POV: Season 13 (2000)


Season 13

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Air date: Jun 20, 2000

Chronicling the two-year "tree-sit" by environmental activist Julia Hill, examining the controversy over clear-cutting in old-growth Northern California forests. Hill, who took the name Butterfly, is interviewed on a platform more than 100 feet off the ground in the redwood (she calls it "Luna") she lived in from December 1997 to December 1999 as part of a protest organized by the environmental group Earth First! "By staying in the tree," she says, "I am completely enwrapped and encased in nature's world."

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Air date: Jun 27, 2000

Featured at the Human Rights Watch Film Festival, the Taos Talking Picture Film Festival, and broadcast nationally on PBS, La Boda chronicles the weeks leading up to the wedding of 22-year-old Elizabeth Luis, while delving into her family's history and struggles with life in the migrant community. Both a coming-of-age story and a look at the stigma facing migrant workers, La Boda is the real-life biography of a Mexican-American family's quest to achieve the American dream while maintaining their roots in Mexican culture. In English with Spanish subtitles.

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Air date: Jul 11, 2000

At the conclusion of a film shoot in Appalachia, a mountain man confronted a member of the film crew, then shot and killed him. In this documentary, Stranger with a Camera, the tragedy is explored as a study of the media's role in American life. In an effort to gain perspective, filmmakers address issues regarding media images, as well as the inability of some communities to deal with what the images represent. There are interviews that reveal the motivations behind this tragic act and the complexity of how the media is perceived.

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Air date: Jul 18, 2000

Ex-white supremacist Ron Withrow, who founded the White Students Union at a California college, discusses why he became a racist and why he turned away from it in the late 1980s. Withrow is also seen in clips from "The Phil Donahue Show" (both before and after his conversion) and he's seen with his Hispanic wife. Also interviewed are Tom Metzger of the White Aryan Resistance and authors Matt Wray ("White Trash: Race and Class in America") and Jessie Daniels ("White Lies"). Directed by Elizabeth Thompson.

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Air date: Jul 25, 2000

Following Cuban expatriate Silvia Moroni Heath, the daughter of a sugar planter, as she returns to her homeland after an absence of 37 years. First stop: the house in which she grew up. It's now a bank, and the guard outside won't let her in. The hour, which intersperses family stills and footage of prerevolutionary Cuba, also follows Moroni to the the Cuban countryside and to the Havana Yacht Club, where her debutante ball was held.

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Air date: Aug 22, 2000

Dreamland is an appropriate title for a film that examines up close and personal that place where dreams are made and just as quickly broken -- the gambling world of Las Vegas. The documentary moves beyond the bright lights and neon glitz of the famous casino strip and into the dark and dingy neighborhood casinos that thrive in a city where compulsive gambling is every bit as addictive as a drug habit, and often seeks to escape the same symptoms of pain, loneliness, and unhappiness. Using interviews with patrons of these casinos and gambling halls, from middle-class retirees and blue collar workers to professional gamblers and casino dealers, director Lisanne Skyler provides a frank and honest look at the grim reality of an American pastime.

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Air date: Aug 29, 2000

Filmmaker Jasmine Dellal set out to record the lives of the Gypsy community in contemporary America and ended up with a story about one Romani-American and his attempts to take on the Spokane, Washington, police department in this documentary. While most Gypsies (or "Roms," as they often call themselves) whom she encountered seemed ill-inclined to talk about their lives or history before a camera, Dellal did find a cooperative subject in Jimmy Marks, who was fielding a $40 million lawsuit against the city of Spokane after law enforcement officers performed what he considered an improper search of his home ($1.6 million in cash was discovered, which Marks claimed were funds from a private community bank, but due to technicalities, only a misdemeanor charge of theft was filed against him). Marks' crusade included a number of public protests, and even an appearance on The Jerry Springer Show, though several Rom witnesses (including his grandmother) suggest that Marks is not always to be trusted. Along the way, Dellal does find several American Gypsies (including a pair of University professors) who shed light on the Rom community, its customs and etiquette, and how they've been changed by modern conditions and concerns.

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Air date: Sep 20, 2000

A heartfelt history of KFPA, the nation's oldest alternative radio station, the Pacifica Foundation's eclectic flagship, based in Berkeley, Cal. Since KPFA signed on in 1949, it has broadcast everything from Soviet-press reviews to bird calls. Even conservatives have gotten airtime. Of course, KPFA has always been controversial, and recently, the controversy has been internecine. This hour doesn't shrink from that, but mostly it celebrates KPFA. Author Alice Walker narrates.

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Air date: Sep 27, 2000

Conscious of the ongoing threats to his family's safety, Dr. Wayne Golder of Bedford, NH, chose to keep championing women's abortion rights, even after Dr. Barnett Slepian of New York was murdered. This program examines why this obstetrician and gynecologist still believes in a woman's right to choose and to receive helpful educational materials that promote abstinence. After a local middle school decided it was too risky to let Dr. Golder keep teaching his sex education class due to the disruptive pro-life demonstrators outside, the battle over abortion rights intensified even more. This film is not only about keeping lawful abortions available in America; it's also about the character of a doctor who's determined to live by his beliefs, even when his own life is seriously threatened. This program won the Justice and Human Rights Award at the 2000 Vermont International Film Festival.

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Air date: Dec 18, 2000

A Korean-American adoptee tries to forge relationships with her biological family as she sorts out her feelings toward her adoptive one in "First Person Plural," an intensely introspective film by Deann Borshay Liem, who was born amid the chaos and poverty of mid-1950s Korea, and adopted in 1966 by Californians Alveen and Arnold Borshay. They assumed Deann was an orphan, but she wasn't---a fact she learned after growing up.

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