Starting today, you can watch the first episode of Ken Burns new film series Prohibition on the free PBS App for iPad and iPhone before the entire series airs nationally on PBS, Sunday-Tuesday, October 2-4.
Set in the era of the bathtub gin, bootleggers and speakeasies, Prohibition tells the true story of the rise, rule and fall of the 18th Amendment to the US Constitution. It was called the “Noble Experiment,” but it was in fact one of America’s most notorious civic failures, an object lesson in the challenge of legislating human behavior.
Featuring a wide variety of interviews ranging from the already-made-its to the up-and-comers of the entertainment world, SXSW Flashback takes viewers back to March 2010 for one hour of SXSW excitement. Highlights include Bill Murray, Paul Wall, Chamillionaire, Ed Norton, and Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead discussing their latest movies and music as well as their experiences here visiting Central Texas and SXSW.
SWSW Flashback will air on KLRU on Thursday, August 19, at 8 p.m. but you can watch it now online.
Program: Nature “Why We Love Cats and Dogs”
Time: 7 p.m.
Date: Sunday, August 16
Ask anyone and they immediately know — they’re either a dog person or a cat person. What is this all about? Follow an in-depth investigation into the great divide between dogs and cats and just what draws us to these two polarizing pets. Animal behaviorists, psychologists, trainers and devoted owners all weigh in. Dogs, we discover, are geniuses at reading what we want and the complex cat-human bond can be as fickle or as deep as a marriage. Funny, touching and provocative, we ask how well we really know our best friends and why we love them so much.
Eleni Gabre-Madhin is a woman with a dream. The charismatic Ethiopian economist wants to end hunger in her famine-plagued country. But rather than relying on foreign aid or new agricultural technology, hers is a truly radical plan: she designed the nation’s first commodities exchange, which she hopes will revolutionize an age-old market system whose inefficiencies have been partly responsible for the country’s persistent food shortages. In April 2008, after more than a decade of planning, the starting bell first rang on the trading floor. Gabre-Madhin has been running frantically ever since. Having established a system of trading sites in rural villages, she is trying to maintain the machinery that keeps her country fed while facing daunting obstacles ranging from leaky warehouses to powerful special interests to antiquated farming practices, poor infrastructure, and an unpredictable climate. And that’s not to mention a global economic crisis. Wide Angle travels to East Africa for this documentary, hosted by anchor Aaron Brown, to tell the dramatic, intimate story of a woman on a mission – and a world of trouble standing in her way.
Program: P.O.V. “The Betryal”
Time: 9 p.m.
Date: Tuesday, July 21
Trailer and behind-the-scenes information on pbs.org/pov
The costs of contemporary war have rarely been captured with as much intimacy, poetry and sense of history as they are in The Betrayal (Nerakhoon). Nominated this year for the Academy Award® for Best Documentary, the film marks the directorial debut of Ellen Kuras, an award-winning cinematographer whose credits include Michel Gondry’s “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” Ted Demme’s “Blow,” Spike Lee’s “4 Little Girls” and “Summer of Sam” and Harold Ramis’s “Analyze That.”
At the heart of the making of The Betrayal is a unique, 23-year collaboration with Thavisouk (“Thavi”) Phrasavath, a young Laotian refugee the director met when seeking language lessons while filming another project in 1984. The lessons soon turned into long conversations about Lao culture and philosophy, the country’s recent tragic history and the story of Thavi’s own tortured trip from Laos to Brooklyn — from being a 12-year-old hero-worshipping son of a Royal Lao officer to a beleaguered son and brother trying to keep his fatherless family together on America’s gang-ridden streets. It’s a story rich in ancient Lao lore and sensibility, seen through the fractured glass of geo-political violence and scrambled again by the realities of America’s poor inner city.
July 8 is the premiere of Time Team America, based on the long-running and highly successful UK series. This five-part series places a team of archaeological experts in a new American dig site each week with only three days to unearth its buried secrets. The first episode’s location is “Fort Raleigh.” Untangle the mystery of the first English settlement in America, where 116 settlers vanished from Roanoke Island more than 400 years ago. Airs Wednesdays at 7 p.m. starting July 8th.
Ascent of Money premieres immediately after Time Team America. Author, economist and historian Niall Ferguson traces the evolution of money and demonstrates that financial history is the essential back-story behind all history. This four-part series is a more extensive and evergreen financial history than the two-hour special which premiered in January 2009. Airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. and repeats Sundays at 1 p.m. starting July 8th.
The new season of Wide Angle begins July 1. This series delivers up-to-the-minute reports from global hotspots to give American television viewers a unique forum for understanding the complex, often dramatic, sometimes explosive and always relevant stories that are shaping the present and future of the world. Each program focuses on a single subject, bringing to life international events and issues that matter to Americans today — from global epidemics to economic development and matters related to the war on terrorism.
July 1 the series premiers with “Crossing Heaven’s Border.” This documentary focuses on North Korean defectors who take life-threatening journeys, some traveling thousands of miles from their homeland through China and Laos, in the hope of settling as free citizens in South Korea. Intrepid South Korean journalists with hidden cameras risk their own lives capturing the action and emotion.
The Wide Angle web site features web only video related to each of the films. In this clip, watch the vivid story of a woman, Myong Hui Eom, who was a model North Korean citizen before being arrested for practicing Christianity, a crime punishable by prison, torture and even death.
Program: Masterpiece Mystery “Six by Agatha”
Date: Premieres Sunday, June 21
Time: 8 p.m.
Hosted by Alan Cumming
Watch a preview on pbs.org
With grey cells firing and knitting needles clicking, Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple make their triumphant return to PBS in “Six by Agatha,” a half dozen whodunits by the greatest mystery author of all time. David Suchet (Henry VIII, The Way We Live Now) reprises his signature role of the Belgian private eye who cracks cases with the help of his “little grey cells,” and award-winning actress Julia McKenzie (Cranford) debuts as the newest grandmotherly sleuth.