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Dawn of the People | Puerto Cabezas: Our Sister City | Sister Cities: Side by Side | We Have Other Plans: Communities Implement Alternative Development
Dawn of the People:
Nicaragua's Literacy Crusade
0ne of the greatest accomplishments of the Sandinista Revolution (1979) was their literacy crusade of the early 1980's. Despite the Contra War and later political setbacks, the alphabetization campaign inspired a new international interest in mutual aid and cross-cultural understanding.

he United Nations called the 1980 Nicaraguan Literacy Crusade the most important social movement of its generation. Dawn of the People illustrates the methods and politics of the literacy project, with comments from the crusade's famous coordinator, Father Fernando Cardenal. It takes viewers into factories and homes, classrooms and coffee plantations, introducing both the brigadistas (young teachers) and the people they taught to read. Dawn of the People was codirected by award-winning filmmakers Doreen Kraft and Jay Craven. Craven also directed A Stranger in the Kingdom and Where the river Flows North.

"We did not know how to read. We were in darkness. We wanted to learn, so the new government sent brigadistas. Now we are coming out of the darkness." Juan, a peasant in Chinandega, From Dawn of the People

Dawn of the People

30-minute video

Written and directed by Doreen Kraft and Jay Craven; narrated by Ossie Davis

Audience Level:

High school/adult

VHS $69.95

Individual/Low Income Groups:
VHS $29.95

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Puerto Cabezas: Our Sister City
his journey to Puerto Cabezas, a vital port town on Nicaragua's Atlantic Coast, examines the region's history and the impacts of the US- backed Contra War (1981-1989) and international solidarity on the multiethnic people of the coast.

"Thousands and thousands of people from the United States have traveled to Nicaragua, but few have an understanding of the situation on the Atlantic coast. This tape offers a valuable introduction to the reality there and inspiration for what a sister city project can do." Kathy Engel Director, MADRE

Puerto Cabezas: Our Sister City

32-minute video

Directed by Doreen Kraft and Marvin Fishman

Audience Level:

High school/adult

Bronze Medal, Prix Leonardo, Fondazione Medikinale International, Parma, Italy, 1995

Sale Price:
VHS $19.95

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We Have Other Plans:
Communities Implement Alternative Development
(Tenemos Otros Planes: Desarrollando las Alternativas)
his documentary, in two consecutive versions - English and Spanish - explores several projects in Nicaragua that are putting development in the hands of local people. Effectively saying "We have other plans" to the so-called "Washington consensus" and its imposed neoliberal model, citizens in the communities visited provide uplifting examples of how development can be achieved by alternative means.

Videographer Robin Lloyd captures the essence of how and why these projects are proving successful, highlights strategies that have been crucial to local development, and offers lessons that can be applied in other communities around the world.

This documentary was produced in 2003 for the Nicaragua Network ( and the Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign (
Nicaraguan Woman

28-minute video

Produced by NicaNet and Katherine Stecher, filmed and edited by Robin Lloyd.

Cover art: "The Vendor" by J. Areas.

Audience Level:

High school/adult

Price: $14.95

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