BRUSH WITH LIFE: THE ART OF BEING EDWARD BIBERMAN
Brush With Life: The Art of Being Edward Biberman is a surprisingly personal portrait that brings alive a turbulent century, a grand romance, and a passionate search for artistic independence. From struggles in Paris and New York, the Depression-era suicide of his father, a growing commitment to social justice, McCarthy-era repression (Edward's brother, director Herbert Biberman, went to prison as one of The Hollywood Ten), to his groundbreaking discovery of Southern California’s haunting urban beauty, Brush With Life traces both Edward Biberman’s inspiring efforts to create a loving family life and a body of work that still dazzles. Along the way are encounters with Paul Robeson, Lena Horne, Joan Crawford, Frida Kahlo, Isamu Noguchi, Alexander Calder, Georgia O’Keeffe, Diego Rivera, Dashiell Hammett, Martha Graham, Gale Sondergaard, and Edward Weston.
EDUCATION UNDER FIRE
Education Under Fire, produced with Amnesty International, profiles the persecution on the Baha'is of Iran, with a special focus on the at-risk Baha'i Institute for Higher Education (BIHE). Elise Auerbach, Iran Specialist for Amnesty International, called Education Under Fire "One of the most powerful human documentaries I have ever seen." People of the Baha'i Faith in Iran have been subjected to systematic persecution, including arrests, torture, and execution, simply for refusing to recant their beliefs. They are also prohibited from going to college (and blocked from many professions). In 1987, the semi-underground Baha'i Institute for Higher Education (BIHE) was formed to give young Baha'is their only chance for a university-level education. Despite repeated raids and arrests, volunteer teachers and administrators created an independent, decentralized university system that has lifted the lives of thousands of Baha'i students across Iran. A new round of raids and arrests tried to shut down the BIHE in May 2011. Seven BIHE professors and administrators are now serving sentences of between four and five years in prison - just for trying to teach. Through this film, we can connect a diverse audience to a grave human rights issue, a uniquely inspiring story of resilience against oppression, and the need to respect human rights everywhere.