documentary | Texas Public Radio

documentary

In Zero Tolerance, FRONTLINE examines how President Donald Trump turned immigration into a powerful political weapon that fueled division and violence.
REUTERS/Tom Brenner

Immigration reform has become a political weapon in contemporary American politics over the last six years. Controversial policies such as zero tolerance and — most recently — the third-country asylum rule have helped create a deep political divide throughout the country.


Courtesy Melaneyes Media

Historical narratives often overlook the contributions of African Americans. The film “A Walk on the River- A Black History of the Alamo City” chronicles San Antonio's robust black history through interviews with historians, activists and private citizens.

Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes, a stylish and engaging new documentary by Sophie Huber, opens in the recording studio, with a top-tier crew of modern jazz musicians going about their business. From his station behind a keyboard rig, Robert Glasper calls out ideas for an arrangement; Ambrose Akinmusire's trumpet, warming up, can be heard in the background. An establishing shot introduces Don Was, the musical polymath serving as Blue Note's president, as a hipster Buddha in the control booth.

In the opening scene of Pavarotti, the new documentary by director Ron Howard, the popular tenor travels deep into the Amazon jungle in search of an old opera house where the great Enrico Caruso may have once sung.

The building is shuttered, but because he's Luciano Pavarotti the door is unlocked for him to belt out a few honeyed notes from the stage. His fabulous voice soars into the vast emptiness of the auditorium.

The Institute of Texan Cultures

On Fronteras:

  • San Antonio’s African-American history is often overshadowed by those who fought for Texas independence. Aundar Ma’at and Born Logic Allah are working to add to the narrative of the city’s history with their documentary, ‘Walk on the River: A Black History of the Alamo City’ (0:16).
  • And Texas Public Radio’s Ryan Poppe reports on one professor’s effort to identify and preserve historic black settlements (15:55).


The nominees for best documentary feature at this year’s Academy Awards include “Hale County This Morning, This Evening,” “Minding the Gap,” “Of Fathers and Sons” and “RBG” — and one film that had audiences around the country sweating buckets: “Free Solo.”

From Texas Standard:

The showdown between Ted Cruz and Beto O'Rourke for Cruz's U.S. Senate seat has started to gain some hefty national attention. It's also the topic of a soon-to-be-released documentary by award-winning Texas documentarian and University of Texas film lecturer, Steve Mims.

Ethel Shipton

Angela and Mark Walley had only just opened up their independent film studio in 2010 when artist Chuck Ramirez died suddenly at the age of 48. The pair had met Ramirez in 2009, and were in the beginnings of a collaborative project with him. 

Michael Flanagan / TPR

Jem Cohen has made a career out of experimenting with the documentary form. The New York based filmmaker has utilized a variety of formats, including Super 8, 16mm, and video, across a filmography that includes over 60 works. He is perhaps best known for the 1999 documentary, “Instrument,” a labor of love that took more than ten years to complete. The film follows the seminal punk rock group, Fugazi, as they tour, record, and live their lives throughout the 1990s.

The opioid epidemic has hit Huntington, W.Va., very hard, with an overdose rate 10 times the national average.

Documentary filmmaker Elaine McMillion Sheldon chose Huntington as the setting for her short doc about America's opioid crisis, Heroin(e). It's now nominated for an Oscar.

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