CAFFE LENA 1 x 57’ (2014 re-release)

In 1989 filmmaker Stephen Trombley collaborated with Kate McGarrigle on a portrait of Lena Spencer, proprietor of Caffe Lena, the oldest continuously operating coffee house in the USA. The day after her death - she died after falling down the stairs of her cafe en route to seeing a Spalding Gray show - Stephen and Kate began organizing a funeral concert  that included Arlo Guthrie, David Bromberg, Utah Phillips, Rosalie Sorrels, Dave van Ronk, Rory Block, David Amram, and special guest Spaulding Gray. Kate & Anna McGarrigle perform “Heart Like a Wheel” and “Talk to Me of Mendicino”. The intimacy with the audience and the feeling in the cafe that night make these among the McGarrigles’ greatest performances. Kate & Anna played regularly at Caffe Lena, even after they rocketed to fame with their eponymous debut album for Warner Brothers, and the classic follow-up, Dancer With Bruised Knees. Kate was close friends with Lena Spencer, a true eccentric who devoted her entire life to promoting acoustic music. Apart from performing in the film, Kate is its on-screen narrator, and tells Lena’s story with wit and tenderness. 


A 52-minute documentary film about the half-built housing estate in the Paris suburb of Drancy, that was turned into a concentration camp in 1941. Between 1942 and 1944, the French authorities deported 72,500 Jews from France to Nazi death camps. Only 2,500 survived. Interviews with survivors and bystanders, as well as rare archive footage, are included in the film, which explores the structure of the Holocaust in France. Produced in association with France2, The Discovery Channel, Channel Four (UK), ABC (Australia), YLE-TV2 (Finland), SVT (Sweden) and TV2 (Denmark). CableACE Award winner, 1995

a first-class documentary....the striking clarity of tone and hard-hitting evidence are blood chilling. Le Monde


STOCKPILE 1 x 90’, 1 x 60’ Narrated by Martin Sheen

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the threat of a nuclear war between the USA and Russia has diminished. But the threat posed by nuclear weapons and materials on both sides has increased. As nuclear weapons age, they become unstable and begin to behave in unpredictable ways. This film is the first to go behind the scenes in Arzamas-16 - the Russian nuclear city so secret that it has never appeared on any map - and the American nuclear weapons laboratory at Los Alamos, New Mexico, to see Russian and American bomb designers working together to reduce the risk. Unprecedented access and the inclusion of archive material granted exclusively to Worldview Pictures make this film a revelation of new dangers facing the world today. Produced for The Discovery Channel. 2001.

An uncommonly potent take on a subject of major global importance. Variety

99% WOMAN 52’

In October 1998, forty-five year old Benjy Nelson - former high school athlete and United States Air Force airman - had a sex-change operation. During his Air Force career, he began to dress as a woman - first at home, and then in public. For five years before his operation, Benjy dressed as a woman full-time. Debbie, his/her wife of seventeen years, fully supported his decision to cross-dress and then to have a sex-change operation. But, for their three teenage sons, their father’s choice has caused confusion and anger. This one-hour documentary shows the effects of that decision on the whole family, and leaves the viewer to decide…. A Worldview Pictures production. 2000.

a death in the family 52’

This one-hour film looks at the effect on a Midwestern American family when one of its members is executed. In October 1997, Alan (A.J.) Bannister was put to death by lethal injection in Missouri. The film follows A.J.’s family as they travel to witness his execution. Eight eye-witnesses give a chilling account of that night. Achingly evocative black and white images by award-winning photographer Jane Evelyn Atwood capture the days before and after A.J.’s funeral. One year later, we revisit the Bannister family, and that of his victim, Darrell Ruestman, to discover what the effect of the execution has been on both families. A Worldview Pictures production. 1999.

A year on, the pain has not eased as Bannister's family and friends reconvene for a memorial service and again face the cameras. None of them can make any sense of how his death represented justice. Weekend Australian

WAR AND CIVILIZATION 8 x 60’ Narrated by Walter Cronkite

Based on the lifetime's work of leading military historian John Keegan and narrated by Walter Cronkite, this wide-ranging series addresses the question of why men fight wars, and how these wars have formed the world we inhabit. Tracing the history of war and civilization over 5,000 years, the series is shot on location in Mongolia, Japan, Europe and North and South America.

Produced for The Learning Channel in association with La Cinquieme. Gold WorldMedal, NY Festivals 1999. 1998.

How do you say something fresh about war, perhaps the most hashed-over subject in the documentary filmmaker’s repertory?…The programmers at the Learning Channel, part of the Discovery Networks, have one answer. Enlist the talents of Stephen Trombley, the writer-producer-director whose documentary on the Nuremberg war crimes trials won an Emmy, and John Keegan, the acclaimed British Military historian. The New York Times


The problem of what to do with sex offenders has exercised societies since the beginning of time. Should sex offenders be treated, or punished, or both? Some American states are reviving the centuries-old practice of castrating sex offenders. This 50-minute film explores the issues involved in society's search for a "magic bullet" to deal with the problem.

Produced in association with The Discovery Channel, AZ Media (Germany), YLE-TV2 (Finland), RTSR/RTSI/DRS (Switzerland), TV2 (Denmark), TV8 (Sweden). 1998.


This Emmy-award winning film gives a concise and analytical account of the first Nuremberg Trial and its twelve successors. It explores the trials against the background of the emerging Cold War and the shifting allegiances of former wartime allies and enemies in the immediate post-war period. Original black and white photography shot on location in New York, Washington, London and Nuremberg is combined with unseen archive images and the private photographs of prosecutors and defenders to create a memorable account of the trial of the century. Produced in association with The Discovery Channel, YLE-TV2 (Finland), Channel Four (UK), AZ MEDIA for RTL (Germany), OE (Netherlands. Emmy Award Outstanding Historical Programming category 1997. 1996.

stunningly austere….Stephen Trombley’s refreshingly thoughtful film analysed the kind of justice that was meted out at Nuremberg. The Guardian


A 90-minute documentary film on the life of A. J. Bannister, who served fourteen years on Missouri's death row. Through painstaking research and reconstruction, the film mounts a compelling argument to show that Bannister, who never denied shooting his victim, did so during the course of an argument and not, as the state argued, as a paid assassin. The film follows Bannister, his family and the family of the victim, as the state sets an execution date and the countdown begins. Produced in association with The Discovery Channel, BBC, France2 and YLE-TV2 (Finland). 1995.

Overwhelming. This is an exemplary film. Le Parisien


This film documents the sexual sterilization of 8,300 children in Virginia state institutions between 1927 and 1972. The children were sterilized because the state judged them "unfit" to reproduce. "The Lynchburg Story" establishes for the first time on television the direct links that existed between American eugenic policy (thirty-six states had compulsory sterilization laws) and Hitler's 1933 sterilization law that marked the beginning of the Holocaust. Produced in association with The Discovery Channel, Channel Four (UK) FRANCE2, YLE-TV2 (Finland), TV2 (Denmark), and licensed to ABC (Australia), TVE (Spain), NCRV (Holland), NRK (Norway), RTSR & RTSI (Switzerland), CBC (Canada) and SVT-INTERNATIONAL (Sweden). 1993.

a powerful tale and a distinguished contribution to social archaeology. The Independent


A 90- and 60-minute feature documentary on capital punishment procedures in Missouri. Missouri was the first state to carry out an execution by machine-controlled lethal injection. The film follows the inventor of the machine, the Missouri execution team and inmates awaiting execution. Unprecedented access gives a unique, behind-the-scenes look at how capital punishment is administered in the United States. Produced in association with The Discovery Channel, BBC2, Seven Network (Australia), YLE-TV2 (Finland), France2, NDR INTERNATIONAL-NDR (Germany), ORF (Austria), RAI3 (Italy), SVT2 (Sweden), VPRO (Holland), TV2 (Denmark) and DRS & RTSI (Switzerland). Adolf Grimme Prize, Germany, Best Documentary, 1994. 1992.

Though the film resolutely avoids inflammatory material, its effect is as powerful as that of "The Titicut Follies," Frederick Wiseman's seminal work about conditions at the state prison for the criminally insane at Bridgewater, Mass. "The Execution Protocol" is not easy to sit through, but it touches nerves that force a rethinking of essential values. It is exceptionally well done. The New York Times

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