Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Frontline: Inside Japan's Nuclear Meltdown

Retrospective film almost a year after a tsunami crippled Japan's Fukushima power plant. How a small group of engineers, soldiers and firemen risked their own lives to prevent a complete nuclear meltdown.

Film “a gripping account of a series of potentially catastrophic developments in how the government, plant workers and citizens responded. Describing in detail the days after the earthquake and tsunami from rumors about evacuating Tokyo to a dangerous mission to vent one of the reactors and offers insight into what the workers were thinking during those uncertain hours.

One Year Later, 'Inside Japan's Nuclear Meltdown' (interview)
NPR Fresh Air
February 28, 2012

Frontline: Inside Japan's Nuclear Meltdown (film)
February 28, 2012

Japan Weighed Evacuating Tokyo in Nuclear Crisis
New York Times
February 27, 2012

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

American Experience: Clinton

The biography of a president who rose from a broken childhood in Arkansas to become one of the most successful politicians in modern American history, and one of the most complex and conflicted characters to ever stride across the public stage. From draft dodging to the Dayton Accords, from Monica Lewinsky to a balanced budget, the presidency of William Jefferson Clinton veered between sordid scandal and grand achievement. Clinton had a career full of accomplishment and rife with scandal, a marriage that would make history and create controversy, and a presidency that would define the crucial and transformative period between the fall of the Berlin Wall and 9-11.

The latest installment in the critically acclaimed and successful series of presidential biographies, Clinton follows the president across his two terms as he confronted some of the key forces that would shape the future, including partisan political warfare and domestic and international terrorism, and as he struggled with uneven success to define the role of American power in a post-Cold War world. Most memorably, it explores how Clinton’s conflicted character made history, even as it enraged his enemies and confounded his friends.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Slavery By Another Name

Slavery by Another Name is a 90-minute documentary that challenges one of Americans’ most cherished assumptions: the belief that slavery in this country ended with the Emancipation Proclamation. The film tells how even as chattel slavery came to an end in the South in 1865, thousands of African Americans were pulled back into forced labor with shocking force and brutality. It was a system in which men, often guilty of no crime at all, were arrested, compelled to work without pay, repeatedly bought and sold, and coerced to do the bidding of masters. Tolerated by both the North and South, forced labor lasted well into the 20th century.

Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black American from the Civil War to World War II
By Douglas A. Blackmon

NPR Interview and book excerpt: Talk of the Nation March 25, 2008

Winner of the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction

Reveals how, from the late 1870s through the mid-twentieth century, thousands of African-American men were arrested and forced to work off outrageous fines by serving as unpaid labor to businesses and provincial farmers.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

The House I Live In - 2012 film

The House I Live In (2012)
Directed and written by Eugene Jarecki

2012 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize: Documentary

Documentary tracks the history of the U.S. War on Drugs. After 44 million arrests, sales of illegal drugs are still on the rise. the documentary argues that America's War on Drugs needs a drastic rethinking.

Sundance Film Festival 2012: Grand Jury Prizewinner Eugene Jarecki on Drug War Doc, 'The House I Live In'
Hollywood Reporter
January 29, 2012

"The House I Live In": New Documentary Exposes Economic, Moral Failure of U.S. War on Drugs
Democracy Now!
January 31, 2012

The House I Live In is also the name of a 1945 ten-minute short film starring Frank Sinatra. It was made to oppose anti-Semitism and racial prejudice at the end of World War II and received an Honorary Academy Award and a special Golden Globe award in 1946. In 2007, this film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
By Michelle Alexander (2010)

Book that argues that the War on Drugs and policies that deny convicted felons equal access to employment, housing, education and public benefits create a permanent under-caste based largely on race.

NPR: Book Excerpt

Legal Scholar: Jim Crow Still Exists In America
NPR Fresh Air
January 16, 2012