Films and Videos on Cooperatives

From Cultivate.Coop

This is a list of films on cooperatives. Some are free and available on the internet, some are for purchase, and some are available to rent.

General Cooperatives

  • Food for Change. A documentary film about the history of food co-ops in the US and what they are doing today.
  • My Co-op Rocks - Video Contest Winners. View the creative submissions for free. (Archived website)
  • A listing of videos about co-ops on the Univ. of Wisconsin center for cooperatives website. This is a thorough list, but there are no viewable or purchasable videos on this page.
  • A video search on the University of Saskatchewan Centre for the Study of Co-operatives' online library turns up a number of (mostly older) films. VHS. Rentals.
  • The Spirit of Cooperation: The story of cooperatives and how Americans use them to improve their lives and communities - narrated by James Earl Jones; National Cooperative Business Association
  • The Mondragon Experiment. A 1982 BBC visit to Mondragon, Spain. Describes the cooperatives founded by Father Arizmendi, how they are governed and organized. 50 Minutes. Margot Smith, Off Center Video, 1300 A Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94709; 510-486-8010; []
  • 150 Years of Cooperation; National Cooperative Business Association
  • Civilizing the Economy Part 2 online here  "asks the question, "Is there an alternative to the pervasive power and influence of corporate capitalism as a model for economic and social development?"
    To answer this question, this 2-part video documentary takes us on a journey to Northern Italy and the region of Emilia Romagna where the co-operative model accounts for one third of the regional GDP. The 15,000 co-ops in the region cover multiple sectors of the economy, ranging from retail and industrial production to social care and health services." Civilizing the Economy is availble for purchase through BCCA at a cost of $35 (Canadian dollars; shipping included) + GST (for Canadian residents).
  • King of the Hill; Raise the Steaks. In episode 6 of Season 13, "Hank joins a co-op store because the steaks they sell are the best in town."
  • "Portraits of the Solidarity Economy": 6 short (~3-4 min) films produced by SolidarityNYC. Featuring Joe Holtz/Park Slope Food Co-op; Michael Johnson/Ganas intentional community; Ann Bragg/Community Voices Heard and participatory budgeting; Caroline Woolard/OurGoods barter network; Deyanira Del Rio/Lower East Side People's Credit Union; and Telesh Lopez/Third Root Community Health Center worker cooperative.
  • A site with written, slideshow, and video stories about co-op from around the world, set up for the International Year of Cooperatives 2012.
  • New Pioneers: A cool 5 minute video from the Co-operative Heritage Trust about the history of the Rochdale Pioneers and the legacy of cooperation in the UK and beyond. Animated. Lovely British accent.
  • Cooperative(n)?: A TEDx talk by Emily AM Lippold Cheney at Black Rock City about why she is a cooperativist and what a cooperative (n) is. 10-1/2 minutes, very inspiring.
  • Cooperative Vermont YouTube Channel: Cooperative Vermont films a live program every week or so, usually interviews with local co-operators.
  • To The Moon: "Eighteen college students bicycle from California to Massachusetts in order to spread awareness about cooperatives, a business model they believe to be a solution to the volatile global economy. They confront frustrating realities while discovering their place in the world, and the results are at once chaotic, enlightening, and unforgettable."
  • Punk Football - Punk Football (2013) Documentary on FC United of Manchester, free on Youtube
  • Steps to Starting a Co-op - USDA presentation by Margaret Bau.
  • A Silent Transformation / trailer - sets out to explore the innovative self-help efforts of different communities across the Province of Ontario. By addressing their needs collectively they are helping to regain the radical vision of co-operation. 70 min

Worker Cooperatives

Housing Cooperatives

  • Planet Community. A web series created by Fellowship for Intentional Communities. (as of 2021, five episodes completed and a longer documentary in production).
  • Resident Ownership Makes All the Difference. This short (just over 5 min) video tells the story of residents of manufactured home parks in Maine coming together to create sustainable solutions to affordable housing needs: resident owned cooperatives. Free on Vimeo.
  • At Home in Utopia. Description from "New York City cops in the Great Depression called it Little Moscow, but for the 2,000 Jewish immigrant residents of the United Workers Cooperative Colony, a.k.a. “the Coops,” it was their first taste of the American dream. AT HOME IN UTOPIA bears witness to an epic social experiment, following two generations of residents and their commitment to radical ideas of racial equality and rights for tenants and workers." Order the DVD here. $24.95 (or $20.95 each when ordering 3 - 6).
  • Training videos from Senior Housing Cooperative. Varying prices depending on membership/non-membership, rent or buy, DVD.
  • A large cache of short, free videos and clips from YouTube on cooperatives.
  • My So-Called Housing Cooperative is the story of young adults trying to live a life of cooperation and compassion... without losing their minds. Each month's webisode features a scripted parody based upon real life at the Faire Bande à Part Housing Cooperative (Faire-Op), a 3 story apartment building in Lewiston, ME. Viewable on YouTube.

Platform Cooperatives

Food Cooperatives

  • A Food Co-op in Your Community. Produced by the Food Co-op Initiative
  • Food for Change: a documentary about food co-ops, local economies, and food security. You can view a trailer and donate to the film.
  • Three videos about the Renaissance Community Co-op in Greensboro, NC that ended an 18-year food desert:
  • CBLD Library videos:
    • Michael Shuman speaks at the Hanover Co-op, April 2008
    • Gar Alperovitz speaks at Weaver's Way Co-op, April 2006
    • Hand in hand... A history of the Hanover Consumer Co-op
    • the Rochdale Pioneers: Roots of the Cooperative Movement. Recorded for Roanoke Co-op by Todd Wallace, Jan. 2011
    • The Hanover Consumer Cooperative Society Presents: David Thompson on Toyohiko Kagawa and Brotherhood Economics
  • Bret Fairbairn’s keynote at June 2011 Consumer Cooperative Management Association conference in San Diego, "[[ in Turbulent Times]]." 1 hour. Courtesy of CDS Consulting Co-op.

Credit Unions

Telephone, Broadband, and Electric Cooperatives

Agricultural Cooperatives

  • New Generation Farmer Cooperatives: The Development Process. University of Wisconsin, 1998.
  • Grazers: A Cooperative Story: "With interest in a farm-to-table food on the rise, a small band of upstate New York farmers sees an opportunity to hold on to their endangered farms by raising and selling grass-fed beef. Forming a cooperative, they soon discover that the marketplace surprisingly can’t support their simple ambitions. Jackson and Teale follow their efforts for two years, through near collapse to an uncertain future, exposing in microcosm the struggles of small-scale farming in our modern, industrial world. An intimate, character-driven chronicle of the group’s struggle. Grazers: A Cooperative Story illuminates timely issues regarding our food system. At stake are their farms, the small communities around them, the health of the land and a way of life."

Social Cooperatives

Cooperatives International