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 Broadcast Schedule:
20001999 1998

2000 Programming

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Facilitator's Guide


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Letters From the Heart web Site

Regret to Inform
(A presentation of P.O.V./American Documentary)

January 24, 2000
In 1968, on her 24th birthday, Barbara Sonneborn received word that her husband, Jeff, had been killed in Vietnam while trying to rescue his wounded radio operator during a mortar attack. "We regret to inform," the telegram began. Twenty years later, Sonneborn, a photographer and visual artist, embarked on a journey in search of the truth about war and its legacy, eloquently chronicled in her debut documentary, Regret to Inform. Framed as an odyssey through Vietnam to Que Son, where Jeff was killed, Sonneborn weaves together the stories of widows from both sides of the American-Vietnam war. The result is a profoundly moving examination of the impact of war over time. (This program is co-presented by NAATA, the National Asian American Telecommunications Association; Director, Barbara Sonneborn; Producer, Janet Cole)

DISTRIBUTOR: New Yorker Films, 1-877-247-6200,

<< To download a PDF version of the Facilitator's Guide, click on the link at left.

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The Regret To Inform Facilitator's Guide is available in Adobe's Portable Document Format (PDF). You will need to have installed on your computer the Adobe Acrobat™ Reader program in order to view and print this guide. You may download a free copy of the Adobe AcrobatTM Reader by visiting,


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Born to Trouble: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
January 26, 2000

This 90-minute program explores the controversies surrounding one of the most banned and beloved books in American history, Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. In Twain’s time, the novel was challenged in schools and libraries as a threat to public morality, childhood innocence, and the purity of the English language. In our time, Huckleberry Finn has been charged with demeaning African Americans and perpetuating racism. This program looks at the phenomenon of a single work challenged by different groups for contrasting reasons. Why is this book both admired and reviled by so many people? Is Huck Finn a brilliant satire against racism, or does it reinforce stereotypes? The novel’s complex connections to race, culture, politics, and morality are shown as the film chronicles Twain’s literary genius, its cultural context and the 100 years of conflict surrounding it. Born to Trouble: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is the first of four films in the CULTURE SHOCK series about the arts, cultural values, and freedom of expression. (WGBH/PBS; Executive Producer, Jill Janows)

DISTRIBUTOR: PBS Video, 1-800-344-3337,

TEACHERS GUIDES: Visit the Culture Shock website.

Web Site

Digital Divide
January 28, 2000
Digital Divide is a two-part series for PBS that shines a light on some of the problems created by the rapid proliferation of computers in our society. The series asks the question: is everyone participating equally, if at all, in this Digital Revolution? At a time when million dollar start-up companies are developing out of small town garages, and undergraduate students are developing ISPs in their dorm rooms, the opportunities for success seem abundant. Yet not everyone has the same opportunity to participate in this revolution. The social divisions that are as old as America apply to the digital realm as well. Rich and poor, black and white, male and female, all experience the digital revolution in different ways. Through engaging portraits of students and interviews with their parents and technology experts, the film explores why many children are rapidly falling behind in the Information Age. [Presented by the Independent Television Service (ITVS), Produced by Studio Miramar]

DISTRIBUTOR: Films for the Humanities & Sciences: 1-800-257-5126,

TEACHERS GUIDE and COMMUNITY LEADER'S GUIDE: Both guides can be downloaded from the Digital Divide Website.



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Well-Founded Fear
(A presentation of P.O.V./American Documentary)

June 5, 2000
Imagine that your life has fallen apart - maybe you’ve been tortured or raped, or maybe you’ve gotten out just in time. You’ll have one chance to start a new life in the U.S., and an hour to tell your story to a neutral bureaucrat. Now imagine yourself on the other side of the desk, listening to people seeking refuge from any one of a hundred countries. The law says you can offer asylum if you find that someone has a "well-founded fear of persecution." Three times a day your job is to decide their fates. Political asylum – who deserves it? Who gets it? With unprecedented access, filmmakers Michael Camerini and Shari Robertson enter the closed corridors of the INS to reveal the dramatic real-life stage where human rights and American ideals collide with the nearly impossible task of trying to know the truth. (POV; Directors: Michael Camerini, Shari Robertson)

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Discussion Guide (pdf)


First Person Plural
(A presentation of P.O.V./American Documentary)

December 18, 2000
In 1966, Deann Borshay Liem was adopted by Arnold and Alveen Borshay and was sent from South Korea to her new home in the suburbs of California. Growing up a typical American teenager, the memory of her birth family was nearly obliterated until recurring dreams in later life lead Borshay Liem to search through her adoption file. Her investigation leads to a surprising twist about her identity and culminates in an emotional meeting between her unknown Korean birth mother and her adoptive parents. Emotionally poignant and politically relevant, FIRST PERSON PLURAL is an innovative essay on family, loss, and the reconciling of two identities. Official Selection, Sundance Film Festival 2000, and winner of the Grand Jury Prize, Best Bay Area Documentary, from the San Francisco International Film Festival.

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