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Feb
21
    

The familiar and disturbing pictures of torture at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison raise many troubling questions: How did torture become an accepted practice at Abu Ghraib? Did U.S. government policies make it possible? How much damage has the aftermath of Abu Ghraib had on America’s credibility as a defender of freedom and human rights around the world? Acclaimed filmmaker Rory Kennedy looks beyond the headlines to investigate the psychological and political context in which torture occurred. Premieres Thursday, February 22 at 9:30pm on HBO.


 
Feb
06
    

Raised in the Athens Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, Cle “Bone” Sloan was four years old when his father died, and 12 when he became a member of the Bloods. Now an inactive member of the notorious gang, Sloan looks back at the history of black gangs in his city and makes a powerful call for change in modern gang culture with his insightful documentary, BASTARDS OF THE PARTY.

Acclaimed feature film director Antoine Fuqua (“Training Day”) produces along with Sloan, who also directs.

Haunted by his involvement in the Bloods’ pervasive culture of violence, Sloan wanted to explore where it all began. In researching the subject, he discovered that the roots of black gangs were nurtured within a distinct political landscape. BASTARDS OF THE PARTY traces the development of black gangs in Los Angeles from the late 1940s, through the charged atmosphere of the ’60s and ’70s, to the breakdown of community in the ’80s and ’90s, and the brief truce between the Crips and Bloods that followed the Rodney King riots in 1992. Among the gangs that figure in the story are the Spook- hunters, Farmers, Slauscons, Businessmen and Gladiators.

The documentary features interviews with past and current gang members from the Bloods and Crips; LA historian Mike Davis, whose book “City of Quartz” sparked Sloan’s own project; former FBI agent Wes Swearingen; and Geronimo Pratt, the former Black Panther Party minister of defense, among others.
–Read the rest of this entry »


 
Dec
27
    

Al Jazeera will begin broadcasting a 24-hour Arabic documentary channel from 1 January 2007. Programmes will range from social and political documentaries to history, science and the environment. Al Jazeera says it wants to sponsor talent and work in partnership with international filmmakers to develop content.

AME


 
Dec
18
    

Not much original TV programming left to be shown in this year, thus it is a good time to try out a new monthly post that will try to provide a good overview of what documentary program will be on TV.  The focus of these posts will be highlighting new programs that are getting their media or TV debut.  US television will be the focus, although I welcome others to use our new blog system to start similar posts for other countries.  When it is a slow part of the year, I may include reference to repeats of interesting programs or films.  The monthly posts will be updated and bumped as new programming is added.

I will be using publicists and press releases to compile the list in addition to monitoring known sources of documentary films. My starting list will include PBS, History, Discovery, HBO, Sundance, IFC, and the Networks.  If you have other ideas add a comment and let me know.  Check times with your local paper, programming guide, or station to confirm times.

December 18 2006 –  9PM – Sundance Channel – Godless In America – At a time when the religious right plays an increasingly important role in national politics, documentary filmmakers Leslie Woodhead and Reggie Nadelson look at the plight of the estimated 30 million American atheists and their struggle not to be ignored. Reviewing the long, colorful and bizarre life of atheist activist Madalyn Murray O’Hair and her contemporary successors, GODLESS IN AMERICA reveals how a freethinking secular minority continues to fight for a voice in the mainstream, despite discrimination, hostility and threats of violence.

December 28 2006 – 8PM – PBS – NOVA: Underwater Dream Machine – Follow one man’s quest to engineer a submarine with panoramic views – http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/alicia/