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CULTURAL STUDIES

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49 Up

In 1964 a group of seven year old children were interviewed for the documentary Seven Up. Director Michael Apted has been back to film them every seven years since, examining the progression of their lives. Now they are 49.

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56 Up

The original concept was to interview children from diverse backgrounds from all over England about their lives and their future dreams. Every seven years, director Michael Apted has returned to talk to them about their progress. Now they are 56.

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Accidental Courtesy

Musician Daryl Davis has played all over the world, but it's what he does in his free time that sets him apart. In an effort to find out how anyone can 'hate me without knowing me,' Daryl likes to meet and befriend members of the Ku Klux Klan.

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Algorithms

In India, a group of boys dream of becoming Chess Masters, driven by a man with a vision. But this is no ordinary chess and these are no ordinary players. Algorithms is a documentary on the thriving but little known world of Blind Chess in India.

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Altruism Revolution, The

For generations we have believed that man is driven by ruthless self-interest, but new research from fields as diverse as political science, psychology, sociology and experimental economics is forcing us to rethink human actions and motivation.

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Among the Believers

Firebrand cleric Abdul Aziz Ghazi, an ISIS supporter and Taliban ally, is waging jihad against the Pakistani government with the aim of imposing Shariah law. His primary weapon is his expanding network of Islamic seminaries for children as young as four.

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Anita: Speaking Truth to Power

Directed by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Freida Mock, Anita: Speaking Truth to Power celebrates Anita Hill's legacy and reveals the story of a woman who has empowered millions to stand up for equality and justice.

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Argentina

Poetic and moving, Argentina explores the heart of traditional Argentine folklore and its stunning musical heritage - from traditional styles such as the Zamba of "La Felipe Varela" through to modern dance - as choreographed by critically-acclaimed Carlos Saura.

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Ballerina

In the grand tradition of the Ballets Russes comes this portrait of five Russian ballerinas from the Mariinsky Theatre. From the backstage studio to stages around the world, Ballerina captures the sublime beauty of ballet in all its resplendent glory.

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Best and Most Beautiful Things

Legally blind and on the autism spectrum, 20-year-old Michelle defies labels as she chases big dreams with humor and bold curiosity. Searching for community, Michelle explores an uncensored world online and experiences a provocative sexual awakening.

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Captive

At a beach resort in the Philippines, 20 guests are kidnapped by an Islamic separatist group fighting for the independence of Mindanao. French social worker Therese Bourgoine is among those taken to a jungle island, with the Filipino army in hot pursuit.

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Central Park: The People's Place

Central Park: The People's Place is a loving portrait of New York's collective backyard. The documentary explores its historic creation as the first truly public park, its psychological and sociological significance, artistic design, and role as an urban oasis as the world becomes increasingly aware of the importance of green spaces.

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Chet Zar: I Like to Paint Monsters

Enter the foreboding world of Chet Zar, an influential figure in the Dark Art Movement, where apocalyptic industrial landscapes are inhabited by monstrosities. Sometimes gruesome, periodically funny, but always thought-provoking, Zar's art is as enigmatic as it is frightening.

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Clean Spirit

Clean Spirit follows pro cycling team Argos-Shimano during the 100th edition of the Tour de France as they strive to compete without doping. Knowing that they cannot beat their opponents in the mountains, they have specialized in the sprint.

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Dance Goodbye, The

What is life like for a dancer when they can no longer dance? Inspired by Merrill Ashley's departure from the New York City Ballet as an acclaimed principal dancer, this documentary captures the poignancy of this life turning point.

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Dying of the Light, The

The Dying of the Light explores the history and craft of motion picture presentation through the stories of the last generation of career projectionists. The result is a loving tribute to the art of the movies -- and to the unseen people who brought the light to our screens.

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Every Three Seconds

Every three seconds someone in the world dies from factors related to extreme poverty - 30,000 people a day and 10.5 million a year. The sheer magnitude can be overwhelming, causing people to ask "What can one person do to make a difference?"

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Extraordinary Ordinary People

Extraordinary Ordinary People is a music-fueled journey through folk and traditional arts in America. At a time when the existence of the National Endowment for the Arts has never been more threatened, Alan Govenar's documentary focuses on one of its least known and most enduring programs: the National Heritage Fellowship, awarded annually since 1982.

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God Loves Uganda

Academy Award-winning filmmaker Roger Ross Williams explores the role of the American Evangelical movement in fueling Uganda's terrifying turn towards biblical law and the proposed death penalty for homosexuality.

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Gray Matters

The documentary Gray Matters explores the long, fascinating life of architect and designer Eileen Gray, whose uncompromising vision defined and defied the practice of modernism in decoration, design and architecture.

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Hans Richter: Everything Turns - Everything Revolves

Hans Richter: Everything Turns - Everything Revolves celebrates the life of the Dadaist, abstract painter and experimental filmmaker who was a major force in redefining art in the 20th century. His 1920s experimental films "Rhythmus 21" and "Ghosts Before Breakfast" established film as a unique art form, liberated from the theatrical conventions of script and actors.

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Harper Lee: From Mockingbird to Watchman

In this update of her 2011 documentary, filmmaker Mary McDonagh Murphy sifts through the facts and speculation surrounding Lee and both her novels. Includes interviews with Lee's older sister, close friends and admirers, from Oprah Winfrey to Wally Lamb.

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Hole in a Fence, A

Chronicling the changing fortunes of Red Hook, Brooklyn, A Hole in a Fence explores the complicated issues of development, class and identity facing one of New York City's most unique neighborhoods.

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Hot Type: 150 Years of The Nation

Two-time Oscar winner Barbara Kopple takes a lively behind-the-scenes look at America's oldest continuously published weekly magazine, capturing the day-to-day challenges of publishing and illuminating how the past continuously shapes current events.

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I am FEMEN

A revealing look at FEMEN- the topless female activists who fight corrupt and patriarchal political systems in Kiev and all across Europe- as well as a portrait of the group's co-founder and creative backbone, the bewitching Oksana Shachko.

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I Dream of Wires

I Dream of Wires tracks the rise, fall and rebirth of the machine that shaped electronic music: the modular synthesizer. The film explores the synthesizer's remarkable history and the resurgence of high end synthesizers being use by a new generation.

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Ilya and Emilia Kabakov: Enter Here

Ilya and Emilia Kabakov: Enter Here is a double portraitof the lives and work of Russia's most celebrated international artists, now American citizens, as they come to terms with their global lives and the new Russia.

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James Castle: Portrait of an Artist

Born deaf in 1899 in rural Idaho, James Castle mined the local landscape and his own deeply private world to produce an astonishing body of drawings, collages, and constructions that eventually gained worldwide recognition.

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King of Masks, The

In 1930s China, aging street performer Wang yearns for a male heir to whom he can pass on the secrets of his renowned act. When he buys an 8-year-old orphan named Doggie, his new heir reveals a desperate secret.

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Last Cab to Darwin

Rex is a cab driver who has never left the town of Broken Hill. When he discovers he doesn't have long to live, he decides to drive to Darwin to die on his own terms. But along the way he discovers that before you can end your life you've got to live it.

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Last Season, The

Every September over 200 seasonal workers set up a camp near the town of Chemult, Oregon where they search for the rare matsutake mushroom. This probing documentary examines the bond between two of these hunters in one unusually hard season.

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Levitated Mass

Prominently displayed outside the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, land artist Michael Heizer's Levitated Mass gained worldwide recognition during its installation in 2012.

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Miss Hill: Making Dance Matter

Miss Hill: Making Dance Matter tells the inspiring and largely unknown story of Martha Hill, a woman whose life was defined by her love for dance, and who successfully fought against great odds to establish dance as a legitimate art form in America.

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Naples '44

Benedict Cumberbatch gives life to the words of British soldier Norman Lewis, whose remarkable memoir of post-World War II Naples form the basis for this haunting evocation of a ravaged land, and later a city of infinite charm.

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Nelson Algren: The End is Nothing, the Road is All

This in-depth documentary presents the compelling life story of one of America's greatest and least understood authors.

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New Rijksmuseum, The

This epic documentary captures the story of the ambitious renovation of Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum, offering a fly-on-the-wall perspective on one of the most challenging museum construction projects ever conceived.

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Other Man, The

Featuring in-depth interviews with politicians and anti-apartheid activists, filmmaker Nic Rossier explores the fascinating and complex political journey and legacy of South African president F.W. de Klerk.

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Professor, The: Tai Chi's Journey West

The Professor tells the story of the remarkable life of one of Tai Chi's greatest masters, Cheng Man-Ching, a man who brought Tai Chi and Chinese culture to the West during the swinging, turbulent 60's.

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The Pulitzer at 100

Directed by Academy Award Winner Kirk Simon, The Pulitzer at 100 celebrates the centenary of this revered national award for literary excellence in journalism and the arts. Featuring interviews with Toni Morrison, Michael Chabon, Tony Kushner, Wynton Marsalis and more.

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Quest

Filmed with vérité intimacy over the course of nearly a decade, Quest is the moving portrait of the Rainey family living in North Philadelphia. Epic in scope, Quest is a vivid illumination of race and class in America, and a testament to love, healing and hope.

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Ruins of Lifta, The

Discovering that his parents' Holocaust experiences may have distorted his views of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, filmmaker Menachem Daum - an Orthodox Jew from Brooklyn - sets out to establish a personal relationship with a Palestinian.

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Sex Trade, The

Part investigative report and part editorial, The Sex Trade is a behind-the-scenes analysis of a rapidly growing business featuring incisive comments from experts and enlightening interviews with current and former sex workers.

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Sex(ed)

Sex(ed) captures the humor, shock and vulnerability people face when learning about sex, through the lens of the often hilarious, only sometimes informative, sex-ed films from 1910 to the present day.

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Speed Sisters

The Speed Sisters are the Middle East's first all-woman race car driving team. Grabbing headlines and turning heads at improvised tracks across the West Bank, these women have sped their way into the heart of Palestine's gritty, male-dominated street car-racing scene.

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Storm Makers, The

Featuring brutally candid testimony, The Storm Makers is a chilling expose of Cambodia's human trafficking underworld and an eye-opening look at the complex cycle of poverty, despair and greed that fuels this modern slave trade.

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Sukkah City

Sukkah City chronicles the architecture competition created by Joshua Foer and Roger Bennett that explored the creative potential of the ancient Jewish sukkah and created a temporary exhibition of 12 newly designed sukkahs in the heart of New York City.

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Tangerines

A story of awakening humanity in the midst of violence, Tangerines is the spare, yet haunting tale of an older Estonian man who cares for two wounded soldiers from opposite sides of the 1990s-era war in Georgia.

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Through a Lens Darkly

The first documentary to explore the role of photography in shaping the identity of African Americans from slavery to the present, Through a Lens Darkly probes the recesses of American history by discovering images that have been suppressed, forgotten and lost.

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Tokyo Fiancee

In this entertaining romantic comedy, Amelie, a French tutor in Tokyo, finds herself in a passionate relationship with her only student, the charming Rinri. As the two explore the joys of their first real romance, many cultural barriers fall...but some still remain.

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Tricked

Tricked is a documentary that uncovers one of America's darkest secrets. Modern-day slavery is alive and well in the United States, as thousands of victims are trafficked across the country to satisfy America's $3-billion-a-year sex trafficking industry.

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Unlocking the Cage

Arguing that cognitively complex animals have the capacity for limited personhood rights, animal rights lawyer Steve Wise is making history by filing the first lawsuits that seek to transform a chimpanzee from a "thing" with no rights to a "person" with legal protections.

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Up Series, The

In 1964 a group of seven year old children were interviewed for the documentary "Seven Up". Director Michael Apted has been back to film them every seven years since. This seven disc box set includes all eight films in the series to date.

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Vince Giordano: There's a Future in the Past

For nearly 40 years, Vince Giordano and The Nighthawks have brought the joyful syncopation of the 1920s and '30s to life with their virtuosity, vintage musical instruments, and more than 60,000 period band arrangements.

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War Photographer

War photographer James Nachtwey hasn't missed a single war in twenty years. This Academy Award nominated film follows Nachtwey for two years into the wars in Indonesia, Kosovo, and Palestine, as well as to other troubled areas around the world.

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When Justice Isn't Just

Directed by NAACP Image Award winner David Massey, this dynamic documentary features legal experts, local activists, and law enforcement officers delving into ongoing charges of inequality, unfair practices, and politicized manipulations of America's judicial system.

  Architecture of Doom, The- Featuring never-before-seen film footage of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime, The Architecture of Doom captures the inner workings of the Third Reich and illuminates the Nazi aesthetic in art, architecture and popular culture.

Art Is... The Permanent Revolution- Among the wide range of 60 artists on display are Rembrandt, Goya, Daumier, Kollwitz, Dix, Masereel, Grosz, Gropper, and Picasso. Three contemporary American artists and a master printer make an etching, a woodcut and a lithograph before our eyes, while explaining the dynamic relationship between art and social engagement.

Beat Hotel- 1957. The Latin Quarter, Paris. A cheap no-name hotel becomes a haven for a new breed of artists fleeing the conformity and censorship of America. Called the Beat Hotel, it soon became an epicenter of the Beat generation. 

Behind the Burly Q- Burlesque and vaudeville were America's most popular form of live entertainment in the first half of the 20th century - until cinema drove them from the mainstream. By telling the intimate and surprising stories from its golden age, Behind the Burly Q reveals the true story of burlesque, even as it experiences a new renaissance.

Bert Stern: Original Mad Man- Bert Stern’s photography career began in the mailroom of Look Magazine and quickly took off during the Golden Age of Advertising.  Sought after by Madison Avenue, Hollywood, and the fashion world, Stern, like Irving Penn and Richard Avedon, became not just a photographer but a star in his own right. 

Bolero, The- One of the most honored films of its time and winner of an Academy Award, The Bolero captures the essence of an orchestra as Zubin Mehta conducts the Los Angeles Philharmonic in a stellar performance of Ravel's classic.

Breaking the Maya Code- Based on archaeologist Michael Coe's book and filmed in nine countries, Breaking the Maya Code is the amazing story of the 200-year struggle to unlock the secret hieroglyphs of the ancient Maya.

Callers, The- The Callers explores the world of auctions with a group of Pennsylvania auctioneers who move mounds of merchandise to eager buyers and reveals our complex relationship with stuff with consuming, collecting, and hoarding.

Carmen & Geoffrey- This joyful documentary celebrates two giants of the dance and theatrical worlds: dancer/choreographer/ actress Carmen De Lavallade and multi-hyphenate Geoffrey Holder, married to each other for nearly fifty years.

Commune- Black Bear Ranch was the prototypical 1960s commune, with the motto “Free Land for Free People.” This acclaimed documentary offers a candid look into the joys and difficulties of communal living.

Dancer, The- Watch the gifted Katja Bjorner as she endures years of intensive training at the Royal Swedish Ballet School and then becomes an international ballet star.

Dancing Across Borders- This documentary chronicles the intimate and triumphant story of Sokvannara Sar who was discovered by filmmaker Anne Bass in Cambodia in 2000 and brought to the ballet stage in America.

David Hockney: A Bigger Picture- Filmed over three years, this documentary is an unprecedented record of a major artist at work.  It captures David Hockney’s return from California to paint his native Yorkshire.

Eames: The Architect and the Painter- The husband-and-wife team of Charles and Ray Eames are widely regarded as America’s most important designers. Narrated by James Franco, Eames: the Architect and the Painter is the first film dedicated to these creative geniuses and their work.

Erroll Garner: No One Can Hear You Read- In a triumphant career that lasted forty years Erroll Garner pushed the playability of the piano to its limits, developed an international reputation, and made an indelible mark on the jazz world.

Female Misbehavior- A collection of five films from director Monika Treut which explore the outer limits of female sexuality and behavior. Each features a woman who has challenged the status quo, provoking shock and outrage in some and gaining respect from others.

Ferlinghetti: A Rebirth of Wonder- This definitive documentary is an incisive portrait of literary polymath Lawrence Ferlinghetti. In one-on-one interviews, he reflects on events that began to unfold in postwar America.

Herman's House- Herman Wallace may be the longest-serving prisoner in solitary confinement in America - 40 years and counting in a 6-by-9-foot cell. This award-winning documentary reveals the remarkable expression his struggle finds in an unusual art project.

Hey, Boo
- Hey, Boo: Harper Lee & To Kill a Mockingbird chronicles how the beloved novel came to be written, the context and history of the Deep South where it is set, and the social change it inspired after its publication.  The film also offers an unprecedented peek into the life of author Harper Lee.

High Fidelity- From the filmmaking team that brought us the Academy Award-winning From Mao To Mozart: Isaac Stern in China comes this spirited and humorous documentary about the world-famous Guarneri String Quartet.

Homemade Hillbilly Jam- This enjoyable documentary captures the rich and wonderful sounds of “hillbilly” music by following three families of modern-day hillbillies back to the roots of their music-making heritage.

In Search of Cezanne- In Search of Cezanne is an exploration of the life and legacy of 19th century French painter Paul Cezanne, as seen through the eyes of a young female documentary filmmaker who is just discovering his work.

Kings of Pastry- Filmmakers D A Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus secured exclusive access to shoot this epic, never-before-filmed test of France’s finest artisans- the prestigious Meilleurs Ouvriers de France competition. The film captures the high-stakes drama of the competition in the quest to become one of the Kings of Pastry.

Making the Boys- Before Prop 8, Milk or Will & Grace, The Boys in the Band changed everything. Making the Boys explores the drama, struggle and enduring legacy of the first-ever gay play and subsequent Hollywood movie to successfully reach a mainstream audience.

Model for Matisse, A- A warm and richly painted portrait of the little known relationship between Henri Matisse, and the woman who inspired him to create what he proclaimed the masterpiece of his life's work: The Chapel of the Rosary in the French village of Vence.

Moving Midway- Godfrey Cheshire's film about his family's Southern plantation - and the colossal feat of moving it to escape urban sprawl - is a thoughtful and witty look at how the racial legacy from the past continues into the present.

Never Stand Still: Dancing at Jacob's Pillow- Legendary dancers and choreographers appear alongside new innovators to reveal the passion, discipline, and daring of dance. Filmed at the iconic Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, this documentary features performances by world-renowned dancers interwoven with interviews and rare archival footage.

Old Jews Telling Jokes- 18 joke tellers- doctors, lawyers, a garment worker, a wine salesman - deliver, with great delight, the off-color and risqué jokes from a bygone era.

Our City Dreams- Filmed over the course of two years, Our City Dreams is an invitation to visit the creative spaces of five women artists. These women, who span different decades and represent diverse cultures, have one thing in common beyond making art: the city to which they have journeyed and now call home - New York.

Oyler House, The - In 1959, a working-class government employee named Richard Oyler, living in the tiny desert town of Lone Pine, California, asked world-famous modern architect Richard Neutra to design his modest family home. To Oyler's surprise, Neutra agreed.

Paul Bowles: The Cage Door is Always Open- Though Bowles never hid his homosexuality, he was married to the lesbian writer Jane Bowles. What attracted them despite their extremely different personalities was a shared worldview: that one must travel to the point of no return in order to find salvation.

Photographic Memory- Filmmaker Ross McElwee (Sherman’s March, Bright Leaves) finds himself in frequent conflict with his son, a young adult who seems addicted to and distracted by the virtual worlds of the internet.

Pianomania- As Steinway & Sons’ chief technician and Master Tuner, Stefan Knüpfer is dedicated to the unusual task of pairing world-class instruments with world-famous pianists. Featuring Lang Lang, Alfred Brendel, Rudolf Buchbinder and Pierre-Laurent Aimand and more.

Pleasures of Being Out of Step, The- Nat Hentoff is one of the enduring voices of the last 65 years, a writer who championed jazz as an art form and who also led the rise of 'alternative' journalism in America.

Shakespeare's Women & Claire Bloom- The legendary actress introduces us to Shakespeare through the roles that she played including Juliet, Portia, Rosalind, Lady Anne and Gertrude.

Speak the Music- Robert Mann has been a vital force in the world of music for more than seventy years.  As founder and first violinist of the Julliard String Quartet, and as a soloist, composer, teacher, and conductor, Mann has brought a sense of adventure to chamber music performance, master classes, and orchestral performances worldwide.

Tickle in the Heart, A- A Tickle in the Heart captures the story of the Epstein Brothers - Max, Willie and Julius - klezmer legends on a joyous (and hilarious) international tour.

To the Limit- Pepe Danquart follows brothers Thomas and Alexander Huber to locations never before reached by film crew as they set out to break the record in speed climbing the 2,900 foot sheer cliff known as ‘The Nose’ of El Capitan in Yosemite Valley.

Triumph of the Wall- This wry documentary takes viewers through the insane and passionate journey of two artists forced to ponder the unexpected. Sometimes art – and life – are as much about the process as they are about the finished product.

Vito- Directed by award-winner Jeffrey Schwarz, Vito paints a galvanizing portrait of Vito Russo, author of the seminal book The Celluloid Closet and an outspoken activist in the LGBT community’s struggle for equal rights.

Wagner & Me- English actor and raconteur Stephen Fry explores his passion for history’s most controversial composer. Can he salvage Richard Wagner’s music from its association with Hitler?

Wetlands Preserved- This insightful and entertaining documentary tracks the history of Wetlands, the first-ever activist nightclub, a place that was as devoted to environmental and political issues as it was to great music.

When Jews Were Funny- Insightful and hilarious, When Jews Were Funny surveys the history of Jewish comedy, from the early days of Borsht belt to the present, ultimately exploring the entire unruly question of what it means to be Jewish.