Independent Lens

Continuing Monday / 7:00pm PBS US 60 min.
This acclaimed Emmy Award-winning anthology series features documentaries and a limited number of fiction films united by the creative freedom, artistic achievement and unflinching visions of their independent producers. INDEPENDENT LENS features unforgettable stories about a unique individual, community or moment in history. The series is supported by interactive companion Web sites and national publicity and community engagement campaigns. Acclaimed actor and filmmaker Stanley Tucci hosts the series.

Season 23

15 Episodes

On the Navajo Nation reservation, ??Indigenous teens at one of the most remote schools in America plan their futures.
May 16 2022
After getting shot in the face by a 15-year-old, Claude's path to recovery leads to forgiveness.
May 09 2022
At Lowell High School, San Francisco's academic pressure cooker, the kids are stressed out. With a majority Asian American student body, high-achieving seniors share their dreams and anxieties about getting into a top university. But is college worth the grind?
May 02 2022
What is the science behind consciousness? Six brilliant researchers from around the world—a brain scientist, a plant behaviorist, a healer, a philosophy professor, a psychedelics scientist, and a Buddhist monk—take you on a mind-blowing quest to investigate this seemingly unsolvable mystery.
Apr 04 2022
Mar 28 2022
Apart 23x10
Feb 21 2022
Feb 14 2022
Feb 07 2022
The deadliest part of a migrant's journey is just beyond the border. For those missing, one man offers a last hope.
Jan 31 2022
A white filmmaker collaborates with Clemente Course students of color to reckon with Boston's racial history.
Jan 17 2022
130 years after Native American boys died at an Indian boarding school, their tribe tries to bring them home.
Nov 23 2021
Duty Free 23x04
Fired from a lifelong job, a 75-year-old mom teams up with her son to reclaim her future through bucket list adventures.
Nov 22 2021
Inside the family-run newspaper keeping local journalism alive.
Nov 15 2021
Michael Brown Sr. seeks justice after a white police officer kills his son in Ferguson.
Nov 08 2021
Cured 23x01
When homosexuality was considered a mental illness to be “cured," LGBTQ+ activists fought back.
Oct 11 2021

Season 22

15 Episodes

Two women, one American and one Vietnamese, fight to hold the chemical industry accountable for a devastating legacy.
Jun 28 2021
Two Gods 22x14
A Muslim mortician uses the rituals of death to teach two troubled teenagers how to live better lives.
Jun 21 2021
Meet the Donut King, the Cambodian refugee who built a multi-million-dollar empire baking America’s favorite pastry.
May 24 2021
On a fall day in 2014, Peter Liang, a Chinese American police officer, shot and killed an innocent, unarmed Black man named Akai Gurley. Unfolding in the dark stairwell of a Brooklyn housing project, the shooting inflamed the residents of New York City and thrust two marginalized communities into the uneven criminal justice system together.
Apr 12 2021
Kentucky pastors known as the Binghams support Israel's foremost philanthropic organization.
Mar 29 2021
In an increasingly data-driven, automated world, the question of how to protect individuals’ civil liberties in the face of artificial intelligence looms larger by the day. Coded Bias follows M.I.T. Media Lab computer scientist Joy Buolamwini, along with data scientists, mathematicians, and watchdog groups from all over the world, as they fight to expose the discrimination within facial recognition algorithms now prevalent across all spheres of daily life. While conducting research on facial recognition technology at the M.I.T. Media Lab, Buolamwini, a "poet of code," made the startling discovery that the algorithm could not detect dark-skinned faces or women with accuracy. This led to the harrowing realization that the very machine-learning algorithms intended to avoid prejudice are only as unbiased as the humans and historical data programming them.
Mar 22 2021
Mr. SOUL! 22x09
In 1968, America’s first Black variety show, “SOUL!,” helmed by producer and host Ellis Haizlip, premiered on public television. The pioneering series ran for five years, cementing itself as not only a vehicle to celebrate African American artistry, community, and culture but also as a platform for political expression and a powerful force in the fight for social justice. Mr. SOUL! portrays in exquisite detail a revolutionary time in American culture and entertainment through vibrant archival footage and interviews with numerous Black luminaries who appeared on “SOUL!,” or were impacted by it.
Feb 22 2021
With the national conversation around police reform still resonating loudly around the country, Women in Blue shines a spotlight on the women within the Minneapolis Police Department working to reform it from the inside by fighting for gender equity. Filmed from 2017 to 2020, the documentary focuses on MPD’s first female and openly gay police chief, Janée Harteau, and three of the women in her department as they each try to redefine what it means to protect and serve.
Feb 08 2021
When Dolly Parton sang “9 to 5,” she was doing more than just shining a light on the fate of American working women. Parton was singing the true story of a movement that started with 9to5, a group of Boston secretaries in the early 1970s. Their goals were simple—better pay, more advancement opportunities and an end to sexual harassment—but their unconventional approach attracted the press and shamed their bosses into change. Featuring interviews with 9to5’s founders, as well as actor and activist Jane Fonda, 9to5: The Story of a Movement is the previously untold story of the fight that inspired a hit and changed the American workplace.
Feb 01 2021
Director Jared Leto crafts a sweeping yet intimate cross-section of America shot on a single July 4th in 2017 with 92 film crews fanning out across each of the United States and Puerto Rico to capture A Day in the Life of America. A gargantuan production shot over a single 24 hour period across the country, the film weaves a wide range of beliefs and backgrounds into a rich tapestry of life.
Jan 11 2021
A Woman’s Work: The NFL’s Cheerleader Problem sheds light on the continued fight to end the gender pay gap prevalent throughout the National Football League. For over 50 years, the NFL has employed cheerleaders—women who are lifelong athletes expected to both maintain a peak physical condition and fulfill extreme beauty standards. Many of these athletes have been historically underpaid, with some earning as little as $5 an hour, while others are never paid a salary at all. A Woman's Work chronicles the journeys of cheerleaders from the Oakland Raiders and the Buffalo Bills, each of whom put their careers on the line to take legal action and fight for fair pay.
Jan 04 2021
An unlikely duo discovers a pattern of illegal sterilizations in women’s prisons, shielded by prison officials and doctors, and wage a near-impossible battle against the Department of Corrections. Belly of the Beast exposes modern-day eugenics and reproductive injustice in California prisons, through intimate accounts from currently and formerly incarcerated people.
Nov 23 2020
Property Brothers co-host and home-renovation expert Jonathan Scott journeys all across the U.S. to uncover why clean, renewable energy isn’t available to all. While traveling to learn both the obstacles and opportunities for achieving energy freedom, Jonathan talks with conservatives fighting for solar freedom; sits down with farmers struggling to make ends meet; engages coal workers desperate for a new, healthy means of making an income; the Navajo Nation who built a utility-scale solar plant; religious leaders who made a desperate attempt to help meet their community’s energy needs; and politicians at the forefront of the battle for energy freedom.
Nov 16 2020
Represent 22x02
Local elections, especially those in smaller cities in Middle America, are often overlooked by national media, even though the dynamics at play can mirror — and even predict — the ebb and flow of America’s large-scale political landscape. Represent follows three women running for office in the heart of the Midwest leading up to the 2018 midterm elections, as they take on entrenched local political networks and fight to reshape politics on their own terms.
Oct 26 2020
Feels Good Man is the story of how artist Matt Furie, creator of a trippy, once-benign comic character named Pepe the Frog, fought an uphill battle to reclaim his iconic creation from those who turned it into a symbol of hate. An exploration of the power of online imagery and the fascinating spin cycle of memes in a culture where ownership and meaning can be wrested away from creators, Feels Good Man is a thought-provoking, wild ride through an Internet that transformed an unlucky cartoon frog, and then the rest of the world
Oct 19 2020

Season 21

21 Episodes

Ron and Don Brodie, twin brothers and first-generation Jamericans raised in Washington, D.C., grew up making family visits to Jamaica. Driver Radio: Jamaica is inspired by the road trips they used to take there as children and captures the Brodies returning to the island where they find a rapidly changing way of life. In this four-episode series, Ron and Don join both old school and new school taxi drivers to retrace favorite family routes while sharing off-the-beaten-path stories through the lens of the country’s vibrant taxi culture. Along the way, the brothers reconnect with their roots and explore what it means to straddle two identities.
Sep 21 2020
This hit film takes an intimate look at America's most beloved neighbor: Mister Rogers.
Aug 31 2020
Focuses on five organ players, each with their own pressures and abilities as they compete in the Canadian International Organ Competition.
Jun 22 2020
Marion Stokes secretly recorded American television 24 hours a day for 30 years, from 1975 until her death in 2012. Long before the era of “fake news,” the Philadelphia-based Communist and radical activist believed that a comprehensive archive of the media would one day be invaluable, protecting the truth by archiving everything that was said and shown on television. Her visionary and maddening project nearly tore her family apart, and her son reflects back on his fractured, fascinating relationship with his complicated and fabulously wealthy mother. Now her 70,000 VHS tapes are being digitized for future generations, giving us all an eye-opening glimpse into how television shaped, and continues to shape, our world.
Jun 15 2020
A sudden boom in tourism trade that brings in money - and waste - and a changing climate that threatens the fragile ecology on Easter Island.
May 25 2020
Rewind 21x16
For as long as Sasha Neulinger can remember, a video camera was ever-present, with his father constantly filming— from birthday parties, to hockey games, to holidays. But his father’s camera, trained on the frequent gatherings of a tight-knit family, was also documenting a hidden secret, the revelation of which would lead to a media firestorm, a high-stakes court battle, and a generational reckoning. Drawing upon an incredibly revealing home video archive, Neulinger revisits these events 20 years later to piece together an unflinching story of the cycles and consequences of abuse, to examine what it means to heal, and to use those experiences to effect positive change in the world. Rewind probes the gap between image and reality, showing both how little, and how much, a camera can capture.
May 11 2020
The astounding, true story of one warm-hearted, stubborn man’s visionary quest to find a cure for cancer.
Apr 27 2020
This cinematic experience offers a mirror onto a society on the verge of catastrophe, registering the anxieties, distractions, and survival strategies that preoccupy ordinary lives.
Apr 20 2020
Bedlam 21x13
Haunted by the death of a mentally ill sister, psychiatrist Ken Rosenberg takes on the role of filmmaker to examine a national health crisis.
Apr 13 2020
Nanfu Wang uncovers the startling, untold history of China's One-Child policy.
Mar 30 2020
Explores recent grassroots efforts to acknowledge the victims of lynching, repair the damage, and reconcile in four U.S. communities.
Feb 24 2020
We Believe in Dinosaurs tells the story of the building of an enormous, $120 million Noah’s Ark at the Creation Museum in rural Williamstown, Kentucky, an exhibit designed to prove the Bible is scientifically and historically accurate. Along with detailing the Ark's preparation, the film follows several Kentuckians: Doug and his team of artists and designers who create lifelike animals; Dan, a geologist who blows the whistle on the Ark’s hiring practices; David, a former creationist and lifetime museum member who blogs critically about beliefs he once held; and atheist activist Jim Helton, co-founder of Tri-State Freethinkers, who leads a protest rally outside the Ark on opening day. As the citizens of Williamstown wait for the economic boon promised by the Ark’s founders, creationists spread the gospel of a 6,000 year-old Earth. We Believe in Dinosaurs explores the roots of our beliefs.
Feb 17 2020
China's severe demographic imbalance has led to a social crisis for single women who are faced with the constant pressure to marry.
Feb 10 2020
The 1995 Chicago heatwave led to 739 deaths in a week, consisting mostly of poor, elderly, and African American residents.
Feb 03 2020
In 1969, the Chicago Black Panther Party began to form alliances across lines of race and ethnicity with other community-based movements in the city, including the Latino group the Young Lords Organization and the southern whites of the Young Patriots. Banding together in one of the most segregated cities in postwar America to collectively confront issues such as police brutality and substandard housing, they called themselves the Rainbow Coalition. The First Rainbow Coalition tells the movement’s little-known story through rare archival footage and interviews with former coalition members in present-day.
Jan 27 2020
Twenty-five years after Yusuf Abdurahman left Somalia as a refugee to begin his life anew in Minnesota — which has the largest population of Somalis in the United States — his worst fear is realized when his 19-year-old-son Zacharia is arrested in an FBI counterterrorism sting operation. Through the eyes of an anguished father desperate to understand why his young son would leave his American life behind to attempt to join the Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria, Accept the Call vividly explores racism and prejudice against immigrants, the rise of targeted recruitment by radicalized groups, and the struggles of Muslim youth growing up in the US today. This intimate film captures the story of a father and son attempting to mend their relationship, after breaking each other’s hearts, showing how a parent's worry for their children is a universal predisposition.
Jan 20 2020
ATTLA 21x05
The gripping but little-known story of legendary Alaska Native dogsled champion, George Attla.
Dec 16 2019
A Native American activist fights to protect her tribe from the onslaughts of development in the Hamptons. Can Jewel balance the complications of a modern teenager with her connection to village life?
Nov 18 2019
Afghan and Iraqi interpreters risked their lives aiding American troops and are now in danger unless they emigrate.
Nov 11 2019
Why the Bronx burned in the 1970s. Included: archival and home movie footage; and insights from retired FDNY firefighters, Bronx historians and community organizers.
Nov 04 2019
A surprising industry has emerged in Boise, Idaho: Women are becoming paid reproductive surrogates for people from around the world. Here, four women share their experiences as they build relationships with intended parents, prepare for the rigors of pregnancy, and navigate the mixed feelings of their own families, who struggle to understand the surrogates' choice to risk the physical and emotional complications of carrying babies for another family.
Oct 28 2019

Season 20

19 Episodes

Wrestle 20x19
Wrestle is an intimate, inspiring coming of age portrait of the wrestling team at Huntsville's J.O. Johnson High School, which has been on Alabama's failing schools list for many years. As they fight their way towards the State Championship, wrestlers Jailen, Jamario, Teague, and Jaquan each face injustices and challenges on and off the mat, together grappling with obstacles that jeopardize their success while their coach wades into the complexities of class and race in the South.
May 20 2019
California’s Napa Valley is one of the premier wine growing regions in the world, celebrated as an idyllic and luxurious destination. Yet, many of the vineyard workers and the small producers with roots in the fields are rarely credited for the valley's famed bounty. Filmed over the course of one agricultural year, Harvest Season takes an “other side of the valley” approach, giving a unique view of the dramatic process that goes into making some of the world’s most celebrated wines. Kristyn Leach's seeds come from ancient heritage breeds from Asia, and she is one of only a handful of farmers still growing these crops as they face extinction. But the day-to-day challenges of disease and wildlife take their toll as she feels a deep responsibility to the seeds she is trying to save. The Seed Saver is a short film airing with Harvest Season on Independent Lens.
May 13 2019
Shipped thousands of miles away from Hawaii to a private prison in the Arizona desert, two native Hawaiians, David and Hale, discover their indigenous traditions from a fellow inmate serving a life sentence. When they finish their terms and return to Hawaii, eager to prove to themselves and their families that the experience has changed them forever, they struggle with the hurdles of life as formerly incarcerated men, asking the question: can you really go home again?
May 06 2019
Filmed during three years of unparalleled violence in Baltimore, Charm City delivers a powerfully candid portrait of those on the frontlines. With grit, fury, and compassion, a group of police, citizens, community leaders and government officials grapple with the consequences of violence and try to reclaim their city’s future.
Apr 22 2019
From acclaimed director David Sutherland (Kind-Hearted Woman, Country Boys, The Farmer’s Wife) comes this unique look at the immigration issue. The film follows the efforts of Elizabeth Perez, a decorated United States Marine veteran, to reunite her family after the deportation of her husband, an undocumented worker from Mexico. Her struggle begins to challenge her assumptions about justice and fairness in the nation she fought for. A co-presentation with FRONTLINE.
Apr 15 2019
Set against the backdrop of the physician shortage and opioid epidemic in rural America, The Providers follows three healthcare providers in northern New Mexico at clinics that offer care to all who walk through the doors, regardless of ability to pay. With personal struggles that at times reflect those of their patients, the journeys of the providers unfold as they work to reach Americans who would otherwise be left without healthcare.
Apr 08 2019
An intimate portrait of three boys growing up with a parent in prison, Tre Maison Dasan provides a firsthand look at children struggling to identify themselves in a society that demonizes their parents, provides little support for their families, and assumes “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”
Apr 01 2019
In China, a generation of young people have come of age on social media, where virtual relationships are replacing real-life connections. Both the wealthy and the poor gather in online showrooms, finding entertainment and a way to feel connected. Although these groups never cross paths in real life, in the digital universe they band together to worship online idols who earn as much as $130,000 a month singing karaoke or hosting talk shows to interactive audiences.
Feb 25 2019
Composed of intimate and unencumbered moments in the lives of people in the community of Hale County, Alabama, Hale County This Morning, This Evening offers a richly detailed glimpse at life in America’s Black Belt, simultaneously celebrating its beauty and bearing witness to the consequences of the social construction of race.
Feb 11 2019
At the intersection of racial identity, historical narrative, and international commerce, Black Memorabilia follows the propagation of demeaning representations of African Americans. From industrial China to the rural South to Brooklyn, meet the people who reproduce, consume and reclaim these racially-charged objects.
Feb 04 2019
The King 20x09
Forty years after the death of Elvis Presley, filmmaker Eugene Jarecki takes the King’s 1963 Rolls-Royce on a musical road trip across America. From Memphis to New York, Las Vegas, and beyond, the journey traces the rise and fall of Elvis as a metaphor for the country he left behind. A diverse cast of Americans join the journey including Alec Baldwin, Rosanne Cash, Chuck D, Emmylou Harris, Ethan Hawke, Van Jones, Mike Myers, and Dan Rather, among many others.
Jan 28 2019
RUMBLE is the electric story of how Native American influence shaped blues, jazz, folk, and rock 'n' roll, a missing chapter in music history, including Link Wray -- the electric guitar pioneer whose titular instrumental hit was banned from the radio.
Jan 21 2019
Rodents of Unusual Size is a real-life horror "tail" about the various and eccentric methods Louisiana residents have employed to tackle a growing menace that lurks in the bayous and backwaters: hordes of monstrous 20-pound swamp rats known as nutria.
Jan 14 2019
Following the rise and fall of the oil boom in North Dakota, My Country No More paints a portrait of a rural American community in crisis split by a high-stakes divide.
Jan 07 2019
The story of an elderly white Texas minister who set himself on fire to protest the virulent racism of his community and the country at large. Friends, family members, neighbors and colleagues search for an explanation of his action.
Dec 17 2018
The Judge 20x04
A profile of the first woman judge to be appointed to the Middle East's Shari'a (Islamic law) courts.
Nov 19 2018
Featuring the Filipino workers who comb through thousands of online images, particularly on Facebook and YouTube, to monitor and delete offensive, pornographic and incendiary posts.
Nov 12 2018
Dawnland 20x02
The story of the first government-sanctioned truth and reconciliation commission in the U.S. and its investigation of the devastating impact of Maine's child welfare practices on Native American communities.
Nov 05 2018
Wildland 20x01
A wildland firefighting crew struggles with fear, loyalty and defeat during a single fire season.
Oct 29 2018

Season 19

20 Episodes

A candid look at a shared sisterhood to help the rising number of homeless women veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and suffer from PTSD, sexual abuse, and other traumas. By entering into the “Ms. Veteran America” competition, these amazing ladies unexpectedly come full circle in a quest for healing and hope.
May 28 2018
For 40 years, the community-organizing group ACORN sought to empower poor and marginalized communities. Its critics believed ACORN exemplified everything wrong with progressive ideals. In 2008, these competing perceptions exploded on the national stage as Barack Obama was running for president. Fueled by a YouTube video made by amateur undercover “journalists,” ACORN came under attack.
May 14 2018
A detailed, on-the-ground account of the 2016 standoff between protesters occupying Oregon’s Malheur National Wildlife Refuge and federal authorities.
May 07 2018
After serving a combined 60 years in prison for crimes they did not commit, three recently exonerated Texans join forces to form the unlikeliest of investigative teams, on a mission to help wrongfully convicted prisoners obtain freedom like they did.
Apr 30 2018
A portrait of the changing landscapes and shifting values of rural America through the voice of writer, farmer, and activist Wendell Berry. Centered in his native Henry County, Kentucky, Look & See is an elegy to a lost way of life that was once the bedrock of America--the culture of agriculture.
Apr 23 2018
Investigative filmmaker Cullen Hoback travels to West Virginia to study the unprecedented loss of clean water for over 300,000 Americans in the 2014 Elk River chemical spill. While he’s deep into his research in West Virginia, a similar water crisis strikes Flint, Michigan, revealing that the entire system that Americans assume is protecting their drinking water is fundamentally broken.
Apr 16 2018
Shining shoes is a calling and a passion, a way to be one’s own boss and connect with other people from all walks of life. From New York to Toronto, from Paris and La Paz, travel the world for an inside look at a forgotten profession.
Apr 09 2018
The story of Iranian musician Shahin Najafi's stand for freedom of expression, after he was forced into hiding when hardline clerics issue a fatwa for his death, incensed by a rap song focusing on human rights. Despite the risks to his life every time he performs on stage, Shahin refuses to stop, even with a $100,000 bounty on his head.
Apr 02 2018
Dolores 19x12
The story of Dolores Huerta, among the most important, yet least-known, activists in American history. Co-founder of the first farmworkers union with Cesar Chavez, she tirelessly led the fight for racial and labor justice, becoming one of the most defiant feminists of the 20th century.
Mar 27 2018
Rat Film 19x11
The history and cultural fabric of Baltimore is explored through the lens of the city's rat infestation.
Feb 26 2018
Historically black colleges and universities play a pivotal role in shaping American history, culture and national identity.
Feb 19 2018
Winnie 19x09
One of the more misunderstood and intriguing contemporary female political figures, Winnie Mandela's rise and seeming fall from grace bear the hallmarks of epic tragedy. Winnie explores her life and contribution to the struggle to bring down apartheid in South Africa from the inside, with intimate insight from Winnie herself, those closest to her and enemies who sought to extinguish her activism.
Feb 05 2018
Chinese filmmaker Nanfu Wang follows a homeless man on a journey across America, exploring the meaning of freedom.
Jan 29 2018
The Force 19x07
A cinema vérité look at the Oakland Police Department as it struggles to confront federal demands for reform, a popular uprising following events in Ferguson, Mo., and an explosive sex scandal.
Jan 22 2018
Filmmaker Raoul Peck examines James Baldwin's unfinished book about the lives and assassinations of Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr.
Jan 15 2018
Unrest 19x05
Director Jennifer Brea, confined to her bed due to chronic fatigue syndrome, documents how people around the world live and function with this disease.
Jan 08 2018
A profile of "Tales of the City" creator Armistead Maupin, including his evolution from a conservative son of the Old South to a gay rights pioneer.
Jan 01 2018
Supergirl 19x03
A profile of a seemingly ordinary Orthodox Jewish preteen from New Jersey whose extraordinary talent—breaking world powerlifting records—has turned her into an international phenomenon.
Dec 18 2017
Explore the shocking realities of the billion-dollar global arms trade through those who perpetrate and investigate it.
Nov 20 2017
Set against the social, political and cultural landscape of the times, Chasing Trane brings saxophone great John Coltrane to life, as a man and an artist. The film is the definitive look at the boundary-shattering musician whose influence continues to this day.
Nov 06 2017

Season 18

20 Episodes

Real Boy 18x20
Real Boy is an intimate story of a family in transition. As 19-year-old Bennett Wallace navigates early sobriety, late adolescence, and the evolution of his gender identity, his mother makes her own transformation from resistance to acceptance of her trans son. Along the way, both mother and son find support in their communities, reminding us that families are not only given, but chosen.
Jun 19 2017
A combat veteran starts a farm to help cultivate a healthier life outside the Army. While the sense of duty he once felt as a soldier returns, his crippling PTSD remains as he and his wife nervously anticipate the birth of their first child.
May 29 2017
They Call Us Monsters takes viewers behind the walls of the Compound, the facility where Los Angeles houses its most violent juvenile criminals. To their advocates, they're kids. To the system, they're adults. To their victims, they're monsters.
May 22 2017
The story of famed Israeli soccer club Beitar Jerusalem F.C. after it acquired two Muslim players, which led to a racist backlash and a lot of soul-searching from their new teammates.
May 15 2017
More people are imprisoned in the United States at this present moment than in any other time or place in history, yet prisons themselves have never felt further away or more out of sight. The Prison in Twelve Landscapes is a film about the prison in which we never see an actual penitentiary. A meditation on the prison's disappearance in the era of mass incarceration, the film unfolds as a cinematic journey through a series of ordinary places across the USA where prisons affect lives.
May 08 2017
National Bird is the first in-depth investigation of the U.S. drone war with unique access to two courageous women, a drone-target analyst and a retired intelligence officer, who connect with a former NSA analyst to become whistleblowers on the drone program, risking backlash.
May 01 2017
Whether the Holocaust should be off-limits to comedy. Included: a profile of Auschwitz survivor Renee Firestone; remarks from comedians; footage of cabarets from the concentration camps; and clips from "The Day the Clown Cried," Jerry Lewis's never-released Holocaust comedy.
Apr 24 2017
Few things on Earth are as miraculous and vital as seeds -- worshiped and treasured since the dawn of humankind. This documentary follows passionate seed keepers who are protecting a 12,000 year-old food legacy. In the last century, 94 seed varieties have disappeared. A cadre of 10 agrichemical companies, including Syngenta, Bayer, and Monsanto, controls over two-thirds of the global seed market, reaping unprecedented profits. Farmers and others battle to defend the future of our food.
Apr 17 2017
Newtown 18x12
An examination of the aftermath of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn., in which 20 children and six adults were killed. Included: remarks from parents, siblings, teachers, doctors and first responders.
Apr 03 2017
The story of the Ovarian Psycos Cycle Brigade, a group of young Latinas from East Los Angeles who are confronting injustice, building community and redefining identity.
Mar 27 2017
At Black Rock Continuation High School in the Mojave Desert of California, the principal and teachers make it their mission to educate students who have fallen so far behind that they will be unable to graduate from a traditional high school.
Mar 20 2017
Tower 18x09
Survivors of the 1966 mass shooting at the University of Texas frame the events of the day and offer perspectives on its impact.
Feb 14 2017
Black musician Daryl Davis meets and befriends Ku Klux Klan members hoping to forge racial conciliation.
Feb 13 2017
In 1915, the film "The Birth of a Nation" by D.W. Griffith sparks outcry from African American newspaper editor and activist William M. Trotter, leading to a still-ongoing race war.
Feb 06 2017
Bill Genovese investigates the 1964 murder of his sister Kitty, who was stabbed to death in Queens while 38 bystanders did nothing—at least, that's how the story was reported by the New York Times. Those "facts" led to the development of "the bystander effect" within psychology; influenced politicians to pass "Good Samaritan" laws; and spurred Bill to volunteer for Vietnam, where he lost his legs. But those "facts" weren't accurate, as Genovese discovers through the course of the documentary.
Jan 23 2017
A Shoshone veteran, a teenage powwow princess, and an Arapaho journalist discover their purpose on the Wind River Indian Reservation as they seek lost artifacts.
Jan 16 2017
Governments around the world struggle to protect future generations from nuclear waste; excerpt from "Uranium Drive-In."
Jan 09 2017
The story of a quirky young woman's pursuit of love and freedom. Michelle Smith is legally blind and on the autism spectrum; and, after graduating from Perkins School for the Blind near Boston, she finds herself walled off from the world until, during an alumni weekend, a school administrator offers her an animation internship in L.A. As she prepares for the challenge, she falls for a young man and, with him, becomes involved in fetish role-playing, through which she achieves empowerment.
Jan 02 2017
Actor Ravi Patel, whose traditional Hindu parents are eager for him to find a mate, enters the semi-arranged marriage system in America.
Dec 26 2016
The debates between Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley during the 1968 political conventions.
Oct 03 2016

Season 17

22 Episodes

Flint, Michigan’s Claressa "T-Rex" Shields won a Gold Medal in 2012, the first time women were allowed to box in the Olympics. T-Rex is a coming-of-age tale of a girl who learns that in Flint, a gold medal doesn't always make life easier.
Aug 02 2016
TRAPPED 17x21
Healthcare providers and others in Texas, Mississippi and Alabama fight new Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) laws designed to restrict abortion access.
Jun 20 2016
Three street recyclers fight for survival in one of the poorest neighborhoods in Oakland, Calif.
May 16 2016
An Evangelical anti-abortion activist and a black mother whose son was murdered both fight against gun violence.
May 10 2016
May 09 2016
My Nazi Legacy explores the relationship between two men, each the sons of high-ranking Nazi officials, and internationally renowned British human rights lawyer Philippe Sands, whose family perished in the Holocaust. Sands met Niklas Frank and Horst van Wächter while researching his book East West Street, and as the three travel together on an emotional journey through Europe and the past, the film explores how each of them cope with their own devastating family history.
May 02 2016
Rival political operatives attempt to make history as they navigate Zimbabwe's volatile political landscape to draft a new constitution. Activist Albie Sachs fights for social justice in South Africa.
Apr 18 2016
When a notorious white supremacist and his followers hatch a scheme to gain electoral control of Leith, North Dakota, the residents of the tiny town desperately seek to expel their frightening new neighbors.
Apr 04 2016
Fed up with faith healers, fortune-tellers, and psychics using his beloved magician’s tricks to swindle money out of credulous people, James “The Amazing” Randi dedicated his life to exposing frauds with the wit and style he brought to his stage show. An Honest Liar is part detective story, part biography, and a bit of a magic act itself.
Mar 28 2016
A Southern grandmother struggles to help her granddaughter survive the health risks and social stigma of living with HIV in South Carolina.
Feb 29 2016
(T)ERROR 17x12
With twists and turns fit for an espionage thriller, (T)error goes deep inside an active terror sting without FBI consent.
Feb 22 2016
The Powerbroker: Whitney Young’s Fight for Civil Rights tells the story of Whitney Young, who biographer Nancy Weiss Malkiel called “the inside man of the black revolution.” By challenging America's business and political communities directly, Young was able to make in-roads where other civil rights leader could not. His efforts to open the doors of equal opportunity were often attacked by the very people he was trying to help. (source: Amazon.com)
Feb 18 2016
Weaving together a treasure trove of rare footage with the voices of a diverse group of people who were there, Stanley Nelson tells the vibrant story of a pivotal movement as urgent today as it was then.
Feb 16 2016
Misty Copeland is on a mission to make history by becoming the first African American principal dancer of a major ballet company.
Feb 08 2016
The story of a little-known but landmark event in reproductive justice, when a small group of Mexican immigrant women sued county doctors, the state, and the U.S. government after they were sterilized while giving birth at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center during the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Feb 01 2016
Transporting viewers deep inside the tightly-knit and complex Polynesian community in Salt Lake City, one of the chief sources of the modern influx of Pacific Islander football players to the NFL. Shot over a four-year period with intimate access, this is the story of four young men striving to overcome gang violence and near poverty through the promise of American football.
Jan 25 2016
Finding love can be hard enough for anyone, but for those on the autism spectrum, the challenges may seem overwhelming. The disorder can jeopardize the core characteristics of a successful relationship — communication and social interaction. Autism in Love offers a warm and stereotype-shattering look at four people with autism as they pursue and manage romantic relationships.
Jan 11 2016
1980s Romania: thousands of American movies were smuggled through the Iron Curtain, opening a window into the free world. A black market racketeer and a courageous female translator brought the magic of film to the people, and helped spark a revolution.
Jan 04 2016
Born in Mexico but living in Salinas, California, 3rd-grader Jose loves school. With little support at home, he turns to his teacher, Oscar Ramos, who like Jose was born the son of migrant farm workers, and who inspires him to imagine a life beyond the fields.
Dec 28 2015
What happens when love runs out of time? For 92-year-old Mimi, who has spent much of her life caring for 64-year-old Dona, her daughter with an intellectual disability, it means facing the inevitable — the likelihood that she will not outlive her daughter and the need to find her a new home.
Nov 23 2015
The story of the brutal gang rape and murder in Delhi of 23-year-old medical student Jyoti Singh, which sparked outrage and protests in India, a country beset by extreme poverty and gender inequality.
Nov 16 2015
Stray Dog 17x01
The portrait of a motorcycle-riding Vietnam veteran. There’s much more to Ron “Stray Dog” Hall than meets the eye. Behind the tattoos and leather vest is a man dedicated to helping his fellow vets and immigrant family as he also comes to terms with his combat experience.
Nov 09 2015

Season 16

19 Episodes

An African family’s tense experience during West African Ebola outbreak. This intimate film brings us on Emmanuel’s journey as he battles to keep his wife and children safe while the Liberian government struggles to contain a devastating virus amidst a suspicious public.
Jun 22 2015
Married in 1975, Richard and Tony lead a 40-year fight for legal immigration status for same sex spouses.
Jun 15 2015
1971 16x17
The story of the Citizens' Commission to Investigate the FBI, which broke into an FBI field office in Media, Pa., on the night of March 8, 1971, and stole hundreds of secret files that they then shared with members of Congress and the news media. Among the finds: evidence that the FBI spied on dissident political groups. The documentary includes remarks from members of the Citizens' Commission.
May 18 2015
Examining daredevil choreographer Elizabeth Streb and her STREB Extreme Action Company. Included: the evolution of her philosophy, which challenges assumptions about art, aging, injury, gender and human possibility.
May 11 2015
Kumu Hina 16x15
A Hawaiian transgender woman finds acceptance, but still is searching for love.
May 04 2015
First hand accounts of the Deepwater Horizon explosion and its impact on the Gulf of Mexico.
Apr 20 2015
Three homeless Chicago teens strive to graduate from high school despite the difficulties inherent in their situations.
Apr 13 2015
The investigation into a spate of church burnings that occured in East Texas during January and February 2010 is chronicled.
Apr 06 2015
Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper-middle-class household with two loving Jewish parents. When she discovers that the man she's always assumed was her father is not her biological parent, she unlocks a powerful family secret.
Mar 23 2015
In the wake of recent events that have sparked a national dialogue, American Denial explores the power of unconscious biases around race and class. Using Gunnar Myrdal’s 1944 investigation of Jim Crow racism as a springboard, the film shows how unrecognized, unconscious attitudes continue to dominate racial dynamics in American life.
Feb 23 2015
For the last 170 years, pioneering African American photographers — men and women, celebrated and anonymous — have recorded the dramas and aspirations of generations. Through a Lens Darkly traces their spiritual transformation from slavery to economic mobility and social stability, and shows how these photographers helped their communities reclaim self-worth and humanity.
Feb 16 2015
Winner of the Best Documentary Feature award at the Tribeca Film Festival, The Kill Team tells the harrowing story of Specialist Adam Winfield, a 21-year-old infantryman in Afghanistan who, with the help of his father Chris, attempted to alert the Army to the heinous murders of unarmed civilians being committed by his platoon. Their pleas for help went unheeded and once Adam’s fellow soldiers got wind of what he'd done, they threatened to silence him — permanently. With extraordinary access to the key individuals involved in the case including Adam, his parents, his not-always-reassuring defense attorney, and his startlingly forthright compatriots, The Kill Team is an intimate look at the personal stories often lost inside larger coverage of what became the longest war in U.S. history. Confusion Through Sand is an animated short film about a teenage military recruit alone in the desert.
Jan 19 2015
Tens years after robbing a Bank of America, filmmaker Darius Monroe explores what led him to pull a heist as a teenager in Texas, and returns to the scene of the crime. In this gripping blend of documentary, true crime, and personal essay, a filmmaker confronts his past, dissecting the circumstances that led him to commit a bank robbery as a young man, and his journey of reflection and forgiveness.
Jan 12 2015
Rich Hill 16x06
Rich Hill, winner of the 2014 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary, goes inside the homes and lives of small town America, where kids confront heartbreaking choices, marginalized parents struggle to survive, and families cling to the promise of equal opportunity and a better life — someday. The film follows three teenage boys, Andrew, Harley, and Appachey, as they struggle with isolation, broken families, and lack of opportunity, providing an immersive and realistic picture of growing up poor in America. The boys include Appachey, 13, who is vulnerable, intelligent and prone to acting out; Harley, 15, who lives with his grandmother because his mother is in prison; and Andrew, 14, whose family frequently moves due to money problems.
Jan 05 2015
Happiness 16x05
A nine-year-old child in Burma is spurred to leave his village for the first time in his life when his village gets electricity. He walks for over three days to in search of a seeing his first television.
Nov 17 2014
Powerless 16x04
Powerless tracks the battle between an Indian electric company and a renegade electrician who illegally connects poor families to the grid.
Nov 03 2014
Brakeless 16x03
In April, 2005 a Japanese train engineer accelerated beyond permissible speeds in order to make up an 80-second delay. Brakeless examines the aftermath and questions if Japan is cutting back in the wrong places after a decade of economic stagnation.
Oct 27 2014
Two sisters adopted in China as infants by Californian and Norwegian parents grow up knowing they have a twin living on the other side of the world. Although language is a barrier, their bond grows deeper and they arrange to finally meet.
Oct 20 2014
Bully 16x01
The story of the children bullied at school and online. The film questions assumptions about bullying behaviour beyond cliches and stereotypes of the past. It also examines changes in how schools treat the perpetrators and victims.
Oct 13 2014

Season 15

21 Episodes

How African-American churches and gays deal with the rise of the gay-rights movement.
Jun 15 2014
Inspired by his own African American Baptist roots, director Roger Ross Williams explores a place where religion and African culture intersect, as Ugandan and American pastors spread evangelical values to millions desperate for a better life.
May 19 2014
This documentary brings to life one of the most tumultuous clashes between government and citizens in modern U.S. history, as a longtime feud between Philadelphia police and radical urban group MOVE came to a tragic climax in 1985.
May 12 2014
A Fragile Trust tells the shocking story of Jayson Blair, the most infamous serial plagiarist of our time, and how he unleashed the massive scandal that rocked The New York Times and the entire world of journalism.
May 05 2014
How a small town in Alabama became influential in the music of Rolling Stones, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Aretha Franklin.
Apr 21 2014
The story of the explosive crossroads of Muhammad Ali’s life, after the famed boxer’s conversion to Islam and refusal to serve in the Vietnam War left him banned from boxing and facing a five-year prison sentence.
Apr 14 2014
Eight brothers who were forged into a band as children by their father, Chicago jazz maverick Phil Cohran, now try to march to their own beat on the streets of New York and in the music business as the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble.
Apr 07 2014
Medora 15x14
The story of a high school basketball team suffering from a long losing streak in a small town.
Mar 31 2014
A group of women friends who met via the Austin chapter of the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance and have tried every diet and diet pill, go through weight-loss surgery in an effort to lose hundreds of pounds. The experience presents a host of issues and consequences, some they never could have imagined.
Mar 24 2014
Dating from the aftermath of the Spanish-American War, the annual debutante ball in Laredo, Texas is unlike any other. Las Marthas follows two Mexican American girls carrying this gilded tradition on their shoulders during a time of economic uncertainty and tension over immigration.
Feb 17 2014
The story of the Mississippi Sovereignty Commission, a secret agency created by the state during the 1950s to spy on its citizens and maintain segregation. Included: remarks from author Rick Bowers ("Spies of Mississippi"); civil rights activists Margaret Block, Lawrence Guyot, Bob Moses and Hollis Watkins; Rev. Ed King, author Neil R. McMillen ("Dark Journey"); journalist Jerry Mitchell; Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.); and former Mississippi governor William Winter.
Feb 10 2014
The turbulent battle over illegal immigration in Arizona that came to a head with Senate Bill 1070 frames this riveting documentary that tracks multiple perspectives as America eyes the results.
Jan 27 2014
An intimate portrait of Rocky Braat, who travels to India as a disillusioned tourist. When he meets a group of HIV-positive children living at an AIDS hostel, a place of unspeakable hardship, he decides to stay and devote his life to them.
Jan 20 2014
Legendary documentarian Frederick Wiseman goes back to school for this intimate yet sprawling film about the University of California at Berkeley, the oldest and most prestigious member of a ten campus public education system.
Jan 13 2014
This acclaimed film tells the story of ACT UP and TAG (Treatment Action Group), two groups whose activism and innovation turned AIDS from a death sentence into a manageable condition. Despite having no scientific training, these determined activists infiltrated the pharmaceutical industry to help identify promising new drugs and move them from experimental trials to patients. With unfettered access to a treasure trove of never-before-seen archival footage, the film reveals the controversial actions, heated meetings, heartbreaking failures and exultant breakthroughs of heroes in the making. By David France.
Dec 30 2013
Eighty-five-year-old Jiro Ono, considered the world’s greatest sushi chef, is the proprietor of Sukiyabashi Jiro, a 10-seat restaurant inauspiciously located in a Tokyo subway station. Despite its humble appearance, it is the first restaurant of its kind to be awarded a three-star Michelin Guide rating, and sushi lovers from around the globe make pilgrimages. “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” is a thoughtful and elegant meditation on work, family and the art of perfection. By David Gelb.
Dec 23 2013
The lives of two outstanding young playwrights — an African American from Miami’s inner city and an Indian American from Cleveland — are brought together inextricably in the process of creating a new language for the stage. By Robert Levi.
Dec 16 2013
Three young people living in the Pine Ridge Reservation try to forge a better future. When the first female president of Oglala Lakota defies a South Dakota law criminalizing abortion by vowing to build a women’s clinic in their sovereign territory, the three young tribe members are faced with difficult choices.
Nov 25 2013
Episode Synopsis: "Indian Relay" chronicles a season of Indian relay-horse races, which are popular within Native American communities across the Rocky Mountain West. Teams from the Shoshone-Bannock, Crow and Blackfeet nations in Idaho and Montana are featured. The races feature riders leaping from horse to horse after the first two laps of a three-lap race around a track, with each team's handlers catching the dismounted horse or risk being disqualified.
Nov 18 2013
Conclusion. The Latino dropout crisis is seen through the eyes of three young men. One, whose parents moved from Mexico to San Diego so that he and his siblings could have a better education, fell into gang life before turning his life around, due in large part to the Reality Changers organization; another, the son of undocumented workers, overcame barriers in order to attend college; and the third may well have quit school except for the performing arts, which helped boost his confidence.
Nov 04 2013
Part 1 of 2. The Latino dropout crisis is examined through the eyes of six students from across the U.S., beginning with three young women. One left school after becoming pregnant, but has since enrolled in a Tulsa program for at-risk students; another has enjoyed better grades and become more active in school activities since joining the innovative Voices of Youth in Chicago Education program; and the third was helped by the staff at her South Bronx high school after her family became homeless.
Oct 28 2013

Season 14

27 Episodes

Activists from ACT UP and TAG (Treatment Action Group) help identify new drugs that may be beneficial to people with AIDS.
Dec 30 2013
Jiro Dreams of Sushi is a 2011 American documentary film directed by David Gelb. The film follows Jiro Ono, an 85-year-old sushi master and owner of Sukiyabashi Jiro, a Michelin three-star restaurant, on his continuing quest to perfect the art of sushi. The film also profiles Jiro's two sons, both of whom are also sushi chefs. The younger son, Takashi, left Sukiyabashi Jiro to open a mirror image of his father's restaurant in Roppongi Hills. The 50-year-old elder son, Yoshikazu, obligated to succeed his father, still works for Jiro and is faced with the prospect of one day taking over the flagship restaurant.
Dec 23 2013
Two young playwrights from different backgrounds come together to create a new language for the stage.
Dec 16 2013
Nov 25 2013
Indian Relay documents an unheralded aspect of modern-day Native American life and what it takes to win one of the more exciting forms of horse racing. From the bitter cold of winter to the heat of summer, the film follows teams from three different tribes as they compete across a grueling season.
Nov 18 2013
The Graduates / Los Graduados explores pressing issues in education today through the eyes of six Latino and Latina students from across the United States. More than a survey of contemporary policy debates, the bilingual, two-part film offers first-hand perspectives on key challenges facing Latino high school students and their families, educators, and community leaders. It is the story of the graduates who will make up America’s future.
Oct 28 2013
Filmmaker Peter Nicks chronicles events at a public hospital's emergency room, where the overworked staff and many uninsured patients must cope with disease, injury, bureaucracy and hard choices.
Oct 21 2013
Filipino musician Arnel Pineda gets the opportunity of a lifetime when Journey guitarist Neal Schon sees him perform on YouTube, leading to a job offer as the band's new lead singer.
Sep 30 2013
Amlan Ganguly, a lawyer-turned social entrepreneur, has sown hope in the poorest neighborhoods of Calcutta by empowering children to become leaders in improving health, health, transforming their communities for the better.
Jun 17 2013
Detropia 14x18
Can the Motor City rise from its ashes? A dynamic cluster of local innovators, entrepreneurs, and proud, self-proclaimed "hustlers” are poised to resurrect Detroit. The result could be a radically new city for the postindustrial age.
May 27 2013
The most shameful and best-kept secret in the U.S. Military? The epidemic of rape and sexual assault within the ranks. An American female soldier in a combat zone is more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire.
May 13 2013
Two strangers — an aging white man and a young Chinese woman — pursue a marriage brokered by the Internet. They get more than they bargained for when she moves to America to be his bride in this quirky, appealing documentary.
May 06 2013
Thousands of migrants have perished in recent years while trying to cross the unforgiving Sonora desert in search of a better life in the United States. The film gives a face to some of the dead, and follows them on their long journey home.
Apr 29 2013
Follow the story of former President of the Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed, a man confronting a problem greater than any other world leader has ever faced: the literal survival of his country and everyone in it
Apr 22 2013
Wonder Women! explores the nation’s long-term love affair with comic book superheroes and raises questions about the possibilities and contradictions of heroines within the genre. The film goes behind the scenes with Lynda Carter, Lindsay Wagner, Gloria Steinem, Kathleen Hanna, comic writers and artists, and others who offer an enlightening and entertaining counterpoint to the male-dominated superhero genre.
Apr 15 2013
For the past 40 years, the war on drugs has resulted in more than 45 million arrests, $1 trillion dollars in government spending, and America’s role as the world’s largest jailer. Yet for all that, drugs are cheaper, purer, and more available than ever. Filmed in more than twenty states, The House I Live In captures heart-wrenching stories of those on the front lines — from the dealer to the grieving mother, the narcotics officer to the senator, the inmate to the federal judge — and offers a penetrating look at the profound human rights implications of America’s longest war.
Apr 08 2013
Profiling Chinese artist-activist Ai Weiwei, who helped design Beijing's iconic Bird's Nest Olympic stadium and later criticized the Games as party propaganda. His opposition to his country's autocratic rule, which he voices in his art and on social media, has caused him many difficulties, as filmmaker Alison Klayman witnesses during the making of this documentary: Government authorities shut down Ai's blog, beat him up, demolish his studio and hold him in secret detention for 81 days.
Feb 25 2013
Whitney Young was one of the most powerful, controversial, and largely forgotten leaders of the civil rights movement, who took the fight directly to the powerful white elite, gaining allies in business and government, including three presidents.
Feb 18 2013
The Texas State Board of Education rewrites teaching and textbook standards once every decade.
Jan 28 2013
Raised in the Tennessee mountains, Wayne White started his career as a cartoonist in NYC. He quickly found success as one of the creators of the Pee-wee's Playhouse TV show which soon led to more work design some of the most arresting and iconic images in pop culture. Recently his word paintings featuring pithy and and often sarcastic text statements finely crafted onto vintage landscape paintings have made him a darling of the fine art world. The movie chronicles the vaulted highs and crushing lows of an artist struggling to find peace and balance between his professional work and his personal art. This is especially complicated for a man who struggles with the virtues he most often mocks in his art...Vanity, ego and fame.
Jan 21 2013
Food traditions are hard to change, especially when they're passed on from generation to generation. Baffled by his dad's unwillingness to change his traditional soul food diet in the face of a health crisis, filmmaker Byron Hurt sets out to learn more about this rich culinary tradition and its relevance to black cultural identity.
Jan 14 2013
Filmmaker Alex Gibney investigates the fact that the 400 richest Americans control more wealth than the 150 million people in the bottom 50 percent of the population.
Nov 12 2012
Jordanian wife and mother Rafea is leaving home for the first time to attend a college in India that is training rural women to become solar energy engineers.
Nov 05 2012
The life and work of Bishop Gene Robinson, an openly gay man who set a precedent in New Hampshire in the battle for LGBT people to receive full acceptance in the faith.
Oct 29 2012
As Goes Janesville is a verité documentary that records two years in the lives of laid-off workers, business leaders, and elected officials all trying to reinvent their lives and their midwestern town amid the closure of their GM plant and America’s worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. The story begins shortly after the factory closed in 2008 and continues through a standoff between the newly elected governor and 14 Democratic state senators, one of whom is a main character in the film.
Oct 08 2012
Filmed in 10 countries, the series follows Nicholas Kristof and celebrity activists America Ferrera, Diane Lane, Eva Mendes, Meg Ryan, Gabrielle Union and Olivia Wilde on a journey to tell the stories of inspiring, courageous individuals. Across the globe oppression is being confronted, and real meaningful solutions are being fashioned through health care, education, and economic empowerment for women and girls.
Oct 02 2012
Filmed in 10 countries, the series follows Nicholas Kristof and celebrity activists America Ferrera, Diane Lane, Eva Mendes, Meg Ryan, Gabrielle Union and Olivia Wilde on a journey to tell the stories of inspiring, courageous individuals. Across the globe oppression is being confronted, and real meaningful solutions are being fashioned through health care, education, and economic empowerment for women and girls.
Oct 01 2012

Season 13

27 Episodes

Strong! 13x27
A formidable figure standing at 5'8" and weighing more than 300 pounds, Cheryl Haworth struggles to defend her champion status as her lifetime weightlifting career inches towards its inevitable end. Her journey as an elite athlete presents physical and personal challenges, including popular notions of power, strength, beauty, and health.
Jul 26 2012
When AIDS arrived in San Francisco in 1981, it decimated a community, but also brought people together in inspiring and moving ways to support and care for one another and to fight for dignity and a cure.
Jun 07 2012
U.S. Marine Sergeant Nathan Harris, 25, leads his unit to fight a ghostlike enemy in Afghanistan. Wounded in battle, Harris returns to North Carolina and his devoted wife to fight pain, addiction, and the terrifying normalcy of life at home.
May 28 2012
JR, Charlene, Margarita, and Robert are half American; they are among the many children born to local women and U.S. servicemen who were stationed in military bases in the Philippines until in 1992. Their stories illuminate a generation of Filipino Amerasians who live in limbo.
May 24 2012
When a highly successful Mexican American Studies program at a high school in Tucson comes under fire for teaching ethnic chauvinism, teachers and students fight back. This modern civil rights struggle is happening at the epicenter of the immigration debate in the age of identity politics.
May 17 2012
Locho and Yama are nomadic herders in Tibet's high grasslands, who carve their existence from the land as their ancestors have for generations. As traditional nomadic life confronts rapid modernization, Summer Pasture captures a family at a crossroads, ultimately revealing the profound sacrifice they will make to ensure their daughter's future.
May 10 2012
Circo 13x21
The Ponce family circus has been living and performing in rural Mexico for seven generations. Its history dates back to the late 19th century, when Genaro Ponce founded the Circo Ponce Hermanos. Today, the circus members are still carrying on their ancestors’ traditions. But their performing days may be numbered. Tino, the ringmaster, has long been driven by his dream to lead his parents’ circus to success. He urges everyone in the family, including his four young children, to help meet this goal. But Tino’s wife Ivonne is determined to make a change. Feeling exploited by her in-laws, she regrets that her children have spent their childhoods laboring in the circus. Can Tino choose between his circus dreams and a wife who wants a better life for their children? Filmed along the back roads of Mexico, Circo is an intimate portrait of a family trying to stay together despite mounting debt, dwindling audiences, and simmering conflict. With a marriage in trouble and a century-old tradition hanging in the balance, the Ponce family circus struggles to make a living off its artistry, sweat, and wit.
May 03 2012
Millions of bison once roamed the Great Plains. Can this nearly extinct icon of the American West make a 21st century comeback?
Apr 26 2012
Revenge follows four entrepreneurs from 2007 through the end of 2010 as they fight to bring the electric car back to the world market in the midst of a global recession. The protagonists are Bob Lutz from General Motors, Elon Musk from the American start-up Tesla Motors, Carlos Ghosn from Nissan, and Greg Abbott, an independent electric car converter from California. Whereas the 2006 film Who Killed the Electric Car? ended with the destruction of nearly 5,000 electric cars from California's clean air program, notably the GM EV1, the new film features the birth of a new generation of electric cars including the Chevrolet Volt, the Nissan Leaf and the Tesla Roadster.
Apr 19 2012
Interweaves the extraordinary story of Septentrional’s six decades of creativity with the history of Haiti. How did the country go from being the first free black republic with a huge wealth of natural resources to a shattered nation unable to support its citizens? How did the hope created by the rise of Jean Bertrand Aristide and the despair that followed the coup that drove him from power contribute to the inevitability of the January 2010 earthquake’s horrific death toll? The film gives context to the current problems facing Haiti, from the brutality of French colonialism and the bloody revolution that brought Haitians their freedom to the crushing foreign debt, the 15-year American occupation that ushered in the brutal dictatorship of “Papa Doc” Duvalier, and the earthquake that killed almost 300,000 people. The passion, commitment, dreams, and joy of Septentrional’s musicians reveal the indomitable Haitian spirit. With a sweeping narrative and infectious music, this is the story of not just one band’s survival, but also Haiti’s survival.
Apr 12 2012
Every day, millions tune in to Sesame Street to see one of the world’s most adored and recognizable characters — a furry red three-and-a-half year-old monster named Elmo. Yet, with all of Elmo’s fame, the man behind the icon is able to walk down the street without being recognized. As a teenager growing up in Baltimore in the 1970s, Kevin Clash had very different aspirations from his classmates — he wanted to be a puppeteer. More specifically, he wanted to be part of Jim Henson’s team, the creative force responsible for delivering the magic of Sesame Street on a daily basis. With a supportive family behind him, Kevin made his dreams come true. Combining amazing archival footage with material from the present day, filmmaker Constance Marks explores Kevin's story in vivid detail and chronicles the meteoric rise of Jim Henson in the process. Narrated by Whoopi Goldberg and including interviews with Frank Oz, Rosie O’Donnell, Cheryl Henson, Joan Ganz Cooney and others, this insightful and personal documentary offers up a rare, behind-the-scenes look at Sesame Street and the Jim Henson legacy.
Apr 05 2012
In Danville, California, Lee Gorewitz wanders on a soul-searching odyssey through her Alzheimer’s & Dementia care unit. Confined by the limits of her physical boundaries, she scavenges for reminders of her life in the outside world. Yet her search is for more than a word, or a memory, or a familiar face. It is a quest for understanding. A total immersion into the fragmented day-to-day experience of mental illness, You're Looking at Me Like I Live Here and I Don't is the first documentary filmed exclusively in an Alzheimer’s & Dementia care unit, and the first told from the perspective of someone suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. The film reveals Lee's penetrating ruminations and charismatic vitality, challenging our preconceptions of illness and aging. Here is the journey of a woman who will not let us forget her – even as she struggles to remember her self.
Mar 30 2012
Shukree Hassan Tilghman, a 29-year-old African-American filmmaker, is on a cross-country campaign to end Black History Month. Through this tongue-in-cheek journey, “More Than a Month” investigates what the treatment of history tells us about race and equality in a “post-racial” America.
Feb 16 2012
The Black Power Mixtape examines the evolution of the Black Power Movement in the black community and Diaspora from 1967 to 1975. The film combines music, startling 16mm footage (lying undiscovered in the cellar of Swedish Television for 30 years), and contemporary audio interviews from leading African-American artists, activists, musicians and scholars.
Feb 09 2012
Daisy Bates was a complex, unconventional, and largely forgotten heroine of the civil rights movement who led the charge to desegregate the all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1957.
Feb 02 2012
The conclusion of "Have You Heard From Johannesburg?, Free at Last," recalls the end stage of South Africa's apartheid system, when internal and external pressures forced the government to the negotiating table and consent to elections in 1994 that resulted in the once-banned ANC winning a majority in parliament and the once-imprisoned Nelson Mandela becoming president.
Jan 26 2012
Part 4 of 5 of "Have You Heard From Johannesburg?, The Bottom Line," details how international grassroots campaigns to boycott and divest from companies that did business in South Africa pressured those companies to exit the apartheid state.
Jan 19 2012
Part 3 of 5 of "Have You Heard From Johannesburg?," "From Selma to Soweto," details the anti-apartheid movement in the U.S., where in 1986 legislation was passed that imposed sanctions on South Africa over the objections of President Reagan.
Jan 19 2012
Part 2 of 5 of "Have You Heard From Johannesburg?" examines "The New Generation," and its effort to overturn South Africa's apartheid system. Included: the refusal of western nations to boycott South Africa; a youth uprising in the township of Soweto; the 1977 murder of activist Steve Biko.
Jan 12 2012
The five-part "Have You Heard From Johannesburg?," a history of the global anti-apartheid movement, opens with "Road to Resistance," which recalls the 1948 implementation of government-sanctioned discrimination in South Africa. The African National Congress launches a nonviolent campaign against apartheid, but its leaders are forced underground or, like Nelson Mandela, imprisoned. ANC deputy president Oliver Tambo, meanwhile, travels the world in search of support for the anti-apartheid cause.
Jan 12 2012
"These Amazing Shadows" focuses on the National Film Registry, an eclectic collection of movies considered to be "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant" by the National Film Preservation Board. Included: clips from many of the films; remarks from Librarian of Congress James Billington; such directors as Barbara Kopple, Christopher Nolan, Rob Reiner, John Singleton and John Waters; such actors as Tim Roth, Debbie Reynolds and Zooey Deschanel; and film critics and historians.
Dec 29 2011
"The Woodmans" charts the short life of influential photographer Francesca Woodman, who took her own life in 1981 at the age of 22. The profile includes comments from her parents, artists George and Betty Woodman; and brother Charles Woodman.
Dec 22 2011
Anne Makepeace's "We Still Live Here—As Nutayunean" tells the story of linguist Jessie Little Doe Baird's work to resurrect the long-forgotten language of the Wampanoag (the Native Americans who saved the Pilgrims from starvation). The documentary details what led Baird, in 1994, to begin the effort to return the dormant language to the living; and also explains the factors that led to the language's extinction a century ago.
Nov 17 2011
Deaf Jam 13x04
"Deaf Jam" chronicles the experiences of Aneta Brodski, a deaf Israeli teen living in New York, as she moves from American Sign Language poetry, where body movements convey meaning, into the spoken-word slam scene and collaborates with Palestinian slam poet Tahani Salah on a politics-transcending performance.
Nov 03 2011
"Lives Worth Living" tells the story of the disability rights movement in America, which began after WWII when disabled veterans returned home; and culminated in 1990 with the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The documentary includes remarks from the movement's pioneers, including Fred Fay (1940-2011) and Judi Chamberlin (1944-2010); former congressman Tony Coelho; and Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa).
Oct 27 2011
Episode Synopsis: "Donor Unknown" charts the story of 20-year-old JoEllen Marsh, who was raised by two mothers in Pennsylvania, as she searches for her sperm-donor father, known only as "Donor 150." Thanks to an online registry for the children of sperm donors, she meets half-siblings that she never knew existed; and, thanks to a New York Times article about her quest that he just happens to see in a Venice, Cal., coffee shop, eventually manages to connect with her biological dad.
Oct 20 2011
Episode Synopsis: Season 13 premieres with new host Mary-Louise Parker introducing "Wham! Bam! Islam," about the challenges involving "The 99," a comic book about Muslim superheroes created by Kuwaiti psychologist Naif Al-Mutawa. He raised $7 million in capital, hired Marvel comic veterans and released the first issue during Ramadan 2006, but it was banned in Saudi Arabia and Middle East sales failed to meet expectations. As a result, he tried to go global without sacrificing the comic's underlying Muslim ideals.
Oct 13 2011

Season 12

25 Episodes

Fred Martinez was one of the youngest hate-crime victims in modern history when he was brutally murdered at 16. Two Spirits explores the life and death of a boy who was also a girl, and the essentially spiritual nature of gender.
Jun 14 2011
Welcome to Shelbyville is a glimpse of America at a crossroads. In this one small town in the heart of America's Bible Belt, a community grapples with rapidly changing demographics. Just a stone's throw away from Pulaski, Tennessee (the birthplace of the Ku Klux Klan), longtime African American and white residents are challenged with how best to integrate with a growing Latino population and the more recent arrival of hundreds of Muslim Somali refugees.
May 24 2011
Beginning in the modern day and working backward, Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo explores the history of Japan's love affair with bugs. Using insects like an anthropologist's toolkit, the film uncovers Japanese philosophies that will shift viewers' perspectives on nature, beauty, and life, and counter the exigencies of day-to-day life.
May 17 2011
Bhutto 12x22
As the first Muslim woman to lead an Islamic nation, former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto evolved from a pampered princess to a polarizing politician in one of the most dangerous countries on Earth. Accused of rampant corruption, imprisoned, then exiled abroad, Bhutto was called back to Pakistan in 2007 as her country's best hope for democracy. Struck down by assassins, her untimely death sent shock waves throughout the world.
May 10 2011
This haunting film about a film examines a classic Nazi propaganda movie used by historians for decades to provide insight into the realities of life in the Warsaw Ghetto in 1942. The recent discovery of a second reel in an East German archive has thrown the veracity and intent of the Warsaw Ghetto footage into question.
May 03 2011
Marwencol 12x20
After being beaten into a coma, Mark Hogancamp is left brain damaged and traumatized. He devises his own brand of therapy by constructing a 1/6th-scale World War II-era town in his backyard and weaving complex storylines around his characters. Through Marwencol, Mark embarks on a long journey back into the real world, both physically and emotionally.
Apr 26 2011
Artist Vik Muniz journeys from to his home country of Brazil, and to Jardim Gramacho, the world's largest garbage dump located on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro. There Muniz photographs an eclectic band of catadores -- pickers of recyclable materials -- and works with them to "paint" their portraits using garbage. The resulting collaboration with these inspiring characters provides profoundly moving evidence of the transformative power of art and its impact on the human spirit.
Apr 19 2011
In his short career, Jean-Michel Basquiat was a phenomenon. Discovered in the late 1970s through his graffiti art on the Lower East Side, he sold his first painting to Deborah Harry for $200 and later became best friends with Andy Warhol. Director Tamra Davis pays homage to her friend in this documentary.
Apr 12 2011
This story of how a treasure trove of banned Soviet art worth millions of dollars was stashed in a far-off desert of Uzbekistan develops into a larger exploration of how art survives in times of oppression.
Apr 05 2011
Civil war came to Rose's Congolese village, with it the nighttime arrest of her entire family, the execution of her husband and grim negotiations with guards which led to her separation from her five-year-old daughter, Nangabire. More than a decade later, resettled in Phoenix, Rose and her children are reunited with Nangabire. Rose emerged from her experience advocating forgiveness and reconciliation.
Mar 29 2011
At the age of 16, Cyntoia Brown, who had suffered a long history of abuse, killed a man who picked her up for sex. The filmmaker has unprecedented access to Cyntioa in prison, and spends two years with her and her family as they await her eventual sentencing to life in prison in Tennessee. This film challenges our assumptions about violence and explores how a young person can be predestined for tragedy by life circumstances.
Mar 01 2011
An iconoclast who himself became an icon, William Burroughs explored the outer boundaries of culture and identity in the 1950s. His work was vilified by conservatives and banned by the U.S. government, but emerged to influence artists for generations to come. Burroughs's friends and colleagues remember the public persona and the private man.
Feb 22 2011
A profile of Barbara Smith Conrad, a gifted University of Texas music student, who finds herself at the epicenter of racial controversy, struggling against the odds and ultimately ascending to the heights of international opera.
Feb 08 2011
Made up of 28 musicians and singers with severe mental and physical disabilities, the Spirit of Goodwill Band is a raucous home away from home where members are free to display their talent, humor, and tenacity. This film challenges preconceived notions of what it means to be disabled. / South Florida's Spirit of Goodwill Band, a music group of persons with mental and physical disabilities, as it progresses from small appearances to larger public performances, including the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Miami.
Feb 01 2011
In the midst of Haiti's lush mountains and historical relics are 500,000 orphan children who live in the streets -- known as "the soulless" and forgotten by their own people. This program follows three teenage boys -- Denick, a charming 14-year-old; Nickenson, a tough but sensitive 16-year-old; and Antoine, an energetic paint-thinner abuser -- who share a common dream of education, government assistance, and social acceptance. Shot in the northern city of Cap-Haitien over a period of two years, this film captures the spirit of human survival.
Jan 11 2011
A group of middle-aged men who have found unlikely success as members of Sweden's all-male synchronized swimming team. What begins as a weekly escape from the daily grind of work and family responsibilities gradually evolves into a more serious commitment. Inspired by Esther Williams's techniques from the 1950s, these train engineers and meat buyers, archivists and teachers have become passionate exponents of a sport generally associated with women.
Jan 04 2011
Muslim, Catholic, Evangelical Christian, and Jewish seminarians embark on their life path in a secular and cynical era. A close look at how faith is lived today. / The conclusion of "The Calling," about America's next generation of religious leaders in the Christian, Jewish and Islamic faiths. The documentary chronicles their transformation from students to ordained religious professionals.
Dec 21 2010
This mini-series follows seven Muslims, Catholics, Evangelical Christians and Jews in training to become professional clergy. Embarking on life paths that demand tremendous personal sacrifice and commitment, these seminarians must uphold timeless truths in an era that values quick fixes and hot trends, and face a public that challenges the relevance of their mission. A new look at an old job, "The Calling" takes viewers into the unknown world of seminaries to tell personal stories of how faith is lived today. (Part 1 of 2)
Dec 20 2010
45365 12x07
An inquisitive look at everyday life in Middle America. "45365" explores the vagaries of daily life in an American town -- Sidney, Ohio. Through an intimate look at the lives and landscapes that make up this community of 20,000 people, the film captures various aspects of their shared experience. Conclusions are left to the audience as the component characters speak and act for themselves.
Dec 14 2010
Deep Down 12x06
Beverly May and Terry Ratliff grew up on opposite sides of a mountain ridge in eastern Kentucky. When a mountaintop removal coal mine encroaches on their community, the two find themselves on opposite sides of a debate that divides their community. Who controls, consumes, and benefits from the planet's dwindling supply of natural resources? In a small town in dire economic straits and high unemployment, the coal company's offer to buy land and provide jobs can be hard to resist. How can a community choose between its present and its future? Also: The Virtual Mine.
Nov 23 2010
Filmmaker Chris Billing investigates the deaths of his adopted brothers, two Crow Indian boys who disappeared in 1978. / Some questions are never answered. Some answers are hard to take. Three decades ago, two Crow Indian brothers ran away from home and no one knew why. Their sudden and mysterious deaths sent shockwaves through a tiny upstate New York community. This program relates their adoptive brother's journey to bring Bobby and Tyler home and confront a painful truth that shattered his family.
Nov 16 2010
Private Felix Longoria fought and died while fighting the Japanese during World War II. When his body was sent back to his small hometown in Texas, the only funeral parlor there refused to hold a wake for the Mexican American GI because "the whites would not like it." The incident would ripple outward, launching the career of Lyndon B. Johnson, landing the undertaker in a mental institution, and launching the Mexican American civil rights movement.
Nov 09 2010
The portrayal of Native Americans in cinema. / Cree filmmaker Neil Diamond takes an entertaining, insightful, and often humorous look at the Hollywood Indian, exploring the portrayal of North American Natives through a century of cinema and examining the myth of "the Injun." Narrated by Diamond with infectious enthusiasm and good humor, this film is a loving look at cinema through the eyes of the people who appeared in its very first flickering images and have survived to tell their stories their own way.
Nov 02 2010
A look at the work and wisdom of some of the most influential advertising creatives of our time - artists and writers who brought a rebellious spirit to their work in a business more often associated with mediocrity or manipulation. "Just Do It," "I Love NY, " "Where's the Beef?," "Got Milk," "Think Different," and other brilliant campaigns for everything from cars to presidents.
Oct 26 2010
This documentary is about a singular parking lot in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the select group of parking lot attendants that inhabit its microcosm. The attendants are a uniquely varied group of men comprised of both undergraduate and graduate students, philosophers, intellectuals, musicians, artists, and marginal-type characters.
Oct 19 2010

Season 11

27 Episodes

An elderly man hires Solo, a Senegalese cab driver, to drive him to a mountaintop in North Carolina where he plans to commit suicide.
Jun 01 2010
Versailles, a tight-knit neighborhood on the edge of New Orleans, is home to the densest ethnic Vietnamese population outside of Vietnam. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, residents rebuild their homes — only to have them threatened by a toxic landfill planned in their neighborhood. As the community fights back, it turns a devastating disaster into a catalyst for change.
May 25 2010
Two filmmakers, one Hindu and the other Muslim, sneak their cameras into one of the most beautiful, yet dangerous, places on Earth. In a region where religious alliances have spawned more than half a century of war, can these two filmmakers learn what makes Kashmiris choose their homeland over their own lives, even as their friendship is put to the test?
May 18 2010
Explore one family's unforgettable journey as they travel halfway across the world in search of a miracle to heal their autistic son. The film blends footage from the family's adventure through the Mongolian countryside with scenes from their life at home in Texas. Bolstered by testimony from autism experts, including Dr. Temple Grandin, this compelling film exquisitely captures an astonishing physical and spiritual journey.
May 11 2010
Sunshine 11x23
In 1975 rural Texas, a local mayor's daughter grapples with an unplanned pregnancy -- finally deciding to have her baby in secret before giving her away in a hidden adoption. Twenty-three years later, the adopted child also has an unplanned baby out of wedlock. "Sunshine" tells the intimate story of this second-generation single mother and her own struggle with the idea of family.
May 04 2010
Filmed over four years, GARBAGE DREAMS follows three teenage boys born into the trash trade and growing up in the world's largest garbage village, a ghetto located on the outskirts of Cairo. When their community is suddenly faced with the globalization of its trade, each of the teenage boys is forced to make choices that will impact his future and the survival of his community.
Apr 27 2010
Narrated by Jamie Lee Curtis, "DIRT! The Movie" digs into the fascinating history of this lowly substance, explaining how four billion years of evolution have created the dirt that recycles our water, gives us food, provides us shelter and can be used as a source of medicine, beauty and culture. Destructive methods of agriculture, mining practices and urban development have placed this vital resource in danger.
Apr 20 2010
Joan Allen narrates this film about Hannah Senesh, the World War II-era poet and diarist who became a paratrooper, resistance fighter and modern-day Joan of Arc. Safe in Palestine in 1944, Hannah joined a mission to rescue Jews in her native Hungary. Hannah parachuted behind enemy lines, was captured, tortured and ultimately executed by the Nazis.
TBA
After world-renowned Tibetan master Geshe Lama Konchog passed away in 2001 at age 84, the Dalai Lama charged the deceased monk’s devoted disciple, Tenzin Zopa, with the task of finding the reincarnation of this spiritual leader. Plagued by doubt, Tenzin knows his discovery is awaited by thousands of followers. Unmistaken Child is the story of his four-year search. Stunningly shot, Unmistaken Child follows Tenzin as he embarks on an unforgettable quest by foot, mule, and even helicopter, traveling through breathtaking landscapes and remote traditional Tibetan villages. Along the way, Tenzin listens to stories about young children with special characteristics and performs rarely seen ritualistic tests designed to determine the likelihood of reincarnation. He eventually presents the child he believes to be his reincarnated master to the Dalai Lama — who will ultimately make the final decision.
Apr 07 2010
What's a child's education worth? For one visionary rookie principal, it's priceless. At the Bronx Center for Science & Mathematics, an innovative public high school in New York City's South Bronx, Principal Edward Tom leads a dedicated group of teachers, students and parents in their biggest gamble yet. Within a community infamous for hardship, can this brand-new school live up to its promise, and inspire new stories of achievement and excellence?
Mar 30 2010
In 1999, filmmaker Monika Navarro's uncles were deported from the United States to Mexico, forced to leave the only country they knew and, as servicemen, had pledged to protect. Set against the backdrop of increased attention to the U.S.-Mexican border, "Lost Souls (Animas Perdidas)" explores national identity, the lives of immigrants and what happens when deportees are returned to a homeland they no longer consider home.
Mar 23 2010
This is an up-close look at four teens who have lost their sight. The film follows their struggles to fit in, prepare for college and live independently. Theirs is a world where crossing an intersection, cooking a meal or navigating an unfamiliar area can be a challenge that sighted viewers never consider.
Mar 02 2010
With engrossing interviews and archival footage, filmmaker Jihan El-Tahri exposes the power struggles inside South Africa's African National Congress and charts its shift from liberation organization to the country's post-apartheid ruling party. Ousted president Thabo Mbeki, new leader Jacob Zuma and others offer insight into the polarizing political tug-of-war that threatens not only the ANC, but also South Africa itself.
Feb 23 2010
Mine tells the poignant and powerful story of animals left behind during Katrina, and of the struggles of hurricane victims to reunite with their beloved pets. This meditation on the essential bond between humans and animals expresses the power of compassion in contemporary America. In "Home," director Matthew Faust gives an evocative archive of his family's house in Chalmette, Louisiana, flooded by Hurricane Katrina.
Feb 16 2010
This is the story of a single father who is determined that his nine-year-old daughter become a rap star and thus redeem his deferred dream. This program follows the father-daughter duo through the grit and glamour of the music industry, the struggles of being a single dad with no means and the sacrifices a child makes in order to make her daddy proud.
Feb 09 2010
Who has the authority to define your identity? Considered one of the most controversial scholars of our time, Melville Herskovits — a Jewish anthropologist — challenged the norm in the 1940s when he wrote that black culture wasn’t pathological, it was African. Leading a seismic shift in the way African American culture is understood, Herskovits’s work raises ideas that still
Feb 02 2010
This program examines the creative and commercial value of musical sampling, including the related debates over artistic expression, copyright law and, of course, money. For more than 30 years, innovative hip-hop performers and producers have been re-using portions of previously recorded music. When lawyers and record companies got involved, what was once referred to as a "borrowed melody" became a "copyright infringement."
Jan 19 2010
A documentary following an New England senior citizens chorus preparing a one-night-only concert of rock, punk and R&B for the town of Northampton, Massachusetts.
Jan 12 2010
A young, irreverent priest arrives at Saint Patrick Parish in Lawrence, Massachusetts, only to confront boiling ethnic tensions in a changing working-class community. Filmed over four years, the program follows the wildly diverse personal stories of Father Paul O'Brien and his unruly flock, as they struggle to hold onto faith in the face of desperate circumstances.
Dec 29 2009
A documentary exploring the art and science of origami. / Think origami is just paper planes and cranes? Meet a determined group of theoretical scientists and fine artists who have abandoned careers and scoffed at graduate degrees to forge new lives as modern-day paper folders. Together they reinterpret the world in paper, creating a wild mix of sensibilities towards art, science, creativity and meaning.
Dec 08 2009
Objectified is a feature-length documentary about our complex relationship with manufactured objects and, by extension, the people who design them. It’s a look at the creativity at work behind everything from toothbrushes to tech gadgets. It’s about the designers who re-examine, re-evaluate and re-invent our manufactured environment on a daily basis. It’s about personal expression, identity, consumerism, and sustainability.
Nov 24 2009
They took Hollywood by storm -- escaping the brutal Soviet oppression of the Hungarian Revolution and rising to fame with classic films like Easy Rider, Deliverance, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and The Deer Hunter. Cinematographers Laszlo Kovacs and Vilmos Zsigmond pioneered the "American New Wave." This film is a portrait of their 50-year journey and their deep bond of brotherhood.
Nov 17 2009
D Tour 11x05
When indie rock drummer Pat Spurgeon finally gets his big break, his body breaks down. Refusing to make his failing kidney a deterrent, Pat goes on tour with his band Rogue Wave: making music, searching for a donor and administering his own dialysis along the way.
Nov 10 2009
This program follows the efforts of American Indian tribes to bring renewable energy projects into their communities. From the Sioux tribes of Great Plains in the Midwest to the Navajo and Hopi of the Southwest, tribes are fighting to protect their land, air and water from the harmful impacts of mining and burning coal on their lands. This program documents how young Native leaders won a legal battle to close a large dirty coal plant not far from Las Vegas, which sends electricity to California.
Nov 03 2009
Pickpocketing is common practice in Kolkata, India. In an attempt to crack down on more serious crime, the police offer Azad, a young pickpocket, a full pardon if he helps track down more notorious criminals. Azad must choose whether he'll collaborate with the police or risk it all for life on the streets.
Oct 27 2009
Five generations of mining families illustrate the story of Butte, Mont., once the world's largest producer of copper. / Irish actor Gabriel Byrne narrates the tale of Butte, Montana, once the world's largest producer of copper -- the "Richest Hill on Earth," the town that "plumbed and electrified America," the Pittsburgh of the West. Butte forged a community whose toughness, vitality and solidarity speak to what's missing in America today, while raising profound questions about the costs and consequences of industrialization and use of natural resources.
Oct 20 2009
He was a postal clerk, and she was a librarian. With their modest means, Herbert and Dorothy Vogel managed to build one of the most important contemporary art collections in history. In "Herb & Dorothy, " filmmaker Megumi Sasaki looks at a couple whose passion and disciplines defied stereotypes and redefined what it means to be an art collector.
Oct 13 2009

Season 10

26 Episodes

During the 1976-1983 military dictatorships in Argentina, thousands of citizens were kidnapped and never heard from again. Director Juan Mandelbaum returns to his native Argentina to discover what happened to friends and loved ones who were among the "desaparecidos." His journey reveals the depths of terror that they experienced and the continued fight for justice. Terrence Howard hosts the series.
Sep 21 2009
Ask Not 10x25
As wars rage in the Middle East, the U.S. military is eager for more recruits—unless you happen to be openly gay. ASK NOT explores the tangled political battles that led to the infamous “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy and reveals the personal stories of gay Americans who serve in combat under a veil of secrecy.
Jun 06 2009
In June 1943, Ina Soep, the rich and beautiful daughter of an Amsterdam diamond cutter, met a married couple—a poor accountant named Jack Polak and his vivacious wife, Manja—at a birthday party for a friend. Six months later, the three of them were sharing a barrack at Kamp Westerbork, a Nazi holding camp in the north of Holland. So begins one of the most complex stories of love, hope and transcendent luck to emerge from the Holocaust.
May 26 2009
This is the story of a group of young men who survived for 72 days after their plane crashed in the Andean Cordillera in October 1972. / The 16 young men (of 45 passengers and crew) of a 1972 plane crash in the Andes recall their ordeal, which found them stranded for 72 days on a snowy peak after the search for the plane's wreckage was called off.
May 19 2009
It’s a civil war that’s lasted 40 years. Passed down from son to son. Fought eye for an eye. Over 15,000 dead and counting, while the world stands by. Welcome to South Central Los Angeles. But what’s at the root of this long-standing battle? Filmmaker Stacy Peralta hits the streets of LA to find out, and speaks with former and current members of the Bloods and the Crips, two of the most notorious and violent street gangs in America.
May 12 2009
What were the Japanese Kamikazes thinking just before crashing into their targets? When Risa Morimoto discovered that her beloved uncle trained as a Kamikaze pilot in his youth, she wondered the same thing. Through rare interviews with surviving Kamikaze pilots, Morimoto retraces their journeys from teenagers to doomed pilots and reveals a complex history of brutal training and ambivalent sacrifice.
May 05 2009
A home of your own: that’s the American dream. But what happens when the dreamers are immigrants, factory workers and Communists? Director Michal Goldman traces the history of "The Coops," a cooperative apartment complex built in the Bronx by Jewish garment workers. The film tracks the rise and fall of the community from the 1920s into the 1950s, bearing witness to lives lived across barriers of race, convention and sometimes even common sense.
Apr 28 2009
How does the simple act of planting trees lead to winning the Nobel Peace Prize? Ask Wangari Maathai of Kenya. In 1977, she suggested rural women plant trees to address problems stemming from a degraded environment. Under her leadership, their tree-planting grew into a nationwide movement to safeguard the environment, defend human rights and promote democracy, earning Maathai the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004.
Apr 14 2009
Everyone has seen a nature documentary with a ferocious kill on the Serengeti Plain. Well, here’s a different story about villagers navigating the dangers and costs of living with wildlife. After a century of “white man’s conservation,” the Maasai of Kenya and Namibia’s Himba people are vying to share a piece of the eco-tourism pie. But can they fulfill the expectations of Westerners without abandoning their native culture?
Apr 07 2009
Recycle 10x17
Abu Amar, an ex-Mujahideen soldier, is trying to build a peaceful life after years of fighting in the Soviet-Afghan war. "Recycle" follows Amar's daily life as he scours the streets to earn a meager living collecting cardboard to recycle while struggling with his faith and the social realities of life in the Middle East.
Mar 31 2009
Have you ever dreamed of being waited on hand and foot? For the past six years, Lakshmi has been doing just that for her employers—virtually unnoticed. That is, until one of Lakshmi’s employers begins to film her daily life on the job in Mumbai, India. In a deeply personal portrait, the film takes a hard look at the Indian caste system, gender and class relations.
Mar 24 2009
Iranian American filmmaker Marjan Tehrani chronicles her brother's return to Iran during the start of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, as he travels with his American wife to have a traditional Persian wedding and explore his lost heritage. In weaving the couple's personal story with historical footage, "Arusi" considers the history, impact and troubled relationship between Iran and America. By Marjan Tehrani.
Mar 17 2009
The doctrine, “separate but equal” ended in the 1950s, right? Think again. At America’s oldest Mardi Gras—celebrated each year in Mobile, Alabama—events remain segregated between white and black residents. Beneath the surface of pageantry, lies a complex story about race relations and the ever-present racial divide that persists in America today.
Feb 24 2009
A lone undercover cop moves into a small farming town. By the end of the blazing summer of 1999, 46 people are arrested for selling cocaine—nearly all of them African American. It was heralded as one of the biggest drug busts in Texas history, until a team of lawyers set out to uncover the truth.
Feb 10 2009
America's original shock-jock, Petey Greene overcame poverty, drug addiction and prison time to "tell it like it is," shocking and entertaining everyone from the ghetto to the White House. Narrated by Don Cheadle, "Adjust Your Color" looks at how Greene's explosive language and brash style unsettled the establishment as he battled both the system and his own demons on a journey to becoming a leading activist during some of the most tumultuous years in recent history.
Feb 03 2009
Helvetica 10x11
Helvetica is about typography, graphic design and global visual culture. It looks at the proliferation of one typeface (which celebrated its 50th birthday in 2007) as part of a larger conversation about the way type affects our lives. The film is an exploration of urban spaces in major cities and the type that inhabits them, and a fluid discussion with renowned designers about their work, the creative process, and the choices and aesthetics behind their use of type.
Jan 06 2009
Iraqi film student Muthana Mohmed gets his dream job working on a Hollywood movie, where expectations and misunderstandings collide. / Iraqi film student Muthana Mohmed, whose school was destroyed by American bombs, lands a dream job working on a Hollywood movie in the West. On set, idealistic expectations and cultural misunderstandings collide, launching Muthana on a journey more complicated than either he or his American benefactors ever anticipated. By Nina Davenport.
Dec 30 2008
This 50-minute documentary unfolds the creative journey of Albert Maysles' cult classic, GREY GARDENS - from non-fiction film to spectacularly mounted Broadway musical. Captured in the 1975 Maysles film, GREY GARDENS, the indomitable Edith Beale and her daughter Edie, aunt and cousin to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, were revealed to be a most unique and engaging mother daughter act - inhabiting a folie à deux built upon powerful interdependence, quirky eccentricity, courage, devotion and love. Their essence and their story soon catapulted them to cult icon status, an ironic counterpoint to Mrs. Onassis' own such status, and culminating in the ultimate homage: being portrayed on the Broadway stage. The documentary will feature behind-the-scenes footage of the show's rehearsals, performance and insightful interviews with the creators and cast, as well as a revealing interview with Albert Maysles and relevant insights from Beale authorities, devotees, cultural commentators, audience and fans.
Dec 23 2008
This program tells the story of making a grand opera about the birth of the atomic bomb. This behind-the-scenes documentary follows composer John Adams and director Peter Sellars over the course of a year as they work to forge the tale of J. Robert Oppenheimer into a music drama like no other: the strange and beautiful "Doctor Atomic."
Dec 16 2008
Doc 10x07
Filmmaker Immy Humes presents a portrait of her father, the legendary forgotten novelist and counterculture icon Harold Louis "Doc" Humes. Doc’s friends and family—including Norman Mailer, George Plimpton, Timothy Leary, William Stryon, Peter Matthiessen, Paul Auster, and Jonas Mekas—weaving together a story of politics, literature, protest and mental illness, shedding light on an original mind as well as the cultural history of postwar America.
Dec 09 2008
THE ATOM SMASHERS explores what happens when politicians, not scientists, decide which scientific projects will be funded and which will be cut, and depicts the contradictions that arise when the most educated population in the world begins to doubt the place and value of science. Archival film and vintage footage illustrate the history of Fermilab and cultural attitudes towards science in America, with key scientific ideas brought to life through animation. Despite the setbacks, the physicists at Fermilab continue the search. Until Europe’s atom smasher goes online and starts generating the massive amounts of collisions it takes to find such a minute particle, there’s still a chance that they can win the race. As physicist John Conway says, “This work is too important not to be done somewhere.” But will it be done here in the U.S.? Or will he and the rest of the physicists at Fermilab soon be packing their bags for Europe?
Nov 25 2008
Meet Cody, Nick and Travis—three teenagers from the Swinomish Tribe. After hard times on the rez lead to rehab and drug court, they are offered an alternative: to make a documentary about the impact of two oil refineries on their community. A collaborative coming of age story, MARCH POINT follows the ambivalent and once-troubled teens as they come to understand themselves and the threat their people face.
Nov 18 2008
Lioness 10x04
The story of a group of female Army support soldiers who became the first women in American history to be sent into direct ground combat in violation of official policy. Without sufficient training but with a commitment to serve as needed, these young women ended up fighting in some of the bloodiest counterinsurgency battles of the Iraq war. This film makes public, for the first time, this hidden history. / The experiences of "Team Lioness," female soldiers in Iraq who took part in house raids and patrols in order to interact with Iraqi women. In the process, they became involved in direct combat with the enemy, including in 2004 in Ramadi.
Nov 13 2008
Knee Deep 10x03
Josh Osborne hatched a plan with his friends and relatives to kill his mother after she reneged on a deal which would have left the family farm to him.
Nov 06 2008
Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf addresses his ideas for a democratized society.
Oct 28 2008
This program combines bold and original animation with extraordinary archival footage to explore the build-up to and unraveling of the Chicago Conspiracy Trial. Set to the music of revolution, then and now, the film features the vocal talents of Hank Azaria, Mark Ruffalo, Dylan Baker, Liev Schreiber, Nick Nolte, Jeffrey Wright and Roy Scheider. A parable of hope, courage and victory, this program is the story of young Americans speaking out.
Oct 22 2008

Season 9

26 Episodes

A Japanese family searches for their daughter who was abducted by North Korean spies in 1977. / Recalls the 1977 kidnapping of schoolgirl Megumi Yokota from her Japanese hometown by North Korean agents, who took her to North Korea.
Jun 19 2008
The amazing and compelling true story of the fateful voyage of Donald Crowhurst, an amateur yachtsman who enters the most daring nautical challenge ever - the very first solo, non-stop, round-the-world boat race. Through re-enactments and interviews with family and friends, the viewer witnesses Crowhurst's maritime inexperience and eventually an ending that shocked a nation.
Jun 15 2008
The Cool School is an object lesson in how to build an art scene from scratch and what to avoid in the process. Featuring Academy Award nominee Dennis Hopper and narrated by Academy Award nominee Jeff Bridges, the film focuses on the seminal Ferus Gallery.
Jun 10 2008
Reveals a little-known battle of the Civil Rights Movement, led by an indigent, under-educated prisoner. Texas-born, Mexican American Fred Cruz came of age and found his life's calling in prison, where the sanctioned cruelty and brutality among inmates and guards moved him to fight the state prison system in the court of law.
Jun 03 2008
This film follows one woman's quest to uncover the secrets of how her family survived the Khmer Rouge genocide. Socheata Poeuv's family survived the Killing Fields, escaped across the border and became Americans. She searches for the truth about what her family escaped from and why her history has been buried in secrecy for so long.
May 27 2008
In the wake of 9/11 and the hate crimes that followed, a Sikh American struggles to believe in the American dream amidst a climate of xenophobia and fear.
May 20 2008
Follow the journey of legendary teacher Robert Cazimero and the only all-male hula school in Hawaii as they celebrate their 30th anniversary and prepare to compete at the world’s largest hula festival. NA KAMALEI: The Men of Hula goes beyond deep-rooted stereotypes of "grass skirt girls" and reveals a story of Hawaiian pride—past and present.
May 06 2008
King Corn is a feature documentary film released in October 2007 following college friends Ian Cheney and Curtis Ellis as they move to Greene, Iowa to grow and farm an acre of corn. In the process, Cheney and Ellis examine the role that the increasing production of corn has for American society. The film shows how the industrialization of corn has all but eliminated the family farm, which is being replaced by larger and larger industrial farms. This trend reflects a larger industrialization of the North American food system, whereby, as was outlined in the film, decisions relating to what crops are grown, and how they are grown, are based more on economic considerations than their ramifications on the environment or the population. This is demonstrated in the film by the production of high fructose corn syrup, an ingredient found in many cheap food products, such as fast food. The two return to the same small town that was coincidentally home to both of their great-grandfathers.
Apr 15 2008
Jock Soto, who is Navajo Indian and Puerto Rican as well as gay, retired in June 2005 from the New York City Ballet after a 24-year career; this story climaxes with his emotional retirement at age 40. This is not a film solely for a ballet audience; it is also an exploration of identity, heritage, transition and family.
Apr 08 2008
A profile of America's first all-female mariachi band, Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles.
Apr 01 2008
With unprecedented access, this intimate documentary goes behind the scenes with Africa's first freelyelected female head of state, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, president of Liberia. The film explores the challenges facing the new president and the extraordinary women surrounding her as they develop and implement policy to rebuild their ravaged country and prevent a descent back into civil war.
Mar 18 2008
Follows two former felons in different stages of life "on the outside." / Examines the challenges faced by ex-convicts as they adjust to life after incarceration. The film focuses on the Exodus Transitional Community, a New York City-based organization (founded by Julio Medina).
Feb 26 2008
Banished is a documentary film about four U.S. cities, which were part of many communities that violently forced African American families to flee in post-reconstruction America. In incidents which took place in Texas, Missouri, Georgia and Indiana between 1886 and 1923.
Feb 19 2008
While working on his latest screenplay in Beijing, Hui Rao experiences writer's block and begins to live the life of the character he is trying to create.
Jan 29 2008
A young Muslim American struggles to take over his father's halal slaughterhouse in New York City.
Jan 22 2008
Dr. Jack Kessler, a prominent neurologist, shifts his diabetes research to stem cell research when his daughter is paralyzed from the waist down. The program brings the stem cell debate to the forefront and examines the constantly evolving interplay between the promise of new discoveries, the controversy of modern science and the courage of people living with devastating disease and injury.
Jan 15 2008
The story of Nicky Gottlieb, a former child genius diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome at age 21.
Jan 08 2008
This program offers an unsparing look at Ralph Nader, one of the most important and controversial political figures of our time.
Dec 18 2007
Chronicles the pressure of a year in the life of Pennsylvania State University's Daily Collegian.
Dec 11 2007
A look at a small courthouse in Cameroon where two women help others fight against cases of abuse.
Nov 27 2007
A town facing serious health risks and age-old racial tensions between Indian and white society.
Nov 20 2007
Follows contestants in their quest for the Miss Navajo Nation crown, featuring stories of winners.
Nov 13 2007
U.S. soldiers who fought on the island of Attu in Alaska during WWII journey back to the location.
Nov 06 2007
This is a film explores the Israeli disengagement from the Gaza Strip and efforts to achieve democracy amidst great social and political turmoil. Told from the perspective of the Israeli police force, this film explores how these individuals try to balance their emotions, beliefs and conscience while attempting to maintain civil order and a democratic outcome.
Oct 30 2007
This film follows eight-year-old students in an elementary school in China as they campaign for school monitor. This is the first election for a class leader to be held in a school in China. The three candidates campaign, holding debates and showing their intellectual and artistic skills, until one is voted the winner.
Oct 23 2007
Fifty million Americans do crossword puzzles each week, many in the venerable New York Times, where Will Shortz has been editor for 12 years. "Wordplay" presents an entertaining and informative look at Shortz' work and that of the puzzle constructors with whom he collaborates, as well as coverage of the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament, an annual competition founded by Shortz, that profiles a number of intelligent and ingratiating contestants.
Oct 16 2007

Season 8

27 Episodes

Legendary Afro-Cuban pop singer Lupe Victoria Yoli, “The Queen of Latin Soul Music,” aka La Lupe or La Yiyiyi, rose to fame in the 1960s and died in 1992 virtually unknown. Beautiful, sexual and the epitome of Afro-Cuban 60s sophistication, La Lupe remains the quintessential bad girl and perpetual outsider, renowned for emotional performances and as the embodiment of female narcissism who stopped at nothing in the name of love and passion. Shot in Cuba, Puerto Rico and the U.S., this film tells her story through interviews and rare archival footage from the groundbreaking musical era.
Jun 05 2007
This film tells the true story of a bohemian St. Francis and his remarkable relationship with a flock of wild red-and-green parrots. Former street musician and San Francisco dharma bum Mark Bittner falls in with the flock as he searches for meaning in his life, unaware that the parrots will bring him everything he seeks.
May 29 2007
Reveals how Jehovah's Witnesses have helped shape history beyond the doorstep.
May 22 2007
Three young Cambodian refugees find themselves caught between a tragic past & an uncertain future.
May 15 2007
In 2001, Japanese American painter Jimmy Mirikitani, over 80 years old, is living in the streets of lower Manhattan. Filmmaker Hattendorf takes an interest, and begins to engage with him to create a documentary of his life. After the World Trade Center destruction on September 11, 2001, the debris- and dust-choked streets are deserted. When Hattendorf looks for Mirikitani, he is still in his usual spot near Washington Square Park. She invites him to stay a while at her apartment nearby to recover from the devastation and unhealthy air in the streets. Gradually we learn who he is, and of his past...with amazing and unexpected results. (The cats of the title are featured in Mirikitani's artwork.)
May 08 2007
Enron dives from the seventh largest US company to bankruptcy in less than a year in this tale told chronologically. The emphasis is on human drama, from suicide to 20,000 people sacked: the personalities of Ken Lay (with Falwellesque rectitude), Jeff Skilling (he of big ideas), Lou Pai (gone with $250 M), and Andy Fastow (the dark prince) dominate. Along the way, we watch Enron game California's deregulated electricity market, get a free pass from Arthur Andersen (which okays the dubious mark-to-market accounting), use greed to manipulate banks and brokerages (Merrill Lynch fires the analyst who questions Enron's rise), and hear from both Presidents Bush what great guys these are.
Apr 24 2007
This eye-opening expose of the $80 billion coffee industry traces one man's fight for fair trade.
Apr 10 2007
They live crowded together in cement factory dormitories where water has to be carried upstairs in buckets. Their meals and rent are deducted from their wages, which amount to less than a dollar a day. Most of the jeans they make in the factory are purchased by retailers in the U.S. and other countries. China Blue takes viewers inside a blue jeans factory in southern China, where teenage workers struggle to survive harsh working conditions. Providing perspectives from both the top and bottom levels of the factory’s hierarchy, the film looks at complex issues of globalization from the human level. China Blue, which was made without permission from the Chinese authorities, offers an alarming report on the economic pressures applied by Western companies and the resulting human consequences, as the real profits are made—and kept—in first-world countries. The unexpected ending makes the connection between the exploited workers and U.S. consumers even clearer.
Apr 03 2007
Race discrimination infects America’s capital punishment system. According to a landmark study regarding race and the death penalty, a black defendant who kills a white victim is up to 30 times more likely to be sentenced to death than a white defendant who kills a black victim. RACE TO EXECUTION, a film by Rachel Lyon, traces the fates of two death row inmates, Robert Tarver in Russell County, Alabama and Madison Hobley in Chicago, Illinois. Their compelling personal stories are enlarged and enriched by attorneys who fought for these men’s lives, and by prosecutors, criminal justice scholars and experts in the fields of law and the media. RACE TO EXECUTION reveals how, beyond DNA and the issue of innocence, the shameful open secret of America's capital punishment system is a matter of race. Once a victim’s body is discovered, his or her race—and the race of the accused—deeply influence the legal process: how a crime scene is investigated and the deployment of police resources, the interrogation and arrest of major suspects, how the media portrays the crime and ultimately, the jury selection and sentencing. Hugh Kite, a white man, general store owner and mainstay of his rural Alabama community, was murdered during the course of a robbery on September 15, 1984. Less than four months after Kite was murdered, Robert Tarver, a black man, was sentenced to die. The prosecutor at Tarver’s trial rejected all but one of the African Americans qualified for jury service. Eleven white Alabamans and one African American composed Tarver’s “jury of his peers.” And as prosecutors have long known, a trial can turn on who is sitting in the jury box. Recent research indicates the extent to which the make-up of the jury affects sentencing: when five or more white males sit on a capital trial jury, there is a 70 percent chance of a death penalty outcome. If there are four or fewer white males, the chance of a death sentence is only 30 percent. Whether in
Mar 02 2007
Stolen 8x18
In 1990, two thieves dressed as police officers gained entrance to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, successfully executing the largest art heist in modern history. Among the 13 priceless works lifted was Vermeer's "The Concert," thought to be the world's most valuable stolen painting. This riveting film thoroughly explores the theft and the fascinating, disparate characters involved.
Mar 20 2007
Follow the 2004 Missouri campaign of unknown Jeff Smith, that took on the political establishment.
Feb 27 2007
Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes is a 2006 documentary film written, produced, and directed by Byron Hurt. The documentary explores the issues of masculinity, violence, homophobia and sexism in hip hop music and culture, through interviews with artists, academics and fans. Hurt's activism in gender issues and his love of hip-hop caused him to feel what he described as a sense of hypocrisy, and began working on the film.
Feb 20 2007
1 in 7 Afghan women dies in childbirth. Sedika Mojadidi explores the people behind these statistics.
Feb 13 2007
Explore the life and career of the unheralded man who changed jazz and popular music forever.
Feb 06 2007
Twisted 8x13
Meet people with a neurological disorder that causes their muscles to twist in abnormal movements.
Jan 30 2007
Three men travel the world delivering live-saving humanitarian aid to civilians and doctors.
Jan 23 2007
Shadya 8x11
Shadya Zoabi, a charismatic 17-year-old karate world champion, strives to succeed on her own terms within her traditional Muslim village in northern Israel. Despite her father's support, she faces the challenge of balancing her dreams with her religious commitments and others' expectations. This film takes an intimate look at the evolution of a young Arab-Israeli woman with feminist ideas in a male-dominated culture.
Jan 16 2007
Meet two women who lead in a battle against a coalition of national environmental groups for control of the ocean. Three hundred years of fishing tradition and the health of the ocean hang in the balance.
Jan 02 2007
A selection of four short films that focus on teenagers struggling with different challenges. "Title" Director "Paris, 1951" Jasmin Gordon "Someday Flowers Bloom" Mai Heiselmann "The Zit" Mike Blum "My Life Disoriented" Eric Byler
Dec 26 2006
This documentary tells the story of five Cuban photographers whose lives and work span more than four decades and whose perspectives on photography are as varied as their opinions about the Cuban Revolution. From photographers whose lens portrayed the heroic masses to more contemporary photographers who seek to portray individual truths, their stories uncover the power of art to liberate.
Dec 19 2006
A SAD FLOWER IN THE SAND is the first major film documentary about a largely unsung writer of the twentieth century: John Fante, the renegade author whose highly autobiographical novels illustrate his deep-rooted love of Los Angeles and his struggles working through poverty and prejudice.
Dec 12 2006
Residents, artists and activists in Hudson, N.Y., protest the proposal for a multinational coal-fired cement plant.
Nov 28 2006
Journalists and champions of independent media work to make and keep their societies free.
Nov 21 2006
Looks at the life and colorful career of the multiple Pulitzer Prize-winning political cartoonist.
Nov 07 2006
Animator Paul Fierlinger presents humorous observations of people, dogs & things of a divine nature.
Oct 24 2006
Follows a close-knit Chesapeake Bay community and the events of the 50th crowning of Miss Outdoors.
Oct 31 2006
The World According to Sesame Street is a 2005 feature-length documentary created by Participant Productions, looking at the cultural impact of the children's television series Sesame Street, and the complexities of creating international adaptations.[1] It focuses on the adaptations of Sesame Street in Bangladesh (Sisimpur), Kosovo (Rruga Sesam, in Albanian; and Ulica Sezam, in Serbian), and South Africa (Takalani Sesame).
Oct 24 2006

Season 7

29 Episodes

This inspiring film follows five children as they fight cancer with the help of their families, nurses and doctors. This harrowing and intimate series spans six years to chronicle how families respond to crises, how courage is found in unlikely places and how the humor and energy of youth can be powerful medicine.
Jun 22 2006
This inspiring film follows five children as they fight cancer with the help of their families, nurses and doctors. This harrowing and intimate series spans six years to chronicle how families respond to crises, how courage is found in unlikely places and how the humor and energy of youth can be powerful medicine.
Jun 21 2006
This is the epic tale of Farmer John, a maverick Midwestern farmer who -- in spite of the condemnation from his community -- bravely transforms his farm amidst a failing economy, vicious rumors and arson. In doing so, he creates a bastion of free expression and a revolutionary form of agriculture in rural America.
Jun 13 2006
Explores the fierce clash between an individual's right to privacy & concerns for national security.
Jun 06 2006
Two young Bolivian brothers brave deadly conditions in mining tunnels to earn money for school.
May 23 2006
This program presents the future of human reproduction available today in Los Angeles. With dreamlike cinematography, the film takes a roller-coaster ride through the business of DNA from different perspectives: wealthy sperm bank presidents, expectant surrogate mothers, gene designers, hate radio talk show hosts, infertile suburban couples, now-adult designer babies, blonde and blue-eyed egg donors and feminist lawyers.
May 16 2006
FISHBOWL: In the sleepy plantation town of Hilo, Hawaii, 11-year-old Lovey is trying to be anything but herself. In this dramatic short adapted from Lois-Ann Yamanaka's "Wild Meat and the Bully Burgers," Lovey's comical -- and often painful -- quest culminates in one fateful Halloween night. AMERICAN MADE: Trapped in the middle of the desert on their way to the Grand Canyon, a Sikh-American family has only one hope: the remote highway and the occasional car that drives by. This program confronts issues of tradition, faith, conformity and sacrifice after the family's youngest son accuses his turban-clad orthodox father of looking like a terrorist while stranded on a remote desert road.
May 09 2006
The intersection of art and life are at the core of this program, a musical journey featuring the 105 musicians of the Philadelphia Orchestra. The film focuses on the mystery and magic of music itself, creating a mosaic of the stories, ideas and experiences that form the heart of these musicians' lives inside and outside the concert hall.
May 02 2006
Tracing the history of professional bowling in America, from its glory days in the 1950s to its near extinction by the late 1990s, this program follows four pro bowlers as Professional Bowlers Association CEO Steve Miller sets out to modernize the sport.
Apr 25 2006
La Sierra, a small neighborhood in Medellin, Colombia, is ruled by a group of young men, mostly teenagers, affiliated with Colombia's illegal paramilitary armies. Over one year, this program follows the lives of three of these young people -- two of them paramilitaries themselves -- as they experience war, death and love.
Apr 18 2006
Trudell 7x19
Native American activist and poet John Trudell fuses radical politics with music, writing and art.
Apr 11 2006
They faced death threats on the job -- from some of the men they worked with. With the story of Lt. Brenda Berkman of the Fire Department of New York at its core, this film explores the history of women firefighters in America and the price these women have paid to serve their communities.
Mar 28 2006
A Girl Scout troop unites daughters with mothers convicted of serious crimes in a Texas prison.
Mar 21 2006
In 1978, Oakley Hall was a promising playwright on the verge of national recognition when a mysterious fall violently transformed his life. This program is the haunting story of a young man's fall from grace, of the vibrant artists who surrounded him and what happens when, decades later, a theater company discovers the very play he was writing the night he fell.
Feb 28 2006
Shot on location in a nursing home, ALMOST HOME tells the real stories of aging: couples both bonded and divided by disability, children torn between caring for their parents and their children, nursing assistants doing unsavory work for poverty wages, healthy elders fearful of moving to the dreaded nursing home and a visionary nursing home director committed to changes that would shuck the nursing home stigma and alleviate such dread.
Feb 21 2006
In the summer of 1964, a three-night riot erupted in two predominantly black neighborhoods in downtown Rochester, New York, the culmination of decades of poverty, joblessness and racial discrimination and a significant event in the civil rights era. Using archival footage and interviews with those who were present, this program explores the genesis and outcome of these three devastating nights.
Feb 14 2006
Credited with inspiring the Black Power movement, Robert Williams led his North Carolina hometown to defend itself against the Ku Klux Klan and challenge repressive Jim Crow laws. This program follows Williams' journey from southern community leader to exile in Cuba and China, a journey that brought the issue of armed self-defense to the forefront of the civil rights movement.
Feb 07 2006
Shot over four years, GIRL TROUBLE is the story of three girls entangled in San Francisco's juvenile justice system. Documenting the girls' remarkable successes and heartbreaking setbacks -- their struggles with poverty, parenthood, violence and homelessness -- it exposes a system that fails to meet the need of girls in trouble.
Jan 17 2006
Sheriff 7x11
With the help of God, guns and the hundreds of blood relatives that populate his jurisdiction, Sheriff Ronald E. Hewett oversees Brunswick County, North Carolina, a rural region fraught with murder, robbery and the occasional theft of ceramic lawn ornaments. SHERIFF is pure cinema verite, an unexpected portrait of a man trying to do good in a bad world.
Jan 03 2006
They don't make "buddy movies" like this in Hollywood. Independent Lens presents five short films that focus on a pivotal moment in a friendship: "Agora," by Christopher Newberry; "John and Michael," by Shira Avni; "Miracle Mile," by Dong Hyeuk Hwang; "The Raftsman's Razor," by Keith Bearden; and "Reservation Warparties," by Angelique Midthunder.
Dec 27 2005
This documentary follows the lives of the women of St. Scholastica Monastery in Duluth, Minnesota. The story is told by the Sisters themselves -- at work, prayer and leisure -- as they pursue a balanced life based on the Rule of St. Benedict and face an uncertain future with spirit, conviction and wit.
Dec 20 2005
This film explores the plight of North Korean refugees trying to escape their homeland and China, and tells the story of activists who put themselves in harm's way to save them via a clandestine underground railroad.
Dec 13 2005
As three of the thousands of Latina immigrants working as nannies and housekeepers in Los Angeles, Judith, Telma and Eva have all left family and friends behind to come to America. This program reveals the challenges these women face as they pursue the American Dream, their significant roles in American households and the globalization of motherhood.
Nov 29 2005
How do American artists address our nation's most pressing social issue? Using spoken, sung and chanted word, African American, Latino, Asian American and Native American authors, performance artists, poets and singers explore the pain, frustration and humor of racism in America.
Nov 22 2005
Identical twins Margarita and Ramona de Saa became acclaimed ballerinas with the National Ballet of Cuba. Once inseparable, their relationship disintegrated as one sister left for America while the other embraced the Cuban revolution. This program is the story of two women forever linked by birth and dance, but struggling to overcome rifts not only between sisters but also between nations.
Nov 15 2005
When one American family loses their son in the Iraq war, their lives -- and views -- are irrevocably changed. Danish filmmakers follow the Kaylor family over the course of a year, tracing their individual reactions and changing attitudes on the military and global politics.
Nov 08 2005
Vernon Sager is a cowboy struggling to survive in Porcupine, South Dakota, in this story of real cowboys and Indians living in the middle of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Winters with temperatures that reach 30 degrees below zero and summers with prairie fires and frying-pan heat have pushed most of Sager's family and friends off the land. But Vernon still gets up at 3:00 a.m. to saddle his horse and count calves. This program is the real-deal Rawhide, the story of people fighting to preserve a vanishing way of life.
Oct 25 2005
Vieira de Mello, who devoted his life to global humanitarian efforts, was killed in Iraq in 2003.
Oct 18 2005
“One Nation Under a Groove,” a profile of Parliament Funkadelic that features animation (including an “Afronaut” character voiced by Eddie Griffin) to explore P-Funk's unique mix of rock and R&B, and its rebellious vibe---tightly controlled by mastermind George Clinton, whose 50-year career links doo-wop and hip-hop. “It was just a party,” says singer Nona Hendryx
Oct 11 2005

Season 6

27 Episodes

A young artist befriends an elderly gay stranger who co-founded the revolutionary journal Fire!
Jun 14 2005
Narrated by Cheech Marin and scored by Ry Cooder, this film shows how a community was betrayed by greed, political hypocrisy and good intentions gone astray. Don Normark's haunting photographs evoke a lost Mexican-American village, in the heart of downtown Los Angeles, razed in the 1950s to build Dodger Stadium.
Jun 07 2005
As Hollywood stuntwomen for "Wonder Woman" and "Xena: Warrior Princess," Jeannie Epper and Zoe Bell have been set on fire, thrown off buildings, dragged by wild horses and hit by cars. Who are the real women behind these two television icons? This film follows their daily struggles to stay employed, stay thin and stay sane in this notoriously macho profession. The broadcast includes the animated adventure, "Piki & Poko: Taking the Dare!" Piki and Poko, the Eternal Martial Arts Warriors from Another World, attempt to save the universe and master their own awesome powers.
May 31 2005
In 2000, an experimental court opened in Brooklyn's Red Hook, a neighborhood plagued by a cycle of unemployment, poverty and crime. Instead of jail time, offenders are sentenced to job training, drug counseling and community service. This film follows the ups and downs of several defendants and staffers involved in a legal revolution that has become a model for courts nationwide.
May 24 2005
An in-depth look at modern-day Vietnam, where communism and capitalism are going head-to-head.
May 17 2005
How has Imelda Marcos, the former first lady of the Philippines, managed to court, coddle, use and abuse power for nearly four decades? News clips, propaganda films, home movies, verite footage and interviews with Marcos, her friends and her enemies reveal her methods.
May 10 2005
A Jewish woman in a Ukrainian city seized by the Germans in 1941 writes her son a final letter.
May 03 2005
In 1974, a new sound hit New York City's underground music scene: a band of misfits called The Ramones. This film follows this quartet of unlikely rock stars, known as the progenitors of punk, through more than two decades of touring, recording and bickering - from a shared Queens childhood to their 2002 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Producers: Jim Fields and Michael Gramaglia. Rock icon and former legendary frontman for The Clash, Joe Strummer is hot on the comeback trail, touring America and Japan via concert footage and interviews before his untimely death in 2002.
Apr 26 2005
An illiterate Zulu musician wrote Africa's most famous song, "Mbube" -inspiration for the pop classic "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" - and received pennies for his efforts. Traveling into the musical worlds of South Africa and America, this film celebrates the song's timeless power while revealing injustices within the international recording industry.
Apr 05 2005
Legendary jazz bassist Milt Hinton (1910-2000) was also a skilled photographer and storyteller. This insider's view of jazz and life in 20th-century America is told by Hinton and fellow musicians, including Branford Marsalis and Quincy Jones. Archival footage and hundreds of Hinton's photographs document his unique journey.
Apr 12 2005
Easter in Washington, DC, means children hunting for eggs on the White House lawn. But blocks away is one of America's poorest neighborhoods, where a storefront church serves as a beacon of hope. Tracing the lives of four parishioners in the months before Easter, this film shows how the holiday's promise helps pull them through adversity.
Mar 29 2005
Eighty-one-year-old Irja and her 95-year-old best friend Lucille are the only lucid residents at a senior citizens' home for political progressives. This program delves into their world, revealing how these women salvage support and community in their old age.
Mar 22 2005
On an historic weekend in November 1977, 20,000 women and men attended the first federally funded National Women's Conference in Houston, Texas, where they caucused, argued and finally hammered out resolutions that revolutionized the women's movement. This program features archival footage and interviews with past and current activists and participants.
Mar 01 2005
When the filmmaker's cousin was elected Guyana's president seven years ago, Janet Rosenberg Jagan -- considered one of the founders of Guyana along with her husband, Cheddi Jagan -- became the first American-born woman to lead a nation. This program interweaves family history and Guyanese history with the extraordinary life story of one unconventional woman.
Feb 22 2005
Greg Smith and his family bare all in this unflinching portrait of a 65-pound man striving for the American dream. Fueled by discrimination, Smith created "On a Roll" talk radio from his wheelchair in 1992. The father of three travels the globe but finds his own nation's capital inaccessible - a minor challenge compared to living independently and having safe intimate relationships.
Feb 15 2005
A sit-in at a Woolworth's lunch counter in North Carolina in 1960 was a pivotal civil rights event.
Feb 01 2005
Amid pervasive blackouts and corruption, an American energy company purchases a formerly state-run electricity company in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia. Cultures clash, tempers flare, and managers and locals tussle as a struggling nation attempts to build itself from beneath the rubble of Soviet collapse.
Jan 25 2005
Stunning footage and interviews showcase the lives transformed by maverick teacher Albert Cullum.
Jan 11 2005
A gang member, a hustler and a small-time dealer. They served their sentences and they're on parole. Now they're about to discover that walking out the prison gates is just the beginning. This intimate and dramatic film sheds light on the profound experience of doing time and trying to go straight.
Jan 04 2005
Five shorts ranging from funny to creepy to downright scary prove that just because they're short, they don't have to be sweet. "Title" Director "The Fine Line Between Cute and Creepy" Robert D. Slane "La Puppé" Timothy Greenberg "A Monster's Calling" Louise Johnson "The School" Ezra Krybus and Matthew Miller "Why the Anderson Children Didn't Come to Dinner" Jamie Travis
Dec 28 2004
Fine.: When factory worker Ed is confronted by a co-worker's pressing question over lunch, he begins to question his own decisions and his current life as a husband, father and suburbanite. Doki-Doki: In suburban Tokyo, Yumi finds herself waiting every day with the same group of strangers for the same seats on the same train. Who are these fellow commuters? Where do they live? What are they like? One day, she decides to find out.
Dec 21 2004
Follows teenager Tara Neal as she deals with fierce policy debates while facing boys on the mat.
Dec 14 2004
Young girls whose lives were shattered by the child sex trade describe the day they were abducted from their villages as "the day my god died." By weaving footage from the brothels of Bombay with these girls' stories, producer Andrew Levine offers an unforgettable examination of the growing plague of child sex slavery.
Nov 30 2004
Look beyond Hollywood to create a fresh candid portrait of America's second largest city.
Nov 23 2004
Filmed by the first-ever team of women video journalists trained in Afghanistan, this uncompromising film reveals the effects on Afghan women of the Taliban's repressive rule and of the U.S.-sponsored bombing campaign. Leaving Kabul for the first time and traveling to rural regions of the country, the filmmakers present footage of women whose lives have been devastated by recent events.
Nov 16 2004
Each July for more than 30 years, polka lovers from around the United States have descended on the tiny rural town of Gibbon, Minnesota, for the Gibbon Polka Fest. Meet numerous "polka people" and performers as they demonstrate their love and hope for the future of polka through dance, music, personal stories and observations.
Nov 09 2004
Explores a little-known side of Dr. Seuss and some interesting inspirations behind his works.
Oct 26 2004

Season 5

28 Episodes

When lesbian music student Kristina Boerger moved to a small Illinois college town, she didn't find a ready-made community. So she created one with what she loved best: choral singing. Assembling a ragtag group of volunteers, she created a lesbian choir in the middle of this conservative area. Showing the choir's evolution into a nationally accepted and recognized award-winning ensemble, THE AMASONG CHORUS documents how the spirit and dedication of one person can help transform a community.
Jun 15 2004
In recent years, the ancient art of sumo has witnessed the rise of an increasing number of foreigners to the top of its professional ranks. From Hawaii to Atlantic City, the experiences of American wrestlers provide an entertaining glimpse at the past, present and future of sumo, revealing how this former bastion of Japanese tradition is grappling with globalizing Western forces.
Jun 08 2004
When his wife and daughter abandon him, East Indian immigrant Gopal (Roshan Seth) reinvents himself as an all-American bachelor. With women's magazines as his guide, he pursues Mrs. Shaw (Carol Kane), the divorcee next door. But he finds there's more to love than the pages of Cosmo would suggest.
Jun 01 2004
Through a journey that takes her back to her roots in Thailand, a young Mien woman from Sacramento strives to come to terms with her father's death and drug addiction, and her sister's murder. Reunited with her Mien relatives, she begins to grasp the complexity of her father's past and experience the nuances of lost identity.
May 27 2004
Refugee 5x24
Three young Cambodian American men, raised on the streets of San Francisco's tough Tenderloin district, travel to Cambodia wielding video cameras to capture their experiences of meeting fathers, sisters and brothers for the first time. These family reunions reveal the quagmire of Cambodian political upheaval and military invasion, as well as the heavy toll of years spent apart in different worlds.
May 11 2004
In Los Angeles, there's only one place where you can celebrate the synchronicity of an old-school Chinatown establishment, classic jazz, DJ culture and the underground dance scene: the Grand Star. Find out how this restaurant became one of the city's liveliest and most intergenerational and culturally integrated neighborhood nightclubs. In DOUBLE EXPOSURE an artist and self-proclaimed "old Chinese lady" sets out to explore her own identity and prove that it's never too late to take a risk by making her first film in her 60s. The result? An experimental program that expresses her roots in two countries through self-effacing humor, double-exposed images and an immigrant's long look back at her native China.
May 04 2004
The remarkable story of The Weather Underground, radical activists of the 1970s, and of radical politics at its best and most disastrous.
Apr 27 2004
When Harvard expelled faculty members Richard Alpert and Timothy Leary in 1963 for LSD experimentation, Alpert traveled to India and returned transformed into the beloved guru Ram Dass. Now in his 70s, the author of the best-seller Be Here Now continues to inspire people all over the world as he deals with the effects of a massive stroke.
Apr 20 2004
Israeli filmmaker David Fisher inspires his four siblings to begin an emotionally challenging search for their long-lost sister. In a creative documentary style, with revealing moments of grief and humor, Fisher dissects a tangled web of relationships to uncover the dark secrets of the past, secrets that his parents were afraid to unearth and that are representative of Israel's own birth pains.
Apr 13 2004
In his life and his work, acclaimed Afro-Cuban-Puerto Rican poet Piri Thomas has used creative expression as a means to confront and overcome poverty, racism, violence and isolation. Author of the acclaimed autobiographical novel Down These Mean Streets, Thomas, through poetry, stories and performances, chronicles his journey from Spanish Harlem to prison to life as an author, educator and activist.
Apr 06 2004
As a worker with an international aid organization stationed in a remote village in Zambia, filmmaker Shantha Bloemen saw more and more unemployed Zambians selling used clothing from the U.S. in the marketplace. Tracing a winding t-shirt trail carved by global economics, T-SHIRT TRAVELS explores the World Bank's devastating role in directing Zambia's economic policies and the underlying reasons why so many Africans remain in poverty.
Mar 23 2004
After Joanna Katz, a South Carolina woman, was brutally tortured and gang-raped, she survived to face her assailants and transform herself into a victim's rights advocate. Called upon to testify at parole hearings year after year, Katz decided to collaborate with a seasoned filmmaker to tell her own story, challenging the parole system in order to heal herself -- and to give courage to other women who have suffered violent crimes.
Mar 02 2004
Jimmy Scott's voice conveys a young boy's innocence, a soft sensuality and the lessons of 76 hard-lived years of failure and redemption. Through concert footage and intimate interviews, rediscovered jazz legend Jimmy Scott recounts his stranger-than-fiction odyssey through poverty and obscurity to worldwide recognition as one of the most distinctive vocalists of our time.
Feb 24 2004
Stanley Nelson is a third-generation, upper middle-class African American who spent the past 40 summers in Oak Bluffs, an affluent African-American resort community on Martha's Vineyard. Building on personal stories of summers past, this film explores the tightly-knit world of black professionals who created a refuge to call their own.
Feb 17 2004
A "troublesome property" for his master, Nat Turner has remained a " troublesome property" for the historians, novelists, dramatists and others who have struggled to understand the leader of the famous 1831 slave rebellion. Using an innovative approach that combines documentary techniques, dramatic filmmaking and historical methodology, this program explores how the many meanings of Nat Turner remain critical to understanding the racial history of our country.
Feb 10 2004
Raised by their grandmother, young Raymond and Danny continue to hold out hope for their mother's recovery from drug addiction -- even after she's given up hope herself. WHY CAN'T WE BE A FAMILY AGAIN is an Academy Award-nominated cinema verite portrait exploring the strength and love that bring together two brothers who long to be reunited with their mother. Blending experimental images with an intimate interview with poet and therapist Robert Hall, DOWNPOUR RESURFACING chronicles how one man transformed a childhood of abuse into a life of confidence and strength. Reaching for the language of dreams, the program enlists dancers, musicians, archival footage and a woman performing a tea ritual to illustrate the healing of Hall's story.
Jan 27 2004
A straight-arrow rural Texan Pentecostal/Baptist minister, Curtis Boyd relinquished the pulpit in the heat of the social changes of the 1960s and became a doctor who provided thousands of safe, illegal abortions prior to Roe v. Wade. Together with a group of east Texas clergy, Dr. Boyd was and remains dedicated to the ideal that all women have the right to a safe abortion.
Jan 20 2004
For nearly 70 years, the Hackberry Ramblers have played an infectious, toe-tapping blend of Cajun music and Western swing. MAKE 'EM DANCE tells the story of the remarkable multigenerational band that has been in continuous existence since 1933. Part biography, part road movie, the documentary captures the poignant and funny exploits of these "agin' ragin' Cajuns," from a bayou crab boil to MTV to their first appearance at the Grand Ole Opry.
Jan 13 2004
Short film block: "Title": Directed by "Compulsory Breathing": David Munro "Don't Nobody Love the Game More Than Me": Martha Pinson "Sergi": Paul Sullivan "Dilly Dally": Mark Pellington "Tom Hits His Head": Tom Putnam "Bike Ride": Tom Schroeder
Dec 30 2003
Three young Mormon men, age 19, embark on a two-year rite of passage in Germany as part of a long-standing worldwide effort by Mormon missionaries to spread their faith at home and abroad.
Dec 23 2003
Recruiting a stand-up comic, a rock band, feuding academics and Hollywood actresses to his cause, an irreverent filmmaker searches for the secret something that gave Emily Dickinson her poetic power.
Dec 16 2003
Eroica! 5x07
A unique classical music ensemble of three young women take the musical world by storm, collaborating with a struggling composer to debut one of the first triple concertos written since Beethoven's.
Dec 09 2003
Part history, part mystery, part comedy, this program is an offbeat look at one eccentric California town. A memorable cast of local armchair historians describe some of Livermore's legends -- a supernatural light bulb, a cursed totem pole, a scandalous book of photographs and the ominous nuclear lab.
Nov 25 2003
This personal documentary chronicles the filmmaker's struggle to know and grieve for the father she never knew, a soldier who died in Vietnam when she was a baby. Through her journey of discovery, and those of her family and her father's friends, the film sheds light on the more than 20,000 Americans whose fathers were killed in Vietnam -- and on those who continue to lose parents in war.
Nov 11 2003
This program puts a human face on the Middle East conflict by chronicling the story of Bassam, a Palestinian American telephone repairman from Cleveland who returns home for an arranged marriage with a "home-made bride." On the West Bank, everyday domestic duties and squabbles are carried out against a backdrop of shelling and violence. Once in America, however, his bride discovers that life in exile is not necessarily an easier alternative.
Nov 04 2003
The famous fighting monks of the Shaolin Monastery have seen a resurgence throughout the world, aided in part by the popularity of kung-fu movies among the hip-hop set and films like "The Matrix" and "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon." The film follows a handful of Shaolin monks who have brought the style to America, chronicling their adventures in New York City, Houston and Las Vegas.
Oct 28 2003
A spiritual thriller set in an automotive graveyard and a story based on a real-life plane crash.
Oct 21 2003
This film takes a look at the work of Brazilian-born contemporary conceptual artist and rising star Vik Muniz -- sculptor, photographer and self-proclaimed magician. Muniz, best known for his book "Seeing Is Believing," which made both the New York Times and the Village Voice top 10 lists of photography books in 1999, uses his knowledge and interest of the history of photography to demonstrate how viewers can be easily deceived by the images around them.
Oct 14 2003

Season 4

14 Episodes

Daddy & Papa is a one-hour documentary film made by producer/director Johnny Symons in 2002, it explores same-sex parenting as seen in the lives of four families headed by male couples. The film also examines the legal, social, and political challenges faced by gay parents and their children.
Jun 03 2003
Hansel Mieth: Vagabond Photographer is the compelling tale of a pioneering woman photojournalist who created some of the most indelible images of America mid-20th century. A German immigrant who arrived in this country in the midst of the Great Depression, she rose to become a celebrated LIFE magazine staff photographer. Armed with convictions, perseverance, and talent, Mieth courageously carved out a career in the male-dominated world of photojournalism at a time when very few women were accepted in the profession.
May 27 2003
In the face of thunderous blasting and choking dust caused by mountaintop mining, the last 40 families of Blair, WV, stay to fight America's second-largest coal company as it threatens their homes. RAZING APPALACHIA is the story of a remarkable grassroots effort to redefine the role of government and power of corporations over our daily lives.
May 20 2003
Maria, mother of four, is a spokeswoman for Second Amendment Sisters and a firm believer in the right to bear arms. Frances is an advocate of gun control who lost three sons to urban bullets. Together, they eloquently expand the contentious debate over gun control to include women who fall on both sides of a historically male-dominated issue.
May 13 2003
HEART OF THE SEA is a portrait of Hawaiian legend Rell Kapolioka' ehukai Sunn, who died of breast cancer at the age of 47. Known worldwide as a pioneer of women's professional surfing, Rell Sunn achieved iconic status, not only for her physical power and beauty, but also for her high-profile community activism. Through her feats and her canny use of the media, she left behind a larger-than-life story that was her greatest gift.
May 06 2003
During the Nazi occupation of France, four very young women -- who were neither Jews nor Communists, nor in any danger of arrest --chose to risk their lives as resistance fighters. Brought together in Ravensbruck concentration camp, they helped one another survive. Airing in conjunction with Holocaust Remembrance Day, this program shares the story of four heroines whose intense friendship, riveting memories and social activism lasted long after the war was won.
Apr 29 2003
From Academy Award-winning filmmaker Freida Lee Mock ("Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision") comes this engaging portrait of the best-selling author and laugh out loud humorist Anne Lamott ("Bird by Bird," "Operating Instructions," "Crooked Little Heart," "Traveling Mercies," "Blue Shoe"). The moving story of a survivor and an iconoclast, the film follows Annie through a year of writing, teaching and mothering. Lamott, a recovering alcoholic and single mother who is both a born-again Christian and liberal activist, shares her unique insights on such universal concerns as loss, alienation, bad hair days, loneliness, creativity, motherhood, unfirm thighs, faith and the meaning of life.
Apr 22 2003
Radio stations banned it, but when Billie Holiday sang "Strange Fruit" the whole world listened anyway. Sprung from the pen of an unknown Bronx schoolteacher named Abel Meeropol, the song continues to mesmerize musicians and civil rights advocates alike with its chilling vision of a lynching. This program shows how a little-known Jewish songwriter and an African- American icon created a song that changed America.
Apr 08 2003
Chiefs 4x06
An observational documentary about the on- and off-court struggles of Native American basketball players at Wyoming Indian High School.
Apr 01 2003
It's 1999, and the booming city of Austin, Texas keeps on growing - thanks largely to men like Ramón and Juan, who work some of the hardest jobs in an America that doesn't want them. Through the lives of these two men and a battle over Austin's controversial day labor program, LOS TRABAJADORES brings to life the vivid contradictions that haunt America's dependence on and discrimination against immigrant labor.
Mar 25 2003
Since the 1980s, the rural working class town of North Adams, Massachusetts, has struggled to kick-start its economy following the mill closings. This program explores how, with the 1999 opening of the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, the town has united its blue collar base with visionaries from the art world to reinvent itself in the post-industrial economy.
Feb 25 2003
On an isolated Maine island of 350 people, a clash over arts education spins out of control into vandalism and death threats, tearing apart friends and neighbors. Sigourney Weaver narrates this program following a former Broadway producer as he creates a musical to help the community heal its wounds through songs about lobstering, loneliness and the beauty of the sea.
Feb 18 2003
This program looks at the strange underworld of the song-poem industry. In this little-known subculture, "ordinary" people respond to come-on ads in the back pages of magazines ("Send in Your Lyrics -- Make $50,000 in Royalties!"), mailing in their heartfelt but often bizarre poems to music industry companies that, for cash, set those poems to music.
Feb 11 2003
Maggie Kuhn (1905-1995) founded the Gray Panthers after being forced to retire at the age of 65, in what Ralph Nader describes as "the most significant retirement in history." It galvanized Maggie's campaign against mandatory retirement and ageism. Her outrage fueled a political chain reaction that left society's treatment of older Americans forever changed.
Feb 04 2003

Season 3

10 Episodes

The sudden death of the King of Lesotho in January 1996 led to the coronation of his thirty-something bachelor son, Prince Mohato. Shot over a period of four years, the program follows Prince Mohato as he returns to the small country of Lesotho from London, is crowned King, and soon finds himself in need of a suitable wife. Soon Mohato becomes attracted to Karabo, "KB," a shy young woman attending the local university.
Nov 09 2001
In the securities markets, virtually everything is now automated as we increasingly trade online. But the legendary, hyper-charged sense of danger and controlled chaos of the trading pits survive at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. There, traders still scream "buy" and "sell" orders in a frenzied system known as "open outcry." This documentary captures the language and atmosphere of what may be the last gasp of a centuries-old ritual.
Nov 02 2001
Gibtown 3x08
In Gibsonton, FL, thousands of carnival and circus show people have built a close-knit community in the twilight of the carnival sideshow. The residents include the keeper of the "freak animals," a "half-girl" married to the "tallest man in the world," and an octogenarian couple who have produced monkey acts for more than 40 years.
Oct 26 2001
Filmed over three years, this award-winning film examines the complex physical and psychological effects of the multi-drug therapies for HIV disease on three women and three men of various ethnic and cultural backgrounds.
Oct 19 2001
THE SPLIT HORN is the sweeping story of a Hmong shaman and his family living in Appleton, Wisconsin. Documenting the 17-year journey of Paja Thao and his family from the mountains of Laos to the heartland of America, this poignant film shows a shaman's struggles to maintain his ancient traditions as his children embrace American culture.
Oct 12 2001
The final decades of the twentieth century brought unprecedented changes for American Indians, especially in the areas of human rights and tribal sovereignty. In 1990, after a long struggle between Indian rights groups and the scientific establishment, the Native American Graves Repatriation and Protection Act was passed.For American Indians, this was perhaps the most important piece of civil and human rights legislation of this century. Skeletons and grave goods that had been gathering dust in museums around the country could come home again, and Indian graves would be protected from further desecration.But a case tested these claims, and Who Owns the Past? focuses on the controversy that emerged. The discovery of a 9,000-year-old skeleton on the banks of the Columbia River near Kennewick, Washington, reignited the conflict between anthropologists and Indian people over the control of human remains found on ancestral Indian lands. Anthropologists insist that these remains hold the key to America's past and must be studied for the benefit of mankind, while many Indian people believe that exhuming and studying them is a desecration of their ancestors.Kennewick Man has become a test case for NAGPRA and all that it symbolizes for American Indians. To a large extent, its outcome will determine Indian sovereignty over their past and their future in the 21st century.Who Owns the Past? examines how two ways of seeing the world - scientific versus traditional - are clashing in the case of Kennewick Man.
Oct 05 2001
With a population of 25 million spilling across the borders of Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Syria and the former Soviet Union, the Kurds have maintained their way of life for more than 2,000 years, despite attempts by various empires and nation states to eradicate their culture, and, in many cases, the Kurds themselves. Forbidden in Turkey to speak their own language, to sing their own songs, even to call their children by Kurdish names, the Kurds for generations have struggled to preserve their identity and to foster their traditions. In the early nineties, the Kurds of nearby Iraq found themselves suddenly supported in their old war for independence against Baghdad, when their interests coincided with those of Western powers fighting against Saddam Hussein. In the eyes of the State Department, the happy coincidence transformed them into "good" Kurds.
Sep 28 2001
This film illustrates the most recent wave of anti-immigrant sentiment in the United States. Through a close look at the personal impact of new immigration laws, this film depicts the severity of current detention and deportation policies. Lives are changed forever, as legal residents find themselves being torn away from their American families and sent to countries they barely know. For political asylum seekers, dreams are put on hold, as they are kept for years in county jails that profit from their incarceration.
Sep 21 2001
SECRETS OF SILICON VALLEY is a shocking exposé of the hidden downsides of the Internet revolution and also a funny and moving meditation on America's love affair with technology. Told without narration, the film chronicles a tumultuous year in the lives of two young activists grappling with rapid social change and the meaning of globalization on their own doorsteps.
Sep 14 2001
Confederacy Theory presents and unflinching portrait of the cultural war that has erupted around the confederate flag - a century-old symbol that threatens to divide the South like no issue since the Civil Rights movement. Using never-before-seen archival footage and exclusive interviews with politicians, pundits, activists, and scholars, Confederacy Theory traces the history of this symbol and its impact on Southern culture, history, and identity - from the Civil War to the frontlines of a modern-day secession movement.
Sep 07 2001

Season 2

10 Episodes

This video journal chronicles the intertwined stories of Paul Kwan, a Chinese filmmaker and gourmand who came to the United States from Vietnam 25 years ago, and his sister Diana, a recent immigrant from Hong Kong and a struggling entrepreneur. This personal documentary is both a stand-alone program and the third in a trilogy that probes the American immigrant's experience through the unlikely perspective of Paul's personal relationship with food. Through this program, the twin passions of Kwan's youth — food and films — provide a language to mourn cultural loss as well as retrieve cultural memory.
Dec 04 2000
In Harm's Way is an experimental film exploring how the experiences of adulthood both defy and reinforce the lessons of childhood. In Carved from the Heart, a Tsimshian carver turns personal grief into a community art project.
Nov 27 2000
The program explores the mountain music of Sand Mountain in rural Alabama. This music tradition is woven into the simple lives of the southerners, proud people who live their music and rely on it to tell the stories of their lives.
Nov 20 2000
The Return of Navajo Boy is a documentary film produced by Jeff Spitz and Bennie Klain about the Cly family, Navajo who live on their reservation. Through them, the film explores several longstanding issues among the Navajo and their relations with the United States government and corporations: environmental racism, white supremacy, media and political representation, off-reservation adoption, and denial of reparations for environmental illnesses due to uranium mining in Monument Valley, Utah, which was unregulated for decades. Bill Kennedy served as the film's executive producer; his late father had produced and directed the earlier silent film The Navajo Boy, which featured the Cly family.\nIn 2000, the film was an official selection of the Sundance Film Festival. It has won numerous awards.
Nov 13 2000
Passing Through follows Nathan Adolfson—a.k.a. Chai Chee Man, his Korean birth name—as he searches for his identity between two worlds. In the comic drama Graham's Diner, a workaholic photographer contemplates selling the diner where her family is employed.
Nov 06 2000
A gripping documentary about the extraordinary world of biker women, an amazing group few of us know anything about. An intimate wild ride with hard-core biker Dusty, a native-born Apache, ex-felon, ex-go-go dancer, and a single mother of three as our guide. Outriders and outlaws, club mamas, Dykes on Bikes, biker babes, weekend warriors, each character we meet along the road struggles to defy traditional stereotypes in the sexually charged world of motorcycling, and in the process, establishes her own uncompromising identity.
Oct 30 2000
Three out of every four Americans becomes a parent, yet most of us have never really considered what having a "normal" birth means. How much technology is appropriate for most women? Is the full range of safe options available, and to whom? How do we decide what is best for us? BORN IN THE U.S.A. explores the landscape of current maternity care through the eyes of three caregivers: an obstetrician working at a teaching hospital, a licensed midwife attending home births, and a certified nurse-midwife bridging both worlds in an urban, out-of-hospital birth center. This provocative film raises questions about technology, safety, quality of care, and current childbirth practices in America.
Oct 23 2000
Documents the trials and triumphs of three families in which some or all of the members are dwarfs.
Oct 16 2000
Three breast cancer survivors discuss their fight against breast cancer and the emotional and physical stages of the disease.
Oct 09 2000
NOW & THEN is a four-year journey through the American rite of passage known as college. This feature-length documentary follows ten undergraduates at Stanford University from move-in day to graduation, from their last days as teenagers to their first days as adults.
Oct 02 2000

Season 1

10 Episodes

Stuart Perkin thought he knew everything about his wife, Sue. After two years of marriage and ten years of friendship, intimacy and life experiences, the couple divorced when Sue announced she was a lesbian. Stuart documents a journey he made from Colorado to San Francisco, a trip that took him into his past and back into the life of his ex-wife. Stuart's interviews with friends, family and Sue explore the reasons why their relationship failed and how Stuart can move forward with his life.
Oct 11 1999
Although it has conjured horrific images of society's most feared outcasts ever since Biblical days, leprosy is in fact a mildly communicable disease that has been treatable since the 1940s. "Secret People" recounts the shocking history of this disease in America through the voices of victims who live in the last remaining leprosy sanatorium, in Carville, Louisiana.
Oct 04 1999
SING FASTER is a spirited and comical behind-the-scenes look at Richard Wagner's beloved "Ring Cycle," one of the most ambitious and spectacular operas in history. In the tradition of "Noises Off," this acclaimed film from Academy Award.-nominated filmmaker Jon Else tells the story of Wagner's epic masterpiece entirely from the point of view of the opera's unsung heroes the union stagehands.
Sep 27 1999
What does a single, working woman have to go through to have a child of her own, without a husband, boyfriend or lover? Following a group of eight New York City women for over two years, And Baby Makes Two tells their provocative and emotionally loaded story; a story of women who, earlier in life, had taken every precaution to prevent pregnancy, and who now actively pursue it - without the help of a partner. What emerges is a complex, emotional and courageous portrait of women determined to become mothers.
Sep 20 1999
Sep 13 1999
Sep 06 1999
Juxtaposing dramatic 1st person narrations by Corin Redgrave as Williams with interviews with activists in the anti-apartheid and Communist movements in South Africa, this docu-drama presents the life of Cecil Williams -- freedom fighter, theatre benefactor, gay rights advocate and homosexual. Williams was with Mandela when they were both arrested in 1962 -- an arrest that resulted in Mandela's long-term imprisonment
Aug 30 1999
VISAS AND VIRTUE is based on the true story of the man known as Japan's Oskar Schindler. In 1940, against the commands of his country and at the risk of ruining his career, Japan's diplomat to Lithuania, Chiune Sugihara, wrote almost 2,000 visas that allowed an estimated 4, 000 - 6,000 Jews escape from the Nazi regime. In I AM VIET HUNG, passion for art and cultural legacy lend elegance to the fading memories of a Vietnamese opera singer struggling to keep his art form alive.
Aug 23 1999
A look at the media circus during the O.J. Simpson civil trial.
Aug 16 1999
Aug 09 1999