September 7, 2007

PBS Offers Special Programming For Hispanic Heritage Month September 15 - October 15

From comedian George Lopez to artists Diego Rivera, Jose Clemente Orozco and Frida Kahlo, PBS will present a number of broadcast premieres and encore presentations that recognize the cultural, historical and societal impact of America’s growing Hispanic community. The programs air during Hispanic Heritage Month, celebrated each year from September 15 – October 15.

Not wanting to miss the excitement, “Maya & Miguel” will also join in with a special “Latin Fun Fiesta,” celebrating their family, language and culture with new episodes.

While PBS broadcasts programs and offers online content for adults and children by Latino and other filmmakers of color year-round, during Hispanic Heritage Month PBS presents a wealth of compelling programs that examine the rich history, cultural contributions and fascinating heritage of Hispanic and Latino Americans.

Visiones: Latino Art and Culture
Sundays, September 2-16; Fridays, September 7 and 21; Wednesday, September 12, 2007, 10:30-11:00 p.m. ET; and Thursday, September 20, 2007, 9:30-10:00 p.m.

Latino artists across the United States take center stage in this series. Viewers experience the world of Latino artistic expression as the series journeys throughout the country, capturing rich stories about theater, music, dance, spoken word and the visual arts. From New York City’s hip hop culture to mural painters in Los Angeles and Chicago to theater in Texas, the series offers a unique cross section of Latino artists working today.

Austin City Limits “Los Lonely Boys/The Gourds”
Saturday, September 8, 2007, 9:00-10:00 p.m.

It’s an evening of diverse Texas roots rock. First, San Angelo trio Los Lonely Boys consolidates its massive success with songs from Sacred, its slab of “Texican rock ‘n’ roll.” Then the Gourds bring their iconoclastic country/folk/Tex-Mex/Cajun rock to the stage with tunes from their album Heavy Ornamentals and crowd-pleasing favorites from their early years.

Brown is the New Green: George Lopez and the American Dream
Wednesday, September 12, 2007, 8:00-9:00 p.m.

Latinos, this nation’s largest and fastest-growing minority group, are big business. This smart, fast-paced program examines how efforts to profit from this group are shaping the contemporary Latino identity. The documentary’s focal point is George Lopez, an icon and advocate for Latinos’ move into the mainstream. As Cosby did for African Americans decades ago, Lopez normalizes the image of Latinos in a way that delights and entertains. “Brown is the New Green” contrasts his endeavors with the efforts of marketers intent on spinning Latinos as a wholly distinct subculture. The show also features conversations with members of the much-coveted Latino youth market, whose tastes and interests are far more eclectic than the marketers would have us believe. 

New Programming

American Masters

American Masters, which pioneered the television biography genre, continues to offer insightful profiles of important figures in America’s artistic and cultural life.

“Orozco: Man on Fire”
Wednesday, September 19, 2007, 9:00-10:00 p.m. ET

This is the vibrant story of an artist whose dramatic life, iconoclastic personality and dynamic painting changed the way we see art and politics. Jose Clemente Orozco’s travels back and forth across the U.S.-Mexico border are emblematic of the experiences of millions of Mexican migrants and immigrants who come seeking a better life in America. His personal convictions and tenacity in the face of daunting obstacles make him a compelling figure with universal appeal. Shot on location in Mexico and the United States, the documentary weaves a rich tapestry of images and sound, evoking Orozco’s artistic style while opening a window onto the artist’s inner life, passions and convictions.

Independent Lens
Tuesdays, 10:00 p.m.

This anthology series showcases documentaries, and a small number of dramas, united by the creative freedom, artistic achievement and unflinching visions of their independent producers. Encompassing the full spectrum of film — from history to drama to animation to shorts to social-issue films — Independent Lens allows audiences greater access to powerful and innovative programs. Terrence Howard hosts.

“The Devil’s Miner”
September 2007 (check local listings)

Living in poverty with their mother in the mountains of Bolivia, 14-year-old Basilio and his 12-year-old brother, Bernardino, work long shifts in the Cerro Rico silver mines, braving deadly conditions to earn enough money to attend school. By Kief Davidson and Richard Ladkani. Co-presentation with Latino Public Broadcasting.

“La Lupe: Queen of Latin Soul”
September 2007 (check local listings)

Legendary Afro-Cuban pop singer Lupe Victoria Yoli was crowned “The Queen of Latin Soul” by New York’s Latin music scene in the 1960s. Renowned for her emotional performances, La Lupe remains the quintessential bad girl, dying tragically, virtually unknown in 1992. Shot in Cuba, Puerto Rico and the U.S., “La Lupe” tells her story through interviews and rare archival footage from the groundbreaking musical era. Produced in association with ITVS and LPB. By Ela Troyano.

“Los Angeles Now”
September 2007 (check local listings)

Once an empty, bucolic space, Los Angeles is now a disorienting megalopolis. Once the whitest city in America, Los Angeles is now the most multicultural city in the world. What is the future of this rapidly changing area? “Los Angeles Now” looks beyond “Baywatch” and Blade Runner to create a fresh, candid portrait of America’s second-largest city. By Phillip Rodriguez.

“Revolución: Five Visions”
September 2007 (check local listings)

This documentary tells the story of five Cuban photographers whose lives and work span more than four decades and whose perspectives on photography are as varied as their opinions about the Cuban Revolution. From photographers whose lens portrayed the heroic masses to more contemporary photographers who seek to portray individual truths, their stories uncover the power of art to liberate.

Justice For My People: The Dr. Hector P. Garcia Story
September 17, 2007, 10:00-11:30 p.m.

“Justice For My People” tells the story of Dr. Hector P. Garcia — Mexican Revolution refugee, medical doctor to the barrios, decorated war veteran, civil rights activist and presidential confidante — as he fought to bring attention to the Mexican-American civil rights movement. Returning to Texas after World War II with six battle stars, Garcia found that while Mexican-American veterans had been changed by the war, prejudiced America had not. His people faced public school segregation, squalid living conditions in labor camps and second-class citizenship. In 1948, Dr. Garcia founded the American GI Forum, empowering Mexican Americans to fight numerous legal and political battles against discrimination.

The Life and Times of Frida Kahlo
September 2007 (check local listings)

The extraordinary life of the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo is framed in relation to the full spectrum of the historical and cultural influences that created her. “The Life and Times of Frida Kahlo” explores the 20th-century icon who became an international sensation in the worlds of modern art and radical politics. Among those interviewed in the documentary are Carlos Fuentes and Car-los Monsivais. The film is narrated by Rita Moreno; Mexican singer Lila Downs is the voice of Frida Kahlo.

P.O.V.

P.O.V. (a cinema term for “point of view”) is PBS’ award-winning showcase for independent non-fiction films.

“Al Otro Lado (To The Other Side)”
September 2007 (check local listings)

The proud Mexican tradition of corrido music — captured in the performances of Mexican band Los Tigres del Norte and the late Chalino Sanchez — provides both heartbeat and backbone to this rich examination of songs, drugs and dreams along the U.S./Mexico border. “Al Otro Lado” follows Magdiel, an aspiring corrido composer from the drug capital of Mexico, who faces two difficult choices to better his life: to traffic in drugs or to cross the border illegally into the United States. Interspersing performance footage by corrido superstars with the day-to-day struggles of Mag-diel as he embarks on an uncertain journey, filmmaker Natalia Almada paints an illuminating portrait of the narcotics underworld, illegal immigration and the corrido music that chronicles it all. An Official Selection of the Tribeca Film Festival. By Natalia Almada.

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