Religion & Spirituality

The Fighting Ministers
by Bill Jersey and Richard Wormser
PBS Premiere Date: Sept. 3, 1989
Moved by the growing desperation of thousands of laid-off steel workers, a group of ministers in Pittsburgh begins to confront the city's government and powerful corporations. Their passionate, controversial and unorthodox actions lead to profound soul-searching, Church rejection and imprisonment.
On Ice
by Grover Babcock and Andrew Takeuchi
PBS Premiere Date: July 10, 1990
Cryonics — the freezing of human beings after death for future revival — is the focus of this off-beat film by two science buffs-turned-film-majors. With commentary from Timothy Leary, a theologian and skeptical scientists, On Ice is alternately deadpan and dead serious.
Ossian
by Thomas Anderson
PBS Premiere Date: Sept. 4, 1990
Ossian Maclise is not an average American teenager. Born in Massachusetts, he has been living in a Tibetan Buddhist monastery since the age of four. At seven, his monastic order recognized Ossian as a tulku — a reincarnation of a high Tibetan lama.
¡Teatro!
by Ed Burke and Ruth Shapiro
PBS Premiere Date: Sept. 4, 1990
Founded by a Jesuit priest from St. Louis, a grassroots theatre company takes its shows on the unpaved roads of Honduras to enlighten and inspire villagers in the impoverished countryside.
The Big Bang
by James Toback
PBS Premiere Date: Aug. 6, 1991
Whether the subject is sex, death, madness or God, The Big Bang never lets up in its weird and wonderful search for the meaning of it all.
Faith Even to the Fire
by Sylvia Morales and Jean Victor
PBS Premiere Date: Aug. 21, 1992
Three American nuns, inspired by the Civil Rights movement and encouraged by the internal reforms of Vatican II, accuse the Catholic Church of racism and sexism. A revealing portrait of a 2,000 year old organization struggling to reconcile authority and conscience, tradition and the need for change.
Compassion In Exile
by Mickey Lemie
PBS Premiere Date: July 6, 1993
The richly textured story of the Dalai Lama of Tibet — spiritual leader, Nobel Laureate — interweaves an inspiring portrayal with the urgent plight of his homeland under Chinese occupation.
Cousin Bobby
by Jonathan Demme
PBS Premiere Date: Aug. 24, 1993
Oscar-winning director Jonathan Demme (Silence of the Lambs) catches up with his long-lost cousin, Robert Castle, a fiery Harlem-based white Episcopalian priest.
Time Indefinite
by Ross McElwee
PBS Premiere Date: June 7, 1994
In Ross McElwee's 1986 cult hit, Sherman's March, an idealist searches for love, happiness — and a wife. Now he's turning 40, getting married, and heading out on yet another quest.
In the Light of Reverence
by Christopher McLeod and Malinda Maynor
PBS Premiere Date: Aug. 14, 2001
In the Light of Reverence is a beautifully rendered account of the struggles of the Lakota in the Black Hills, the Hopi in Arizona and the Wintu in California to protect their sacred sites.
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.
New Muslim Cool
by Jennifer Maytorena Taylor
PBS Premiere Date: June 23, 2009
Puerto Rican-American rapper Hamza Pérez pulled himself out of street life 12 years ago and became a Muslim. Now he must confront the realities of the post-9/11 world.
The Overnighters
by Jesse Moss
PBS Premiere Date: June 29, 2015
Desperate, broken men chase their dreams and run from their demons in the North Dakota oil fields. A local pastor risks everything to help them. Winner, Special Jury Award for Intuitive Filmmaking: Documentary, 2014 Sundance Film Festival.
Beats of the Antonov
by hajooj kuka and Steven Markovitz
PBS Premiere Date: 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.