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I've watched Frontline nearly since its debut in 1983. Specifically I
remember watching a program on a clash in Greensboro, North Carolina,
between communist labor organizers and white supremacists. That program
focused on a white-supremacist informant, and how the police treated
and used his information. It was a documentary that, for myself, for
the first time didn't take sides. It presented testimony by the
participants, and made no attempt to guide the thoughts and feelings of
the viewers. It was the first time I'd ever seen a prgram that let me
think and feel the way I wanted to about a subject. That was twenty
years ago, and Frontline has continued to produce fantastic in-depth
documanteries to this day.
Frontline's programs have ranged from geo-politics to so-called "adult films," to equal rights, to the battle in Mogadishu, to whatever intriguing subject one can think of. And it's all done with the aim of informing and educating the viewer on how said subject is treated and perceived by those involved.
Unlike other documentaries Frontline merely reports the facts without pushing an agenda (unlike so many other one shot documentaries). Frontline lets you make up your own mind by presenting testimony of the people involved. It's a program whose narration isn't filled with conclusions worded to sound like fact (again, unlike many other documentaries). Instead it relies heavily on an interview format, where the answer to questions by the people involved are presented without being edited or otherwise spun.
If you're looking for a program that will inform you on complicated topics by presenting testimony, and not processed narration, then Frontline is the program to watch. Not all of its documentary reports will appeal to everyone, but rest assured each one is as thurough as possible at the time it airs.
Frontline is a great supplement to any news program for those who want more information.
PBS's Frontline has been a source of both information and enlightenment. It's one of the shows that is sorely not advertised enough because it's on public television. They show an unbiased, objective point of view regarding any issue, situation, or circumstances. One of the episodes is about climbing Mount Everest in May 1996 where several experienced climbers died after reaching the summit, a rare accomplishment for anybody. In fact, watching the documentary makes me want to climb it even though I would never get past first camp where you have to spend 3 weeks to get accumulated to the thin air. Everybody in the documentary regarding the climb on Mount Everest comes across as real and authentic. For those of us who would never make it to Everest, this documentary allows us to experience through the people's voices and memories that come alive in their re-telling almost better than any film version.
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