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IU Themester Streaming and DVD Resources


The year 2009 marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin and the 150th anniversary of the publication of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection. It is also the first year of the College of Arts & Sciences Themester.

The Fall 2009 Themester will explore the scientific study of evolution and diversity; the political, social and legal controversies surrounding evolution; and the ways in which forms of creative activity have drawn on the concept of evolution to explore diversity and change.

Themester at the College is intended to foster innovation and collaboration, to inspire curiosity and discovery, and to enable intellectual synergies. By focusing on Evolution, Diversity, and Change we are highlighting not only the core conceptual framework for the discipline of evolutionary biology but also the ways in which philosophy and religious studies, the social and psychological sciences, and the arts and humanities have developed paradigms of change and evolution.  - Adapted from IU Themester Homepage



From top left to bottom right:  Wall-E, Planet of the Apes, Snowpiercer, Ex Machina, A Quiet Place, 1984.

All photos courtesy of; accessed August 2021

IUB Streaming Titles

The following resources require IUB CAS Authentication.

1984 (50 min., 1953) This early television adaptation of 1984 was the very first screen version of George Orwell's famous dystopian novel.

Becoming American: The Chinese Experience (254 min., 2003) What does it mean to become American? What is lost and what is gained in the process? In interviews with historians, descendants, and recent immigrants, this set of powerful Bill Moyers documentaries explores these questions through the dramatic experience of the Chinese in America. Includes Gold Mountain Dreams, Between Two Worlds, and No Turning Back.

#BlackLivesMatter (57 min., 2015) Reporter Sally Sara takes to the streets of Baltimore and Chicago to investigate a reawakened civil rights movement that's fighting to stop the killing of black Americans.

Bill Moyers Journal: Robert Wright on the Evolution of God/Obama and Environmentalists (57 min., 2009) In this edition of the Journal, Bill Moyers sits down with Robert Wright, author of the bestseller The Evolution of God, to discuss why Wright thinks that a concept of God is imperative to a moral society and that whether God truly exists may not be as important as how the idea of God has changed over time. Moyers also speaks with Mary Sweeters, of Greenpeace USA, and Erich Pica, of Friends of the Earth, about why they believe President Obama is not doing enough to save the environment and what they think needs to be included in climate change legislation. An essay on insurers’ efforts to steer healthcare reform legislation with big money—to the detriment of patients and medical practitioners—concludes the program. 

Darwin’s Evolution (20 min., 2002) As a naturalist aboard the HMS Beagle, a Royal Navy survey ship charting the coast of South America, Charles Darwin encountered evidence on the Galapagos Islands and elsewhere that encouraged him to question the biblical story of creation. This program explores the intellectual journey he undertook as a result. Presented by British scientist Adam Hart-Davis, the film invokes specimens in Great Britain's Natural History Museum, especially "Darwin's Finches, " that were of fundamental importance to the naturalist's ideas; the two major components of his theory, common ancestry and natural selection; Darwin's sudden urgency regarding the publication of On the Origin of Species after Alfred Russel Wallace presented similar breakthroughs; Darwin's gradual confidence that evidence supporting The Descent of Man would one day surface in the fossil record; and the genetic discoveries (which also emerged after Darwin's death) that explained how characteristics are passed from one generation to another. 

Evolution: Man Takes Hand (27 min., 2007) This program provides an explanation of how the twin techniques of gene splicing and cloning are helping to unravel the secrets of variation. Genetic engineering is altering the branching pattern of natural evolution-which proceeds by mutations within a species and sexual recombination within that species-into a network, in which genes are moved within the laboratory from any species to any other species. The program explains the irreversible and unforeseeable results of gene splicing and the scientific and governmental regulations under consideration-realistic scientific and moral questions, uninformed though highly imaginative hysteria. and the actual effects of cloning; it explains the sequences of DNA, how we are learning to read them, the masterminding message in the DNA of many different species, how cells activate only certain genes; and it follows the scientific and economic history of interferon and interleukin-2.

Martian Evolution (10 min., 2017) What will become of humanity after spend a few hundred years on Mars? What will happen after a few thousand? Evolution has, and still is, shaping humanity in rather drastic ways. How long will humans stop being human and become Martian?

The Tree of Life (138 min., 2011) From Terrence Malick, the acclaimed director of such classic films as Badlands, Days of Heaven and The Thin Red Line, The Tree of Life is the impressionistic story of a Midwestern family in the 1950's. The film follows the life journey of the eldest son, Jack, through the innocence of childhood to his disillusioned adult years as he tries to reconcile a complicated relationship with his father (Brad Pitt). Jack (played as an adult by Sean Penn) finds himself a lost soul in the modern world, seeking answers to the origins and meaning of life while questioning the existence of faith. Through Malick's signature imagery, we see how both brute nature and spiritual grace shape not only our lives as individuals and families, but all life.

The Words that Built America (48 min., 2017) The Declaration of Independence, The U.S. Constitution and The Bill of Rights represent much more than the words used by America’s Founding Fathers to define a fragile, nascent country. They’re the living, breathing realization of America’s democratic ideal, the bedrock of a society that its people have built over nearly two-and-a-half centuries, and they provide a blueprint that is, was and will be a template for democracy around the world.To celebrate these iconic documents on our nation’s birthday, HBO presents a 45-minute special, directed by Alexandra Pelosi and narrated by David McCullough (John Adams), in which dozens of Americans – from actors and media personalities, to politicians, lawmakers and presidents, to schoolchildren whose future is being shaped by our shared past – read the three founding documents that define our outlook on life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Whose Streets? (101 min., 2017) Told by the activists and leaders who live and breathe this movement for justice, WHOSE STREETS? is an unflinching look at the Ferguson uprising. When unarmed teenager Michael Brown is killed by police and left lying in the street for hours, it marks a breaking point for the residents of St. Louis, Missouri. Grief, long-standing racial tensions and renewed anger bring residents together to hold vigil and protest this latest tragedy. Empowered parents, artists, and teachers from around the country come together as freedom fighters.

Explore more awesome documentaries and feature films via IUCAT as well as via IUB's licensed subscriptions to Films for Education, Kanopy and SWANK at Media Services Libguide to Streaming Databases.

IUB DVD/Video Films

Be sure to check with Media Services for hours.  VHS titles are housed off-site at ALF, and can be requested via IUCAT.  

American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs (84 min., 2013) What does it mean to be an American revolutionary today? Grace Lee Boggs is a 98-year-old Chinese American writer, activist, and philosopher in Detroit. Rooted for more than 70 years in the African American movement, she has devoted her life to an evolving revolution that encompasses the contradictions of America's past and its potentially radical future. [This documentary presents] Boggs's lifetime of vital thinking and action, traversing the major U.S. social movements of the last century; from labor to civil rights, to Black Power, feminism, the Asian American and environmental justice movements and beyond.

Ex Machina (108 min., 2015) Caleb, a coder at the world's largest Internet company, wins a competition to spend a week at a retreat belonging to the company's reclusive CEO, Nathan. But when Caleb arrives he finds that he will have to participate in a fascinating experiment with the world's first true artificial intelligence, housed in the body of a beautiful robot woman, Ava. Truths, emotions, and motives are blurred as the relationship between Caleb, Ava, and Nathan intensifies.

Founding Brothers (200 min., 2002) Examines how "[a]t a time when any conflict had the potential to dissolve the fragile union, [George] Washington surrounded himself with brilliant men who were bound by their undying devotion to America, but who were often bitterly divided about how best to serve their common cause." Explores the rift between Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton and highlights Washington's farewell address. Relates how the race to succeed George Washington came down to Adams and Jefferson--the contest cost them their long friendship. "Concludes with the tragic story of the Hamilton-Burr duel and a look at the eventual reconciliation between Adams and Jefferson."

A History of Civil Rights in America (224 min., 2011) Program offers a comprehensive historical overview detailing the expansion of civil rights to include more people. From the past to the present, this eight part series takes the viewer through one of the most powerful forces in American history: the promise of civil rights for all.

Planet of the Apes (112 min., 1967) Four American astronauts crash-land on an uncharted planet and discover it is ruled by a race of intelligent apes who use a primitive race of humans for experimentation and sport. Astronaut Taylor (Heston) soon finds himself among the hunted, his life in the hands of a benevolent chimpanzee scientist (McDowall).

A Quiet Place (90 min., 2018) A powerful and evil force threatens to attack a family whenever they make a noise, causing them to plunge into lives of silence. Any move they make, they live with the terrifying threat of being ambushed at any moment. With their existence on the line, they will need to develop a plan to escape their perilous circumstances. The question is whether or not time has already run out on their aspirations to lead normal lives. In a post-apocalyptic world, a family is forced to live in silence while hiding from monsters with ultra-sensitive hearing.

Snowpiercer (126 min., 2013) The film is set in the future (AD 2031) where, after a failed experiment to stop global warming, an ice age kills off all life on the planet except for the inhabitants of the Snowpiercer, a train that travels around the globe and is powered by a sacred perpetual-motion engine. Its inhabitants are divided by class; the lower-class passengers in one of the last cars stage an uprising, moving car by car up to the front of the train, where the oppressive rich and powerful ride.

Survival of the Fittest (17 min., 1994) Shows the function of the physical training program of the Army Air Forces during World War II. Starts by celebrating the exploits of Army Air Force war heroes. The main story is a fictional story about two American fighter pilots who are forced to parachute from disabled planes. The uninjured man brings his wounded comrade through water and knee-deep marshlands to safety. The excellent physical condition of both men is presented as largely responsible for their survival. Includes footage of Army Air Force soldiers engaging in physical exercise.

WALL-E (98 min., 2008) After hundreds of lonely years, a waste management robot finds a new purpose in life. With only a cockroach for a friend, he finds true love in another robot sent on a mission to Earth to see if it is safe for human life.

We Shall Remain America through Native Eyes (394 min., 2009) When Europeans arrived in North America, they encountered the Native people. Contrary to stereotype, American Indians were not simply ferocious warriors or peaceable lovers of the land. They were, like all people, an amalgam: charismatic and forward thinking, imaginative and courageous, compassionate and resolute, and, at times, arrogant, vengeful, and reckless. Native peoples valiantly resisted expulsion from their lands and fought the extinction of their culture using all avenues available, including military, legal, and political action, diplomacy, and supplication of the spiritual realm. 

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