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Film Finders: Exploring Special Topics


Cover image for the book EducatedExplore themes from 2019's First Year Common Reader selection, Educated, via films, documentaries, and games from the Film & Video Collection.

Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Her family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when one of Tara’s older brothers became violent. When another brother got himself into college, Tara decided to try a new kind of life. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge University. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home.


Boy Erased (2018)

Boy Erased DVD coverA biographical drama about the son of a Baptist pastor who is outed to his parents at age 19.  He is faced with an ultimatum: attend a conversion therapy program -- or be permanently exiled and shunned by his family, friends, and faith.

Available on DVD

Captain Fantastic (2016)

Captain Fantastic DVD coverBased on elements of the director / writer’s childhood as he was raised in "alternative-living communities”, this story follows a survivalist family that is forced by circumstances to reintegrate into society after living in isolation for many years.

Available on DVD and eVideo

Detroit: Become Human

Detroit PS4 Game coverCelebrated by critics for the impact choice has on the game’s narrative structure, this futuristic adventure game follows three androids.  

“Tell your own story. Every choice has a consequence.”

Available on PlayStation 4

Leave No Trace (2018)

Leave No Trace DVD coverA father and daughter live a perfect but mysterious existence in a beautiful nature reserve, rarely making contact with the world. But when a mistake tips them off to authorities, they are sent on an erratic journey in search of a place to call their own.

Available on DVD and eVideo

I Kill Giants (2017)

I Kill Giants DVD coverBased on the graphic novel, Barbara Thorson imagines she is a skilled giant killer. However, her flights of fantasy might be an attempt to cope with troubles at home.

Available on DVD

Inocente (2012)

Inocente alternate cover artOffers a glimpse into the life of a homeless, undocumented fifteen-year old girl who is a burgeoning artist, and the extraordinary challenges she must contend with on a daily basis. 

“I have a lot of impossible dreams.  But I still dream them.”

Available on DVD and eVideo

The Man Who Knew Infinity (2015)

The Man who knew Infinity DVD coverA biographical drama about Srinivasa Ramanujan, who, after growing up poor in India, goes to Cambridge University during World War I, where he becomes a pioneer in mathematical theories with the guidance of his professor, G. H. Hardy.

Available on DVD

No Man's Land (2017)

No Man's Land movie posterAn on-the-ground account of the 2016 standoff between federal authorities and protestors occupying Oregon's Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. What began as a protest quickly morphed into a catchall for those eager to register their militant antipathy toward the federal government.

Available on DVD and eVideo


Rumble: The Indians who Rocked the World (2017)

Rumble: The Indians who rocked the World DVD coverBrings to light a missing chapter in the history of American music: the Indigenous influence. Featuring music icons like Link Wray and Jimi Hendrix, Rumble shows how these pioneering Native musicians helped shape the soundtracks of our lives.

Available on DVD and eVideo

This is Home: A Refugee Story (2018)

This Is Home movie posterA portrait of four Syrian refugee families arriving in Baltimore, Maryland and struggling to find their footing. They have eight months to forge ahead to "learn America" -- from how to take public transportation to negotiating gender roles -- and rebuild their lives in a new country.

Available on DVD and eVideo

Three Identical Strangers (2018)

Three Identical Strangers movie posterBrothers are reunited by astonishing coincidence after being born identical triplets, separated, and adopted into three different families. Their story became a global sensation complete with fame and celebrity, but their fairy-tale reunion sets in motion a series of events that unearthed a secret with radical repercussions.

Available on DVD


Undertale Nintendo Switch game coverIn this RPG, you don't have to kill anyone.  Each enemy can be "defeated" nonviolently.

Dance with a slime. Pet a dog. Whisper your favorite secret to a knight.

Or, ignore this choice and rain destruction upon your foes.

Available on Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4