A couple embarks on a journey home for Chinese new year along with 130 million other migrant workers, to reunite with their children and struggle for a future. Their unseen story plays out as China soars towards being a world superpower.
A career retrospective of Fishbone, an all African-American rock band from Los Angeles who created a high energy blend of funk, metal, ska, and punk and experienced a career as chaotic and unique as the music they created.
Shannon Whisnant purchased a grill at an auction. Inside the grill was an amputated leg. What follows is a story centered on the enterprising Whisnant and John Wood, the man whose leg wound up in the grill due to an odd chain of events.
In Uganda, a new bill threatens to make homosexuality punishable by death. David Kato - Uganda's first openly gay man - and his fellow activists work against the clock to defeat the ... See full summary »
A film about an unfinished film which portrays the people behind and before the camera in the Warsaw Ghetto, exposing the extent of the cinematic manipulation forever changing the way we look at historic images.
On the outskirts of Rio de Janiro is Jardim Gramacho, the world's largest landfill, where men and women sift through garbage for a living. Artist Vik Muniz produces portraits of the workers and learns about their lives.
LOVE CRIMES OF KABUL is an intimate portrait of three young Afghani women accused of committing "moral crimes" such as premarital sex and running away from home. As we follow them from ... See full summary »
"Afghan Star" is a TV show modeled on the UK's "Pop Idol." We join the 2008 contest when it's down to nine contestants, and we focus on two women, Setara and Lema, and two men, Hameed and Rafi. We watch the two women in particular: Satara sings with emotion and includes dance in her final performance, an action that puts her life in danger; Lema is traditional, but her very appearance brings death threats. The three finalists are from different tribes, and each makes a plea for Afghan unity. The camera visits families watching the competition, there are comments from people in the street, and we return home with a nervous Setara. In Afghanistan, singing is an expression of freedom. Written by
This is not merely about the Afghani version of "American Idol," but the effect it has on an entire country. "Afghan Star," the talent competition on TOLO, a TV station that is monitored and at times pressured by the government, is a raging success with a public that comprises disparate ethnic strains in quite discrete parts of a country that has been repeatedly fractured. Indeed, it is seen by the program's contestants as well as by many of its viewers as a more likely path to political unity than politics itself, which has been undeniably divisive. Think of how TV brought the United States together in times of tragedy. Here is shown the power of TV in a more joyous context. The contestants in this documentary seem to be stand-ins for a political message; with the exception of Setara, a young woman who is willing to challenge the mores of her home district, we don't learn very much about their individual backgrounds. The footage of the country, however, is fascinating, both the recent views as well as those from a few decades ago, when Afghanistan looked more like an American city of the 50s. The film is gripping even as it educates those who may have no familiarity with a Third World tribal culture struggling within to resist or reclaim the push toward modernity.
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