Tag Archives: PBS

Reverential Retrospective Revisits Career of Groundbreaking TV Producer

 

American Masters: Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You,  DVD Review, Kam Williams, Archie Bunker, The Jeffersons, Maude, ground breaker, PBS, evolution of American cultureAmerican Masters: Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You

DVD Review by Kam Williams

Reverential Retrospective Revisits Career of Groundbreaking TV Producer

Norman Lear was born on July 27, 1922 in New Haven, Connecticut where he was raised Jewish  to parents of Eastern European extraction. He dropped out of college to enlist in the Air Force following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. He flew 52 combat missions over Germany as a gunner/radio operator before being honorably discharged in 1945.

After World War II, he headed to Hollywood to embark on a career in comedy. In 1968, he first enjoyed a measure of success when he landed an Oscar nomination for writing the original screenplay for Divorce American Style. He skyrocketed to the heights of fame a few years later as the creator of All in the Family.

That groundbreaking TV series revolved around a small-minded, blue-collared character from Queens named Archie Bunker. America found the bigoted buffoon so appealing that the show soon became #1 in the ratings and retained the top spot for five years in a row.

His finger on the pulse, Lear quickly began cranking out a string of similarly-realistic sitcoms, including Sanford & Son, Maude, Good Times, The Jeffersons and Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman. And at one time in the Seventies, he was the producer of a half-dozen of the Top Ten TV shows in the country.

Despite the unparalleled achievement, Norman occasionally found himself facing discontent in the ranks, such as a rebellion on the set of Good Times. It seems that some of its cast members had become upset about the series’ portrayal of African-Americans.

Esther Rolle, who played Florida, complained about the buffoonery, while John Amos, who played her husband, James, became so disillusioned that he quit after three seasons at the peak of program’s popularity. Matters came to a head when the Black Panthers stormed Lear’s office, demanding that he present some positive African-American characters. That prompted Norman to give Archie Bunker’s irascible neighbor George Jefferson his own spinoff as a wealthy businessman “Movin’ on up!” on Manhattan’s exclusive Upper East Side.

Co-directed by Oscar-nominees Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady (for Jesus Camp), Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You is an intriguing retrospective offering a revealing peek inside the mind of a pivotal figure in the evolution of American culture. For, Lear, now 93,  appears prominently in the documentary, along with luminaries like George Clooney, Jay Leno and Russell Simmons, to name a few.

An alternately penetrating and poignant portrait of a true trailblazer!

Excellent (4 stars)

Unrated

Running time: 90 minutes

Studio: American Masters Pictures / Loki Films

Distributor:  PBS Films

DVD Extras: Mary Hartman Breakdown; Mary Hartman Casting; Not Dead Yet; Bill Moyers on Norman Lear; The Shrink and Syndication; and What do a 92 year-old Jew and the world of hip hop have in #Common?

To order a copy of American Masters: Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You on DVD, visit:

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01ICLUGS4/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Source:  Baret News

 

amer ex title

 

PBS Presents Special Encore Broadcasts of The Presidents,

Peabody Award-winning Series of Biographies from

AMERICAN EXPERIENCE

 

  – From John F. Kennedy to George H. W. Bush, Encore Broadcasts of

Six Presidential Biographies ScheduledAugust 8-18, 2016

 

PBS, The American Experience, From John F. Kennedy to George H. W. Bush, Six Presidential Biographies(BOSTON, MA) – As part of its lineup of programming tied to the presidential election, PBS has scheduled encore broadcasts of six AMERICAN EXPERIENCE biographies from the Peabody Award-winning collection The Presidents. The special series begins on Monday, August 8 with a two-night special onJFK, and concludesThursday, August 18 with George H. W. Bush.

 

“These films offer a chance for Americans to explore the lives of the leaders who shaped our country and see how each dealt with many of the same issues we face today — war, poverty, healthcare, immigration, and education,” said Mark Samels, AMERICAN  EXPERIENCE Executive Producer. “Each was shaped by the times in which they governed, as well as by their personalities and character. As we choose our next leader, these films provide an invaluable look back at the qualities that make an effective president and shape a legacy.”

 

Beth Hoppe, Chief Programming Executive and General Manager, General Audience Programming, PBS, added: “This year offers a timely opportunity to revisit the stories of six presidents who have helped to shape our nation. We are delighted to offer these special encore broadcasts of The Presidents from AMERICAN EXPERIENCE, and know our viewers will enjoy the chance to learn more about these leaders and their unique contributions to our country.”

 

The six films feature insight and commentary from America’s leading presidential historians including Doris Kearns Goodwin, Robert Dallek, Robert Caro, Tim Naftali and Douglas Brinkley, and feature interviews with world leaders, family members, and political insiders from Nancy Reagan to Colin Powell, from Mikhail Gorbachev to Barbara Bush.

 

The complete schedule for The Presidents is below:

 

JFKMonday and Tuesday, August 8-9, 9:00-11:00 p.m. ET

Forever enshrined in myth by an assassin’s bullet, John F. Kennedy’s presidency has often defied objective appraisal. This portrait offers a fresh assessment of the man, his accomplishments, and his unfulfilled promise. JFK features interviews with Kennedy family members and historians including Robert Dallek, Robert Caro, Tim Naftali and Evan Thomas.

 

LBJWednesday, August 10, 8:00 p.m.-12:00 a.m. ET

Lyndon Baines Johnson was one of the most astute, effective, and perplexing politicians in modern American history. An “accidental” president but a master legislator, LBJ put into motion many of the programs that would continue to shape American life throughout the 1960s and 70s. A larger-than-life figure in his day, LBJ is appreciated for his vast domestic accomplishments, but his presidency continues to be overshadowed by his failure to end the war in Vietnam.

 

NixonThursday, August 11, 8:00-11:00 p.m. ET

Winner of a Writers Guild Award and the first American Experience presidential biography produced, Nixon explores the fateful combination of strengths and weaknesses that propelled Richard Nixon to the presidency and then brought him down. His legacy includes both ending America’s involvement in Vietnam and the Watergate scandal. Forced to resign, his administration did much to erode Americans’ faith in their government.

 

Jimmy CarterMonday, August 15, 9:00-11:00 p.m. ET

Jimmy Carter’s story is one of the greatest dramas in American politics. Overwhelmingly voted out of office in a humiliating defeat in 1980, over the following decades he became one of the most admired statesmen and humanitarians in America and the world. Jimmy Carter traces his rapid ascent in politics, dramatic fall from grace, and unexpected resurrection.

 

ReaganTuesday and Wednesday, August 16-17, 9:00-11:00 p.m. ET

The life of the actor, governor, and president who saw America as “a shining city on a hill” is recalled by those who knew him best: wife Nancy Reagan and three of his children. Also interviewed are those in his inner political circle as well as his counterparts on the world stage, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, who negotiated historic arms agreements with Reagan.

 

George H. W. BushThursday, August 18, 8:00-11:00 p.m. ET

With unparalleled access to figures in Bush’s private and public life, George H. W. Bush explores the life of a man who became a pivotal player during a critical moment in American and world history. Bush’s personal letters and comments from his closest advisors and prominent critics inform the film, which features interviews with First Lady Barbara Bush, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, James Baker, and more.

 

AMERICAN EXPERIENCE recently launched  The Presidents, an all-new digital portal showcasing more than 750 assets from the Peabody Award-winning collection of films about our nation’s most important leaders. The portal allows viewers to screen full-length films, delve deeper with experts and living witnesses, and examine more than 200 primary source documents. Video galleries on The Presidents site explore how different presidents faced issues including the economy, war, dealing with a crisis, and abuses of power.

 

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH),an independent federal agency, has been a major funder of AMERICAN EXPERIENCE’s The Presidents for more than 20 years.

 

Films from The Presidents series are available on DVD at shopPBS.org or wherever DVDs are sold. Films are also available to download on iTunes.

 

Exclusive corporate funding for AMERICAN EXPERIENCE provided by Liberty Mutual Insurance. Major funding provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Major funding for The Presidents provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities: Celebrating 50 Years of Excellence. Additional funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and public television viewers. American Experience is produced for PBS by WGBH Boston.

 

About the National Endowment for the Humanities

Celebrating its 50th anniversary as an independent federal agency in 2015-16, the National Endowment for the Humanities brings the best in humanities research, public programs, education, and preservation projects to the American people. To date, NEH has awarded $5 billion in grants to build the nation’s cultural capital – at museums, libraries, colleges and universities, archives, and historical societies – and advance our understanding and appreciation of history, literature, philosophy, and language. Learn more at neh.gov.

 

About AMERICAN EXPERIENCE 

For more than 28 years,  AMERICAN EXPERIENCE has been television’s most-watched history series. The series has been hailed as “peerless” (The Wall Street Journal), “the most consistently enriching program on television” (Chicago Tribune), and “a beacon of intelligence and purpose” (Houston Chronicle). On air and online, the series brings to life the incredible characters and epic stories that have shaped America’s past and present. Acclaimed by viewers and critics alike, American Experience documentaries have been honored with every major broadcast award, including 30 Emmy Awards, four duPont-Columbia Awards, and 17 George Foster Peabody Awards; the series received an Academy Award® nomination for Best Documentary Feature in 2015 for Last Days in Vietnam.

 

About PBS

PBS, with 350 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content. Each month, PBS reaches more than 100 million people through television and over 33 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature, and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’ broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. PBS’ premier children’s TV programming and its website, pbskids.org, are parents’ and teachers’ most trusted partners in inspiring and nurturing curiosity and love of learning in children. More information about PBS is available at www.pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org websites on the Internet, or by following PBS on Twitter, Facebook, or through our apps for mobile devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at pbs.org/pressroom or by following PBS Pressroom on Twitter.

 

“The Presidents” premieres August 8-18 on PBS

 

amer ex title

 

PBS Presents Special Encore Broadcasts of The Presidents,

Peabody Award-winning Series of Biographies from

AMERICAN EXPERIENCE

 

  – From John F. Kennedy to George H. W. Bush, Encore Broadcasts of

Six Presidential Biographies ScheduledAugust 8-18, 2016

 

PBS, The American Experience, From John F. Kennedy to George H. W. Bush, Six Presidential Biographies(BOSTON, MA) – As part of its lineup of programming tied to the presidential election, PBS has scheduled encore broadcasts of six AMERICAN EXPERIENCE biographies from the Peabody Award-winning collection The Presidents. The special series begins on Monday, August 8 with a two-night special onJFK, and concludesThursday, August 18 with George H. W. Bush.

 

“These films offer a chance for Americans to explore the lives of the leaders who shaped our country and see how each dealt with many of the same issues we face today — war, poverty, healthcare, immigration, and education,” said Mark Samels, AMERICAN  EXPERIENCE Executive Producer. “Each was shaped by the times in which they governed, as well as by their personalities and character. As we choose our next leader, these films provide an invaluable look back at the qualities that make an effective president and shape a legacy.”

 

Beth Hoppe, Chief Programming Executive and General Manager, General Audience Programming, PBS, added: “This year offers a timely opportunity to revisit the stories of six presidents who have helped to shape our nation. We are delighted to offer these special encore broadcasts of The Presidents from AMERICAN EXPERIENCE, and know our viewers will enjoy the chance to learn more about these leaders and their unique contributions to our country.”

 

The six films feature insight and commentary from America’s leading presidential historians including Doris Kearns Goodwin, Robert Dallek, Robert Caro, Tim Naftali and Douglas Brinkley, and feature interviews with world leaders, family members, and political insiders from Nancy Reagan to Colin Powell, from Mikhail Gorbachev to Barbara Bush.

 

The complete schedule for The Presidents is below:

 

JFKMonday and Tuesday, August 8-9, 9:00-11:00 p.m. ET

Forever enshrined in myth by an assassin’s bullet, John F. Kennedy’s presidency has often defied objective appraisal. This portrait offers a fresh assessment of the man, his accomplishments, and his unfulfilled promise. JFK features interviews with Kennedy family members and historians including Robert Dallek, Robert Caro, Tim Naftali and Evan Thomas.

 

LBJWednesday, August 10, 8:00 p.m.-12:00 a.m. ET

Lyndon Baines Johnson was one of the most astute, effective, and perplexing politicians in modern American history. An “accidental” president but a master legislator, LBJ put into motion many of the programs that would continue to shape American life throughout the 1960s and 70s. A larger-than-life figure in his day, LBJ is appreciated for his vast domestic accomplishments, but his presidency continues to be overshadowed by his failure to end the war in Vietnam.

 

NixonThursday, August 11, 8:00-11:00 p.m. ET

Winner of a Writers Guild Award and the first American Experience presidential biography produced, Nixon explores the fateful combination of strengths and weaknesses that propelled Richard Nixon to the presidency and then brought him down. His legacy includes both ending America’s involvement in Vietnam and the Watergate scandal. Forced to resign, his administration did much to erode Americans’ faith in their government.

 

Jimmy CarterMonday, August 15, 9:00-11:00 p.m. ET

Jimmy Carter’s story is one of the greatest dramas in American politics. Overwhelmingly voted out of office in a humiliating defeat in 1980, over the following decades he became one of the most admired statesmen and humanitarians in America and the world. Jimmy Carter traces his rapid ascent in politics, dramatic fall from grace, and unexpected resurrection.

 

ReaganTuesday and Wednesday, August 16-17, 9:00-11:00 p.m. ET

The life of the actor, governor, and president who saw America as “a shining city on a hill” is recalled by those who knew him best: wife Nancy Reagan and three of his children. Also interviewed are those in his inner political circle as well as his counterparts on the world stage, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, who negotiated historic arms agreements with Reagan.

 

George H. W. BushThursday, August 18, 8:00-11:00 p.m. ET

With unparalleled access to figures in Bush’s private and public life, George H. W. Bush explores the life of a man who became a pivotal player during a critical moment in American and world history. Bush’s personal letters and comments from his closest advisors and prominent critics inform the film, which features interviews with First Lady Barbara Bush, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, James Baker, and more.

 

AMERICAN EXPERIENCE recently launched  The Presidents, an all-new digital portal showcasing more than 750 assets from the Peabody Award-winning collection of films about our nation’s most important leaders. The portal allows viewers to screen full-length films, delve deeper with experts and living witnesses, and examine more than 200 primary source documents. Video galleries on The Presidents site explore how different presidents faced issues including the economy, war, dealing with a crisis, and abuses of power.

 

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH),an independent federal agency, has been a major funder of AMERICAN EXPERIENCE’s The Presidents for more than 20 years.

 

Films from The Presidents series are available on DVD at shopPBS.org or wherever DVDs are sold. Films are also available to download on iTunes.

 

Exclusive corporate funding for AMERICAN EXPERIENCE provided by Liberty Mutual Insurance. Major funding provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Major funding for The Presidents provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities: Celebrating 50 Years of Excellence. Additional funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and public television viewers. American Experience is produced for PBS by WGBH Boston.

 

About the National Endowment for the Humanities

Celebrating its 50th anniversary as an independent federal agency in 2015-16, the National Endowment for the Humanities brings the best in humanities research, public programs, education, and preservation projects to the American people. To date, NEH has awarded $5 billion in grants to build the nation’s cultural capital – at museums, libraries, colleges and universities, archives, and historical societies – and advance our understanding and appreciation of history, literature, philosophy, and language. Learn more at neh.gov.

 

About AMERICAN EXPERIENCE 

For more than 28 years,  AMERICAN EXPERIENCE has been television’s most-watched history series. The series has been hailed as “peerless” (The Wall Street Journal), “the most consistently enriching program on television” (Chicago Tribune), and “a beacon of intelligence and purpose” (Houston Chronicle). On air and online, the series brings to life the incredible characters and epic stories that have shaped America’s past and present. Acclaimed by viewers and critics alike, American Experience documentaries have been honored with every major broadcast award, including 30 Emmy Awards, four duPont-Columbia Awards, and 17 George Foster Peabody Awards; the series received an Academy Award® nomination for Best Documentary Feature in 2015 for Last Days in Vietnam.

 

About PBS

PBS, with 350 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content. Each month, PBS reaches more than 100 million people through television and over 33 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature, and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’ broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. PBS’ premier children’s TV programming and its website, pbskids.org, are parents’ and teachers’ most trusted partners in inspiring and nurturing curiosity and love of learning in children. More information about PBS is available at www.pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org websites on the Internet, or by following PBS on Twitter, Facebook, or through our apps for mobile devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at pbs.org/pressroom or by following PBS Pressroom on Twitter.

 

Documentary about Radical Political Party Premieres on PBS on February 16th

 

The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution

TV Review by Kam Williams

Documentary about Radical Political Party Premieres on PBS on February 16th

The late Stokely Carmichael is famous for coining the phrase “Black power!” What he might not be as well remembered for is founding the Black Panthers. Frustrated by the
tortoise-paced progress of the Civil Rights movement and by the number of martyrs dying and disappearing around the South, he decided to leave SNCC (The Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee) to form a group for folks interested in self-defense.

The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, TV Review by Kam Williams, Documentary, PBS, February 16

“You tell the people of Mississippi that all the scared [N-words] are dead!” he announced. However, Stokely had little to do with the organization after opening that first chapter in 1965 in Lowndes, Alabama (an 80% black county where no African-American had ever been allowed to vote).

Instead, it would be fall to Huey Newton and Bobby Seale to popularize the Panthers. They opened a storefront in Oakland in 1966, but they didn’t really catch fire until Martin Luther King was assassinated.  At that point, many young African-Americans became disenchanted, which made the idea of confronting the police by brandishing weapons very appealing.

The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, TV Review by Kam Williams, Documentary, PBS, February 16

Soon, Panther chapters began spring up all over the country. And it helped recruitment immeasurably when ex-con-turned-best-selling author Eldridge Cleaver came aboard as Minister of Information. After all, the media-savvy spokesperson gave good soundbite, even if it only served to antagonize the police and establishment.

For instance, he called then Governor Reagan “a punk, a sissy and a coward,” going so far as to challenge the Gipper to a duel to the death. And after Huey was arrested for the murder of a police officer, Eldridge threatened open armed war on the streets of the country, if  Newton weren’t freed.

The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, TV Review by Kam Williams, Documentary, PBS, February 16

Meanwhile, J. Edgar Hoover was cooking up a counterintelligence program (COINTELPRO) designed to bring down the Panthers. The FBI proceeded to embark on a surreptitious reign of terror which included frame-ups, disinformation, assassinations and infiltration. The ploy worked, as paranoia came to permeate the organization, which splintered when the leadership became suspicious of one another. Huey called Eldridge a coward. Eldridge then quit and called for hits against anyone still in the Party.

Thus unfolds The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, a warts-and-all documentary directed by Stanley Nelson (Freedom Riders). The film is fascinating not only because of its copious archival footage, but on account of the many revelations exposing the dark underbelly of an outfit often given a pass in spite of myriad flaws in terms of misogyny and machismo.

The Black Panthers revisited less as a political party concerned about the welfare of the people than as an internecine power struggle between a couple of larger than life egos.

Excellent (4 stars)

Unrated

Running time: 113 minutes

Distributor: Firelight Films

The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution Premieres on PBS-TV’s Independent Lens on Tuesday, February 16 @ 9 pm ET/PT (Check local listings)

Source:  Baret News

Celebrated Playwright and Down-and-Out Pensioner Forge Unlikely Friendship in Bittersweet Docudrama

 

The Lady in the Van

Film Review by Kam Williams

Celebrated Playwright and Down-and-Out Pensioner Forge Unlikely Friendship in Bittersweet Docudrama

For a half-dozen seasons, Dame Maggie Smith has been delighting television viewers as dowager Violet Crawley on Downton Abbey. Younger fans of the show might be unaware that she’s a two-time Oscar-winner (for California Suite and The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie) who had already enjoyed an illustrious career prior to appearing on the the hit PBS series.

The Lady in the Van, Film Review by Kam Williams, Docudrama, Dame Maggie Smith, PBS, down-and-out homeless woman

In The Lady in the Van, she’s been cast as a character practically the polar opposite of the imperious aristocrat we’ve come to love. For, Margaret Shepherd is a down-and-out homeless woman humbled by having to live out of a van which she parks on the street in the Camden Town section of North London.

At the point of departure in the early Seventies, we learn that Margaret’s miserable plight is substantially one of her making,. She’s been on the run for five years since leaving the scene of a fatal hit-and-run car accident.

And while the devout Catholic has confessed the sin to her priest, she could never quite bring herself to surrender to the authorities. Consequently, she’s forever looking over her shoulder, fearful that her arrest might be imminent.

The plot thickens when she can’t afford to fix her misfiring jalopy sorely in need of a tune-up. Most of the owners in the upscale neighborhood where the van is sitting would simply like to see the eyesore towed away from the block once and for all.

But, for some reason, Alan Bennett (Alex Jennings) feels compassion for the ostensibly overwhelmed octagenarian, perhaps because he has a mother also of advanced age. So, against his better judgment, the famous writer allows ” Miss Shepherd” to park her disabled car in the driveway on the express understanding that this will be a temporary arrangement.

The Lady in the Van, Film Review by Kam Williams, Docudrama, Dame Maggie Smith, PBS, down-and-out homeless woman

But Alan  proves to be such a soft touch that the cantankerous old coot ends up squatting on his property for the next 15 years. Can a Tony Award-winning playwright and a feisty pensioner coexist peacefully in such crazy conditions?

That is the question at the heart of The Lady in the Van, a heartwarming dramedy inspired by actual events. The film was adapted from Bennett’s 1999 theatrical production of the same name which also starred Maggie Smith.

Smith looks oh so relaxed onscreen in the role she originated onstage, whether cadging for alms on the pavement or exhibiting pangs of remorse about the crash which left her in dire straits. Just as effective is Alex Jennings’ interpretation of Bennett as a terminally-conflicted soul constantly carrying on an inner dialogue with himself.

A touching tale of empathy blessed by a couple of equally-endearing performances that are nothing short of inspired.

Excellent (4 stars)

Rated PG-13 for a disturbing image

Running time: 104 minutes

Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics

Source:  Baret News

Independent Lens Premieres Two New Documentaries in February for Black History Month

Independent Lens

Premieres Two New Documentaries in February for

Black History Month

 


This February, Independent Lens presents two provocative new documentaries that take a fresh look at not only the African American experience but the ongoing question of the meaning of race in America.The first documentary to explore the role of photography in shaping the identity, aspirations and social emergence of Through a Lens DarklyAfrican Americans from slavery to the present, Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People  premieres onMonday, February 16, 2015, 10:00-11:30 p.m. ET (check local listings).Directed by Thomas Allen Harris, the film probes the recesses of American history through images that have been suppressed, forgotten and lost. Bringing to light the hidden and unknown photos shot by both professional and vernacular African American photographers, the film opens a window into the lives of black families, whose experiences and perspectives are often missing from the traditional historical canon. These images show a much more complex and nuanced view of American culture and society and its founding ideals. Inspired by Reflections in Black by author Deborah Willis, the film features the works of Carrie Mae Weems, Lorna Simpson, Anthony Barboza, Hank Willis Thomas, Coco Fusco, Clarissa Sligh, and many others.


How do we explain the disconnect between what we believe and what we practice in what some have called a “post-racial” America? American Denial explores this question through the prism of a landmark 1944 inquiry into Jim Crow segregation conducted by Swedish sociologist Gunnar Myrdal for the Carnegie Commission. His question: How could a people who cherish freedom and fairness also create such a racially oppressive society? Seventy years later,American Denial juxtaposes Myrdal’s investigation with current stories of racial injustice that are often overlooked in our national insistence on the preeminence of the ideals of liberty, justice, and equality. Directed by Llewellyn Smith and produced by Christine Herbes-Sommers, Smith, and Kelly Thomson, American Denial premieres Monday, February 23, 2015, 10:00-11:00 pm. ET (check local listings).

 

About Independent Lens

 

Independent Lens is an Emmy® Award-winning weekly series airing on PBSMonday nights at 10:00 p.m. The acclaimed series features documentaries united by the creative freedom, artistic achievement, and unflinching visions of independent filmmakers. Presented by Independent Television Service, the series is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people, with additional funding from PBS and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. For more visit pbs.org/independentlens. Join the conversation:  facebook.com/independentlens and on Twitter@IndependentLens.

 

 

REBELS WITH A CAUSE

REBELS WITH A CAUSERebelsPOSTER_med-final

How a small regional battle over land grew into American’s legacy

of  National Seashores, Parks and Recreation Areas.

It was fight that went all the way to the White House.

Twice. How did they do it?

A one hour documentary premiering on PBS stations during April, in celebration of Earth Day.

For trailer and more information visit:  http://rebelsdocumentary.org/broadcast/

https://www.facebook.com/RebelsDocumentary

https://twitter.com/rebelsdoc

Academy Award winning actress Frances McDormand narrates this tale about activists’ who-despite reversals, diversions and disappointments – persist in their mission for more than twenty years and foster a national movement to preserve open spaces and shape the environmental movement of today.

The fight begins in the 1950’s with a small group of ordinary citizens in Northern California who band together to protect lands adjacent to urban areas from San Francisco’s rampant development in order to preserve them for public recreation. But what begins as a regional effort evolves into a decades-long battle for many of American’s seashores. It’s a fight that goes all the way to the White House. Twice. So how did they do it?

REBELS WITH A CAUSE tells the story of the dreamers and schemers who fought to keep wealthy developers from taking over – and destroying – breathtaking natural landscapes. Despite their early efforts, however, “it wasn’t until John Kennedy was elected in 1960 that things began to move…,” says Bill Duddleson, Legislative Assistant to then – Congressman Clem Miller. “We drew up a petition which said only this: ‘Dear Mr. President, only you can preserve this magnificent seashore for all generations of Americans, It’s NOW or NEVER!” recalls Peter Behr, former California Senator.

Stewart Udall, Secretary of the Interior from 1961 to 1969 says “After (Kennedy) appointed me Secretary of the Interior, he sent an Annual Conservation Message, and it included making Cape Cod a National Seashore. We looked at the President’s proposal – then said it would be selfish to just make Cape Cod a National Seashore; let’s have one on each coast! And we proposed Padre Island, Texas…and Point Reyes,” and it only got bigger from there.  REBELS WITH A CAUSE is the story of a small regional effort that grew into a legacy of National Seashores, National Parks and National Recreation Areas around the nation. It’s the story of garden clubs, ranchers, farmers, conservationists, politicians, widows and volunteers all of who worked their way through compromise and negotiation with the American public coming up as a winner. It’s a struggle that crosses party lines, unites seemingly antagonistic foes, falters and is nearly extinguished many times along the way, but is ultimately victorious. Beautiful cinematic footage, clever animation, moving interviews and a very compelling story are deftly woven together in a tale that is especially meaningful for contemporary times.

Director: Nancy Kelly, Kelly & Yamamoto Productions

Producers: Nancy Kelly and Kenji Yamamoto, Kelly+Yamanto Productions

Executive Producer: Nancy Dobbs, KRCB North Bay Public Media

Broadcast underwritten by Earth: EarthJustice. Because the Earth Needs A Good Lawyer. www.earthjustice.org.

About Kelly+Yamamoto Productions

Kelly+Yamamoto Productions was founded in 1985 by Nancy Kelly and Kenji Yamamoto.  For more than 20 years, Kelly+Yamamoto have produced independent non-fiction and fiction films that have been distributed nationally and internationally in theaters, on television, as well as in the home video and educational markets.  Kelly+Yamamoto films have won numerous film festival awards and have been official selections for festivals in England, Ireland, Brazil, and France.  Kelly and Yamamoto were both fellows at the Sundance Institute June Lab, and Yamamoto was a fellow at the Sundance Institute Documentary Lab.  REBELS WITH A CAUSE marks the first collaboration between Kelly+Yamamoto Productions and Boston-based distributor,American Public Television.  Kelly+Yamamoto’s previous public television credits include: America ReFramed: TRUST: Second Acts in Young Lives (2012)PBS Primetime Special: SMITTEN (2007); Independent Lens: Downside UP (2003); andAmerican Playhouse: Thousand Pieces of Gold (1992).

 

About KRCB North Bay Public Media

KRCB TV, Channel 22, has been the local PBS station in Sonoma County, supplying quality broadcasting to the viewing public. KRCB has produced or co-produced a number of programs with this philosophy in mind, including the multiple Emmy Award winning Natural Heroes, a nationally aired series on the environment featuring local people working to create change in their own communities, with production support coming in part from General Hydroponics, the Wallace Genetic Foundation and the Sierra Club.  KRCB has also produced short video programs on local history (Expressions) and on the local environment (Bay Nature on the Air) in conjunction with Bay Nature Magazine.

 

About American Public Television

Since 1961, American Public Television (APT) has been a leading distributor of high-quality, top-rated programming to the nation’s public television stations.  APT also has distributed about half of the top 100 highest-rated public television titles for nearly 10 years.  Among its 300 new program titles per year, APT programs include prominent documentaries, news and current affairs programs, dramas, how-to programs, children’s series and classic movies. America’s Test Kitchen From Cook’s Illustrated, Rick Steves’ Europe, Doc Martin, Nightly Business Report, Moyers & Company, NHK Newsline, Lidia’s Kitchen, Globe Trekker, Simply Ming, BBC World News and P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home join numerous documentaries and performance programs popular with public television viewers.  APT licenses programs internationally through its APT Worldwide service.  Entering its 9th year, Create® TV — featuring the best of public television’s lifestyle programming — is distributed by APT.  APT also distributes WORLD™, public television’s premier news, science and documentary channel.  For more information, visit www.APTonline.org .