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What We’re Watching: How Democracy Works Now

Courtesy of The Democracy Commitment; see the original posting here.

In the summer of 2001, filmmakers Shari Robertson and Michael Camerini set out to make a documentary film about the “story of how a great think tank becomes a law.” Interested in immigration reform and how democracy actually works, they spent the next six years following stories on comprehensive immigration reform from California to Arizona, from Kansas to Capitol Hill.

In 2011, they also took time to screen selections of their work at our ADP National Meeting in Orlando in June 2011. In Orlando, they presented with Georgia College’s Gregg Kaufman about how the documentaries could be used in the classroom.

Their final product? How Democracy Works Now.

Twelve discrete films about several dozen fascinating people in all kinds of places, each connected by a commitment to change the way that the United States handles the bedrock national identity issue of immigration.  Together, the twelve films make up one very big story, and though we surely didn’t realize it at that point, it’s exactly the story we would have wanted to find in 2001.  

-Shari Robertson and Michael Camerini, About the Series

On the website for the series, you can find background, reviews, and video clips that preview the film, which is now available on Netflix. Additionally, there are also three iBooks available in the iTunes bookstore—How Democracy Works Now, Volumes 1 – 3 that are free to download; each volume covers four films with special suggestions to help educators to identify clips and craft lesson plans.

Happy watching!


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