History

The Good Fight
by Noel Buckner and Mary Dore and Sam Sills
PBS Premiere Date: Aug. 9, 1988
Five years before the United States entered World War II, 3,200 Americans went off to Europe to fight the spread of fascism. At 18, 19 and 20 years old, they volunteered to risk their lives defending a democratically elected government in the Spanish Civil War. Fifty years later, in their own words, the survivors recount a vivid story of those years — and what's happened to them since.
Best Boy
by Ira Wohl
PBS Premiere Date: Sept. 6, 1988
Hailed by many critics as a classic, Best Boy is the moving story of Philly, a 53-year-old mentally-disabled man who adapts to an independent life as he prepares to move away form his elderly parents.
Letter To The Next Generation
by Jim Klein
PBS Premiere Date: July 17, 1990
Are college students today apathetic and self-centered? Twenty years after National Guardsmen opened fire on student antiwar demonstrators, Jim Klein, a 60's radical-turned-filmmaker (Union Maids, Seeing Red) visits the campus of Kent State to probe behind the stereotypes. Together with young patrons of the local tanning salon, activists-turned-professors, and an ROTC captain, Klein ponders the social forces that are changing campuses and the country in the 90's.
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: July 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.
The Longest Shadow
by Kalina Ivanov
PBS Premiere Date: July 6, 1992
A Bulgarian refugee chronicles her family's struggle against Communist rule and tries to uncover the long-suppressed facts behind the arrests of both of her grandfathers.
Who's Going To Pay For These Donuts, Anyway?
by Janice Tanaka
PBS Premiere Date: June 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.
Building Bombs
by Mark Mori and Susan Robinson
PBS Premiere Date: Aug. 10, 1993
An updated, point-of-view investigation by Mark Mori and Susan Robinson of the environmental legacy and social impact of South Carolina's Savannah River Plant, the nation's largest manufacturer of hydrogen bomb materials during the Cold War.
Passin' It On
by Peter Miller and John Valadez
PBS Premiere Date: June 19, 1994
This film offers a bold new perspective on the Black Panther Party from the point of view of Dhoruba Bin Wahad, an eloquent party leader who served 19 years before his conviction was overturned.
Escape From China
by Iris F. Kung
PBS Premiere Date: July 21, 1994
A Chinese journalist returns to her homeland to retrace the underground railroad that helped the last of China's most wanted Tiananmen Square leaders escape to freedom.
Hearts of Darkness
by Fax Bahr and George Hickenlooper
PBS Premiere Date: July 26, 1994
Francis Ford Coppola nearly lost his fortune — and his sanity — making Apocalypse Now. Martin Sheen nearly lost his life. A celebrated behind-the-scenes look at Coppola's struggle to finish his epic film — from cajoling an irascible Marlon Brando to negotiating shots amid hurricanes and a Filipino rebel war.
The Times Of A Sign
by David Goldsmith and Steven Day
PBS Premiere Date: Aug. 9, 1994
A quirky look at the Iran-contra affair through the exploits of an eloquent and off-beat minister who ends up in jail when big-time politics come to a small town in Indiana.
The Uprising of '34
by George Stoney and Judith Helfand and Susanne Rostock
PBS Premiere Date: June 25, 1995
Textile workers recall with pride the long- suppressed story of the General Textile Strike of 1934 when 500,000 Southern mill laborers walked off their jobs.
Carmen Miranda
by Helena Solberg
PBS Premiere Date: Oct. 6, 1995
A bowl of soup and the freedom to sing is all Carmen Miranda wanted in life. Helena Solberg's song-filled movie reveals how Hollywood transformed a talented entertainer into a Latin Lollapalooza.
Taken for a Ride
by Martha Olson and Jim Klein
PBS Premiere Date: Aug. 6, 1996
A startling expose of General Motors' role in dismantling street car transportation in the 1930's and in catapulting the automobile to the center of our national culture.
A Perfect Candidate
by R.J. Cutler and David Van Taylor
PBS Premiere Date: Aug. 5, 1997
What does it take to be a perfect candidate in a cynical age? A Perfect Candidate Is an up-to-the-minute critique of our campaign process — and a twisted journey into the underbelly of american politics.
Rabbit in the Moon
by Emiko Omori
PBS Premiere Date: July 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.
Regret to Inform
by Barbara Sonneborn and Janet Cole
PBS Premiere Date: Jan. 4, 2000
Exploring the meaning of war and loss with Vietnamese and American widows into a vivid testament to the chilling legacy of war.
Butterfly
by Doug Wolens
PBS Premiere Date: June 20, 2000
In December 1997, Julia Hill climbed a 1000-year-old redwood tree vowing to not come down until it was saved from being clear-cut.
Stranger with a Camera
by Elizabeth Barret
PBS Premiere Date: July 11, 2000
In the coal-mining heart of Appalachia's "poverty belt," where residents have felt alternately aided and assaulted by media exposure, the 1967 murder of filmmaker Hugh O'Connor still stirs strong community feelings.
KPFA On the Air
by Veronica Selver and Sharon Wood
PBS Premiere Date: Sept. 19, 2000
This riveting film takes us through KPFA's passionate 50-year history, including its founding by pacifists and poets, through its defiance of Cold War conformity, to the present day challenges that confront this on-going experiment in democratic media.
The Sweetest Sound
by Alan Berliner
PBS Premiere Date: June 26, 2001
What's in a name? Berliner dives headfirst into the American name pool and discovers the power and mystery embedded in every name.
Of Civil Wrongs And Rights
by Eric Paul Fournier
PBS Premiere Date: July 10, 2001
Encore Broadcast: July 15, 2003
Of Civil Wrongs and Rights is the untold history of the 40-year legal fight to vindicate Fred Korematsu — who resisted the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II — one that finally turned a civil injustice into a civil rights victory.
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.
Bright Leaves
by Ross McElwee
PBS Premiere Date: Aug. 23, 2005
What legacy is passed down to generations when a family is a giant tobacco producer? Filmmaker Ross McElwee (Sherman's March, Time Indefinite — POV 1994), whose great-grandfather created the famous Bull Durham brand in his native North Carolina, takes viewers on an autobiographical journey across that state's social, economic and psychological tobacco terrain.
Hiding And Seeking
by Oren Rudavsky and Menachem Daum
PBS Premiere Date: Aug. 30, 2005
Is it possible to heal wounds and bitterness passed down through generations? An Orthodox Jewish father tries to alert his adult sons to the dangers of creating impenetrable barriers between themselves and those outside their faith. He takes them on an emotional journey to Poland to track down the family who risked their lives to hide their grandfather for more than two years during World War II.
The Tailenders
by Adele Horne
PBS Premiere Date: July 25, 2006
Global Recordings Network (GRN), founded in Los Angeles in 1939, has produced audio versions of Bible stories in over 5,500 languages. GRN aims to record in every language on earth. They distribute the recordings, along with ultra-low-tech hand-wind players, in isolated regions and among displaced migrant workers. GRN calls their target audience "the tailenders" because they are the last to be reached by worldwide evangelism.
Twelve Disciples of Nelson Mandela
by Thomas Allen Harris
PBS Premiere Date: Sept. 19, 2006
As part of the first wave of black South African exiles, Harris's stepfather, B. Pule Leinaeng, and his 11 comrades left their home in Bloemfontein in 1960.
Revolution '67
by Marylou Tibaldo-Bongiorno
PBS Premiere Date: July 10, 2007
Revolution '67 is an illuminating account of events too often relegated to footnotes in U.S. history — the black urban rebellions of the 1960s.
Libby, Montana
by Doug Hawes-Davis and Drury Gunn Carr
PBS Premiere Date: Aug. 28, 2007
In the small town of Libby, many hundreds are sick or have already died from exposure to asbestos, a notorious industrial toxin that many Americans consider long banned or under control.
The Camden 28
by Anthony Giacchino
PBS Premiere Date: Sept. 11, 2007
How far would you go to stop a war? The Camden 28 recalls a 1971 raid on a draft board office by activists protesting the Vietnam War and its effects on urban America.
The Ballad of Esequiel Hernández
by Kieran Fitzgerald
PBS Premiere Date: July 8, 2008
In 1997, U.S. Marines patrolling the Texas-Mexico border as part of the War on Drugs shot and killed Esequiel Hernández Jr.
The Last Conquistador
by John J. Valadez and Cristina Ibarra
PBS Premiere Date: July 15, 2008
Renowned sculptor John Houser has a dream: to build the world's tallest bronze equestrian statue for the city of El Paso, Texas.
Inheritance
by James Moll
PBS Premiere Date: Dec. 10, 2008
Inheritance is the story of Monika Hertwig, the daughter of mass murderer Amon Goeth, and her efforts to come to terms with her "inheritance."
The Betrayal (Nerakhoon)
by Ellen Kuras and Thavisouk Phrasavath
PBS Premiere Date: July 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.
El General
by Natalia Almada
PBS Premiere Date: July 20, 2010
Past and present collide as the daughter of Plutarco Elías Calles, a revolutionary general who became Mexico's president in 1924, reflects on his legacy.
StoryCorps Shorts
by Mike Rauch and Tim Rauch and Gina Kamentsky and Julie Zammarchi
PBS Premiere Date: Aug. 17, 2010
Streaming Now!
Since 2010, POV and StoryCorps have brought over 30 animated shorts to PBS and online audiences. Founded by Dave Isay, StoryCorps records and preserves the voices of everyday people, one conversation at a time.
StoryCorps Shorts: The Germans in the Woods
by Mike Rauch and Tim Rauch
PBS Premiere Date: Aug. 31, 2010
Streaming Now!
Joseph Robertson was an infantryman in the U.S. Army during World War II, and he fought in the Battle of the Bulge.
The Most Dangerous Man in America
by Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith
PBS Premiere Date: Oct. 5, 2010
Encore Broadcast: June 7, 2011
Forty years ago, a whistleblower's daring act of conscience led directly to Watergate, President Nixon's resignation and the end of the Vietnam War.
My Perestroika
by Robin Hessman
PBS Premiere Date: June 28, 2011
My Perestroika is an intimate look at the last generation of Soviet children searching for their places in today’s Moscow.
Sweetgrass
by Ilisa Barbash and Lucien Castaing-Taylor
PBS Premiere Date: July 5, 2011
Sweetgrass follows the last modern-day cowboys to lead their flocks of sheep up into the breathtaking and often dangerous mountains for summer pasture.
Enemies of the People
by Rob Lemkin and Thet Sambath
PBS Premiere Date: July 12, 2011
The Khmer Rouge slaughtered nearly two million people in the late 1970s, yet the Killing Fields of Cambodia remain largely unexplained. Until now.
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.
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.
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.
Nostalgia for the Light
by Patricio Guzmán
PBS Premiere Date: Oct. 25, 2012
In the Atacama Desert, earthly and celestial quests meld. Archaeologists dig for ancient civilizations, women search for their loved ones and astronomers scan the skies for new galaxies.
The Law in These Parts
by Ra'anan Alexandrowicz and Liran Atzmor
PBS Premiere Date: Aug. 19, 2013
For the first time, Israeli military and legal professionals who devised the legal framework behind the occupation are interviewed about this system, which mirrors the country's toughest moral quandaries.
American Revolutionary
by Grace Lee
PBS Premiere Date: June 30, 2014
Meet Grace Lee Boggs, a Chinese American philosopher in Detroit who has been waging a revolution for 75 years. Her story unfurls to portray an evolving city and to examine the power of ideas and imagination to propel change.
Getting Back to Abnormal
by Louis Alvarez and Andrew Kolker and Peter Odabashian and Paul Stekler
PBS Premiere Date: July 14, 2014
Election time in New Orleans: Corruption. Racism. Dancing in the streets. And one in-your-face politician trying to get re-elected. Let the good times roll.
Koch
by Neil Barsky
PBS Premiere Date: Sept. 22, 2014
Meet Ed Koch, the quintessential New Yorker. Combative, funny and blunt, he was mayor from 1978 to 1989, an era of graffiti, near-bankruptcy and crime. Before his death in 2013, the intensely private man recalled his life and legacy.
StoryCorps Shorts: A More Perfect Union
by Mike Rauch and Tim Rauch
PBS Premiere Date: June 29, 2015
Streaming Now!
Theresa Burroughs recalls her persistence to claim her right to vote during the Jim Crow era in the rural South.