What We’re Watching: How Democracy Works Now (Available on Netflix)

By Stephanie R. South, TDC National Coordinator

So, we may not actually be watching it right now, but it is in our Netflix queue for this weekend.

In the summer of 2001, filmmakers Shari Robertson and Michael Camerini set out to make a film about the “story of how a great think thank becomes a law.” However, as is oft the case with the artist’s way, Robertson and Camerini found themselves pursuing an alternative route.

For the next six years, these filmmakers made their way from California to Arizona to Kansas to Iowa to Capitol Hill, following stories on comprehensive immigration reform and learning “about how democracy does in fact work.”

The product?

Twelve discrete films about several dozen fascinating people in all kinds of places, each connected by a commitment to change the way that the United States handles the bedrock national identity issue of immigration.  Together, the twelve films make up one very big story, and though we surely didn’t realize it at that point, it’s exactly the story we would have wanted to find in 2001.  

-Shari Robertson and Michael Camerini, About the Series

On the website for the series, you can find background, reviews, and video clips that preview the film, which, as I mentioned, is now available on Netflix. Additionally, there are also three iBooks available in the iTunes bookstore—How Democracy Works Now, Volumes 1 – 3— that are free to download; each volume covers four films with special suggestions to help educators to identify clips and craft lesson plans.

Happy watching!

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