Downloads: Press Release
‘MoMA Selects: POV’ Features 22 Films, Including First POV Broadcast, ‘American Tongues,’ and World Premiere of ‘Homegoings,’ Plus Filmmaker Conversations and a Musical Performance
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) will celebrate 25 years of PBS’ award-winning documentary series POV (Point of View) with a special program, MoMA Selects: POV from Wednesday, Feb. 27 – Monday, March 4, 2013, as part of the museum’s Documentary Fortnight 2013 showcase. The six-day event will feature 22 POV films that have pushed the boundaries of the documentary craft and tackled some of our society’s most vital political issues. The selections range from POV’s first broadcast in 1988, Louis Alvarez and Andy Kolker’s American Tongues; to the last film of the series’ 25th season, David Redmon and A. Sabin’s Girl Model; to a preview of the Academy Award®-nominated 5 Broken Cameras. The program will feature the world premiere of Christine Turner’s Homegoings with a special musical performance.
MoMA Selects: POV will also feature a two-part tribute to the late Marlon Riggs, along with conversations with some of the documentary world’s most respected filmmakers. Marc Weiss (founder of POV); Simon Kilmurry (executive producer, POV), Cynthia López (co-executive producer, POV) and others will moderate the conversations.
“POV films and filmmakers have been at the center of a golden age of documentary filmmaking,” said POV Executive Producer Simon Kilmurry. “The films in MoMA’s special program not only look back at the first 25 years of POV, but also look forward. Collectively, they illustrate how vibrant and essential documentaries have become in exploring the human experience.”
“As we celebrate our 25th anniversary on PBS, MoMA’s retrospective program allows us to review our history, share insights about documentary craft and culture with the public and celebrate with the indie filmmaking community,” said POV Co-Executive Producer Cynthia López. “The ways in which documentaries have contributed to our culture will be a focus of conversations at the screenings. We hope the public will find that these documentaries inform, entertain and challenge conventional wisdom.”
When POV emerged on PBS’ national schedule in 1988, the “big three” networks–ABC, CBS and NBC–dominated television programming, and cable was in its infancy. Public television was the only place where independent film had a shot at a national broadcast. Three hundred fifty films and countless awards later, POV has become the nation’s longest-running television showcase for independent documentary storytelling. POV airs from June-October, with primetime specials throughout the year. This year, POV moves to Mondays at 10 p.m. on PBS (check local listings).
MoMA is located at 11 W. 53rd Street, New York, NY 10019. For more information, visit www.moma.org.
‘MoMA Selects: POV’ Schedule:
Wednesday, Feb. 27, 4 p.m. – Marlon Riggs: A Special Tribute – Color Adjustment
1991. USA. Directed by Marlon Riggs. 88 min.
This winner of the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award examines 40 years of primetime television and race relations through such programs as Amos ‘n Andy, The Nat “King” Cole Show, I Spy and The Cosby Show.
Wednesday, Feb. 27, 4:30 p.m. – Dark Circle
1982. USA. Directed by Christopher Beaver, Judy Irving, Ruth Landy. 82 min.
This chilling, but ultimately hopeful, film explores how all of us have been affected by the nuclear age. Denounced by officials and shunned by broadcasters when it was first released, the film raised many issues that have gone on to become today’s front-page headlines.
Marlon Riggs: A Special Tribute – Tongues Untied
1989. USA. Directed by Marlon Riggs. 59 min.
Tongues Untied blends documentary, personal reflection and fiction into an unconventional narrative about the specificity of black gay identity; in addition to providing documentary footage detailing North American black gay culture, Riggs also tells of his own experiences as a gay man. These include the realization of his sexual identity and coping with the AIDS-related deaths of many of his friends. Followed by a discussion with Cornelius Moore, California Newsreel.
Thursday, Feb. 28, 4 p.m. – 5 Broken Cameras
2011. France/Israel/Palestine. Directed by Emad Burnat, Guy Davidi. 90 min.
A Palestinian journalist chronicles his village’s resistance to the building of a security barrier and, in the process, captures his young son’s vision of the world. 2013 Academy Award Nominee, Best Documentary Feature.
Thursday, Feb. 28, 4:30 p.m. –Complaints of a Dutiful Daughter
1994. USA. Directed by Deborah Hoffmann. 44 min.
This life-affirming exploration of family relations, aging and change, the meaning of memory and love chronicles the progression of a mother’s Alzheimer’s disease and the evolution of her daughter’s response to the illness. Hoffmann’s desire to cure the incurable–to assuage her mother’s confusion, forgetfulness and obsessiveness–gradually gives way to an acceptance that proves liberating for both daughter and mother. 1995 Academy Award Nominee, Best Documentary Feature.
Thursday, Feb. 28, 7 p.m. – American Tongues
1988. USA. Directed by Louis Alvarez, Andy Kolker. 56 min.
Rich in humor and regional color, this 1988 classic uses the prism of language to reveal our attitudes about the way other people speak. From Boston Brahmins and black Louisiana teenagers, from Texas cowboys and New York professionals, American Tongues elicits funny, perceptive, sometimes shocking and always telling comments on American English in all its diversity. Introduced by Marc Weiss, founder, POV; followed by a discussion with Louis Alvarez and Andy Kolker.
Thursday, Feb. 28, 8 p.m. – Homegoings – world premiere and live performance
2013. USA. Directed by Christine Turner. 58 min.
Through the eyes of funeral director Isaiah Owens, the beauty and grace of African-American funerals is brought to life. Filmed at Owens Funeral Home in Harlem, the film takes an up-close and unusual look at the rarely seen world of undertaking, one of the few occupations black Americans could enter into freely after slavery. Combining cinéma vérité with intimate interviews and personal photographs, Homegoings paints a portrait of the dearly departed and the man who serves them. Introduced by Simon Kilmurry, executive producer, POV; featuring a solo violin performance by the film’s composer, Daniel Roumain, a discussion with Christine Turner and appearances by Isaiah Owens and other people in the film.
Friday, March 1, 4 p.m. – The Education of Shelby Knox
2005. USA. Directed by Marion Lipschutz, Rose Rosenblatt. 76 min.
A self-described “good Southern Baptist girl,” Shelby Knox pledged abstinence until marriage. But when she discovered that her town of Lubbock, Texas, had high rates of teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, she became an unlikely advocate for comprehensive sex education, and profoundly changed her political and spiritual views along the way. Winner, 2005 Sundance Film Festival Excellence in Cinematography Award: Documentary. Followed by a discussion with Marion Lipschutz and Rose Rosenblatt moderated by Chris White, vice president, programming and production, POV.
Friday, March 1, 4:30 p.m. – Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision
1994. USA. Directed by Freida Lee Mock. 105 min.
This Academy Award-winning feature documentary captures a decade in the life of visionary artist Maya Lin, who was only 21 when her design for the Washington, D.C., Vietnam Veterans Memorial–polished black granite inscribed with the 57,661 names of those who died in Vietnam–was selected in 1981. The monument was attacked as “dishonorable” and “a scar,” but Lin remained committed to her vision, and her tribute to sacrifice and quiet heroism was built as planned. Since then, she has completed a succession of startlingly original monuments and sculptures that confront vital American social issues. 1995 Academy Award Winner, Best Documentary Feature.
Friday, March 1, 7 p.m. – Two Towns of Jasper
2002. USA. Directed by Marco Williams, Whitney Dow. 83 min.
In 1998 in Jasper, Texas, a modern-day lynching occurred when James Byrd, Jr., a black man, was chained to a pickup truck and dragged to his death by three white men. Two film crews–one black and one white–set out to document the aftermath of the murder and follow the trials of the accused. Followed by a discussion with Marco Williams and Whitney Dow moderated by Cynthia López, co-executive producer, POV.
Friday, March 1, 8 p.m. – Food, Inc.
2009. USA. Directed by Robert Kenner. 94 min.
Our nation’s food supply is largely controlled by a few corporations that often put profits ahead of consumer health, the livelihood of American farmers and the safety of workers and the environment. Food, Inc. exposes the highly mechanized underbelly of our nation’s food industry, which creates “perfect” foods that also contribute to obesity, diabetes and the proliferation of harmful bacteria. Footage from the field and interviews with experts such as Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation) and entrepreneurs like Stonyfield Farms’ Gary Hirshberg reveal surprising facts about what we eat and how it’s produced.
Saturday, March 2, 1:30 p.m. –Girls Like Us
1997. USA. Directed by Jane Wagner, Tina DiFeliciantonio. 56 min.
Shot over four years in South Philadelphia, Girls Like Us is a rare and disarming peek into the very real lives of teenage girls. The film captures the seldom-heard voices of young women working to shape their identities in the 1990s: Raelene tackles parenting; Anna struggles with sexuality; De’Yona grapples with loss; and Lisa wrestles with relationships. Winner, 1997 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize: Documentary. Followed by a discussion with Jane Wagner, Tina DiFeliciantonio, Lisa Bronca and De’Yona Moore moderated by Chris White, vice president, programming and production, POV.
Saturday, March 2, 2 p.m. – Where Soldiers Come From
2011. USA. Directed by Heather Courtney. 91 min.
From a small, snowy town in northern Michigan to the mountains of Afghanistan, Where Soldiers Come From follows the four-year journey of a close-knit group of childhood friends who join the National Guard after graduating high school. As the young men transform from restless teenagers to soldiers looking for roadside bombs to 23-year-old combat veterans, the film offers an intimate look at the Americans who fight our wars and the families and towns from which they come.
Saturday, March 2, 4 p.m. – Better This World
2011. USA. Directed by Kelly Duane de la Vega, Katie Galloway. 129 min.
The story of Bradley Crowder and David McKay, accused of intending to firebomb the 2008 Republican National Convention, is a dramatic tale of idealism, loyalty, crime and betrayal. Better This World follows the radicalization of these boyhood friends from Midland, Texas, under the tutelage of a revolutionary activist. The results: eight homemade bombs, multiple domestic terrorism charges and a high-stakes entrapment defense. Winner, 2012 Writers Guild Award for Best Documentary Screenplay and Gotham Award for Best Documentary.
Saturday, March 2, 5 p.m. My Reincarnation
2011. USA. Directed by Jennifer Fox. 83 min.
Filmed over 20 years, this epic documentary chronicles the lives of exiled Tibetan Buddhist Master Chögyal Namkhai Norbu and his Western-born son, Yeshi. The film follows Namkhai Norbu’s rise to greatness as a Buddhist teacher in the West, while Yeshi, recognized at birth as the reincarnation of a famous spiritual master, breaks away from his father’s traditions to embrace the modern world. Can the father convince his son to keep the family’s threatened spiritual legacy alive? Fox expertly distills this decades-long drama into a universal story about love, transformation and destiny. Followed by a discussion with Jennifer Fox moderated by Cynthia López, co-executive producer, POV.
Saturday, March 2, 7 p.m. Girl Model
2012. USA. Directed by David Redmon, A. Sabin. 77 min.
Girl Model strips away the facade of the modeling industry by following two people whose lives intersect within it. Ashley, a conflicted American model scout and former model, plucks 13-year-old Nadya from a remote Siberian village with the promise of a lucrative career in Japan. As the young girl searches for glamour and an escape from poverty, she confronts the harsh realities of a culture that worships youth and an industry that makes perpetual childhood a globally traded commodity. Winner, 2011 POV Alpha Cine Award. Followed by a discussion with David Redmon and A. Sabin.
Watch If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front… on PBS. See more from POV.
Saturday, March 2, 8 p.m. – If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front
2011. USA. Directed by Marshall Curry. 85 min.
If a Tree Falls, nominated for a 2012 Academy Award, explores two of America’s most pressing issues–environmentalism and terrorism–by lifting the veil on a radical environmental group the FBI calls the country’s “No. 1 domestic terrorism threat.” Daniel McGowan, a former member of the Earth Liberation Front, faces life in prison for two multimillion-dollar arsons against Oregon timber companies. What turned this working-class kid from Queens into an eco-warrior? Curry, whose film Street Fight (POV 2005) was also an Academy Award nominee, tells the provocative story. Winner, Best Documentary Editing Award, 2011 Sundance Film Festival. Followed by a discussion with Marshall Curry moderated by Cynthia López, co-executive producer, POV.
Sunday, March 3, 2 p.m. – Twitch and Shout
1994. USA. Directed by Laurel Chiten. 59 min.
This irreverent, humorous documentary takes a look at individuals with the often misunderstood neurological disorder Tourette syndrome. With photojournalist Lowell Handler as a guide, we discover a mix of people who have turned adversity into a source of strength, coping not only with involuntary spasms, but with others’ reactions. Followed by a discussion with Laurel Chiten moderated by Simon Kilmurry, executive producer, POV.
Sunday, March 3, 2:30 p.m. – The Oath
2010. USA. Directed by Laura Poitras. 96 min.
Filmed in Yemen and Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, The Oath interweaves the stories of Abu Jandal, Osama bin Laden’s former bodyguard, and Salim Hamdan, a prisoner at Guantánamo facing war crimes charges. Directed by Laura Poitras, whose POV film My Country, My Country was a 2006 Academy Award nominee, The Oath unfolds in a narrative structure filled with plot reversals and betrayals, leading to Osama bin Laden, 9/11, Guantánamo and the U.S. Supreme Court. Winner, 2010 Sundance Film Festival Excellence in Cinematography Award: Documentary.
Sunday, March 3, 5 p.m. – Nobody’s Business
1996. USA. Directed by Alan Berliner. 58 min.
Generations collide as Berliner drags his reluctant father kicking and screaming down memory lane to probe the swirl of conflicts and affections that bind their family–and many others. Berliner’s obsession with the boundaries of personal and collective memory imbues this portrait with humor and pathos. Followed by a discussion with Alan Berliner moderated by Simon Kilmurry, executive producer, POV.
Sunday, March 3, 5:30 p.m. – Granito: How to Nail a Dictator
2011. USA/Guatemala. Directed by Peter Kinoy, Pamela Yates, Paco de Onís. 104 min.
In a stunning milestone for justice in Guatemala, former dictator Efraín Rios Montt will stand trial on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity for his brutal war against the country’s Mayan people in the 1980s–and Pamela Yates’ 1983 documentary, When the Mountains Tremble, provided key evidence in bringing the indictment. Granito tells the extraordinary story of how a film, aiding a new generation of human rights activists, became a granito–a tiny grain of sand–that helped tip the scales of justice. Followed by a discussion with Pamela Yates and Paco de Onís moderated by Cynthia López, co-executive producer, POV.
Monday, March 4, 4 p.m. Sun Kissed
2012. USA. Directed By Maya Stark, Adi Lavy. 86 min.
When a Navajo couple finds out their children have a disorder that makes exposure to sunlight fatal, they also discover that their reservation is a hotbed for this rare genetic disease. Dorey and Yolanda Nez confront cultural taboos, tribal history and their own unconventional choices to learn the shocking truth: the consequences of the Navajos’ Long Walk–their forced relocation by the U.S. military in 1864–are far from over.
POV Series Credits: Executive Producer: Simon Kilmurry; Co-Executive Producer: Cynthia López; Vice President, Programming and Production: Chris White; Coordinating Producer: Andrew Catauro.
About Documentary Fortnight
Documentary Fortnight 2013 is organized by Sally Berger, assistant curator, Department of Film, The Museum of Modern Art, with the assistance of Marianne Shaneen, festival liaison; and Lesley Yiping and Hsin-Yuan Peng, film interns. The Selection Committee consists of Sally Berger; Chi-hui Yang, independent curator; and Michael Gitlin, documentary filmmaker. Presented in collaboration with Ambulante, Americas Media Initiative, California Newsreel, Cinema Tropical, POV and True/False Film Festival.
Produced by American Documentary, Inc. and beginning its 26th season on PBS in 2013, the award-winning POV is the longest-running showcase on American television to feature the work of today’s best independent documentary filmmakers. POV has brought more than 350 acclaimed documentaries to millions nationwide. POV films have won every major film and broadcasting award, including 32 Emmys, 15 George Foster Peabody Awards, 10 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards, three Academy Awards® and the Prix Italia. In 2012, POV achieved a new milestone, winning five News & Documentary Emmy Awards®. Since 1988, POV has pioneered the art of presentation and outreach using independent nonfiction media to build new communities in conversation about today’s most pressing social issues. Visit www.pbs.org/pov.
Major funding for POV is provided by PBS, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the desJardins/Blachman Fund and public television viewers. Funding for POV’s Diverse Voices Project is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Special support provided by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. POV is presented by a consortium of public television stations, including KQED San Francisco, WGBH Boston and THIRTEEN in association with WNET.ORG.
POV Community Engagement and Education (www.pbs.org/pov/outreach)
POV’s Community Engagement and Education team works with educators, community organizations and PBS stations to present more than 600 free screenings every year. In addition, we distribute free discussion guides and standards-aligned lesson plans for each of our films. With our community partners, we inspire dialogue around the most important social issues of our time.