Films about music
PBS Premiere: July 24, 2017
In the Oscar-nominated Joe's Violin, a donated musical instrument forges an improbable friendship. 91-year-old Holocaust survivor Joe Feingold and 12-year-old Bronx school girl Brianna Perez show how the power of music can bring light in the darkest of times, and how a small act can have a significant impact. Nominated, 2017 Academy Award for Best Documentary Short Subject.
PBS Premiere: Aug. 3, 2015
Sudanese civilians facing government bombing campaigns celebrate their heritage through music, finding hope and a common identity. Winner, Grolsch People's Choice Documentary Award, 2014 Toronto International Film Festival.
PBS Premiere: Aug. 17, 2010
This is the story of a man and his records. Paul Mawhinney has amassed what has become the world's largest record collection.
Encore Broadcast: Aug. 4, 2009
Fresh on the heels of his Folsom Prison album, Cash revealed the dark intensity and raw talent that made him a country music star and cultural icon.
PBS Premiere: July 7, 2009
When a guitarist suffers a brain hemorrhage onstage, doctors doubt he will emerge from a coma. The story of a family's astonishing struggle in the face of tragedy.
Encore Broadcast: Sept. 2, 2008
Alan Lomax was "the song hunter," devoting his life to recording the world's folk tunes before they would permanently disappear with the rise of the modern music industry.
PBS Premiere: June 27, 2007
Traumatized by physical injuries and brutal losses in Sierra Leone's civil war, a group of refugees fight back with the only means they have — music.
PBS Premiere: July 13, 1999
Tejana singer Selena was on the brink of blockbuster crossover fame when her murder at age 23 catapulted her into mainstream celebrity. Filmmaker Lourdes Portillo gazes beyond the tabloids and points a sensitive lens on the cultural sensation that emerged around Selena's life and death.
PBS Premiere: June 25, 1991
"Plena" is in Puerto Rico what the blues are in the U.S.: a musical expression abounding with romance, daily news and personal sagas. As the Puerto Rican community grows on the mainland, the infectious rhythms of Puerto Rico's most original contribution to Caribbean urban music are celebrated with gusto.
PBS Premiere: July 10, 1990
With a subway platform as his stage and a plastic can as his instrument, 14-year-old Larry Wright is a self-taught drummer with astonishing talent. Larry Wright is a rousing tribute to the Harlem youth and the rich culture of the urban streets.