Documentaries with a point of view


Louie Bluie
by Terry Zwigoff
PBS Premiere Date: Aug. 23, 1988
A lively portrait of 76-year-old Harold "Louie Bluie" Armstrong, musician, artist, raconteur and rogue.
Larry Wright
by Ari Marcopoulos and Maja Zrnic
PBS Premiere Date: Jul. 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.
Plena Is Work, Plena Is Song
by Pedro Rivera and Susan Zeig
PBS Premiere Date: Jun. 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.
by Lourdes Portillo
PBS Premiere Date: Jul. 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.
Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars
by Banker White and Zach Niles
PBS Premiere Date: Jun. 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.
Lomax the Songhunter
by Rogier Kappers
PBS Premiere Date: Aug. 22, 2006
Encore Broadcast: Sep. 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.
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.
Johnny Cash
by Robert Elfstrom
PBS Premiere Date: Aug. 5, 2008
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.
The Archive
by Sean Dunne
PBS Premiere Date: 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.
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.