Documentaries with a point of view


Who Killed Vincent Chin?
by Christine Choy and Renee Tajima
PBS Premiere Date: Jul. 16, 1989
On a hot summer night in Detroit, Ronald Ebens, an autoworker, killed a young Chinese-American engineer with a baseball bat. Although he confessed, he never spent a day in jail. This gripping Academy Award-nominated film relentlessly probes the implications of the murder in the streets of Detroit, for the families of those involved, and for the American justice system.
Days Of Waiting
by Steven Okazaki
PBS Premiere Date: Aug. 15, 1990
Artist Estell Peck Ishigo went with her Japanese American husband into an internment camp during World War II, one of the few Caucasians to do so. Vividly recreated from Ishigo's own memoirs, photos and paintings, Days Of Waiting reveals the shattering relocation experience from an "outsider's" perspective.
Honorable Nations
by Chana Gazit and David Steward
PBS Premiere Date: Jul. 2, 1991
For 99 years, the residents of Salamanca, N.Y. have rented the land under their homes for an average of $1/year form the Seneca Indians, under the terms of a lease imposed by Congress. Now, as the lease is about to expire, a century of bad business must be renegotiated. Chana Gazit and David Steward's film captures the unfolding drama as the survival of an American town and justice for the Senecas appear to be in conflict.
Tongues Untied
by Marlon Riggs
PBS Premiere Date: Jul. 16, 1991
"Marlon Riggs's Tongues Untied rises above the 'deeply personal' — far above it — in exploring what it means to be black and gay."
Maria's Story
by Pamela Cohen and Monona Wali and Catherine M. Ryan
PBS Premiere Date: Aug. 13, 1991
Filmmakers Pamela Cohen, Catherine Ryan and Monona Wali profile a female guerrilla leader in El Salvador's rebel army.
Color Adjustment
by Marlon Riggs
PBS Premiere Date: Jun. 15, 1992
From Amos 'n' Andy to Nat King Cole, from Roots to The Cosby Show, blacks have played many roles on primetime television. Brilliantly weaving clips from classic TV shows with commentary from TV producers, black actors and scholars, Marlon Riggs blends humor, insight, and thoughtful analysis to explore the evolution of black/white relations as reflected by America's favorite addiction.
Who's Going To Pay For These Donuts, Anyway?
by Janice Tanaka
PBS Premiere Date: Jun. 22, 1993
When Japanese-American filmmaker Janice Tanaka reaches out to find her father — interned during WWII and separated form his family for decades — her discoveries both haunt and redefine her life.
by Dai Sil Kim-Gibson and Christine Choy and Elaine Kim
PBS Premiere Date: Sep. 10, 1993
"Sa-I-Gu", Korean for April 29, opens a window on Korean American women in Los Angeles whose stores — and lives — were devastated in the aftermath of the Rodney King Trial.
Lighting the 7th Fire
by Sandra Sunrising Osawa
PBS Premiere Date: Jul. 4, 1995
The story of how the Chippewa Indians of Northern Wisconsin have struggled to restore the centuries- old tradition of spearfishing, and the heated opposition they have encountered.
¡Palante Siempre Palante!
by Iris Morales
PBS Premiere Date: Jun. 1, 1996
They were leaders of the Young Lords Party, the militant Puerto Rican civil rights organization based in New York. Today, many are notable mainstream journalists, including Juan Gonzalez, Felipe Luciano and Pablo Guzman. Iris Morales makes history come alive as veterans of the movement recall their fight for equality, jobs, health care, and education.
Remembering Wei Yi-fang, Remembering Myself
by Yvonne Welbon
PBS Premiere Date: Jul. 30, 1996
Yvonne Welbon presents a witty and original coming-to-terms with race, culture and self. A six year stay in Taiwan transforms her understanding of what it means to be an African American and illuminates her connection to her Honduran-born grandmother.
In Whose Honor?
by Jay Rosenstein
PBS Premiere Date: Jul. 15, 1997
Charlene Teters, a Spokane Indian, evolves from mother and student into a leading voice against the merchandising of Native American sacred symbols as sports mascots.
She Shorts (1998)
by Various
PBS Premiere Date: Aug. 4, 1998
A selection of hypnotically engaging short films by and about women offers vivid and lyrical pictures of joy, endurance and inspiration.
Rabbit in the Moon
by Emiko Omori
PBS Premiere Date: Jul. 6, 1999
Fifty years after World War II, Japanese Americans recall their years in the internment camps of WWII. From the exuberant recollections of a typical teenager, to the simmering rage of citizens forced to sign loyalty oaths, filmmaker Emiko Omori renders a poetic and illuminating picture of a deeply troubling chapter in American history.
by Elizabeth Thompson
PBS Premiere Date: Jul. 18, 2000
Witness the testimony of Greg Withrow, once a fanatical rising star in the white supremacist movement, as he struggles with the legacy of hatred handed down across generations.
American Gypsy
by Jasmine Dellal
PBS Premiere Date: Aug. 29, 2000
There are over one million Gypsies living in America today, and most people don't know anything about them. It is one man's obsessive pursuit of justice and dignity that led filmmaker Jasmine Dellal into their hidden thousand-year-old culture.
by Hannah Weyer
PBS Premiere Date: Aug. 27, 2002
Liliana Luis is a Mexican-American teenager rushing headlong into the turbulence of puberty as she tries to finish high school. The saga of the Luis family started in POV's 2000 film, La Boda, continues in this story of one family's drive towards a better future.
Brother Outsider
by Nancy Kates and Bennett Singer
PBS Premiere Date: Jan. 20, 2003
Streaming Now!
During his 60-year career as an activist, Rustin formulated many of the strategies that propelled the movement. But his open sexuality forced him to remain in the background.
The Flute Player
by Jocelyn Glatzer
PBS Premiere Date: Jul. 22, 2003
When the Khmer Rouge took over Cambodia in 1975, Arn Chorn-Pond was nine years old. He was separated from his family and thrust into the darkness of Cambodia's ghastly Killing Fields for four years. Now, after living in the U.S. for 20 years, Arn returns to Cambodia to save its once outlawed traditional music from extinction.
American Aloha
by Lisette Marie Flanary and Evann Siebens
PBS Premiere Date: Aug. 5, 2003
Encore Broadcast: Aug. 10, 2004
Few American icons are as well known for their popular kitsch as the hula dance. From old Hollywood movies to entertainment for tourists, the hip-swaying girls in grass skirts and colorful lei have long masked an ancient cultural tradition.
A Panther in Africa
by Aaron Matthews
PBS Premiere Date: Sep. 21, 2004
On October 30, 1969, Pete O'Neal, a young Black Panther in Kansas City, Missouri, was arrested for transporting a gun across state lines. One year later, O'Neal fled the charge, and for over 30 years, he has lived in Tanzania as one of the last American exiles from an era when activists considered themselves at war with the U.S. government.
Chisholm '72
by Shola Lynch
PBS Premiere Date: Feb. 7, 2005
In 1972, Shirley Chisholm became the first black woman to run for president. Her wit, spirit and charisma reminds all Americans of their power as citizens.
by Hubert Davis
PBS Premiere Date: Aug. 16, 2005
Encore Broadcast: Sep. 5, 2006
The Academy Award-nominated Hardwood is a deeply personal filmic journey by director Hubert Davis, the son of former Harlem Globetrotter Mel Davis. Mel, now a coach for young basketball players in Vancouver, fell in love at first sight with Hubert's mother, a white woman, at a time when racism seemed to make their union impossible.
Al Otro Lado
by Natalia Almada
PBS Premiere Date: Aug. 1, 2006
The proud Mexican tradition of corrido music provides both heartbeat and backbone to this rich examination of songs, drugs and dreams along the U.S./Mexico border.
Standing Silent Nation
by Suree Towfighnia and Courtney Hermann
PBS Premiere Date: Jul. 3, 2007
In April 2000, Alex White Plume and his Lakota family planted industrial hemp on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota after other crops had failed. But when federal agents raided the White Plumes' fields, the Lakota Nation was swept into a Byzantine struggle over tribal sovereignty, economic rights and common sense.
Made in L.A.
by Almudena Carracedo and Robert Bahar
PBS Premiere Date: Sep. 4, 2007
Encore Broadcast: Aug. 11, 2009
Follow the remarkable journey of three Latina immigrants working in L.A.'s garment factories and their long battle to bring a major clothing retailer to the negotiating table.
by Andy Blubaugh
PBS Premiere Date: Dec. 12, 2007
Scaredycat takes as a point of departure the beating of the filmmaker at the hands of a gang of young men who called themselves "The Portland Riders."
The Betrayal (Nerakhoon)
by Ellen Kuras and Thavisouk Phrasavath
PBS Premiere Date: Jul. 21, 2009
This Academy Award-nominated film chronicles Thavisouk Phrasavath and his family's escape from Laos after the Vietnam War. In America, they find a different kind of war.
Promised Land
by Yoruba Richen
PBS Premiere Date: Jul. 6, 2010
Though apartheid ended in South Africa in 1994, economic injustices between blacks and whites remain unresolved — and the most potentially explosive issue is land.
Wo Ai Ni (I Love You) Mommy
by Stephanie Wang-Breal
PBS Premiere Date: Aug. 31, 2010
What is it like to be torn from your Chinese foster family, put on a plane with strangers and wake up in a new country, family and culture?
Off and Running
by Nicole Opper
PBS Premiere Date: Sep. 7, 2010
Avery is one of three children adopted by a Jewish lesbian couple in Brooklyn. Though it may not look typical, Avery’s is like most families — until she writes to her birth mother.
In the Matter of Cha Jung Hee
by Deann Borshay Liem
PBS Premiere Date: Sep. 14, 2010
Her passport said she was Cha Jung Hee. She knew she was not. So began a 40-year deception for a Korean adoptee who came to the United States in 1966.
Mugabe and the White African
by Lucy Bailey and Andrew Thompson
PBS Premiere Date: Jul. 26, 2011
In Zimbabwe, de facto dictator Robert Mugabe has unleashed a "land reform" program aimed at driving whites from the country through violence and intimidation.
Up Heartbreak Hill
by Erica Scharf
PBS Premiere Date: Jul. 26, 2012
Up Heartbreak Hill follows two Native teens torn between the lure of opportunities outside their remote reservation community and the cultural ties that bind them to home.
POV Short Cuts (2012)
by Various
PBS Premiere Date: Aug. 9, 2012
Short is sweet as POV presents brief documentary encounters — the Academy Award-nominated The Barber of Birmingham, the Student Academy Award winner Sin País, and the return of StoryCorps.
StoryCorps Shorts: Eyes on the Stars
by Mike Rauch and Tim Rauch
PBS Premiere Date: Aug. 9, 2012
Streaming Now!
Carl McNair tells the story of his brother Ronald, an African-American kid in the 1950s who set his sights on the stars.
The Barber of Birmingham
by Gail Dolgin and Robin Fryday
PBS Premiere Date: Aug. 9, 2012
James Armstrong, whose Alabama barbershop has been a hub for haircuts and civil rights for 50 years, celebrates the election of the first black president.
I'm Carolyn Parker
by Jonathan Demme
PBS Premiere Date: Sep. 20, 2012
Jonathan Demme's portrait of post-Katrina New Orleans tells the story of Carolyn Parker, a lifelong resident of the Lower Ninth Ward, who is fighting for the right to rebuild her home and community.
Sun Kissed
by Maya Stark and Adi Lavy
PBS Premiere Date: Oct. 18, 2012
When a Navajo couple uncovers a hidden link between their children's rare genetic disorder and the American government's conquest of their tribe, their lives are changed forever.
by Christine Turner
PBS Premiere Date: Jun. 24, 2013
Through the eyes of Harlem funeral director Isaiah Owens, the beauty and grace of African-American funerals are brought to life. Homegoings paints a portrait of grieving families and a man who sends loved ones "home."
American Promise
by Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson
PBS Premiere Date: Feb. 3, 2014
In American Promise, African-American parents Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson film their son and his friend, who attend one of the country’s most prestigious private schools.
StoryCorps Shorts: Traffic Stop
by Gina Kamentsky and Julie Zammarchi
Digital Premiere Date: Jul. 24, 2015
PBS Premiere Date: Sep. 21, 2015
Streaming Now!
Alex Landau, who is African American, recalls how he nearly lost his life following a traffic stop with the Denver police. He and his mother, Patsy, who is white, remember that night and how it changed them both forever.
Tea Time
by Maite Alberdi
PBS Premiere Date: Jul. 27, 2015
A charming and poignant look at how a seemingly mundane routine of tea and pastries has helped five Chilean women commemorate life's joys and cope with infidelity, illness and death. A co-production of ITVS International. A co-presentation with Latino Public Broadcasting.Official Selection of the 2014 International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam.