Pacific Street Films

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Pacific Street Films is a documentary film production company founded in Brooklyn, New York in 1969 by anarchists Joel Sucher and Steven Fischler. They have produced more than 100 films.

Pacific Street Films is most notable for its film Red Squad (1971), a documentary about the notorious New York City Police Department red squad in operations in the 1960s and 70s, and Frame-Up: The Imprisonment of Martin Sostre (1973), a documented account of the arrest of a radical African American bookstore owner Martin Sostre in Buffalo, New York.

In 2004 the Museum of Modern Art hosted a career retrospective on Pacific Street Films.[1][2]


Year Title Notes
1970 Inciting to Riot Student film. Covers actions of Transcendental Students. Grand prize winner at the National Student's Association Film Festival.
1971 Ipimpi Independent documentary about police infiltration of the Black Panther Party.
1971 Surveillance: Who's Watching? An investigation of police surveillance of political dissidents around the country. Produced for National Educational Television. (clip on YouTube)
1972 Red Squad An Independent documentary investigating the surveillance activities of the New York City Police Department and the FBI.
1974 Frame-up! The Imprisonment of Martin Sostre Investigative documentary on the wrongful imprisonment of black activist bookstore owner Martin Sostre.
1975 The Marijuana Revolution Thirty-minute investigative documentary. Produced for WNBC-TV.
1975 Politics and Police in Stamford Thirty-minute investigative documentary. Produced for WNBC-TV.
1977 Voices From Within A documentary produced in collaboration with a group of long-term women inmates at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, New York. Funded by the NYS Council on the Arts.
1977 The Grand Jury: An Institution Under Fire An investigation of grand jury abuse. Broadcast on PBS.
1980 Free Voice of Labor: The Jewish Anarchists Documentary on the last survivors of the Jewish Anarchist movement. Supported by the Guggenheim Foundation and CPB. Broadcast on PBS.
1983 Anarchism in America Feature-length documentary on anarchism. Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.
1983 The Cancer War An investigation into the politics of cancer research. Broadcast on PBS.
1983 I Promise To Remember: Frankie Lymon and The Teenagers The rise and fall of Rock ‘n Roll’s first cross-over group. Broadcast on PBS.
1984 Man's Best Friends A one-hour investigation of the use and abuse of animals in medical experiments and product testing. Produced for Frontline. Broadcast on PBS.
1984 Albert Szent-Gyorgyi: A Special Gift A portrait of the Nobel laureate. Produced for the National Foundation for Cancer Research.
1985 - 1988 Salute to Newark
Take Me Back To Dear Old Newark
Produced for WNET's Metropolitan Division. Eight 30-second spots and a 30-minute historical documentary.
1988 First City Produced segments for this WNYC magazine series on New York City: "Tugs," "Brooklyn Bridge," "Homeless," "Arson Squad," "Parking"
1989 United Nations Peacekeeping Educational film produced for the United Nations.
1990 Blue Helmets: The Story of U. N. Peacekeeping A look at the work of UN Peacekeepers around the world. Narrated by Jesse Jackson. 90-minute PBS Special.
1990 Martin Scorsese Directs Profile of director Martin Scorsese on the set of Goodfellas. Produced for American Masters. Broadcast on PBS.
1991 Lincoln-Douglas Debates One hour documentary on the students involved in the annual New York City debate competition. Broadcast on Thirteen/WNET in June 1991.
1991 Jessica Lange: It's Only Make-Believe Profile of the actress on the set of Cape Fear. Produced for HBO/Cinemax.
1992 Oliver Stone: Inside/Out Feature length profile of director Oliver Stone. Produced for Showtime and the BBC.
1992 Lincoln-Douglas Debates One hour documentary on the students involved in the annual New York City debate competition. Broadcast on Thirteen/WNET in June 1992.
1993 Lincoln-Douglas Debates One hour documentary on the students involved in the annual New York City debate competition. Broadcast on Thirteen/WNET.
1993 Peacemaking Educational program produced for the United Nations.
1993 Calculating Change Examination of the campaign to overhaul math and science education in the US Hosted by Al Roker. Broadcast on PBS. Produced for the Urban League and Thirteen/WNET.
1995 Schools For Sale: Advertising in the Classroom A critical look at Channel One News, the for-profit service that brings advertising into the classroom under the guise of educational programming. Hosted by Lewis Black. Produced for the Walt Whitman Center for the Culture and Politics of Democracy at Rutgers University.
1995 In Search of Peace Documentary special on the relationship of the United States and the United Nations, on the world organization's 50th anniversary. Narrated by Paul Newman. Broadcast on the Turner Broadcasting System.
1995 To The Ends of The Earth A history of the American Museum of Natural History's fossil-hunting expeditions. Part of the museum's permanent display.
1996 Troubled Waters, Vanishing Treasures Produced for the American Museum of Natural History’s Endangered Species installation.
1996 Final Take: The Fertility Scandal An investigation of the scandal at the University of California at Irvine Fertility Center, involving the illegal use of unapproved fertility drugs and the theft of eggs and embryos from patients. Broadcast on Lifetime Television.
1996 Sidney Lumet: An American Director A portrait of film director Sidney Lumet, photographed during the production of Night Falls on Manhattan. Produced for Paramount Pictures and Spelling Entertainment.
1998 Intimate Portrait: Jessica Lange Documentary profile of Jessica Lange. Broadcast on Lifetime Television.
1998 Intimate Portrait: Pamela Harriman Documentary profile on the life Pamela Harriman, socialite and former Ambassador to France. Broadcast October 1998 on Lifetime Television.
1998 The Warrior Tradition Five one-hour documentaries highlighting warrior cultures throughout history: Samurai, Shogun, The French Foreign Legion, The Gurkhas and The Green Berets. History Channel broadcast.
1998 The Other Half ... Revisited Documentary comparing social conditions today with those that Jacob Riis documented in 1890 in his famous work, How the Other Half Lives. Funded by the Ford Foundation and CPB. Broadcast on WNET-TV.
1999 Exploring the World of Music A 12-part television series, with a study guide and 3-set audio CD package, highlighting the principles of music, seen through a world music perspective. An international co-production with primary support from the Annenberg Project of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
1999 Crime Stories Three one-hour documentaries about notable trials from the past: The Jeffrey MacDonald Murder Case, Richard Speck: Born to Raise Hell, and The Trial of the Chicago 8. Broadcast on Court TV.
1999 From Swastika to Jim Crow Independent documentary exploring the little-known story of Jewish refugee scholars teaching at historically black colleges before and during the Second World War. PBS broadcast 2001.
2000 Martial Arts: The Real Story A two-hour special that explores a little-known world of secret martial techniques. From the mist shrouded hills of China to small backwater villages in Southern India, fighting techniques have been developed that require silent devotion, zealous commitment and above all, secrecy. Broadcast on The Learning Channel and ITV (UK).
2001 Speed Traps This fast-paced, high-energy show takes an in-depth look at the history and technology of speed detection, and the equally sophisticated attempts at speed detection avoidance. Broadcast on The Learning Channel.
2002 Bravo Profile Nick Nolte One hour documentary portrait of actor Nick Nolte.
2002 GoodFellas and JFK Two productions for the AMC's "Back Story" series — Martin Scorsese's "GoodFellas," and Oliver Stone's "JFK." The programs take an intimate look at the story behind the story, revealing how these groundbreaking films struck a chord with audiences worldwide.
2002 The Economics Classroom A teacher development workshop consisting of eight one-hour videos, website and educational materials. For Annenberg/CPB.
2004 City of Refuge Installation piece produced for the Museum of Jewish Heritage to accompany an exhibition about Jewish immigration to New York City.
2005 Building Wealth and Risky Business A series of educational videotapes designed to teach the fundamentals of financial literacy to High School and College students. Produced in collaboration with the National Council on Economic Education.
2006 In Debt We Trust A Globalvision Production dealing with the widespread problem of why Americans are being caught up in the “debt trap” Joel Sucher produced the segment dealing with personal bankruptcy.


  1. ^ D'addario, Darren (March 18–25, 2004). "Dissenting adults: MoMA spotlights the political outsiders at Pacific Street Films". Time Out New York. 
  2. ^ Pacific Street Films: 35th Anniversary Salute. Museum of Modern Art.

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