March 19, 2015
ABOUT a month ago, I watched the investigative reporter Edward R. Murrow's 1960 CBS documentary, "Harvest of Shame," which brought me to tears. Unprecedented in its day, the award-winning documentary aired on Thanksgiving and put up a mirror showing what poverty and the plight of farmworkers looked like, not in a third-world country, but right here at home. From the opening scene, I was riveted. It looked like an open lot for livestock and it was packed with African-American men and women looking for work.
March 13, 2015 |
RORY KARPF didn't have any trouble coming up with the title for the ESPN "30 for 30" documentary he directed that airs on Selection Sunday at 9 p.m. "I Hate Christian Laettner" is the title of a film about the former Duke player who despite hitting "the shot" went on to become villified by people he never met. "They wanted to do this one on Christian," said Karpf, who has also done the "Book of Manning" and "Snoop & Son, A Dad's Dream" for...
March 9, 2015 |
The filmmakers ask Richard Norcross to pull over at the house where he was shot five times - the house where his younger brother and another law enforcement officer were gunned down 20 years ago. "It's a very eerie feeling," says Norcross, who was a Haddon Heights police detective when Leslie Nelson's bloody rampage made national headlines. Glancing at the innocuous two-story dwelling on Sylvan Drive where his life changed forever on April 20, 1995, Norcross adds, "There are no good memories here.
February 21, 2015 |
Founded in 1835, St. Patrick's Church in Norristown is where many of the Irish immigrants who built the region's railroads worshiped and rejoiced amid the skirl of bagpipes. Fast-forward almost two centuries, and many St. Patrick's worshipers are speaking Spanish, with mariachi trumpets in the air. Starting about a decade ago, 1,000 to 1,500 Mexican immigrant families from the borough's burgeoning Hispanic population joined the church, spurring diversity with bilingual Masses and bringing vitality to a parish that 25 years ago closed its school because it couldn't draw enough students.
February 20, 2015 |
TIMED to Black History Month, the Smithsonian Channel's new documentary "Legend of Lead Belly" (8 p.m. Monday) sheds lots of light on one of the least-known yet most colorful and influential musicians of the 20th century, an artist "who didn't limit himself to any genre," according to disciple Van Morrison in the show. "House of the Rising Sun" may have been popularized by the Animals, but Huddie Ledbetter (a/k/a Lead Belly) lived it as the "house" musician at a Shreveport, La., bordello.
February 14, 2015 |
When she first walked through the maze of cubicles at the National Veterans Crisis Line in the winter of 2012, Ellen Goosenberg Kent thought she knew what to expect. Goosenberg Kent grew up in Philadelphia during the Vietnam era, the daughter of a Marine who had served in World War II. An Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker, she had already made two films about soldiers coping with broken bodies and spirits after returning home from war. This latest project, however, exploring the inner workings of the nation's suicide help line for veterans, surprised her and the film's producer, Dana Perry.
January 21, 2015 |
Rowan University senior Christopher Holzschuh hadn't heard his grandfather's entire World War II story until he made a documentary about it. "I didn't think of him as a war hero," said Holzschuh, 22, a history major from Marlton. "It was a side to my grandfather I don't think I ever saw. " The powerful 20-minute film, Change of Tides , was shown publicly for the first time Friday at the DIY arts space in downtown Flemington, N.J., and Holzschuh and his three Rowan collaborators were on hand.
January 20, 2015
SO YOU THOUGHT the long-running soap opera surrounding the Barnes Foundation and its priceless collection of paintings by Renoir, Matisse, Cezanne, Picasso and others was finally over, right? Guess again. In an apparent effort to get the last word in the bitter feud that pitted those who wanted to bring the gallery to Philadelphia (including Daily News publisher Gerry Lenfest) and those who wanted it to remain in Lower Merion, the Barnes Foundation has commissioned a documentary giving its side of the story.
January 9, 2015 |
William Penn might have founded Philadelphia, but it's Benjamin Franklin who gave the city a civic identity, a communal soul, and a future. In turn, Philadelphia made Benjamin Franklin, transforming him from a 17-year-old runaway indentured servant to a world-renowned innovator, diplomat, and scientist. His story is told in "Franklin's Spark," the eighth episode of Sam Katz's TV documentary series, Philadelphia: The Great Experiment , which airs 7:30 p.m. Thursday on 6ABC (WPVI-TV)
December 31, 2014 |
About a year ago, Philadelphia Police Chaplain Luis Centeno was approached by Stephen McWilliams, who teaches a social documentary film class at Villanova University. McWilliams was initially interested in profiling the chaplain, but as they talked, both began to see a more meaningful project - about a dark secret, one few law enforcement officers are willing to openly talk about. Suicide. The collaboration led to this to the release this fall of BLUE , a 40-minute documentary chronicling the occupational hazards of the job, and a related app to help officers identify and address the signs.