WETA TV26 & HD movie weekend starts on Friday this week! Check out an independent documentary Friday night then two biographical documentaries and two more indie films Saturday! Read on for more information.
Independent Lens: The New Black airs Friday at 10:30pm
Discover how the African American community debates the marriage equality movement and the fight over LGBT rights. In this film, activists, families, and clergy on both sides of the campaign to legalize gay marriage and examines homophobia in the black community’s institutional pillar — the black church — while exploring how this may have been exploited by political conservatives.
Burt Lancaster: Daring to Reach airs Saturday at 9:30pm
Learn more about the epic screen star Burt Lancaster who went from street-wise tough to art-collector liberal-activist, from circus-acrobat hunk to Academy Award winner. By age 18, Burt was 6'2" with an athletic physique and dynamic good looks that helped make him famous. A stint in the Army introduced Burt to acting and led him to Hollywood where his first release, The Killers (1946), propelled him to stardom at age 32. He took control of his own career and seldom faltered. Upon his death in 1994, four-time Academy Award-nominated Lancaster was acknowledged as one of the greatest stars in Hollywood. Lancaster's films include Westerns, costume epics and serious contemporary dramas.
Fred MacMurray: The Guy Next Door airs Saturday at 10:30pm
Amiable and unassuming, Fred MacMurray went from small-town boy to one of Hollywood and television's most enduring stars. Learn more about how MacMurray signed his first contract with Paramount Studios in 1934 and quickly rose to play romantic lead roles opposite such major stars as Claudette Colbert, Carole Lombard, Katharine Hepburn, Paulette Goddard, and Marlene Deitrich. However, his true talents were revealed when he went against type and appeared as a murderer opposite Barbara Stanwyck in Billy Wilder's film-noir classic Double Indemnity (1944). In this program, see which other roles helped define MacMurray as a major acting talent.
Independent Lens: How to Survive a Plague airs Saturday at 11:30pm
In 1987, America had been struggling with the AIDS epidemic for six years. This crisis was still largely being ignored both by government officials and health organizations until the sudden emergence of the activist group ACT UP in Greenwich Village, New York. This group was largely made up of HIV-positive participants who refused to die without a fight. Along with TAG (Treatment Action Group), and emboldened by the power of rebellion, they took on the challenges that public officials had ignored, raising awareness of the disease through a series of dramatic protests. Learn more about their recognition as scientific experts and other efforts in this documentary.
Independent Lens: The Graduates airs Sunday at 1am
Meet six Latino students from across the United States in The Graduates/Los Graduados and hear first-hand perspectives on key challenges facing Latino high school students and their families, educators, and community leaders. This two part film features three girls and three boys, each with their own unique obstacles to overcome. “Girls” features Stephanie, a daughter of Salvadoran immigrants, who despite attending a tough public school on the South Side of Chicago, fights through the distractions and worries about violence to become a good student, outspoken activist, and volunteer; Chastity, a Bronx teen whose family has become homeless but uses writing as a means of escape while keeping her eyes on the prize — college; and Darlene, a Tulsa student who dropped out of school after becoming pregnant and has to play catch-up when she dives back into her studies, all while trying to make a good future for her son.