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POV Season 24 Episodes

15 Episodes 2011 - 2011

Episode 1

Kings of Pastry

Tue, Jun 21, 2011 87 mins

The Season 24 premiere features the Chris Hegedus-D.A. Pennebaker film "Kings of Pastry," about the Meilleurs Ouvriers de France pastry competition in Lyons. The contestants rate among the world's top dessert chefs; and create everything from cream puffs to wedding cakes. In the final, they hand-carry delicate sugar sculptures to a display area. Participants include Regis Lazard, who sadly dropped his sculpture the year before; and Jacquy Pfeiffer of the French Pastry School in Chicago.

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Episode 2

My Perestroika

Tue, Jun 28, 2011 87 mins

"My Perestroika" chronicles Russian life pre- and post- the USSR's collapse through the eyes of five schoolmates who grew up during the Brezhnev era. "It was childhood, so it was a happy time," one says of those repressive, economically stagnate years. Their world began to change in 1986, however, when Mikhail Gorbachev launched the glasnost and perestroika initiatives, and then turned upside-down after the Soviet Union's 1991 breakup. Archival footage and home movies accent the insightful film.

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Episode 3


Tue, Jul 5, 2011 87 mins

In "Sweetgrass," filmmakers Ilisa Barbash and Lucien Castaing-Taylor chronicle the waning days of the American West's traditional sheepherders via the story of a Montana sheep rancher who grazes his herd on public land north of Yellowstone. Along with family members and hired hands, he drives the sheep to and from the location in much the same way that his forebears did, though equipped with a such modern items as four-wheelers, cell phones and walkie talkies.

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Episode 4

Enemies of the People

Tue, Jul 12, 2011 87 mins

"Enemies of the People" investigates the Khmer Rouge slaughter of two million Cambodians from 1975 to 1979. Journalist Thet Sambath, whose family members were among the dead, talks with low-level perpetrators and Khmer Rouge "Brother No. 2" Nuon Chea, who was second only to Pol Pot in the party structure. The documentary has been honored at more than 20 film festivals, including with the World Jury Special Prize at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.

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Episode 5

Biblioburro, the Donkey Library

Tue, Jul 19, 2011 57 mins

"Biblioburro, the Donkey Library" tells the story of rural Colombian schoolteacher Luis Soriano, who brings a book library to children in the northern back country every weekend via two donkeys. The trek is an arduous one that requires him and his burros to brave nearly impassible trails and face such dangers as snakes, guerrillas and bandits.

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POV, Season 24 Episode 5 image

Episode 6

Mugabe and the White African

Tue, Jul 26, 2011 87 mins

"Mugabe and the White African" relates the story of white Zimbabwe farmer Mike Campbell, whose farm---which he purchased after the country's independence in 1980---has been targeted by strongman Robert Mugabe's government for confiscation as part of the country's land-redistribution program. The documentary details Campbell's efforts to save his farm by taking his case to an international court, a process that proves frustrating due to several delays, as well as his run-ins with Mugabe's thugs.

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Episode 7

Steam of Life

Tue, Aug 2, 2011 57 mins

"Steam of Life" offers a glimpse into the lives of Finnish men via the national obsession with saunas. Men from across Finland show off their saunas and talk about themselves, including their hopes, dreams, disappointments and fears.

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Episode 8

POV Short Cuts

Tue, Aug 23, 2011 60 mins

Short films are featured. Included: David Wilson's "Big Birding Day," about competitive birdwatching; "Flawed," Andreas Dorfman's animated take on her relationship with a plastic surgeon; Marcin Janos Krawczyk's "Six Weeks," about a new mother in Poland contemplating giving up her baby for adoption; Beverly Morris' animated "Tiffany," about a divorce battle over a lamp; "Miss Devine," about a Sunday-school teacher; "No More Questions," in which a grandmother shares stories from her life.

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Episode 9


Tue, Aug 30, 2011 87 mins

"Armadillo," in which filmmaker Janus Metz Pedersen chronicles the experiences of Danish soldiers serving in southern Afghanistan over a six-month period in 2009.

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Episode 10

Better This World

Tue, Sep 6, 2011 87 mins

"Better This World" tells the story of Bradley Crowder and David McKay, two boyhood friends from Midland, Texas, who were arrested on domestic terrorism charges prior to the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul. The documentary chronicles their transformation from political neophytes to alleged terrorists, which was encouraged by an FBI informant; and examines how the War on Terror has impacted civil liberties and political dissent.

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POV, Season 24 Episode 10 image

Episode 11

If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front

Tue, Sep 13, 2011 87 mins

The story of how Daniel McGowan, the son of an NYC cop, became involved with the radical Earth Liberation Front group and took part in multimillion dollar arsons in 2001 Oregon against a timber company and a tree farm. The documentary includes an interview with McGowan filmed prior to the end of his 2007 case (he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to seven years in prison); and remarks from Assistant U.S. Attorney Kirk Engdall, and Eugene, Ore., police detective Greg Harvey.

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POV, Season 24 Episode 11 image

Episode 12

The Learning

Tue, Sep 20, 2011 87 mins

"The Learning" chronicles the first-year experiences of four Filipina educators recruited to teach in Baltimore's public school system, where 10 percent of their fellow teachers are also from the Philippines. The documentary begins in their homeland as the women prepare to part from their families and current teaching positions, which pay far less than in America. Once in Baltimore, they face students whose oft-unruly behavior is at odds with what they're accustomed to, and slowly win them over.

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POV, Season 24 Episode 12 image

Episode 13

Last Train Home

Tue, Sep 27, 2011 87 mins

"Last Train Home" tells the story of married Chinese migrant workers whose sacrifice on behalf of their children, whom they left with others in their home village, backfires during a New Year visit: their daughter is angry with them for abandoning her and her brother; and has decided to leave school in favor of a factory job in Huilong, the city where they work. The documentary chronicles the following year, culminating in a New Year holiday that proves to be even worse than the one prior.

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Episode 14

Where Soldiers Come From

Thu, Nov 10, 2011 87 mins

Season 24 concludes with "Where Soldiers Come From," about three friends from Michigan's Upper Peninsula who join the National Guard after graduating high school. Heather Courtney's documentary follows them on their yearlong deployment in Afghanistan, where they sweep for roadside bombs; and then back home, where they adjust to civilian life and deal with the physical and emotional traumas of war. Also: the impact on parents, loved ones and friends when soldiers go off to war.

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Episode 15

Racing Dreams

Thu, Feb 23, 2012 87 mins

The acclaimed "Racing Dreams" chronicles the experiences of three adolescents competing in the World Karting Association, which has been a breeding ground for such NASCAR racers as Jeff Gordon and Danica Patrick. The film follows 11-year-old Annabeth, 12-year-old Josh and 13-year-old Brandon as they take part in the Pavement Series, a five-race national championship spread out over a year. The pursuit comes with a high cost, however: up to $5000 for equipment and travel for each race.

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POV, Season 24 Episode 15 image