POV: Season 22 (2009)

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Season 22
POV

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Episodes

Air date: Jun 23, 2009

Season 22 opens with "New Muslim Cool," which chronicles the life of likable Hamza Pérez, a Puerto Rican Islam convert and talented rap artist (he teams with his brother Sulíman in M-Team) who moves to Pittsburgh to help form a Muslim community. Filmed over a period of several years, the documentary traces his growing maturity and understanding of his faith, which is tested by an FBI raid on his mosque and the loss of a job he cherished---teaching prison inmates about his faith and life itself.

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Air date: Jun 30, 2009

When their son Francois was brutally murdered by skinheads on September 13, 2002, Jean-Paul and Marie-Cecile vowed to do everything within their power to bring the killers to justice, and try to understand just what motivated them to carry out such a reprehensible act of violence. As preparations for the murder trial began, emerging details told the story of a hateful gang that went to the park in search of an Arab to kill. When those efforts failed, the gang then focused their rage on a young man who boldly defied them by refusing to deny that he was gay. Now, in order to move beyond the hatred and pick up the pieces of their shattered lives, Jean-Paul, Marie-Cecile, and Francois' sister summon the quiet courage needed to discuss every aspect of their harrowing ordeal as filmmaker Olivier Meyrou allows their cathartic but heartbreaking story to be told on its own terms, and without superfluous narration or exposition.

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Air date: Jul 7, 2009

The resilience of the human spirit and the restorative power of true love serve as the focal points of this documentary, which follows the recovery process of a gifted guitarist stricken by a debilitating brain hemorrhage. Guitarist Jason Crigler was performing a 2004 concert in Manhattan when he suddenly collapsed. Crigler had suffered from a massive brain hemorrhage, and he was lucky just to be alive. According to his doctors, it was highly unlikely that Crigler would ever even walk again, much less pick up a guitar and start strumming. But then something remarkable happened: Crigler's pregnant wife and the couple's devoted family decided not to accept the doctor's diagnosis and to take the recovery of their beloved into their own hands. Over the course of the next three years, Crigler's family worked around the clock to reactivate his brain by stimulating his intellect and showering him with love. In an era when doctors consistently fall back on scientific progress in order to gauge their patient's potential for recovery, could the power of relationships prove strong enough to conjure up a medical miracle?

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Air date: Jul 14, 2009

The work of the International Criminal Court, an international body formed in 2002 to prosecute crimes against humanity, is chronicled in "The Reckoning." Filmed over three years, the documentary features chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo and his team as they issue arrest warrants for the leaders of the Lord's Resistance Army in Uganda, try a Congolese warlord and charge Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir with crimes against humanity and genocide.

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Air date: Jul 21, 2009

In this documentary, filmmaker Thavisouk Phrasavath details the painful story of how he and his family faced hardship and poverty as Laotian refugees during the Vietnam War. Combining interviews and archival footage, Phrasavath explores not only the experience of betrayal that his family endured when they were forced to flee their homeland, but the larger scheme of geopolitics that put the events into play.

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Air date: Jul 28, 2009

The experiences of five children at Mulberry Bush School, a school in Oxford, England, for preadolescents with severe behavioral problems, are chronicled in the cinema vérité documentary "Hold Me Tight, Let Me Go."

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Air date: Aug 18, 2009

A collection of short documentaries, including "Utopia, Part 3: The World's Largest Shopping Mall," about the 7-million-square-foot South China Mall, which was built in 2005 and is virtually empty; "Nutkin's Last Stand," about the attempt of Britons to save their red squirrels from an influx of North American gray squirrels; "34x25x36," about the Patina V mannequin factory near L.A.; and "City of Cranes," which explores the world of crane operators.

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Air date: Aug 25, 2009

The story of East Jerusalem's Our Lady of Sorrows Nursing Home, which serves Palestinian Christians and sits adjacent to the Israel-built security wall. The problem: It is on the Israeli side, which makes it difficult for family members to visit.

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Air date: Sep 1, 2009

Profiles two female matadors, veteran Mari Paz Vega and newcomer Eva Florencia. Also: a history of women and bullfighting, including a 1908 Spanish law that barred them from the sport.

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Air date: Sep 8, 2009

"The English Surgeon" details the work of British neurosurgeon Henry Marsh in Ukraine, home to a decaying medical infrastructure that often fails patients with neurological problems. The documentary chronicles three weeks in 2007 as he provides care---and sometimes delivers bad news---to patients in need of his level of expertise, including a young man with a brain tumor that is slowly killing him.

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