Category Archives: Documentaries

JudyW&Nancy

Nancy Reagan: The Role of a Lifetime

One of America’s most politically-involved first ladies, Nancy Reagan held a powerful role in her husband’s administration – one that often went unnoticed during his presidency, but which historians recognize greatly affected his policies and helped ensure his success. Nancy Reagan: The Role of a Lifetime examines her influence, which had an impact on everything from Reagan’s cabinet appointees to the creation of the “Just Say No” campaign. The program also explores Nancy Reagan’s personal life, from her early life to her advocacy for Alzheimer’s research in the 2000s.

Online, the documentary site features a complete script of the show, annotated with references and links. Visitors can view photo essays on Nancy Reagan’s life, her time in Hollywood, and the Reagan family’s state dinners and travels around the world. The site also features additional information about Nancy’s influence on the AIDS crisis in the 80s and links to information about her Alzheimer’s disease advocacy.

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Betty Ford: The Real Deal

Narrated by award-winning actress Jane Alexander, Betty Ford: The Real Deal explores the life of one of the most influential first ladies. The program traces Mrs. Ford’s outspoken life in the White House and her public battles with cancer and addiction that captivated and changed the lives of millions.

From her diagnosis through her intervention and recovery, to the establishment of the treatment facility bearing her name, Betty Ford: The Real Deal features never-before-seen photos and film footage, interviews with Mrs. Ford, her four children, close friends and many others, including former White House photographer David Hume Kennerly and presidential historians Michael Beschloss and Richard Norton Smith.

Lady Bird

Lady Bird

Lady Bird

MLP’s first entry in what would become the First Ladies series, Lady Bird follows the life of Claudia “Lady Bird” Johnson from her birth, through meeting Lyndon Johnson, to her growth from a shy wife to a bold campaigner and adviser for her  husband. A political figure in her own right, Lady Bird launched her own legislative campaign for the Highway Beautification Act of 1965 – the first ever by a first lady – and in doing so forever changed the role of a first lady to include participation in the political process.

Online, the Lady Bird site contains a complete history and biography of the first lady. It also features in-depth information on several key topics in her life, both political and personal. The documentary, hosted by presidential historian Michael Beschloss, features exclusive interviews, excerpts from taped White House conversations and Johnson home movies.

Muslim Americans

The Muslim Americans

Produced as part of the America at a Crossroads series, The Muslim Americans explores Muslim communities’ experiences in post-9/11 America, compared to Britain and across Europe.

Reported by veteran NewsHour journalists including Robert MacNeil, Ray Suarez, Judy Woodruff, Fred de Sam Lazaro and Spencer Michels, the program examines critical issues facing American Muslims including assimilation, discrimination, the role of religion in politics and the challenges facing the next generation growing up Muslim.

RobinMacNeil1998

Do You Speak American?

In this follow-up to his Emmy award-winning series The Story of English, Robert MacNeil travels across America to explore the dynamic state of American English, a language rich with regional variety, global impact, and cultural controversy. From the effects of immigration to the way technology is changing the way we speak, Do You Speak American? finds how the reshaping of the English language is as rich and diverse as Americans themselves.

The Do You Speak American? website features a variety of interactive elements, including numerous quizzes, such as identifying regional dialects and slang. The site also includes dozens of exclusive essays and activities, and a wide selection of educational materials for both high school and college classrooms. The Center for Applied Linguistics also designed a guide for using Do You Speak American? in teacher preparation and professional development sessions.

Tryptych of Heroes

Among the Righteous

Lost Stories from the Holocaust in Arab Lands

Narrated by Robert MacNeil, Among the Righteous follows the journey of Robert Satloff, who set out to uncover eyewitness stories to combat the problem of Holocaust denial in the Arab world. Satloff’s goal was to find Arabs who, in the face of the German occupation of North Africa, risked their lives to save their Jewish neighbors. This mission took him across four continents and eight years as he sought to challenge the deeply ingrained denial prevalent in the region.

In addition to the documentary and a companion book, Among the Righteous features online a viewer’s guide available in English, French and Arabic, a timeline of the Holocaust, additional stories and extended interviews, and educational resources including lesson plans and a U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum teacher’s guide.

Lehrer-Bradlee1

Free Speech

Ben Bradlee – irreverent, charismatic, and in a league of his own – has played a key role in some of journalism’s landmark events, including coverage of the Watergate scandal and the recent revelation of the identity of “Deep Throat.”

Against the background of Bradlee’s amazing career, Jim Lehrer and Ben Bradlee take a candid and often witty look at current issues facing journalism, such as anonymous sources, journalistic integrity and balance, professional malfeasance and correcting mistakes, celebrity journalism and how to regain the public’s trust.

JudyW&Nancy

First Ladies

MacNeil/Lehrer Productions’ First Ladies series looks at the lives, both public and private, of some of America’s best-known presidential wives. Often relegated to a symbolic, near-regal role, many of the modern first ladies actually played significant parts in their husbands’ presidencies. This series of documentaries aims to both honor the first ladies’ contributions to the White House and to humanize them, showing the people behind the title. Thus far, MLP has produced three full documentaries on Lady Bird Johnson, Betty Ford and Nancy Reagan, as well as a NewsHour special that looks at the traditional and evolving role of the first lady.

 

 The First Lady: Public Expectations, Private Lives

Produced as a special part of the NewsHour’s 2004 election season, The First Lady examines the public’s expectations about the role of the first lady and compares it to the lives led by the actual women. In collaboration with USA Today, the program polled Americans about how a first lady ought to behave, and found that many believe it inappropriate for a first lady to hold a job outside the White House, but supported her role as “trusted confidante” – as long as she stays behind the scenes.

Hosted by actress Stockard Channing, The First Lady contains interviews with Laura Bush, Teresa Heinz Kerry, Barbara Bush and Hillary Rodham Clinton, with extended interviews available online, and with historian Allida Black and authors Gail Sheehy, Ann Gerhart and Kati Marton.

 

Lady Bird

Lady Bird (3)Lady Bird

MLP’s first entry in what would become the First Ladies series, Lady Bird follows the life of Claudia “Lady Bird” Johnson from her birth, through meeting Lyndon Johnson, to her growth from a shy wife to a bold campaigner and adviser for her  husband. A political figure in her own right, Lady Bird launched her own legislative campaign for the Highway Beautification Act of 1965 – the first ever by a first lady – and in doing so forever changed the role of a first lady to include participation in the political process.

Online, the Lady Bird site contains a complete history and biography of the first lady. It also features in-depth information on several key topics in her life, both political and personal. The documentary, hosted by presidential historian Michael Beschloss, features exclusive interviews, excerpts from taped White House conversations and Johnson home movies.

 

Betty Ford: The Real Deal

Narrated by award-winning actress Jane Alexander, Betty Ford: The Real Deal explores the life of one of the most influential first ladies. The program traces Mrs. Ford’s outspoken life in the White House and her public battles with cancer and addiction that captivated and changed the lives of millions.

From her diagnosis through her intervention and recovery, to the establishment of the treatment facility bearing her name, Betty Ford: The Real Deal features never-before-seen photos and film footage, interviews with Mrs. Ford, her four children, close friends and many others, including former White House photographer David Hume Kennerly and presidential historians Michael Beschloss and Richard Norton Smith.

 

Nancy Reagan: The Role of a Lifetime

One of America’s most politically-involved first ladies, Nancy Reagan held a powerful role in her husband’s administration – one that often went unnoticed during his presidency, but which historians recognize greatly affected his policies and helped ensure his success. Nancy Reagan: The Role of a Lifetime examines her influence, which had an impact on everything from Reagan’s cabinet appointees to the creation of the “Just Say No” campaign. The program also explores Nancy Reagan’s personal life, from her early life to her advocacy for Alzheimer’s research in the 2000s.

Online, the documentary site features a complete script of the show, annotated with references and links. Visitors can view photo essays on Nancy Reagan’s life, her time in Hollywood, and the Reagan family’s state dinners and travels around the world. The site also features additional information about Nancy’s influence on the AIDS crisis in the 80s and links to information about her Alzheimer’s disease advocacy.

Filming Generation Next

Generation Next 2.0

A two-part documentary, Generation Next features Senior NewsHour correspondent Judy Woodruff travelling across the country to put together a portrait of the unique generation of 16-25 year olds coming of age in America. These 42 million citizens were born after the Cold War, grew up with modern technology, came of age on 9/11 and face a future marked by complex global challenges.

The first part of the series, Generation Next, originally aired in 2007. It explores the hopes, beliefs and aspirations of this generation, and the impact they will have on every aspect of American life as they take the reins of political, business and societal leadership. A follow up, Generation Next 2.0, profiles seven young people, looking at their views on society and their outlook for the future. In 2009, the NewsHour aired four additional segments on Generation Next, in collaboration with NPR.

Arab Spring

The Arab Spring

5 one hour documentaries on the Arab Spring focuses on what happened in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Syria through news footage, social media sites and interviews with many of the people who participated in the uprisings as well as leading intellectuals, journalists and politicans. The final hour (which aired a year after the Arab Spring) looks at what occurred in each country and how much change has taken place, in the political, social and economic life of each country as a result of the Arab Spring.