Muhammad Yunus Banks on America
Fri, 01/09/2015 - 9:00pm

TO CATCH A DOLLAR: Muhammad Yunus Banks on America follows Nobel Peace Prize winner Professor Yunus as he brings his unique and revolutionary microfinance program to the U.S. Witness the birth of Grameen America and the compelling stories of the first women borrowers; from the challenges they face to the successes they achieve. These inspiring entrepreneurs learn to rise from poverty by starting and growing their own sustainable businesses with the education, peer-support, and non-collateral microloans they receive. This film has been screened at film festivals all over the world.

Washington Week With Gwen Ifill
Sat, 01/10/2015 - 8:00pm

Join moderator and managing editor Gwen Ifill each week as she leads a robust roundtable discussion with award-winning journalists who provide reporting and analysis of the major stories emanating from the nation’s capital.

Wed, 01/07/2015 - 4:00pm

The one-hour documentary visits 180 city basketball courts throughout New York City's five boroughs to uncover the world of pick-up basketball. Playground legends, NBA athletes and everyday players tell the story — and show off their athleticism (and trash-talking) on local basketball courts.

America Reframed
Tue, 01/06/2015 - 8:00pm

Leaving politics aside, Rodrigo Reyes looks anew at the brutal beauty of the U.S./Mexico border and the people caught in its spell. The evocative Dantesque essay film reimagines the border as a mythical place exploring the vulnerability of the human soul, the violence man creates and the destruction left in its wake.

The film opens with Reyes’ own words: “Close your eyes. Try to imagine what the world was like, many, many years ago. Try to imagine when borders did not exist.” His invitation is for us to think about a world where time, wonder and mystery converge seamlessly. He continues, “And then we arrived.” Later, as the camera sweeps across an endless expanse of desert, Reyes adds, “We tore it apart into a thousand pieces. And in the madness that followed, we discovered violence, hate, and finally, separation.”

In the auteur tradition of caméra-stylo, Purgatorio captures a stunning mosaic of compelling characters, empty edifices and stark landscapes along the border to deliver a haunting meditation and visceral experience. Exposing both the flaws of human nature and the incongruities of the modern world, the filmmaker reflects on questions that are impossible to answer. Reyes’ epic film transforms a treacherous reality into a fable of humanity.

Shift Change
Mon, 01/05/2015 - 8:00pm
Coops Featured in Shift Change: Ohio Solar Cooperative – photo courtesy of Ohio Solar Cooperative

SHIFT CHANGE is a documentary film by veteran award-winning filmmakers Melissa Young and Mark Dworkin. It tells the little known stories of employee owned businesses that compete successfully in today’s economy while providing secure, dignified jobs in democratic workplaces.
With the long decline in US manufacturing and the ongoing economic crisis, millions have been thrown out of decently paid work. The usual economic solutions are not working for many Americans, so some are thinking outside of the box to restore long term community stability and a more egalitarian way of life.

There is growing interest in firms that are owned and managed by their workers. Such firms tend to be more profitable and innovative, and more committed to the communities where they are based. Yet the public has little knowledge of their success, and the promise they offer for a better life.

Sun, 01/04/2015 - 6:30pm
(Left to right) Kym Ward Gaffney, Robin Hall Hayles and Dawn Kirstaetter first met while growing up in West Baltimore

BEST FRIENDS: THE POWER OF SISTERHOOD celebrates the uniquely powerful bond between women friends. The moving documentary features heartfelt reflections — from humorous to joyful to poignant — from women spanning the generations: childhood friends, college friends, neighbors and colleagues. Despite embarking on separate paths, these women have maintained friendships based on mutual respect and encouragement. Actress and author Jamie Lee Curtis also discusses the importance of her girlfriends in her life.

Faith in the Hood
Sat, 01/03/2015 - 4:00pm
Co-directors Mario Lathan and Ada Babino.

Faith in the Hood is a compelling portrait of the inner city, seen through the prism of the spiritual life of its people. Southeast is the poorest neighborhood in Washington, D.C. with only one sit-down restaurant. But it has hundreds of churches and ministries. The film profiles five of them: a street ministry for former convicts and drug addicts, a socially activist storefront church, a powerful Afro-centric church, an evangelical camp for young people, and an Islamic elementary school. With insightful commentary from leading experts on African American faith, the film demonstrates the richness of inner city religion and its centrality as a defining aspect of black life.

Skeletons of the Sahara
Fri, 01/02/2015 - 2:00pm
Paleontologist Paul Sereno. Courtesy of National Geographic Television.

While prospecting for dinosaur bones, explorer and scientist Paul Sereno stumbled across an ancient human cemetery more than 5,000 years older than the Egyptian pyramids.

Thu, 01/01/2015 - 8:00pm
Portrait of Stephen Hawking and his assistant Judith Croasdell in his office at DAMTP, Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, Cambridge.

This is the intimate and revealing story of Stephen Hawking’s life. Told for the first time in Hawking’s own words and with unique access to his home and public life, this is a personal journey through Hawking’s world. The audience joins him at home, under the care of his nursing team; in San Jose as he “wows” a packed theatre audience; in Silicon Valley as he meets a team of technicians who hope to speed up his communication system; and as he throws a party for family and friends. HAWKING also carefully tells Hawking’s life journey, from boyhood under-achiever to PhD genius, and from a healthy cox on the Oxford rowing team to diagnosis of motor neuron disease, given just two years to live — yet surviving several close brushes with death. The film also highlights his greatest scientific discoveries and plots his rise to fame and superstardom.

Wed, 12/31/2014 - 7:00pm

BALLYCASTLE documents the artistic journey of Stuart Shils, a noted Philadelphia-based landscape painter of Jewish heritage whose life and work was forever changed by his encounter with a remoteseaside village in Northern Ireland. Moving between the starkly contrasting landscapes of Philadelphia and Ballycastle, the documentary highlights Ireland's exquisite light, dramatic scenery and fierce, ever-changing weather. Shils' passionate, colorful and often amusing reflections illuminate the life-altering effect of one village on an artist. Beyond the enormous impact of the creative experience, Shils' time in Ireland also deepened his appreciation of the connection between the Irish and Jewish people.

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