This is “Recommended Viewing”, section 16.6 from the book 21st Century American Government and Politics (v. 1.0).
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The China Syndrome (1978). Television news reporters (Jane Fonda and Michael Douglas) uncover a nuclear power scandal.
The Day after Tomorrow (2004). Hollywood’s hyperbolic depiction of the horrors of global warming (e.g., New York City is devastated by a huge tidal wave and an ice storm) in the face of an indifferent US president and a reactionary vice president.
Grass (1999). A documentary about the government’s marijuana policy in the twentieth century.
Green (2000). A disturbing documentary about the effects of the 150 petrochemical plants between Baton Rouge and New Orleans.
Inside Job (2010). Charles Ferguson’s riveting, powerful, and polemical documentary argues that the financial crisis of 2008 was avoidable and casts the blame on Wall Street.
The Insider (1999). True story of a tobacco industry whistle-blower who works with a 60 Minutes producer on a story that CBS executives only broadcast belatedly.
Patch Adams (1998). Robin Williams treats patients with humor in this sentimental examination of US health policy.
Public Housing (1997). Fred Wiseman’s patient and probing documentary on life in public housing.
Silkwood (1983). Story of Karen Silkwood, who died mysteriously after exposing radiation leaks at the nuclear plant where she worked.
Stand and Deliver (1988). New teacher at a drugs and guns–dominated Los Angeles barrio school elevates his students into an educational elite.
Traffic (2000). A conservative judge, appointed by the president to lead the war against drugs, discovers his daughter is a user.
Wall Street (1987). Megavillain financier draws naive broker into his immensely profitable illegal practices (insider trading) but gets his comeuppance when the conscience-stricken broker informs the Securities and Exchange Commission.