One West University Boulevard, Brownsville, Texas 78520 | 956-882-8200

Documentaries

At a Bend in a Mexican River
El Cielo: Forest in the Clouds
Passion for Birds: The Adventures of Nature

Treasure of Nature Series:
Alma Del Pueblo: The Mexican-Americans
Behavior Change Programs: A Training Video for Parents and New Teachers
Behavior Change Programs: Manual and Companion Workbook
Day with Sheriff Joe
Los del Valle Project
Lost Bends of the Rio Grande
Mercado Sonora:A Traditional Healers Market
Paraíso en Tampico, México: Laguna de la Tortuga
Ropa Usada and Taquería La Vida
Spirit Doctors / Doctores del Espíritu
Treasures of the Rio Grande Delta
Volume 1 – En Palabras de Nuestra Gente
Volume 2 – Américo Paredes
Volume 3 – Rolando Hinojosa-Smith
Volume 4 – La Música en la Sangre: Sabino Salinas
Volume 5 – La Música en la Sangre: Joe Lopez
Volume 6 – Charro Days: The First 60 Years
Volume 8 – Los Camarones
Volume 9 – Episcopal Day School, the First Fifty Years
Volume 10 – Barbara Warburton, La Maestra
Volume 11 – Las Raices en Los Ranchos de San Isidro
Volume 12 – Los Bomberos: The Firefighters: Medio Siglo de Historia
Volume 13 – Benito Treviño: The Many Uses of South Texas Plants
Volume 14 – Carmen Lomas Garza: Chicana Activist
Volume 15 – Celebrando Nuestra Gente: Los del Valle
Volume 16 – José M. Lopez, Un Hombre Valiente
Volume 17 – Americo Paredes: En Sus Propias Palabras
Volume 18 – Día de los Muertos: Two days in November

 

At a Bend in a Mexican RiverAt a Bend in a Mexican River

More than 50 years ago, bird artist and ornithologist George Miksch Sutton visited a hidden river along the eastern escarpment of Mexico’s Sierra Madre Oriental. Although he had visited many places in the world, perhaps none so enthralled him. His vivid memories were published in 1972, exactly 50 years later. Cinematographer John Bax was compelled to visit the same enchantingly beautiful stream that flows from the foot of the dark and majestic mountain. This video features 38 rarely seen neo-tropical birds.
These, and numerous others, are included in the video.

1992, VHS Format, 51 minutes.

Lawrence V. Löf was executive producer, director and co-scriptwriter for the series. He is director of the Rancho del Cielo Program and president of the Gorgas Science Foundation administrated by UTB/TSC.

Norman L. Richard (deceased) served as associate producer and co-scriptwriter for the series. He was a retired associate professor of biological sciences.

 

El Cielo: Forest in the CloudsEl Cielo: Forest in the Clouds

Along the eastern escarpment of Mexico’s Sierra Madre Oriental exists an area known as El Cielo, an isolated enclave at the crossroads of North and South American flora and fauna. Eight distinct forest systems are found within its boundaries. At the heart of El Cielo is a small pocket of clouds covering the forest halfway up the eastern face of the escarpment. Much of the year the forest is bathed in heavy mist as clouds from the Gulf of Mexico brush the steep slopes. El Cielo provides rare and exciting photography of the Common Potoo, courtship of the two-and-a-half inch bumblebee hummingbird, pair bonding behavior in barred antshrikes and magnificent military macaws in their remote canyons. El Cielo has been captured in all its glory, from the birthplace of rivers to the rain shadow on the west, by the artistry of cinematographer John Bax.

1992, VHS Format, 56 minutes.

Lawrence V. Löf was executive producer, director and co-scriptwriter for the series. He is director of the Rancho del Cielo Program and president of the Gorgas Science Foundation administrated by UTB/TSC.

Norman L. Richard (deceased) served as associate producer and co-scriptwriter for the series. He was a retired associate professor of biological sciences.

 

A Passion for BirdsA Passion for Birds: The Adventures of Nature Cinematographer John Bax

Cinematographer John Bax emigrated from Belgium and began his parttime film career. Soon his work was accepted for nature documentary programming and was broadcast in Canada and the United States, as well as in more than 200 other countries. Most recently, his work has been shown on the Discovery Channel and the Public Broadcasting System. Bax now resides in the Lower Rio Grande Valley and continues to photograph his favorite subjects: birds and nature. He is committed to sharing his informative and beautiful art form with people around the world. This program is an affectionate look at Bax’s life and work. “A Passion for Birds” is the fourth John Bax film by the Gorgas Science Foundation.

1996, VHS Format, 56 minutes.

Lawrence V. Löf was executive producer, director and co-scriptwriter for the series. He is director of the Rancho del Cielo Program and president of the Gorgas Science Foundation administrated by UTB/TSC.

Norman L. Richard (deceased) served as associate producer and co-scriptwriter for the series. He was a retired associate professor of biological sciences.

 

El Alma Del Pueblo: The Mexican-Americans

This is a six-part film series on contemporary Mexican-American culture. The episodes include films about folk religion, low riders, gang culture, literature and folk art. Films from the series have been screened at the Smithsonian American Museum of Natural History, National Museum of Natural History, Cinesol Latino Film Festival, Freiburg Germany Film Forum and many other national and international screenings. Two films from the series won the highest honors for an educational film in the National Educational Media Network.

Behavior Change Programs: A Training Video for Parents and New Teachers / Programas de Cambio de Comportamiento: Un Vídeo Para Entrenar a Padres y Maestros

This video is designed to help parents and new teachers work with children with severe mental retardation. It helps parents identify new behaviors to teach, change an existing behavior, and analyze a desired behavior to facilitate teaching. Classroom examples demonstrate a variety of useful techniques. An accompanying manual helps guide the users through a step-by-step process designed to improve the quality of life of both the parent and the child. The techniques demonstrated also are useful to parents of nondisabled children and regular educators as well. Both the video and the manual are available in English and Spanish.

1997, VHS, 21 minutes for the English version and 24 minutes for the Spanish version. Requests for purchases can be made to Mary Curtis at the College of Education, UTB/TSC, 80 Fort Brown, Brownsville, Texas, 78520 (956) 882-7678.

Mary G. Curtis, an associate professor in the School Specialties Department, authored the training video.

 

Behavior Change Programs: Manual and Companion Workbook / Programas de Cambio de Comportamiento: Manual y Cuaderno de Ejercicios

This was written as a companion workbook to the video. It includes the entire transcript of the video and exercises to help the user become more proficient at implementing behavior change programs. The manual is appropriate for both the English and the Spanish video tapes. It is available with the “Behavior Change” video tape or it can be used separately as a workbook.

Mary G. Curtis, an associate professor in the School Specialties Department, and Lucy G. Willis. professor in the Modern Languages Department, were authors of this workbook.

 

A Day with Sheriff Joe

This is 30-minute documentary film is a candid look at a day in the life of Joe Arpaio, sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona. Arpaio is known as “America’s Toughest Sheriff.” His unusual approach to law enforcement (including housing prisoners in tents and forcing them to wear pink underwear) has brought him international attention. This film follows the sheriff through a day of encounters with the public, the news media and his inmates. It was recognized as a 1998 Arizona Film Festival favorites documentary.

 

Los del Valle ProjectLos del Valle Project

The Los del Valle Project is a collaborative effort between Manuel Medrano and the UTB/TSC Media Services Department to produce a series of autobiographical oral history video recordings. These oral histories are intended to preserve the life stories of everyday and nationally recognized people who have contributed to the growth and history of the Rio Grande Valley. Another purpose of the videos is to familiarize students with information about the Valley, which is usually not found in textbooks. These recordings are intended to encourage students to conduct their own oral history investigations with older family members. The video includes segments of older Brownsville residents recalling the adventure of crossing the Laguna Madre on small fishing craft or ferries before the construction of the causeway, what it was like to use a hand line while fishing for alligator gar, the experiences of those who weathered the great hurricane of 1933, and what it was like to cross the Rio Grande into the United States during the Mexican Revolution, leaving behind families, businesses and farms to face the great unknown of a new homeland.

Los del Valle videos are available for $19.95 each at the UTB/TSC Barnes & Noble Bookstore, (956) 882-8249.

Medrano is a professor in the History Department.

 

Lost Bends of the Rio Grande

This video discusses the importance of the resacas to Brownsville, the uses of the water and the testing of the wildlife that lives in and around the resacas.

VHS Format, 20 minutes. Available at UTB/TSC Media Services, (956) 882-8963.

 

El Mercado Sonora: A Traditional Healers Market

“El Mercado Sonora: A Traditional Healers Market” is an original documentary film co-produced by award-winning ethnographic film-makers and anthropologists Antonio Zavaleta, Michael Van Wagenen and Monica Delgado. The videographic field work for this production was done by Zavaleta in Mexico City in 1998. Van Wagenen and Delgado did editing and writing of scripts. El Mercado Sonora (also known as Mexico’s Witches Market) follows Alberto Salinas, native healer from the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas, as he journeys to Mexico’s most famous market for medicinal plants and home remedies. Salinas walks through the market indicating interesting elements he finds special and rare items that he needs, and he discusses the importance of native healing traditions along the Texas-Mexico border.

1998, VHS, 20 minutes. Available only in English. Available for purchase for $20 plus $5 shipping and handling. Available from the Office of Special Assistant to the Provost, 80 Fort Brown, Brownsville, Texas 78520; call (956) 882-7313 or fax to (956) 882-7312.

 

El Paraíso en Tampico, México: Laguna de la Tortuga

This video chronicles a trip taken by participants in the UTB/TSC Elderhostel program to Tampico, Mexico. During this trip, they visited some of the best birdwatching spots in the world, practiced Spanish and toured the turtle camps where efforts are ongoing to save the endangered turtles. They also visited historical sites. The Elderhostel program is a national education program open to people over the age of 55. The program teaches the culture, history, language, and ecology of the area.

VHS 15 minutes. Available at UTB/TSC Media Services, (956) 882-8963.

 

Ropa Usada and Taquería La Vida

These represent two of three one-act plays written by Michael Van Wagenen about Brownsville. “Ropa Usada” looks at the lives of five Hispanic women who find themselves brought together weekly in search for used clothes and for each other’s friendship. “Taquería La Vida” is a musical comedy set in a Brownsville taco shop. It explores birth, death and a little of what happens in between.

 

Spirit Doctors / Doctores del Espíritu

“Spirit Doctors” (“Doctores del Espíritu”) is an original documentary film co-produced by awardwinning filmmakers and anthropologists Michael Van Wagenen, Monica Delgado and Antonio Zavaleta. Van Wagenen and Delgado wrote, photographed, directed and edited the video. “Spirit Doctors” investigates the phenomena of Mexican-American folk healing. Three contemporary healers are followed in their daily work. Spirit channeling, herbs and midwives are shown to be an important part of the cultural environment of the American Southwest. “Spirit Doctors” was the winner of the Best Documentary award at the 1996 Utah Film Festival.

1996, VHS or one-fourth inch format, 27 minutes. Both English and Spanish versions of the documentary are available. Available for purchase for $295 plus $10 shipping and handling. Available for rental for $55 plus $10 shipping and handling. Available from Filmmakers Library, 124 East 40th Street, New York, New York 10016; call (212) 808-4980 or fax to (212) 808-4983.

Zavaleta is special assistant to the provost and professor of anthropology. Van Wagenen and Delgado are former lecturers.

 

Treasures of the Rio Grande DeltaTreasures of the Rio Grande Delta

Long known as the River of Destiny, the Rio Grande has been the focus of both conflict and peace between Mexico and the United States. Although rich in history, the river’s delta also supports a rich legacy of natural history. Twisting and turning from the Chihuahuan woodlands to the Gulf of Mexico, the last 250 miles of this great river form a rich delta, a transition zone between the semiarid tropics and the temperate north. Since 1900, most of the delta’s native vegetation has been lost, but many small islands of endangered habitat survive at the edge of farms and cities. These islands harbor an incredible number of endangered or threatened species. Some are known only from the delta or reach their northern limits here.

1994, VHS Format, 56 minutes. Treasures of Nature Series videos are $19.95 each at the UTB/TSC Barnes & Noble Bookstore, (956) 882-8249, or from Gorgas Science Foundation, (800) 210-7128. Two or more videos are available for $17.50 each from Gorgas Science Foundation.

 

Volume 1 – En Palabras de Nuestra Gente

Three individuals from the lower Rio Grande Valley speak about their lives, about the 1933 hurricane, and about the importance of a formal education. One is Antonia Medrano from Brownsville; one is Oliver Brenner from Port Isabel; and one is Narciso Mart’nez, a pioneer of Conjunto music from La Paloma.

1994, VHS Format, 27 minutes. Available for purchase at the UTB/TSC Barnes & Noble Bookstore, (956) 882-8249, and the History Department for $19.95.

Manuel Medrano was director, writer and producer. Norberto Martinez was cinematographer and editor.

 

Volume 2 – Américo Paredes

Américo Paredes, eminent folklorist and scholar, speaks about his life, growing up in Brownsville and about the importance of oral history.

1995, VHS Format, 29 minutes. Available for purchase at the UTB/TSC Barnes & Noble Bookstore, (956) 882-8249, and the History Department for $19.95.

Manuel Medrano was director, writer and producer. Norberto Martinez was cinematographer and editor.

 

Volume 3 – Rolando Hinojosa-Smith

Tejano Author Rolando Hinojosa-Smith, leading Tejano author, talks about his life in the Valley, the influences upon his writing and his education. Additionally, Hinojosa reads passages from his stories and novels.

1996, VHS Format, 29 minutes.

Manuel Medrano was producer and writer, Ricardo Camargo was director and editor, and Norberto Martínez was cinematographer. Medrano is a history professor. Cmargo is assistant director for Media Services. Martinez retired as media productions manager for the Office of News and Information and now works part-time for Distance Education.

 

Volume 4 – La Música en la Sangre: Sabino Salinas

Several long-time musicians of Música Regional and Norte–o music play their music and talk about their lives and their love for music at the home of Sabino Salinas.

1996, VHS Format, 28 minutes.

 

Volume 5 – La Música en la Sangre: Joe Lopez

Joe Lopez, former lead singer of the internationally acclaimed Tejano musical group Gruppo Mazz, talks about his life, his music and the importance of a formal education.

VHS Format, 29 minutes. Available for purchase at the UTB/TSC Barnes & Noble Bookstore, (956) 882-8249, and the History Department for $19.95.

 

Volume 6 – Charro Days: The First 60 Years

This is a history of the first 60 years of this border celebration recognizing the friendship of the two sister cities, Brownsville and Matamoros. It includes photographs, film clips, oral history and music.

VHS Format, 28 1/2 minutes. Available for purchase at the UTB/TSC Barnes & Noble Bookstore, (956) 882-8249, and the History Department for $19.95.

 

Volume 8 – Los Camarones

Shrimpers tell their story of the shrimping business in Port Isabel and Brownsville.

Los del Valle videos are available for $19.95 each at the UTB/TSC Barnes & Noble Bookstore, (956) 882-8249.

 

Volume 9 – Episcopal Day School, the First Fifty Years

1998 marked the 50th anniversary of The Episcopal Day School. Its tradition of providing an excellent Christian education for elementary students is documented using oral history interviews, film, photographs and newspaper articles.

VHS Format, 28 1/2 minutes. Available for purchase at the UTB/TSC Barnes & Noble Bookstore, (956) 882-8249, and the History Department for $19.95.

 

Volume 10 – Barbara Warburton, La Maestra

Barbara Warburton, former biology instructor at Texas Southmost College for more than 30 years and founder and director of Rancho del Cielo in Tamaulipas, Mexico, talks about her life and her teaching career.

VHS Format, 58 minutes. Available for purchase at the UTB/TSC Barnes & Noble Bookstore, (956) 882-8249, and the History Department for $19.95.

 

Volume 11 – Las Raices en Los Ranchos de San Isidro

This video is about a small ranching family and its traditions in Starr County.

1998, VHS Format, 28 1/2 minutes. Available at UTB/TSC Media Services, (956) 882-8963.

Manuel F. Medrano was producer and writer, and Ricardo Camargo was director and cinematographer. Medrano is a history professor. Camargo is assistant director fo Media Services.

 

Volume 12 – Los Bomberos: The Firefighters: Medio Siglo de Historia

This video is about the Los Fresnos Volunteer Fire Department and its 50 years of history.

1998, VHS Format, 28 1/2 minutes. Available at UTB/TSC Media Services, (956) 882-8963.

Manuel F. Medrano was producer and writer. Ricardo Camargo was director, editor and cinematographer. Medrano is a professor of histor and Camarago assistant director of Media Services. William Davis is a professor of psychology in the Behavioral Sciences Department.

 

Volume 13 – Benito Treviño: The Many Uses of South Texas Plants

Benito Trevino, ethnobotanist, speaks about the medicinal/edible qualities of South Texas Plants.

2000, VHS Format, 58 minutes. Available at UTB/TSC Media Services, (956) 882-8963.

Manuel F. Medrano was producer and writer. Ricardo Camargo was director, editor and cinematographer. Medrano is a professor of histor and Camarago assistant director of Media Services.

 

Volume 14 – Carmen Lomas Garza: Chicana Activist

This video is a biographic profile of a South Texas artist who celebrates her culture and traditions in her work.

2000, VHS Format, 28 1/2 minutes. Available at UTB/TSC Media Services, (956) 882-8963.

Manuel F. Medrano, was producer and writer. Ricardo Camargo was technical director and cinematographer.

 

Volume 15 – Celebrando Nuestra Gente: Los del Valle

This video is about men and women who have significantly contributed to the history of the Rio Grande Valley.

2003, VHS Format, 28 1/2 minutes. Available at UTB/TSC Media Services, (956) 882-8963.

Manuel F. Medrano, professor of history, was producer and Cristina Ballí was writer. Cinematographers: Ricardo Camargo, Johnny Aguilar, Jesse Mendez.

 

Volume 16 – José M. Lopez, Un Hombre Valiente

This video is about the life and courage of Jose M. Lopez, Medal of Honor recipient.

2004, VHS Format, 28 1/2 minutes. Available at UTB/TSC Media Services, (956) 882-8963.

Manuel F. Medrano was producer and writer. Ricardo Camargo was director, editor and cinematographer. Medrano is a professor of histor and Camarago assistant director of Media Services.

 

Volume 17 – Américo Paredes: En Sus Propias Palabras

This video examines the life and legacy of Americo Paredes.

2006, DVD format, 23 minutes. Available at UTB/TSC Media Services, (956) 882-8963.

Manuel F. Medrano was writer, producer and director. Medrano is a professor of history.

 

Volume 18 – Día de los Muertos: Two days in November

This video consists of Day of the Dead images in the United States and throughout Latin America put to popular music.

2007, DVD format, 8 minutes. Available at UTB/TSC Media Services, (956) 882-8963.

Manuel F. Medrano was writer, producer and director. Medrano is a professor of history.

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