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Mario's Story
rating:3.8

Mario's Story

2007Runtime:0 minutes
Shot over the course of seven years, this documentary from filmmakers Susan Koch and Jeff Werner relates the inspiring true story of Mario Rocha, an East L.A. teen who unlocked his talent for writing while serving out a murder sentence behind bars. As his family and a team of pro bono attorneys labor on the outside to clear his name for a crime he didn't commit, Mario keeps himself grounded on the inside by writing poems, short stories and plays.

Directed by:

  • Susan Koch
  • rating:3.8 3.8 Average Rating

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    Return with Honor: American Experience
    rating:3.8

    Return with Honor: American Experience

    1999Runtime:0 minutes
    Oscar-winning filmmakers Freida Lee Mock and Terry Sanders present the stories of the brave American fighter pilots who were shot down over North Vietnam and survived torture, solitary confinement and other harrowing experiences as prisoners of war. Among other honored veterans, the documentary features Everett Alvarez, the first American pilot captured by the Vietnamese, who was held captive for eight-and-a-half years.

    Directed by:

  • Terry Sanders
  • Freida Lee Mock
  • rating:3.8 3.8 Average Rating

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    Atlantic Records: The House that Ahmet Built
    rating:3.8

    Atlantic Records: The House that Ahmet Built

    2007Runtime:0 minutes
    With a $10,000 loan from his dentist, Ahmet Ertegun co-founded Atlantic Records in 1947. By the 1950s Atlantic was the country's premier R&B label. Ertegun's wondrous rise is recounted in this lively episode from the PBS series "American Masters." It took director Susan Steinberg more than four years to capture Ertegun in candid conversations with music greats Robert Plant, Aretha Franklin, Bette Midler, Ray Charles and many others.

    Directed by:

  • Susan Steinberg
  • rating:3.8 3.8 Average Rating

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    Be Here to Love Me: A Film About Townes Van Zandt
    rating:3.8

    Be Here to Love Me: A Film About Townes Van Zandt

    2004Runtime:0 minutes
    While singer, songwriter and quintessential outsider Townes Van Zandt never found lasting mainstream success, his music found a home in the repertoire of diverse artists such as Norah Jones, Lucinda Williams, Emmylou Harris and The Meat Puppets. Through archival footage and interviews with Willie Nelson, Lyle Lovett and more, Texas-based filmmaker Margaret Brown's directorial debut presents a moving portrait of an influential artist.

    Directed by:

  • Margaret Brown
  • rating:3.8 3.8 Average Rating

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    China: A Century of Revolution
    rating:3.8

    China: A Century of Revolution

    2000Runtime:0 minutes
    This powerful, comprehensive documentary series takes an objective, firsthand look at China's tumultuous 20th century, examining the nation's social, political and cultural upheaval through personal interviews and rare historical footage. Beginning in 1911 with the fall of the last emperor, the program journeys through the decades, following China's growth into one of the world's largest economies.

    Directed by:

  • Sue Williams
  • rating:3.8 3.8 Average Rating

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    The Dhamma Brothers
    rating:3.8

    The Dhamma Brothers

    2008Runtime:0 minutes
    This compelling documentary follows a group of prisoners at a maximum-security Alabama penitentiary as they embark on a transformative odyssey by immersing themselves in a grueling, 10-day meditative retreat rooted in Buddhist teachings. During the wrenching course of self-examination and self-discipline, the inmates are forced to confront their crimes, inner demons and dark memories -- which ultimately puts them on a path to deep-seated healing.

    Directed by:

  • Andrew Kukura
  • Jenny Phillips
  • Anne Marie Stein
  • rating:3.8 3.8 Average Rating

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    Straightlaced: How Gender's Got Us All Tied Up
    rating:3.8

    Straightlaced: How Gender's Got Us All Tied Up

    2009Runtime:0 minutes
    Issues of gender and sexuality confront today's teens everywhere they turn. This documentary -- which features frank interviews with 50 young people from a variety of backgrounds -- explores the effects of this preoccupation. Startlingly honest, these kids show the rest of us how gender identity shapes everything from our choice of clothes to the products we consume, as well as how culture, race and class figure into the equation.

    Directed by:

  • Debra Chasnoff
  • rating:3.8 3.8 Average Rating

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    Shut Up & Sing
    rating:3.8

    Shut Up & Sing

    2006Runtime:0 minutes
    Directed by Barbara Kopple (of Harlan County, U.S.A. fame), this documentary centers on country music's The Dixie Chicks and their nationwide vilification over critical statements they made about President Bush in 2003. Over a three-year period, the singers went from darlings of the industry to political targets, receiving constant death threats and being demonized by the national media and denounced by their fans. Cecilia Peck co-directs.

    Directed by:

  • Cecilia Peck
  • rating:3.8 3.8 Average Rating

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    The Future We Will Create: Inside the World of TED
    rating:3.8

    The Future We Will Create: Inside the World of TED

    2007Runtime:0 minutes
    Hailed "the hottest gathering in the world" by Wired magazine, TED is an annual event where an eclectic group of brilliant minds exchange bold ideas for the future. Actress Daphne Zuniga is your host on this all-access tour of the conference.

    Directed by:

  • Daphne Zuniga
  • rating:3.8 3.8 Average Rating

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    American Experience: The Rockefellers
    rating:3.8

    American Experience: The Rockefellers

    2000Runtime:0 minutes
    The name is synonymous with immense American wealth. But with prosperity came a tarnished legacy. This edition of PBS's Emmy Award-winning documentary series chronicles four generations of Rockefellers. From the unethical business practices that built their huge oil empire to the struggle to reconcile the controversial profits with an unwavering philanthropic commitment, it's a fascinating look at an influential family.

    Directed by:

  • Adriana Bosch
  • rating:3.8 3.8 Average Rating

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    Frontline: Bad Voodoo's War
    rating:3.8

    Frontline: Bad Voodoo's War

    2008Runtime:0 minutes
    For many civilians, military conflict is an abstract concept; this powerful documentary brings the personal drama of the Iraq war right into viewers' homes. At the height of America's military presence in Iraq in June 2007, director Deborah Scranton gave cameras to Bad Voodoo Platoon, a National Guard infantry unit, so they could tell their own stories, conveying intimate first-person accounts of the progress of their dangerous mission.

    Directed by:

  • Deborah Scranton
  • rating:3.8 3.8 Average Rating

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    Been Rich All My Life
    rating:3.8

    Been Rich All My Life

    2006Runtime:0 minutes
    Join the Silver Belles, a group of five former Harlem showgirls now aged 84 to 96, as they continue to entertain in this documentary by Heather MacDonald. From dancing together in the hottest venues such as the Cotton Club to performing with world-renowned bandleaders Cab Calloway and Duke Ellington, the gallivanting gals were the toast of the town during the 1930s; in 1985, they renounced retirement and reunited to grace the stage once again.

    Directed by:

  • Heather MacDonald
  • rating:3.8 3.8 Average Rating

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    Ballets Russes
    rating:3.8

    Ballets Russes

    2005Runtime:0 minutes
    The legendary Ballets Russes troupe gave Russian dancers who were never allowed to grace the stage in their home country a chance to shine, especially in the 1930s and '40s, when the company achieved worldwide renown. But even as early as the 1900s, it had been a showcase for such big-name talents as George Balanchine and Vaslav Nijinsky. When the '50s hit, though, the enchantment began to fade in the harsh light of fiscal realities.

    Directed by:

  • Daniel Geller
  • Dayna Goldfine
  • rating:3.8 3.8 Average Rating

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    Japan: Memoirs of a Secret Empire
    rating:3.8

    Japan: Memoirs of a Secret Empire

    2004Runtime:0 minutes
    As Europeans worked to conquer the world and extend their reach to other parts of the globe -- at times imposing their beliefs on citizens of other countries -- the people of Japan were decidedly isolationist, advocating separation as it nurtured its culture and traditions under its leader, Tokugawa Ieyasu. This documentary spotlights 16th and 17th century Japan as seen through the eyes of the samurai, the artist, the foreigner and many others.

    Directed by:

  • Lyn Goldfarb
  • Deborah Ann DeSnoo
  • rating:3.8 3.8 Average Rating

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    Helen Keller in Her Story
    rating:3.8

    Helen Keller in Her Story

    1954Runtime:0 minutes
    This Oscar-winning film uses newsreels, interviews and photographs to introduce the remarkable story of Helen Keller, from the childhood illness that stole her sight and hearing to her pioneering work for the rights of the disabled. Made when its subject was 74 years old, the documentary follows Keller on a day-in-the-life tour of her normal activities and social visits, including a special meeting with President Eisenhower.

    Directed by:

  • Nancy Hamilton
  • rating:3.8 3.8 Average Rating

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    Countdown to Zero
    rating:3.8

    Countdown to Zero

    2009Runtime:0 minutes
    Since the first atomic bomb exploded in 1945, scientists and world leaders have grappled with the apocalyptic dangers and paradoxes posed by nuclear weapons. Lucy Walker's documentary presents an unblinking look at humanity's lethal predicament.

    Directed by:

  • Lucy Walker
  • rating:3.8 3.8 Average Rating

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    Now and Then
    rating:3.8

    Now and Then

    1995Runtime:0 minutes
    Waxing nostalgic about the bittersweet passage from childhood to puberty in this tender coming-of-age tale, four childhood girlfriends -- Teeny, Chrissy, Samantha and Roberta -- recall the magical summer of 1970. During their walk down memory lane, they reconcile experiences with boys, secrets, bullies and more. Lesli Linka Glatter directs; Gaby Hoffmann, Ashleigh Aston Moore, Cloris Leachman, Thora Birch and Christina Ricci co-star.

    Directed by:

  • Lesli Linka Glatter
  • rating:3.8 3.8 Average Rating

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    Now and Then (1995)
    A heartwarming movie about four childhood girlfriends who, in adulthood reunion, relive their experience of the life-changing summer of 1970, including a mystery death, divorce, standing up to the boys, first kiss, and the meaning of true friendship. Each explores her unique identity amidst family and friends. Beautifully directed by Lesli Linka Glatter.
    - Frances   
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