We Are

Mirror and Hammer Films

Mirror and Hammer Films builds on the idea that art is not only a mirror to reflect reality but also a hammer with which to shape it.

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Our Documentary Films

We are a film company dedicated to shedding light on injustices around the world. We are based in Santa Barbara. The company creates independent documentaries that offer new ways to think about how ordinary people change the world.

True Lived Experiences

We work to bring people’s stories to life through their lived experiences

A Visionary World

We work to create art that shows the world as it is and how it could be.

A Better Planet

We work to build change for a better planet

Who I Am

Kum-Kum Bhavnani

Professor by day. Filmmaker by night.

I am a university professor by day and a filmmaker by night. I fuse my scholarship with social justice through the combined lenses of the movie camera and critical research. I was born in India, grew up in London and arrived as a professor at UC Santa Barbara in 1991. I am active in efforts to create social justice and a more livable planet through anti-racism, feminism and movements that foster greater economic equality.

How I Imagine

Documentary film allows us to imagine a world that is full of possibilities for change.

Cinematic Sociology

Cinematic sociology lies at the cutting edge of visual sociology and tells the story, through pictures, of how people navigate the contradictions in their lives. Building on sociological analyses I create documentaries that suggest how change is made and could be made.

Feminist Insights

Feminist insights can lead to a new way of seeing the world. We do this by knowing that women all over the world are different and, at times, divided, separated by income, nationality, ‘race’, sexuality and many other forms of inequality.

Anti-Racist Analysis

My impulse is to ensure that racialised inequalities of power are integrated into my work. This is so very important because the majority of the world’s population is not white and much of the world’s population is very poor.

Environmental COMMITMENT

The planet demands that we protect it and all that is on it. All my work is informed by this demand. My goal is for us to realise that we all can do something significant to protect the planet, and I try to show how people around the world are doing this.

What I Care About

Injustices around the world

I care about how to make the planet equal. I know we all can do that when we work together, whoever we are. The usual suspects are, of course, part of my world view: ownership of land, incomes, unequal treatment because of racism, gender discrimination, vulgar understandings of sexualities, refusing to support people because of where they were born, or how they arrived within the borders of a nation state. Mirror and Hammer is about sharing the stories of how we foster social justice, and how we can all live creative and enjoyable lives.

Some relevant facts!

1. Americans will eat nearly 18 percent of world’s chocolate confectionery by value in 2015


2. People of color make up about 75 percent of the world


3. As of 2010, there were about 488 million Buddhists around the world, representing 7% of the world’s population


4. Membership in worker co-operatives now equals more than 20 percent of the world’s labor force


My Films

Some Recent Projects

I have always insisted on the importance of seeing the world how it might be by understanding why it is as it is. I turned to documentary film-making in 2003 because documentary films, like novels, are able to bring people’s stories to life. By illustrating different methods of making change, my hope is that viewers are empowered to see that large change can be made on a smaller scale.


Keep In Touch

Tel.: +1 (805) 898-0880

Kum-Kum Bhavnani
Department of Sociology
University of California
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-9430