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“Autumn Gem,” a documentary on modern China’s first feminist, Qiu Jin. (photos courtesy Boulder Public Library)

In the mood to stream a movie? Check out Kanopy, a new free streaming service available through Boulder Public Library.

Kanopy has one of the largest and most unique collections in the world, featuring more than 26,000 movies, documentaries, and indie and foreign films from hundreds of producers including The Criterion Collection, The Great Courses, Kino Lorber and PBS, and thousands of independent filmmakers.

This 1976 Italian film follows four generations of a family that lives in a crowded cardboard shack in the squalor of inner-city Rome. They plan to murder each other with poisoned dinners, arson, etc.

“Our collection development team here at Boulder Public Library decided to bring the Kanopy streaming service into our downloading and streamable collection because of their large and unique offerings that we felt were a perfect fit for the Boulder community,” says Laura Hankins, collection development manager at BPL.

Kanopy’s motto is “thoughtful entertainment,” and the service seeks to provide library patrons with access to films of unique social and cultural—not just entertainment­—value. It provides access to films that are often difficult or impossible to access elsewhere.

“Return of the River,” available for streaming through Kanopy, is a documentary film about Washington’s Elwha River and a community that fights to set it free by starting the largest dam removal in history.

All you need is an Internet connection and your library card. You can watch on a computer or mobile device using a Web browser. Or you can stream to your television using Roku, Apple TV or Chromecast, or by connecting your computer to your television via HDMI. After creating a Kanopy account, you are allowed five movies per month. The checkout period is two days. The service also allows you to create and share watch lists, playlists and video clips. To get started, visit www.research.boulderlibrary.org/eCollections/videos.

—Kay Turnbaugh