THE DAY IT SNOWED IN MIAMI traces the political activism behind an equal-rights statute in Miami, and how it galvanized the gay rights movement in Florida and beyond. Thirty five years ago, as snowflakes prepared to dust palm trees in a city known for its warmth, Miami-Dade County lawmakers unknowingly debated an issue that would ignite a political maelstrom. The seemingly benign ordinance — essentially an addendum to the county's existing anti-discrimination legislation — sought to prohibit discrimination in housing, public accommodations or employment based on the basis of "affectional or sexual preference." On Jan. 18, 1977, a throng of conservatives led by singer and Florida Orange Juice spokeswoman Anita Bryant packed downtown commission chambers in protest. The commissioners ultimately passed the ordinance by a narrow 5-3 margin, but Bryant vowed to lead a repeal — and succeeded. The ordinance set back the gay-rights movement for decades; it took more than 20 years for Miami-Dade to revive and pass the law. The 90-minute documentary also chronicles the tragic effects of the AIDS pandemic in South Florida, and the ironic, compassionate turn in public opinion towards the gay community.
Wed, 06/04/2014 - 6:00pm
More Americans have been lost to AIDS than in all the U.S. wars since 1900, and the pandemic has killed 22 million people worldwide. Few know about the existence of the National AIDS Memorial, a seven-acre grove hidden in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. This documentary chronicles the garden’s transformation from a neglected eyesore to a landscaped sanctuary to a national memorial. The film shows how a community in crisis found healing and remembrance, and how the seeds of a few visionary environmentalists blossomed into something larger than they could have imagined. However, controversy erupted over an international design competition, opening up questions of what it means to be a national memorial — and how to mark a time of unimaginable loss.
Tue, 06/03/2014 - 6:00pm
CUBA MIA: PORTRAIT OF AN ALL-WOMAN ORCHESTRA captures the musicians of the all-female orchestra Camerata Romeu as they prepare for an end-of-the-year concert in Old Havana’s Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi. With one of the world’s most beautiful churches as the backdrop, the women play a unique blend of classical music, created by famous Cuban and Latin American composers. The program profiles the musicians — ranging from a talented young violinist to a mature bass player. CUBA MIA follows the musicians and conductor Zenaida Romeu as they juggle their studies, and in some cases motherhood, with a demanding schedule and complex musical repertoire.
Sun, 06/01/2014 - 8:00pm
Narrated by Martin Sheen, MESSENGER OF THE TRUTH tells the remarkable true story of Catholic priest and human rights activist Father Jerzy Popieluszko (1947-1984), whose faith, conviction and courage mobilized the people of Poland to stand against Communist rule during the 1980s. In his powerful sermons, Father Jerzy spoke about human rights, railed against injustice and tyranny, and advocated for truth and freedom. Archival recordings and footage from his masses provide a glimpse into how Father Jerzy's stirring oratory ignited and sustained the Polish Solidarity movement. Father Jerzy's following in this almost wholly Catholic country, not to mention his outspokenness on behalf of workers' rights, eventually drew the attention of the Soviet-backed regime and the secret police. Members of the Polish internal intelligence agency eventually succeeded in silencing Father Jerzy, assassinating him in 1984. Not surprisingly, Father Jerzy's death turned the young priest into a martyr and only served to further galvanize the movement and the nation. His legacy was further cemented in 2010, when Pope Benedict beatified Father Jerzy — the last step before achieving sainthood in the Roman Catholic Church.
Fri, 05/30/2014 - 6:00pm
Between 1942 and 1945, The Poston Relocation Center in Arizona housed more than 18,000 Japanese and Japanese-Americans, who worked as laborers to construct schools, farm the land and construct an irrigation system. PASSING POSTON: AN AMERICAN STORY recounts the moving and haunting stories of four former detainees. A tragic past haunts each person, now in the last chapter of their lives, as they struggle to reconcile the trauma of their youth. They also give voice to the sense of dislocation Japanese-Americans felt and how many of them still search and yearn to find their rightful place in the United States.
Thu, 05/29/2014 - 6:00pm
D-Day was a logistical effort on a scale never seen before or since. On the day itself, 3,000 planes dropped 23,000 airborne troops behind German lines, and 7,000 ships delivered around 20,000 military vehicles and 130,000 soldiers onto the beaches. Once on the shore, the troops had to negotiate two million mines buried in the sand, 46,000 fearsome beach obstacles and hundreds of miles of barbed wire, while dodging the shells and bullets fired by 40,000 German defenders. This film takes advantage of LiDAR technology to re-create the landscape and allow viewers to switch effortlessly between the macro and the micro — pulling back for the big picture and zooming in to a close-up of a single soldier on the battlefield.
Wed, 05/28/2014 - 7:30pm
Painfully transformed by ovarian cancer, breast cancer, heart failure and a dramatic loss of skin pigment, Lalita Bharvani is a beautiful woman whose resilient spirit survives. Indelible Lalita tells her story as she moves from Bombay to Paris to Montréal, and becomes completely White along the way.
At the age of 60, Lalita is fighting breast cancer and heart disease as her mother lives out her last days in India. Through these health crises, she has somehow managed to find the joy in life, letting go of her body as the expression of her femininity and ethnicity – and, ultimately, as the only vessel for her spirit. Indelible Lalita poses the question: How linked is one’s identity to one’s physical appearance?
Japanese American Lives
Mon, 05/26/2014 - 7:00pm
“Stories From Tohuku” by Dianne Fukami (60 mins) Two years after the devastating 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan, survivors are still struggling to rebuild. The Japanese American community has continued to raise money and organize aid trips to the region. This powerful documentary explores both the endurance and frustration of the survivors and the hope inspired by the visitors. Olympic Gold medalist Kristi Yamaguchi is featured.
Sun, 05/25/2014 - 1:00pm
In this intimate backyard performance, master slack key musician Cyril Pahinui (featured in last season's "Waimea ‘Ukulele and Slack Key Guitar") jams with some of the most talented musicians in Hawaii. The Oscar-winning film The Descendantsprominently featured the music of Cyril's father, Gabby “Pop” Pahinui, considered the “Godfather” of Hawaiian slack key guitar.
Sat, 05/24/2014 - 2:00pm
A Matter of Duty tells the stories of Maine soldiers who were deployed to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Gulf War and the Vietnam War and returned home to face a new, relentless enemy: post-traumatic stress disorder. PTSD is a condition that is not well understood here in Maine and it will have lasting implications for the entire state. It is a national epidemic.
A Matter of Duty details Kennebec Sheriff Randy Liberty’s personal battle with PTSD and several veterans in his charge at the Kennebec County Jail. Liberty’s honesty about his own condition and his efforts to help other veterans vividly depicts the continuing impact of war on the men and women who have served our country.