The Short Films of Elizabeth Lo
Short Documentaries on America's Overlooked Communities

The Short Films of Elizabeth Lo - Short Documentaries on America's Overlooked Communities
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6 videos in this playlist

Hotel 22 - A Bus Route Used by the Homeless as Shelter
An early morning bus route serves as an ad-hoc shelter for Palo Alto's homeless. Official Selection at the Sundance Film Festival and the Los Angeles Film Festival. Winner of the…
Bisonhead - Conserving a Traditional Hunt
A family of Ponderai Native Americans attempt to exercise their treaty rights of a traditional bison hunt under the constraints placed on them by the government. Official Selection at the…
Mother's Day - The Impact of Mass-Incareration on Youth
A powerful portrait of a charity-run service that buses children to visit their imprisoned mothers explores the impact of mass-incarceration on a generation of youth. Official Selection at the Tribeca…
Notes from Buena Vista - Silicon Valley's Last Working Class Mobile Park
In the shadows of wealth-collecting Silicon Valley, the area's last working-class mobile home park faces an existential crisis. Official Selection at the Ann Arbor Film Festival. "[NOTES FROM BUENA VISTA]…
Treasure Island - The Children of San Francisco's Public Housing Units
Follows the children of families housed in San Francisco's public housing units, located on a former naval base still teeming with nuclear waste. Official Selection at Hot Docs Canadian International…
Last Stop in Santa Rosa - Profile on an Animal Hospice
Lo's first film profiles the Bright Haven animal hospice in Santa Rosa and raises questions about the common practice of euthanasia for pets. Official Selection at SF DocFest and DOC…

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Prison State - The Cycle of Incarceration in America
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ACORN and the Firestorm - An Anti-Poverty Organization Fighting for the Voiceless
If you were impoverished and politically voiceless, ACORN hoped to change your mind. For 40 years, the community-organizing group sought to empower marginalized communities. Its critics, though, believed ACORN exemplified everything wrong with liberal ideals. Fueled by a YouTube video made by two young conservatives who posed as pimp and…
When The Light's Red
What do you do when you're stopped at an intersection and someone with a sign asks you for money? Do you give them some or do you stare straight ahead pretending they're not there? How do you sum up a person in the span of a red light? With humor…
Without a Home
A young woman's desire to understand the homeless epidemic in her native city of Los Angeles takes her on an unexpected 4 year journey into the lives of several homeless individuals as they struggle to find homes, get clean, and survive.
15 to Life: Kenneth's Story - The United States' Juvenile Justice System
Does sentencing a teenager to life without parole serve society? Following a Florida man who received four life sentences at age 15, this eye-opening film reveals a justice system that routinely condemns young Americans to die in prison.
Rock and a Hard Place - A Boot Camp Program Granting Incarcerated Young Men a Second Chance
An unprecedented and enlightening look inside a youth-prison boot camp, ROCK AND A HARD PLACE focuses on the lives of a diverse group of incarcerated young people in Florida, each of whom are granted a second chance: the opportunity to trade an extensive prison sentence for a fresh start by…
True Conviction - Exonerated Men Fight for Wrongfully Convicted Prisoners
There's a new detective agency in Dallas, Texas, started by three exonerated men, with decades in prison served between them. TRUE CONVICTION is a character-driven documentary that follows these change-makers as they rebuild their lives and families, learn to investigate cases, and work to support one another. Winner of the…
Concrete, Steel & Paint - A Film About Crime, Restoration and Healing
When men in a state prison join with victims of crime to create a mural about healing, their views on punishment, remorse, and forgiveness collide. Finding consensus is not easy - but as the participants move through the creative process, mistrust gives way to surprising moments of human contact and…
A Hard Straight - The Radical Transition from Prison Life to Society
A gang member, a mother, and a small-time dealer. They served their sentences, they're on parole. Now they're about to discover that walking out the prison gates is just the beginning. A HARD STRAIGHT tells the story of what it is really like for a person to make the radical…
Jiabiangou Elegy: Life and Death of the Rightists - The Persecution of Inmates at the Jiabiangou Labor Camp
This documentary series recounts the persecution of inmates at the Jiabiangou labor camp in Jiuquan, Gansu province, and examines the way the victims' final affairs were handled. During the Anti-Rightist Campaign of 1957-59, more than three thousand people were sent to Jiabiangou for re-education through labor. These people were labeled…
The Released - The Cyclical Incarceration of Ex-Cons with Mental Illnesses
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A rare and intimate look into the lives of mentally ill offenders struggling to make it on the outside. This year alone, hundreds of thousands of prisoners with serious mental illnesses will be released into communities across America. Within 18 months, nearly two-thirds will be re-arrested. THE RELEASED is an…
The Grey Area - Feminism Behind Bars
An intimate look at women's issues in the criminal justice system and the unique experience of studying feminism behind bars. Through a series of captivating class discussions, headed by students from Grinnell College, a small group of female inmates at a maximum women's security prison in Mitchellville, Iowa, share their…