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.
Fallen City (#2706H) Duration: 56:46 STEREO TVPG
In today's go-go China, an old city completely destroyed by a devastating earthquake can be rebuilt - boasting new and improved civic amenities - in an astoundingly quick two years. But, as this film reveals, the journey from the ruined old city of Bichuan to the new Bichuan nearby is long and heartbreaking for the survivors. Three families struggle with loss - most strikingly the loss of children and grandchildren - and feelings of loneliness, fear and dislocation that no amount of propaganda can disguise. First-time director Zhao Qi offers an intimate look at a country torn between tradition and modernity.
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15 to Life: Kenneth's Story (#2707H) Duration: 56:46 STEREO TVPG
Does sentencing a teenager to life without parole serve our society well? The United States is the only country in the world that routinely condemns children to die in prison. This is the story of one of those children, now a young man, seeking a second chance in Florida. At age 15, Kenneth Young received four consecutive life sentences for a series of armed robberies. Imprisoned for more than a decade, he believed he would die behind bars. Now a US Supreme Court decision could set him free. This film follows Young's struggle for redemption, revealing a justice system with thousands of young people serving sentences intended for society's most dangerous criminals.
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Neurotypical (#2606) Duration: 56:46 STEREO TVPG (Secondary audio: none)
"Neurotypical" is an exploration of autism from the point of view of autistic people themselves. Four-year-old Violet, teenaged Nicholas and adult Paula occupy different positions on the autism spectrum, but they are all at pivotal moments in their lives. How they and the people around them work out their perceptual and behavioral differences becomes a remarkable reflection of the "neurotypical" world -- the world of the non-autistic -- revealing inventive adaptations on each side and an emerging critique of both what it means to be normal and what it means to be human.
A World Not Ours (#2708H) Duration: 1:26:46 STEREO TVPG
This film is a passionate, bittersweet account of one family's multi-generational experience living as permanent refugees. Now a Danish resident, director Mahdi Fleifel grew up in the Ain el-Helweh refugee camp in southern Lebanon, established in 1948 as a temporary refuge for exiled Palestinians. Today, the camp houses 70,000 people and is the hometown of generations of Palestinians. The filmmaker's childhood memories are surprisingly warm and humorous, a testament to the resilience of the community. Yet his yearly visits reveal the increasing desperation of family and friends who remain trapped in psychological as well as political limbo.
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Listening Is An Act of Love: A Storycorps Special (#2614H) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVPG
This first-ever animated special from StoryCorps celebrates the transformative power of listening. "Listening Is an Act of Love" features six stories from 10 years of the innovative oral history project, where everyday people sit down together to share memories and tackle life's important questions. Framing these intimate conversations from across the country is an interview between StoryCorps founder Dave Isay and his inquisitive 9-year-old nephew, Benji, animated in the inimitable visual style of The Rauch Brothers.
Big Men (#2709H) Duration: 1:26:46 STEREO TVPG-L
Over five years, director Rachel Boynton and her cinematographer filmed the quest for oil in Ghana by Dallas-based Kosmos. The company develops the country's first commercial oil field, yet its success is quickly compromised by political intrigue and accusations of corruption. As Ghanaians wait to reap the benefits of oil, the filmmakers discover violent resistance down the coast in the Niger Delta, where poor Nigerians have yet to prosper from decades-old oil fields. This film, executive produced by Brad Pitt, provides an unprecedented inside look at the global deal making and dark underside of energy development - a contest for money and power that is reshaping the world.
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If A Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front (#2411) Duration: 1:26:46 STEREO TVPG (Secondary audio: none)
This program explores two of America's most pressing issues -- environmentalism and terrorism -- by lifting the veil on a radical environmental group the FBI calls the country's "number one domestic terrorism threat." Daniel McGowan, a former member of the Earth Liberation Front, faces life in prison for two multimillion dollar arsons against Oregon timber companies. What turned this working- class kid from Queens into an eco-warrior? Producer Marshall Curry provides a provocative account that is part coming-of-age story, part cautionary tale and part cops- and-robbers thriller.
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After Tiller (#2710) Duration: 1:26:46 STEREO TV14 (Secondary audio: none)
This film is a probing portrait of the four doctors in the United States still openly performing third-trimester abortions in the wake of the 2009 assassination of Dr. George Tiller in Wichita, Kansas - and in the face of intense protest from abortion opponents. It is also an examination of the desperate reasons women seek late abortions. Rather than offering solutions, this doc presents the complexities of these women's difficult decisions, and the compassion and ethical dilemmas of the doctors and staff who fear for their own lives as they treat their patients.
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Ping Pong (#2609) Duration: 56:46 STEREO TVPG (Secondary audio: none)
Call this old age, extreme edition: Eight players with 703 years among them compete in the Over 80 World Table Tennis Championships in China's Inner Mongolia. British players Terry, 81, who has been given a week to live, and Les, 91, a weightlifter and poet, are going for the gold. Inge, 89, from Germany, has used table tennis to paddle her way out of dementia. And Texan Lisa, 85, is playing for the first time. "Ping Pong" is a wonderfully unusual story of hope, regret, friendship, ambition, love - and sheer human tenacity in the face of aging and mortality. By Hugh Hartford and Anson Hartford.
The Genius of Marian (#2711H) Duration: 1:26:46 STEREO TVPG
This film is an emotionally complex story about one family's struggle to come to terms with Alzheimer's disease. After Pam White is diagnosed at age 61 with early-onset Alzheimer's, life begins to change, slowly but irrevocably, for Pam and everyone around her. Her husband grapples with his role as it evolves from primary partner to primary caregiver. Pam's adult children find ways to show their love and support while mourning the gradual loss of their mother. Her eldest son, Banker, records their conversations, allowing Pam to share memories of childhood and of her mother, the renowned painter Marian Williams Steele, who had Alzheimer's herself and died in 2001.
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Reportero (#2513H) Duration: 56:46 STEREO TVPG
"Reportero" follows a veteran reporter and his colleagues at Zeta, a Tijuana-based independent newsweekly, as they stubbornly ply their trade in one of the deadliest places in the world for members of the media. In Mexico, more than 40 journalists have been slain or have vanished since December 2006, when President Felipe Calderon came to power and launched a government offensive against the country's powerful drug cartels and organized crime. As the drug war intensifies and the risks to journalists become greater, will the free press be silenced?
Koch (#2712H) Duration: 1:26:46 STEREO TVPG
New York City mayors have a world stage on which to strut and they have made legendary use of it. Yet few have matched the bravado, combativeness and egocentricity that Ed Koch brought to the office during his three terms from 1978 to 1989. As Neil Barsky's film recounts, Koch was more than the blunt, funny man New Yorkers either loved or hated. Elected in the 1970s during the city's fiscal crisis, he was a new Democrat for the dawning Reagan era - fiscally conservative and socially liberal. The film finds the former mayor politically active to the end (he died in 2013) - still winning the affection of many New Yorkers while driving others to distraction.
American Promise (#2615) Duration: 1:56:46 STEREO TVPG-L (Secondary audio: none)
This film spans 13 years as Joe Brewster and Michele Stephenson, middle-class African-American parents in Brooklyn, N.Y.., turn their cameras on their son, Idris, and his best friend, Seun, who make their way through one of the most prestigious private schools in the country. Chronicling the boys' divergent paths from kindergarten through high school graduation at Manhattan's Dalton School, this documentary presents complicated truths about America's struggle to come of age on issues of race, class and opportunity.
When I Walk (#2701H) Duration: 1:26:46 STEREO TVPG
Jason DaSilva was 25 years old and a rising independent filmmaker when a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis changed everything -- and inspired him to make another film. "When I Walk" is a candid and brave chronicle of one young man's struggle to adapt to the harsh realities of M.S., while holding on to his personal and creative life. With his body growing weaker, DaSilva's spirits, and his film, get a boost from his mother's tough love and the support of Alice Cook, who becomes his wife and filmmaking partner. The result is a life-affirming documentary filled with unexpected moments of joy and humor.