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POV Season 20 Episodes

14 Episodes 2007 - 2007

Episode 1

Rain in a Dry Land

Tue, Jun 19, 2007 87 mins

The 20th season opens with the touching "Rain in a Dry Land," which chronicles the experiences of two Somali families who immigrate to the U.S. after spending more than a decade in a Kenyan refugee camp. One family settles in Springfield, Mass., the other in Atlanta. Both encounter the challenges inherent in the radical transition, which range from overcoming culture shock to learning to read and speak English and finding jobs.

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Episode 2

Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars

Tue, Jun 26, 2007 87 mins

The story of Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars, a music group comprising survivors from Sierra Leone's 1991-2002 civil war. Here, the six members tour refugee camps in Guinea and return to Sierra Leone to record an album in Freetown, the capital.

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Episode 3

Standing Silent Nation

Tue, Jul 3, 2007 57 mins

The story of Alex White Plume, an Oglala Sioux Tribe member who ran into controversy with the federal government for growing industrial hemp on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. While it's legal to sell hemp products in the U.S., it is illegal to grow hemp (which is related to marijuana but has only traces of it). In 2000, White Plume planted industrial hemp, only to see his land raided by the DEA and FBI. Included: issues of tribal sovereignty; the economic conditions at Pine Ridge.

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Episode 4

Revolution '67

Tue, Jul 10, 2007 87 mins

The insightful "Revolution '67" exposes the flip side to the "Summer of Love": race riots in several American cities, including Detroit and, as spotlighted here, Newark. The six-day riot began on July 12, sparked by a rumor that a black taxi driver died while in police custody, but was fueled by endemic poverty, racism and political corruption. Commenting: poet Amiri Baraka; Tom Hayden, who worked as a community organizer in the city at the time; and former Newark mayor Sharpe James.

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Episode 5

The Chances of the World Changing

Tue, Jul 17, 2007 87 mins

A profile of writer-conservationist Richard Ogust, who shared his Manhattan loft with 1200 turtles, including several on the endangered list. When he was evicted from the loft, he tried to set up a sanctuary for them. But he ultimately had to move them to a warehouse.

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Episode 6

Prison Town, USA

Tue, Jul 24, 2007 87 mins

"Prison Town, USA" examines life in rural Susanville, Cal., which once thrived on agriculture, logging and ranching, and now relies on an economy fueled by nearby prisons. The documentary profiles residents who seek better lives for themselves and their families by becoming correctional officers; a parolee who has difficulty supporting his family because of a shortage of non-prison jobs; and a dairy farmer whose contract with the prisons may not be renewed.

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Episode 7

Following Sean

Tue, Jul 31, 2007 87 mins

In the remarkable "Following Sean," Ralph Arlyck picks up the story he began in 1969 with the short documentary "Sean," about a 4-year-old boy living in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury District, by reconnecting with the adult Sean and his family; and, while doing so, offering observations about his own life. The result is an insightful meditation about baby boomers, their children and their parents; freedom; work; and growing old.

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Episode 8

Arctic Son

Tue, Aug 21, 2007 87 mins

"Arctic Son" follows a young Native American from Washington state who leaves his party ways behind when he moves to Old Crow, a small "dry" village 80 miles north of the Arctic Circle, to live with his father, whom he barely knows. His father imparts the Gwitchin people's ways to his son, teaching him to fish, hunt and skin rabbits, but the culture shock at first leaves the younger man frustrated. Over time, however, he comes to see the value in the old ways and bonds with his father.

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Episode 9

Libby, Montana

Tue, Aug 28, 2007 87 mins

"Libby, Montana" examines the impact of 70 years of mining the mineral vermiculite on the town, where about a quarter of the population was found to have lung abnormalities from asbestos exposure. The documentary also details claims that W.R. Grace & Co., which owned the mine, concealed the dangers faced by workers, even as the company and a number of executives faced criminal charges; and questions why the government permitted the mine to operate until its 1990 closure.

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Episode 10

Made in L.A.

Tue, Sep 4, 2007 87 mins

"Made in L.A." relates the powerful story of three Latina immigrants in L.A's garment industry who, along with other workers and the Garment Worker Center (an advocacy group), fought for better pay and working conditions. They filed a lawsuit against Forever 21, the clothing company and retail chain that hired the contractors for whom they work; and protested at its stores and at the home of its president.

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Episode 11

The Camden 28

Tue, Sep 11, 2007 87 mins

"The Camden 28" recalls a 1971 incident in which four Catholic priests, a Lutheran minister and 23 others were arrested for breaking into the Camden, N.J., draft-board office, where they shredded draft records. A four-month trial resulted in not-guilty verdicts for the members, who admitted their actions but asked the jury to nullify the law because of their opposition to the Vietnam War; and because the informant who tipped off the FBI about the raid was integral to the break-in.

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Episode 12


Tue, Sep 18, 2007 57 mins

"Lumo" examines the use of rape as a weapon in war, detailing the experiences of an African woman who, in 1994 at the age of 20, was brutally assaulted by soldiers in eastern Congo. The attack caused a fistula, a condition that can be marked by incontinence and the inability to bear children. As a result, her fiancé left her; and many in her family and village shunned her. The documentary follows her to a Goma hospital, where she undergoes surgeries in hopes of correcting the problem.

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Episode 13

49 Up

Tue, Oct 9, 2007 147 mins

The 20th season ends with Michael Apted's "49 Up," the seventh installment in his look at the lives of British baby boomers that began in 1964, when the subjects were 7 years old.They include a cabbie; a former missionary; three girlhood friends whose lives have led them in different directions; and two men who lived in the same childrens' home.

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Episode 14

Wrestling With Angels: Playwright Tony Kushner

Wed, Dec 12, 2007 120 mins

An exceptional documentary about award-winning playwright Tony Kushner, best known for "Angels in America." It chronicles his life from 2001 through 2004, and recalls his childhood in Louisiana; his coming out to his parents, including its impact on his father, William (who is interviewed); and his initial success with "Angels." Also: his collaboration with children's author Maurice Sendak on "Brundibar"; his 2003 autobiographical Broadway musical, "Caroline, or Change"; his wedding ceremony.

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