Documentaries Of The Week • January 2014

Jan 8, 2014

State of the Re:Union
Home on the Range: The Rural Southwest
Thursday, January 2 • noon & Friday, January 3 • 8 pm

Among the most iconic landscapes in American is the Western Range, a stretch of millions of acres of land, much of it remote and still undeveloped, distinguished by low rainfall, but abundant ecological diversity. In the 21st century, this land has become contested ground. Development pressures threaten open space as the Sun Belt continues to be an economic powerhouse. Border issues mean life in some of these rural places has been transformed by violence and politics. Ranchers and environmentalists alike are wrestling with what this land should be in the years to come.

State of the Re:Union
A Tale of Two Cities: Portland, Oregon
Thursday, January 9 • noon & Friday, January 10 • 8 pm

There’s the Portland that many are familiar with, the city some residents praise as a kind of Eden: full of bike paths, independently owned small businesses, great public transportation and abundant microbreweries and coffee shops. And then there’s the other Portland: the city where whole stretches of busy road are missing sidewalks, the city that’s been getting whiter and less diverse, where some longtime African American residents feel as if decades of institutional racism still have not been fully addressed.

State of the Re:Union
The American Crossroads: TULSA, Oklahoma
Thursday, January 16 • noon & Friday, January 17 • 8 pm

Tulsa, Oklahoma sits at a crossroads of American identities. In a special episode of SOTRU -- produced in collaboration with This Land Press -- we travel to the middle of Middle America to see what happens when these identities collide. We explore one of the country's deadliest race riots, a story that has been suppressed for 90 years; spend time in a native community that's resurrecting a language teetering on the edge of extinction; and visit a shrine for undocumented immigrants in a state with some of the harshest immigration laws in the nation.

State of the Re:Union
Dropouts to Graduates: the story of the Care Center
Thursday, January 23 • noon & Friday, January 24 • 8 pm

Say you meet a teenager. She’s 16, and she’s already dropped out of school. She’s pregnant, due in a few months, and she’s on her own. Her boyfriend disappeared with news of the baby. She doesn’t have a job, and is hoping her mom won’t kick her out of the house. What are your expectations for her? Prepare for them to be turned on their head. Welcome to the Care Center, an alternative school just for pregnant and parenting teens who’ve dropped out of high school. The surprise? 70 to 85 percent of Care Center students go on to college.

State of the Re:Union
The Hospital Always Wins: A SOTRU Special on Mental Health in America
Thursday, January 30 • noon & Friday, January 31 • 8 pm

For 10 years, SOTRU Special Producer Laura Starecheski has been documenting the life of Issa Ibrahim. Issa, a schizophrenic artist from Queens, NY, committed a violent crime and was sent to an asylum—Creedmoor—instead of prison. Issa hoped one day his doctors would allow him to rejoin the outside world, so he took his meds and went to therapy. And he made art: oil paintings, drawings, pop songs. Issa's subject was the hospital, doctors and staff. Some of his works made the staff look ridiculous, even cruel. Creedmoor confiscated Issa’s paintings and put him on a locked ward. They wrote up reports calling him dangerous, and made sure that each time his case came up in court, he would be put back in the hospital. But Issa hatched a plan to use the art that had trapped him as a key to his freedom…