AfroPop: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange
This series celebrates Africa's cultural and historical growth through six insightful films. These films, each introduced by acclaimed actor Idris Elba (The Wire, American Gangster), explore the complex lives of contemporary Africans, both on the continent and abroad. The productions include an examination of the efforts of African AIDS activists, a profile of two young South African hip-hop disc jockeys, the touching story of one Cape Town boy's love for opera music and a look inside the blossoming Nigerian film industry.
Calypso Rose: The Lioness of the Jungle (#404H) Duration: 56:46 STEREO TVPG
Calypso Rose, the ambassador of Caribbean music, is a living legend, a charismatic character and the uncontested diva of calypso. Cameras follow Rose from Paris to her native Tobago, then to New York where she lives, and back to her ancestral homeland, Africa. Each place reveals another face and facet of the complex woman behind the public persona.
Doin' It in the Park: Pick-Up Basketball, Nyc (#601) Duration: 1:26:46 STEREO TVPG (Secondary audio: none)
An exploration of the history, culture, and social impact of New York's summer b-ball scene, widely recognized as the worldwide "Mecca" of the sport. In New York City, pick-up basketball is not just a sport. It is a way of life. There are 700+ outdoor courts, and an estimated 500,000 players, the most loyal of which approach the game as a religion, and the playground as their church. Co-directors Bobbito Garcia and Kevin Couliau visited 180 courts throughout NYC's five boroughs to create their debut documentary. They traveled to a majority of the locations by bicycle, carrying camera equipment and a ball in their backpacks. The film's title refers as much to the subject matter as it does to the method of filmmaking, providing an unprecedented perspective on urban America's most popular, and accessible, free recreation.
Upaj: Improvise (#602) Duration: 56:46 STEREO TVPG (Secondary audio: none)
Upaj: Improvise takes us behind the scenes to watch the birth and journey of India Jazz Suites, a phenomenal East-meets-West collaboration featuring Indian kathak master and guru Pandit Chitresh Das and tap star Jason Samuels Smith. Das is a 68-year old artist who exemplifies the elegance and mathematical precision of kathak, classical dance of North India. Jason is a 32-year old African American tap dancer who hails from the freestyle, streetwise American tradition of contemporary tap. As the two join forces, an unlikely friendship develops that bridges continents, generations, cultures and communities. The journey of India Jazz Suites poignantly unfolds Das' and Smith's personal stories -- stories wrought with loss, struggle, and perseverance. As the two artists tell their truths and come to terms with their demons, they show us that our struggles are worthwhile and that Upaj:Improvise paves the way for hope and redemption. Shot backstage and on the pulsating streets of India, New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, Upaj:Improvise captures the exhilaration and magic of the India Jazz Suites tour and offers a kaleidoscopic view of Indian history, culture and tradition. Das' and Jason's journey together offers a message that resonates deep in every heart and soul.
War Don Don (#603) Duration: 1:26:46 STEREO TVPG (Secondary audio: none)
In the heart of Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone, United Nations soldiers guard a heavily fortified building known as the 'special court." Inside, Issa Sesay awaits his trial. Prosecutors say Sesay is a war criminal, guilty of heinous crimes against humanity. His defenders say he is a reluctant fighter who protected civilians and played a crucial role in bringing peace to Sierra Leone. With unprecedented access to prosecutors, defense attorneys, victims, and, from behind bars, Sesay himself, WAR DON DON puts international justice on trial for the world to see, finding that in some cases the past is not just painful, it is also opaque.