geographic series will give you an insider’s view into rituals and rites of passage that are normally secret. Not for the squeamish, this includes, among other things, ritual tattooing, suspension by piercing, and a variety of foods that westerners don’t usually put on their menus. A fascinating look at other cultures.

My Flesh and Blood

Susan Tom is mother to not only her own biological children, but to eleven adopted children with special needs as well. This documentary follows the family through its ups and downs for a year, weathering small everyday storms alongside monumental crises.

Oil on Ice

This is a look at the debate over the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, one of the last great wild places in America. Through interviews and amazing footage, this documentary shows how ANWR is affected by Native American rights rulings, government energy and environmental policies, and global warming.

Martial Arts: the Way of the Warrior and Kung Fu Fighter

Ever wonder what it takes to become a top martial artist? The Way of the Warrior features the Japanese tradition of Bushido and examines the new forms younger masters are developing. Kung Fu Fighter ventures to a Chinese Shaolin temple to watch young students in training, and then introduces modern spin-offs that have been made famous on the big screen.

Alien Planet

If life exists on other planets, what might it look like? With the help of computer animation, this imagines some of the creatures that might have evolved to inhabit Darwin IV, a fictional planet with two suns and less gravity than Earth’s.

Libby, Montana

Mining for vermiculite was part of Libby’s economy for decades. Now the town’s residents are facing the fallout: the asbestos in the vermiculite is killing people and the mining company has gone into bankruptcy, leaving the government to pick up the cleanup tab. The story unfolds through interviews with residents and employees, and is more than enough to make you wonder what’s inside the walls of your home.

Ocean Fury: Tsunamis in Alaska

Alaska’s 1964 earthquake produced tsunamis that devastated many of our coastal communities. Commemorating the 40th anniversary of the disaster, this film features interviews with survivors about their experiences, and also with scientists, local officials, and emergency personnel who offer information about tsunamis and tsunami safety.

Learn to Knit

This 3-part series shows new knitters the basics of casting on, knitting and purling, increases and decreases, sizing, ribbing, cabling, and changing yarn color. Perfectly paced for beginners, knitters build their skills slowly, with one project per disk.

Hiding and Seeking

When New Yorker Menachem Daum realizes that his two ultra-Orthodox sons are becoming intolerant of non-Jews, he plans a trip with them to Poland to see the towns their mother’s family lived in and to meet the Catholics who helped them survive the Holocaust. A powerful and moving testimonial to the idea that good and evil cannot be defined by faith or nationality.

500 Nations

This four-dvd set explores the often violent displacement of Native cultures in the Americas by the arrival of Europeans, and Native attempts to retain and regain their culture today. Archival footage, computer recreations, interviews, and more bring the long, tragic history of chronic conflict to life. An accompanying cd-rom adds depth to the series, with art, music, and stories, and details of everyday life.

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