This series presents an array of groundbreaking and distinctive perspectives on contemporary life as chronicled by some of America' s and Europe's most visionary non-fiction filmmakers.
The City Dark (#2503H) Duration: 56:46 STEREO TVPG
Is darkness becoming extinct? When filmmaker Ian Cheney moves from rural Maine to New York City and discovers streets awash in light and skies devoid of stars, he embarks on a journey to America's brightest and darkest corners, asking astronomers, cancer researchers and ecologists what is lost in the glare of city lights. Blending a humorous, searching narrative with poetic footage of the night sky, "The City Dark" provides a fascinating introduction to the science of the dark and an exploration of our relationship to the stars.
Salt (#2308) Duration: 56:46 STEREO TVPG (Secondary audio: none)
In his search for "somewhere I could point my camera into pure space, " award-winning photographer Murray Fredericks began making annual solo camping trips to remote Lake Eyre and its salt flats in South Australia. These trips have yielded remarkable photos of a boundless, desolate yet beautiful environment where sky, water and land merge. Made in collaboration with documentary filmmaker Michael Angus, "Salt" is the film extension of Fredericks' work at Lake Eyre, interweaving his photos and video diary with time-lapse sequences to offer viewers the liberating and disorienting experience of being thrown into an infinite dimension of mind and spirit.
"Salt" will be accompanied by a selection of shorts: Ellen Frick's "A Healing Art" delves into the world of artificial eye makers as they rekindle hope for victims of tragedy; and animated shorts from the Peabody Award-winning oral-history project StoryCorps - these shorts capture the stories of everyday Americans in their own voices.
The World Before Her (#2610H) Duration: 56:46 STEREO TVPG
This is a tale of two Indias. In one, Ruhi Singh is a small-town girl competing in Bombay to win the Miss India pageant - a ticket to stardom in a country wild about beauty contests. In the other, Prachi Trivedi is the young, militant leader of a fundamentalist Hindu camp for girls, where she preaches violent resistance to Western culture, Christianity and Islam. Moving between these divergent realities, the film creates a lively, provocative portrait of the world's largest democracy at a critical transitional moment - and of two women who hope to shape its future. By Nisha Pahuja.
Kings of Pastry (#2401Z) Duration: 1:26:46 STEREO TVPG
When Chris Hegedus and D A Pennebaker, award-winning filmmakers of The War Room, Startup.com and Don't Look Back, turn their sights on the competition for the Meilleurs Ouvriers de France awards, the country's Nobel Prize for pastry, you're in for a treat. 16 chefs, including Jacquy Pfeiffer, co-founder of Chicago's French Pastry School, whip up the most gorgeous, delectable, gravity-defying concoctions and edge-of-your-seat drama as they deliver their spun-sugar desserts to the display table.