Milwaukee Film Festival

Stories Matter Media LLC

The documentary Circles highlights the need for juvenile justice reform — with a focus on one family's story.

The film, which is featured at the Milwaukee Film Festival, follows school counselor Eric Butler. He does restorative justice work with youth in an Oakland school — giving kids that have dealt with the trauma of the system or their environment a safe space to be heard.

Wild Nights With Emily

Poet Emily Dickinson, the famous belle of Amherst, wrote more than 1,800 poems. However, only 11 of them were published during her lifetime. Since her death in 1886, her story has acquired a certain gloss — words like “recluse” and “spinster” used to describe a woman who lived a life far richer than those words suggest.

Resonant Pictures

The documentary 16 Bars explores how music can bring healing and rehabilitation to people who are locked up.

The movie, which is featured this week at the Milwaukee Film Festival, centers around four inmates at the Richmond, Va., city jail — and their interactions with Todd "Speech" Thomas, a Milwaukee native and MC of the hip-hop group Arrested Development.

Courtesy of Janine Sijan Rozina/Team Sijan

We’ve recalled the story of Lance Sijan on Lake Effect before. Sijan was a Milwaukee native and an Air Force fighter pilot in Vietnam. His plane crashed over Laos, and he survived for more than a month in the wilderness before being captured. He was tortured in a prisoner-of-war camp before he died in 1968. Sijan was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

Kate Webber / Kim Swims

There are many famous open water swims. There’s the English Channel, the Strait of Gibraltar, and the Cook Strait in New Zealand, to name three out of the "Oceans Seven." Lesser known, but arguably one of the most difficult to complete, is the 30-mile swim from the Farallon Islands out in the Pacific to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. From shark attacks to multiple currents to jellyfish and freezing temperatures, only the most determined even think about making the attempt.

"Science Fair"/National Geographic

There are science fairs, and then there are science fairs. There’s the kind we all competed in — tri-fold display, baking soda-and-vinegar volcano, marshmallow-and-toothpick molecules. And then, there’s the kind that future scientists aspire to.