The 2012 Holiday Gift Guide


It's that time of year... Explore POV's gift guide and find the perfect stocking stuffers, Blu-rays, gear and more for your favorite documenatary fan or filmmaker.

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Documentaries Under $40

A short list of documentaries new to DVD or Blu-ray this year.


Ameena Matthews, violence interrupter, from the documentary The Interrupters. (Image courtesy of Kartemquin Films)

DVD/Blu-Ray
The Interrupters (Blu-ray)

Own the documentary that owned our list of the best documentaries of 2011. The Interrupters (from Hoop Dreams director Steve James), tells the story of three former gang members who “interrupt” violence in urban Chicago.

Price: $24.99
Buy It / More Info: Amazon.com


Samsara (Blu-ray)

DVD/Blu-Ray
Samsara (Blu-ray)

Director Ron Fricke (Baraka, Koyaanisqatsi) continues to connect humans and nature, spanning five years and 25 countries, with the new film, Samsara, shot in gorgeous 70mm. Get the Blu-ray for best effect.

Price: $31.48
Buy It / More Info: Amazon.com


Searching for Sugar Man (DVD)

DVD/Blu-Ray
Searching for Sugar Man (DVD)

The new doc favorite about a would-be 70s rock legend will be released in January, so it’s got a built in excuse for being a great belated gift. Also available on Blu-ray.

Price: $27.89
Buy It / More Info: Amazon.com


Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry (Blu-ray)

DVD/Blu-Ray
Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry (Blu-ray)

Director Alison Klayman gained access to the acclaimed Chinese artist, dissident and tweeter, and the result is a documentary that is both the profile of Ai Weiwei at work and a window into an oppressed country.

Price: $26.98
Buy It / More Info: Amazon.com


Jiro Dreams of Sushi (Blu-ray)

DVD/Blu-Ray
Jiro Dreams of Sushi (Blu-ray)

What’s one of the world’s greatest sushi chefs doing serving patrons in a Tokyo subway station? Pursuing his art, of course. Jiro Ono has been striving for perfection his whole life, and David Gelb’s film captures all the beauty of his mouthwatering work.

Price: $22.83
Buy It / More Info: Amazon.com


Ken Burns: The Dust Bowl (DVD)

DVD/Blu-Ray
Ken Burns: The Dust Bowl (DVD)

The Great American Storyteller Ken Burns is back with a two-part, four-hour documentary on The Dust Bowl. History buffs will appreciate the expert treatment of archival material, as well as vivid interviews with real figures from the era.

Price: $24.99
Buy It / More Info: shopPBS.org


La Jetée / Sans Soleil (Blu-ray)

DVD/Blu-Ray
La Jetée / Sans Soleil (Blu-ray)

Fans of French cinema will fall in love with this Criterion Collection set of classic films from Chris Marker, who passed away earlier this year. Each of his uniquely influential films offers a lyrical exploration of history, memory and time.

Price: $30.38
Buy It / More Info: Amazon.com


Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide (DVD)

DVD/Blu-Ray
Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide (DVD)

This holiday season, celebrate women! Join activists, celebrities and journalists in their quest to meet and be inspired by real women from around the world.

Price: $29.95
Buy It / More Info: shopPBS.org


The Paradise Lost Trilogy Collector's Edition (DVD)

DVD/Blu-Ray
The Paradise Lost Trilogy Collector’s Edition (DVD)

In 1996, Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky’s Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills failed to free “The West Memphis Three” — but it started a movement. Two sequels and 18 years later, Jason Baldwin, Damien Echols and Jessie Misskelley Jr. were released from prison on a plea deal. We named the event our top documentary-related news story of 2011, and now you can own all three films in a box set with lots of extras.

Price: $21.99
Buy It / More Info: Amazon.com


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POV Staff
POV Staff
POV (a cinema term for "point of view") is television's longest-running showcase for independent non-fiction films. POV premieres 14-16 of the best, boldest and most innovative programs every year on PBS. Since 1988, POV has presented over 300 films to public television audiences across the country. POV films are known for their intimacy, their unforgettable storytelling and their timeliness, putting a human face on contemporary social issues.
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