Ethics Film Series

Adrienne Arsht, UM Ethics Programs, the School of Communication, and University of Miami Alumni Association invite you to a film series designed to promote discussion of “reel” life dilemmas and decision-making. See the movies free of charge and stay for the panel discussion following each screening, led by faculty with interest and expertise in the area.  

All events are free and open to alumni, students, and the UM community; no RSVP is necessary. Screenings take place at 6:15 p.m. at the Bill Cosford Cinema on the Coral Gables campus; snacks will be provided at 6:00 p.m. We promise you lively debate and intellectual exchange at the Ethics Film Series.

For reservations and information, please contact UM Ethics Programs at or 305-243-5723.

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Ethics Film Series 2015 Screenings

Apocalypse Now

Presented in collaboration with UM's Center for International Business Education & Research (CIBER).

Directed by Francis Ford Coppola and starring Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando and Robert Duvall, this 1979 film was nominated for eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director, and won two, for Sound and Cinematography. Food will be provided after the 153 minute film.

Moderator: Otavio Bueno, Professor and Chair of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Miami College of Arts & Sciences.

Last Day in Vietnam

This PBS film premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. It examines the difficult decisions faced by the Americans departing Vietnam under fire.

Introduction: Max Duke, VP of Content and Community Partnerships at WPBT2, who arranged the screening.

Moderator: Daniel Suman, Professor of Marine Affairs and Policy at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science of the University of Miami, who has led eight UM study abroad trips to Vietnam.

Fog of War

Former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, widely viewed as the ‘architect” of the Vietnam War, is the focus of this 2003 documentary that won that year’s Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. Is it a defense or an apology?

Moderator: Charles E. Neu, Professor Emeritus and former Chair of Brown University’s History Department, an expert on the Vietnam War and a member of a group of scholars who advised Secretary McNamara. 


Glengarry Glen Ross
A 1992 American drama, adapted by David Mamet from his 1984 Pulitzer Prize- and Tony- winning play with the same name. The film depicts two days in the lives of four real estate salesmen and how they become desperate when the corporate office sends a trainer to "motivate" them by announcing that, in one week, all except the top salesmen will be fired. Post-Screening Discussion by UM Faculty.

Hannah Arendt
The sublime Barbara Sukowa reteams with director Margarethe von Trotta for her brilliant new biopic of influential German-Jewish philosopher and political theorist Hannah Arendt. Arendt's reporting on the 1961 trial of ex-Nazi Adolf Eichmann in The New Yorker-controversial both for her portrayal of Eichmann and the Jewish councils-introduced her now-famous concept of the "Banality of Evil." Post-Screening Discussion by Bradford Cokelet, Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy.

The Silver Mirror
MIAMI PREMIERE. A Global Documentary Film about our changing view on Aging

Shot over three years in 12 countries, The Silver Mirror searches for a universal voice that fearlessly and intimately conveys humanity's ancient, collective and fundamental struggle with the fragility of the human condition imposed by the inevitability of aging while also pondering that, for the first time in human history, impending scientific surges in the cellular biology of aging will drastically change how we live. The Silver Mirror features experts such as University of Miami President Donna Shalala, the former Secretary of U.S. Health and Human Services; John Beard, World Health Organization; Nobel Laureate Elizabeth Blackburn, University of California at San Francisco (UCSF); Hal Kendig, University of Sydney; Thomas Kirkwood, Newcastle University; and Leonard Guarente of MIT. The Silver Mirror is narrated and hosted by Tony and Emmy Award-winning actress Blythe Danner, with special guest Dr. Maya Angelou and an original film score performed by the Brno Philharmonic Orchestra.

Post-Screening Discussion by UM Faculty:
Ali Habashi: Writer, Director, Producer
Ed Talavera: Director of Photography
Thom Sleeper: Composer/Conductor


Made in India
Winner of the Jury Award for Best Documentary Feature at the 2011 Florida Film Festival, this is the first documentary film to convey the complex journey of U.S. couples who have "outsourced" reproductive surrogacy to India. Juxtaposed scenes of the United States and India illuminate personal struggles, political conflicts, and myriad legal and ethical dilemmas.
Moderated by Director and Co-producer Rebecca Haimowitz; in collaboration with UM's Program in Women's and Gender Studies

Blood Coltan
The consumer desires of the Western world continue to be linked to the killing of innocent people. Here, the demand is for coltan, a mineral used in the making of cell phones and other electronics. Rebel militias in the Congo have recruited children to work in the mines while those in positions of power have the ear of Western importers, in opposition to the United Nations.
Moderated by Gina Maranto, Leonard and Jayne Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy Presented as part of UM Ethics Programs' Eleventh Annual Environmental Ethics Symposium

Margin Call
Nominated for a 2011 Oscar, this film captures a 36-hour period at a large investment bank during the 2007-2008 crisis on Wall Street. It focuses on the dilemmas and decisions of employees caught up in the moments of financial collapse. The cast includes Demi Moore, Kevin Spacey, and Paul Bettany. Moderated by UM faculty.


Inside Job
Narrated by Matt Damon, the film explores the global financial meltdown through the lens of relationships that implicate politicians, regulators, and academics. Nominated for a 2010 Academy Award for Best Feature Documentary.

Environmental activism animates this deft depiction of the facts underlying a lawsuit brought by Ecuadorian citizens against Chevron. Winner of numerous film festival awards.

The Cove
This Academy Award-winning documentary, filmed covertly by activists and deep-sea divers, sheds light on the secret crimes being committed against dolphins around the world.


Why We Fight
This documentary about the military-industrial complex probes the real versus official reasons for U.S. military engagements, suggesting that fact may be more absurd than fiction. Directed by Eugene Jarecki, the film was first screened at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Grand Jury Prize for Documentary.

Food, Inc.
In this 2010 Academy Award-nominated documentary, Emmy-Award-winning filmmaker Robert Kenner takes a critical look at the industrialization of food production. In the process, he uncovers surprising, sometimes shocking truths about how and what we eat.
Presented as part of UM Ethics Programs’ Ninth Annual Environmental Ethics Symposium

Good Hair
Produced by comedian Chris Rock, this seriocomic documentary goes behind the scenes of the multibillion-dollar black hair industry to examine how the perennial quest for “good hair” affects the lives of African-American women. The film premiered at Sundance in January 2009.


Who Killed the Electric Car?
In 1996 electric cars began to appear on roads all over California. They were quiet and fast, produced no exhaust, and ran without gasoline. Ten years later, these futuristic cars were almost entirely gone.What happened? And what is happening now?
Panelists: Trae Williamson, Williamson Cadillac
Charles Whalen, Charging Director for the Electric Vehicle Association of Florida

The Times of Harvey Milk
By turns humorous and tragic, this documentary chronicles the life and death of HarveyMilk. The first openly gay politician in the U.S., a neighborhood activist, and a symbol of gay political achievement, Milk was—for many—a martyr to his cause.
Panelists: Christian Gay, M.A. ’06, Film and Queer Studies, School of Communication
Gema Perez-Sanchez, Modern Languages and Literatures, College of Arts and Sciences
Elizabeth Schwartz, J.D. ’97, attorney and family mediator

One Water
Filmed in 15 countries, narrated by UM President Donna E. Shalala, edited and scored by UM faculty, and supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, this documentary probes the global fresh-water crisis and makes a compelling case that access to clean water is a basic human right.
Panelists: Sanjeev Chatterjee, Vice Dean, School of Communication
Executive Director, Knight Center for International Media
Writer/Producer/Director, One Water


A League of Their Own
The men were away and the All-American Girls' Professional Baseball League played… but only until the end of WW II.  Savor the promise of the 1940s, when women's baseball swept the country, and examine women in sports.  Starring Tom Hanks, Madonna and Geena Davis.
Panelists: Kathryn Meier, UM Women’s Basketball head coach
Warren Whisenant, Ph.D., School of Education, recipient of an Arsht Research Award in “Ethics and Community” examining sex discrimination in sports administration

Maxed Out
Worried about getting spread too thin? No problem – there’s always more credit! This documentary examines the “American debt-style,” where anyone can buy anything as long as someone can make that minimum monthly payment.  Presented in collaboration with the Financial Literacy Project, Mahoney Residential College.
Panelists: Douglas J. Snyder, Esq., J.D. '84, bankruptcy attorney, Richard, Debtors Anonymous support group

The Constant Gardener
Set mostly in a sun-dappled Kenya, this film about the Western pharmaceutical industry asks some difficult questions regarding research, responsibility and illness in Africa.  Featuring Ralph Fiennes and Rachel Weisz, who won an Academy Award in 2005 for her role in this film.
Panelists: Jeffrey Brosco, M.D., Ph.D. UM Miller School of Medicine, Mohammed Kaif, UM Miller School of Medicine student


North Country
Josie, a single mom struggling to make ends meet, is not welcome to work at Eveleth Mines in Minnesota.  Josie’s passionate struggle for respect in the workplace leads her to make some tough, precedent-setting decisions.  Charlize Theron and Frances McDormand were both nominated for a 2005 Academy Award for their performances in this movie.
Faculty Panelists: Mary Coombs, School of Law; Christina Lane, School of Communication

The Good Shepherd
In collaboration with the Spy Film Series (co-sponsored by the Cinematic Arts Commission). Directed by Robert DeNiro, this film is a fictionalized account of the birth of the CIA.  Matt Damon plays a man whose love for his country and desire to protect it might require him to sacrifice everything else he loves. 
Faculty Panelists: James Kilpatrick, CIA Officer in Residence, School of Business Administration; Jim Olson, author of “Fair Play: The Moral Dilemmas of Spying”, CIA Officer in Residence, Texas A & M University

A Man for All Seasons
A timeless tale of the ethical dilemma faced by Sir Thomas More -- pleasing his King or following his conscience.   Part of the School of Communication Moving Image Archives, this movie won 6 Academy Awards in 1966, including Best Picture.
Faculty Panelists: Donn Tilson, School of Communication; David Kling, Department of Religious Studies, College of Arts and Sciences


Enron:  The Smartest Guys in the Room
Faculty Panelists: Robert E. Rosen, Professor, School of Law; William B. Werther, School of Business Administration

The Insider
Faculty Panelists: Samuel A. Terilli, School of Communication; Martin E. Segal, School of Business Administration

Roger and Me
Faculty Panelists: Marc Junkunc, School of Business Administration; Jeffrey Kerr, School of Business Administration

Sponsored by:
UM Ethics Programs
School of Communication
University of Miami Alumni Association


For more information, contact:
Adlar Garcia
Director, Alumni Engagement
Alumni Education & Career Services

For more information on UM Ethics Programs, please visit and for the School of Communication, please visit


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