POV: Season 19 (2006)

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Season 19
POV

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Episodes

Air date: Jun 27, 2006

"No More Tears Sister," a moving examination of the life of Dr. Rajani Thiranagama, a Sri Lankan human-rights activist who was allegedly assassinated in 1989 by a guerrilla group---the Tamil Tigers---she once championed. Included: insights from Rajani, via letters; her older sister, Nirmala Rajasingam, who was also an activist; and her husband, Dayapala Thiranagama, a former student revolutionary.

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Air date: Jul 4, 2006

An examination of the Japanese high-school baseball tournament known as Koshien (which grabs national attention every August), focusing on two teams competing in the 2003 event. One squad is from Tennoji High School, a public school with limited resources; the other is from Chiben High School, a private school coached by the legendary Hitoshi Takashima, who has taken more than 20 teams to Koshien and won the national championship three times.

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Air date: Jul 11, 2006

A profile of the reclusive Belgian cartoonist Georges Remi (1907-83), aka Herge, best known for his "Tintin" cartoons. The documentary draws on 14 hours of interviews Remi gave journalist Numa Sadoul in 1971; and includes insights from scholars Harry Thompson, Fanny Rodwell and Gerard Valet. Also: Monteith McCollum's short "Lawn," a film collage about mankind's relationship with nature.

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Air date: Jul 18, 2006

The tumultuous 10-year reign of Peruvian president Alberto Fujimori is documented via interviews with Fujimori, Peruvian journalists and others. He took office in 1990 and defeated two of the nation's major problems, hyperinflation and terrorism. But he suspended democracy to achieve those ends. In 2000, he fled to his ancestral home, Japan, and resigned the presidency by fax; he now faces charges of authorizing a paramilitary death squad and financial irregularities.

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Air date: Jul 25, 2006

"The Tailenders" details the work of Global Recordings Network, a Christian missionary group that has provided Bible recordings to the world's remote regions since 1939; and has stories in more than 5500 languages and dialects. The documentary also looks at the technology used to spread the Bible's teachings to people in undeveloped areas; why the missionaries spread the gospel; and how the message is received by the native peoples.

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Air date: Aug 1, 2006

This fascinating episode, "Al Otro Lado" (To the Other Side), puts a personal spin on illegal immigration through eyes of aspiring corrido singer Magdiel, who lives in Sinaloa. "Mexico is nice for the rich, but for the poor it isn't," Magdiel explains; and poor he is---he can't afford to pay a border-crossing guide ("coyote") to take him to the U.S. The documentary also details the history of corridos (folk songs that celebrate outlaws); and profiles influential corrido singer Chalino Sanchez.

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Air date: Aug 22, 2006

The remarkable "Lomax the Songhunter" celebrates the life and work of musicologist Alan Lomax (1915-2002) by retracing his 1950s trek to record indigenous folk music in Scotland, Spain and Sicily; and meeting with people he recorded. The documentary also examines his earlier work in the American South; features archival footage and insights from friends and colleagues, including Pete Seeger (who helped Lomax catalog many of his field recordings).

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Air date: Aug 29, 2006

Compelling, and sometimes heartbreaking, "Waging a Living" chronicles the frustrating lives of four low-wage earners over three years. Included: a nursing assistant who supports three children as well as the kids of her oldest daughter, who has thyroid cancer; a security guard with $10 in his savings account; a waitress going through a divorce; and a child-care supervisor whose increased job earnings result in a drop in her standard of living as her government assistance is decreased.

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Air date: Sep 12, 2006

Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady's "The Boys of Baraka" offers a perceptive look at the lives of four young males from inner-city Baltimore who are given the opportunity to attend Kenya's Baraka School, which challenges them academically and attempts to instill self-discipline. The documentary follows up with the youths the following school year, when, due to a civil war in Kenya, they return to Baltimore's public-school system.

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Air date: Sep 19, 2006

Filmmaker Thomas Allen Harris focuses on the roles both his stepfather, Pule "Lee" Leinaeng, and the African National Congress played in bringing down apartheid from outside the confines of South Africa in this documentary that aims to strike a balance between intimate biography and searing social history. As the grip of apartheid was strengthening, a young group of concerned African National Congress activists exiled themselves to Botswana, Tanzania, and other "safe" locations outside of South Africa in hopes of battling oppression from the outside. By utilizing actors to create dramatic reenactments of events from that time, inter-cutting the newly shot footage with archival images, and tracing the path of his stepfather to the United States, Harris attempts to both personalize the plight of the ANC and simultaneously offer an in-depth account of the struggles the group faced while trying to abolish tyranny and restore justice to their homeland.

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