The 33rd season of PBS’ documentary series POV will launch July 20 with the broadcast premiere of Linda Goldstein Knowlton’s We Are The Radical Monarchs. The film which premiered at SXSW 2019, follows a group of young girls of color on the frontlines of social justice in Oakland, and kicks off a lineup of 13 docs that focus on stories of hope and shared humanity.
POV’s season premiere will be preceded in June by POV’s first-ever miniseries, And She Could Be Next. The multi-part documentary, to air June 29-30 a a special presentation, follows a defiant movement of women of color fighting to transform American politics from the ground up. It is produced by and all-women-of-color crew.
The pubcaster said Wednesday in announcing the lineup that 80% of the new season’s films were directed by women, and more than two thirds by filmmakers of color. More than half of the titles are from international auspices ranging from Cameroon and Kenya to China and India among others.
“As America’s home for documentaries, PBS is committed to telling stories that deepen understanding and encourage conversation,” said Paula Kerger, PBS president and CEO. “Year after year, POV delivers powerful films featuring diverse voices, and we’re thrilled to share another extraordinary season with our audiences.”
Other docs on the slate include the Sundance-premiering The Infiltratorsa and Advocate, which was shortlisted for the Oscars.
The slate also includes primetime specials next year and shorts, streaming and interactive releases throughout the season. POV produces educational resources for every episode.
Here’s the lineup:
And She Could Be Next
June 29-30, 9 PM
Directed by Grace Lee and Marjan Safinia
And She Could Be Next follows a defiant movement of women of color as they transform politics from the ground up. Filmed during the historic 2018 midterm elections, the series features organizers and candidates (including Rashida Tlaib and Stacey Abrams) as they fight for a truly reflective government, asking whether democracy can be preserved—and made stronger—by those most marginalized. A co-production of POV and ITVS in association with the Center for Asian American Media and Latino Public Broadcasting. A co-presentation of Black Public Media and the Center for Asian American Media.
We Are The Radical Monarchs
July 20, 9 PM
Directed by Linda Goldstein Knowlton
Meet the Radical Monarchs, a group of young girls of color on the frontlines of social justice. Set in Oakland, California, the film documents the journey of the group as they earn badges for completing units on such subjects as being an LGBTQ ally, preserving the environment and disability justice. We follow the two founders as they face the challenge to grow the organization, before and after the 2016 election. A co-presentation of Latino Public Broadcasting.
Directed by Rachel Leah Jones and Philippe Bellaïche
A political firebrand in her home country, Israeli lawyer Lea Tsemel is known by her opponents as “the devil’s advocate” for her decades-long defense of Palestinians who have been accused of resisting the occupation, both violently and nonviolently. Tsemel, who pushes the praxis of a human rights defender to its limits, takes on two contentious court cases in her tireless quest for justice. Official Selection, Sundance Film Festival. Shortlisted for Best Documentary Feature for the 92nd Academy Awards.
Chez Jolie Coiffure
Directed by Rosine Mbakam
In this captivating documentary filmed in a single tiny room, viewers step inside an underground hair salon with its charismatic proprietor, a Cameroonian immigrant named Sabine. She and her employees style extensions and glue on lashes while watching soaps, dishing romantic advice, sharing rumors about government programs to legalize migrants and talking about life back home in Cameroon.
Directed by Archana Atul Phadke
Three generations of the Phadke family live together in their home in Mumbai. When the youngest daughter turns the camera toward her family, the personal becomes political as power structures within the family become visible—and eventually unravel. Cruel and comic in equal measure, the film examines the vagaries of affection across generations, tied together by something stranger than love.
Portraits And Dreams
Directed by Wendy Ewald and Elizabeth Barret
Portraits And Dreams revisits photographs created by Kentucky schoolchildren in the 1970s and the place where their photos were made. Photographer and artist Wendy Ewald, who guided the students in making their visionary photographs, returns to Kentucky and learns how the lives and visions of her former students have changed. The film combines the new narratives and insights of the now adult students. A POV co-production with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people.
September 14, 2020
Directed by Eva Mulvad
With adultery punishable by death in Iran, a young couple make the fateful decision to flee the country with their son. Love Child follows the trio on their life-threatening journey to plead asylum and witnesses a mother’s heartbreaking fight to keep her family together and secure a future for her son. Official Selection, Toronto International Film Festival.
In My Blood It Runs
Directed by Maya Newell
Ten-year-old Aboriginal Dujuan is a child-healer and a good hunter and speaks three languages.Yet Dujuan is failing in school and facing increasing scrutiny from welfare authorities and the police. As he veers perilously close to incarceration, his family fights to give him a strong Arrernte education alongside his western education. We walk with him as he grapples with these pressures and shares his truths. A Co-Presentation of Pacific Islanders in Communications.
Our Time Machine
Directed by Yang Sun and S. Leo Chiang
When artist Maleonn realizes that his father is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, he creates “Papa’s Time Machine,” a magical, autobiographical stage performance featuring life-size mechanical puppets. Through the production of this play, the two men confront their mortality before time runs out and memories are lost forever. Best Documentary Cinematography, Tribeca Film Festival.
Directed by Alex Rivera and Cristina Ibarra
The Infiltrators is a docu-thriller that tells the true story of two young immigrants who get detained by the U.S. Border Patrol—on purpose—and put in a shadowy for-profit detention center. Marco and Viri are members of the National Immigrant Youth Alliance, a group of radical Dreamers who are on a mission to stop deportations. And the best place to stop deportations, they believe, is in detention. Official Selection, Sundance Film Festival. A co-presentation of Latino Public Broadcasting.
Directed by Sam Soko
Softie follows political activist Boniface “Softie” Mwangi, a daring and audacious political activist who decides to run for political office in Kenya after several years of fighting injustice in his country. But running a clean campaign against corrupt opponents with idealism as his only weapon proves challenging. Special Jury Award, Sundance Film Festival. A POV co-production.
The Mole Agent
January 25, 2021
Directed by Maite Alberdi
When 83-year-old Sergio is sent as an undercover spy to a Chilean retirement home to track suspected elder abuse, he learns a deeper lesson about human connection. Through the lens of the hidden camera in his decoy glasses, viewers watch as Sergio struggles to balance his assignment with his increasing involvement in the lives of several residents. Official Selection, Sundance Film Festival. A co-production of POV and ITVS.
Through The Night
Directed by Loira Limbal
In New Rochelle, New York, a 24-hour daycare is a lifesaver for parents who work multiple jobs and odd hours to make ends meet. Through the stories of two working mothers and a childcare provider, Through the Night reveals the personal cost of rising wealth inequality in America and the close bonds forged between parents, children and caregivers. Official Selection, Tribeca Film Festival. A co-production of POV and ITVS in association with Latino Public Broadcasting and Black Public Media.
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