Announcement

On Dec. 6, FRONTLINE Premieres Two Documentary Shorts: ‘Crime Scene: Bucha’ & ‘After Zero Tolerance’

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December 1, 2022

Crime Scene: Bucha & After Zero Tolerance

Tues., Dec. 6, 2022
Streaming at 7/6c at pbs.org/frontline & in the PBS Video App
Airing at 10/9c on PBS and on YouTube
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FRONTLINE will present two new documentary shorts on Dec. 6, 2022, in a multi-part hour premiering on PBS and online.

First, in Crime Scene: Bucha, FRONTLINE, The Associated Press and SITU Research team up to present an exclusive visual investigation of the atrocities committed in the Ukrainian town of Bucha during Russia’s month-long occupation earlier this year.  

Drawing on hundreds of hours of CCTV footage, intercepted phone calls and a 3D model of Bucha, the collaborative investigation maps the scope of the carnage — more than 450 deaths in all — and with forensic detail charts how Russian soldiers ran “cleansing” operations. 

The unique visualization was made using a high resolution 3D dataset of the city of Bucha, assembled with drone footage from the Ukrainian citizen research group, Jus Talionis.  Once the data was translated into a digital model, a wide range of evidence, including the location of bodies, key infrastructure and first-person testimony, were placed into the virtual environment in both time and space with the goal of reconstructing a clear and accurate sequence of events.

“So, we have the order: It does not matter whether they are civilians or not. Kill everyone,” one Russian soldier says in an intercepted phone call obtained and verified by AP and FRONTLINE. 

Crime Scene: Bucha is the latest installment of a wide-ranging collaboration between FRONTLINE and the Associated Press covering the war in Ukraine and tracking potential war crimes. The short film with SITU, a version of which was released digitally in early November, was produced and edited by Jon Nealon, produced and directed in Ukraine by Tom Jennings and Annie Wong, and produced and reported by AP’s Erika Kinetz. Jennings, Wong and Kinetz are the team behind the recent FRONTLINE/AP documentary Putin’s Attack on Ukraine: Documenting War Crimes, on which Crime Scene: Bucha builds. 

The second short documentary in FRONTLINE’s Dec. 6 hour, After Zero Tolerance, tells the story of a Honduran family’s struggle to reunite after being separated at the U.S.-Mexico border three years earlier under the Trump administration’s immigration policies.

“When I got there it became hell, a nightmare that has been tormenting me all these years,” says Anavelis, whose then-six-year-old daughter, Genesis, was taken from her in 2018 after the duo crossed into the United States.

Anavelis was deported back to Honduras without her daughter. Several years later, many families separated under Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy had been reunited, but hundreds of children, like Genesis, were still in the U.S. waiting for their parents to be allowed to return.

From Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Oscar Guerra (Love, Life & the Virus), and with production support from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and University of Connecticut’s Human Rights Institute, Department of Digital Media and Design, and Office of Global Affairs, After Zero Tolerance chronicles Anavelis’ quest to reunite with Genesis. The documentary also offers insight into the work of a Biden administration task force charged with reuniting families like Anavelis’.

“This really is an unprecedented operation, to be looking at harm that was done,” says Michelle Brané, the head of the task force. “And going back and really looking for the people involved and reunifying those families, in order to provide them with the ability to be together and work forward from the harm that was inflicted.”

As the documentary reports, for families reunited in the U.S. under the task force, uncertainty remains: parents’ authorizations to live and work in the country are not permanent.

“We encourage Congress and have asked Congress to help us in providing for some legal status for these families and we welcome their action on that,” Brané says.

FRONTLINE’s two-part hour featuring Crime Scene: Bucha and After Zero Tolerance premieres Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2022. Both documentary shorts will be available to watch in full at pbs.org/frontline and in the PBS Video App starting that night at 7/6c. The hour will premiere on PBS stations (check local listings) and on YouTube at 10/9c. Crime Scene: Bucha and After Zero Tolerance are distributed internationally by PBS InternationalSubscribe to FRONTLINE’s newsletter to get updates on events, podcast episodes and more related to both documentaries.

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Credits

Crime Scene: Bucha is a FRONTLINE production with The Associated Press, SITU Research and 2over10 Media. The producers and directors in Ukraine are Tom Jennings and Annie Wong; Jon Nealon is the producer and editor; Erika Kinetz is the producer and reporter. The editor-in-chief and executive producer of FRONTLINE is Raney Aronson-Rath. After Zero Tolerance is a FRONTLINE production with Five O’Clock Films in association with Guerra Productions, Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, and University of Connecticut. The writer, producer and director is Oscar Guerra. The senior producer is Frank Koughan. The editor-in-chief and executive producer of FRONTLINE is Raney Aronson-Rath.

About FRONTLINE
FRONTLINE, U.S. television’s longest running investigative documentary series, explores the issues of our times through powerful storytelling. FRONTLINE has won every major journalism and broadcasting award, including 104 Emmy Awards and 28 Peabody Awards. Visit pbs.org/frontline and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube to learn more. FRONTLINE is produced at GBH in Boston and is broadcast nationwide on PBS. Funding for FRONTLINE is provided through the support of PBS viewers and by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Additional support for FRONTLINE is provided by the Abrams Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Park Foundation, the Heising-Simons Foundation, and the FRONTLINE Journalism Fund, with major support from Jon and Jo Ann Hagler on behalf of the Jon L. Hagler Foundation. 

About AP
The Associated Press is an independent global news organization dedicated to factual reporting. Founded in 1846, AP today remains the most trusted source of fast, accurate, unbiased news in all formats and the essential provider of the technology and services vital to the news business. More than half the world’s population sees AP journalism every day. Online: www.ap.org

About SITU Research
SITU Research develops new forms of fact-finding to cut through digital noise and amplify truth. Working together as a group of designers, urbanists, computer scientists, and analysts, the team synthesizes disparate forms of digital evidence to provide exhaustive, factual accounts of contested events. SITU has worked across a broad range of justice and accountability contexts including work with the International Criminal Court, the United Nations and the Organization of American States, among others. More information about SITU Research can be found here.

Contact
Anne Husted, Manager, Public Relations and Communications, FRONTLINE (PBS)
617-300-5312
frontlinemedia@wgbh.org