Her documentaries include Mama C: Urban Warriors in the African Bush, These Are Our Children; Men Are Human, Women Are Buffalo; The Gillian Film; Women in Japan: Memories of the Past, Dreams for the Future, (co-produced with Jan Bardsley, 2002), and Nuestra Comunidad: Latinos in North Carolina (co-produced with Penny Simpson, 2001), Between Two Worlds: A Japanese Pilgrimage (co-produced with Susan Lloyd, 1992). 

Joanne Hershfield is Emeritus Professor of the Department Women’s Studies at UNC-Chapel Hill. She has worked in film and video for over twenty years producing, directing, and editing social and cultural documentaries. Recent documentaries include These Are Our Children, a one-hour documentary film that reveals how the devastating effects of poverty, HIV/AIDs, and violence on Kenyan children are successfully being reduced through local grassroots interventions; Men Are Human, Women are Buffalo, a film about violence against women in Thailand; The Gillian Film, a moving portrait of an exceptional young woman who has developmental disabilities. When Gillian decides to move out of the house, her mother must come to terms with letting go; Women in Japan: Memories of the Past, Dreams for the Future, an hour-long film that shatters western myths of Japanese women as geisha or good wives and wise mothers by telling the stories of six very different women; Nuestra Comunidad: Latinos in North Carolina, and exploration of how the rapidly increasing Spanish-speaking population in the emerging “new south” is integrating into various communities.

Films by Joanne Hershfield

These Are Our Children

These Are Our Children reveals how the devastating effects of poverty, HIV/AIDs, and violence on Kenyan children are successfully being reduced through grassroots interventions.

The Gillian Film

A moving portrait of developmentally disabled young woman who decides to move out on her own.

Mama C: Urban Warrior in the African Bush

A former member of the Kansas City Black Panther Party, Mama C, a poet, musician, artist, and community activist, has lived for over forty years as an “urban warrior in the African Bush” in the Tanzanian village of Imbaseni. As she writes in one of her published poems: “in my freshly-landed, just-got-off-the-boat enthusiasm of living in Africa, I tried to blend, to melt, homogenize, disappear, erase, the essence of what made me who I am, an African, who grew up in and was molded by the ‘hoods’ of America, and I almost lost myself.”

Men Are Human, Women Are Buffalo

The film mixes interviews and puppetry to tell five stories about violence against women in Thailand.