The ITVS-funded documentary To Be Heard looks at a unique poetry class in the Bronx for at-risk youth where anything can be said or shared. The film was produced and directed by Roland Legiardi-Laura, Amy Sultan, Deborah Shaffer, and Eddie Martinez – a combination of seasoned filmmakers, educators, and instructors in the Power Writers program. ITVS’s Kate Sullivan Green spoke with all four about their nearly seven-year journey of making the film, the importance of literacy, and their online companion, Power Poetry. To Be Heard is playing in January on public television. Additional online-only content will accompany the film in the months ahead.
[Werner Herzog] the last of the great auteur directors voices the role of a plastic grocery bag in [Plastic Bag], a philosophical short film by much-tipped director Ramin Bahrani. Read now >>
Old men with energy, high spirits and full capacities are inherently charming, and Pei, who has charmed his way across the planet and left a huge imprint on it, charms yet again [in I.M. Pei: Building China Modern]. Read now >>
Host Michel Martin speaks with Edward Tom, principal of the Bronx Center for Science & Mathematics, and filmmaker Christopher Wong [of Whatever It Takes]. Listen now >>
Whatever It Takes is strongest when it makes precisely this point: that however much we embrace the “tough love” idea, it is by definition a small-scale effort. Read now >>
Lost Souls is the sort of documentary that approaches reality television terrain. Yet it seriously presents themes of personal responsibility and redemption. Read now >>
“Compelling… [A] coming-of-age documentary from filmmakers Yoni Brook and Musa Syeed,”
- Los Angeles Times
A BRONX PRINCESS, airing tonight, Tuesday, September 22 at 10:00 PM on P.O.V. on PBS (check local listings), follows Rocky Otoo’s journey as she leaves behind her mother in New York City to reunite with her royal father in Ghana, West Africa and reconciles her African heritage with her dream of independence.
Now in her junior year of college, Otoo discusses what she has learned and shares tips on how to deal with cultures shock, building relationships with professors, keeping your family informed and other advice. Check out the video below.
A home of your own: that’s the American dream. But what happens when the dreamers are immigrants, factory workers and Communists? Director Michal Goldman traces the history of “The Coops,” a cooperative apartment complex built in the Bronx by Jewish garment workers. The film tracks the rise and fall of the community from the 1920s into the 1950s, bearing witness to lives lived across barriers of race, convention and sometimes even common sense.
“[Michal Goldman] has recaptured a daring social experiment, limning its idealism on race relations and social justice and its ultimately fatal embrace of Communist doctrine,” The New York Times.
“Community Cinema screening: TAKING ROOT: The Vision of Wangari Maathai tells the story of Kenyan Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Wangari Maathai, whose simple act of planting trees grew into a nationwide movement.” Read more >>