Documentaries with a point of view

Health

Living With AIDS
by Tina DiFeliciantonio
PBS Premiere Date: Jul. 19, 1988
A graceful, moving film about a community that provides both compassion and care to a courageous 22-year-old man with AIDS.
Binge
by Lynn Hershman
PBS Premiere Date: Sep. 17, 1989
In Binge, videomaker Lynn Hershman places herself center-screen for an intimate, humorous and piercing narrative about her efforts to control her weight.
Absolutely Positive
by Peter Adair
PBS Premiere Date: Jun. 18, 1991
Filmmaker Peter Adair asks 11 people — women and men, gay and straight, from all walks of life — to share their stories about living with the HIV virus.
Chemical Valley
by Mimi Pickering and Anne Lewis Johnson
PBS Premiere Date: Jul. 9, 1991
A West Virginia community is deeply divided over potentially life and death questions over a local chemical plant that fuels the area's fragile economy.
A Season in Hell
by Walter Brock and Stephen Roszell
PBS Premiere Date: Jul. 20, 1992
A haunting portrait of a young woman who begins to starve herself in search of the "perfect" body. The film follows four years in the life of Regina Hatfield as she struggles with bulimia.
Silverlake Life
by Tom Joslin and Peter Friedman
PBS Premiere Date: Jun. 15, 1993
At the heart of this ground-breaking video diary is a powerful tale of love, commitment, mortality and AIDS.
When Your Head's Not A Head, It's A Nut
by Garth Stein
PBS Premiere Date: Jun. 29, 1993
Garth Stein's Hi 8 camera captures family drama and unexpected humor as his quirky, yet determined, older sister prepares to undergo brain surgery to cure her epilepsy.
The Heart of the Matter
by Gini Retickler and Amber Hollibaugh
PBS Premiere Date: Jul. 12, 1994
This gripping story of one HIV-positive African American woman opens a window on understanding women's sexuality in the age of AIDS.
Dialogues With Madwomen
by Allie Light
PBS Premiere Date: Aug. 2, 1994
Seven women, including the filmmaker, describe their experiences with manic depression, multiple personalities, schizophrenia, euphoria and recovery.
Leona's Sister Gerri
by Jane Gillooly
PBS Premiere Date: Jun. 1, 1995
A provocative film about abortion.
Complaints of a Dutiful Daughter
by Deborah Hoffmann
PBS Premiere Date: Jun. 6, 1995
Deborah Hoffmann's poignant, sometimes funny account of coping with her mother's Alzheimer's disease. Nominated for a 1994 Academy Award.
Twitch and Shout
by Laurel Chiten
PBS Premiere Date: Jul. 11, 1995
An irreverent and humorous portrayal of people with the often misunderstood neurological disorder, Tourette Syndrome.
A Healthy Baby Girl
by Judith Helfand
PBS Premiere Date: Jun. 17, 1997
Streaming Now (Until Apr. 10, 2016)
Battling personal grief, corporate power, and her mother's guilt, Helfand turns the camera on herself and her family to document her battle with DES-related cancer.
Live Free or Die
by Marion Lipschutz and Rose Rosenblatt
PBS Premiere Date: Sep. 26, 2000
New Hampshire's "Live Free or Die" motto acquires tense contemporary meaning when abortion politics play out in a quiet New England town.
The Vanishing Line
by Maren Monsen
PBS Premiere Date: Jul. 21, 1998
Encore Broadcast: Jun. 15, 2002
When does life become a fate worse than death? In this age of medical "miracles," increasing numbers of doctors, patients and their families are forced to face this question.
The Smith Family
by Tasha Oldham
PBS Premiere Date: Jun. 25, 2002
On her ninth wedding anniversary, Kim's perfect life is shattered when she learns that her husband Steve has been having affairs with men. Three years later, she discovers she is HIV-positive.
State of Denial
by Elaine Epstein
PBS Premiere Date: Sep. 16, 2003
State of Denial takes viewers into the lives of six people struggling to survive with HIV in the face of social stigma, a severe lack of access to lifesaving treatments, and their president Thabo Mbeki's controversial stance on the connection between HIV and AIDS.
Refrigerator Mothers
by David E. Simpson and J.J. Hanley and Gordon Quinn
PBS Premiere Date: Jul. 16, 2002
Encore Broadcast: Jul. 27, 2004
Explore the traumatic legacy of blame, guilt and self-doubt suffered by a generation of mothers who were told they were responsible for their child's autism and learn more about this increasingly common disorder.
The Education of Shelby Knox
by Marion Lipschutz and Rose Rosenblatt
PBS Premiere Date: Jun. 21, 2005
A self-described "good Southern Baptist girl," 15-year-old Texan Shelby Knox becomes an unlikely advocate for comprehensive sex education.
Big Enough
by Jan Krawitz
PBS Premiere Date: Jun. 28, 2005
Encore Broadcast: Aug. 8, 2006
In this intimate portrait, Jan Krawitz revisits some of the subjects who appeared in her 1982 award-winning film Little People. Through a prism of 'then and now,' she contrasts the youth of these individuals affected with dwarfism with their lives 20 years later. From navigating everyday life to dating and marrying, they confront physical and emotional challenges with humor, grace and sometimes, frustration.
Waging a Living
by Roger Weisberg
PBS Premiere Date: Aug. 29, 2006
The term "working poor" should be an oxymoron. For 30 million Americans, it's reality. Waging a Living chronicles the day-to-day battles of four low-wage earners.
The Self-Made Man
by Susan Stern
PBS Premiere Date: Jul. 26, 2005
Encore Broadcast: Sep. 26, 2006
On Independence Day at Stern Ranch in central California, 77-year-old solar-energy pioneer Bob Stern finds out he is seriously ill — possibly dying. Part King Lear, part Western, The Self-Made Man is a true-life family drama about a controversial issue: Should we control how we die?
Freedom Machines
by Jamie Stoble and Janet Cole
PBS Premiere Date: Sep. 14, 2004
Encore Broadcast: Sep. 9, 2008
Freedom Machines takes a new look at disability through the lens of assistive technology.
Critical Condition
by Roger Weisberg
PBS Premiere Date: Sep. 30, 2008
What happens if you get sick and are one of 47 million Americans without health insurance?
In the Family
by Joanna Rudnick
PBS Premiere Date: Oct. 1, 2008
How much would you sacrifice to survive? When Chicago filmmaker Joanna Rudnick tested positive for the "breast cancer gene" at age 27, she knew the information could save her life, but she didn't know what to do about it.
Life. Support. Music.
by Eric Daniel Metzgar
PBS Premiere Date: Jul. 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.
The English Surgeon
by Geoffrey Smith
PBS Premiere Date: Sep. 8, 2009
A remarkable depiction of one doctor's commitment to relieving suffering and of the emotional turmoil he undergoes in bringing hope to a desperate people.
Notes on Milk
by Ariana Gerstein and Monteith McCollum
PBS Premiere Date: Apr. 21, 2010
A poetic look at some lesser-known aspects of America's favorite drink: the industry's spiritual underpinnings, politics and the struggle of independent farmers.
Bye
by Anthony Morrison
PBS Premiere Date: Jul. 13, 2010
Bye follows Jayden, a two and half year old diagnosed with autism, through his first months of school in the Bronx.
A Healing Art
by Ellen Frick
PBS Premiere Date: Aug. 17, 2010
Artificial eye makers combine artistry, skill and compassion, making eyes that are masterful works of art, and rekindling hope for their patients.
StoryCorps Shorts: Q&A
by Mike Rauch and Tim Rauch
PBS Premiere Date: Aug. 24, 2010
Streaming Now (Until Nov. 28, 2017)
This four-minute animated short from the producers of StoryCorps features Joshua Littman, a 12-year-old boy with Asperger's syndrome, interviewing his mother, Sarah.
The Edge of Dreaming
by Amy Hardie
PBS Premiere Date: Aug. 24, 2010
Can dreams predict the future? A filmmaker explores dreams, neuroscience and the realm of spirituality in this fascinating investigation of the human subconscious.
Food, Inc.
by Robert Kenner
PBS Premiere Date: Apr. 21, 2010
Encore Broadcast: Aug. 9, 2011
This 2010 Oscar-nominated film lifts the veil on our nation's food industry, exposing the highly mechanized underbelly that's been hidden from the American consumer.
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.
Grounded By Reality
by Elizabeth Strickler and Phoebe Brown
Digital Premiere Date: Apr. 30, 2013
Streaming Now (Until Apr. 30, 2017)
A glimpse into an artist's everyday struggles and her fierce determination to be seen as a whole and vital person through her art making.
StoryCorps Shorts: Marking the Distance
by Mike Rauch and Tim Rauch
Digital Premiere Date: Nov. 1, 2013
Streaming Now (Until Nov. 28, 2017)
Gweneviere Mann talks to her boyfriend Yasir Salem about losing her short term memory.
StoryCorps Shorts: The Road Home
by Mike Rauch and Tim Rauch
PBS Premiere Date: Nov. 28, 2013
Digital Premiere Date: Feb. 11, 2014
Streaming Now (Until Nov. 28, 2017)
Eddie Lanier struggled with alcoholism for over 40 years, until his 28th stint in rehab finally led to sobriety.
My Way to Olympia
by Niko von Glasow
PBS Premiere Date: Jul. 7, 2014
Who better to cover the Paralympics than a disabled filmmaker who hates sports and deems the games "stupid"? When Niko von Glasow meets the Rwandan sitting volleyball team and an American archer without arms, his notions get blown away.
After Tiller
by Martha Shane and Lana Wilson
PBS Premiere Date: Sep. 1, 2014
Since the assassination of Dr. George Tiller in 2009, only four doctors in the country openly provide late abortions. With unprecedented access, After Tiller goes inside the lives of these physicians working at the center of the storm.
20/Nothing
by Rachel Stevens and Sarah Meismer and Caitlin Hofmeister and Josef Metesh
Digital Premiere Date: Oct. 13, 2014
Streaming Now
20/Nothing follows Evan Smith, a man who lost his left eye many years ago. This experimental film takes a look at life from a different view.
The Caretaker
by Theo Rigby and Kate McLean
Digital Premiere Date: May. 12, 2014
PBS Premiere Date: Jun. 29, 2015
Streaming Now (Until Jun. 28, 2019)
The Caretaker is a portrait of two women who are outsiders in the place they call home. Haru is a 95-year-old Japanese-American migrant who was interned during World War II. Joesy is an undocumented worker from Fiji who cares for her.
Web Junkie
by Shosh Shlam and Hilla Medalia
PBS Premiere Date: Jul. 13, 2015
An extraordinary look into a internet addiction rehab in Beijing, China, the first country in the world to classify this evolving diagnosis. Official Selection of the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.
When I Walk
by Jason DaSilva
PBS Premiere Date: Jun. 23, 2014
Encore Broadcast: Aug. 10, 2015
Jason DaSilva was 25 and a rising filmmaker when he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and inspired to film this forthright — and surprisingly uplifting — look at his new life. He searches for a cure, yet a different miracle comes his way.Official Selection of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. A co-production of ITVS. A co-presentation with CAAM.
Point and Shoot
by Marshall Curry
PBS Premiere Date: Aug. 24, 2015
In 2006, Matt VanDyke left his home in search of a "crash course in manhood" and ended up amidst a revolution in the Middle East. A co-production of Marshall Curry Productions, American Documentary | POV and ITVS. Winner, Best Documentary Feature Award, 2014 Tribeca Film Festival.
Art and Craft
by Sam Cullman and Jennifer Grausman and Mark Becker
PBS Premiere Date: Sep. 25, 2015
A cat-and-mouse caper told with humor and compassion, Art and Craft uncovers the universal in one man's search for connection and respect. Official Selection of the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival and International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam. Named a Top 5 Documentary by the National Board of Review. Produced in association with American Documentary | POV.