An ongoing series of award-winning primetime specials examining the lives, works, and creative processes of our most outstanding cultural artists. Created in 1984, the series is both a celebration and an exploration of creativity in America, documenting the role important individuals, groups, and movements have played in the formation of our cultural identity.
Margaret Mitchell: American Rebel (#2503) Duration: 56:46 STEREO TVPG (Secondary audio: none)
No ordinary writer and no ordinary woman -- "Gone with the Wind" created two of the world's greatest lovers, Scarlett and Rhett, won a Pulitzer Prize in 1937 and has sold more than 30 million copies. Born into Atlanta's upper crust in 1900, Margaret Mitchell challenged stifling social restrictions at every turn. A charismatic force to be reckoned with, she had a great sense of humor, was one of Georgia's first newspaper women and was extremely generous with the money she made from "Gone with the Wind." She struggled with the changing role of women and the liberation of African Americans but also suffered from lifelong bouts of depression, until a tragic accident lead to her death in 1949. This film examines the amazing endurance of "Gone with the Wind" and reveals the seminal events of Mitchell's life through dramatic re-enactments based on her letters, as scenes from the movie weave together her life and her work.
A Fierce Green Fire (#2701) Duration: 56:46 STEREO TVPG-V (Secondary audio: none)
This film is an exploration of the environmental movement - grassroots and global activism spanning 50 years from conservation to climate change. Inspired by the book of the same name by Philip Shabecoff and informed by advisors like Edward O. Wilson, this documentary chronicles the largest movement of the 20th century and one of the keys to the 21st. It brings together all the major parts of environmentalism and connects them. It focuses on activism, people fighting to save their homes, their lives, the future - and succeeding against all odds. The film is directed and written by Mark Kitchell, Academy Award-nominated director of Berkeley in the Sixties, and narrated by Robert Redford, Ashley Judd, Van Jones, Isabel Allende and Meryl Streep.
Dorothea Lange: Grab A Hunk of Lightning (#2704H) Duration: 1:56:46 SRND51 TVPG
More than six decades of 20th-century America are seen through the prism of Dorothea Lange's life and lens. Known for her powerful images from the Great Depression, Lange's haunting "Migrant Mother" remains emblematic of that period. As young America matured into a world power, Lange continued to bear witness, bringing subjects alive, transmitting raw emotions and capturing the human condition. This film is made by Dyanna Taylor, Lange's granddaughter, who began her artistic vision, literally, at Lange's feet.
Sister Rosetta Tharpe: The Godmother of Rock & Roll (#2602H) Duration: 56:46 STEREO TVPG
During the 1940s, 50s and 60s, Southern-born, Chicago-raised and New York-made Sister Rosetta Tharpe introduced the spiritual passion of her gospel music into the secular world of popular rock 'n roll, inspiring the male icons of the genre. This flamboyant African-American gospel superstar, with her spectacular virtuosity on the newly electrified guitar, was a natural-born performer and a rebel - one of the most important singer-musicians of the 20th century. She is acknowledged as a major influence not only on generations of black musicians - including Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Isaac Hayes and Etta James - but also on white stars such as Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash.