POV: Season 14 (2001)

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Season 14
POV

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Episodes

Air date: Jun 19, 2001

The series presents "Scout's Honor," an affecting chronicle of a straight Boy Scout's battle to change the youth organization's stand against admitting gays. He's Steven Cozza of Petaluma, Cal., who was just 12 when he founded a grassroots organization called Scouting for All. The hour offers background on the issue, but mostly it follows Steven, at home and around the country. His overriding theme: "Gay people are normal. The only thing that's not normal is the policy that discriminates against them."

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Air date: Jun 26, 2001

The sweetest sound in the world is one's own name, says filmmaker Alan Berliner, who ruminates on names in general and his own in particular in this engagingly offbeat hour. Berliner explores his name with help from his parents and sister, and asks people on New York City streets their opinions of the name "Alan." He also interviews an INS official, an Ellis Island librarian and members of the Jim Smith Society (it has just one entrance requirement). And he invites every Alan Berliner he can find to dinner (12 show up).

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Air date: Jul 3, 2001

An immigrant family straddles two cultures in "My American Girls: A Dominican Story," a probing but warm cinéma-vérité portrait of the Ortizes of Brooklyn. Sandra and Bautista Ortiz work two menial jobs apiece and try to maintain some control over their happily chaotic household (relatives and friends are a constant presence) while building their retirement house in the Dominican Republic. It's their driving dream but it's tinged with sadness because they know that their daughters (the eldest a recent Columbia grad) are Americans, and for them the "D.R." will only be a place to visit.

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Air date: Jul 10, 2001

Chronicling the case of a Japanese-American who defied the WWII internment order and saw his conviction upheld by the Supreme Court in 1944. "Every branch of Government that is responsible for protecting the Constitution failed," says law professor Peter Irons. In 1983 Korematsu sought to reopen his case. "It represents the trial Japanese-Americans never had," says his lawyer, Donald Tamaki. This time the result was different.

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Air date: Jul 17, 2001

While women have been making steady inroads into professional sports in the last two decades -- with the WNBA gaining a solid and growing fan base for women's basketball, women's soccer seemingly poised to follow suit, and women's boxing growing past novelty status into an established sport -- the rough-and-tumble world of football would seem to be off limits to female athletes in the eyes of most observers. But the Women's Professional Football League is a small but fiercely determined group of women who have dedicated themselves to making a place for female athletes on the gridiron. True-Hearted Vixens is a documentary that takes a look at the inaugural season of the WPFL, and in particular two of the players struggling to live out their dreams as professional footballers -- Jane Bolin, a political consultant and longtime rugby enthusiast, and Kertia "Moochie" Lofton, a single mother and the league's star wide receiver. True-Hearted Vixens (named for Lofton's team, the Minnesota Vixens) was screened at the 2001 L.A. Outfest, and was also shown as part of the acclaimed PBS documentary series P.O.V..

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Air date: Jul 24, 2001

Welfare reform comes across as a work very much in progress in "Take It from Me," which interweaves penetrating case studies of low-income New Yorkers. One woman, with a troubled teenage son, can't find work as a waitress despite her well-spoken manner. A recovering substance abuser with three children has a job but earns just $5.50 an hour. And a young mother of three can't regain custody of the two she lost without an apartment. "We have the thirst to make it to the top," says another. "But in the world as it is today, no one is on our side."

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Air date: Aug 14, 2001

Chronicling clashes over Western lands that Native Americans consider sacred. "It's two different belief systems in conflict," says a National Park Service ranger at Devils Tower, Wyo., a towering rock monolith (made famous in the film "Close Encounters of the Third Kind") that's holy ground to Lakota---and a favorite spot for rock climbers. In northern Arizona, mines encroach on the Hopis' "ring of shrines." And at Mount Shasta in California, plans for a ski resort---and followers of New Age religions---are upsetting the local Wintu tribe. Peter Coyote narrates.

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Air date: Aug 21, 2001

Examining the effect of economic globalization on Jamaica. It's anything but positive, according to filmmaker Stephanie Black, who juxtaposes scenes of American and British tourists at play with Jamaican farmers, workers, businessmen and politicians describing their difficulties (Black also juxtaposes often-contrasting comments by former Jamaican prime minister Michael Manley with those of International Monetary Fund deputy director Stanley Fischer). Two local industries are thriving, however: guard-dog suppliers and coffin-makers.

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Air date: Aug 28, 2001

"High School," cinéma-vérité master Frederick Wiseman's piercing 1968 look at the rhythms of life at Philadelphia's mostly white, mostly middle-class Northeast High School, captures both similarities and differences (not just hair styles) between then and now. The outside world intrudes, too, as a gym teacher catches up with a visiting former student, a Vietnam vet who's in uniform. "Didn't get hit, huh?" the teacher surmises. Then they swap stories of other former students who weren't so lucky.

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Air date: Oct 2, 2001

"5 Girls" from Chicago confront adolescence in this cinéma-vérité documentary, filmed over three years by director-producer Maria Finitzo. Aisha and Corrie have dad problems (both are loving, but Aisha's is overprotective and Corrie's disapproves of her bisexual lifestyle). Amber succeeds in school despite her family's dysfunction. Habinh, a Vietnamese native, is adapting to the U.S., and Toby is pushed to excel by her parents, both of whom are doctors.

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