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TOPIC: War & Military

12 Documentaries About the Vietnam War on the American Homefront

On Sunday, September 17th, PBS will debut the latest project from Ken Burns and his frequent collaborator Lynn Novick: the ten-part, 18-hour series The Vietnam War. Just like Burns and Novick’s previous films The War (about WWII) and Prohibition (about American culture in the 1920s), the new documentary combines a broader historical overview with compelling … READ MORE

Memorial Day: Docs That Capture the Human Experience of War

There is no shortage of documentaries on war. The subject fascinates us as history, as sociology, and as drama. Some documentaries chronicle history in great detail, some grapple with the issues and forces behind the conflicts, and some flat-out propagandize. But very few of those documentaries actually engage with the human experience. So for Memorial … READ MORE

Filmmakers Capture a Troubled Veteran’s Farm Life

Farmer/Veteran was made by a trio of talented young filmmakers: Alix Blair documented the lives of women in southwestern Uganda for her Master’s work at Duke University; Jeremy Lange has been a photographer and cinematographer whose past film and video work includes the Peabody Award-winning television show A Chef’s Life and the documentary film Private Violence; … READ MORE

A Drone by Any Other Name: The Different Kinds of Drones

Drones are at the center of the new Independent Lens film National Bird (which premieres on PBS Monday, May 1 at 10; check local listings), though the documentary puts a very human face behind military drone operations, focusing on the post-traumatic stress stemming from participating in remote warfare. But for a word that comes up so often … READ MORE

Armed in America: Police & Guns

Join PBS for a town hall conversation examining the militarization of police and the nation’s gun violence epidemic. Armed in America: Police & Guns, a one-hour special event moderated by award-winning journalist Michel Martin, weekend host of NPR’s “All Things Considered,” explores whether U.S. police forces are becoming increasingly militarized. Among those that participated in this conversation are … READ MORE

Gun Quiz: How Much Do You Know About Guns in America?

No matter what your stance is on gun ownership, you may be surprised to learn the real trends fueling the debate. In conjunction with the PBS broadcast premieres of the documentaries Peace Officer (airs Monday, May 9 at 9pm) and The Armor of Light (airs Tuesday, May 10 at 8pm) in a two-part special “Armed in America,” we … READ MORE

The Evolution of SWAT Team Equipment: From WWII Rifles to BearCats

When former Davis County Sheriff William “Dub” Lawrence, the subject of the Independent Lens film Peace Officer [Monday, May 9 at 9pm on PBS; check local listings], established one of Utah’s first SWAT teams in 1975 he initially required a four-officer unit, but he could only find three men in his department who met the physical fitness requirements. Forty … READ MORE

Human Rights Lawyer Philippe Sands Confronts Children of Nazis with Painful Past

While some might call Philippe Sands the on-screen host of My Nazi Legacy, the new film by David Evans that is based on Sands’ new book, he’s actually the probing, searching journalistic heart at the center of this powerful documentary. The book, East West Street: On the Origins of Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity, published … READ MORE

Downton Abbey Director David Evans Talks About Nazi Legacy Doc

Award-winning English director David Evans helmed the feature film Fever Pitch (the original, superior British version about soccer, starring Colin Firth, for which Nick Hornby adapted his best-selling book of the same name), and is now established as a leading director of high-end TV drama in the UK, including Shameless, Downton Abbey, and Russell T. Davies’s … READ MORE

Blood Guilt: 12 Movies about Healing after Heinous Crimes

Niklas Frank and Horst von Wächter are the adult children of high-ranking Nazi officers. As we learn in My Nazi Legacy, their fathers sent tens of thousands of people to their deaths, and Niklas and Horst spent decades dealing with the legacy of that birthright, though not in the same way. While both men speak … READ MORE

Take this Quiz on the War on Terror

Everything changed in the United States on September 11, 2001. While in the aftermath of those attacks much of the focus in what President George W. Bush called the “War on Terror” was on the Middle East, the efforts to thwart terrorism on American soil were obviously stepped up to a great degree. From the controversial USA PATRIOT … READ MORE