FILM LIBRARY: T - Z

The Tailenders
by Adele Horne

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Global Recordings Network, founded in Los Angeles in 1939, has produced audio versions of Bible stories in over 5,500 languages, and aims to record in every language on earth. They distribute the recordings, along with ultra-low-tech hand-wind players, in isolated regions and among displaced migrant workers. GRN calls their target audience "the tailenders" because they are the last to be reached by worldwide evangelism. Filmed in the Solomon Islands, Mexico, India and the United States, "The Tailenders" is an unusual filmic essay that examines the missionaries' strategic use of media and the intersection of missionary activity and global capitalism.

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Take It From Me
by Emily Abt

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"Take It From Me" is truly reality programming. As shown in the experiences of several women and their families, the new welfare system, with its recent controversial reforms, may make it easier to ignore rather than confront the complexities of poverty amidst plentitude. Quietly powerful, the film offers a vivid portrait of resilience set against the daunting reality of being poor. In doing so, it deeply recognizes the humanity of those most vulnerable of Americans.

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Taking on the Kennedys
by Joshua Seftel

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It's baptism by fire when a political underdog takes on the closest thing to American royalty. Joshua Seftel gives us a gritty behind-the-scenes look at neophyte Kevin Vigilante's campaign against Patrick Kennedy for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. The New England physician learns the hard way how modern politics are fought in this Rhode Island race. (60 minutes)

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Thirst
by Alan Snitow and Deborah Kaufman

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Global corporations are rapidly buying up local water supplies, and communities face losing control of one of their most precious resources. Looking at tensions in Bolivia, India and Stockton, California, "Thirst" reveals how water is becoming the catalyst for explosive community resistance to globalization. Focusing on one of the 21st century's greatest issues, this film is a piercing look at the conflict between public stewardship and private profit, where activists claim that water is a human right and corporations declare it a commodity.

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A Thousand Words
by Melba Williams

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In Melba Williams' award-winning "A Thousand Words," the filmmaker's father, a Vietnam veteran who has suffered a stroke, tries to recapture his war experience for his children. They discover that the true story can be found in the photography and moving images he left behind.

This is a 10 minute short film.

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Tintin and I
by Anders Østergaard

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Why does the comic strip The Adventures of Tintin, about an intrepid boy reporter, continue to fascinate us decades after their publication? "Tintin and I" highlights the potent social and political underpinnings that give Tintin's world such depth, and delve into the mind of Hergé, Tintin's work-obsessed Belgian creator, to reveal the creation and development of Tintin.

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Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North
by Katrina Browne with Alla Kovgan, Jude Ray, Elizabeth Delude-Dix and Juanita Brown

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First-time filmmaker Katrina Browne makes a troubling discovery — her New England ancestors were the largest slave-trading family in U.S. history. She and nine fellow descendants set off to retrace the Triangle Trade: from their old hometown in Rhode Island to slave forts in Ghana to sugar plantation ruins in Cuba. Step by step, they uncover the vast extent of Northern complicity in slavery while also stumbling through the minefield of contemporary race relations. In this bicentennial year of the U.S. abolition of the slave trade, "Traces of the Trade" offers powerful new perspectives on the black/white divide. An official selection of the 2008 Sundance Film Festival.

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True-Hearted Vixens
by Mylène Moreno

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These women want to play professional football. Make that full contact, NFL-style, smash-mouth football. "True-Hearted Vixens" follows the fortunes of two women and the teams they play for during a six-game exhibition tour of a start-up Women's Professional Football League. With their dreams tied to the league's success, the women grapple with powerful social stereotypes, the league's business practices and their own changing expectations of success.

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Twelve Disciples of Nelson Mandela
by Thomas Allen Harris

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In the wake of his stepfather's death, Thomas Allen Harris embarks on a journey of reconciliation with the man who raised him as a son but whom he could never call "father." As part of the first wave of black South African exiles, Harris's stepfather, B. Pule Leinaeng, and his 11 comrades left their home in Bloemfontein in 1960. They told the world about the brutality of the apartheid system and raised support for the fledgling African National Congress and its leader, Nelson Mandela. Drawing upon the memories of the surviving disciples and their families, "Twelve Disciples of Nelson Mandela" tells an intimate story of family and home against the backdrop of a global movement for freedom. A co-production of the Independent Television Service (ITVS), in association with POV/American Documentary and the National Black Programming Consortium.

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Up Heartbreak Hill
by Erica Scharf

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Thomas and Tamara are track stars at their rural New Mexico high school. Like many teenagers, they are torn between the lure of brighter futures elsewhere and the ties that bind them to home. For these teens, however, home is an impoverished town on the Navajo reservation, and leaving means separating from family, tradition and the land that has been theirs for generations. Erica Scharf’s Up Heartbreak Hill is a moving look at a new generation of Americans struggling to be both Native and modern. A co-production of Long Distance Films, Native American Public Telecommunications, ITVS, POV’s Diverse Voices Project and New Mexico PBS, with major funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. A co-presentation with LPB. (60 minutes)

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Up the Yangtze
by Yung Chang

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Nearing completion, China's massive Three Gorges Dam is altering the landscape and the lives of people living along the fabled Yangtze River. Countless ancient villages and historic locales will be submerged, and 2 million people will lose their homes and livelihoods. The Yu family desperately seeks a reprieve by sending their 16-year-old daughter to work in the cruise ship industry that has sprung up to give tourists a last glimpse of the legendary river valley. With cinematic sweep, "Up the Yangtze" explores lives transformed by the biggest hydroelectric dam in history, a hotly contested symbol of the Chinese economic miracle. An Official Selection of the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. An EyeSteelFilm/National Film Board of Canada production in association with American Documentary | POV A co-presentation with the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM).

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Waging a Living
by Roger Weisberg

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The term "working poor" should be an oxymoron. If you work full time, you should not be poor, but more than 30 million Americans — one in four workers — are stuck in jobs that do not pay the basics for a decent life. "Waging a Living" chronicles the day-to-day battles of four low-wage earners fighting to lift their families out of poverty.

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War Feels Like War
by Esteban Uyarra

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This 2004 film documents the lives of reporters and photographers who circumvent military media control to get access to the real Iraq War. As the invading armies sweep into the country, some of the journalists in Kuwait decide to travel in their wake, risking their lives to discover the true impact of war on civilians. "War Feels Like War" records their frustration, fear and horror as they fight their way to Baghdad to witness events ignored by other news media, and reveals the difficulties the journalists experience as they try to return to normal life back home. A 2004 Election Issue Special.

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Wattstax
by Mel Stuart

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POV brings back the cult favorite "Wattstax," the 1973 documentary directed by Mel Stuart. In August 1972, seven years after the Watts riots, the legendary Stax recording label staged a benefit concert in Los Angeles for 90,000 people. As time went by, it became known as the Black Woodstock. Hosted by Rev. Jesse Jackson, it was a veritable "who's who" of gospel, soul and R&B and was a mirror of various aspects of African-American culture. The newly restored concert film features trenchant commentary from Richard Pryor, performances by Rufus Thomas, the Staple Singers, the Emotions and the Bar-Kays, and includes the grand finale (not seen in the original film): Isaac Hayes' electrifying "Theme From Shaft." A POV Classics presentation.

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The Way We Get By
by Aron Gaudet

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On call 24 hours a day for the past five years, a group of senior citizens has made history by greeting nearly 800,000 American troops at a tiny airport in Bangor, Maine. The Way We Get By is an intimate look at three of these greeters as they confront the universal losses that come with aging and rediscover their reason for living. Bill Knight, Jerry Mundy and Joan Gaudet find the strength to overcome their personal battles and transform their lives through service. This inspirational and surprising story shatters the stereotypes of today's senior citizens as the greeters redefine the meaning of community. A co-production of Dungby Productions and ITVS in association with WGBH and Maine Public Broadcasting Network (MPBN) with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).

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This Way Up
by Georgi Lazarevski

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This is a story about a wall — the separations it's meant to enforce, and the unintended ones it gives birth to. The security wall being constructed by Israel on the West Bank has divided Palestinian families and communities. It has also isolated the Catholic-run Our Lady of Sorrows nursing home outside of Jerusalem, leaving its feisty residents to face old age in the throes of one of the world's most bitter conflicts. With beautiful imagery, moments of laughter and use of a quietly eccentric older guide, This Way Up examines the social, economic and religious barriers that arise from physical ones.

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Well-Founded Fear
by Shari Robertson and Michael Camerini

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Imagine that your life has fallen apart — maybe you've been tortured or raped, or maybe you've gotten out just in time. You'll have one chance to start a new life in the U.S., and an hour to tell your story to a neutral bureaucrat. Now imagine yourself on the other side of the desk, listening to people seeking refuge from any one of a hundred countries. The law says you can offer asylum if you find that someone has a well-founded fear of persecution. Three times a day, your job is to decide their fates. Political asylum — who deserves it? Who gets it? With unprecedented access, filmmakers Michael Camerini and Shari Robertson enter the closed corridors of the INS to reveal the dramatic real-life stage where human rights and American ideals collide with the nearly impossible task of trying to know the truth.

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West 47th Street
by Bill Lichtenstein and June Peoples

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Mental illness is a topic rife with stereotypes and misunderstanding. Made with depth and compassion, "West 47th Street" is an intimate cinéma vérité portrait of four people struggling to recover from serious mental illness. They've all come to Fountain House, a renowned rehabilitation center in New York City's Hell's Kitchen. Over three years, the film follows its subjects as they deal with drug regimens, health issues, group homes and work programs with courage and humor. Epic in scope, "West 47th Street" offers an unprecedented window onto the lives of people who are often feared and ignored, but seldom understood. An Active Voice Selection.

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What I Want My Words To Do To You
by Madeleine Gavin, Judith Katz and Gary Sunshine

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"What I Want My Words to Do To You" offers an unprecedented look into the minds and hearts of the women inmates of New York's Bedford Hills Correctional Facility. The film goes inside a writing workshop led by playwright Eve Ensler, consisting of fifteen women, most of whom were convicted of murder. Through a series of exercises and discussions, the women, including former Weather Underground members Kathy Boudin and Judith Clark, delve into and expose the most terrifying places in themselves, as they grapple with the nature of their crimes and their own culpability. The film culminates in an emotionally charged prison performance of the women's writing by acclaimed actresses Glenn Close, Marisa Tomei, Rosie Perez, Hazelle Goodman, and Mary Alice.

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When I Walk
by Jason DaSilva

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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. Official Selection of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. A co-production of ITVS.


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Where Soldiers Come From
by Heather Courtney

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From a snowy, small town in northern Michigan to the mountains of Afghanistan, Where Soldiers Come From follows the four-year journey of childhood friends who join the National Guard after graduating from high school. As it chronicles the young men's transformation from restless teenagers to soldiers looking for roadside bombs to 23-year-old combat veterans trying to start their lives again, the film offers an intimate look at the young Americans who fight our wars, the families and towns they come from — and the way one faraway conflict changes everything.

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Who is Henry Jaglom?
by Alex Rubin, Jeremy Workman

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You may have heard of Martin Scorsese or Woody Allen, but who is Henry Jaglom? Hailed by some as the last true maverick of American cinema, this writer-director has been dubbed everything from cinematic genius to the world's worst director. Obsessively confusing and abusing the lines between life and art, Jaglom challenges the boundaries of filmmaking and viewer endurance. Alex Rubin and Jeremy Workman pay an off-beat tribute to the man and his vision with a snappy spectrum of opinions from friends, family and Hollywood notables.

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William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe
by Emily Kunstler and Sarah Kunstler

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William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe examines the life of this radical attorney from a surprising angle. Kunstler’s two daughters from his second marriage grew up lionizing a man already famous for his historic civil rights and anti-war cases. Then, in their teens, they began to be disillusioned by a stubborn man who continued representing some of the most reviled defendants in America — this time accused rapists and terrorists. In this intimate biography, Emily Kunstler and Sarah Kunstler seek to recover the real story of what made their late father one of the most beloved, and hated, lawyers in America. Winner of the L’Oreal Paris Women of Worth Vision Award, 2009 Sundance Film Festival. A co-production of ITVS.

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Wo Ai Ni (I Love You) Mommy
by Stephanie Wang-Breal

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What is it like to be torn from your Chinese foster family, put on a plane with strangers and wake up in a new country, family and culture? Stephanie Wang-Breal’s Wo Ai Ni (I Love You) Mommy is the story of Fang Sui Yong, an 8-year-old orphan, and the Sadowskys, the Long Island Jewish family that travels to China to adopt her. Sui Yong is one of 70,000 Chinese children now being raised in the United States. Through her eyes, we witness her struggle with a new identity as she transforms from a timid child into someone that no one — neither her new family nor she — could have imagined. A co-production of American Documentary/POV and the Diverse Voices Project, presented in association with the Center for Asian American Media, with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

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The World Before Her
by Nisha Pahuja

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The World Before Her 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 India, 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. Winner, World Documentary Competition Award, 2012 Tribeca Film Festival. A co-presentation with the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM).

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Wrestling With Angels: Playwright Tony Kushner
by Freida Lee Mock

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Tony Kushner, whose epochal Angels in America won a Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award, has emerged as one of the country's leading playwrights and one of its fiercest moral critics. In the film "Wrestling With Angels: Playwright Tony Kushner," Oscar-winning director Freida Lee Mock ("Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision" POV 1996 and True Lives 2005) followed Kushner for three tumultuous years, from September 11, 2001 to the 2004 presidential election, to delve into the passions that keep him reaching for the great American play. Actresses Marcia Gay Harden, Meryl Streep, Tonya Pinkins and Emma Thompson, directors Mike Nichols and George C. Wolfe, and writer/artist Maurice Sendak are seen collaborating with Kushner on such landmark works as Angels in America; Caroline, or Change and Homebody/Kabul.

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Left: WHO KILLED VINCENT CHIN? by Christine Choy and Renee Tajima (POV 1989)