Controversy and Conversation

This was originally published several months ago, so it may be out of date.

Thursday, June 23, 2016
Contact: Kanya Lyons, 512-974-7379

Controversy and Conversation

The Austin Public Library continues its partnership with the University of Texas' Humanities Institute program, Difficult Dialogues. As part of this program, the Terrazas Branch hosts a regular series of documentaries covering controversial topics. Select screenings will include a Q&A with guest speakers. All Library programs are free and open to the public. For more information call 512-974-3625, visit or Ask A Librarian.

First Thursdays at 7 PM
Terrazas Branch, 1105 E. César Chávez St., 512-974-3625

July 7 Trapped (2016) 1 hr 30 min.
The legislation that targets abortion providers across the country is the topic of this feature-length documentary. Trapped premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Special Jury Award for Social Impact Filmmaking. Previous work from director Dawn Porter includes Gideon's Army — the Emmy and Independent Spirit Award-nominated film about public defenders in the Deep South — and Rise: The Promise of My Brother's Keeper.

August 4 Just Gender (2013) 1 hr 36 min
Just Gender tackles the all-too-often misunderstood world of transgender people, utilizing some archival footage and stills, but relying largely on original footage from a series of interviews of transgender persons, their family members and friends, as well as healthcare experts, community leaders and others who work with the transgender community. The film explores the common myths and misunderstandings about transgender people and examines the confusion between sexual orientation and gender identity. Just Gender also touches on the discrimination, hardships and brutality that result from misconceptions and prejudices, including the numerous deaths caused by hate each year.

September 1 Gerrymandering (2010) 1 hr 21 min
This documentary feature film written and directed by Jeff Reichert explores the history of and the ethical, moral and racial problems raised by redistricting, covering its practice and how it is used and abused. The film draws on the perspectives from different individuals, reporters, pundits and politicians including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Howard Dean, Bob Graham and an array of other political personalities.

October 6 The True Cost (2015) 1 hr 32 min
This documentary by director Andrew Morgan is about the clothes we wear, the people who make them and the impact the industry is having on our world. Filmed in countries all over the world, from the brightest runways to the darkest slums, and featuring interviews with the world’s leading influencers including Stella McCartney, Livia Firth and Vandana Shiva, The True Cost is an unprecedented project that invites us on an eye opening journey around the world and into the lives of the many people and places behind our clothes.

November 3 GTFO (2015) 1 hr 16 min
This documentary by filmmaker Shannon Sun-Higginson pries open the video game world to explore discrimination and misogyny in the 20-billion-dollar industry.
Through interviews with video game developers, journalists and academics, GTFO paints a complex picture of the video game industry and the acts of harassment that women experience. Join in the conversation sparked by this documentary, contributing to the vision of the future of the video game world.

About the Difficult Dialogues Program
Founded in 2006 at the University of Texas, Difficult Dialogues began as part of a Ford Foundation Initiative developed in response to reports of growing intolerance and efforts to curb academic freedom on U.S. campuses. In addition to offering Difficult Dialogues undergraduate seminars, which focus on helping students develop the skills they need to participate in constructive dialogue about controversial and potentially divisive issues, the Humanities Institute also sponsors Difficult Dialogues Public Forums, which feature discussions of current controversial issues.