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POV Season 23 Episodes

14 Episodes 2010 - 2010

Episode 1

Food, Inc.

Wed, Apr 21, 2010 117 mins

Season 23 gets underway with Robert Kenner's provocative "Food, Inc.," which examines the U.S. food industry and how its practices impact consumer health, worker safety and the environment. The doc features footage of meat-packing operations and includes remarks from farmers, food-industry workers and consumer advocates, as well as Eric Schlosser ("Fast Food Nation"), Michael Pollan ("The Omnivore's Dilemma") and such practitioners of organic farming as Joel Salatin (Virginia's Polyface Farms).

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POV, Season 23 Episode 1 image

Episode 2

William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe

Tue, Jun 22, 2010 87 mins

A remarkably frank, provocative profile of controversial attorney William Kunstler (1919-1995) by his daughters Emily and Sarah, who couldn't fathom why he took on such defendants, while they were growing up, as one in the 1989 Central Park Jogger case. It features archival footage, home movies and remarks from friends and clients, including Indian activists Dennis Banks and Bill Means, and explores his Chicago 8 trial work and failed negotiations to end the 1971 Attica Prison riot.

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Episode 3

The Beaches of Agnès

Tue, Jun 29, 2010 117 mins

The winner of a French César for best documentary, the cinematic memoir "The Beaches of Agnès" features French filmmaker Agnès Varda ("Vagabond," "Cléo From 5 to 7") reflecting on her life and times through the prism of her movies. Among the subjects she broaches: her childhood in Belgium, adolescence in occupied Paris, photographic work and marriage to director Jacques Demy ("The Umbrellas of Cherbourg").

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Episode 4

Promised Land

Tue, Jul 6, 2010 57 mins

An incisive examination of land reform in South Africa, which was promised by Nelson Mandela in 1994 to rectify the wrongs of the country's apartheid past but has proved problematic in the years since. The doc tells both sides of the story, focusing on black claimants seeking ancestral lands and white landowners who don't believe they should be penalized for historical wrongs. Among the subjects is Hannes Visser, who was forced to sell his farm and meatpacking plant by the government.

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Episode 5

Good Fortune

Tue, Jul 13, 2010 87 mins

"The problem is that the people who send aid don't know where it's going," says Fred Oginda, a resident of Kenya's Kibera slum, in this documentary about international anti-poverty projects in Africa that may not be helping the people they're meant to. A plan to build modern housing in Kibera meets local resistance as residents fear that the project will benefit the well-connected, not them. In the west, neighbors worry that a rice farm's planned reservoir will cause their lands to flood.

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Episode 6

El General

Tue, Jul 20, 2010 87 mins

The remarkable "El General" interweaves the story of Mexican president Plutarco Elias Calles, who served from 1924 to '28 but whose power continued until his 1936 exile, with glimpses of modern-day Mexico. The doc features his daughter's tape recordings, which she made in her 70s for a never-realized book, as well as archival footage and the deft narration of his great-granddaughter, filmmaker Natalia Almada. The winner of the 2009 Sundance directing award for U.S. documentaries.

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Episode 7

Presumed Guilty

Tue, Jul 27, 2010 57 mins

An eye-opening look at the Mexican justice system through the case of street vendor Antonio Zuñiga, who was snatched off the street by the police and soon found guilty of murder despite no physical evidence connecting him to the crime and eyewitnesses who could place him elsewhere. The doc details the efforts of attorneys and filmmakers Roberto Hernández and Layda Negrete to get him a new trial, which they then record.

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Episode 8


Tue, Aug 17, 2010 57 mins

The video diary "Salt" details photographer Murray Fredericks' annual pilgrimage to the salt flats of remote Lake Eyre in South Australia in order to capture breathtaking shots of the bleak landscape. Also: "A Healing Art," about artificial-eye makers; the animated "Danny and Annie, Part I," about a Brooklyn couple's 27 years together, and "Danny and Annie, Part II," in which fatal illness cuts short the couple's time together.

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Episode 9

The Edge of Dreaming

Tue, Aug 24, 2010 87 mins

Filmmaker Amy Hardie explores a metaphysical-reality link in the evocative "The Edge of Dreaming," in which she charts her 48th year after experiencing several disturbing dreams about death, including one indicating she would die at 48. "Some people love to find meaning in their dreams," she says. "I don't think I do." Yet the meaning of hers seems clear: She develops a serious lung ailment. Also: the animated "Q&A," about a boy with Asperger's syndrome; "Seltzer Works," about seltzer-making.

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Episode 10

Wo Ai Ni (I Love You) Mommy

Tue, Aug 31, 2010 87 mins

The acclaimed "Wo Ai Ni (I Love You) Mommy" relates the story of 8-year-old Fang Sui Yong, a Chinese orphan adopted by a Jewish family from Long Island. The transition initially proves difficult, as Sui Yong had grown close to her Chinese foster family, but over time she adjusts to her new life. The StoryCorps short animation "Germans in the Woods," about a WWII veteran's experiences during the Battle of the Bulge, follows.

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Episode 11

Off and Running

Tue, Sep 7, 2010 87 mins

"Off and Running" chronicles the efforts of high-school junior Avery Klein-Cloud, the adopted black daughter of Jewish lesbians, to learn about her roots, a process that finds her writing her birth mother and, in time, experiencing an identity crisis that threatens both her long-term future and her bond with her parents. The doc is followed by two StoryCorps animated shorts: "The Human Voice," Studs Terkel's take on modern life; and "The Icing on the Cake," about an illegal-immigrant family.

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Episode 12

In the Matter of Cha Jung Hee

Mon, Sep 13, 2010 57 mins

Deann Borshay Liem's "In the Matter of Cha Jung Hee" explores questions of identity, memories and what-ifs as she explores how she arrived in America from Korea to be adopted in 1966, using the name of another girl. With only an old picture of the original adoptee to work from, she returns to Korea to locate the girl whose place she took at the behest of a social worker. She also examines the orphan industry that developed in Korea following the Korean War and became a million-dollar business.

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Episode 13

The Oath

Tue, Sep 21, 2010 87 mins

Laura Poitras' provocative "The Oath" tells the stories of Abu Jandal, who served as Osama bin Laden's bodyguard in the late 1990s, and Salim Hamdan, bin Laden's driver who was captured in 2001 and faced a 2009 war-crimes trial. Jandal, a free man in Yemen, is shown driving his taxi, appearing on TV and spouting rhetoric sympathetic to Al Qaeda, though---due to a deal with Yemen's government---he says he no longer condones jihad. Hamdan's story is related through letters home from Guantanamo.

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Episode 14

The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers

Tue, Oct 5, 2010 117 mins

Season 23 ends with the acclaimed documentary, "The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers." It recounts how and why former military analyst Daniel Ellsberg decided to leak the Pentagon's secret history of the Vietnam War in 1971, as well as the dramatic reaction it drew from Richard Nixon's White House. Also featured is archival audio and film footage of presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon, plus remarks from Ellsberg.

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