documentaries

WETA TV26 logoCategory:TV26

WETA Movie Night: Saturday April 5

This weekend on WETA TV26 & HD, catch three fascinating films. First, Saturday at 9:30pm watch the 1956 thriller The Bad Seed. Following this classic film at 11:40pm is the documentary Revenge of the Electric Car. Set your DVR or stay up late for Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child at 1:10am. Read on for episode descriptions and trailers of these great movies.

The Bad Seed (1956) at 9:30pm
Rhoda is a good, grade-school girl who becomes vicious when she doesn’t get her way. Her mother finds out that Rhoda was responsible for a boy's death but is her mother’s dark past to blame? Starring Nancy Kelly, Patty McCormack, Henry Jones and Eileen Heckart. Click here to watch a trailer.


Independent Lens: Revenge of the Electric Car at 11:40pm
A follow up to Chris Paine's documentary Who Killed the Electric Car?, this new documentary Revenge of the Electric Car goes behind the closed doors of Nissan, General Motors, Tesla Motors, and an independent car converter named Greg “Gadget” Abbott to find the story of the global resurgence of electric cars. Click here to watch a trailer.


Independent Lens: Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child at 1:10am
A rare interview with Jean-Michel Basquiat over 20 years ago chronicles the meteoric rise and fall of the young artist who achieves critical and commercial success, though he is constantly confronted by racism from his peers. Click here to watch a trailer.

 

WETA TV26 logoCategory:TV26

New Doc Martin Season 6 | Documentaries on WETA TV26

Saturday February 1, 2014 tune into WETA TV26 & HD for the premiere of Doc Martin season 6 and two documentaries!

Doc Martin “Sickness and Health” 9:30-10:18pm
There is plenty of amusing excitement brewing in Portwenn! You will not want to miss a second of the new season of Doc Martin! The acclaimed series enters its 6th season, following the misfortunes and mishaps of Dr. Martin Ellingham, a smart yet socially challenged physician whose defining quality is his ability to alienate nearly anyone in his residing town of Portwenn. In the season 6 premiere, “Sickness and Health,” Portwenn is lively with Doc and his long time lover Louisa’s wedding on the horizon. Will they finally tie the knot, or will the villagers have to put the confetti back in the box again? Watch a preview!

Doc Martin "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?" 10:18pm-11pm
Following the season premiere, stick around and enjoy another episode of your favorite doctor! Witness the fallout from the events of the season’s first episode in “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.” In this praiseworthy continuation, Martin and Louisa host a disastrous dinner party, leading to a whirlwind of chaos that finally comes to a screeching halt when the new nanny walks out.

After Doc Martin, stick around for two gripping Independent Lens productions!

Independent Lens: The State of Arizona at 11pm

In 2010, the Arizona Senate passed controversial immigration law SB1070, also known as the “papers please” law, sparking a national dilemma. Supporters viewed it as a necessary act of law enforcement while opponents argued the law would inevitably lead to racial profiling. Now, Independent Lens: The State of Arizona explores the stories of Arizonans residing on all sides of this conflict-ridden topic and paints a vivid picture of a state and its citizens testing the boundaries of their country’s democratic principles. This enlightening documentary features interviews with activists, politicians, Latino immigrants, and ranchers mixed with footage of impassioned protest rallies and television news broadcasts. Now, Arizona’s enforcement policy is reshaping the conversation surrounding immigration reform in the United States. With a multitude of other states contemplating a similar approach, The State of Arizona asks Americans to reflect on who they are, who they want to be, and in which direction they want to take their country. Watch a preview!

Independent Lens: The Powerbroker: Whitney Young’s Fight for Civil Rights at 12:30am

Whitney Young, Jr. does not have a national holiday bearing his name. There are few alive today who know his name, and those who do know of the man, know much less his accomplishments. Now, discover the true story of the inside man who flattened the barriers restricting African Americans and became a key player at the core of the civil rights movement. The Powerbroker: Whitney Young’s Fight for Civil Rights explores the uniqueness of one of the most significant black leaders in history. Through his valuable positions as a successful businessperson, government worker, and advisor to three different presidents, Young opened the doors of opportunity for African Americans from the inside. This powerful documentary follows the unsung hero as he balances his time between Harlem streets and prestigious company boardrooms, working towards historical social change. Experience the critical events of the civil rights era through the eyes of a man working within the institution, but outside the limelight, to ensure a future of equality. Watch a preview!
 

WETA TV26 logoCategory:TV26

Free Movies in DC | WETA TV26 Movies January 4

This Saturday night, January 4, tune into WETA TV26 and WETA HD and relive a groundbreaking historical event, visit a world-class Japanese sushi restaurant, and journey to an alien planet…without leaving your couch!

Aliens (1986) at 9:30pm
Venture into an unknown world in James Cameron's Director's Cut of the sequel to 1979’s Alien! Fifty-seven years after the events of Alien, Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) awakens from cryogenic sleep and returns to the foreign planet where she first had a deadly encounter with a terrifying alien. During her prolonged sleep, humans colonized the alien planet, but when transmissions from the colony suddenly stop, Ripley earns an opportunity to team up with a group of marines to descend on the planet and investigate the alien presence. As the hazardous mission unfolds, will Ripley have to relive her worst nightmare? Watch the trailer here!

Independent Lens: How to Survive a Plague at 12am
In 1987, America was six years into the dark days of the AIDS epidemic, a crisis that government officials and health organizations were still ignoring. The battle against the outbreak transformed with the emergence of the activist group ACT UP in Greenwich Village, New York. Largely made up of HIV-positive individuals, ACT UP joined forces with TAG (Treatment Action Group) to raise awareness of the disease through a series of dramatic protests. Through the personal stories of some of ACT UP and TAG’s leading participants and never-before-seen archival footage, How to Survive a Plague explores the joy and horror of the era and the heroic battles that finally made AIDS survival possible. Watch trailer here!

Independent Lens: Jiro Dreams of Sushi at 1:30am
Sushi aficionados around the globe consider 85 year-old Jiro Ono to be the world’s greatest sushi chef. A man who claims to literally dream of sushi, Jiro is the owner of Sukiyabashi Jiro, a 10-seat, sushi-only restaurant located in a Tokyo subway station. Sushi lovers make reservations months ahead of time, travel from across the globe, and spend top dollar for a coveted seat at Jiro’s sushi bar. He has dedicated most of his life to mastering the art of sushi creation, but even at his age, Jiro still works from sunrise to beyond sunset tasting every piece of fish, meticulously training his employees, and finessing the presentation of each sushi creation. A chronicle of Jiro’s life as an unparalleled sushi master and a loving yet complicated father, Jiro Dreams of Sushi is a graceful meditation on hard work, family, and the art of perfection. Watch the trailer here!
 

WETA TV26 logoCategory:TV26

Free Movies in DC: December 21

Celebrate the first day of winter with a marathon of movies on WETA TV26 & HD! From 9:30pm-3am stay glued to your local DC PBS station as we present East of Eden (1955) and three Independent Lens documentaries.

East of Eden (1955)
Watch December 21 at 9:30pm
(also airs December 22 at 11:30am)
Starring '50s heart throb James Dean as the troubled son of a farmer, his problems grow with a brutal sibling rivalry. Although his brother sends the farm into near bankruptcy, Dean's character will do anything to save his family's farm. A love triangle, medical tradgedy, and classic '50s drama makes this movie a must-watch. Watch a preview here!

Independent Lens: Playwright: From Page to Stage
Watch December 21 at 11:30pm

This cinema vérité documentary delves into the development of two stage plays. Viewers will see how creative teams are assembled and how they collaborate with one another. Experience the intense detail that goes into everything from the rigorous rehearsal process to achieving one of theater's ultimate goals which is the arrival on a Broadway stage in New York City. Watch a preview here!

Independent Lens: Beauty is Embarrassing
Watch December 22 at 12:30am

Part biography, part live performance, this documentary tells the story of the unique visual artist and raconteur Wayne White. Tracing White’s career from an underground cartoonist in New York’s East Village to his big break as a designer, puppeteer, and voice-over actor on Pee-wee’s Playhouse for which he won three Emmy awards, this film follows Wayne’s success designing and animating for other children’s shows and music videos through a dark period of struggle and self-reflection before emerging in his present-day incarnation as a respected painter and performer. Watch a preview here!

Independent Lens: Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines
Watch December 22 at 2am

This documentary explores the United States' long-term fascination with comic book superheroes and raises questions about the possibilities and contradictions of heroines within the genre. The film goes behind the scenes with comic writers and artists, and others who offer an enlightening and entertaining counterpoint to the male-dominated superhero genre.  Watch a preview here!
 

WETA TV26 logoCategory:TV26

Free Movies in DC | WETA Movies September 21

This weekend on WETA TV26 & HD, tune in for the classic musical Fiddler on the Roof and two moving documentaries presented by PBS' P.O.V.

WETA Movie: Fiddler on the Roof (1971) - Saturday September 21 at 9:30pm
Fiddler on the Roof centers on a Jewish family’s struggle with poverty in Tsarist Russia, in 1905. This musical masterpiece conveys the difficulty of providing for one’s family while living in constant fear of harassment from those of different beliefs. Explore the hardships of poverty and Jewish discrimination in the early 1900s through compelling musical numbers in Fiddler on the Roof. Watch a preview here!

POV: Granito: How to Nail a Dictator - Sunday September 22 at 12:30am

In the 1980s, Central American dictator Efrain Rios Montt waged a brutal genocide against the Mayan population of Guatemala. Pamela Yates’ 1983 documentary, When the Mountains Tremble, provided a new generation of human rights activists with the information and added motivation to bring this dictator to justice. Granito tells the story of how Yates’s film became the catalyst in a benchmark victory for the Central American justice system in this official selection of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. Watch a preview here!

POV: Biblioburro, the Donkey Library - Sunday September 22 at 2:00am
Luis Humberto Soriano, a unique librarian living in a remote area in northern Colombia, is passionate about education and believes in a better future for his country. With the help of his two donkeys Alpha and Bet, Soriano brings a library of books to school children in violent and drug riddled areas of Colombia. Witness one man’s dedication towards providing the youth of his country with the power of literature in Biblioburro, the Donkey Library. Watch a preview here!


 

WETA TV26 logoCategory:TV26

New Documentaries Every Monday in September on WETA TV26

Skip the drama this fall! Beginning Monday, September 9 on WETA TV26 & HD, watch a new documentary every Monday at 10pm throughout September

   

On September 9, watch 8 players with 703 years between them compete in the World over 80s Table Tennis Championships in Inner Mongolia in Ping Pong. Then, on September 16, relive the glory days of the Washington, DC home of rock n’ roll and jazz nightlife from 1953-1998. Bayou: DC’s Killer Joint showcases the transcendent reign of the musical paradise. On September 23, witness the determination of a special education teacher at a run-down New Jersey high school as she fights to prepare her students for the real world. How will these students with special needs fare once they leave the security of the public school system? Find out in Best Kept Secret! Finally, on September 30, watch as Filipino Arnel Pineda takes a life-changing journey from You Tube sensation to rock n’ roll front man for the legendary American band Journey in Don’t Stop Believin’.     

Prepare to get rocked by reality Mondays in September with documentaries on WETA TV26 & WETA HD!

WETA TV26 logoCategory:TV26

Film vs Digital | Side By Side

Do you consider yourself a movie fan? Well how much do you know about the technical side of moviemaking? In the documentary Side by Side, Keanu Reeves talks to leading directors and cinematographers about the difference between making movies on film and the more economical digital alternative. See who is sticking with film and who is switching to digital. Is there room in the industry for both mediums to exist? Will economic factors phase out film? How does this change what we see on the screen? Interviewees include James Cameron, Martin Scorsese, David Lynch, George Lucas, Christopher Nolan, David Fincher, Robert Rodriguez, and more. Watch a trailer of the documentary below!

Watch Side by Side: The Science, Art and Impact of Digital Cinema on WETA TV26 & HD this Friday, August 30 at 9:30pm.

Photo courtesy of nydailynews.com

WETA TV26 logoCategory:TV26

Free Movies in DC | WETA Movies June 22 - 24

Though there are times when a situation might seem hopeless, there is always a bright side if you persevere. WETA TV presents four films that feature people who attempt to fight for something they believe in. First witness a woman’s fight to escape a criminal life in the Oscar-winning film I Want to Live! Then, watch 3 inspiring children fight for a chance to live out their dreams in The Revolutionary Optimists. On Monday, learn about a funeral director who is fighting to keep African-American funeral traditions alive in Homegoings, and immediately afterwards watch the first openly gay bishop fight for LGBT equality in Love Free or Die.

WETA Movie: I Want to Live! (1958)
Based on the true story of the execution of Barbara Graham, this film follows the troubled life of a prostitute who spends her time conning men out of their money. After a series of failed attempts to pull herself out of a life of crime, she finds herself wrongly convicted of a heinous crime that is punishable by death.  Susan Hayward brings life to this tragic figure in a performance that won her an Academy Award for Best Actress in 1958. Watch the trailer here! I Want to Live! (1958) airs Saturday, June 22 at 9:30pm and Sunday, June 23 at 11:30am on WETA TV26 & HD.

Independent Lens: The Revolutionary Optimists
Former criminal lawyer Amlan Ganguly witnessed the lack of opportunities that exist for the poor in Kolkata. After leaving his job as a lawyer, he began working with children in order to develop programs that provide education to children who seemed destined to live in poverty. The Revolutionary Optimists follows Kajal, Priyanka, and Salim, three of the children who worked alongside Amlan to break the barriers placed around their lives. Even when their situations may seem hopeless, these children never give up hope. Watch the trailer here!
Independent Lens: The Revolutionary Optimists airs Saturday, June 22 at 11:30pm on WETATV26 & HD.

POV: Homegoings
Death is a part of life that everyone faces at some point, but Isaiah Owens entire life revolves around it. Owens is a funeral director who specializes in traditional African-American burials. In Homegoings, witness uniquely optimistic funerals that celebrate in the face of sadness, and see how a kid from South Carolina grew up to be the man who creates them. Owens’ customers don’t fear death, as they plan and approach their inevitable return “home” with happiness and humor. Watch the trailer here!
POV: Homegoings airs Monday, June 24 at 10:00pm on WETATV26 & HD.

Independent Lens: Love Free or Die
Gene Robinson, a retired bishop, admitted that he was gay in 2003, a time when homosexuality was demonized by most Christian religions. Since then, he has made immense strides in the advancement of LGBT equality and their acceptance in the Christian religion. In Love Free or Die, follow Robinson as he faces harsh scrutiny in his journey to help others realize that God does not judge based on sexuality. Through constant death threats and negative comments, Robinson pushes forward as a beacon for everyone in the LGBT community. Watch the trailer here!
Independent Lens: Love Free or Die airs Monday, June 24 at 11:00pm on WETATV26 & HD.


 

WETA TV26 logoCategory:TV26

Free Movies in DC | WETA Movie Night April 6

We have a strong lineup of Independent Lens documentaries this Saturday on WETA!  From the bravery of a 22 year old girl parachuting into Nazi-Europe, to a young Tibetan man’s journey to find the reincarnation of his master, you are not going to want to miss out on these fascinating stories. Don't forget! James Stewart: A Wonderful Life airs this Saturday at 9:30pm before Independent Lens

 
 
 
 
At age 22, poet and diarist Hannah Senesh left home to save the lives of Hungary’s Jews during Nazi Europe.  Risking her own life, Hannah parachuted into enemy lines, only to quickly find herself captured, tortured, and eventually executed by the Nazis.  Independent Lens: Blessed is the Match, narrated by Academy Award nominee Joan Allen, is the first film to present the life story of this modern-day Joan of Arc. Blessed is the Match brings Hannah’s story to life through interviews with survivors who knew her, such as prisoners with Hannah in a Gestapo jail, fellow parachutists, and classmates at a Budapest girls’ school.  Additionally, the film uses Hannah’s poetry, diary entries, and correspondence with her mother, along with the Senesh family’s unpublished letters and photos, to look back at this heroine’s talent and complexity.  Watch the trailer!
 
Tune in for Independent Lens: Blessed is the Match on Saturday, April 6 at 11:00pm on WETA TV26 & HD.
 
 
In 2001, world-renowned Tibetan master Geshe Lama Konchog passed away.  As a result, the Dalai Lama made the deceased monk’s devoted disciple, Tenzin Zopa, embark on a journey to find the reincarnation of this spiritual leader.  The pressure is on Tenzin as thousands of followers await his find. Independent Lens: Unmistaken Child follows Tenzin’s four-year search on foot, mule, and helicopter for the reincarnated leader. Follow Tenzin as he travels through breathtaking landscapes, secluded Tibetan villages, listens to stories about children with special characteristics, and performs rarely seen ritualistic tests created to determine the probability of reincarnation.  In the end, Tenzin presents the child he believes to be his reincarnated master to the Dalai Lama, who will make the final decision. Watch the trailer!
 
Tune in for Independent Lens: Unmistaken Child on Sunday, April 7 at 12:00am on WETA TV26 & HD.
 
 
WETA TV26 logoCategory:TV26

Free Movies in DC | WETA Movie Night February 2

Humans have the remarkable ability to overcome just about anything. This week on the WETA Saturday Night Movies, hear the stories of individuals who have overcome obstacles in their lives and remember the strength of the will to succeed. We kick off the night with two feature length Doc Martin movies beginning at 9:30pm and follow them up with three Independent Lens documentaries back-to-back at 12:30am. With something for everyone, join WETA TV26 and WETA HD this Saturday as we dig deeper into the workings of society.

Click here to watch video previews of these exciting movies!

 

Doc Martin: The MovieOvercoming Loss

Would you ever move from the DC area to a remote, small town in the blink of an eye? Well when Doctor Martin Bamford discovers his wife is having an affair, he throws caution to the wind and moves from London to the unknown fishing village of Port Isaac. Join him as he tries to adjust to the country life, while resuming his medical career in a tiny town. This movie is different from the Doc Martin television show, but still stars Martin Clunes. Sit back and enjoy this alternate take on the ever hilarious Doc Martin.

 

Watch Doc Martin: The Movie on WETA TV26 & WETA HD Saturday at 9:30pm

 

Doc Martin and the Legend of the Cloutie Overcoming Stress

Doc Martin is in need of a holiday from Port Isaac and finds the perfect spot in a small plot of land called Tregruunt Farm. The problem is, another family is also interested in the property. What lengths will Doc Martin go though to ensure he gets it for himself? Let’s just say he takes some legendary measures. 

Watch Doc Martin and the Legend of the Cloutie on WETA TV26 & WETA HD Saturday at 11:00pm

 

Independent Lens: More Than a Month - Overcoming Boundaries 

February is Black History Month, a month dedicated to paying tribute to the history of African Americans. In this documentary, Shukree Hassan Tilghman feels that black history shouldn't just be remembered in one month, but should be a part of everyday American history. Determined, Tilghman goes on a month long campaign to end the Black History Month observance. Join us as we investigate the dynamics of this practice and why some people think it shouldn’t exist at all.

Watch Independent Lens: More Than a Month on  WETA TV26 & WETA HD  this Sunday at 12:30am

 

Independent Lens: As Goes Janesville - Overcoming Hardships

The economic depression of 2008 affected many industries and workers across America. This is the story of Janesville, Wisconsin, an auto town where 2,000 residents were left unemployed after General Motors closed its local plant. Many were able to find jobs at different factories or relocate, but some hope to bring new businesses into the town with tax benefits. Follow the actions the residents take locally and nationally to promote business and job growth for their town and state.

Watch Independent Lens: As Goes Janesville on WETA TV26 & WETA HD  Sunday at 1:30am

 

Independent Lens: The Woodmans - Overcoming with Art

This documentary unveils the lives of the Woodmans, a family of artists all working in different mediums. Betty and George married after realizing a common dedication to fine art and had two children who would also become artists. Their daughter Francesca discovered a passion for photography and moved to New York to peruse her career. Depression, tragedy, and emotions changed their artistic styles. Follow the highs and lows of this family that were held together by their love of art.

Watch Independent Lens: The Woodmans on WETA TV26 & WETA HD Sunday at 2:30am

Pages