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Academic Video Online delivers more than 67,000 titles spanning a range of subject areas including anthropology, business, counseling, film, health, history, music, and more. It includes documentaries, films, demonstrations, and other content types. Films in the Boston University Libraries catalog are licensed to Boston University for educational and research use only, for BU students, faculty, and staff.
BU Libraries Search (BULS) This link opens in a new window
BU Libraries Search provides a single place to search for a wide variety of academic material provided by the library. The material covered by the search includes books, journals, scores, video and audio recordings, and other physical items held by the library. The search also covers ebooks and ejournals owned by the library, as well as online material provided by the library from a variety of sources.
Kanopy This link opens in a new window
Kanopy is a provider of documentaries, training films, and theatrical releases available as streaming video. Clips from the videos can be embedded in presentations or shown in class. Films in the Boston University Libraries catalog are licensed to Boston University for educational and research use only, for BU students, faculty, and staff.
A Chinatown banquet : exploring Boston Chinatown (streaming, Academic Video Online)
A Chinatown Banquet offers an unprecedented glimpse into the history, culture and character of Boston Chinatown through vignettes offering unique snapshots of this rich community. Blending public art, education and community development in an innovative, interdisciplinary format, the videos deepen public awareness about Chinatown and create a new, hybrid form of cultural landmark. This project directly engages community members across generations and geographic boundaries to discover and share Chinatown's untold stories, revealing the forces that have shaped and continue to influence Boston Chinatown.
Good Will Hunting (dvd)
Will Hunting (Matt Damon) is a headstrong, working-class genius, who has one too many run-ins with the law. His last chance to turn himself around is a psychology professor (Robin Williams).
The Bostonians (streaming, Kanopy)
A faith healer's daughter is forced to choose between the affections of a militant suffragette and a young lawyer in 19th Century Boston. With Christopher Reeve and Vanessa Redgrave. Based on a novel by Henry James.
Boston's North End : An Italian American Story (dvd)
This is the first feature length, high definition film to chronicle the vibrant Italian American community that has called the North End of Boston home for well over 100 years. "Boston's North End: An Italian American Story" is based on historical records and interviews with Italian American North Enders and their descendants, ranging in age from 7 to 94, from around the Boston area. It also features original music written especially for the film, home videos, and many photographs. Highlights include early political struggles, former World Welterweight Boxing Champion Tony DeMarco, and Stephen Puleo, author of "The Boston Italians," and "Dark Tide: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919."
The Moveable Feast (vhs)
This documentary follows the journey of a group of Italian-Americans from Boston's North End to their ancestral home town, Sciacca, Sicily, to participate in the Feast of the Madonna del Soccorso (also known and celebrated in Boston as the Fisherman's Feast).
Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, and Rachel McAdams lead a critically acclaimed cast in this gripping true story about the Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation that uncovered a scandal that rocked one of the world's oldest and most trusted institutions. Delving into allegations of child abuse within the local Catholic Archdiocese, a tenacious team of Boston Globe reporters exposes a decades-long cover-up that reaches the highest levels of Boston's religious, legal, and government establishment.
The Friends of Eddie Coyle (dvd)
Robert Mitchum plays small-time gunrunner Eddie "Fingers" Coyle in Peter Yates's adaptation of George V. Higgins's acclaimed novel. World-weary and living hand to mouth, Coyle works on the sidelines of the seedy Boston underworld. But when he finds himself facing a second stretch of hard time, he's forced to weigh loyalty to his criminal colleagues against snitching to stay free.
Mystic River (dvd)
In Clint Eastwood's dark adaptation of Dennis Lehane's novel, three childhood friends from an Irish neighborhood of Boston - Jimmy (Sean Penn), Sean (Kevin Bacon) and Dave (Tim Robbins) - are reunited after the brutal murder of Jimmy's 19-year-old daughter. Their lives are thrown into further disarray as the murder investigation points to Dave, a man still suffering from a devastating childhood trauma.
The Thomas Crown Affair (dvd)
Directed by Norman Jewison, starring Faye Dunaway and Steve McQueen, THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR is an intricate suspense thriller. Vicky Anderson (Dunaway) plays the insurance investigator who has been assigned a high-profile case to solve the mystery behind a bank robbery, which has baffled Boston's finest. Her sleuthing leads to the sophisticated and rich Thomas Crown (McQueen). Playing a seductive game of cat and mouse, Anderson tries to snare the elusive Crown by teasing him with herself.
The Departed (dvd)
Martin Scorsese's remake of the Hong Kong hit INTERNAL AFFAIRS stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Martin Sheen, Mark Wahlburg and Alec Baldwin. Rookie cop Billy Costigan (DiCaprio) grew up in crime and becomes the perfect mole - the man on the inside of the mob run by boss Frank Costello (Nicholson).
Funny Ha Ha (streaming, Kanopy)
After being fired from her job, 23-year-old recent college graduate Marnie (Kate Dollenmayer) tries to maintain her humor and dignity - drifting through a series of temp jobs and men, hanging out with friends.
Next Stop Wonderland (dvd)
After a break-up with her boyfriend, a night-shift nurse (Hoep Davis) falls victim to the good intentions of her mother, who places an ad in the "personals" section for her. As she fends off unwanted suitors, she somehow keeps missing her natural soul-mate - a plumber studying to be a marine biologist (Alan Gelfant). This film about the urban single life was written and directed by Brad Anderson.
The Town (dvd)
There are over 300 bank robberies in Boston every year. And a one-square-mile neighborhood in Boston, called Charlestown, has produced more bank robbers than anywhere in the U.S. One of them is Doug MacRay (Ben Affleck), the leader of a crew of ruthless bank robbers who pride themselves on taking what they want and getting out clean.
The Fighter (dvd)
Heartfelt drama tells the true story of light welterweight boxer "Irish" Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg), who strives to earn a title shot while a film crew focuses on a "comeback" attempt by Dicky Eklund (Oscar-winner Christian Bale), his drug-addled brother and trainer. While Dicky self-destructs and his manager mother (Oscar-winner Melissa Leo) offers promises but no results, Micky questions who deserves his loyalty after falling for a caring young woman (Amy Adams).
Black Mass (dvd)
In 1970s South Boston, FBI Agent John Connolly (Joel Edgerton) persuades Irish mobster James "Whitey" Bulger (Johnny Depp) to collaborate with the FBI and eliminate a common enemy: the Italian mob. The drama tells the true story of this unholy alliance, which spiraled out of control, allowing Whitey to evade law enforcement, consolidate power, and become one of the most ruthless and powerful gangsters in Boston history.
Shutter Island (dvd)
Set in 1954, Martin Scorsese's psychological thriller stars Leonardo DiCaprio as a U.S. marshal sent to investigate the disappearance of a patient from an asylum for the criminally insane located on an isolated island. But nothing is what it seems as DiCaprio finds himself embroiled in a labyrinthine mystery involving mind-control experiments, forcing him to wonder if he's really who he thinks he is.
Legally Blonde (dvd)
Reese Witherspoon plays the sterotypical California sorority girl, who decides she must become more serious to attain dignity and to win back her Harvard-bound boyfriend. A comedy by director Robert Luketic.
The Verdict (dvd)
2-disc collector's edition of Sidney Lumet's chronicle of a down-and-out lawyer (Paul Newman) who takes on the system against impossible odds.
What Doesn't Kill You (dvd)
Brian and Paulie are two lifelong friends who grew up like brothers on the gritty streets of south Boston. They started early as street thugs living by the criminal code, doing petty crimes and misdemeanors that grew increasingly more serious. Eventually they fall under the sway of organized crime boss Pat Kelly. As Brian becomes increasingly lost in a haze of drugs and 'jobs,' he consistently disappoints his loyal wife and their two sons.
Norman Reedus stars as Van, a young man torn between his dreams and his responsibilities, in this independent feature. Desperately wishing to attend college, where he feels he could find himself as well as success on the swim team, an anxious and increasingly angry man must instead grapple with financial insecurity as he cares for his alcoholic, wheelchair-bound father
Session 9 (dvd)
The workers of a hazardous material unit, assigned to remove asbestos from the crumbling Danvers State [mental] Hospital, discover the frightening secrets of the institution. Brad Anderson creates a creepy atmosphere in this feature, which is effectively shot in high-definition video, with a cast that includes David Caruso and Peter Mullan.
A Reckoning in Boston (streaming, Docuseek)
Kafi Dixon and Carl Chandler enrolled in a rigorous night course in the humanities at a community center in their Boston neighborhood of Dorchester. Kafi, 44, sharp, witty and restless, dropped out of school at 15. She had her first baby a year later and two more soon after. Carl, 65, who lives on a small pension and disability payment in one of Boston's most dangerous neighborhoods, began the class with a keen interest in learning but little faith in educational institutions. White suburban filmmaker James Rutenbeck came to Dorchester to document the students' engagement with the Clemente Course in the Humanities. The Clemente Course is taught in 34 sites across the U.S.--to those who have experienced homelessness, transitioned out of incarceration or faced barriers to a college education. The Clemente mission is to foster critical thinking through deep engagement with history, literature, philosophy and art history. Clemente students, its proponents assert, become fuller and freer citizens. But over time James is forced to come to terms with a flawed film premise and his own complicity in racist structures. As he spends time with Carl and Kafi, he's awakened to the violence, racism and gentrification that threaten their very place in the city. Troubled by his failure to bring the film together, he spends more time listening than filming and enlists Kafi and Carl as collaborators/ producers with a share in the film revenues. Five years on, despite many obstacles, Kafi and Carl arrive at surprising new places in their lives, and following their lead, James does too.
Gaining Ground : Building Community on Dudley Street (streaming, Kanopy)
In the midst of the economic meltdown, Gaining Ground explores the innovative, grassroots organizing efforts of the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative (DSNI) in Boston. DSNI was created 25 years ago when the community had been devastated by bank redlining, arson-for-profit and illegal dumping, and has become one of the preeminent models for community-based change. Over the course of two years, we watch a new generation of leaders working to prevent foreclosures and bring jobs and
Holding Ground: The Rebirth Of Dudley Street (streaming, Kanopy)
This documentary by Mark Lipman and Leah Mahan is at once a cautionary tale of urban policies gone wrong and a message of hope for all American cities. In 1985, African-American, Latino, Cape Verdean, and European-American residents of the Dudley area united to revitalize their community. Through the voices of committed residents, activists and city officials, the documentary shows how a Boston neighborhood is pro-actively creating and carrying out its own agenda for change.
Mission Hill and the Miracle of Boston (streaming, Kanopy)
The story of what happened to Mission Hill is the story of many of America's older ethnic neighborhoods. Seventy years ago, Mission Hill was an Irish neighborhood of homes and small stores in which people lived near their schools, their church, and their shopping area. But between 1940 and 1980 it changed: thousands of units of public housing were built and decayed there. Nearby hospitals expanded, displacing people from their homes. Developers and speculators bought and sold property and built twenty-story apartment houses. A new, poor population and an affluent professional population arrived to compete for parts of the old neighborhood. Mission Hill and the Miracle of Boston is the story of urban renewal, racial conflict, and the struggle of a neighborhood to survive these changing times.
Basic Black: Boston's Chinatown (streaming, PBS)
Basic Black explores the history and culture of Boston's Chinatown, a mecca of authentic Asian cuisine and art. Panelists: Karen Chen, co-director of the Chinese Progressive Association; Andrew Leong, associate professor at UMass Boston; Giles Li, executive director at the Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center; Nancy Lo, development director at the Kwong Kow Chinese School.
The Blinking Madonna and Other Miracles (vhs)
After recording an Italian-American religious festival in Boston's North End with her camcorder, filmmaker Beth Harrington's neighbors tell her they see a miracle on the videotape - a statue of the Virgin Mary blinking it's eyes. To Harrington's amazement, and in spite of her lapsed religious beliefs, she must admit that her life has been transformed by the event. When the press gets hold of the story, what ensues is a funny and touching look at what it means to believe and to belong.