POV: Season 12 (1999 - 2000)

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Season 12
POV

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Episodes

Air date: Jun 1, 1999

In 1994, after 12-year-old Polly Klaas was killed by kidnapper Richard Allen Davis, the State of California proposed a repeat-offender law that mandated a life sentence after any criminal's third felony conviction; it was passed that year by an overwhelming margin. The measure was highly controversial, and The Legacy: Murder and Media, Politics and Prisons explores the views of both supporters and opponents of the bill. Surprisingly, several members of the Klaas family speak out against the bill, which they feel was drawn too broadly, and suggest Polly's tragedy was being used for the political gain of others; Joe Klaas, Polly's grandfather, at one point states "It's obscene to equate stealing a stereo with stealing a child."

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Air date: Jun 8, 1999

Chronicling an annual reunion of the Golden Threads, a networking organization for lesbians over 50, in Provincetown, Mass. Included: a profile of the group's founder, Christine Burton; and interviews with group members, who talk about "coming out" and their relationships.

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Air date: Jun 22, 1999

Following two tough-loving mentors, Luis Camacho and Angel Alejandro, as they teach boxing skills to streetwise kids in Camacho's South Bronx gym. Alejandro's motivation: "So [the teens] won't get into trouble like I got into trouble." The hour (filmed between 1995 and '97) follows the two as they work with promising youngsters, one of whom went on to win a 1999 Golden Gloves title.

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Air date: Jun 29, 1999

P.O.V. profiles seventysomething speed racer Art Arfons, who recalls his last attempt at the land speed record in 1990 (he didn't make it) and his obsession with speed. Arfons last held the record (576 mph) in 1965.

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Air date: Jul 6, 1999

Japanese-Americans look back on life in WWII internment camps. "Those places were jails," says writer Chizuko Omori, whose sister Emiko is the film's director and writer. Among the topics: the effect of internment on family life; political and generational divisions among internees; a loyalty questionnaire the U.S. government required internees fill out; and internee resistance to a wartime draft.

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Air date: Jul 13, 1999

In "Corpus: A Home Movie for Selena," filmmaker Lourdes Portillo explores the slain Tejano superstar's life and legacy in interviews with Selena's fans and family members, as well as Latina writers and Corpus Christi, Texas, radio personality Vincente Carranza. "When she died," he says, "she became part of our soul."

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Air date: Jul 20, 1999

"School Prayer: A Community at War" follows one woman's legal battle from 1994 to '96 to stop devotional sessions over the intercom in a Mississippi county's public schools. "The issue," she says, "is that my children's rights were being violated." Prayer, counters an opponent, is "a part of us. It's part of everything we do."

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Air date: Jul 27, 1999

"The Double Life of Ernesto Gomez Gomez" chronicles the tumultuous childhood of this son of Puerto Rican revolutionaries, who was separated from them at 13 months in 1980, and raised in Mexico. At age 10, he learned his true identity, and five years later he sought out his mother (who's interviewed in a California prison). Ernesto's adoptive parents in Mexico are also interviewed.

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Air date: Jan 24, 2000

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Air date: Jun 5, 2000

"Well-Founded Fear," a poignant, balanced report about the process of seeking political asylum in the U.S. Filmed in INS offices in New York and New Jersey, the report consists mostly of actual INS interviews with asylum seekers. Granting asylum is anything but routine, and questioning can be tough ("What do you mean by tortured," one man is asked). And lurking behind every interview are what one officer delicately calls "credibility issues."

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