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20 years / 420 programs: 1998
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» Fat

11.03.1998 (60 min)

 
 
Despite the appeals of the multi-billion dollar diet and exercise industries, the United States is getting fatter. The media bombards us with images of thin models exuding the message that to be thin is to be beautiful. But for many of us, being thin is a difficult, if not impossible, achievement. FRONTLINE examines how the diet industry is contributing to our frustration over unwanted pounds and asks if one can be healthy, fit, beautifulóand fat.

Producer: Antony Thomas

» The Child Terror

10.27.1998 (60 min)

 
 
In the midst of a sudden willingness to believe that children were being ritually abused in day-care centers during the 1980s, parents, police, prosecutors, and the press turned Miami, Florida, into ground zero for a new way of convicting alleged child molesters.

Led by Floridaís then-prosecuting attorney, Janet Reno, alleged abusers were relentlessly pursued and convicted with a zeal unmatched in the nation. Today, as some of Renoís celebrated cases seem to be unraveling, FRONTLINE correspondent Peter J. Boyer examines the convictions that were a stunning triumph for the crusading prosecuting attorney and created an emerging political model that would be emulated by prosecutors across the country.

Producers: Michael Kirk, Rick Young

» Plague War

10.13.1998 (60 min)

 
 
Today, there are at least ten nations in the world with the ability to produce biological weapons. Cheap and now technologically possible to produce and refine into weapons of mass destruction, biological warfare has the potential to do as much damage to civilian populations as nuclear weapons. FRONTLINE presents new evidence culled from scientists, intelligence agencies, and policymakers to examine the threat biological warfare poses to world security and the responses the U.S. is frantically developing.

Producers: Jim Gilmore, Peter Malloy

» Washington's Other Scandal

10.06.1998 (60 min)

 
 
The 1996 presidential campaign was the most expensive in history and the most corrupt since Richard Nixonís 1974 re-election. Janet Reno has now renewed deliberations over the appointment of an independent prosecutor to examine the campaignís financial abuses, and the McCain/Feingold reform legislation is being debated in the Senate. In a special report with Bill Moyers, FRONTLINE goes behind the headlines to explore how both Democrats and Republicans conspired to evade the laws which limit the amount of money allowed to flow into election campaigns.

Producer: Sherry Jones

» Ambush In Mogadishu

09.29.1998 (90 min)

 
 
With U.S. special forces now participating in a ground war in Afghanistan, FRONTLINE updates this 1998 investigation of a United Nations peacekeeping mission gone awry. On October 3, 1993, elite units of U.S. Army Rangers and Delta Force were pinned down on the streets of Mogadishu by forces of the Somali warlord Mohammed Farah Aidid. Seventeen hours later, eighteen American soldiers were dead and seventy-five lay wounded. The Rangers and Delta Force are now fighting in Afghanistan. FRONTLINE investigates new charges that Osama bin Laden trained and supported the Somali fighters responsible for the attack and explores the lessons learned by the U.S. military.

Producer: William Cran

» The Farmer's Wife

09.21.1998 (390 min)

 
 
Filmmaker David Sutherland takes us deep inside the passionate, yet troubled, marriage of Juanita and Darrel Buschkoetter, a young farm couple in rural Nebraska facing the loss of everything they hold dear. Part 1 of "The Farmer's Wife" recounts the moving story of Juanita and Darrel's romantic love affair and their emotional struggles, which have pushed their marriage to the brink. Darrel and Juanita tell their own story, in their own words, without the intrusion of a narrator.

In Part 2 of "The Farmer's Wife," the camera focuses on the rhythms of everyday life on the Buschkoettersí farm. We follow Juanita, Darrel, and their three girls through days reminiscent of a forgotten, simpler time in America. In September, an early frost destroys thirty percent of their crop. Darrel must go to work at a nearby farm for seven dollars an hour and does his own farming at night. Juanita cleans houses while trying to get a college degree so Darrel can stay home and farm, but Darrel worries that if she goes off the farm she'll find something she likes better. By Christmas, they are broke and unsure of their future.

In the concluding episode, Darrel finally harvests the bumper crop he had dreamt about his whole life. But Darrel has to go to work for another farmer to make enough money to feed his family, and the stress and exhaustion cause him to explode. In December, Juanita takes the girls and leaves for a week--it has a deep and profound effect on Darrel. Two months later, the marriage that had seemed almost doomed is miraculously transformed. Through counseling, Darrel learns to deal with his anger and undergoes extraordinary personal growth. Now he is the at-home parent, farming and caring for his three daughters. Juanita, who has earned a college degree, works at a respected crop insurance company in town, helping other farmers. The film ends with hope--through faith and hard work, the Buschkoetters save their farm and rediscover the love that binds them.

Producer: David Sutherland

» Fooling With Nature

06.02.1998 (60 min)

 
 
FRONTLINE examines new evidence in the controversy over the danger of manmade chemicals to human health and the environment, thirty-five years after Rachel Carson first raised concerns of an impending ecological crisis. Currently, millions in research and public relations dollars are being spent in the battle, and President Clinton is calling this one of his top environmental priorities. The film takes viewers inside the world of scientists, politicians, activists, and business officials embroiled in this high-stakes debate that threatens the multibillion dollar chemical industry.

Producer: Doug Hamilton

» The World's Most Wanted Man

05.26.1998 (90 min)

 
 
FRONTLINE examines the dramatic hunt for Radovan Karadzic, the notorious Bosnian Serb leader indicted for atrocities by the War Crimes Tribunal in the Hague, but still at large in the former Yugoslavia. The film investigates Karadzic's rise to power, the war crimes committed during his rule, and why NATO and U.S. forces have failed to arrest him.

Producers: Kevin Sim, Pippa Scott

» Secrets of an Independent Counsel

05.19.1998 (60 min)

 
 
In a rare in-depth television interview given by a sitting independent counsel, Donald Smaltz takes FRONTLINE inside his investigation of former Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy. FRONTLINE correspondent Peter Boyer steps behind the current controversy about Kenneth Starr to find out what these independent counsels really want, how far they'll go to get it, and why they cost so much money.

Producer: Michael Kirk

» Inside the Tobacco Deal

05.12.1998 (60 min)

 
 
FRONTLINE goes inside the tobacco deal,telling the intriguing tale of how a group of small-town lawyers from the nation's poorest state brought Big Tobacco to the bargaining table. FRONTLINE correspondent Lowell Bergman follows the trail of confidential Brown & Williamson documents that were leaked, examines the role of former presidential advisor Dick Morris in shaping Clinton's stance on tobacco,and reveals new information about the government's criminal case against the tobacco industry.

Producer: Neil Docherty

» Busted: America's War on Marijuana

04.28.1998 (60 min)

 
 
The United States government spends nearly $2.5 billion each year to process arrests related to marijuana production and sales, which often carry severe penalties. While the war on marijuana may be going strong do the results prove it a boom or a bust? FRONTLINE expolores the impact of current policy on stemming the tide of marijuana use and looks at how marijuana law enforcement is affecting American life.

Producer: Elena Mannes

» The High Price of Health

04.14.1998 (60 min)

 
 
Today, providing health care is a profit-driven enterprise which is subject to the forces of the marketplace and operated by administrators with their eyes on the bottom line. But has too much of the decision-making power been taken away from the doctors, nurses, and patients? FRONTLINE looks at how in the wake of a failed attempt by the Clinton administration to provide universal health care for every American, the industry has undergone a dramatic transformation. The film examines the changing health-care industry through an in-depth look at how California and Massachusetts hospitals are coping with this health-care revolution.

Producer: Rachel Dretzin

» From Jesus to Christ: The First Christians

04.06.1998 (120 min)

 
 
FRONTLINE presents the epic story of the rise of Christianity. Drawing upon new and sometimes controversial historical evidence, the series transports the viewer back two thousand years to the time and place where Jesus of Nazareth once lived and preached and challenges familiar assumptions and conventional notions about the origins of Christianity. Program 1 traces the life of Jesus of Nazareth, exploring the message that helped his ministry grow and the events that led to his crucifixion around 30 c.e. The film then turns to the period that followed Jesus' death, examining the rise of Christianity and concluding with the First Revolt -- the bloody and violent siege of Jerusalem and the beginning of a rift between Christianity and Judaism. The broadcast explores new evidence suggesting that Jesus' followers because of their diversity and the differences in their cultures and languages, looked at and interpreted Jesus and his teachings in many different ways.

In program 2, FRONTLINE examines the period after the First Revolt, tracing the development and impact of the Gospels and looking at the increasingly hostile relationship between the Christians and the Jews. The film looks at another bloody Jewish war against Rome, the second Revolt, assessing its impact on the Christianity movement. The broadcast documents the extraordinary events of the second and third centuries in which Christianity grew from a small Jewish sect to an official religion of the Roman Empire.

Producers: Marilyn Mellowes, William Cran

» The Two Nations of Black America

02.10.1998 (60 min)

 
 
Today, America has the largest black middle class in its history, yet half of all black children are born into poverty. Have the walls of segregation tumbled down, only to be replaced by walls of class? FRONTLINE correspondent and Harvard University professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., grapples with the issues facing the 'two nations of black America' as he takes a personal journey that measures the distance between the beneficiaries of affirmative action and those they left behind.

Producer: June Cross

» My Retirement Dreams

02.03.1998 (60 min)

 
 
'I began my journey as a voyeur in the landscape of old age, but when it was over I was an insider,' says FRONTLINE producer Marian Marzynski. Marzynski, who calls himself somewhere between a boomer and a geezer,' takes viewers on a personal and poignant journey into America's way of growing old. As the baby boom generation begins to anticipate age, Marzynski settles into the life of Miami Beach's condo complexes, investigating the retirees' struggle to leave behind their old lives and to find new meaning and new joy in life's final chapter.

Producer: Marian Marzynski

» Last Battle of the Gulf War

01.20.1998 (60 min)

In the years following the return home of the last U.S. troops who participated in ground war in the Persian Gulf, attention has turned from the historic victory to a strange new sickness the press has dubbed Gulf War Syndrome. But while many veterans believe something in the Gulf made them ill, scientists argue Gulf War veterans are not dying or being hospitalized at a higher-than-average rate. FRONTLINE tells the story of how Gulf War Syndrome came into existence, examining the psychology of war, the politics of veterans affairs, and the roles of the media and the biomedical research community.

Producer: Jon Palfreman


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