Pride and mischief inspire Chinese immigrant Tom Xia to challenge his American neighbors to survive the Christmas season without any Chinese products. The Jones family eagerly accepts this consumer mission-impossible and is drawn into an intercultural exchange with the Xia family. As the Joneses strive to adapt without their Chinese-made appliances and Christmas lights, Tom hopes that they’ll begin to appreciate his birthplace. When Tim Jones challenges Tom about his pride in communist China, Tom, struggling to explain China and go beyond the stereotypes, realizes he’s on a journey of self-discovery, torn between his competing loyalties to the U.S. and China. XMAS WITHOUT CHINA is a playful yet poignant exploration of America’s increasing interdependence with China in a time when, as President Obama says, “the relationship between the United States and China will shape the 21st century.”
Wed, 12/25/2013 - 6:00pm
Filmmaker Joe York spotlights the tradition-bearers of Southern foodways, presenting intimate portraits of men and women who grow, prepare and serve Southern food and drink. He examines themes related to foodways, sense of place, civil rights, gender, family dynamics and diversity in the modern American South. What do foodways tell us about what it means to be a Southerner? How and why do traditional foodways endure? As America’s ethnic and racial make-up shifts, how do regional foodways change?
Tue, 12/24/2013 - 9:30pm
SHAKESPEARE LOST, SHAKESPEARE FOUND tells the fascinating story behind the bold 20-year project by world-renowned Shakespeare scholar Dr. Gary Taylor to recreate The History of Cardenio (1613), a lost work written by William Shakespeare and his early collaborator, John Fletcher. Despite its impressive pedigree, The History of Cardenio remains shrouded in mystery because the 400-year-old play did not survive the ravages of time. Dr. Taylor resurrected the original manuscript by de-constructing Double Falsehood, Lewis Theobald's 1727 adaptation of The History of Cardenio. This process included painstaking research of centuries-old texts and cutting-edge computer microanalysis of each author's writing styles. The documentary culminates with the first full-scale production of the work at the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis campus, where academics from around the world comment on the play's authenticity, casting choices, plot additions and controversial ending.
Mon, 12/23/2013 - 7:00pm
Two-and-a-half millennia ago, a new religion was born in northern India, generated from the ideas of a single man, the Buddha, a mysterious Indian sage who famously gained enlightenment while he sat under a large, shapely fig tree. The Buddha never claimed to be God or his emissary on earth. He said only that he was a human being who, in a world of unavoidable pain and suffering, had found a kind of serenity that others could find, too. This documentary by award-winning filmmaker David Grubin tells the story of his life, a journey especially relevant in our own bewildering times of violent change and spiritual confusion. Richard Gere narrates.
Sun, 12/22/2013 - 9:00pm
THE ADVENTISTS explores the realities, and some of the ironies, of one of the few American-born religions: Seventh-day Adventism. Historical re-enactments offer a glimpse into the church’s beginnings, including its defining moment: the mid-19th century event known as the Great Disappointment. Several decades later, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg built a breakfast-food empire and pioneered a new kind of healthcare facility based on Adventist principles of a healthy lifestyle: a plant-based diet; regular exercise; the avoidance of alcohol, tobacco or illegal drugs, and a holistic focus on education and community life.
Fri, 12/20/2013 - 6:00pm
When does solving a crime become a crime? An innocent man confessed to murder and forensic evidence supported his confession. The real killers confessed, but they were ignored by the police. Across the nation, criminal convictions are being overturned due to either incompetence or deliberate misconduct in crime labs. How did Nebraska's foremost CSI fall under suspicion of faking evidence? "CSI on Trial" follows what went wrong in Nebraska and what we can learn from this tragedy.
Thu, 12/19/2013 - 6:00pm
Water is a central element of life, yet one in eight people worldwide — 1.2 billion — lack access to safe drinking water. In the coming years, the water scarcity in some drought-stricken regions will turn into a global crisis. Hosted by actor-producer Adrian Grenier (HBO's Entourage), WATER PRESSURES sheds light on this critical, complex issue by documenting the partnership between villagers in water-distressed Rajasthan, India and students and faculty at Northwestern University, situated on the shores of Lake Michigan. Students in a Northwestern environmental policy class see a model of conservation and community cooperation firsthand on a 10-day trip to India, where a leading nonprofit organizations illustrates the power of pairing traditional wisdom with simple teamwork to solve the water crisis in the Thar Desert. They also meet with political leaders, corporate executives and water experts to create their own local partnerships and try to make a difference in their own communities.
Wed, 12/18/2013 - 6:00pm
Twelve actors travel across 28 US cities on a seven month journey to bring classical theater to America. The Acting Company, a classical touring ensemble founded by John Houseman and Margot Harley, started with members of the first graduating class of the drama division of the Julliard School. Kevin Kline recalls Houseman’s motivation being, “We couldn’t just let them go out there and do garbage.” In the Company’s 37th season, twelve actors spend seven months on a cramped bus, lose a leading man, play 71 roles, and learn to work in spaces that won’t hold their set. Throughout, they reconnect with their passion for performing, receive a great review in the New York Times, and teach high school and college students a new way to look at Shakespeare. As we follow the actors on tour and watch insightful conversations with Kevin Kline, Rainn Wilson and Harriet Harris, we learn that with the exception of Xbox and Wi-Fi on the bus, not much has changed – and that is just as it should be.
Tue, 12/17/2013 - 9:30pm
The Chitimacha, the 1,000-member tribe known as "the People of Many Waters," are heirs to an unbroken 8,000-year past. Living off the bounty of Louisiana's Atchafalaya Basin, one of the richest inland estuaries on the continent, this indigenous nation persists and rejuvenates its culture despite gradually losing its ancestral territory to environmental and man-made forces. NATIVE WATERS: A CHITIMACHA RECOLLECTION journeys into sacred places of the Atchafalaya Basin with author Roger Stouff, the son of the last chief of the Chitimacha Indians and a keeper of his family's oral tradition. Stouff shares native stories, beliefs and perspectives about this often overlooked people. An avid fly-fisherman, Stouff laments the certain demise of the river basin, the depletion of its sacred fishing and hunting grounds and the painful "vanishings" of the time-honored Chitimacha way of life.
Sun, 12/15/2013 - 9:00pm
The wild mustang: a living, breathing symbol of America's spirit...uninhibited, undaunted, free. The mustang is a true survivor, having outlasted most of its predators. As the range and resources shrink, the mustang's success could also be its demise. As the government searches for a solution, passionate people reach out to save these great animals...to save the wild mustangs...to save our untamed legacy
The documentary focuses on the wild mustang’s survival and struggles as resources diminish. It is shot in parts of Tennessee, Alabama, Nevada and New Mexico. UNTAMED LEGACY: America’s Wild Mustang chronicles a mustang named Charlie on his journey from the wild to his new home in Alabama, and all the people whose lives he touches along the way.